Retired!

This is a retired product, but fear not as there is a newer, better version available: TOL-10707

Creative Commons images are CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Retired RETIRED

This product has been retired from our catalog and is no longer for sale.

This page is made available for those looking for datasheets and the simply curious. Please refer to the description to see if a replacement part is available.

Replacement: TOL-10707. We now carry the AT937B which is essentially the same iron but with a slick new enclosure. This page is for reference only.

Description: We know you've always dreamed of having a SparkFun branded soldering station. And here at SparkFun, we are all about making wishes come true. This is a great step up from the basic soldering stations from Radio Shack or wherever you picked up a cheap iron because your last one broke right in the middle of a project.

This iron looks suspiciously similar to the Hakko 936, but it's not. Call it what whatever name you want - we've found it to be a well built, great intermediate soldering station for the price. With a heavy base, comfortable iron, adjustable temperature, and a good selection of tips (coming soon), you can't beat this station for value.

Unit includes 110V base station, iron, iron holder, and sponge. We can't say enough good things about this iron - set the iron temp to 350C and forget it. It's the iron that we recommend to our friends who've been bitten by the electronics bug. It's just a workhorse!

The unit takes around 20 seconds to heat up.  We usually turn the iron on then go in search of water to wet the sponge. A wet sponge is used to clean the tarnish from the tip of the iron.

The red LED on the front will be constantly on while the iron is heating up. Then the LED will start to pulse slowly (on for around three seconds, off for around three seconds, repeat). This LED indicates that the iron has reached and is maintaining a constant temperature (also called a control loop or feedback loop).

Features:

  • Lead-free capable
  • Temperature adjustable from 220-480°C (428-896°F)
  • Includes 900M tip
  • 50W Iron
  • SparkFun Logo!

Comments 107 comments

  • How about a 220V version for non-US fans?

    • relay sparkfun should include that

      • wait, we should include a $30 voltage converter with a $40 iron?
        Also, one of the huge reasons we don’t carry a 220V version is that shipping would be as much as the iron. It isn’t terribly cost-effective to ship this in single units around the world.

    • Is'nt there an kind of transformer for this job? 220V to 110V???

      • http://www.beststuff.co.uk/store/HQ-100-Watt-Step-Down-Voltage-Converter.htm this one should be alright

  • Note: if you buy this soldering iron and are so excited you have to use it right away, make sure you take the protective plastic off the soldering iron tip BEFORE you turn the station on.

  • Here is my $.02 on this iron.
    I have never had the honor of using a “real” iron. I have been dealing with RadioShack “fire starters” for the past 5 or 6 years doing basic hobby work and only recently got into more advanced electronic circuits. I saw this iron and figured it was worth a shot.
    Let’s just say, I love the thing. It’s heat-up time is excellent (in my opinion), at about 45 seconds, I can’t complain. The tip that comes with it is a great size for through hole components, and maybe even SMD components (haven’t tried yet). There is more than enough heat for anything I have ever needed to do. I have had excellent results with both soldering and desoldering components.
    To answer Julio2010’s question, the handle does NOT get hot at all. I have been known to leave this thing on for an hour or two in it’s holder and when I pick it up to use it, the handle is nice and cool.
    One thing to note: SparkFun does not currently stock the tips and they must be ordered from Hakko.
    Hope this helps someone!

  • CRC Robotics bought three of those iron and since we are a NPO, we are tight on budget. Personally, I had the chance to use different soldering iron from cheap to high end and the quality/price is awesome for those iron. Best bang for your buck that you can get.
    One note: the tip that is included is a small high precision tip. Depending on your intended usage, you may want to order another tip along with the iron itself.
    Kuddo!

  • Might want to change the description from (coming soon) to “You’re on your own for tips.”

  • i cant believe how easy soldering is now! i have been using a Radio Shack Special for so long i just thought it was hard work… NOT ANY MORE!!
    Love my purchase!!

  • I just saw that adafruit.com now carries the Genuine Hakko 936 with 907 iron at a bit more than twice the price of this one. The Hakko is rated at 60 watts and the Chineese Knockoff at 50W, for what it’s worth. She doesn’t (yet) have any tips for it either.

