The best value soldering station you can get
The Sivitec SC747 48W soldering station is a 48 watt analogue solder station. For the price and considering it's features it's difficult to argue against the fact that this must be the best soldering station for hobbyists.
It is also sold as the Anvil adjustable analogue 48 watt solder station from some suppliers; worth knowing if you are looking for spares. It has an illuminated power switch which is useful, so you can see if it’s on or not and a variable control underneath that sets the temperature; this covers the range from around 150C to 450C so the specs say. It’s pretty compact and while not taking up much bench space but still feels quite sturdy.
This stand simple slots into the body of the base and under this is the cut out for the sponge. To be honest since trying the wire cleaners, like these here, I no longer bother with sponges.
In operation I like the fact that it doesn’t take up a lot of space. The actual soldering iron is fairly good and feels a bit Weller-ish. The tip that comes supplied seems a bit too fine for my liking so I’d be inclined to use something a bit bigger for general work.
The tips though are pretty cheap to buy. As little as a pound from some suppliers but as of yet I can’t report how long they last having only recently had the station. There are four different tip sizes available.
Tip c1-2 conical 0.5mm
Tip c1-1 conical 1.5mm
Tip c1-4 chisel 2mm
Tip c1-3 conical 3mm
This isn’t as wide a variety that you can get for some soldering stations but is sufficient for most normal use.
It’s also worth noting that this isn’t a static safe device so if you intend soldering those components directly this isn’t going to be the best soldering station for you however in all of my years in electronic construction I’ve used sockets for static sensitive ICS and never used any other components that required static handling and thus soldering so it’s OK being told you should have a Static sensitive iron but if you never use that feature why bother?
To change the tip the retainer has to be unscrewed, it can be a little tough to undo but be careful not to damage it if you choose to use pliers and be careful with the thread as well. You certainly don’t want to damage that. I’ve just finger tightened it as it only holds the tip, you can check each time you turn it on that it’s tight.
The Sivitec SC747 48W soldering station isn’t perfect but it does look to be soundly constructed and for the price I don’t think you can really expect much more. It will certainly give you the opportunity to own a station and offers a perfect introduction for not much cash. For that reason this has to the best soldering station for hobbyists.