Variable temp. soldering iron recommendations?

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by Chris Veitch, 16 February 2020.

  1. Chris Veitch

    Chris Veitch Western Thunderer

    My ancient Antex XS25 seems to have given up the ghost - presumably the element's gone. It's hooked up to a little temperature controller that's so old the dial label was printed on a dot matrix printer, but the pair of them have served me well for years.

    There seem to be quite a few temperature-controlled iron kits around for a good price nowadays - does anyone have any recommendations? OR should I just spend £16 on a replacement element and keep guessing the temperature on the faded old dial?
  2. Rob R

    Rob R Western Thunderer

    For me the only replacement for a 25w Antex is another 25w Antex.
    Treat it to a new element.

  3. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Was impressed by a video I saw of DCC concepts irons. But no 1st hand experience.
    iak63 likes this.
  4. neaston

    neaston Active Member

    Aoyue 937 from Ebay for about £55. I've been running a previous model for some years now with no problems.
    Plenty of different bits to choose from as well.
  5. Kylestrome

    Kylestrome Member

    I'm very happy with my Ersa RDS 80, 80W electronic soldering station. It does a good job in 2mm & 4mm scales and there is a good range of bits available from very fine and 'pointy' to big and 'chunky'. Tip temperature goes up to 450 degrees (according to the display).

    Last edited: 20 February 2020
    Heather Kay likes this.
  6. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    I'd second the ERSA irons, at least 80 watts. The bits last forever mine is 5 years old and is a long way from needing replacement and it does get used almost every week.
    Have a good search as someone is probably selling these for a fair bit less than other people.

  7. iak63

    iak63 Western Thunderer

    I have one of their soldering stations and a mighty fine beast too. DCC concepts tend not to sell rubbish.
    The other one I have, is an auld Maplin soldering station which considering the price I paid, has given sterling service.
  8. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    I hope your experience is repeated, I just bought one!

  9. ANTEX XS25 25W 230V ELEMENT 5015044050046 | eBay

    I got one from these people and so my Antex 25w was saved! Took about 10 mins to repair but you do need another soldering iron to do the soldering ....
    Rob R likes this.
  10. Chris Veitch

    Chris Veitch Western Thunderer

    Many thanks for the comments and advice everyone. As a mug for any new toys, obviously I'm now torn!
  11. Hobbyhorse

    Hobbyhorse Western Thunderer

    I've used the ERSA icon1 for some time, I've not found anything it can't soldered easily. Currently using it on my 16mm Darent builds.
  12. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    I also use an ERSA and have to say it is a great bit of kit, the tip heats up so quick you can use it literally straight away. And if it stands idle for to long it drops the temp and goes in sleep mode which helps prolong the tip life. The only thing I will say is that sometimes there is a noticeable buzzing noise,, has anyone else encountered this ?

  13. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I can’t say I have. I turned off the temp drop feature. I got fed up with reaching for the iron only to find it was in power save mode!
    3 LINK likes this.
  14. michl080

    michl080 Western Thunderer

    I think we had that already some time ago.

    Everybody shouts "Ersa", I shout "Weller"!


    adrian likes this.
  15. Chris Veitch

    Chris Veitch Western Thunderer

    I never realised you could spend so much on a soldering iron...
  16. farnetti

    farnetti Western Thunderer

    Ersa for me as well.

    The Ersa RDS 80 is at home and Antex TCS 50 at club. The Ersa wins by a mile.

  17. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Agreed not the cheapest of items but really is worth every penny and cheaper than an RSU and infinitely more useful :rolleyes:
  18. Chris Veitch

    Chris Veitch Western Thunderer

    Well, twelve quid got me a new element and proved to me what a great little tool the Antex is, particularly compared to my backup iron from another Well Known Manufacturer which I had to use to fit the new element. Very grateful too for all the comments on more sophisticated irons - definitely thinking about one of those.