The art of making jewelry has become so popular in the recent days. Some have taken up the hobby for sheer fun, making jewelry for their own use or for their friends while others sell their products to make an extra coin. It doesn’t really matter if you are making jewelry as a hobby or if you want to make a business out of it. If you make metal jewel, the best soldering iron for jewelry is a must have tool.
Other material that you require to make your jewelry are wire cutters, pliers, big eyed beading needle, tape measure, crimp beads and a crimping tool.
Buying Guide for Best Soldering Iron for Jewelry
Below is a list of what you should look out for when buying a soldering iron:
This is the most important factor to consider.
Wattage determines how much power an iron can withstand in its operation. The higher the wattage, the more powerful your iron will be and the more heat it will retain. A soldering iron with a high wattage can maintain a high temperature for longer periods.
It’s important to note that wattage does not affect how hot the iron gets. It however determines how quick the iron tip will reheat after completing a solder joint.
When soldering, the tip loses heat as it transfers it to the wires being joined. Irons with low wattage lose heat faster compared to how fast they can heat up. These are better suited for low duty projects.
2. Size and Shape of the Tip
The size and shape of the tip determines the kind of task that the best soldering iron for jewelry can perform. The available shapes are chisel shaped conical shaped and pointed tips.
For making jewelry, narrow tips are best suited for working with tiny pieces such as links and catches. Smaller tips are great for decorative purposes.
Larger tips, on the other hand, are suitable for working on items that are not delicate or where fine results are not expected.
Most of the new brands in the market come with extra tips. You can also purchase the tips separately. You can then interchange the tips depending on the project being undertaken, and the overall desired look.
3. Type of Solder Iron
There are different types of soldering irons available ranging from automatic, corded, cordless, analogue to extended soldering irons. The different categories of solder irons are:
Soldering pencil. This is the simplest design available and is suitable for simple tasks. Exposure to heat for long periods damages the pencil.
Soldering Gun. These are slightly sophisticated than the soldering pencil and have a short warm up time. Its main characteristic is its ability to convert 110 V AC to a much lower voltage.
They generate too much heat and don’t have temperature controls. They’re therefore not recommended for working on circuit boards.
Soldering stations. These are bench top power stations that consist of a soldering pencil that is integrated with a stand. Due to their temperature regulation capabilities, they have a wide range of functionalities.
Rework/repair station. These are even more complex than the soldering stations. They’re comprised of soldering iron, thermo tweezers and hot air gun.
Most common use of the rework station is in high volume industries.
In matters of size and weight, it’s important to choose a lightweight iron as this is very easy to handle for prolonged periods.
Larger irons are more suited for heavy duty or commercial projects. Note also that the iron’s physical size runs parallel to its wattage rating.
4. Temperature Regulation
Different surfaces require different amounts of heat when being soldered. For example, plastics need very low heat to melt while metals require higher temperatures. That is why soldering irons exist with different temperature designs.
There are models that have an inbuilt thermostatic control and allow the user to maintain a constant temperature all through. These however, tend to be more expensive.
Basic irons with no temperature regulation features are usually the least expensive. To use, all you need to do is just plug it in and you’re ready to get started.
Soldering irons with no thermal control are suitable for simple soldering tasks. For these, there is no form of regulation as the amount of heat generated is equal to the amount of heat lost.
Soldering stations use a separate external temperature control unit such as a rheostat. An external rheostat is recommended because if it breaks, your iron still remains functional. All you need to do is get a new rheostat.
5. Specifications and Features
Some features that you need to examine before purchasing a soldering iron include:
- Anti-static protection: Does it have a three-prong power plug? This helps prevent static discharges that are harmful to some electronic components.
Review for Best Soldering Irons for Jewelry
There are numerous types of soldering irons in the market. The various categories are on basis of their shape and size. It’s important to check all the available options in detail before you can make a decision.
Below is a compilation of the top five soldering irons in the market:
|Magneto 9 Pieces Soldering Iron||9.1 x 6.7 x 1.7 inches||1 pounds|
|YOUSHARES Soldering Iron Kit||2 x 2 x 0.6 inches||1.6 ounces|
|Electric Soldering Iron Kit||9 x 7 x 1.8 inches||7.4 ounces|
|The Iso SolderPro 120 Butane Soldering Iron||1 x 1 x 9.7 inches||6.4 ounces|
|Soldering Iron Tool Kit 110v 60W Adjustable Temperature||7.5 x 2.7 x 1.5 inches||1. 26 pounds|
- Magneto 9 pieces soldering iron 110V with tips, kit 60w, Solder Wire and Stand
This 9 piece kit comes with a customer loyalty 45 day warranty. On top of this, it’s very versatile and offers ideal solutions to most of your soldering needs including jewelry making.
