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Description: This is a very simple fixed temp, quick heating, 30W 110/120 VAC soldering iron. We really enjoy using the more expensive irons, but if you really need a cheap iron for your tool box, this lovely iron is a good choice. This is a low-cost iron and it works! But it doesn't come with a stand. We recommend you checkout the iron stands below.

The iron is attached to a six foot cable which is terminated with a North American standard type B plug. There is a nice grippy surface at the end of the handle that does double duty as a nice heat shield.

A 1/32" pointed tip is included. The soldering tip and the heating element are replaceable, see related items below for compatible replacements.

Note: This is a 110VAC version and will only work properly on that voltage. 

Make sure you check out our soldering tutorials.

Comments 36 comments

  • Wow, I am surprised. Defiantly the best cheap soldering iron I have ever used, it is a night and day difference between the radio shack styled ones, this soldering iron is surprisingly good, especially for the cost.
    If you do not solder enough to warrant the more expensive models then this is perfect, although once it is heated up I must say it is comparable to the more expensive models.

  • The first one I received died in 5 minutes but SFE Customer Service priority-shipped me another the next day. Great customer service!

  • Great Iron, got it in the mail today. Taught myself how to solder within 20 minutes of opening the package.

  • I’ve three of these babies; one in my garage workshop, one inside the house in my robot lab, and another on the shelf as a back-up. Have nothing but good things to say about these after cursing my way through a half-dozen Radio Shack models. Buy one of these and this and some SparkFun solder and you’ll be soldering away in no time.

  • The iron definitely exceeds my expectations. It runs plenty hot for PCB soldering. I will probably use a Variac to lower the voltage a bit for some of the finer soldering. The included tip is fine for 0.1" PTH work but you’ll want to get a finer tip for anything smaller like SMT.

    I was pleasantly surprised. The iron has a nice thick and flexible cord – that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’m sure glad the cord isn’t some really cheap plastic like a lot of the RS models, because they are hard to keep on the desk with the springy cords. The tool itself has a very solid feel to it. I’ll probably grab another one for a spare. I mean, it’s just $10.

  • For the price it’s definitely not a bad soldering iron. It does indeed work and seems fairly reliable. That said, it’s still just a $10 soldering iron and has a lot of limitations. Definitely make sure to use 63/37 eutectic leaded solder when using this, it will save you heaps of trouble. This soldering iron has very negligible thermal inertia, avoid using lead-free solder if at all possible, though using easy-mode solder will make this iron a practical and useful tool. For example, I tried using this iron for desoldering lead-free solder joints and it was an exercise in frustration.

    For a low-cost soldering iron it’s pretty reasonable, just make sure to use it correctly to get the most out of it.

  • So I bought this solder, and this iron. It worked great the first day, but now it takes forever to heat up, and then it burns through the solder very quickly and smokes most of it away. Tips?

  • You all should stop selling these things as a matter of principle. Waste of time soldering iron. Get a Hakko

  • Any chance of a UK-compatible version of this?

  • This is such a noob question….but is this iron good enough for soldering surface mount ic’s? Atleast the SOIC and QFN packages.

    • In short, you wouldn’t want to use this product to solder QFN surface mount ICs. You could use this for SOIC ICs. We have a really good SMD How To tutorial, that you might find helpful. I also recommend checking out our Hot-air Rework Station - 303D. Hope that helps!

  • I was a bit naive when I bought this and didn’t realize it wasn’t hot enough for unleaded solder work and now I can’t do anything with it because I really don’t like the use of lead but otherwise its a great iron so if you use leaded solder and need a cheap iron then get this one. Also I think it might be a good idea to put a note that it does not do unleaded. So I think I’m going to check out the cheap soldering station.

  • Can I use this with an european 220 to 110 VAC / -40w- adapter? I think I can but I’m not sure.

  • Any estimate on when these will be back?

  • Wow! This iron isn’t that bad! This is my first iron, and it heats up fast, and gets very hot.

  • Is this pencil tip style? I need a good iron for my line following bot… and I can’t use a fat tip like the firestarters.

  • I ordered one of these, and mine looked like it was used.
    The tip was so dirty I couldn’t solder anything.

  • Will this iron get hot enough for SMD work?

  • Shouldn’t 110V be 120V?

  • I really like this soldering iron. Since I am a beginner this is the perfect one to get started. I have used it to put together a couple of kits from Sparkfun and another kit from the Makershed all with great success. I bought another cheap soldering iron from another place and it didn’t hold up well but this one is just right. Glad I settled on this one and glad Sparkfun offered it.

  • After a few months/almost a year of owning this iron, I’ve switched to the slightly more expensive Butane iron below. I highly recommend it. My main complaint with this iron is that the tip stopped working, basically(solder wouldn’t stick or “flow” to it), and the cord is freaking thick as hell! This may seem like a good safety feature to avoid burning your house down, but I had problems keeping the iron in a stand because the cord would try and make it flop wherever, and this also made soldering pretty difficult at times, like when I want to set the iron down 2 seconds and reposition something, well with this iron it took a good 10 seconds to get the iron to stay somewhere without knocking the stand over, and all that.

  • Ok so, I soldered on one row of headers on an Arduino Pro Mini. I went back a few days later to add some more headers to the board but the iron would not get hot. What to do? I called up SparkFun Tech Support and they gladly sent me another one :) Thank you.
    This however did not diffuse my curiosity. So I, carefully, unscrewed everything and pulled out the multimeter (another fine SFE product) and began testing. The wall socket and cord checked out fine. (Blew a fuse too! Oops wrong setting.) I did not know what parts to touch on the tip-side of the heating element.
    Suggestions? And why would the iron die after just one use?
    Let me know if you want pics and I will get some up on Flickr or something.

  • I’m relatively new to soldering and such and I did have a Radio Shack soldering iron. I bought this because of what was said about Radio Shack and it’s absolutely true. My old iron was “loose” and the tip wiggled a bit even after screwing it in as far as it would go. This one is completely solid. Also, the tip stays shiny and nice unlike radio shack :)
    And I bought my radio shack iron for like $15! Any person looking for their first soldering iron should definitely get this one! The tip on this is also great! Very nice for electronics use. (Might need 1/64th if you’re looking for SMD though)
    By far the best Iron I’ve yet to use. And the first time I heated it up it took just 5 minutes or so.

    • Also, I’d like to add also that the handle doesn’t get hot on this after an hour of use either like the radio shack iron.. So no more discomfort in your hand because it’s slowly being cooked!

  • PLEASE ADVISE
    the package said in vary strong terms that you should never sand the tip ….. well i forgot and used super fine steel wool to clean the tip is it safe to use ?
    or is it only less non stick ?

    • The reason you shouldn’t sand a soldering iron tip is that they are made of copper (for good heat transmission) but with a thin iron plating. The iron plating is there to protect the copper from molten solder, because over time hot solder can actually dissolve copper leaving the tip rough and pitted. But iron is immune to this, so as long as the plating remains intact, your tip should stay smooth and shiny.
      If you used very fine sandpaper or steel wool and the tip is still silvery, it’s probably OK. If you sanded away the iron plating and you can see the copper underneath, the tip is still safe to use and should still work reasonably well, but it will wear out faster than if it hadn’t been sanded.
      The best way to clean a soldering iron tip is to coat it with with solder and then wipe it on a dampened sponge when it’s hot. Ideally a cellulose sponge since plastic ones can melt. If that’s not enough, try a soldering iron cleaner made of brass shavings (like Sparkfun TOL-08964) or in a pinch, a copper (not steel!) Chore-Boy scouring pad. These also work best when the iron is hot.


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