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New tool report: holy crap is this the best butane soldering iron ever!

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  • New tool report: holy crap is this the best butane soldering iron ever!

    I've had butane soldering irons for decades, Weller, Portasol etc, they've all been kinda crappy POS. Leak gas, igniters break, catalytic elements break, flimsy. Besides shop work I often take them to a set or client's workshop. I saw one on Amazon from Lexivon that looks a step up, for no more money, $33. Holy crap! Solid as hell and heats in seconds. The heat port is right on the side of the tip, so it's easy to use for heat shrink tubing after soldering a splice. Plus its easy to set it up with the vent facing up when you put it down resting on the lighting housing. I don't have to go looking for my soldering iron stand.

    Turns out it's identical to several others on the market like Dremel versatip 2000, Versaflame 2200 and Power probe ppsk. How do I know? They actually have a website unlike so much crap on Amazon, and is made in Taiwan not PRC.

    Of course time will tell, but I'm loving it. Can't wait to try torch mode for a micro silver soldering job. I hate corded irons because soldering is occasional not a constant where I'd have a proper station set up.

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    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

  • #2
    Looks nice. Another tool on my wish list.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.


    • #3
      This reminds me- I have (or had) something similar. Yes, the infrequent use means the gas is gone by the time you want to use it again. Mine was refilled by those butane tanks that are about half the size of a spray can. I've never been fond of that- you lose gas and it's finicky. I hope yours works better than mine.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


      • #4
        I have one just like that and have to agree! I got mine as a premium when I re-upped a subscription to Areo Modeller Magazine (a British mag) for 2 years. I figured it would be a cheapo unit but was pleasantly surprised when I got it.
        Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
        Specialty products for beating dead horses.


        • #5
          I have one of these:

          Had it for nearly 20 year and never an issue. The cheaper, smaller modelswere made in china but this model is made in Ireland.


          • #6
            Originally posted by macona View Post
            I have one of these:

            Had it for nearly 20 year and never an issue. The cheaper, smaller modelswere made in china but this model is made in Ireland.
            Interesting, it has basically the identical tip and heater structure, but the igniter is different. At least my guys copied a successful product! Hopefully after the patents ran out...
            Location: Jersey City NJ USA


            • #7
              Yeah, it used a piezo igniter. The design is well over 20 years old at this point.


              • #8
                Some of the older ones I had had basically a lighter sparker in the cap. The previous Bernzamatic one was piezo, but had a really clunky flame lock, was flimsy, and could barely run 5 minutes on the tank.
                Location: Jersey City NJ USA


                • #9
                  Nice to hear! maybe 18 years ago I got one of the Weller Pyropen butane irons for my work. I used it quite often doing repairs out on the factory floor. I quite liked it and got a lot of use out of it. I left that job about 10 years ago and left the iron behind as it was a company tool. A bit over a year ago, I was convinced to go back to work there and sure enough, almost my entire tool kit was still there including the Pyropen. By now, it did not really work well, the lighter was unreliable and it had a difficult time starting. After looking at most of the butane powered offerings out there, I found them to be either really cheap looking or what I felt was overly expensive. So I opted for one of the Isotip rechargeable battery powered ones, which works OK for what I need it for.

                  Seeing this for 33 bucks, I think I'll get one for myself and if I have the same impression I'll have the job get one for use there. Thanks for posting the review.


                  • #10
                    Question for the crowd, is there anything to this 'ultra refined butane' stuff they're on about? They say to use special extra refined, like 3 to 12x, or it might clog. WTF?
                    Location: Jersey City NJ USA


                    • #11
                      This is the min and max flames with mine. I only use it very occasionally now mainly when I need a lot of heat energy that my metcal station can’t provide. I maybe fill it every couple years.

                      i have a hard time believing the ultras refined stuff. What you get in a can is about as pure as it’s going to get.

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