Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: What's Your Favorite Desolder Gun?

  1. #1
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    264
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 28/0
    Given: 21/0
    Rep Power
    0

    What's Your Favorite Desolder Gun?

    I want to buy a good, reliable desolder type gun that has the ability to do standard tube amp and audio point to point and circuit board repair work. It would be nice if it was easy to use, clean and find that parts are and will be readily available....for under $400?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  2. #2
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    32,983
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,274/7
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    55
    I paid more than that for my Pace unit, but I do like it. I personally do not find it all that useful for point to point. I might occasionally empty out an eyelet with it. But really for me my spring loaded cock it and press the button solder sucker works fine. Now on printed circuit boards, nothing will touch my Pace. I can go down the rows of pins on a 64 pin IC say and have it out in a minute. And my holes are clean and clear.

    I know some guys use Weller, and I usually hear good reports on the Hakko. And I am sure there are some current good brands I never heard of. I am not in t he market for another, so I don't pay close attention. My main soldering iron is a Weller WTCP series unit.

    One thing I do like having is a tool I have had for 60 years or more - my Weller 100/140 soldering gun. Basic simple old thing, but it works for heavy jobs. And point to point and such often take more heat than my small iron wants to give. The gun still isn't quite enough to solder directly to a Fender chassis, but it solders big solder lugs and heavy wires without fail. They still make them. And I do keep real Weller tips for it, but if I wear out a tip and don't have one, I strip a 5-6" hunk of 12ga wire and bend my own tip. Works like a charm.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  3. #3
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    La Jolla CA, Hanalei, Kauai
    Posts
    3,165
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 397/2
    Given: 45/1
    Rep Power
    16
    I’ve had both Hako and Pace. The Pace is built better. The Hako is more versatile. I agree with Enzo.. If you are in a shop reworking a lot of the same units that the machine happens to be useful for and saves a lot of time, they are necessary. For most shops seeing a variety of stuff, you are better off using solder wick, braid, a hand pump extractor, ChipQuick, etc.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  4. #4
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    6,717
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,516/1
    Given: 1,123/1
    Rep Power
    17
    I'll add another vote for the Pace. Once you have one, it's hard to imagine working without it. If you hunt around eBay, you can often find good used ones at decent prices.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  5. #5
    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pace, FL
    Posts
    3,431
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,223/102
    Given: 172/36
    Rep Power
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I'll add another vote for the Pace. Once you have one, it's hard to imagine working without it. If you hunt around eBay, you can often find good used ones at decent prices.
    Same here. I got a pace from ebayFor a $130 couple months ago and it is a night and day difference for PCB stuff. Mine looks like it's from the 70's everything looks like I can repair it. Just a solder iron and an air compressor.

    Solder sucker is hard to beat for point to point tube stuff.

    nosaj

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

  6. #6
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    La Jolla CA, Hanalei, Kauai
    Posts
    3,165
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 397/2
    Given: 45/1
    Rep Power
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    Same here. I got a pace from ebayFor a $130 couple months ago and it is a night and day difference for PCB stuff. Mine looks like it's from the 70's everything looks like I can repair it. Just a solder iron and an air compressor.

    Solder sucker is hard to beat for point to point tube stuff.
    nosaj
    Just make sure you have all the parts. The glass tube, the curved metal piece that sets in the tube, and the air line filter holder with the paper filters. They take a lot maintenance and you need a good selection of tips. I always used straightened paper clips, guitar strings, etc to clean them. The pump membrane doesn’t last long if solder dust gets in it.

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  7. #7
    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pace, FL
    Posts
    3,431
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,223/102
    Given: 172/36
    Rep Power
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    Just make sure you have all the parts. The glass tube, the curved metal piece that sets in the tube, and the air line filter holder with the paper filters. They take a lot maintenance and you need a good selection of tips. I always used straightened paper clips, guitar strings, etc to clean them. The pump membrane doesn’t last long if solder dust gets in it.
    Yep all that is there. The only thing I have not been able to find is any information on it. It's a SX-25 I believe.
    Only one tip is all I have but so far that's been ok.
    nosaj

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

  8. #8
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    32,983
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,274/7
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    55
    Oh I keep a supply of tips. I usually use the skinny tips in the little adaptor, but the fat tips work well too and last longer. I always have a spare glass tube in the drawer. You ARE going to break one eventually.

