If you’ve worked on several electronics projects or are simply a certified “tool guy”, you know that anything cordless is a game-changer. With soldering, the job itself requires certain levels of skills in order to be executed properly. So, having a cordless soldering iron surely makes everything easier and more manageable.
Before investing in one, read our review and buyer’s guide to help you pick the best cordless soldering iron out for your needs. Before getting into the details let’s get a quick overview our top picks.
- Editor’s Choice – Weller BL60MP “Materials are very high quality and the tip is sturdy”.
- Runner-Up – M12 Soldering Iron “Aircraft Avionics Technician for 27 years. By far best soldering iron I’ve used.”
- Best Battery Life – Hakko FX901/P “after using the iron for a year, I have been completely satisfied with it. Works exactly as advertised, provides heat quickly and works well for its intended job.”
- Best Temperature Control – Dremel 2000-1 VersaTip Precision Butane Torch “This little torch has been a complete game changer for my jewellery making!”
- Quickest Heat Up Time – SainSmart ToolPAC Pro 32 “This is just such a great soldering iron, warms up to selected temperature extremely fast, holds the temp really good even when heating up large copper areas and has a extremely nice size.”
- Longest Operation Time on One Charge – Lexivon Butane Soldering Iron “I have used this for heat shrinking electrical connections and did over 50 connections on one tank of fuel. Very easy and reliable so far.”
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Summary
- 2 The Detailed Review
- 2.1 Editor’s Choice – Weller BL60MP
- 2.2 Runner-Up – M12 Soldering Iron
- 2.3 Best Battery Life – Hakko FX901/P
- 2.4 Best Temperature Control – Dremel 2000-1 VersaTip Precision Butane Torch
- 2.5 Quickest Heat Up Time – SainSmart ToolPAC Pro 32
- 2.6 Longest Operation Time on One Charge – Lexivon Butane Soldering Iron
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Summary
The Detailed Review
Weller BL60MP is our top choice as a cordless soldering iron because of its portability, durability, and reliability.
It is powered by rechargeable battery and can last for a good 45 minutes, equivalent to 1100 solder joints. Take note, 1100 solder joints in one charge. It heats up in 35 seconds, which is not really the fastest in the market, but can maintain a temperature of 950 degrees Fahrenheit. One of its unique features is the LED light that illuminates the focus area allowing for more precision. Ergonomically designed, the BL60MP’s handle is round and co-moulded making it easy on the hands. The conical tip also helps with usage and manipulation. The overall build of this unit also makes it an easy pick for the most ergonomic and portable. If you’re looking for a soldering iron that is both reliable and flexible when it comes to different soldering jobs, Weller BL60MP is worth considering. A complete set includes a tool stand, a base charger, and a plug-in power supply.
- Ergonomic design
- LED illumination technology
- lasts up to 45 minutes
- No charging indicator on the stand
- Tip replacement may be hard to find
- No temperature control
Most users rave about the Weller BL60MP‘s fast heat up feature and battery life, and the fact that it can maintain 510 centigrade while being used. The ergonomic design is also a big plus because it is easy to handle and makes tight areas easy to penetrate and solder. Some users appreciate the stand, which makes working away from their workshop very convenient.
Milwaukee is a trusted brand in electric tools so it’s not a surprise that its lithium-ion-powered M12 Soldering Iron makes it a runner-up.
With a heating time of 18 seconds, this soldering tool can last up to 40 minutes on full charge. The three-stop pivoting head allows for easy manipulation. Changing tips is convenient because it’s tool-free. Another cool feature is M12’s heat indicator that allows users to know when the tool is hot enough and ready to be used or cool enough and ready to be put away. The only downside to this model is that relative to the price, you only get the bare tool. This means that the battery must be purchased separately. This also doesn’t come with any warranty. A worthwhile alternative for the complete kit is the Milwaukee M12 Soldering Iron Kit. Nonetheless, the added features such as the heat indicator, three-level pivoting head, and tool-free tip changing are enough to take off unnecessary fuss when using the M12 Soldering Iron.
