Best soldering iron guide

What is the best soldering iron?

I’ve been interested in electronics for about forty years now. Quite I few things have changed but we still need to solder. I’ve been through quite a few soldering irons in my time so I’ll attempt to help guide you into making the perfect purchase so you can get the best soldering iron and not end up with a piece of junk.

Soldering irons explained

Although simple devices there are a few things that need to be considered in making the correct choice and purchase. It’s a tool that you will keep for a long time if you get the choice right. I have one that is about twenty years old and I still use it now.

  • Wattage. The first thing that is usually quoted about a soldering iron is the wattage. They do vary from around 18 up to 50 or more. A lot of  the how to solder" articles I’ve read on the internet state you need to get one of at least 35 Watts. In my opinion this is complete rubbish I’ve seen reports that a 20 to 30 Watt iron can lose heat quicker than it can reheat itself and it will lead to poor electrical joints. I’ve used an Antex 18 watt soldering iron for at least five years with no problems at all it’s perfectly hot enough to solder PCB’s and terminals on sockets and variable resistors. I can’t remember ever trying to solder anything and finding it wasn’t up to the job, so don’t write off something because of its power rating.
  • Soldering guns. I don’t know why anyone ever thought that making something that soldered into the shape of a gun was a good idea. It’s not as if you going to have to aim it at the joint from twenty yards and pull the trigger to solder! About as useful as making a pen to write with in the shape of a gun or a gun shaped screw driver. Think I’ve made my point, don’t both with a soldering gun.
  • Don’t bother with the soldering irons that you get in pound shops. My grandma bought me one of these when I had first shown an interest in electronics. It looked more like one of the things that they used to shoot aliens in Blake’s 7. Ironic really, they make soldering irons in the shape of a gun and a futuristic space laser look like a soldering iron, anyway, my pound shop soldering iron heated up well enough but the previously tightened tip fell off on to the carpet. I guess the different metals on the iron had different expansions rates, well that’s what I told my grandma as we watched the pound shop tip burn through the carpet. Not the best soldering iron!
  • Manufactures pedigree. If you choose something from a company that has been making soldering irons for years there’s much more chance of being able to get spare parts and new tips. I couldn’t find a replacement tip for my pound shop special after we had extracted it from its carpet crater.

Antex XS25

  • 25 Watt.
  • Near perfect insulation.
  • Supplied with 2.3mm long life tip.
  • Wide range of alternative sized bits.
Antex XS25 the best soldering iron

The Good Stuff:

  • In a word RELIABILITY. Antex have been making soldering irons for a long time.
  • This model has been around for years.  Successful design so they just keep making it, tips readily available.

The Bad Stuff:

  • The price. There are cheaper soldering irons on the market.

4.8/5 Stars

For a full review of the Antex XS25 click here

Antex CS18

  • Supplied with high quality long life tip.
  • PVC and Silicon cable versions available.
  • 230V, 24V and 12V models available.
Antex CS18 best soldering iron

The Good Stuff:

  • Manufactured in the UK. Reliable company that has made soldering irons for ages.
  • Made for years with improvements making it even better. The latest is longer life tips with improved heat transfer.

The Bad Stuff:

  • The price again, similar comment about the XS25, there are cheaper models out there.

4.8/5 Stars

For a full review of the Antex CS18 click here

Weller SP40NK

  • 40 Watt soldering iron.
  • LED's provide light on working area.
Weller SP40NK best soldering iron

The Good Stuff:

  • Comes with 2 different tips.
  • LED's mounted on the iron, basically a torch to light the work area.

The Bad Stuff:

  • The cost, for the money there are better irons available.

4.6/5 Stars

And The Winner Is..?

The best soldering iron is the Antex XS25 25 W Soldering Iron. Its been around for a long while and has now been improved again with a new design of tips with better a heat transfer.

There are cheaper soldering irons but if you're going to be using it for any length of time I think the cost pales into insignificance. I've had mine for years and years and when I think about how much I've used it and how many things I've built with it. Makes me wonder how many solder joints it's done!

best soldering iron Antex XS25


The Best  Soldering Iron you can buy.

Why wait? Get the Product Now!

With this soldering iron you can just get on with soldering, like all the best tools you forget about it and get on with the job.