  • Bought one of these a few days ago, and I like it a lot.
    Pros:
    - Heats up quickly (didn’t time it but definitely less than a minute to 300C).
    - Holds temp very well
    - After about 20 minutes at temp, handle was still quite comfortable to use. I could feel some warmth, but definitely not uncomfortable, just barely noticeable
    - Low price! :-)
    Cons:
    - There’s a metal piece that fits into the iron holder that was hot glued into place, but it came apart in shipping. No big deal, but I did have to re-attach it
    I paired this up with the brass sponge/holder, and I’m quite happy with the results after assembling a few Arduino shields.
    Disclaimer: I’m a software guy :-), and a hardware hacker by hobby, so hard-core hardware junkies may find some fault with this iron. To me, it is a great upgrade from the $10 fire-starter specials.

    • I had the same problem. I think it could be the vibrations in shipping… anyways hot glue got it back together !

  • I don’t see any tips. This appears to be a Aoyue 936A. sra-solder has a full set of tips for this iron.

    • We don’t yet carry replacement / alternate tips for this iron, however you’re correct that other 936 tips should work. I’ll also mention that we’ve been very happy with the included tip, which is quite versatile.

  • I picked one of these up at my local electronic shop a few weeks ago (did someone import a whole lot of these surplus recently?). Sadly mine didn’t have the SparkFun logo. I’m a hobbyist who has made due with Radio Shack specials for soldering irons for the last several years, so this was my first controllable station.
    I’ve been very happy with it so far. It heats up quickly and has allowed me to do SMD parts without issue. Haven’t checked tip temperature accuracy and can’t vouch for how steady it holds it. A little trial and error lets you dial in a comfortable working temperature pretty quickly. The tips are proprietary I believe, but the line card is pretty extensive.
    One thing to note: I got mine for $20 from my local shop (normally $30-$40 like this one). This is because there is a plastic collar that more or less holds the whole iron together. This probably should have been made of metal, because the shop has had several come back with that part broken. It’s easy enough to fix (I overwrapped a broken collar with string and epoxy), but it might put some people off. Then again for the price, it does its job just fine.

  • A knock off 936, right down to a knock off 907 iron. I think I will stick to my real 936.

    • Knocked off who? Hakko? Aoyue?
      Hakko has officially discontinued the 936. The price of a genuine station isn’t particularly hobbyist-friendly anyway. It might make sense to get the real thing if you solder on a daily basis, but not if you’re just doing odds and ends a couple times a month.
      Aoyue has been making knockoffs of Hakko products for some time now. I have one of their 968 hot air stations, which effectively includes the above soldering station. Its functional and its internal build quality seems perfectly reasonable, though it does have a few quirks; Making the lights flicker when the hot air heater is cycled on for instance (but it’s a real power hog).
      It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Sparkfun simply contracted with Aoyue to badge their 936 knockoff with the Sparkfun logo. Aoyue gets a new outlet for their products, SF maybe gets some say in quality control, SF customers don’t have to explain their soldering station’s obviously asian brand name. Everyone’s happy.

  • As Alechko said, we’ll be waiting for the 220-240V version :)

    • there are converters you can buy for power sockets. I live in the U.S. so for when I travel I got a $10 power converter that has heads for almost every country and I saw them for others as well so you should be able to find one (at your equivlent of Wall-Mart or Radio Shack haha).

      • careful about wattage with those, the cheap ones tend to be over-rated.

        • idk worked well with my 120watt laptop brick. (and yes it does draw 120watts)

          • The difference is that your laptop brick is universal - It can take both 110 & 220 volts without crapping itself, so the “cheap 10 dollar power converter” (that only costs a couple of cents to manufacture) is in reality only a plug converter.. If you use one of those with this soldering station, you WILL kill it… While I’ve used one of the cheap 110v direct voltage to heating element designs with 220v, the result wasn’t pretty, it almost melted itself (the whole soldering iron became glowing white.. Not something you would want it to).
            You would need a fairly expensive transformer to step up the voltage, while still providing enough juice to actually heat this thing.. All in all - it would probably be cheaper to buy something that was born 220v ^^

    • Were looking at stocking the 220V version. It is definitely in the works.
      Until then you will have to use a step down transformer/220V to 110V adapter. Or, as RupertG said, the wattless dropper. I’ve never tried this trick, it sounds kinda wild but feasible.

