• Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
  • Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
  • Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
  • Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
  • Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter
Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter

Bundle Includes Soldering Station and CHP170 Cutter

SKU:HAAWUFVY8
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£174.00
Regular price
£290.00
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per 
( 40% off )
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Expected Delivery: 21-28 days

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  • Digital soldering station end safe version with Chp170 cutter
  • FX-888D KIT version with CHP170 cutter
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • Temperature range 120 - 899 f (50 - 480 c)
  • Digital display shows &degree; f or &degree; c

Customer Reviews

Like going from a jalopy to a Tesla Model S! I've gotten by in a work environment using $30 Radio Shack 30 watt soldering irons for almost 15 years. If had known what I was missing, I would have upgraded sooner.Instead of minutes to warm up, we're talking seconds!I used to leave my iron on all day, ***now I can turn it on and off as needed***, that's my favorite upgrade! Instead of a tippy, mostly plastic stand, this thing is made with what feels like cast iron, it's substantially weighted. You could easily knock out an intruder with the heft of either the stand or the base station, it's that heavily planted, like they took a weight plate from a fitness center and turned it into this! I was very surprised at how much it literally is built like an armored tank, I had no idea that they would still make things this robustly.The digital readout is very nice, shows you how fast it is heating up, which for me has been about 20 seconds. Fast enough that when I turn it on, then start setting up my work pieces, it's already ready to go.The tip is light years beyond the old Radio Shack iron, which needed new tips fairly quickly. I would have gone through several tips while this one is still looking brand new. That alone is worth the upgrade, it will pay for itself soon enough.Bottom line for me is I'm never going back, I just went from toys to a real tool. Do yourself a favor, buy this for yourself and say "Merry Christmas to me" every time you use it! 5Even I can solder with this. I thought I just couldn't develop the skills to solder. Raised/burned traces, melted insulation, poor connections were my plagues. I also thought that a hot iron is a hot iron and that's all there is to it. I mean, why spend more than $10 on a soldering iron, right? I was wrong. I got this Hakko. And I can solder. And I don't burn away traces. It's got a funky and unpleasant control scheme like most digital devices these days with hidden or poorly documented required button press sequences for vital functions but that's the way it goes. I wish it had quickly manageable dials and dedicated control buttons but it seems designers prefer to do everything with one or two buttons instead of making devices effortlessly manageable. (It's like driving your car in heavy traffic at high speeds...you'd like to just modify the sound shape in that raspy tune that just popped onto the airwaves but you can't quickly slide equalizer pots. Oh, no. You've got to mingle multiple button presses with obscure icons on a LED display taking your eyes off of the dangerous traffic thereby imposing a threat against your life just so you can drop the treble a few log values.) Easy control is important to me because I will only use a soldering device a few times per year. Each time I drag it out, months will have passed and I'll have to refresh my understanding of its control sequences before I can expect to successfully perform micro-soldering of SMD's and such. However, once I get it under control, it performs like no other hot stick that I've ever had in my hand. I really like its performance at the hot end of the stick but I hate its dashboard. 4Analog may be a better value. I had purchased the "regular" Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station, which had developed a temperature control problem, so I ended up going with the FX-888D to replace it.Out of the box, the only difference you're likely to notice between the two is that one's digital and one isn't. The actual iron is the same, the weight is the same, the tip is the same, the base is the same... Side by side, it looks like some corners were cut in FX-888D packaging materials, and the DIN plug on the iron felt just the slightest bit cheaper on the 888D.In terms of actual use, the FX-888D isn't really as intuitive as the analog. You'd think pushing "up" to get the temperature you want is logical, and the base pretends that it does something if you try. To get it to actually change though, you have to hold down "enter" for two seconds, and then choose your temperature. Not a big deal in the slightest, but just one of those "huh... I wouldn't have designed it that way". Presets are more involved, but not unreasonably so.Moving the temperature up and down, the iron reacts quickly, just like the trusty FX-888. On the 888D, you can see the base counting up or down as appropriate, and wide (~200 degree) adjustments happen in about 20 seconds or so. One gripe here: the display shows you the setting, rather than the actual temperature -- which is to say: if you set it from 325 to 550, when it counts up to 550 it's ready. However, if you touch it to metal to start soldering, the display doesn't follow the temperature back down and up again. It just stays there at what it's set to, with a tiny LED dot that blinks to show it's heating. So, what's on your display isn't necessarily your actual temperature. Not that the analog ever showed you actual temperature, but I'd chalk it up as a "missing feature" if you're thinking of upgrading. 4Confusing controls, easy to screw up calibration, but works great I was struggling to desolder components with XYtronic 258 Variable temp soldering iron so I bit the bullet and bought this Hakko. It's a comparative dream to use. The Xytronic took 5-8 minutes to get enough heat to be useful but the Hakko is at 750F in about 3 or less. The solder always melts with the Hakko and I can do things like touch the iron to a desoldering braid and have the braid itself get hot enough to melt the solder on components and draw the solder into the braid. Doing that with the Xytronic rarely worked and I'd have to keep trying and trying different positions and angles. The Hakko even melted solder on 6mm wide tabs that held a giant aluminum heat sink to the motherboard and let me get the heat sink off. The only thing I haven't been able to solder to is some tiny silver wires acting as shielding around the circumference of something like a USB cable. A comment to this review said the problem is likely that the wires were stainless steel which can't be soldered to with conventional techniques.Unlike the Xytronic, the Hakko's iron has a nice thin cord that doesn't try to pull the iron out of its holder or make the iron hard to keep held in certain orientations. It's even got a soft foam grip that makes it stable to hold the iron more by your fingertips if you need to, and the iron is small and lightweight.The only thing I don't like about the Hakko is the controls. It's only got "Up" and "Enter". In the default mode, you must hold Enter for 2 seconds to set the temperature, then the left digit flashes and you press Up repeatedly (holding Up doesn't do anything) till you get the value you want (at 9 it returns to 0). Press Enter and the second digit flashes and you do the same. Press Enter and third digit flashes. Press Enter and temperature is set. C'mon, that's way too many button presses if you need to switch temperatures frequently.Even worse, if you accidentally hold Up instead of Enter, it goes into temperature correction mode. It looks just like temperature set mode except they illuminate a dot at the lower right of each number. If your actual temperature was 700, it will still read 700 in temperature correction mode and if you change it to say 750, then when you press Enter for the 3rd time the unit will now believe that its reading of 700 was actually 750 degrees (as measured with some sort of external thermometer - Hakko sells one for about $270). That's a great feature and is useful when you change tips or things start wearing out, but the way they have you set it is dangerous because it looks almost identical to setting the temperature. Even though I read the manual, I accidentally held Up instead of Enter when I first used the iron (because holding Up makes more sense to me to start a temperature adjustment) and I tried to set it from 750 to 400. Whenever I pressed enter for the third time, it would just start blinking the first number again. I thought I might have a defective unit until I read the part in the full manual (not the small manual I'd read initially) that said in temperature adjustment mode you can't adjust it more than 270 degrees off its current setting. That's the only thing that saved me from screwing up the calibration of my iron by -350 degrees.A much better mode to use the iron in is called "preset mode" but to get to it, you must hold the Up button while you turn the iron on. At that point, "01" starts flashing on the display. Press Up and you get "03" flashing, Up and you get "11" flashing. Where do they get these values? I had to read the big manual to find out that "11" was the code for toggling the mode between temperature and preset. So press Enter, 0 flashes (meaning temperature mode). Press up to change to 1 (preset mode). Press Enter. P5 flashes. That means you've got 5 presets available. You can change between 2 and 5. Press Enter. 11 flashes again. That means you're done setting it to "preset 5" mode. Hold Enter. "y" appears. That means "Yes, I want to save my changes". Press Enter and you're done. Whew.In preset mode, pressing Up moves up to the next preset temperature, displaying P1, then P2, P3, P4, P5, and back to P1 each time you press Up. If you wait a couple seconds, it will show the temperature associated with that preset. Press Enter to confirm. So this mode makes it much easier to switch between 2 and 5 different temperatures you need, but you still have to press Up at least once and then Enter. Not too bad, but would be much nicer if they just had a wheel to turn, or if you could skip pressing Enter.The actual temperature of the tip only displays if it's more than about 50F different than the temperature you've set. I guess that's fine but I'd prefer that it always showed actual temperature except when I was changing the preferred temperature. I don't think the actual temperature is entirely accurate because just after it reaches 600 it actually won't melt my solder for another 10 seconds or so. Of course it's probably measuring temperature in the middle of the iron's handle and it takes extra time for that heat to reach the very tip?The manual has some nice servicing instructions explaining how to use a volt meter to test various internal parts of the iron to see that they're working properly, what readings mean various problems or that parts are starting to degrade and so on.One thing that surprised me was the metal iron holder doesn't actually touch the metal of the soldering iron. It only touches the plastic collar. That surprised me because I'm used to the Xytronic and the metal spiral iron holder I bought for it from Radio Shack where the tip of the iron is supposed to touch the metal spiral to keep the tip cooler so it doesn't oxidize as quickly. Despite that, the Xytronic tip would still have some darkening every time I pulled it from the holder so I was always sponging it and periodically adding solder. It might just be because it's newer, but the Hakko tip doesn't seem to darken nearly as fast despite not being cooled by contact with metal.The iron holder comes with a grey sponge with two slits cut in it and two semicircles you're supposed to break off and shove down lower than the main part of the sponge. The semicircles are held by some thick tabs in the water well of the iron holder and the manual mentions these sponge pieces are meant to draw water up into the main body of the sponge. It's kind of neat but I wonder why they didn't just let the main body of the sponge sit deeper in the water? I'm guessing it's because you're meant to wipe the tip into the slits such that the solder bits you wipe off the tip fall down through the slits and into the water below. There, they have room to accumulate beneath the sponge. But the tabs are close enough together that I'm not sure the bits would be likely to travel below the main body of the sponge, so... who knows. I do know the slits do a better job of wiping off solder than a simple flat sponge, and the sponge stays cleaner than if you're wiping solder directly into its surface.The iron holder also comes with a brass-looking ball of metal strips similar to a kitchen scouring pad. The manual says this is for cleaning off larger/harder bits the sponge isn't getting off the tip. I haven't had any such bits so far.Anyway, other than the controls, I'm pleased with the Hakko and actually excited to work on my next soldering project instead of dreading the massive frustration and time waste the Xytronic usually caused me. In the months since I initially wrote this review, the Hakko plus Paladin Tools 1700 Desoldering Tool worked great to remove a bunch of components. The Hakko easily bonded wires to battery terminals so I could run a motion detector off wall current, and worked well for connecting USB cable wires back together after I cut out a segment that had an intermittent wire breaking. At 800 degrees, the solder melted quickly to the tiny USB cable wires and it did so fast enough to prevent the heat from spreading too far and seriously melting the thin plastic shielding around the tiny wires which was often a problem with how long I had to touch the Xytronic to wires to get enough heat.BTW, Hakko's web site shows this model also comes in silver so you might look for that if you don't like the blue and yellow.Also, mine did come with the CHP170 cutter and it's quite a nice cutter. Of course all my other cutters are cheap things with thick, dull "blades", so maybe the CHP170 only seems awesome by comparison, but it has small, sharp blades that are perfect for getting in tight spaces to snip off small components and they also worked great for trimming the copper braid as I was desoldering. I could easily see what I was cutting off the braid rather than having to half guess where some thick, larger cutters were going to cut it. I wasn't expecting much from this freebie but now that I've looked it up on Amazon, it gets 5 stars from almost everyone and someone says he's used it to cut 12 AWG wire though it's only advertised to cut up to 16. 4Great iron/station. Can't be beat at this price. Great iron. It's genuine Hakko so no worries there. If your not willing to spend the $240ish to get a 9 series Hakko then this is the next best thing. Don't waste your time with the off brand irons. This is a buy quality, buy once situation. Many people will refer to this as "old tech" or "a beginners station". But the truth is this iron will do 90% of what the more expensive irons will do. If you are not a professional repair tech, or don't have money to burn, don't waste what you do have on that extra 10% because the fact is you will probably never need it.Buy genuine tips and they will last for most of your hobby days with this iron. It is built well and backed by a professional company.Heat up time to full temp is around 20 seconds. It doesn't have a sleep feature but I just kill the power and switch it back on as I'm getting ready.I don't do professional repairs anymore so I bought this to replace a Hakko FM-203 that I lost in a divorce.I have no regrets for buying this instead of just replacing the same station. 5The last iron you will ever need I think anyone who enjoys soldering and certainly anyone who, for whatever reason, needs to but hates doing it, like myself, will find this an invaluable investment that is worth every cent and probably even at twice the price. A skill that has eluded me and always a source of frustration, which I would attempt only as a last resort. Recently I developed an interest in quadcopters, a hobby that involves not only a great deal of soldering, but requires a level of precision I had never considered nor desired attaining. However, the satisfaction the hobby brings me has driven me to aquire six different soldering irons / stations and many types of solder in my effort to become efficient. Many hours of practice and 2 ruined flight control boards had finally allowed me to overcome the dread associated with the skill. Still not satisfied with the equipment I was using, I researched what the best copter builders were using and quickly found this to be the overall favorite. The only regret I have regarding the purchase of this unit, is that I didn't do my homework sooner because the difference is night and day. I can only imagine the time and frustration I might have saved by buying this early on. Overnight I went from viewing soldering as an accepted means to an end, to actually looking forward to doing it and being proud of the results. Having this unit and a little practice, along with the basic fundamentals of soldering is all that one needs to avoid much aggravation. 