    I kept a piece of stiff piano wire stuck in a hunk of styrofoam near the iron. Used it to poke debris out of the tip. Styro was just a convenient parking spot.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  9. #9
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    La Jolla CA, Hanalei, Kauai
    Posts
    3,165
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 397/2
    Given: 45/1
    Rep Power
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Oh I keep a supply of tips. I usually use the skinny tips in the little adaptor, but the fat tips work well too and last longer. I always have a spare glass tube in the drawer. You ARE going to break one eventually.

    I kept a piece of stiff piano wire stuck in a hunk of styrofoam near the iron. Used it to poke debris out of the tip. Styro was just a convenient parking spot.
    And that weird cotton plug filter that goes in the glass? I guess you can still get them.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  10. #10
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    32,983
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,274/7
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    55
    Sure, they still make them, I buy them by the bag.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,759
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 448/0
    Given: 89/0
    Rep Power
    14
    I've had one of these for about 8 years - it was £45 back then. I didn't expect it to be any good and bought it while I was looking around for a used Pace. However, It's surprisingly good and parts are readily available. Maybe it's sold under different brands in different countries. Mine had a phenolic tube but they're now borosilicate glass and the retrofit kit is about £3 - tube, seals, filters, spring etc. It uses a diaphragm pump. It desolders eyelet boards easily and does through-hole. Mine is in use pretty much every working day and it heats up in about three minutes. I got a complete spare gun and vacuum tube for £7.

    https://cpc.farnell.com/duratool/d00...yABEgL20vD_BwE

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  12. #12
    Supporting Member nevetslab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Burbank, CA
    Posts
    1,993
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 733/1
    Given: 1,734/1
    Rep Power
    11
    I too live with a PACE....an MBT 3-port base unit, SX-70 Desoldering Iron, PS80 iron, ThermoJet. Their tips are expensive, if you buy new thru distribution. Over the years, I watch ebay for deals on new tips from various sellers for both the Soldering and Desoldering irons. And like all desoldering irons, continual maintenance is required to keep the dros chamber empty, and keeping the tip wet and clean. Those little felt filters that go into the glass dros chamber.....I get extended life out of them by poking them out, and picking away at the dirty surface until it's relatively cleaner, then work the part to 'fluff' it back up, and poke it back into the chamber for more use. I do of course keep a supply of new ones on hand. I've discarded the in-line paper filter. I have both their multi-sized cleaning wire tool as well as wound guitar strings in a mandril to keep the tip hole clear. And a spare SX-70 & PS-80, though they're often with my other base unit that I'll travel with, or use at home.

    I also use the Weller WTCP with the DS-TCP bulb-activated desoldering attachment....its one of the Military kits...all in a nice grey metal case, which lives in my tool case. Not as elegant as my Pace, but is much simpler to keep working!

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence

  13. #13
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,759
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 448/0
    Given: 89/0
    Rep Power
    14
    Enzo mentioned his solder gun being useful and today I saw an old Millers Falls 200/260 heavy-duty gun with a 100ft roll of desolder braid and in its original case at a market. I wasn't sure what tips it took - they have a captive nut. When I got home I researched it and found it was a heavy-duty Weller rebranded as Millers Falls. Damn. The time to buy it is when you see it, as they say. It was £10 and I left it there.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  14. #14
    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pace, FL
    Posts
    3,431
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,223/102
    Given: 172/36
    Rep Power
    12
    Here is the one I got I only had a $130 total so I offered that shipped and based on info in this thread have figured out how to clean it. I love mine. From what I understand they are from some aircraft facility that was shut down. Sx-230 with a PPS16 powerplant.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/253464053196

