Top 10 Best Soldering Irons 2017

NameTemperature Range 
Intey Soldering Iron Kit200 ℃ - 450 ℃
GHB 60W Soldering Iron Kit200 ℃ - 450 ℃
Pictek Soldering Iron Kit220 ℃ - 480 ℃
Zacro 60W Soldering Iron Kit200 ℃ - 450 ℃
YTE Soldering Iron Kit200 ℃ - 450 ℃
Whether you use a soldering iron for your hobby – perhaps you enjoy building electrical equipment, making jewellery or one of many other pursuits that involves joining metal objects together – you will be aware of the usefulness of these small, cheap and very versatile devices. Indeed, you probably can’t do without one as there are so many things you can do with a soldering iron, and they are very useful to have around. The problem with reviewing items such as this is that they all do the same thing, so we will be looking for differences that might be difficult to see at first, but might make a difference.

If you are a regular reader of our reviews you will know we like to talk about the history of the item concerned; so, the soldering iron, where does it come from? In fact, this rather mundane item has a rather interesting history. The soldering iron itself – in the form we know it now – is a relatively young invention, having first been patented in the early 20th century, but early many was known to use a form of soldering to join metals together for many reasons.

Early jewellery and weapons from the Bronze Age, for example, show clear signs of having been soldered in some fashion. 5000 years ago, gold was much in favour in Egypt, and many items of dress and ceremonial objects were soldered together. The craft of soldering came to the fore when it was discovered that tin was the ideal material for solder, some 4000 years ago. So, if you use a soldering iron regularly, you are indulging in a craft that has been carried out for five millennia, so you’re in good company! Before we give you our list of the top 10, let’s talk about what a soldering iron is, and how it works.

The Top 10 Soldering Irons

1: Intey Soldering Iron Kit

As a soldering iron is designed for varied use and needs other items to function – the stand and the solder for example – it is common for them to be sold as kits, complete with a variety of accessories and in a handy carrying case. This is one such example, and it is a very neat and impressive kit indeed. Like many kits, it comes with several tips – five in this instance – suitable for different uses, and it has a broad temperature range of up to 450°c so is very versatile.

The kit comes with stand, all the soldering gear including a handy pump for dispensing it, tweezers for ease of use and a well-designed handle that is simple to use and nice to hold. The kit comes in a very nice presentable box that is great for carrying it around, and is clearly of a high quality and nicely put together. It is fully adjustable, comes with all the safety features you would expect, and is a very neat design. At around £25 it’s also a sensible price that won’t break the bank.

Pros
  • Full kit
  • Plenty of tips
  • Quick heat
  • Advanced technology
Cons
  • We can’t see any

2: GHB 60W Soldering Iron Kit

The basics of a soldering iron kit are the iron itself, the tips and the solder. You also benefit from having tweezers for easy handling and greater versatility. This model, from GHB, comes with five additional tips – so six in total – presented in a nice bag within the plastic carry case. It’s to the usual soldering iron design, with a neatly crafted handle and a fine tip that heats very quickly – so be careful when using it, and always use the stand provided.

This one features an adjustable temperature range of between 200 and 450°c, so is very versatile and suitable for any soldering duties, and is easy to use with all the safety features you could expect. We should say that this is a more basic kit than the one above – you get more accessories with some of the others – but that doesn’t make it one to cross off. It’s well-made and does the job, and at under £15 is very good value.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • No frills
  • Six tips
  • Solder included
Cons
  • Not a comprehensive kit but a great price

3: Pictek Soldering Iron Kit

This comprehensive soldering iron kit follows the well-known form of a traditional iron with many additional tips and other accessories. For a start, you get the usual six tips – so you are covered for whatever form of soldering or welding you want to indulge in – and you get a well-designed, easy to hold and simple to use iron that is very effective. It heats up very quickly and is ready to use in a couple of minutes, and you get a sizeable coil of solder wire so you can complete many projects before you need to buy any more.

The temperature range of this one goes from 200 to 450°C so you will find it very versatile and quick to get to work. It comes with all the accessories including the tweezers, stands and more, and is a genuinely impressive kit. There is one downside: unlike most of these, this one does not come with a carrying case. This means you need to find somewhere to store the accessories when not in use, and to carry them from place to place when needed. If this is not a problem for you, at around £14 it’s still not bad value.

