Soldering iron videos

I have earlier posted about soldering irons. Here is a continuation to it with a set of interesting soldering iron tear-down and DIY videos from YouTube.

Inside the cheapest soldering iron on ebay.

How To Make a MINI USB Power Soldering Iron

Hot! Hot! Hot! Weller ROBUST Soldering Gun, BEB #21

Homemade Soldering Gun

How To make Powerful Soldering Gun




  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is It A MagLite Or A MagnaStat?

    David Schneider]’s love affair with Weller temperature controlled soldering irons began many years ago, but when he came to the point of needing a cordless iron he had problems finding one that replicated his trusty mains-powered soldering station. His solution was simple, to build his own, and in a stroke of genius he did so with an odd combination of a Weller MagnaStat element and bit, and a repurposed MagLite flashlight.

    Want a Temperature-Controlled Cordless Soldering Iron? Here’s How to Make One

    You can’t buy one, but you can build a DIY one for tinkering in the field

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog #1064 – Soldering Irons OLD vs NEW

    What are the differences between the “old” style soldering iron tips like used on the low cost Hakko and Weller low cost irons, and the more expensive integrated tip type?
    An apples to oranges comparison of the Hakko FX-888D and the JBC CD-2B stations.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog #1065 – Soldering Iron Power Delivery Explained

    the differences between applied power, tip design, sensor design, control loop design, and power delivery to a ground plane.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog #1152 – 240V-120V = Magic Smoke!

    Dave’s 120V Weller WE1010 released the magic smoke when plugged into 240V…
    PEBKAC for sure, but a potentially dangerous design flaw too?


    Does anyone know the exact legal regulations on non fused transformer primaries in various countries?

    Eu: all mains products have to be primary fused. However chinese products offen are findable

    UK consumer electronics regulation 374628/8467-6 subsection 6c paragraph II, clearly states ‘Don’t let that crazy Aussie bloke plug it in, it makes the pixies mad and you just know that sh*ts gonna happen!

    I dont believe it’s a regulation. From what I read, the over current protection is handled where the power comes in (circuit breakers). Only exception is when RMS voltages over 1000 are brought in.

    I’m not sure about the safety standards for soldering irons, but I do have quite some experience on EN60950 (safety standard for IT equipment), EN60065 (A/V equipment) and their common replacement, EN62368-. On all equipment which falls under these standards, a fuse on the AC mains is mandatory. Same for any medical device standards. I would be highly surprised if a non-fused transformer equiped device is allowed in any EU standard.

    For the UK, a fuse can be specified on the device for the plug, for countries with no fused plugs, eg Europe, then oh dear!!.

    This was totally caused by core saturation, turning the primary from an inductor to a resistor. It would be more expensive to have enough metal to tolerate a 2x overload.
    Hard to see how it can comply with safety standards to have a 10A capable input connector and no internal fusing. A primary short could potentially dissapate a kilowatt – this has to be a recall-level design flaw. Would be interesting to compare the 230V version.

    That product was never tested for use outside of North America, due to it only having a UL Listing for US & Canada (cULus graphic symbol) and no certification marks for any other country safety testing organizations (i.e. AUS, RCM, CE, etc). That product was evaluated by UL under File Number E18708 for Apex Tool Group (aka Weller Professional Tools Division) to the UL Category “KQLR” – Industrial and Laboratory Heaters, which uses UL Standard ANSI/UL499 and ANSI/NFPA 70 (aka National Electrical Code) to evaluate the product. This particular product category does not require additional fusing of the product primary power input, and relies entirely on the branch circuit power protection at the main power panel of the facility.

    Small mains transformers like this are designed to operate just starting to saturate even at proper voltage. You can observe this by monitoring the current waveform using an isolated scope probe across a low value resistor in series with the primary leads. The wave form gets “spikey” as you turn up the voltage closer to mains level. This is done to allow the minimum number of turns to keep copper losses down for better load regulation and to use the minimum amount of iron core material.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog #1160 – Weller Responds!

    Weller responds to the magic smoke escaping from their WE1010 soldering station, and the lack of a primary side mains fuse.
    Prepare to be awestruck at their commitment to safety!

    46) Does Your Solder Station Have a Fuse?

