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WELLER soldering iron reliability?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Andrew VK3BFA, May 23, 2006.

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  1. Just had my 2nd shop WELLER WTCP iron go open circuit in the heating
    element - it joins the other one in the junk pile at the back. Been
    through 2 replacement elements in 2 years - not good enough. If I
    replace the 2 that have failed, these 2 irons will have gone through 5
    elements. Not good enough. Went and bought a HAKKO.

    Question - anyone else having these reliability problems, or is it just

    Andrew VK3BFA.
  2. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Andrew VK3BFA"

    ** It's not just you.

    Must have gone through 4 heaters and 5 switches in my WTCP before I turfed
    it for a Hakko 900.

    The rot set in when Weller started making spare parts in Australia - at
    their factory in Albury IIRC.

    Have been using Hakko now for about 10 years, two 900M irons and one station
    with ZERO failures.

    Even their tips last for yonks.

    A really top product.

    ........ Phil
  3. Dunno, I have mine running for over 15 years. Still original.

  4. I had a single failure of my two irons in
    the last 10 years. The local weller distributor
    replaced the faulty element free of charge, even
    as it was long out of warranty.

    But the tips seem to become worse. I have to
    replace them at increasing speed. Say every
    couple month. And this even if I don't use them
    every day. It is switched off then.

  5. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    The tip reliability certainly went downhill when Weller sold out to
    Cooper and eventually stopped making their own tips. I believe Vanier
    make the tips nowadays, not nearly as long lasting. I dont think the
    iron plating is as thick as it once was.
  6. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    Well the old product was very good. I have my first WTCP starting
    around 1975 and only replaced the heater and the switch once up until
    1999 when the transformer developed a short and overheated thus
    melting the plastic case. The iron itself was still ok though. I made
    do with another base unit which had seen better days until I bought a
    new WTCP about 5 months ago. I will see how it goes for reliability.
    At least they are still made locally in Aus which is something.
  7. SioL

    SioL Guest

    My first weller was second hand, looked at least 5 years old at the time of
    purchase and is still going strong some 7-10 years later.

    Another one in the shop is now about 5 years old, still no problem.

    Last one is about 7 months old WMD-3, all 3 heaters working like a swiss

  8. Leon

    Leon Guest

    I used a Weller soldering station for some years without any problems,
    then sold it when I got a second-hand Metcal system a couple of years
    ago. That is very reliable, also, and the cartridges (even the pointy
    1/64" one I use most) still work as well as when they were new.

  9. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest


    ** Seems the OP is speaking of the *Australian* built version of this: Images/images/hi_res/images/WTCPTD.jpg

    Ever see one ??

    ........ Phil
  10. Nico Coesel

    Nico Coesel Guest

    Its not you. Weller sucks. Their tips wear out way to fast too. I had
    some Weller irons in the past, but they also died too soon. Since then
    I buy Ersa.
  11. I also recently had 2 different weller irons fail. Now im looking into which
    to replace it with. Maybe not so much at weller now.
  12. GregS

    GregS Guest

    I used XyTronic from Jameco for years. I still have these around.
    I used to use the unregulated Ungar and Radio Shack types.
    They all worked for me, but using this Weller WRS 3000
    is a real treat. I'm not used to using such a small iron with such high power 80 watts.
    I could never go back to those bulky irons. No problems yet other than keeping the
    solder sucker cleaned out.

  13. SioL

    SioL Guest

    The irons are great, but the tips do wear out too fast.
    Maybe its the fact that the ones I buy say "Made in Germany" on the box.

    Anyone else from EU here to report?

  14. SioL

    SioL Guest

    Now that is one tip that wears really fast, the solder sucker tip.
    That handy tool with the cleaning pins/drills is helpfull for cleaning it out.
    It was included with mine.

  15. Guest

    Anybody know where to get tips these days for Weller W-40 irons? These
    are the ones that have the magnetic temperature control slug in the
    tip. I have two that have been running for 20 years, but I don't see
    the tips any more in Digikey etc. Any pointers appreciated!
    Regards, Terry King ...On The Mediterranean in Carthage
    (Back ...In The Woods In Vermont for the Summer)
  16. In message <kiYcg.3362$>
    Can't say I've ever used a Weller, but the Antex 660TC is nice. The XS25
    non-temperature-controlled irons are also pretty good if you keep an eye on
    the temperature. When the handle starts getting warm, kill the power and let
    it cool down for a bit - usually means the element's gone past 300C and is in
    "lift the tracks instantly" territory.

    The 660TC is 50W and temperature controlled. Built like a tank and much nicer
    than the XS. Thinner, lighter and less likely to go into thermal runaway (the
    XS tends to do that if you don't get the tip all the way on).
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