    nosaj

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

  15. #15
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    264
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 28/0
    Given: 21/0
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    Here is the one I got I only had a $130 total so I offered that shipped and based on info in this thread have figured out how to clean it. I love mine. From what I understand they are from some aircraft facility that was shut down. Sx-230 with a PPS16 powerplant.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/253464053196

    nosaj
    Thanks nosaj. I bought the one you sent me the link to. Hopefully it’s easy to use. Do you have a lot of maintenance & are parts easily available?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  16. #16
    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pace, FL
    Posts
    3,431
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,223/102
    Given: 172/36
    Rep Power
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Perkinsman View Post
    Thanks nosaj. I bought the one you sent me the link to. Hopefully it’s easy to use. Do you have a lot of maintenance & are parts easily available?
    It looks as though parts are still available though pace. specifically the glass tube. I've only put about 5 hrs time on mine which I don't think is long enough. Maybe ask me next year. When I first got it I took some boards I have in the junk pile and removed several components it was almost reminiscent of the jump in skill I made when I went from Radio shack soldering pencil iron to a temp controlled soldering iron. It's like a night and day difference.

    nosaj

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

  17. #17
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    32,983
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,274/7
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    55
    It is night and day. Like a $40 K-mart guitar, and then a real Strat or Les Paul. How did I get along without this?

    Pace is alive and well, the glass tube hasn't changed in years even as models have. Tips and filters are still made, and in fact alternate sources are available for them.. Plano makes tips for example.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  18. #18
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,759
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 448/0
    Given: 89/0
    Rep Power
    14
    So, is the Pace the one to have - better than say a Metcal or other premium brand?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  19. #19
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    32,983
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 2,274/7
    Given: 0/0
    Rep Power
    55
    All I will say is that Pace is a good quality brand, with good support. That takes nothing away from other good quality brands. Many people are happy with their Hakko gear. I'd imagine Weller makes a good product. I just have never used the other brands. I think it is like guitars. I don't know if Fender is better than Gibson, but either is a good quality instrument and either is better than that $40 K-mart guitar.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  20. #20
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    264
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 28/0
    Given: 21/0
    Rep Power
    0
    I have a few questions about the Pace sx230. What exactly is the point of the glass tube? Is the metal case that the glass tube is in supposed to be loose? What is the purpose of the little piece of cloth inside the glass?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  21. #21
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    6,717
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,516/1
    Given: 1,123/1
    Rep Power
    17
    The glass tube collects the solder. You remove the tube to empty the solder. Glass so that solder doesn't stick to it. The little "cotton ball" is a filter for flux so that it doesn't get into the vacuum pump or clog lines. There is also a round in-line "clothish" filter right at the station. Both of those should be changed regularly.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  22. #22
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    264
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 28/0
    Given: 21/0
    Rep Power
    0
    I don't see any cloth-ish filter (or any filter for that matter) on this one, it has a screw on glass jar both on the inlet and another one inside the unit. I think I've seen those round cloth filters on ebay. Is that supposed to be a secondary filter? I really would love to find a manual for it.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  23. #23
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    6,717
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,516/1
    Given: 1,123/1
    Rep Power
    17
    Mine is a different model. Maybe yours doesn't have the round filter. Mine also doesn't have a glass jar, so it must be a different kind of filter.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. My Favorite Vintage P/U
    By big_teee in forum Beginner/ Hobbyist
    Replies: 76
    Last Post: 06-26-2012, 02:57 AM
  2. Favorite speaker for 5E3?
    By Rhodesplyr in forum 5 E 3
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-20-2012, 10:35 PM
  3. Favorite PI when it crunches?
    By redelephant in forum Theory & Design
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-16-2011, 08:03 AM
  4. Solder/Desolder Station
    By lowell in forum Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Repair
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-29-2008, 09:53 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •