The Workbench

Best Soldering Iron for pup and pot work?


Need a new one. I've used an old Radio Shack iron for years but often wondered if it was actually a wise choice for guitar work. Does anyone here know what the best wattage for changing pups or pots should be? I don't know what the wattage is on mine but suspect 20-25. Would 50w be better? Whatcha got for me guys?


I use a Weller 1010 soldering station. It's 85 watts with digital temperature control. I like to heat components quickly, get the work done and get off of it. I also use mine to heat up frets when I pull them. You need a good hot iron for that.


I've fixed hundreds of amps and built 50 or so with an old blue bakelite Weller WTCP. I love it. WHen it finally dies, I'll retire.


Mine is a Weller WES51 - a dial but not a digital display. The digital (1010) version is nice too. In either case I would recommend an adjustable soldering station with a few different tips (at least a wide one and a more pointed one).


Thanks guys. Sounds as though I need a bit more in the wattage dept. I like the idea of an adjustable temp control and may look into that. As I said, I don't do a lot of work, but I'd like to get cleaner, tighter soldering points and I think my old one was just too slow to heat the joints correctly...


I got the Hakko FX-888D that I wanted for Christmas a couple of years ago.

I’m not an expert, but it’s way better than the 20/40W MODE that I had.

It was between that and the Weller 1010, they were about the same price at the time, but now the Weller is $35 to $50 cheaper.


I use the ECG J-SSA-1 75w Analog Soldering Station. Nothing really special about this one but with a fat chisel tip will do pickup and pot soldering in a pinch. has an analog dial and goes from about 300 to 900 degrees F. Cheap and effective.


30 watts is fine for most uses, except when you're soldering a ground to the back of a pot. That takes some serious heat.


30 watts is fine for most uses, except when you're soldering a ground to the back of a pot. That takes some serious heat.

– wabash slim

What he said.


I resently bought a new soldering station from Amazon too Link It's the same one Hickeroar bought! It's a great bang for the buck ($40 USD), it's got plenty of power (65 watts) and comes with a nice kit of soldering iron tips. I like that it has a needle fine tip for close work. The digital temperature control is a very nice feature, and the station, as a whole, is very smartly designed. I bought it after my ancient 15watt soldering iron gave up the ghost. I was in the middle of a repair, and I needed something quickly (and cheap) while I decided on a long-term solution. I got it next day, and finished up the job I was doing. I had thought to upgrade to a name brand, like Weller, but this one is working so well I'm going to keep on using it.

I haven't found anything wrong with this kit, it's adequate for everything I need it for. I use it for basic electronics repairs and building electronics kits (Stew/Mac pedal kits). I'm Jonesing to build their (5e3) 59 Tweed 15watt tube amplifier kit. I'm aspiring to design and build my own tubes amplifiers eventually. It's an area where my "old school" electronics education has always been invaluable for amp repairs so why not take it to the next level? I've cloned a few amps (years ago) but I've never designed one myself (yet).


Went into Canadian Tire yesterday. They have a couple of choices but the one I'm looking at is a Weller that claims to operate at a 60w level with a temp of up to 875. Hope this isn't too much horsepower. BTW, I'm planning on upgrading the pups in a Tele and will include new pots and wiring harness all around. Hence my desire to get a unit that suits this type of work. As pointed out above, it's really the pots that need the more serious heat. Thanks again everyone. Always good advice and suggestions here...

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