Back to blog
When Is It Time to Purchase a New Soldering Iron?

When Is It Time to Purchase a New Soldering Iron?

The soldering iron is one of the most important pieces of equipment that is used when soldering. The soldering iron can last a long time if it is cared for and maintained properly.  However, just like any other piece of equipment, the iron will stop working or not perform properly and then it’s time to buy a new one.

Therefore, the question remains – when is it time to purchase a new soldering iron?

Below are the some of the key indicators that it’s time to replace your soldering iron:

1. You purchased a low-quality soldering iron

Similar to any piece of equipment, if you purchased a high-quality soldering iron from the start, the soldering iron would perform better and last longer.  A less-expensive, lower-quality iron will not transfer the heat properly, which will hinder the soldering process as well as the desired outcome of the job.

2. The heating element stops working

When the heating element stops working, then it no longer heats up.  If this happens with your soldering iron, you can first check with the supplier to see if they have the correct heating element for the iron.  And then replace the part(s) accordingly.

However, if you have a less expensive soldering iron and the heating element stops working then you will have to replace the entire iron as it probably won’t have a replacement part.

3. The soldering iron tip is frozen or corroded into the iron barrel

The soldering iron tip is the part of the iron that comes into direct contact with the components that you’re working on.  Over time, the tip can become corroded or oxidized which would decrease the ability of the soldering iron to transfer heat properly and you need to replace the tip.  However, if the soldering iron tip is frozen or corroded to the point that it is stuck in the iron barrel and it can’t be removed, then it’s time to purchase a new soldering iron.

4. The powder cord is broken

When using your soldering iron, the powder cord is bent, twisted, and exposed to heat on a regular basis.  Over time, the cord can become brittle or damaged which would lead to exposed wires which are not only ineffective but dangerous.  And the soldering iron will stop working altogether, yet another indication to purchase a new one.

5. The repairs of the soldering iron are more frequent

If your soldering iron needs to be repaired on a regular basis, it can become very expensive.  Or maybe you find yourself replacing some of the soldering iron parts more frequently.  Both would indicate that the iron is no longer functional and then purchasing a better, more reliable iron would be the most practical choice.

6. The solder joints are no longer reliable

If your solder joints are weak and no longer reliable, it can cause you to revisit your work more frequently.  This is not only a waste of time and energy but can also impede the outcome of your job.  Both are indicators that your soldering iron isn’t working properly and it’s time to purchase a new one.

If you maintain and care for your soldering iron properly, it should ultimately last a long time.  However, when the iron stops working or any of the above signs occur, then it’s time to purchase a new soldering iron.


Smart & nice folks are our special sauce

This is Mario. He is stellar, in general, but also he’ll treat you stellar, with kindness, technical wisdom, and urgency. When you call us, Mario, or another stellar human person, will pick up and treat you like the super star you are. Mon-Fri 8am-5pm PST.