The need for solder parts can arise when repairing radio equipment, household appliances, electronics, jewelry, and various parts of a car. A familiar tool with which this type of work is associated is an electric soldering iron.
Not everyone knows about other varieties of this device, however, modern models of butane soldering irons have several advantages over their electrical counterparts. However, compared to similar electrical appliances, they have many advantages. The device performs all the functions of an electrical analog and can do even more.
The butane soldering iron is a device that is finding more and more fans among jewelers, electronic repairman, and even chefs. This article shows the most reliable butane soldering irons used in various situations. We have compiled a small guide that can be very useful to you when choosing the best gas soldering iron.
Benefits of butane soldering iron
Like any device, a butane soldering iron is not devoid of positive and negative sides. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with them before buying. The pros and cons presented apply to all models, even premium products.
The butane soldering iron is a versatile compact device that is convenient to use when there is no connection to the mains, as well as when it is necessary to solder parts from various materials. We use it for desoldering radio components, heating pipes, and threaded connections, soldering large elements using refractory solder, softening old paint and varnish coatings, and other types of work.
The main distinguishing feature of butane soldering irons is the possibility of autonomous operation. With the help of such devices, you can solder parts of various sizes in any condition, and not just at the worktable. Butane soldering irons can be used in hard-to-reach places, while the working area of electrical devices is limited by the length of the cord and depends on the location of the outlet.
Perhaps the main advantages of the above-described tool are its quick warm-up and the ability to work portable. After turning on the electric soldering iron, it takes some time for it to warm up. And you can start using gas immediately after switching on.
Most models of butane soldering irons are equipped with a special lock that protects the device from spontaneously switching on. Within 15-50 seconds, they heat up to 840-3600° F (450-2000° C) and can operate in several modes:
- soldering with a heated tip using a connecting substance;
- burner – heat treatment of the surface of parts using an open flame;
- air brazing carried out because of a narrowly directed gas flow.
In order to start working with an electrical appliance, you will need to wait 5-7 minutes, while the ability to regulate heating is provided only with inexpensive models. The operating temperature of such devices is 840° F (450° C).
Butane Soldering Irons Comparison Table
|Solder tip temperature||Heating time||Power|
|Weller P2KCbest overall||850° F / 454° C||40 s||25 – 75 W||Review|
|Master Appliance Ultratorch UT-100SiK||482-932° F / 250-500° C||40 s||20 – 80 W||Review|
|Dremel 2000-01 VersaTip||1022-2192° F / 550-1200° C||50 s||N/A||Review|
Best Butane Soldering Iron Reviews
Weller P2KC – best overall
Let’s start our review with a compact butane soldering iron that will not leave you indifferent.
The Weller P2KC and its butane soldering iron kit have everything you need to solder jewelry, small parts, wiring, plastic plates, and more. With a power of 25-75 W and an operating temperature of up to 850° F (454° C), all tasks can be solved. The device has a compact and lightweight design. The P2KC soldering iron has a piezoelectric ignition which makes it quick and easy to start the device. The manufacturer also provided for an automatic shutdown. This makes the use of a soldering iron as safe as possible.
One of the main advantages of Weller P2KC is continuous use for up to 90 minutes because the device is well-designed and does not overheat, which makes it one of the best butane soldering iron in our review. A quick refueling (about 20 sec.) With Weller Butane (WB1 / WB2) allows you to resume work immediately. And another important feature of the soldering iron is that it can be used with a mini-torch with a Weller PPT12 tip.
- Power, W: 25 – 75
- Solder tip temperature: 850° F / 454° C
- Heating time, s: 40
Master Appliance Ultratorch UT-100SiK
Next, we will consider the Ultratorch UT-100SiK, butane soldering iron from Master Appliance. This soldering iron differs from many other butane soldering kits with a light metal body and a thin tip. Soldering iron tips are made using Ultratip technology. Namely – they have more than double the thickness of iron and chrome plating compared to standard brass tips, which provides higher thermal conductivity and longer service life.
Besides, the soldering iron comes with a copper-plated chisel tip and a hot air soldering nozzle. And another interesting addition is the presence of a nozzle for working with heat-shrinkable materials on wires. Great for heat shrink tubing and welded sleeves. With a wide range of attachments, this soldering iron will be a valuable tool for the workshop.
Let’s talk about performance. UT-100SiK is fueled by butane gas. The manufacturer has equipped this soldering iron with a self-ignition system, which allows the soldering iron to heat up to operating temperature in 30 seconds. Moreover, it has no flame and is ready to use in 30 seconds. The temperature of the tip reaches 932° F (500° C), the temperature of the hot air is 1202° F (650° C). This power is equivalent to a 20 to 80 W electric soldering iron.
- Power, W: 20 – 80
- Solder tip temperature: 482-932° F / 250-500° C
- Heating time, s: 40
Dremel 2000-01 VersaTip
The Dremel VersaTip 2000-01 VersaTip is a soldering iron that comes with 6 replacement tips. This easy-to-use butane-fueled tool is ideal for soldering, melting, cutting heat-sensitive materials, and removing paint from small surfaces.
