This soldering iron had been mentioned to me in a YouTube video some time ago so I thought I would give it a go! $4.99 and 2 weeks later I got it in my mail. Was it worth it? After all, what an 8W USB Soldering Iron can do?
8W USB Soldering Iron
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. Having a small, inexpensive soldering iron that you can run of USB port can save your project on the go. There are two strong selling points:
- USB powered
- Small tip
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. 8W USB Soldering Iron doesn’t spark the confidence by specs only
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.
It’s not all perfect
The tip gets really dirty, really quick (no temperature control, most likely overheats the solder). I have the impression that my other soldering iron doesn’t oxidize the solder as much? Use flux, keep the tip tidy with a copper brush and don’t use this soldering iron for longer jobs.
The connection between the soldering element and the pen is weak. Put too much pressure, and you will bend it easily. Again, work quick, smooth and keep heating to a minimum, but above all be gentle with pressure or you will be ordering new tips!
The spare tips are prices the same as new iron, while not expenisve, it makes a very little sense to me! Each one is about $5 a pop, and I don’t believe you can get a different tip shape.
The USB-3.5mm 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. This is a USB 2.0 so you can use it with a plethora of devices: power banks, USB chargers or computer ports. 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 a 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.
If you need something in a pinch that works of the standard USN poer the 8W USB Soldering Iron at $4.99 is a great addition to your tool drawer. You should be ok as long as you won’t run it for too long. Keep your work under 10 min and your tips will last. I burned through my tip (the pen is fine) when working on my $20 staircase project. If you need a longer-lasting one, then consider TS80 to work on the go or Yihua 922DA+ if you want something stationary!