13 in stock
A cordless iron’s what you need.
That way you can strike without warning, any time, anywhere.
Soldering irons aren’t just handy for meddling with things you don’t understand, of course. They can also be used to extract information from enemy agents. And when you get tired of that, there are lots of useful little jobs you can do with them. Want to splice in a new case fan that doesn’t come with a power connector? Want to put a connector in the middle of a plugpack lead so you can use a battery pack instead of the wall wart? Want to build that battery pack yourself, out of cells as humungous as you like, without paying outrageous prices? You can’t do it without a soldering iron, folks.
And butane soldering irons are darn handy things. You can use ’em anywhere, any time, without having to plug into the wall. They don’t have a cord (or a heavy battery pack) so they’re easier to use for fine work. They get decent run time from one filling of butane gas (usually from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on model and heat setting), refilling them takes only about 20 seconds, and the gas is dirt cheap.
And they’re flexible, too; most of them let you swap in not only different sized soldering iron tips, but hot blow tips for heat-shrink work, hot knives for cutting plastic, and flame tips for brazing. Pretty much universally, they have an adjustment dial on the bottom that you use to set the temperature, and an on/off valve on the side that’s pushed to the off position if you put the cap back on the iron.
The caps are made of high-temperature plastic so they don’t mind being replaced while the iron’s still at full temperature; you can jam the cap on and throw the iron straight back in your toolbox. Shoving it into your back pocket is less advisable.
Pretty much all butane irons don’t use an open flame, unless you’ve selected the flame tip. They have little catalytic combustion screens built into their other tips, which glow merrily and don’t let any flame out. There’s certainly enough heat coming out to set fire to, say, a piece of paper that you put over the iron, but they’re not much of a hazard. Considering their convenience, they’re marvellous.
Probably the best gas irons in the world are made by Oglesby & Butler, in Ireland. Their Portasol/Weller branded range has been around for years; scads of field service types use their Portasol Technic and Portasol Professional irons, because they’re pretty cheap, tough, and replacement tips are widely available. g.
These irons are old hat, though. You actually have to light them with a flint lighter, built into the cap. Primitive, m’dear, primitive, but very effective.