- Heat indicator
- Tip changing is tool-free
- Three-stop pivoting system
- No warranty
- Battery must be purchased separately.
Based on reviews, what customers appreciate about the product is that it is lightweight but does not compromise performance. The Milwaukee M12 Soldering Iron heats up quickly and the battery lasts a good length of time. In other words, it gets the job done fast. Other users say that the three-level head that pivots really does make it convenient to manipulate especially when working on bad connectors.
The Hakko FX901/P turns out as the most reliable in terms of run time because it can last a maximum of 120 minutes powered by replaceable batteries, and can maintain a temperature of 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
Apart from performance, its ergonomic design of the Hakko FX901/P also makes it easy to handle – it is small, lightweight, and easy to operate. The long battery life and compact design make this model ideal for those working on small projects or simple repairs. Another very useful feature is the ON/OFF switch that ensures safety during usage.
- Small and lightweight
- 120-minute run time
- Has an ON/OFF switch
- Has a tendency to lose power
- Batteries are not rechargeable
- Slow heat up
Most of the user reviews are about the unit’s size – portable and compact. There are comments that it works best when used on small areas or wires such as capacitors and resistors and for small projects like jewelry-making. Some even mentioned that their kids can use it with ease. At its current price, users say that it’s worth the money they spent for it.
Veering away from rechargeable and replaceable batteries, the Dremel 2000-1 Versatip Precision makes it to the list as a butane-powered soldering iron. It is designed with a safety lock that helps avoid accidental ignition. Apart from soldering, this is a reliable unit for other jobs such as pyrography, wood burning and cutting.
Fairly competitive, this cordless soldering iron from Dremel’s line gives a 75-minute run time. Butane tanks are also convenient to refill. Not all cordless soldering irons come with temperature control. This one does! Temperature can be adjusted from 1022 to 2192 degrees Fahrenheit. To some users, this is a necessary feature, especially if the job requires accuracy. So, if you’re into serious soldering jobs or big soldering projects, Dremel 2000-1 Versatip Precision is the perfect tool for you.
- Equipped with temperature control
- Has a safety lock
- Includes accessories
- May pose more hazard than battery-powered units
- Tips may need cleaning from time to time
User comments are mostly on how the safety lock of the Dremel 2000-1 is such as cool feature. Being butane-powered, some users say that it heats up fast and is reliable for big soldering projects. There are also reviews that it is really durable and heavy duty. Its heat control system really works and helps users maintain precision with their soldering jobs.
With a 12-second warmup time, SainSmart ToolPAC Pro 32 proves that it deserves its spot in the Quickest Heat Up category. This is made possible by the dual temperature sensors. An adjustment button makes temperature control possible between 212° F and 752°.
This cordless soldering iron uses USB connection for charging, and may have one of the sleekest designs with its slimmer handle. It is made of SAE 304 stainless steel core. Despite its compact body, the SainSmart ToolPAC is equipped with an OLED display that is used to operate the tool. The display can be configured in order to set the unit to sleep, standby, or operating mode. SainSmart ToolPAC Pro 32 is perfect for emergency soldering jobs that need to be accomplished with precision and within a limited amount of time.
- Compact and pocket-size
- Has a rapid heating mechanism
- Has OLED indicator
- A little expensive
- May be difficult to configure if OLED screen doesn’t work
Some of the features that users like in the SainSmart ToolPAC are the fast heat up time and compact design. Despite being pocket-size, this unit does as good a job as other bigger soldering irons. Users comment that it is worth the hefty price because it does an excellent job at soldering. Reviews also say that temperature can easily be adjusted. It is highly recommended if you’re not into big soldering stations.
Another butane-powered unit to make it to the list is Lexivon’s Butane Soldering Iron. Unlike other soldering tools that come bare, this one is packed complete with accessories, including tips and wrenches. One of the most powerful in the market, this soldering iron can reach a temperature of 2400 degrees Fahrenheit, and has a 75-minute run time, making it ideal for large soldering jobs.
Flame adjustment is also possible. As a safety precaution, manufacturers made sure to use a leakproof refillable metal tank and an ignition stopper with its self-igniting feature. Dubbed as the best butane-powered soldering iron, Lexivon’s Butane Soldering Iron is definitely go-to equipment for those who want fast and precise soldering without having to worry about safety.
- Comes in a hard case with accessories
- Has a 75-minute running time
- Can maintain temperatures as high as 2400 degrees Fahrenheit
- May have to refill fuel tank often
Being butane-powered, some users like the small refillable tank that the tool comes with. Although it may require constant refilling, it is lightweight and comfortable to operate. But the real highlight of Lexivon’s Butane Soldering Iron are the accessories included in the utility case – these are usable and the tips are easily changeable. Some also comment on how fast the unit heats up and how they had no problem using it for wood burning.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are cordless soldering irons used for?
Soldering projects range from light-duty to heavy-duty, and simple home repairs to grand complicated projects. We believe that there’s a right kind of tool for every kind of job. Cordless soldering irons are especially manufactured for those who need a tool they can use anytime, anywhere, for anything. It’s not just something they can use to solder. Instead, it is a portable piece of equipment that can be used for soldering within and outside their workspace. People with mobile lifestyles are the ones who can benefit most from cordless soldering irons.
Why would you want to use one over a regular soldering iron?
More often than note, soldering jobs take time. Also, not all soldering jobs are done at home, in the garage, or at an electric or electronic repair shop. Whether you like it or not, the need for a soldering iron may come up when you’re in your car out on a trip, or enjoying a relaxing day in your boat, or when you’re away from the comfort of your home where you keep all your tools. During these times, you’d wish you had a portable soldering equipment that you can use even without an electric supply. In other words, you wish you had a CORDLESS soldering iron. This portable tool can do a lot of things a regular soldering iron cannot do. It saves you from the inconvenience of having to plug and unplug it everytime you decide to transfer to another workspace, and you can use it if there is no electricity outlet nearby.
So, if, at this point, you’re still wondering whether or not cordless soldering irons are any good, the simple answer is, yes, they are. Though wireless, and probably smaller, cordless soldering irons can compete with regular soldering irons in terms of performance. It’s only a case of one can do what the other cannot, or one can do better than the other. So, if you’re looking to purchase a unit that you can take almost anywhere without dying on you, then’d you want to go cordless.
How to Choose the Best Cordless Soldering Iron
With the tight market competition, how did we come up with the best cordless soldering iron? There is a set of criteria considered in order to pick out the best from the so-so’s. Here are some of the factors we kept in mind for assessing different cordless soldering iron models:
Always, before making a purchase, it is important to check out a product’s features and see how these features fit into your needs. Will you be needing a heavy duty tool to complete big soldering jobs? If so, consider soldering irons that can reach higher temperatures and have a longer running time – ideally, at least 45 minutes. If you are more into smaller projects and smaller repairs, then you can look for smaller, yet easy-to-maneuver units that will allow you to work around tight spaces. With these in mind, we checked and reviewed the availability of certain features in the different soldering iron brands, and ranked them, or labeled them according to their best specification.
Although not all the time, brand matters when it comes to quality. We considered manufacturer names and reputations to come up with our picks. While it’s true that startup brands are worth a try, knowing which names are really in the business of producing quality soldering irons can somehow guarantee high quality.
This is somehow related to features. We considered common needs for a cordless soldering iron and enumerated features to cater to those needs. Who usually use soldering irons? Why do they need a cordless one? These are usually people who work away from their workbench and want a tool that’s easy to manage. Now, it’s time to determine the product specifications that might appeal to these kinds of people.
Actual user experience is one of the most important criteria. It is easy for manufacturers to claim this and that, but firsthand experience from consumers says a lot more about a product. Hence, we checked reviews and rated the different models based on what users say. Through user comments, we’re able to identify false claims from product features that actually work and which products actually deliver.
Choosing the best cordless soldering iron involves a great deal of research to make sure you get the best value for your money. With the whole line of options available in the market, we tried to make it easier for you to find the perfect one for your needs and your lifestyle. We hope we’ve given you sound insight as you take the next step of buying a cordless tool for your soldering projects. Here is a recap of our top picks: