The Best Soldering Irons (2020)

We've put together a guide to help you find the best soldering iron for your next project.
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Every electronics DIY-er needs a good soldering iron. The Howchoo team uses soldering irons all the time for projects like Gamepad Zero or our hacked Raspberry Pi keyboard. And, while mastering the art of the solder takes a while, deciding on the best soldering iron for your next project doesn't have to.

We wanted to create a guide that gives back to the tool that makes it all happen: the soldering iron! We present you with our best recommendations for soldering irons in five categories:

  1. Best overall soldering iron
  2. Best budget soldering iron kit
  3. Best soldering iron for hobby electronics enthusiasts
  4. Best cordless soldering iron
  5. Best butane soldering iron

(Don't forget to pick up a solder fume extractor to save your lungs from breathing in all that lead! Or you could always 3D-print one yourself!)

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Hakko FX888D

If you've been soldering for any amount of time, then you're unlikely to be surprised to see a Hakko soldering iron make the top of our list. It gets the nod from us based on its performance, reliability, and ease of operation.

The FX888D has a precise digital display, setting it apart from most multimeters and can be adjusted in increments as small as 1-degree Celcius. Overall, it's a great choice to be your go-to soldering iron for repairs and projects.

Why we love it:

  • Only two operational buttons ("up" and "enter") make it easy to operate
  • Has pre-programmed temp settings (600F, 700F, 750F, 800F, and 850F) and you can program your own
  • Wide range of operation - 120 to 899F
  • Stable, compact design makes the station difficult to knock over
  • Good price for Hakko's reliable digital technology
  • Excellent thermal recovery improves work efficiency
  • Settings can be locked using a password

Anbes soldering kit

Most entry-level buyers of a soldering iron will want an inexpensive kit that includes tools and tips to make the soldering iron useful for a variety of household and DIY projects.

This 14 in 1 soldering iron kit from Anbes has everything you'll need to start welding circuit boards and jewelry, repairing appliances, or finishing at-home DIY projects. While it uses an analog temperature knob, it comes with extra tips, solder, and a stand. And at a price right around $20, this kit won't break the bank.

Why We Love It:

  • Super affordable
  • Has everything you need to get started right away
  • Desoldering pump easily removes used solder
  • Adjustable temperature from 200℃-450℃
  • Included carry bag lets you take it anywhere
  • Superior safety features over similar items

NovelLife TS100 kit

Behold the future of soldering irons! Seriously...this might be the smartest soldering iron on the market. This is the original, popular TS100 soldering iron, which comes with NovelLife's customized power supply, an XT60 power cable, and an ESD ground clip.

It's super lightweight and small (the size of a large pen), and uses a digital display and temperature control. Best of all, you can flash modified firmware to its built-in SMT32 MCU and adjust default parameter settings including the time, temperature, and even the boot-screen logo.

Why we love it:

  • Customizable via USB port
  • Contains an accelerometer
  • Will turn itself off after a long time if no movement is detected (this can be disabled in the firmware if you choose)
  • Seriously small and lightweight, making it extra portable
  • Heats up in about 10 seconds
  • Variety of features like sleep mode, low-voltage protection, and over-temperature protection

Weller BL60MP

Let's envision a world without wires. They're messy and often get in the way when you're trying to work. They can also be dangerous when you're wielding a super-hot tool like a soldering iron. And they prevent the kind of portability that most DIY-ers desire.

While not recommended for heavy-duty applications, this medium-duty cordless soldering iron from Weller is perfect for soldering micro-components, electronic kits, low voltage wiring, jewelry, and other at-home projects.

Why we love it:

  • Portability makes it great for working on multiple projects
  • Lasts for 45 minutes on a single full charge
  • Integrated LED helps you when working on those small solder joints
  • Ergonomic handle

Iroda Solderpro 50K

Those who prefer a butane soldering iron are relentless about it! If you're looking for a wireless soldering iron, then there certainly are benefits to using a butane soldering iron over a battery-charged version. For one, butane soldering irons heat up very quickly. They also tend to have a broader range of heat, as you can adjust the amount of butane burned at any moment.

If butane is your thing, then we've got just the soldering iron kit for you! Presenting the Iroda Solderpro 50K, the entry-level butane soldering kit from Solderpro.

Why we love it:

  • Includes everything you'll need to get started
  • Perfect for quick repairs, as it doesn't need to be charged
  • Goes 40 minutes without needing to refill the butane
  • Great precision for electronics hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts