Heat Set Insert Tips for Hakko (#4-40/M3 and M5)

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3D Printing and Laser Cutting are awesome processes for making fast prototypes of complex parts but attaching those parts together can prove difficult. Glue works fine most of the time but only if you want a permanent bond. You can tap plastic parts and use bolts but the threads will be soft and probably won’t survive multiple assemblies. That’s where threaded inserts come in! Heat set inserts are metal (usually brass) nuts that are specially designed to be heated up and pressed into an undersized hole. The outside of the insert has spikes and fins that help the plastic flow around and form a tight bond with the surrounding material. The same effect can even be achieved (with a little less rigidity) using standard hex nuts.

Pressing inserts and hex nuts into a plastic enclosure is something that you can do with a standard soldering iron tip but if you ever want to use that tip for soldering again you had better be careful not to get plastic on it! Also, it seems some tips work better than others based on how well their shape transfers heat to the insert. These heat set insert tips solve those problems by giving you a dedicated tip for installing inserts! They’re designed to fit onto your Hakko FX-888 soldering iron and provide exactly the right sized post for pressing home a heat set insert! Each pack comes with two tips: One for #4-40/M3 inserts and a second for larger M5 inserts.

We do not plan to regularly produce SparkX products so get them while they’re hot! (Pun totally intended)

Experimental Product: SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Live technical support is not available for SparkX products. Head on over to our forum for support or to ask a question.
  • Heat Set Insert Installer for #4-40 and M3 Fasteners
  • Heat Set Insert Installer for M5 Fasteners

Customer Comments

  • Can you provide the dimensions for these tips? I would like to know if they will fit the WES51 like the other user.

    • Total length is 1.6" long (40.6mm). The tapered or reduced portion that fits the brass insert is 0.75" long (19mm) which leaves 0.85" for the main barrel or shank. The barrel/shank is ¼" in diameter. There is a 5/32" hole drilled in the base of the shank that will accommodate the ceramic heating element of the Hakko. That hole is not quite as long as the main shank but does go nearly all the way into the main shank body. In my research, I’ve not found specs on the E series tips for the WES51 that include the shank diameter or how long the shank is. They also mention a hole for a sensor in the base of that tip. Can you provide some additional details in the diameter of the shank, how long it is, how big around the shoulder at the mid-tip is, the diameter of the sensor hole and how deep that hole it? If so, I can probably give a better idea whether it will be compatible with that E-series tip.

      • Sorry for the delay, here is a drawing of a Weller tip - https://i.imgur.com/C1hB9U7.png It looks like it would work if the body was turned down on the back, that is required to fit into the Weller pen. I also don’t know how close the internal hole needs to be but all of mine are around .115/.120 and I can’t really measure the part in the pen. I do have one tip that has a hole in the ring section that intersects the internal hole but also have a few others that don’t so I don’t thing it’s needed.

        • Thanks for that link, tjb1. That helps. It does look like we’d have to mill the shank down from the 0.25" to 0.21" and drill what would probably be a 1/8" hole in the center, rather than the 5/32". They say 0.12" hole, but if it’s accommodating a heating element then it’s almost certain that 0.125" 1/8" hole would work fine.

          I’m assuming what is listed as a 0.255" outer barrel could probably get by with a 0.25" stock as that shoulder is probably not so precise as to need the extra 0.005". We’ll look at it some more, but it does look like it’s different enough that it would have to be done as a separate part and design.

          Thanks for the input and feedback.

  • Hi Sembazuru, The iron temperature can be set at normal soldering temperatures, but at those temperatures the melt happens quickly with most plastics. That is a plus if you’re doing a lot of them (as long as it’s not so hot as to burn the plastic). If you’re just learning, it’s best to lower the temperature and the press happens more slowly as the plastic melts more slowly. On my Hakko, I have it set to 700 for an ABS part. I’ve used it as low as about 450 on ABS on my Hakko. It’s hard to acquire all the particular irons out there. The interior cavity for heating elements of this tip is 5/32" (don’t have the depth dim in front of me) which is compatible with the Hakko FX-888 Sparkfun sells. The outside diameter is ¼". Some Weller irons are ¼" OD solid tips. I see Weller irons that look more like the internal heating element like you see on the Hakko, but I don’t have dimensions on those irons/tips. I have a basic 40W Weller that has a set screw and the tips work well with it. I would consider producing other dimensions if it looked like the demand was there.

  • What is the recommended iron temperature for this? I recognize it may be different temperatures for different materials, so a quick chart of the common FDM materials would probably be best.

    Are these tips compatible at all with the Weller PES51 pencil (used on both the WES51 and WESD51 stations)? I’ve never compared the dimensions of the Hakko and Weller tips. If they aren’t compatible would you consider either coming up with one that is, or releasing the drawing for the business end of these (so others can adapt it to the iron of their preference)?

    • Hi Sembazuru, The iron temperature can be set at normal soldering temperatures, but at those temperatures the melt happens quickly with most plastics. That is a plus if you’re doing a lot of them (as long as it’s not so hot as to burn the plastic). If you’re just learning, it’s best to lower the temperature and the press happens more slowly as the plastic melts more slowly. On my Hakko, I have it set to 700 for an ABS part. I’ve used it as low as about 450 on ABS on my Hakko. It’s hard to acquire all the particular irons out there. The interior cavity for heating elements of this tip is 5/32" (don’t have the depth dim in front of me) which is compatible with the Hakko FX-888 Sparkfun sells. The outside diameter is ¼". Some Weller irons are ¼" OD solid tips. I see Weller irons that look more like the internal heating element like you see on the Hakko, but I don’t have dimensions on those irons/tips. I have a basic 40W Weller that has a set screw and the tips work well with it. I would consider producing other dimensions if it looked like the demand was there.

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