Over the years Tradeflame has done a great job of producing high-quality products with optimised control features, and its soldering irons are now reaching maximum temperatures in record times.
We were lucky enough to have a good long look at three different models: the Dual Power 50W/100W-240V; the rechargeable and portable Li-ion 4.2V-12W; and the 240V 18W variable-temperature.
The three cover specific soldering requirements for a range of situations from traditional soldering to electronics, hobby, outdoor and trade use. The range provides everything for the DIYer to the electrician or mechanic.
Test #1: 4.2v 12w Rechargeable Li-Ion Soldering Iron
Producing a maximum temperature of 480°C, this powerful, rechargeable option will deliver a continuous work time of 45 minutes per charge. The 2600mAh, 4.2V Li-ion battery takes two hours to recharge with the provided USB cable and makes this model the perfect choice for tradies or workers who need to solder small to medium jobs onsite on the go.
Taking 3 minutes to hit its maximum temperature and reaching 350°C in just 36 seconds, this impressive little portable unit includes charging/power indicator lights, an ergonomic, comfort-grip handle, a long-life conical tip, LED working light, USB cable, power LED indicator light and anti-roll design. I have to say, for a portable unit this is no toy. It packs a punch, and even on the cold winter day I tested these units, it was piping hot in no time. I soldered wires, electronics and various other materials in our tests, and all were successfully heated to get a solid weld.
- High performance
- Ergonomic design
- Extensive range to suit all user levels
- High-quality materials and components
- Optimised control features
- Increased ease of use
Test #2: 240v 18w Variable Temperature Soldering Iron
The first thing that jumped out at me on this model was the LED display with the adjustable temperature. Having both Precision mode (± 1°C) and Fast mode (± 10°C) makes this iron extremely versatile. You will love the vibration/ motion-sensor energy-saving mode. Standby mode kicks in after 15 minutes of inactivity and reduces the temperature to 200°C. After standby, when the tool’s back in use, the temperature reverts to the selected figure. There is also an auto shut off after 30 minutes inactivity and a calibration mode. The long- life conical tip seems to be a useful feature across the range.
This 240V unit means business. Covering a broad temperature range of 250°C – 480°C, and getting from 0°C to 350°C in 1 minute 20 seconds, it will suit the experienced solderer and beginner alike. The ergonomic, comfort-grip handle fits well into the hand, and the unit did a great job with materials needing higher temperatures.
I’m not an expert at soldering, but I built several remote-control gliders and cars in my earlier days, and I would solder quite a few of the electrics for added strength. For this test I bought some electronic components and circuit board. I went about doing some electronic soldering and the 240V 18W Variable Temperature soldering iron absolutely excelled.
Perfect for Multiple Tasks:
- Wood burning
Test #3: 240v 50/100w Dual Power Soldering Iron
The 240V 50/100W Dual Power soldering iron provides two temperature modes, allowing the selection of a temperature range specific to your project or task. With mode 1 producing a maximum temperature of 450°C and mode 2 providing a maximum temperature of 560°C, you have flexibility in your settings. Going from 0°C to 350°C in 2 minutes and 30 seconds was quite quick, and the time to reach the maximum temperature of 560°C was 13 minutes. There is a power LED indicator light which is excellent for safety as well, and an LED work light will shed some light on your subject.
The kit include same talst and, interchangeable chisel & conical tips and solder, so this product would again suit both advanced or beginner due to its well laid out and simple design.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
The only ugly in this test was the quality of my work. I’m not the best solderer. I’m a little impatient, and I loved the speed at which the tools got up to operating temperatures, especially the Rechargeable Li-ion. That unit turned out to be quite the surprise package. The design of the units in terms of heat, speed, grip and feel were all strengths. All three irons felt well-balanced and easy to control.
My soldering skills, on the other hand, not so much.
To know more visit www.tradeflame.com