    I recently watched Dave’s video on the 120V Weller soldering station that he accidentally plugged into 240V Aussie mains and subsequently released the magic smoke. Bobby Dazzler! This got me to thinking… does my soldering station also have a fuse on the primary? It doesn’t appear to. Some folks on twitter suggested that there’s a fusible link or a thermal cutout buried in the windings. Well, let’s get out the left-handed hammer, surgical gloves and find out, as we tear this thing down to bare bones.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    From discussion:

    A lot of the things I plug into the wall don’t have a fuse. Lamps, power tools, Christmas lights, aquarium filter and bubbler. But then again I only plug it in to the voltage it was designed for

    Actually a lot of these things have fuses built in that are just less obvious. Power tools usually have a thermal fuse in the motor, incandescent bulbs have a small, thin wire below the filament that acts as a fuse for when the filament fails, and then lots of things have PCB mounted fuses of course, some of which may not look like a fuse.

    Christmas lights in the USA typically have fuses in the plug

    circuit breakers are typically rated to “instantly” break, (<100ms) in the case of type B at 3 – 5x the rated current. This is to account for loads being switched on that have high inrush current – motors, power supplies with capacitors, lamps, this kind of thing. so a 32A breaker could deliver up to 160A for a few seconds or even minutes depending on the overload, rather than tripping instantly. It is relying on the bi-metallic strip heating up to trip the circuit, rather than the electromagnet.

    So the Weller must of really been melted, for you to be so shocked about no fuse, even some thermal fuse… No?

    UL and CE should require over-current and over-voltage protection, and fire and electric shock fail-safe up to reasonable, destructive-tested values.

    Normal fuse protect only against over current and not over voltage

    That isn't correct. The iron-core mains transformer designed for 120V will saturate at 240V and thus the current will increase very much (not just 2x) and it will blow the fuse immediately, before any heating issues occur.
    Of course with an "ideal transformer" things would be different, you would just get 2 times the output voltage and 4 times the output power towards the iron, and a fuse would not blow that easily.

    I don't have my code book in front of me, but I am pretty sure the wording of NEC is such that the main circuit breaker is all that is required for low voltage (i.e. < 1000V) transformers. As you said, what is required versus what helps you sleep at night…

    There is nothing "dangerous" about it at all, as he clearly proved in his video, even if an idiot plugs it into a mains supply 2 what it is clearly rated for all that happens is that the magic smoke comes out an a breaker pops.

    Watch his video again, no breaker popped, he quickly unplugged it. Had he not been in the room it could have caught fire.

    It did pop, he said so. However, if the xformer already caught fire then a breaker won't help. Basically, Weller stations can't be left alone whilst powered up. At least outside of countries like the UK that have fuses in plugs (assuming correctly sized!)

    This reminds me of FTDIgate! Lots of us have avoided FTDI products since then and after this I think Weller will be in the same boat.

    "Innovation" – when companies remove features because they know better than the user
    Lmao. Corporate wank for the emperor's new clothes.

    Less fuses = more profit. Should be a basic engineering law.
    So cheaply made they offer some kind of lifetime warranty. Iron toasted? New one sent by the vice president of marketing himself. If you ain't burned to death in the process of course.

    Dave, I think you are being harsh on Weller just to be dramatic. Yes, they replied with a dodgeball answer and they should have had a primary fuse. However, a bench soldering iron is not commonly transported around the world and then erroneously plugged into the wrong voltage by mistake.

    It seems to me that the rant isn't so much about the fuse, but about how Weller tried to tell him "she'll be right, have a free replacement" without doing due diligence. I am sure even something along the lines of "the north American standards don't require primary side fuses, but we understand your point and we shall take your suggestions under advisement." Would have been a better response.

    Nothing wrong with getting a response from a director of marketing, in fact that's the person who should respond. But the onus is on them to ensure they have the correct technical response.
    I'm sure this was very a carefully crafted response, i.e. say it meets standard and no comment on anything else.

    n the UK and yes we have fuses in our plugs. However since the iron has an IEC connector on it there is nothing to stop someone using an IEC cable with a 13A fuse in it like most seem too. Also BS1362 fuses are fairly slow – A 13A fuse will pass 25A for 10's of seconds before blowing.
    no fuse or breaker is meant to protect the appliance. Only the wire

    I said it was my mistake and NOT Wellers. BUT it did highlight a potentially dangerous issue that could be prevented by using primary side fuse that it practically industry standard everywhere else.

    Just did a search for this model UL listing. It was certified under "
    Heaters, Industrial and Laboratory"

    As understand it a primary fuse is only there for that specific case where it protects if you connect the unit to incorrect voltages (could be wrong there).
    The point is that transformers can fail, and what happens then?
    And even dumb people (like me for plugging in without checking) can sue you.
    A fuse is very basic arse covering thing to do.

    My guess is the 230V version does have the fuse as required for VDE. The 110V doesn't.

    Weller iron's have SAFETY! We promise! You'll even get a warm feeling of SAFETY whenever you use it. That warm feeling is totally not the transformer burning.

    The thing is, if you want to modify the unit by adding a fuse, you need to buy a second soldering iron to do the job. Brilliant!

    This really is what Dave is best at. Mocking Negligence.

    The only UL loophole I know of says something about the transformer primary being able to handle the current needed to trip the panel breaker. so as a US 120V device the primary wire would have to be able to handle 15 amps at red hot temperatures. The transformer is allowed to short and smoke, but the wires must be able to trip the breaker without opening up and it must self extinguish. But I would guess that would require at least 18 ga primary wire. maybe they are running heavy wire into the winding and then claiming that once the winding shorts it will pop the breaker. of course this would be about as shady as TWAX having there transmitter device turned off for FCC RF emissions since 99% of the time it is off.

    No fuse for a product at that price range is insane. I have once had a (non-weller) product that had had winding insulator failure and cought fire. Fortunately I was near when it happened and managed to mitigate the situation without furher catastrofes.

    No companies make their own products, it all contracted out to Chinese manufacturing companies. It took 11 days for their lawyers to write the letter, Dave.

    This got me curious about Hakko so I opened my FX-888D and was greeted with a nice 2A fuse on the primary. Good on you Hakko, glad I picked you over the Weller.

    Perhaps the transformer was designed as a class 2 transformer? This type of transformer is designed to fail before the downstream electronics. The insulation is not the problem on the transformer, all transformers will over-current at high input voltage. The primary side fuse would have protected that transformer though, but it would have to be a fast acting fuse.

    "Improved safety"… does that mean a thinner gauge wire to the power switch so that fails before anything else? ;)

    CSA and UL are underwriters and certification bodies. In order to get a UL or CSA certification, full design documentation and sample unit need to be submitted. The CSA or UL labs will go over the unit, and if it meets CSA or UL safety standards, it gets certified, and a file is opened at UL or CSA as the case may be.
    If somebody should bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of CSA listed electrical equipment, CSA will be in court with the manufacturer. Note: CSA and UL are NOT government bodies

    Technical reason: most faults that would cause a primary-side fuse to blow likely mean the transformer is dead. Let the primary winding blow and permanently disable the thing!

    Marketing WANK! UL certification does not mean the device is safe to use, it means the case will survive a 1" ball bearing dropped for 12 " onto the top of the unit.

    Weller products, fine if used in the UK.

    Marketing peoples don't do tech stuff, it hurts their little heads.

    The transformer is the fuse. Releasing the magic smoke is one of its security features, it makes it independent of external fuses.

    That's just sad Weller at least they could have told the reason behind not putting a fuse on it what would happen if it caught fire I'm sure that would make the customer happy when there house burns down

    "Safety" is just a word, used over and over, does not prove a product is "safe". As for your Weller response, probably just computer stationery, churned out ad nauseum

    I was monitor for EE students in my university. One of them did a stupid prank setting the mains voltage of a PSU to 110V while it was connected to 220v and called me to check the device. I turned on and it poped. But it had a mains fuse protection which after changing, it was fine.

    This is based on personal experience, but I believe UL in the US requires that there be a fuse or breaker on the live input to any AC powered device for a piece of equipment to pass an inspection. They probably had a primary fuse on their drawings and sample used to get the approval then removed it later. Once the initial approval is given, everything else is based on the honor system and nothing will happen without some sort of formal complaint to UL or whatever group is responsible for handling this.

    Even if its not required by law in north america, surely they could of slapped a thermal fuse inside the transformer. What if there's a fault on 120v operation but not enough to trip the breaker?

    Most likely they have been grandfathered in, using older transformers designed before the UL started requiring primary side fusing, the secondary side addons like PTC and backup fuse soldered to the terminals suggests that. That transformer is an old part number, probably will fit the first soldering stations they ever made exactly, so they simply never upgraded, the testing only being really for "new" part designs.

    I've got it! Couldn't afford the primary side fuse as they had to spend the 3cents on embroidering their logo on the marketroids shirt collars !