Pros
  • Neat design
  • All accessories
  • Plenty of solder supplied
Cons
  • No case included

4: Zacro 60W Soldering Iron Kit

We did say in our introduction that there would be certain familiarity between the many soldering irons we reviewed, and to be frank, we have yet to find many differences at all. This one is no exception, so here’s the low-down! It’s a very nicely made soldering iron, with an easy grip handle that makes it very simple to operate and handle. It comes with a full set of accessories including six tips so is suitable for every possible soldering job you might want to perform.

It’s a 200 – 450°C operating range iron, which is very much the norm, and it uses ceramic core for added efficiency. It is, all in all, a useful device in a package that comes with a large amount of solder, a good stand, the tweezers and other stuff you need for a full, instantly usable soldering kit. Like the one above, you don’t get a carry case with this one, but if that is not a problem, it’s a sensible price at around £14.

Pros
  • Does the job
  • Full accessory pack
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • No case included

5: YTE Soldering Iron Kit

It is likely that your main use for a soldering iron is in extending electrical wires or connecting items in a hobby situation. This kit, from YTE, is ideal for that purpose, and comes highly recommended by many satisfied users, and by us! You get the usual, nicely designed soldering iron – with stainless steel tip and advanced internals for quick heating – plus a stand, plenty of solder wire, and five changeable tips so you can tackle any soldering job that you may wish to perform.

You also get a useful de-soldering pump, a handy set of wire strippers, tweezers for the more delicate jobs and – a useful addition – two sets of electrical wire. It heats up quickly to the usual temperature range, and is designed for maximum efficiency. All in all, this is a very nice kit, and it comes with a fitted case that is durable and easy to carry, so you always have your entire soldering equipment in one place. At under £20 it is certainly good value, so definitely one for the shortlist.

Pros
  • Full kit
  • Durable case
  • All accessories
Cons
  • None that we can see, it has it all

6: Covans 9-piece 40W

This one, it should be said, is very much a beginners set and is designed for hobbyists primarily. It even comes with a guide to soldering, so is a perfect gift for the youngster who wants to learn the craft. It’s not a comprehensive kit – you get a spare chisel and pointed tip and not the usual five alternatives – but it is a decent soldering iron that does the job. It is only a 40W model – the norm being 60W – so is not as powerful as some.

It’s great for teaching the younger user about the safety aspects of the job of soldering, and will do fine for hobbyists dealing in building kits, for example, or dolls houses that need wiring. You do get plenty of solder with the kit, and it is a coated tip that will last a long time, and you also get the cleaning sponge. There is a good stand, too, but no carry case, but at around £15 we still think it a good gift idea, although there are better kits on this list.

Pros
  • Good price
  • Compact design
  • Durable tip
  • Plenty of solder
Cons
  • Beginners kit
  • Not many accessories
  • No case

7: VicTsing Soldering Iron Kit

The basics of a soldering iron kit are the iron itself, the tips and the solder. You also benefit from having tweezers for easy handling and greater versatility. This model, from GHB, comes with five additional tips – so six in total – presented in a nice bag within the plastic carry case. It’s to the usual soldering iron design, with a neatly crafted handle and a fine tip that heats very quickly – so be careful when using it, and always use the stand provided.

This one features an adjustable temperature range of between 200 and 450°c, so is very versatile and suitable for any soldering duties, and is easy to use with all the safety features you could expect. We should say that this is a more basic kit than the one above – you get more accessories with some of the others – but that doesn’t make it one to cross off. It’s well-made and does the job, and at under £15 is very good value.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • No frills
  • Six tips
  • Plenty of solder
Cons
  • Not a comprehensive kit but a great price

8: Duratool 48W Solder Station

This model is something of a curiosity among those present on this list, as it is neither a comprehensive kit or anything close. However, you do get a good soldering iron, one that is capable of heating up to 480°C, so it can handle any job you might wish to do. The stand is a good one that will help keep your soldering iron safe and in place when you are not using it, and it comes with all the usual safety features so is fully certified for use, although you will have to supervise youngsters when they are handling it.

We do wonder how this one competes against some of the rivals on this list, however; for around £13 you are buying a soldering iron, stand and power lead. There’s nothing else with it: no extra tips, just the one already in the iron, no tweezers, wire cutters or even soldering wire, and no case. For that reason, we wouldn’t recommend this one for the shortlist over any of the fully comprehensive kits on our list, but it’s your choice.

Pros
  • It’s a soldering iron with a stand
Cons
  • No case
  • No extra tips
  • No cleaning kit
  • No soldering wire
  • No accessories

9: SOAIY 6 in 1 Soldering Iron Kit

There is something very familiar about this kit – as there are with most of these – as it follows the usual routine. You get the usual, nicely designed soldering iron – with stainless steel tip and advanced internals for quick heating – plus a stand, plenty of solder wire, and five changeable tips so you can tackle any soldering job that you may wish to perform. It’s a nice kit, with everything you want to get on with the job, and heats up nice and fast too.

It’s a 200 – 450°C operating range iron, which is very much the norm, and it uses ceramic core for added efficiency. It is, all in all, a useful device in a package that comes with a large amount of solder, a good stand, and other stuff you need for a full, instantly usable soldering kit, although there are more comprehensive ones. It also comes with a nicely made, durable carrying case, and at around £15 is certainly decent value.

Pros
  • Nice kit
  • Extra tips
  • Good case
  • Sensible price
Cons
  • Not a full kit compared to some at similar prices

10: Tuloka Soldering Iron Station

This undeniably high-quality soldering iron is something of a curiosity; what you get is a soldering iron – as we said, a good one – with a work station and stand, plus a tube for holding the solder (but with no solder included). You also get a tip cleaner, but only the one tip, which is a lot less than you will find with most of the soldering kits we have included in this list. It’s fully adjustable up to 480°C, which is more than adequate for any purpose, and the stand is a good one that keeps it safe.

Yet, despite the high quality and impressive performance, we find it difficult to recommend this model. First, you need to buy solder and extra tips if you are to start working, and second, it doesn’t have a case to carry it around. Perhaps most of all, however, we are put off by the price which, at not much less than £50, is much more expensive than any of the others on the list.

Pros: powerful, high quality

Cons: no solder, no accessories, no case, the price

That’s our list of ten soldering irons complete, and we are sure there will be one that suits you, so before we sum things up, let’s have a quick recap of the important features to look for.

Important Features to Consider

There are a number of important features to look for when choosing a soldering iron, so here’s our list of a few that we reckon are most important.

Accessories – some of these kits come with extra tips, plenty of solder, wire cutters, tweezers and other accessories, while some come with none; we reckon you want one that is ready to go, so choose carefully.

Power – we believe that the standard power output should be no less than 60W, and as most of these match that, you have plenty of choice.

Case – for keeping things together, and ease of moving around, you might want to choose one with a case, and you have a fair choice among the ten above.

That’s about it really, so to help you make a choice from the excellent models included, all that remains now is to wrap things up!

How It Works

The ancient art of soldering has changed in only one specific way over the years: nowadays we have a device to help us solder more accurately – the humble and effective soldering iron. What is one, and how does it work? A soldering iron is a simple device that is very effective. It consists, in general, of a cool to touch handle, a tip that is heated – made from durable metal or sometimes advanced ceramics – to a high temperature, and usually a mains cable for plugging in.

You heat the tip, apply it to the soft solder wire – usually a tin compound – which melts onto the metal objects you wish to join. The solder wire then cools very quickly, making a join that effectively welds the two parts, perhaps wire or metal plates, together permanently. If something goes wrong, you can undo the join by re-heating the solder. It’s a simple and easy to master process, but one that does need some practice if you are to get it perfect, and the better you get, the neater your soldering joins will be.

What do you need soldering skills for? If you are dealing with electrical equipment – whether for hobby or work – such as model kits, circuit boards or many other items, the ability to solder neatly and accurately is a bonus. There are some things you need to be cautious of if you are new to soldering: the tip of the iron gets very hot, so never touch it, and always supervise youngsters when they are soldering. Also, make sure you rest it on its stand between uses, so as not to damage the surface you are working on. So, let’s have a look at the top 10 soldering irons, to help you find the best one for you.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

Whether you are new to soldering or looking to upgrade your kit, there will be something on our list that suits your requirements and budget. Looking back through the list, there are two that we like most of all: the first one, from Intey, is a very nice, fully comprehensive set using the latest technology and comes in a very neat fitted case. It’s not the cheapest at around £25, but not expensive for what you get. We also like number 5, from YTE, as you get a full set of accessories and a good case for less than £20.

As we always say, the choice is yours, so happy soldering, and remember to take care – it can get very hot indeed!