  • What tips can we use with this iron now that it is retired? I need a new tip for mine…

  • Great soldering iron. I’ve put a few kits together with it including the smt spectralizer kit.

  • I ordered this iron a few months ago after I decided to try to learn a bit more about electronics. I must say that I, too, love this little unit. So much so that I’m now on the warpath to try to find different tips so I can try surface mounting components. That’s how much confidence this little unit has given me in my soldering skills! But the only complaint/question I have is about calibration. The instruction manual goes through a calibration procedure for when you replace a tip. It involves “removing the calibration plug.” I have a hole in the front that is marked CAL(ibration). But no plug in it. What am I missing? Probably headed for a “D'oh! moment,” but I’m tired of wondering about it.

  • What size tip9s) does it come with? What brand/size does it support?

  • Hello,
    Does anyone have any idea on the AT command for a GET HTTP request ?
    I need to basically access a website with the GSM 5100b

  • Does this work well with lead-free solder (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10243)? If so, what temperature should I set it to?

    • Sorry for the late reply. Lead-free solder is all I use. It works great. Of course, I also use flux like its going out of style. I can’t remember for sure, but I think on my last project I was using a temp of about 700 F (370 C). I’d have to look at my notes. But make sure you check out the data sheets for the components you’re soldering. Some of them specify maximum solder temperatures and exposure durations. Example, 260 C for 5 seconds. Remember though that your solder temperature probably isn’t the same as your iron temperature. It’s probably lower. I was using the 700 F (370 C) and not ruining my 260 C LEDs.

  • You might also want to buy Tip tinner/cleaner with this iron and solder. The tip tinner/cleaner helps a lot with getting the lead-free solder to melt and prolongs the life of the tip.

    • So have you had problems with getting this unit to work with lead-free solder without the tip cleaner? I need a new iron and want to work with lead-free solder.
      Thanks

  • I bought one of these stations a few months ago but I need a new heating element for it. There don’t seem to be any for sale on this site. What do I do?

  • Amazing Iron

  • Tips?

  • when are the tips coming in and is it good with smd

  • “Th unit takes around 20 seconds to heat up."
    What does th mean?

  • Is this iron esd safe?

  • “and a good selection of tips (coming soon)” not that tips are hard to come by, but what’s your definition of “soon”?

  • Guys, I bought a few iron tips from you that was hoping they will fit the solder iron BWT no. This soldering iron has heating element penetrating into the soldering tip. Would Hakko tips fit it?

  • is possible to solder smd with this?

    • I’m not trying to be a wise guy or embarrass you but the information is right in front of you. There are at least 4 other SMD/SMT related comments I found which predate your question.
      For a hobbyist like you and me, this is a big purchase. Take the time to read all comments… and in my case, I’m chasing down reviews on competitive products that commenter’s here compared this to.

  • Had this since 2/20/2011 and still using original tip! this is a awesome Product…
    Fast heatup like 10sec tops! I love this. I might buy another one for a friend!!
    Tips on ebay:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320367048940&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

  • I’ve had this for a couple of months now and I’m really enjoying it. For the price, it kicks the butt of those radio shack ones.

  • Get yourself a Hakko FM-202 and you’ll never look back. It heats up to 800F in 5 seconds. Thats right. 5 seconds. Save up for it and you’ll never regret your lifetime investment.

  • Have been using this soldering iron for about a month now, and I really enjoy it! Had a Radioshack el-crapo unit before this one, so I guess anything would be better, but this one is really a great deal! I was afraid I’d have to spend a fortune to get a good unit, but this proved me wrong. The only downside is that I now no longer have a use for the Aloe Vera plant in my living room ;)

  • I got this iron with my funds from free day. I thought I was getting an upgrade from the one they sell for $9.99, but as of right now the $9.99 one is working better. When I unwrapped the unit it had a burn mark on the power cord but ot didn’t look to go through to the internal wires so I put some liquid tape on and then covered that with electrical tape. The unit says it is heating up and maintaining temperature but I could not de-solder any components with this iron and was unable to solder anything with it using the lead-free solder either. Not really sure where to go from here…Guess it is back to the cheap-o

  • when will you get those replacement tips? I want to get this, but I’d like to know that I will have replacement tips if something happens.