5A must have for tiny quad maintenance and modification. If you have come from the cheep radio shack soldering iron like I have this thing is amazing! I have used it to solder a camera on my tiny drone flight controller board and it was so easy. You can set it to 750 degrees and it comes up to temperature very quickly (15 sec). I am using KESTER SOLDER 24-6040-0027 60/40 Stand, 0.031" Diameter, "44", 1.5" for repairs and modifications to my Horizon Hobby Inductrix "Tiny Whoop" and it is the perfect combination for all kinds of very small solder jobs on my drone. I also really like the little wire snipper that comes with this set, very accurate and no play in the cut. I use a lot of Knipex wiring tools that are top of the line and this is as good as any German made Knipex tool. Really as a set it will make small electrical work very doable for your average tinkerer. 5Great station, wish it had a knob Coming from a simple "plug it the wall and wait five minutes" single- temp Radio Shack Soldering iron, this is light years ahead. First off, This thing heats up in literally seconds, drastically more convenient than other stations, even faster than the analog Weller WLC-100 I use at work. The lead coming from the base is very flexible and relaxed in no time after unboxing, so you never feel like you're fighting the cord to hold the iron how you want. The iron holder is very sturdy despite being quite light, and is very easy to take apart and clean.Tip change is tool-less and easy, and the pre-installed chisel tip it comes with has held up very well so far, but I follow Louis Rossman's guide to tip maintenance: wet the tip with fresh solder after almost every joint, and only use the brass wool, never the sponge to clean the iron. You wouldn't put cold water on a 700 degree frying pan would you? No, cause it will warp or crack, just like your soldering iron tip.Anyway, my only complaint, as someone who does a lot of de- soldering, scrapping, through- hole and SMD re- flowing is that on this digital unit, it's a little cumbersome to change the temperature. Not complicated by any means, but it takes more time than say, a knob would.As an aside, the bundled clippers are great too. Very prcise, sharp, and comfortable to hold and use. 5Excellent, powerful, fast and stable. (Factory reset seems deliberately left out of the instructions - wonder why? hmmm.) This is a superb soldering station product. I was using the weller with temperature select tips which worked great. This is much better. It's more powerful (70 watts) than the weller and comes up to temperature much faster. And no changing tips to change temperature: just follow the instructions to punch in a new temp and vual ! Best station I've used... Now there's one thing missing from the instruction manuals and nowhere to be found (without extensive digging on the internet). And that is how to do a factory reset... As I have discovered; It can be easy to accidentally mess up the temperature offset. I got into a certain menu mode and moved the numbers up and down thinking I was changing the temperature. When I researched in the manual I found that I was actually adjusting the temperature offset!! with no way to know how far the offset was - I was stuck - yuk! How do I reset? No answer except to use a ~$200 or ~$1000 hakko thermometer to "recalibrate" hmm. very interesting. It seems they want to sell some extra thermometers... Hakko should be ashamed. I did the "secret" factory reset and mine tested spot on with a borrowed high temp thermometer. Here's the "secret" factory reset procedure-- Use the switch on the right side to turn the unit off. (There are two buttons on the front: the [UP] Button and the [ENTER] button.) Hold the [UP] button down and at the same time press and hold the [ENTER] button. Then turn the unit ON while holding those buttons down. Keep the buttons down (about 1 second) until an "A" flashes on the screen. Then release both buttons and press the [UP] button one time. There should now be a flashing "U" on the screen - Now press the [ENTER] button once and that's it. The memory will be cleared and reset to factory settings and the unit will now count up heating to the default 750 F -- Who want's to be told they unexpectedly have to buy a thermometer that costs twice as much as the soldering station!? Really? Come on Hakko! You can do better than that! Other than this annoyance this unit is a great and excellent value. 5You've never soldered if you just use a soldering pen I know the title sounds hokey, but that's how I feel. I've spent my whole life soldering with soldering pens....even on circuit boards! I've started soldering OLEDs onto boards and didn't feel comfortable with the amount of heat that was transferring to the OLED due to the soldering pen not being able to heat up enough to get the job done quickly....especially if you were having to desolder with a braided wick.Well, this thing is like night and day compared to a soldering pen. I sit down and turn it on. 30 seconds later, it's reached the target temperature and is ready to go. I haven't even gotten good and settled in my spot yet and it's ready for business. It's also hot enough that I can solder a connection in a split second... before the heat even has a chance to travel to the OLED.I didn't see in the manual how to turn the soldering iron's preset mode on. There are videos on YouTube however. Turn it on while holding the up button. 1 is showing on the display. Change it to 11 with the up button. Hit enter. Now 0 shows. Change it to 1. Hit enter. Select your number of presets (5 is standard). Press enter. 11 shows. Hold down enter for 2 seconds until you see y. Hit enter. Now you're in preset mode.I have no idea why that is so convoluted or why it's not in the manual, But that's how you do it. 5
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Description
  • Digital soldering station end safe version with Chp170 cutter
  • FX-888D KIT version with CHP170 cutter
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • Temperature range 120 - 899 f (50 - 480 c)
  • Digital display shows &degree; f or &degree; c
Reviews

Customer Reviews

Like going from a jalopy to a Tesla Model S! I've gotten by in a work environment using $30 Radio Shack 30 watt soldering irons for almost 15 years. If had known what I was missing, I would have upgraded sooner.Instead of minutes to warm up, we're talking seconds!I used to leave my iron on all day, ***now I can turn it on and off as needed***, that's my favorite upgrade! Instead of a tippy, mostly plastic stand, this thing is made with what feels like cast iron, it's substantially weighted. You could easily knock out an intruder with the heft of either the stand or the base station, it's that heavily planted, like they took a weight plate from a fitness center and turned it into this! I was very surprised at how much it literally is built like an armored tank, I had no idea that they would still make things this robustly.The digital readout is very nice, shows you how fast it is heating up, which for me has been about 20 seconds. Fast enough that when I turn it on, then start setting up my work pieces, it's already ready to go.The tip is light years beyond the old Radio Shack iron, which needed new tips fairly quickly. I would have gone through several tips while this one is still looking brand new. That alone is worth the upgrade, it will pay for itself soon enough.Bottom line for me is I'm never going back, I just went from toys to a real tool. Do yourself a favor, buy this for yourself and say "Merry Christmas to me" every time you use it! 5Even I can solder with this. I thought I just couldn't develop the skills to solder. Raised/burned traces, melted insulation, poor connections were my plagues. I also thought that a hot iron is a hot iron and that's all there is to it. I mean, why spend more than $10 on a soldering iron, right? I was wrong. I got this Hakko. And I can solder. And I don't burn away traces. It's got a funky and unpleasant control scheme like most digital devices these days with hidden or poorly documented required button press sequences for vital functions but that's the way it goes. I wish it had quickly manageable dials and dedicated control buttons but it seems designers prefer to do everything with one or two buttons instead of making devices effortlessly manageable. (It's like driving your car in heavy traffic at high speeds...you'd like to just modify the sound shape in that raspy tune that just popped onto the airwaves but you can't quickly slide equalizer pots. Oh, no. You've got to mingle multiple button presses with obscure icons on a LED display taking your eyes off of the dangerous traffic thereby imposing a threat against your life just so you can drop the treble a few log values.) Easy control is important to me because I will only use a soldering device a few times per year. Each time I drag it out, months will have passed and I'll have to refresh my understanding of its control sequences before I can expect to successfully perform micro-soldering of SMD's and such. However, once I get it under control, it performs like no other hot stick that I've ever had in my hand. I really like its performance at the hot end of the stick but I hate its dashboard. 4Analog may be a better value. I had purchased the "regular" Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station, which had developed a temperature control problem, so I ended up going with the FX-888D to replace it.Out of the box, the only difference you're likely to notice between the two is that one's digital and one isn't. The actual iron is the same, the weight is the same, the tip is the same, the base is the same... Side by side, it looks like some corners were cut in FX-888D packaging materials, and the DIN plug on the iron felt just the slightest bit cheaper on the 888D.In terms of actual use, the FX-888D isn't really as intuitive as the analog. You'd think pushing "up" to get the temperature you want is logical, and the base pretends that it does something if you try. To get it to actually change though, you have to hold down "enter" for two seconds, and then choose your temperature. Not a big deal in the slightest, but just one of those "huh... I wouldn't have designed it that way". Presets are more involved, but not unreasonably so.Moving the temperature up and down, the iron reacts quickly, just like the trusty FX-888. On the 888D, you can see the base counting up or down as appropriate, and wide (~200 degree) adjustments happen in about 20 seconds or so. One gripe here: the display shows you the setting, rather than the actual temperature -- which is to say: if you set it from 325 to 550, when it counts up to 550 it's ready. However, if you touch it to metal to start soldering, the display doesn't follow the temperature back down and up again. It just stays there at what it's set to, with a tiny LED dot that blinks to show it's heating. So, what's on your display isn't necessarily your actual temperature. Not that the analog ever showed you actual temperature, but I'd chalk it up as a "missing feature" if you're thinking of upgrading. 4Confusing controls, easy to screw up calibration, but works great I was struggling to desolder components with XYtronic 258 Variable temp soldering iron so I bit the bullet and bought this Hakko. It's a comparative dream to use. The Xytronic took 5-8 minutes to get enough heat to be useful but the Hakko is at 750F in about 3 or less. The solder always melts with the Hakko and I can do things like touch the iron to a desoldering braid and have the braid itself get hot enough to melt the solder on components and draw the solder into the braid. Doing that with the Xytronic rarely worked and I'd have to keep trying and trying different positions and angles. The Hakko even melted solder on 6mm wide tabs that held a giant aluminum heat sink to the motherboard and let me get the heat sink off. The only thing I haven't been able to solder to is some tiny silver wires acting as shielding around the circumference of something like a USB cable. A comment to this review said the problem is likely that the wires were stainless steel which can't be soldered to with conventional techniques.Unlike the Xytronic, the Hakko's iron has a nice thin cord that doesn't try to pull the iron out of its holder or make the iron hard to keep held in certain orientations. It's even got a soft foam grip that makes it stable to hold the iron more by your fingertips if you need to, and the iron is small and lightweight.The only thing I don't like about the Hakko is the controls. It's only got "Up" and "Enter". In the default mode, you must hold Enter for 2 seconds to set the temperature, then the left digit flashes and you press Up repeatedly (holding Up doesn't do anything) till you get the value you want (at 9 it returns to 0). Press Enter and the second digit flashes and you do the same. Press Enter and third digit flashes. Press Enter and temperature is set. C'mon, that's way too many button presses if you need to switch temperatures frequently.Even worse, if you accidentally hold Up instead of Enter, it goes into temperature correction mode. It looks just like temperature set mode except they illuminate a dot at the lower right of each number. If your actual temperature was 700, it will still read 700 in temperature correction mode and if you change it to say 750, then when you press Enter for the 3rd time the unit will now believe that its reading of 700 was actually 750 degrees (as measured with some sort of external thermometer - Hakko sells one for about $270). That's a great feature and is useful when you change tips or things start wearing out, but the way they have you set it is dangerous because it looks almost identical to setting the temperature. Even though I read the manual, I accidentally held Up instead of Enter when I first used the iron (because holding Up makes more sense to me to start a temperature adjustment) and I tried to set it from 750 to 400. Whenever I pressed enter for the third time, it would just start blinking the first number again. I thought I might have a defective unit until I read the part in the full manual (not the small manual I'd read initially) that said in temperature adjustment mode you can't adjust it more than 270 degrees off its current setting. That's the only thing that saved me from screwing up the calibration of my iron by -350 degrees.A much better mode to use the iron in is called "preset mode" but to get to it, you must hold the Up button while you turn the iron on. At that point, "01" starts flashing on the display. Press Up and you get "03" flashing, Up and you get "11" flashing. Where do they get these values? I had to read the big manual to find out that "11" was the code for toggling the mode between temperature and preset. So press Enter, 0 flashes (meaning temperature mode). Press up to change to 1 (preset mode). Press Enter. P5 flashes. That means you've got 5 presets available. You can change between 2 and 5. Press Enter. 11 flashes again. That means you're done setting it to "preset 5" mode. Hold Enter. "y" appears. That means "Yes, I want to save my changes". Press Enter and you're done. Whew.In preset mode, pressing Up moves up to the next preset temperature, displaying P1, then P2, P3, P4, P5, and back to P1 each time you press Up. If you wait a couple seconds, it will show the temperature associated with that preset. Press Enter to confirm. So this mode makes it much easier to switch between 2 and 5 different temperatures you need, but you still have to press Up at least once and then Enter. Not too bad, but would be much nicer if they just had a wheel to turn, or if you could skip pressing Enter.The actual temperature of the tip only displays if it's more than about 50F different than the temperature you've set. I guess that's fine but I'd prefer that it always showed actual temperature except when I was changing the preferred temperature. I don't think the actual temperature is entirely accurate because just after it reaches 600 it actually won't melt my solder for another 10 seconds or so. Of course it's probably measuring temperature in the middle of the iron's handle and it takes extra time for that heat to reach the very tip?The manual has some nice servicing instructions explaining how to use a volt meter to test various internal parts of the iron to see that they're working properly, what readings mean various problems or that parts are starting to degrade and so on.One thing that surprised me was the metal iron holder doesn't actually touch the metal of the soldering iron. It only touches the plastic collar. That surprised me because I'm used to the Xytronic and the metal spiral iron holder I bought for it from Radio Shack where the tip of the iron is supposed to touch the metal spiral to keep the tip cooler so it doesn't oxidize as quickly. Despite that, the Xytronic tip would still have some darkening every time I pulled it from the holder so I was always sponging it and periodically adding solder. It