It comes with a solder wire, a stand as well as five different tips. This is basically everything you need to get started.
Apart from your jewelry projects, you can also use it for other purposes such as simple electronics repair and other DIY tasks.
Its handle has a soft grip which is designed to offer comfort while handling. The handle prevents the soldering iron from slipping during use.
The stand holds the iron protecting the user from accidental burns. This will help the user have complete peace of mind while working.
This design has a steel pipe which heats up in just a few minutes and this saves so much time as you can get to work quickly.
- It comes with 5 tips for tasks
- Has a soft handle for better grip and comfort
- Comes with a stand that protect the working surface and the user
- The safety stand is very lightweight and gets quite hot quickly
- The kit does not have a case to enclose all the accessories
- YOUSHARES soldering iron kit with adjustable temperature
This is a 7 in 1 soldering kit that has been upgraded to an even more flexible design that does not require a work station. You can plug it in and use it anywhere which is very convenient.
It has a switch where you can easily turn it on or off. This will save a lot of energy instead of leaving it to idle when not being used. Switching it off will also prevent against any accidental burns.
This soldering iron features a ceramic heater core and heats up very quickly. The ceramic core provided a basis for more consistent temperatures.
Operating at 60 watts, it has a wide range of adjustable temperatures between 200 to 450 degrees Celsius.
For extra versatility in jewelry making, it comes with 6 different tips to meet all kinds of your soldering needs like decorating. In addition to this, it also comes with a solder stand and soldering wire.
You can operate the soldering iron for long hours without getting fatigued, thanks to the non slip grip handle.
- Has a carrying case for convenient transportation and storage
- Allows for temperature regulation
- Comfortable Rubber handle for better grip
- Writings on the dial are quite small and hard to see
- Electric Soldering Iron Kit, 6 in 1 kit, FlePow 60W Adjustable Temperature
This 6 in 1 soldering iron kit features a ceramic heater core and operates at 60W. The ceramic core allows for rapid heating. This saves so much time that would have been spent idling waiting for it to heat up.
This soldering iron has great flexibility in terms of temperature. The range is between 200 and 450 degrees Celsius.
It comes with 6 different tips allowing you to complete different kinds of soldering tasks. Its rubber handle is soft and gives the user good grip to prevent slipping. The comfortable handles allow prolonged use of the soldering iron.
This tool does not require a working station and can be used anywhere. This is made better by the fact that the kit comes with a carrying case making transportation very easy. The manufacturer offers a 12month warranty
- Has a soft rubber non slip handle for better grip
- 6 in 1 kit includes a carry case and other different accessories
- There is a 12 month warranty
- It can prove cumbersome to use
- The IsoTip #7977 SolderPro 120 Butane Soldering Iron
It is cordless which means it does not require a power source and can be used immediately after igniting. It can be used both as a soldering iron and as a torch thanks to its interchangeable tips.
It is very simple and safe to use and can be used anywhere considering its easy portability. The model has a butane tank which can sustain its operations for 2 hours.
What makes this a great tool for jewelry making is the impressive high temperature of between 480 to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a torch option which can reach up to 2800 degrees Fahrenheit and can be used melt gold.
The SolderPro 120 Butane Soldering Iron comes with a 12 month manufacturer’s warranty. It tool can even withstand a range of weather conditions and is quickly and easily refilled with standard butane.
- Its multifunctional due to its interchangeable tips
- Can be used to melt gold
- Comes with a 12month warranty
- Can be used anywhere because its cordless and can withstand a range of weather conditions
- Does not have any childproofing features
- Does not heat as quickly as some previous models
- Soldering Iron Tool Kit, 110v 60W Adjustable Temperature Welding Soldering Iron
This tool has an on /off switch that saves a lot of energy making it to be environmentally friendly. This switch also protects the user from accidental burns. It comes with 5 different tips
This soldering iron operates at 60watts and 110 V and therefore heats up very quickly. The temperature range is between 200 and 450 degrees Celsius.
It is ideal for a wide range of applications. As well as being suited to jewelry projects it is suitable for use in carrying out repairs on electronic devices and computer hardware as well as carrying out a range of craft projects.
The handle is made out of heat resistant silicon and had an anti slip design which makes it safer for use.
- Anti-slip handle that is heat resistant
- Has an On/Off switch
- Very easy to clean
- Comes with 5 tips
- Has a complex user manual
- Take quite some time to cool down
I cannot overemphasize on the importance of getting the most appropriate iron that works for your needs. So the amount of time you spend looking and doing comparisons will totally be worth it.
The rule of thumb here is to choose a soldering iron that goes well with the kind of projects you intend to undertake.
I hope this article will help you to discern what is really important in a soldering iron kit and what you can do without; to get the best value for your money.
Have fun making jewelry with the best soldering iron for jewelry !