Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V)

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.


Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V) Product Help and Resources

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

September 19, 2013

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • -------------------- Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues --------------------

    Maximum Heat from Soldering Iron Tip

    It's a common misconception that the very tip of the iron does not provide the most heat. In fact, the side of the tip of the iron (aka the sweet spot) of any soldering iron is where it will provide the maximum amount of heat. Here's a good illustration [ .

    Applications and Tutorial

    This soldering iron is used with our Simon Says kit. For tips on using this soldering iron, try looking at our online tutorial => .

  • gwideman / about 8 years ago / 1

    Description says: "This is a ... fixed temp ... soldering iron." What is the temperature that this iron is fixed at? Does it, in fact, have temperature feedback, or is it simply a 30W heater? And at that, does the power (and hence temperature) vary with input voltage?

  • Kristof / about 15 years ago / 10

    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.

  • VccDood / about 12 years ago / 3

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

  • Richard Hart / about 13 years ago / 3

    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.

  • HmniTyty / about 12 years ago / 2

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

  • Member #671430 / about 9 years ago / 1

    What temp does this run at?

  • Member #560532 / about 9 years ago / 1

    My wife got me this soldering iron for Christmas. I used it twice (I don't have a lot of free time.) before the tip was incapable of melting solder. I was careful to tin it and clean it, etc. but it just stopped working. I'm not sure I want to pay to buy another tip if the first one was so rapidly defective...

    • l0gikG8 / about 9 years ago / 1

      Better explain "just stopped working". Is the heating element not working? Is the tip black or rusted? Did you clean the tip with a wet sponge, brass wool, or by dipping it in flux? Are you using a solder with a high melting temperature?

  • Member #636573 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I looked all over the web for an inexpensive soldering iron and I happened upon this one and i'm glad I did. It comes with a heavy a cord and a well insulated handle that makes it cool to the hand and fingers. This iron is truly a value when considering merchandise received for money spent. The shipping was fast and my order was complete. If you're looking for an entry level iron buy this one and but it from SparkFun. Five stars

  • KK5JY / about 10 years ago / 1

    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.

  • Wedge / about 11 years ago / 1

    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.

  • thebread / about 11 years ago / 1

    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?

  • Member #167681 / about 11 years ago / 1

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

  • Member #394312 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Any chance of a UK-compatible version of this?

    • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago / 2

      Nice timing!

  • Member #318109 / about 12 years ago / 1

    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!

  • Super Jeeves / about 12 years ago / 1

    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.

  • Member #316927 / about 12 years ago / 1

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

  • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

    Any estimate on when these will be back?

  • Thimplum / about 12 years ago / 1

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

    • Thimplum / about 12 years ago / 1

      Uggg! Why does my computer LOVE making me double post?

  • 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.

    • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

      (7 months late) - Yes, it comes with a pencil-style tip.

  • Member #229070 / about 13 years ago / 1

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

    • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

      (9 months late) - As long as the tip is intact, it should be fine. Try the brass sponge below. Works great.

  • RickC / about 13 years ago / 1

    Will this iron get hot enough for SMD work?

    • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

      (9 months late) - Yes! Not sure about lead-free work, though.

  • SomeGuy123 / about 13 years ago * / 1

    Shouldn't 110V be 120V?

  • SD / about 13 years ago / 1

    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.

  • Earlz / about 13 years ago / 1

    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.

  • Earlz / about 14 years ago / 1

    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.

    • Earlz / about 14 years ago / 3

      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!

  • jonboy12 / about 14 years ago / 1

    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 ?

    • tesseract / about 14 years ago / 3

      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.

      • arduinoboy / about 13 years ago / 1

        hehe i killed my radio shack one that way. must buy this!

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5

Based on 7 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

4 of 4 found this helpful:


This the first soldering iron I've ever owned. I thought soldering was really hard, then I realized this tool is the worst. I couldn't get this to melt solder at all. I had also bought a smaller soldering pencil from a local store, which I had to use for everything because after wasting an hour or so trying this on circuits or soldering hardware to no avail, I gave up.

Hmm, definitely sounds like you may have received a bad unit. I'll take care of that for you.

6 of 6 found this helpful:

my old radio shack one works better

i plugged it in tonight (brand new) as i needed to solder abot 40 or so pin headers to connect a Teensy 3.2 board to their audio shield. in doing this work the iron was not able to heat the pin well enough to the point where the iron would not melt the solder when directly touched to the iron after 20 seconds.

my project is on a slight hold until i find a better irom.


2 of 3 found this helpful:

A good iron

This is a great product except if there is anything on your tip it won't melt the solder. :)

2 of 3 found this helpful:

Excellent product

First soldering iron I've owned. It worked well for very small connections.

1 of 3 found this helpful:

A Great Buy

If you need an inexpensive soldering iron, something to whack a few components onto a board with, this is the one should get. Sparkfun sells more high end irons if you need more, but this one is great for simple soldering. I'm happy with it.

best for the price

Great size tip. Good all around temperature. I've bought 5 of these over the years for classes. Better than the random crap they sell everywhere else.

Not recommended

This soldering iron is really only good for soldering two wires together. The tip doesn't get hot enough for soldering to pads. I highly recommend spending $5 more and getting their 60W iron. I don't have that model but I recently got a different adjustable 60W iron and it made soldering so much easier, and enjoyable! With this one though, I actually hated soldering.