  • Just got mine today and it’s excellent. Coming from soldering with a radioshack iron to soldering with this is like night and day for me, everything flows better, the adjustable heat is great and it heats up very quickly, so if you’re someone who’s just getting into soldering like me this product is great.

  • Just got mines in and it looks beautiful. BTW comes with a 900M-T-0.8D Tip… just to be specific… I measured mines and its actually 0.7mm which is perfect!
    Thanks!
    Check eBay for the tips:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/4-pcs-Soldering-Tip-Tips-900M-T-0-8D-936B-iron-/320367048940?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4a975d38ec

  • I just got mine but the screw that holds the tip in place is cracked..?

  • I’m curious, why don’t you carry Hakko? True, the knock offs are cheaper, and maybe they are almost as good, but lots of good products get knocked out of the market by cheap knock offs that don’t display their short comings until the original quality builder goes out of business.

    • AFAIK Aoyue stations are clones.
      I’m loving my Aoyue int 937+, and it was more than half the price of an actual hakko station.
      From what I was able to gather they are nearly the same thing, even the replacement parts are interchangeable.
      If the knock-off is as solid as the real thing then why should we shun the well made knock-off? I can do without “hakko” on the face of my station if it means I have money left over for parts and stripboard :-)

  • Is that stock Correct? 455 in stock? dont mess with my emotions man!

  • Picked up one of these and just love it! No more almost burning down my house.

  • Are these ever coming back?

  • I’ve had this on back order for a week now. sure hope they come in soon… any info on when it will?

  • Any idea when these will be back?

  • Any word on restocking these?

  • I got one of these with my Free Day order but it appears to be broken. The red LED comes on but it never heats up, even at maximum temperature setting. The unit appears to be an Atten 936B (not Aoyue 936A). I checked the heating element with a multimeter - the white wires had a very high (in the 100M range) resistance and the resistance between the red and yellow wires was near zero. I think mine may have a defective iron and/or heating element.

    • My replacement unit came and it works great! It heats up quickly and has a very nice tip. The handle stayed cool while running at 325 C for an hour or so. I also got the brass sponge to clean the tip and it works well. I was able to solder individual wires to the Nokia LCD SMD connector with this iron.

    • I think I found the problem…it appears the heating element in mine was installed incorrectly. The light blue (clear?) leads were connected to the top half of the PCB which is connected to the heater voltage. The red and yellow leads are connected to the bottom half of the PCB which is connected to the temperature sensing input. When I measured the resistances they were backwards. Sticking an ohmmeter across the blue wires, the resistance drops significantly when I used a hair dryer to heat up the element. Similarly, powering the red/yellow wire pair with a transformer caused the element to heat up.

  • I was given a Duratech version of this station a year ago (came from Jaycar)
    I also have a pair of Scope 25 watt irons (no temperature control) that I have used for the past 8 years. For through-hole work they are perfect. For all but the largest SMD parts the tips are a bit big.
    Compared to those irons, the 936 copies have:
    Pros: The iron is lighter, the cable more flexible.
    It heats up faster than my old irons, and there is a wider selection of tips for it. Since there are many of these under different brand names, you can buy pretty much any spare you need from eBay or multiple shops. Variable temperature.
    Cons: Cheaper quality than my Scope irons, I suspect something will break before the Scopes do. No idea how accurate the temperature control is, I don’t think I would trust it for anything critical (which kind of makes it pointless unless you can check the calibration).
    Despite the larger range of tips, they are still lacking some I would like to buy for it (Eg: 0.5mm Chisel)
    Note: I make no claim that the Sparkfun iron sold here has the problems that mine does. It may not, but I assume it is very similar to mine.