might just be because it's newer, but the Hakko tip doesn't seem to darken nearly as fast despite not being cooled by contact with metal.The iron holder comes with a grey sponge with two slits cut in it and two semicircles you're supposed to break off and shove down lower than the main part of the sponge. The semicircles are held by some thick tabs in the water well of the iron holder and the manual mentions these sponge pieces are meant to draw water up into the main body of the sponge. It's kind of neat but I wonder why they didn't just let the main body of the sponge sit deeper in the water? I'm guessing it's because you're meant to wipe the tip into the slits such that the solder bits you wipe off the tip fall down through the slits and into the water below. There, they have room to accumulate beneath the sponge. But the tabs are close enough together that I'm not sure the bits would be likely to travel below the main body of the sponge, so... who knows. I do know the slits do a better job of wiping off solder than a simple flat sponge, and the sponge stays cleaner than if you're wiping solder directly into its surface.The iron holder also comes with a brass-looking ball of metal strips similar to a kitchen scouring pad. The manual says this is for cleaning off larger/harder bits the sponge isn't getting off the tip. I haven't had any such bits so far.Anyway, other than the controls, I'm pleased with the Hakko and actually excited to work on my next soldering project instead of dreading the massive frustration and time waste the Xytronic usually caused me. In the months since I initially wrote this review, the Hakko plus Paladin Tools 1700 Desoldering Tool worked great to remove a bunch of components. The Hakko easily bonded wires to battery terminals so I could run a motion detector off wall current, and worked well for connecting USB cable wires back together after I cut out a segment that had an intermittent wire breaking. At 800 degrees, the solder melted quickly to the tiny USB cable wires and it did so fast enough to prevent the heat from spreading too far and seriously melting the thin plastic shielding around the tiny wires which was often a problem with how long I had to touch the Xytronic to wires to get enough heat.BTW, Hakko's web site shows this model also comes in silver so you might look for that if you don't like the blue and yellow.Also, mine did come with the CHP170 cutter and it's quite a nice cutter. Of course all my other cutters are cheap things with thick, dull "blades", so maybe the CHP170 only seems awesome by comparison, but it has small, sharp blades that are perfect for getting in tight spaces to snip off small components and they also worked great for trimming the copper braid as I was desoldering. I could easily see what I was cutting off the braid rather than having to half guess where some thick, larger cutters were going to cut it. I wasn't expecting much from this freebie but now that I've looked it up on Amazon, it gets 5 stars from almost everyone and someone says he's used it to cut 12 AWG wire though it's only advertised to cut up to 16. 4Great iron/station. Can't be beat at this price. Great iron. It's genuine Hakko so no worries there. If your not willing to spend the $240ish to get a 9 series Hakko then this is the next best thing. Don't waste your time with the off brand irons. This is a buy quality, buy once situation. Many people will refer to this as "old tech" or "a beginners station". But the truth is this iron will do 90% of what the more expensive irons will do. If you are not a professional repair tech, or don't have money to burn, don't waste what you do have on that extra 10% because the fact is you will probably never need it.Buy genuine tips and they will last for most of your hobby days with this iron. It is built well and backed by a professional company.Heat up time to full temp is around 20 seconds. It doesn't have a sleep feature but I just kill the power and switch it back on as I'm getting ready.I don't do professional repairs anymore so I bought this to replace a Hakko FM-203 that I lost in a divorce.I have no regrets for buying this instead of just replacing the same station. 5The last iron you will ever need I think anyone who enjoys soldering and certainly anyone who, for whatever reason, needs to but hates doing it, like myself, will find this an invaluable investment that is worth every cent and probably even at twice the price. A skill that has eluded me and always a source of frustration, which I would attempt only as a last resort. Recently I developed an interest in quadcopters, a hobby that involves not only a great deal of soldering, but requires a level of precision I had never considered nor desired attaining. However, the satisfaction the hobby brings me has driven me to aquire six different soldering irons / stations and many types of solder in my effort to become efficient. Many hours of practice and 2 ruined flight control boards had finally allowed me to overcome the dread associated with the skill. Still not satisfied with the equipment I was using, I researched what the best copter builders were using and quickly found this to be the overall favorite. The only regret I have regarding the purchase of this unit, is that I didn't do my homework sooner because the difference is night and day. I can only imagine the time and frustration I might have saved by buying this early on. Overnight I went from viewing soldering as an accepted means to an end, to actually looking forward to doing it and being proud of the results. Having this unit and a little practice, along with the basic fundamentals of soldering is all that one needs to avoid much aggravation. 