The Hakko 936 is a 60 Watt temperature controlled soldering station that comes with the Hakko 908 soldering iron which is an ESD safe iron so it will reduce the risk of electrostatic discharge when working with electronic components. We got the RC edition with the blue flame decals.
The whole set up comes as you see in the picture along with a 1.5mm hex wrench and user manual. The hex wrench is for locking the temperature control knob at a particular temperature setting. The manual is brief and to the point.
- Wattage: 60Watts at 110VAC/ 65Watts as 120VAC
- Temperature Range: 200C – 480C/ 392F-896F
- Heating Element: Ceramic
The station looks sharp with the flame decals. However, if you are not into the flames, the decals do come off quite easily. The cord from the iron to the station is flexible so will be less likely to get in the way.
On the RC edition, the temperature gauge around the control knob is a yellow-red gradient instead of the temperature markings on the standard unit. Upon inspection, on max temp setting the tip got to around 230F (as read with the Duratrax temperature gauge). Now this was odd I thought considering the unit is capable of getting up to 896F. But this makes sense, since this unit is geared towards RC enthusiast Hakko has calibrated the unit to the temperature needed for most RC kinds of soldering. Another weird thing is that the minimum temperature is stated as 392F but if you turn the control knob down you can get temps in the 100F range.
But have no fear, in case you wanted to reach the max temperature of the station – for wood burning or branding yourself – you can recalibrate the station with a small Philips screw driver. The calibration potentiometer is just beneath the temperature control knob. You will need to adjust the calibration when you change tips since the different tips will attain different temperatures. It will be useful to have a means to measure the tip temperature when calibrating the station.
The iron comes with a foam grip to make it more comfortable to hold for longer sessions. The cleaning sponge works well and you should always keep it damp while soldering. Using it was pretty much like any other irons. This probably isn’t fair but here are the benefits of the Hakko over a $10 iron
- Heats up much quicker
- Maintains its temperature between uses
- Can handle soldering to larger objects
- Can be adjusted to suit specific soldering applications
- Costs 9 times as much!
You may need some different tips depending on your application. The ceramic heating element maintains its temperature very well and will minimize down time waiting for the iron to get back up to temp from joint to joint.
The limits of my $10 iron were reached when trying to solder 4 14 gauge copper wires together. The poor thing just could not get the wires hot enough for the solder to flow. Even when it was able to melt the solder it was only able to produce cold joints. The Hakko, on the other hand, handled the situation easily with its stock calibration – solder was flowing within a few seconds (time could have been cut down if it had been calibrated for a higher temp).
For your general random wire soldering needs you won’t need a set up as spiffy as this – a 25-30watt iron for ~$10 should be more than sufficient. However, if you step up to the Hakko 936 you won’t be disappointed. It is superior when it comes to maintaining a consistent temperature – this alone will make the Hakko worth it. Throw in its adjustable temperature control and now you can handle all your soldering needs with one set up. I like!