For most interior designers, stained glass is the new norm for artsy homes or spaces. More and more people are buying into the idea of stained glass designs for various interior design pieces such as wall clocks, windows, tables, doors, among other décor pieces. All these pieces may require the best soldering iron for stained glass at some point when they get damaged.
This means that the demand for creating stained glass is growing by the day and soldering irons for stained glass are becoming a necessary toolkit to have.
There are plenty of options in the market today and it can be quite a daunting task to identify the best or most practical one. It is important to make the right choice when getting the best soldering iron for stained glass because it determines how best you will do your job.
This means that you relay have to do your homework. Do not worry; this is why we are here for you. To do the dirty job and give you the best result out of all the options.
In our search, we narrowed down to five best options in the market which we will review below for your guidance.
What must you consider when choosing the best soldering iron for stained glass?
First, you need to get one with a heat resistant handle that has a balanced feel when you hold it and is comfortable to work with. There are two types of handles which include the pencil and hatchet type. The hatchet is more comfortable because its center of gravity is closer to the hand than the pencil handle.
It should ideally also be of medium weight which is also for comfort reasons because it reduces your fatigue if you work with it for long periods
- Ability to retain heat
It should have the capability of continuously producing the proper level of heat to melt the solder that you are working on. The required heat is about 60 watts
There are two types of element – ceramic and Nichrome. They are both heat resistant wires but have different features. Ceramic irons are normally smaller with the tip being the hottest part. This means that it can heat up faster but has little capability to retain heat. As a result, it cannot be used for extended periods. On the other hand, Nichrome is best suited for large bodies of metal because it has the ability to store more heat and can maintain a certain temperature over a prolonged period. When both are compared, Nichrome is more preferred because it can retain heat.
Different soldering works require different tips and temperatures to work with. When choosing the best soldering iron for stained glass go for the one that is multipurpose. The best one is the one that has a ¼” tip which is best suited for lead or copper foil projects. However, if you are doing decorative soldering, go for smaller tips which do a better job. There are several options of tips which include the chisel, angle chisel, point tips and conical varieties. The most common is the chisel tip.
|Model||Power output and temperature||Weight|
|Weller W100PG Fahrenheit Heavy duty soldering iron||100 watts|
|Weller WLC200 stained glass soldering iron||80 watts||2.7 pounds|
|Hakko FX601-02 Soldering Iron||67 watts|
|Tasi Home Soldering Iron Kit||60 watts|
|Sywon soldering iron kit||60 watts|
This heavy-duty soldering iron lives up to its name because it has a CT6F7 tip that heats up to 700 degrees using 100 watts of power. This means you have total control over the maximum tip temperature which ensures you have more exact and perfect soldering.
The soldering iron comes with a modular plug that is stainless steel which allows you to have more flexibility when using it. This ensures greater efficiency which makes it one of the best soldering irons for stained glass related works.
Thanks to its Nichrome wound heating element, it makes this gadget an ideal choice for stained glass artists. This is because it has the ability to preserve a stable temperature which is very important for the perfect finish for an artsy job.
When it comes to pricing, we can agree it provides value for money considering all the features it comes with. Further, it is a lightweight gadget which makes it a great choice to work with for extended periods without causing exhaustion.
- It comes with the Nichrome element
- It can keep heat for extended periods
- It is lightweight so comfortable to work with for long periods
- It is portable
- It is most recommended for beginners because it has a thermostat control which means there is no need to regulate heat during the soldering process
- It is more expensive in comparison to other models
- It takes a long time to cool off after use
This model comes with 80 watts power capacity, a soldering station which includes a safety guard iron holder, and a sponge tip cleaning pad. Other features include on/off switch with “power-on” indicator light and a flexible power control which goes from 5 to 80 watts which provides complete control and versatility for use. This is what makes it stand out for stained glass operations.
The on/off power indicator ensures you are well protected from possible power-related accidents. It can also work with either MTG20, 21, or 22 tips which allow continuous flow of heat as you work.
Its grip which is cushioned with foam provides comfort when working for longer periods. It is also a lightweight gadget weighing only 2.7 pounds. The pencil-like design provides perfect finish results due to its simple and precise soldering ability.
