people's choice

The Best Soldering Irons on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing. We’ve written about the best home-repair tools and under-$20 DIY tools, but this time we’re covering the best soldering stations, according to reviewers on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best soldering stations under $50

$21

“For the money spent, it would be hard to find a better assembled kit for the average hobbyist or homeowner. You get almost everything you need to solder just about any kind of electronics around the house, and even better, none of the stuff included is junk. It’s all decent-quality equipment. I’ve owned three or four soldering irons in my life and none of them was adjustable like this one. The only thing missing is a small tub of flux. I understand that it would only add to the cost, but I’d pay another $3 or $4 for a small tub of it just to complete the set. The included case is also very nice to keep everything together. Excellent set.”

$25

“I wish I could go back 20 years and have had this station. It works so much better than my cheap $15, 30W iron probably bought at RadioShack. Everything about this soldering iron is NICE … the separate on/of switch and temp control, the iron itself, the holder, etc. … Some things look nice in the photo but are cheap when you get them, but this is as nice in real life. Also, nice touch, the chord from the controller to the iron is flexible silicone (I think), it’s not stiff and doesn’t kink.”

Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station
$39

“Great soldering station; this is the one to buy! I use this soldering iron frequently and I’m totally pleased with the performance. From making solder connections in my car or ham/CB radio connectors or electrical connections in my radio-controlled cars, this does it all with ease. The station has great temperature control and a nice place to keep your hot iron safe when not in use. The tray on the right holds a small sponge that you wet with water to wipe your tip shiny clean prior to applying to the solder joint, and it would be easy to replace when it gets dirty and burnt. You don’t have to be a professional to appreciate the value that this station provides. It’s obvious to me that this should last for many years.”

Best soldering-iron stations under $100

“Maybe I’m old, but I’ve never seen an iron get that hot that fast. Wow. Want 400 degrees? Bam. Done. That’s insane. My soldering has gotten better, too. Used to be I’d have to turn the iron on and have a beer or two while waiting for it to get up. Now, it’s so fast that I have to wait till I’m done soldering to have my beer. Crazy how the increased speed has made the quality of the solder better.”

“Why am I always so skeptical??????? I read the reviews and ordered it. Well … I am amazed. Works WAY BETTER than I ever expected. We are a Car Audio Store in Oregon and we need this ON all the time. This has the most amazing feature … when you are not using it … the unit goes to a low 200 degrees, but as soon as you grab the soldering iron, it almost instantly goes to your desired temp. This is great, so it is not just sitting on your bench full throttle all day. Everyone loves it so far. I am ordering another one for home. This little thing will spoil you.”

Aoyue 469 Soldering Kit
$50

“I have had this for about six months now and it has worked flawlessly! This soldering station has made it a JOY to solder, and I LOVE working on circuit boards now! The iron temperature can be adjusted easily so that I can set it depending on the type of part I am solde