That’s something new to review! Perhaps a niche product as well. The product has been mentioned in a video on YouTube and I thought I would give it a go. At $4.99 and 2 weeks of wait time I thought I’m not risking much. There were two selling points:
- USB powered
- Small tip
I have enough cables on my desk. Getting another 220V cable on my desk without it dragging the device that it is attached to is a miracle. Let’s take a look at the:
8W USB Soldering Iron
The 8W description was the biggest hesitation. I own a 40W soldering iron already and I hate it. The tips are too big for most of my tasks and it takes ages to melt the solder. Unimpressed I was waiting for the new toy to arrive.
Is it broken?
Word of warning. The model I have requires you to keep the metal cap/screw on to work. While it was mentioned in the instructions, I found a way to misunderstand it, and instead of pulling the cap off, I unscrewed it with the metal screw. Fortunately for me, the contact with the seller was stellar and I have been supplied with instructions for the ‘special’ customers (like myself). I wish this version of the instructions were included in the box.
Buying through these links gets me a small kickback
The cons of 8W USB Soldering Iron
Let’s start with some bad design choices. The tip gets really dirty, and I cannot figure out why. I have the impression that my other soldering iron doesn’t oxidize the solder as much? Regardless of the reason, just have something near to wipe the tip when needed and you will be OK.
A more annoying thing is how the tip is attached to the pen. The connection can be bent easily. While there is no scenario when such amount of force would be required to solder anything, be advised that the whole tip end can bend at the connecting point.
The pros of 8W USB Soldering Iron
The USB-3.5mm (weird?) cable is long enough. It’s not too thick either so it doesn’t get in the way or pulls the pen in any way. The USB cable allows for the use of computer sockets, USB banks, ports etc. I have plenty of free USB ports built in around my desk to always have a comfortable access point.
The pen is light and easy to use, has a touch button (no need to press it down) to power on the iron for few minutes. It’s enough to get your soldering done.
The soldering 8W USB Soldering Iron is fast. It melts fresh solder instantly on touch. The same goes for the solder on the boards. A touch of the tip and the surface is melted. I have done a small ESP8266 flash adapter using this iron and working with it was great.
The 8W USB Soldering Iron at $4.99 is a great addition to your tool drawer. Don’t be fooled by the USB and 8W description. It will do just fine. I don’t expect anyone to replace a proper soldering station with this one, but if all you need is a tool to get your IoT project off the ground, look no further!