- It comes with a safety guard iron holder and a sponge tip cleaning pad
- It has a 7-year warranty from the manufacturer
- The power control which varies from 5 to 80 watts provides flexibility
- It is comfortable and lightweight for use
- The tip variance is limited
- It is only limited to 80 watts so it takes a longer time to complete a job
This adjustable temperature controlled soldering iron is a great option for soldering stained glass. This is because it comes with an electric adaptable closed loop temperature control system. The system allows you to efficiently choose your preferred temperature that suits the soldering work to be done.
The temperature control system also allows continuous flow of heat throughout the soldering process so there are no cold points while you work. This is particularly important for a soldering when doing this type of artwork.
The manufacturer also considered the aesthetics of this model because its slim design is appealing which brings about comfort as you work for long periods.
- It is ideal for soldering works that need some motion
- It has electronic controls and ceramic heater which is efficient for stable and accurate work
- It is durable
- It has an aesthetic design which makes it appealing
- It has a consistent flow of heat due to its temperature control system which is perfect for heavy-duty work
- It is more expensive than other models with similar features
- It does not come as a kit
The Tasi Home soldering iron is a high-quality model which has a patented design that makes it easy to use and great for soldering stained glass. The high quality is responsible for its durability.
It comes with a soldering station which keeps the soldering iron tip’s temperature steady. Its heating element has a measured heating element enables to switch the power when needed.
You have the flexibility to choose your preferred temperature to work with as long as the heat discharged from the tip is constant. It has a red light indicator which gives you an indication when there is a drop in temperature. When the light goes off, you should stop soldering until it is back to normal. This is how you will keep tabs on the temperature fluctuation.
The model comes with a complete kit that is inclusive of three tips for your different welding requirements. As for the power output, the Tasi Home has an output of 60 watts.
- It comes with a red light indicator which gives you an indication when the tip temperatures drop
- It has an anti-static lead for safety purposes
- It has a variety of tips for use depending on the type of work you have
- It has an adjustable temperature control which allows flexibility as you work
- It has a calm handle which protects against possible accidents
- There is no on/off switch
- The ground lead and clip cannot be detached and may get in the way of soldering
This model comes with adjustable temperature option which ranges between 200 to 450 degrees. The temperature control has an LED indicator to guide you. Thanks to its ceramic design, the soldering iron has the ability to heat up quite fast while still maintaining the proper temperature. When there is extended overheating you do not have to worry about the metal melting because it has a heat insulating material and steel which is put together.
The temperature scale ranges from green to red with a red indicator showing the soldering iron temperature. This scale is able to show you the heat levels while you are working.
The soldering kit comes with various components which include a 60 watts soldering iron two tweezers, a tin wire, a solder sucker, five soldering tips, and a holder with a cleaning sponge. Also, all these items are contained in a PU leather bag which makes it a great gift for soldering fans.
- It comes with a fully stocked kit
- It has a temperature indicator (LED)
- The soldering kit comes in an appealing leather bag
- The temperature scale ranges from green to red which allows you to properly regulate the temperature
- The soldering kit can serve several purposes apart from soldering stained glass
- The gadget is not able to maintain heat at the tip
So there you have it. The above five choices should provide you with at least one tool that will meet your soldering needs for your stained glass.
After carefully examining each of the choices, their pros, and cons, we would highly recommend the Weller W100PG Fahrenheit Heavy-duty soldering iron because it meets all the basic requirements and then some. Though it is not inclusive of the kit, it will give you value for your money.
What stands out about this gadget is its power output and thermostat control which allows you to adjust the temperature to the level you want to work with. It also comes with the Nichrome element which retains heat for extended periods. Since working with stained glass requires a lot of time, this model will definitely meet your heating needs.
The best part about though is that it can work on both lightweight and heavy-duty jobs on stain glass so it is a sort of ‘one size fits all’ type of model. The only downside is that it is quite pricey when compared to the rest. But as we mentioned earlier, it will give you value for your money so do not shy away from getting yourself one of these.
If art or interior design is one of your hobbies, now you can learn how to solder stained glass right at the comfort of your home. All you have to do is buy the right soldering tool and get yourself some DIY lessons. Remember, as long as you have the right tools, soldering stained glass should not be that difficult to achieve.
A soldering iron is the most important gadget to have for this process so ensure you do your homework well, get reviews from other stained glass developers, and consult before settling on a choice.
We hope this article will give you the inspiration you need to get yourself the best soldering iron for stained glass. Get yourself the best soldering iron for stained glass already!