5A must have for tiny quad maintenance and modification. If you have come from the cheep radio shack soldering iron like I have this thing is amazing! I have used it to solder a camera on my tiny drone flight controller board and it was so easy. You can set it to 750 degrees and it comes up to temperature very quickly (15 sec). I am using KESTER SOLDER 24-6040-0027 60/40 Stand, 0.031" Diameter, "44", 1.5" for repairs and modifications to my Horizon Hobby Inductrix "Tiny Whoop" and it is the perfect combination for all kinds of very small solder jobs on my drone. I also really like the little wire snipper that comes with this set, very accurate and no play in the cut. I use a lot of Knipex wiring tools that are top of the line and this is as good as any German made Knipex tool. Really as a set it will make small electrical work very doable for your average tinkerer. 5Great station, wish it had a knob Coming from a simple "plug it the wall and wait five minutes" single- temp Radio Shack Soldering iron, this is light years ahead. First off, This thing heats up in literally seconds, drastically more convenient than other stations, even faster than the analog Weller WLC-100 I use at work. The lead coming from the base is very flexible and relaxed in no time after unboxing, so you never feel like you're fighting the cord to hold the iron how you want. The iron holder is very sturdy despite being quite light, and is very easy to take apart and clean.Tip change is tool-less and easy, and the pre-installed chisel tip it comes with has held up very well so far, but I follow Louis Rossman's guide to tip maintenance: wet the tip with fresh solder after almost every joint, and only use the brass wool, never the sponge to clean the iron. You wouldn't put cold water on a 700 degree frying pan would you? No, cause it will warp or crack, just like your soldering iron tip.Anyway, my only complaint, as someone who does a lot of de- soldering, scrapping, through- hole and SMD re- flowing is that on this digital unit, it's a little cumbersome to change the temperature. Not complicated by any means, but it takes more time than say, a knob would.As an aside, the bundled clippers are great too. Very prcise, sharp, and comfortable to hold and use. 5Excellent, powerful, fast and stable. (Factory reset seems deliberately left out of the instructions - wonder why? hmmm.) This is a superb soldering station product. I was using the weller with temperature select tips which worked great. This is much better. It's more powerful (70 watts) than the weller and comes up to temperature much faster. And no changing tips to change temperature: just follow the instructions to punch in a new temp and vual ! Best station I've used... Now there's one thing missing from the instruction manuals and nowhere to be found (without extensive digging on the internet). And that is how to do a factory reset... As I have discovered; It can be easy to accidentally mess up the temperature offset. I got into a certain menu mode and moved the numbers up and down thinking I was changing the temperature. When I researched in the manual I found that I was actually adjusting the temperature offset!! with no way to know how far the offset was - I was stuck - yuk! How do I reset? No answer except to use a ~$200 or ~$1000 hakko thermometer to "recalibrate" hmm. very interesting. It seems they want to sell some extra thermometers... Hakko should be ashamed. I did the "secret" factory reset and mine tested spot on with a borrowed high temp thermometer. Here's the "secret" factory reset procedure-- Use the switch on the right side to turn the unit off. (There are two buttons on the front: the [UP] Button and the [ENTER] button.) Hold the [UP] button down and at the same time press and hold the [ENTER] button. Then turn the unit ON while holding those buttons down. Keep the buttons down (about 1 second) until an "A" flashes on the screen. Then release both buttons and press the [UP] button one time. There should now be a flashing "U" on the screen - Now press the [ENTER] button once and that's it. The memory will be cleared and reset to factory settings and the unit will now count up heating to the default 750 F -- Who want's to be told they unexpectedly have to buy a thermometer that costs twice as much as the soldering station!? Really? Come on Hakko! You can do better than that! Other than this annoyance this unit is a great and excellent value. 5You've never soldered if you just use a soldering pen I know the title sounds hokey, but that's how I feel. I've spent my whole life soldering with soldering pens....even on circuit boards! I've started soldering OLEDs onto boards and didn't feel comfortable with the amount of heat that was transferring to the OLED due to the soldering pen not being able to heat up enough to get the job done quickly....especially if you were having to desolder with a braided wick.Well, this thing is like night and day compared to a soldering pen. I sit down and turn it on. 30 seconds later, it's reached the target temperature and is ready to go. I haven't even gotten good and settled in my spot yet and it's ready for business. It's also hot enough that I can solder a connection in a split second... before the heat even has a chance to travel to the OLED.I didn't see in the manual how to turn the soldering iron's preset mode on. There are videos on YouTube however. Turn it on while holding the up button. 1 is showing on the display. Change it to 11 with the up button. Hit enter. Now 0 shows. Change it to 1. Hit enter. Select your number of presets (5 is standard). Press enter. 11 shows. Hold down enter for 2 seconds until you see y. Hit enter. Now you're in preset mode.I have no idea why that is so convoluted or why it's not in the manual, But that's how you do it. 5
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