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Old 12-09-2017, 06:44 PM
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Default Butane Powered Soldering Iron

I hope I am posting this in the correct area........it really isn't welding. Anyway, I have been wanting to get something butane powered for soldering. I think having something smaller and weighing less would come in handy in tight areas. The other day I was at Menards and spotted their Tool Shop brand Pencil Torch. They were asking only $4.99 for it so I figured what the heck. The pencil torch has an item number of 244-9999. I also bought a can of MagTorch Butane fluid.

Later that day I decided to see how the pencil torch worked. I filled the torch with butane according to the torch directions. When I finally got the torch to light, there was a very small flame at the end of it. Not really enough to solder anything. I then increased the gas flow and the flame blew out. I finally got it to hold a flame when the gas valve was turned to about maximum. This would be too much and probably destroy what I was trying to solder. Thinking I may have gotten a defective pencil torch, I went back to Menards and purchased another one without returning the first one.

When I got home I filled the newest pencil torch with butane fluid. I turned the valve to the open position and listened to hear if gas was coming out..........nope. I then cranked the valve all the way open. There was no gas at all coming out......junk.

I looked online for possible problems with these pencil style torches. One problem that kept popping up were from some people who claimed that the problems I was having could be due to the butane fluid being contaminated right from the factory, and that to solve this problem a person needed to buy butane fluid that is triple filtered.......hmmmm

Anyway I decided that I would look for one of the larger butane soldering irons thinking that they are probably of a little higher quality than these $4.99 specials. The only larger style that Menards offers is one made by Dremel. It is called a VersaTip. I did not buy one because I wanted to see what other brands are out there. It looks like Weller had one, but no longer offers it. At Farm & Fleet they sell one made by Burnsomatic, but the guy working in that area told me that 80% of the people that purchase that unit return them for much of the same reasons the junk from Menards is bad.

Ok, some of you tool hounds must have one of these types of soldering irons, and I would appreciate it if you could tell me the brand, model number, etc. As long as it is a quality tool I am not really concerned about the price. Also, has anyone else heard of contaminated butane causing theses problems?........thanks.
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Old 12-09-2017, 06:54 PM
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Am I correct that you already have a propane torch?
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:05 PM
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This is the one I use, but I KNOW I didn't pay that much for it. I would buy it again in a heartbeat.


https://www.mutualscrew.com/product/...YaAuNXEALw_wcB
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:22 PM
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I've had several butane soldering irons, a version of this one was used for electronics work for years.
https://www.ebay.com/p/Weller-P2KC-P...d=142563528543

Then I got one of these, and it is by far the best soldering iron you can get. I'm sure there are better, but I doubt you will find it at this price point.

https://www.ebay.com/p/Weller-WPA2-P...d=332262943579

I apologize for the ebay links, they were all I could seem to find.

Correction.
Found this:
http://www.weller-toolsus.com/soldering/irons/butane
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:35 PM
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I have had one of those Weller 2PKCs for years. It's a damn good dependable unit.

Randy
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:01 PM
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I have three like those and non of them work.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:22 PM
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I have one of these and it's worked for years

https://www.amazon.com/Portasol-0112...soldering+iron
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:51 AM
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I've got two of the old school early production Weller Pencil torches and have not had one bit of trouble.

These things have been 75' to the top of my tower and soldered items with 20 mph winds, foolish, but a HAM is a Ham when he wants his Yagi and dipole to have fresh connections on the lugs and or coax connectors.

I doubt there is a HAM out there without at least two of these things in their field service kit.

FWIW, some of my soldering equipment is the 50's models that are basically using 110vlt ac with a wooden handle and a massive copper tip capable of soldering battery cables into lugs once they are crimped. Dangerous bastids.

Everything else for soldering has the Weller brand and I've never had a moments issue besides changing the tips dozens of times over the years on the electrics.

Quote:
I have had one of those Weller 2PKCs for years. It's a damn good dependable unit.
No complaints here.

Quote:
Then I got one of these, and it is by far the best soldering iron you can get. I'm sure there are better, but I doubt you will find it at this price point.
FYI, Heath Kit sold Weller equipment for soldering within the accessories pages when you were buying an electronics kit or build.

I trust Weller completely and using their propane sets have never left me wanting except for running out of fuel in the process.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:26 PM
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Thank you for all the information. My wife ordered me a Weller Portasol P2KC. I am still wondering if the brand of Butane fluid really matters, and if a person must use only extra filtered butane to keep the soldering irons operating properly. According to some of the internet information I found, some of the people stated that the cheaper butane fluid is barely filtered, and contains particles of stuff that will clog components inside the soldering iron, and render it useless.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat View Post
Thank you for all the information. My wife ordered me a Weller Portasol P2KC.
I am still wondering if the brand of Butane fluid really matters, and if a person must use only extra filtered butane to keep the soldering irons operating properly.
My good working $80 Weller (one of the first) went bad shortly after I filled it with an off brand butane cheap, cheap.....
best I can tell the orifice is smaller than a pin hole maybe 0.005
I made things worse because I did not know the little aluminum disk was an orifice and likely closed the hole from handling it.

Maybe if I let it dry out it would have worked, water will plug a 0.005 hole in a second.

I know the butane had a problem and it may have also had water in it.
I had issues with lighters spurting.
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Last edited by GWIZ; 12-13-2017 at 01:55 PM.
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