It is powered by refined liquid butane, which is filled into a 17 ml reservoir. This amount of butane is enough for 45 minutes of intensive work at maximum settings or 90 minutes at minimum settings. Instant piezo ignition in 25 seconds heats the tip to 1022° F (550 ° C), which is equivalent to 80 W of power.
The soldering iron has a choice of temperature conditions, which allows you to meet the requirements of any work as much as possible, and this is a strong argument to call this the best gas-powered soldering iron. Besides, the temperature of the open fire is 2192° F (1200° C), the hot air temperature is 1256° F (680° C). The soldering iron comes in a metal box with a practical set of tips and accessories.
- Solder tip temperature: 1022-2192° F / 550-1200° C
- Heating time, s: 50
Scope of use of gas soldering irons
The main feature of such soldering irons is their versatility. The tool is suitable for almost any purpose, including it can solve not only professional tasks but also several everyday ones:
- Heating up pipes, joints, rusted system elements, and so on.
- Cutting plastic elements. Many modern models are able not only to quickly, accurately, and accurately cut plastic materials but also weld them if necessary.
- Removing old paint and varnish coatings from surfaces.
- Soldering of parts with an open flame, where the temperature rises to a thousand degrees. Additionally, special hard solders should be used.
- Repair car parts, including electrics, outside the garage and workshop. For example, it is convenient to use a gas soldering iron when repairing equipment on the side of the road.
- Point soldering of microcircuits using a thin tip.
However, these are not all the capabilities of this device, except for standard household tasks, professionals use a butane soldering iron for:
- Ensuring tight connection of copper pipes;
- Elimination of small cracks;
- Repair of printed circuit boards, on which there are several types of solder;
- High-quality fixation of copper wires in various areas;
- Repair of industrial or automotive equipment;
- Removing unnecessary fasteners.
The tool is of particular interest to electricians and installers, who often perform work on objects that are not connected to electrical networks.
What to look for when choosing a butane soldering iron
If a person first encounters such a device, then finding a suitable model may not be so easy. After all, you first need to decide on the type of work being carried out. Only after that, proceed to the selection of a specific model according to the following technical characteristics:
Maximum temperature value
This parameter affects the area of use of the device. Everything is simple here, the higher this value, the more work a person can carry out. However, if a product is purchased for domestic use, the recommended value is 1500° F. Professional devices designed for difficult types of work have a temperature of 2000° F.
The presence of a regulating element
Surprisingly, some companies release a product without this component, so they reduce the cost. However, it is best to buy products where the presence of a flame regulator is provided because it is more convenient to work with it.
Flame type used
There are several options – vortex, pencil, multipurpose. The first is designed for quick surface heating, the second is used for spot soldering, and the third is needed for people who do not need high temperatures. Therefore, everything here also depends on the requirements of the user himself.
Fuel tank capacity
The volume depends on how long the product can work without recharging.
What causes the ignition
There are two models with and without piezoelectric elements. It is preferable to buy the first option, as it is more convenient and practical.
How does a gas soldering iron work
The principle of operation of a gas soldering iron is similar to that of a lighter. Liquefied gas is fed through a valve and ignited by an external element (piezo or external fire source). The main difference is the catalyst, which diffuses the flame. And only then the flame reaches the nozzle.
How to fill butane soldering irons
In order for the device to function properly, it must be constantly refueled. For this, it is recommended to use refined butane, it is easy to find it since such fuel is used in all gas lighters.
Refueling should be carried out in accordance with the following steps:
- The filling valve is tightly fixed;
- The ignition button is locked;
- The regulating element is placed in a neutral position;
- Placing the soldering iron with the filling valve facing up;
- Shake the gas bottle 3-4 times;
- Installation of a filling tank in the corresponding part of the soldering iron;
There is nothing complicated in the refueling process, however, it is not recommended to neglect the established safety precautions, as this can be dangerous for a person, and it is important to remember that all work is carried out in a well-ventilated area. Also, access to the flame is excluded.
How long for a butane soldering iron to heat up
In order for the soldering iron to perform its functions properly, it must be heated to a very high temperature. Depending on the model of the butane soldering iron and it’s features, the heating time of the tip to the operating temperature may vary. However, on average, it is 30 to 90 seconds.
Why butane soldering iron won’t light
There are not so many problems with your butane soldering iron not starting up. The first reason may be the wear of the piezo element that ignites the gas. Catalyst burnout can be a second common problem. In this case, the soldering iron stops starting normally. Also, the problem may be in the absence of gas due to a malfunction of the valves.
Safety tips when working with gas soldering irons
Handling a gas soldering iron, as with any other tool, provides some rules that are aimed at safe use:
- Do not touch the tip of the working soldering iron;
- Do not leave the working tool on the table;
- Do not use a defective gas soldering iron;
- Do not work in an environment where there are volatile flammable substances;
- Do not modify the device yourself.
And most importantly, when working with a soldering iron, always use PPE – gloves and glasses.