ColdHeat soldering iron

Coldheat is an American company that develops and markets special soldering iron called ColdHeat. ColdHeat iron product was review at eariler. The secret of that product is a proprietary graphite-like compound called Athalite. The tip of this apparatus is split into two sections that completes an electrical circuit when something of low resistance is placed across the tip; e.g. solder. With a current flowing, the resistance of both the solder and the tip produces heat that allows you to do soldering.

The original iron is powered by 4 ordinary AA (LR6) alkaline batteries. The device works by running a high current (by electronic standards) through the tip and there is considerable voltage on the tip as well. Howstuffworks ColdHeat article describes the soldering iron operation and Wikipedia also has some technical information.

I own one ColdHeat soldering iron. I have occasionally used that. That tool is practically useless for fine electronics circuit board soldering. It lacks temperature control and it is too easy to destroy sensitive electronics circuit with it. When not in contact with a joint the split tip has 6 volts, which is enough to cause lots of damage because a forward-biased p-n junction may be destroyed by less than 1V applied across it (unless current is limited to low value). There is also tiny transient voltage when the tool is applied or removed.

That tool is useful for occasional soldering of items that are not sensitive to the voltages and current the ColdHeat soldering iron generates. I have found that this soldering iron works quite well for soldering wires to some connectors. For example for soldering and repairing audio/video cables on the field. It is fast and easy when you just need to make few solder joints. When I need to make many solder joints, I prefer to use a temperature controlled normal soldering iron.



  1. Hector Fade says:

    Friday 11/27/09

    Hi, I am happy with this product but the tip of my device had got broken, would you be kind to let me know where I can get it, phone number if possible. Thank you.

  2. tomi says:

    When I have tested the site with Chrome browser (I do it sometimes, my main browser is Firefox), I have not seen any problems in that.
    What where the specific problems you had and how you got them solved?

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How COLD HEAT Works?

    This tool works fine on some applications. (For example, welding 2 small wires together, doing an “emergency” repair or just as flashlight) I’m really dissapointed with this thing.

    Please be aware: The tip have enough voltaje (more than 4 volts) and enough current to damage some parts, so do not use it to fix circuit boards that contains integrated circuits, specially CMOS and microcontrollers or microprocessors.

    The tip, is a material called “Athalite”, but I think that is just two-pieces of carbon and it is called “Athalite” just to make lots of money.

    The “circuit detector” turn on the Red led when the current is going thru the tip. Someday, I will make a “Homemade Cold Heat” tool and I will post the steps to build your own one.

    Anyway, Once all screws are removed, you can see the circuit detector and the tip.

    The IC is labeled as: HK324. I have no idea about the pinout of this circuit, but I think is just a dual Op-Amp/comparator. The tip is connected to the batteries in series with the switch

    Well, that’s almost right. Actually, it’s a quad Op-Amp, same as a LM324. One of the cheapest integrated circuits ever, I think – the SMD version costs only a few cents if bought in bulk quantities.

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  6. RectangularBellows says:

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  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DIY Cold Heat soldering iron

    Yes folks, you too can make your own Cold Heat soldering iron!

    Why spend $19.95 of your own hard earned money when you can make your own from the junk you have laying around. As a bonus, the unit you make will most likely be far more powerful than the commercially produced toy and much cheaper to maintain.


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