  • I was just about to buy this iron when I saw how much shipping was to Canada, $55!!!!! I don’t blame SF, I’m sure it comes in a big heavy box, but for that price I got a real Hakko 936 instead

    • Shipping price is a little ridicules if you’re trying to ship it out of the states. Note to sparkfun, if you can make it fit in a 12x12x5-½" (max 20lb) box shipping would only be $35.

  • After a couple of months of mulling it over I bought this station. I couldn’t be happier. I have read all the reviews and yes, maybe if you have used a higher priced quality iron you can tell a difference in this unit. If you have used a cheap Radio Shack iron or the like this thing will make a world of difference in how you view soldering a project together. This truly does make the job easy and a pure joy. If I do run into any snags with this station I will detail what they are, but for now I am extremely pleased with this purchase.

  • Hey everyone, I have decided that I need to quit putting things off and just dive in to all this good stuff. I have decided to just skip the whole “firestarter” cheepo irons all together. I had though I had settled on this one however I just found the Aoyue 937+ on amazon. With it only being $4-5 more when shipping is accounted for, I just dont know anymore.<br />
    <br />
    Please your thoughts are most needed right now, so please enlighten this poor ingnorant newb.<br />
    <br />
    Thanks

  • I don’t get it in the specs it clearly states 428-896F, but the Hakko website, and the station itself state 392-896F. Is this just a typo or what?

    • Also, what soldering iron do most sparkfun employees use, im assuming you know your good irons unlike me(13 years old and using crappy radioshack irons). ;)

  • I have a friend who has one of these Hakko 936 clones. It’s OK. By OK, I mean, better than a $10 firestarter. However it’s definitely NOT a 936, and there are a few things about it that should put off even the modest hobybist: The handle seems much weaker than a real 936. The circuitry seems flaky and often doesn’t hold temperature very well, and most annoying, the recovery and output are FAR below the real 936. I’ve soldered large brass gears, motor shafts, and lead battery terminals with my 936 and it’s highly impressive. I think the heating element in this may not be nearly the same quality. I feel like it’s worth the extra for the original 936 from Hakko. (The 936 is also made in Japan, like all of my Hakko irons, which is a deal-breaker in and of itself.) Sparkfun should carry the real 936! :)

  • I got one of these last week, one of the last ones and I love this thing. My only complain is the Iron Holder. When you place the iron on the iron holder it doesn’t stay in place and it moves around allowing for the hot iron to touch the plastic of the holder. In my case I have another iron holder which I will be using but other than that its a awesome station and for the price you cannot beat it.

  • Looking to buy either this iron or the 70W iron. Anyone here able to tell me if the extra $40 dollars it worth it just for hobby use and tinkering around. Or will this one work fine for what I plan on doing with it without the added expense.
    Right now am currently tinkering with Arduino’s and homemade electronic musical circuits to give you ideas about how it will be used.
    Thanks for any help in advance.

    • I’ve got a 45Watt Aoyue iron myself, and I really haven’t needed the extra power. I’ve desoldered heatsinks from an RoHS motherboard with my 937+, it just takes some extra heat and time to liquefy the solder.
      45W is plenty for everything I’ve used it for, and if you’re going to be making instead of salvaging, you’ll be fine.

    • Hey Blackrifle, i recently bought this soldering iron over the 70w one because of the price and for what im doing, which is just tinkering around with electronics this is exactly what i needed it heats up fast and keeps a good temp. and im happy i still have the extra money i didn’t spend on the 70w one.

    • So far this 50w has worked fine for a hobby iron.
      GIGANTIC diference between one of these and a fire starter.
      The handle got slightly warm after 2 ½ Hrs at 350C.

  • Aww… these went out of stock right when I was ready to buy one :s

  • do you guys have the replacement tips for these guys?

  • oh sure you get this after i buy another soldering station. i know its just a elenco, but hey its been working great for me so far, if i get some extra cash this xmas i will buy this guy i think.

  • Could someone who has picked up one of these stations tell me how hot the handle gets after like 10 minutes of using it. One of the main problems that I have with the iron that I have right now is that it gets super hot and you can’t almost hold it in your hand. The insulation usually sucks in most irons so I wondering how it is on this one. I checked the similar models from Hakko and AOYUE and they all complain about this issue.

    • I know this is a necropost, but if anyone is wondering I can vouch for the Aoyue station.
      I have the 937+, which is nearly the same, the difference being a LED display that shows the current heating element temp. I’ve used mine for hours on end with zero issues, and most of it’s power-on time has been spent at ~390C for desoldering lead-free and heatsinked parts. The stock tip is still goin' strong too :)

    • I haven’t had any issues with heat buildup in the handle so far. First thing I did with it was assemble an Arduino ProtoShield Kit and that was ~10 to 13 mins of running 300F. I forgot what a good iron is like, this thing heats up very quick with the temp becoming stable after about a minute.

  • Hey you guys should carry a good fume extractor because i’ve been wanting to do some indoor soldering. but i’ve been lazy and havent wanted to order off another website so if u guys stock one it would defiantly come in handy with this and i would get one.
    I could just do it anyway but i think its better i not breath in those fumes and grow a third arm.

  • does it work with adaptator for 220 volt french elcetric network ?

  • Just wondering approximately how long does it take for this to heat up to a useable temperature? just wondering.

    • 20 seconds maybe? Really less than that. I usually turn the iron on then go in search of water for the sponge.
      The red LED on the front will be constantly on while the iron is heating up. Then the LED will start to pulse slowly (on for around three seconds, off for around three seconds, repeat). This is showing how the unit is maintaining a constant temperature (also called a control loop or feedback loop).

  • Which tips can be used with this iron? Can all of the tips sold here fit on this iron?

  • In addition, I think if you have a very limited budget the knockoffs should be just fine for most people.

  • One question, one suggestion.
    Question - how noisy is this iron? I have a similar unit (definitely not a rebadged Hakko, but an own-brand job from Maplin here in the UK) and it’s great - except that it generates a huge amount of RF hash which it seems to inject straight back into the mains. If you’re in the habit of having short-wave radio on in your workspace, this can be a real downer.
    Suggestion - an old trick for running simple 110v equipment on 220v mains is the wattless dropper, a suitably specified diode in line with the AC supply. This is not much good for anything that cares about waveform, but when you’re driving a resistive load to make heat (or light) it’s surprisingly effective. For this sort of application, a 1N4005 is traditional. Anyone brave enough to try?

    • I picked one up and it’s completely quiet.
      To answer another question below about heat up time: I didn’t time it, but it’s not super quick. I think somewhere around a minute to get to temperature. Seems to hold the temp very nicely.
      I’d be happier of the threaded connection on the tips had a little less play, but so far it feels like a solid value of the price for people looking to graduate from the $5 Radio Shack special.
      Can’t wait to see some alternate tips in stock.

      • He/she means radio frequency noise, which we can’t hear. So even if it sounds quiet that doesn’t mean it’s not gonna interfere with a shortwave box.

  • So confused.
    So this is not the hakko, but looks (except for the logo) identical to the hakko (including model numbers), and costs half the hakko?
    Theres gotta be a catch somewhere here.

    • The catch is that it’s not made by hakko. It’s made by some chinese company to look exactly like the hakko. Maybe they even stole the designs to it. But most likely it’s using cheaper processes, cheaper components, with less Q&A, etc. That’s not to say it’s bad though, sfun seems to think highly of it, and I tend to trust their judgement.

    • It’s not a Hakko, it’s a well-built knock-off (Aoyue), but these are the same stations we used at QuahogCon 2010 (though without the Sparkfun logo. D'oh!) It’s an epic unit, and everyone was amazed that it only cost what it did… I even got one for myself (The “Int 936”, not “B”, but whatever)
      The long and short of it is, if you have a firestarter, you NEED this. I literally welded a chunk out of my firestarter over time.. its tip look more like something you would find on the end of Captain Hook’s prosthetic hand than what you’d find on a soldering iron.
      IIRC, this iron will also fit all Hakko tips.

  • “We can’t enough good things about this iron "
    Apparently not.


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