    Weller missing the point, I imagine you didn't want a replacement because you know you can't plug a 120V device into a 240V socket but that you were shocked that it bricked the iron so quickly. A VP replied so they're obviously scared of your clout.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog #1063 – Weller WE1010 vs Hakko FX888D Soldering Station

    Review of two $100 class soldering stations.
    Can the new Weller WE1010 beat the venerable Hakko FX888D?

    Hakko FX-888D – Real vs. Counterfeit – how to spot a fake

    A quick physical comparison between a genuine Hakko FX-888D (purchased from Element 14) and an exceptionally close knockoff from eBay.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teardown Review: ultra cheap $22 Yihua 936B soldering station

    This Yihua 936B is a $22 soldering station that looks very similar to name brand stations, including Hakko. Is the Yihua a bargain or a big piece of trash? I tore it apart to find out.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Weller sells irons WITHOUT FUSE ON 120V: DOESN’T CARE!

    If you want to buy a bomb, buy a Weller. I would suggest contacting Amazon and asking if they want to fulfill shipments of products that do not have input fuses or safe electrical design on something designed to make things HOT.

    Dave Jones’ video:

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Comments from :

    Iike I stated on the EvBlog comments. there is a way to get a UL exception as long as the wires on the primary side will pull 15 amps. The transformer is allowed to smoke, but it can’t sustain a flame and they would have to run heavy wire and have that wire go into the main wrapped area of the primary so when the enamel coating fails it shorts and blows the panel breaker. What I have a problem with is if they are going to cut costs, then why does it have a 50/60hz transformer in the first place? What other major product can you buy that has a 50/60 hz transformer?

    I said AFAIK, ul listing primarily pertains to fire, so if it dumps toxic smoke but no flame, it very well could be up to standards. Additionally, one shouldn’t leave heating appliances unattended. I told him to take that sucker outside, and plug it back in. Make it smoke. See if a fire starts. No reply.

    I don’t think that it’s required under UL 499. Clause 19.3 says that “No overcurrent protective device is required as a part of the product if it is determined that equivalent
    or better protection will be obtained from the branch-circuit overcurrent protective device through which the product will be supplied.”

    that’s why I said the wires going to the transformer winding’s would have to be able to handle 15 amps since they would lack the fire protection of the inner enamel coating. If the wingdings short then it pops the branch-circuit overcurrent protective device. but if it starts to burn the plastic cord connector then that would be a fail.

    I personally don’t care what the rules say if something as simple as the absence of a fuse can burn my house down. Oh, look, it was UL certified. What are we here, Lawyers?

    Weller is suffering from the typical FLUKE syndrome.
    According to EEV, putting your cell phone next to the Fluke 87 V True-RMS Industrial Digital Multimeter will actually brick it.
    I cannot confirm this, since I won’t test this.
    A fuse would have cost them (Weller) at least ten cents, thus reducing their overall profit margins.
    These designers know well that you do need a fuse.
    For example you get a Weller 230 volts German unit, and then you plug it in in the UK, where they have 240 volts.
    Or a lightning bolt may hit the power lines, creating a surge.
    A good designer has to take into consideration the stupidity of some of the users.
    It’s called redundancy.
    No designer can possibly be that ignorant not to know this, therefore we have to assume that some demented manager types are putting them under financial pressure.
    ‘Use quality only were consumers can see it.’

    It’s always the same story:
    Stage one: A quality company built by some idealistic engineers has created great products 20 years ago, thereby building themselves a reputation.
    Stage two: The old generation of engineers having set up the business gets replaced by some manager types, and the company becomes arrogant towards its customers.
    Stage three: Those manager types don’t give a damn about ethics and serving the customer, they’re all about maximising profits.
    Stage four: The old customers, having faith in the brand name, go on buying the products, despite their quality going down.
    Stage five: The younger generation is pointing at the emperors new clothes: Look, that brand is crap, don’t buy it.
    Stage six: The reputation of the brand goes down to zero, driving the company towards its demise.
    Darwin was right: Survival of the fittest.
    What do we learn from this?
    Don’t let yourself get hypnotised by the prestige of the brand name.
    A brand that may have created the best stuff 20 years ago may be creating crap today.

    Weller needs to learn what the word “Safety” & “Safer” actually means, its not hard to put a fuse on the mains.
    Even in primary school all the way up when ever you do anything with power no matter if its AC or DC the first thing I was ever taught was to put a fuse on the supply.

    It’s kinda ironic that my knockoff unit has more safety features than the original version of rework station I couldn’t afford.

    Electricians call 0 to like 390 volts low voltage. So they are correct. 400 to 800 volts is high voltage.
    Why? Go electrocute yourself at 240 volt, you’ll probably be fine cause you can let go.
    Don’t go electrocute yourself at 400 volts, because you will be physically stuck to the line! So yes, low voltage can still very much be dangerous! But it’s not anywhere near as dangerous as high voltage or even ultra high voltage.

    in the EU low voltage(Niederspannung) is anything below 1kV for AC and 1.5kV for DC

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    2 Amazing Life Hacks with Soldering Iron


    Amazing?, really?

    The stupidity reaches the maximum on this video…..

    So true… Creative but stupid. Though there’s lots of good uses for hotmelt glue, modding a soldering iron definitely isn’t one of them – to point out just the most obvious of stupidities in this video. Don’t try this at home, it won’t make you happy!

    Actually, the concept of an automated soldering metal feeder is great, but too bulky and takes up too much space on the handle to do with this set up.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Choosing The Right Solder, Tech Tips Tuesday.

    Some tips on choosing the best solder for what you build or repair. And a bonus tip as well (unrelated to solder)

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Solder wire – Low vs High Quality

    Cheap solder, it’s Not 60/40 alloy, maybe 10/90 or other alloy for reduce cost

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVblog #1171 – Yihau WEP SMD Rework Station Meltdown!

    David2′s Yihau/WEP 898D+ SMD rework station literally melted down!
    Autopsy time.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DIY. Soldering iron uses glow plug and battery

    I love how you need a soldering iron to make a soldering iron that would cost more than if you were to just buy one

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SDG #089 Solder Fumes, Extractors and Purifiers

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    solder iron | how to make solder iron | soldering iron | how to make soldering iron | DC 12v

    How To Make SOLDERING IRON Using Pencil

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to make a very hot soldering iron using Transformer up to 500°c

    How to make soldering iron using screw

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    7 AMAZING Tips & Tricks with TIN for Soldering

    7) Soldering + Tools for Beginners

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DIY make battery powered mini soldering iron

    How To Make 12v Soldering Iron At Home.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to clean Soldering Tip

    About sandpaper, use only sandpaper grit 600 1000 1500 or higher (called High grit, Ultra fine sandpaper)
    - wrong way : sandpaper (low grit) with high pressure like abrasive, sander machine
    - correct way : sandpaper (600+) with low or enough pressure by finger

    How to Tin a Soldering Iron Tip or Re-tin an Old Soldering Iron Tip

    A short demonstration on how to tin a new soldering tip, why tinning the soldering iron tip is important, and how to clean up an older soldering iron tip. This is useful information for the Engineer, Technologist, Technician, or Hobbyist. Without a properly tinned soldering iron tip you will not achieve good heat transfer from the soldering iron to the the item you wish to solder. Also a dirty iron tip will transfer the unwanted particles to the item that is soldered creating a poor solder joint.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to Repair Soldering Iron |Repairing Soldering Iron Element |Changing Element coil|Tech Engineer

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to make you own soldering station with STM32

    In this video you will learn how to make your own Soldering station using STM32 or Arduino Nano.
    Use this link to download the codes for STM32 or Arduino Nano

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Soldering Glass And Titanium With Ultrasonic Energy

    Ultrasonic soldering is a little-known technology that allows soldering together a variety of metals and ceramics that would not normally be possible. It requires a special ultrasonic soldering iron and solder that is not cheap or easy to get hold of, so [Ben Krasnow] of [Applied Science] made his own.

    Ultrasonic soldering irons heat up like standard irons, but also require an ultrasonic transducer to create bonds to certain surfaces. [Ben] built one by silver soldering a piece of stainless steel rod (as a heat break) between the element of a standard iron and a transducer from an ultrasonic cleaner. He made his special active solder by melting all the ingredients in his vacuum induction furnace. It is similar to lead-free solder, but also contains titanium and small amounts of cerium and gallium.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Here’s a fun, quick hack for anyone who hates the constant drone of white noise coming from fans. Build Comics apparently numbers themselves among that crowd, and decided to rig up a switch to turn on their fume extractor only when the soldering iron is removed from its holder. This hack was executed on a classic old Weller soldering station, but could easily be adapted to Hakko or other irons


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *