I'm sure that some of the alternate brands of soldering irons that have been
mentioned are fine products. But to describe Weller products as "crap" is
contradictory to my experience.
When I was getting into ham radio as a kid back in the late 1950s, my "Elmer"
gave me a new Weller 100-watt gun as a gift when I passed my Novice exam. It
continues to serve me well almost 60 years later after thousands of hours of
use. I confess it has not always been treated kindly -- for instance, a chunk
of the plastic housing was broken off when the gun took a tumble off my
workbench onto the garage's concrete floor about 20 years ago. The built-in
light burned out about 10 years ago. Yet the old girl continued to heat
promptly and perform as designed, with only a few tip replacements required
over the decades.
I recently noticed that Weller sells replacement housings for this gun, as well
as replacement bulbs. For about $15 I now have a refurbished gun ready for
another 60 years of service -- in the hands of my grandson....
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