We commonly see stained glass work in picture frames, windows, and lampshades, jewelry boxes, along with clocks, cabinet doors in the kitchen, and much more. There are many similar other tools and accessories for stained glass work that can found in the market. Among them, soldering iron is mostly used to create a beautiful stained glass art piece.
Soldering irons are an easy way of joining coloured glass pieces to stay together in any glass artwork. Therefore, it's part and parcel of a stained glass artist toolkit. Generally, a soldering iron uses the molten solder to hold all the glass joints in a place. First, you need to know how it works from soldering tips to the solder for stained glass art.
It's a tough job; it needs patience and an excellent tool to complete the glasswork project successfully. But it's hard to pick the good one with so many brands and different types of soldering irons available in the store. To help you choose the suitable one, we've gathered this complete guide on stained glass soldering iron with all the necessary information and product evaluations.
A Comparison of Our Favorite Choices
The Most Beneficial 6 Soldering Iron for Stained glass Reviews
Keeping all the useful features in our mind like fast heat-up time, the right temperature, proper wattage, and many more, we enlisted a few super stained glass soldering iron for you. So from this list, you can choose what will work well for you to create a beautiful glasswork piece.
1. Weller WLC200 Stained Glass Soldering Station
- Temparature: Max 900 degrees(f);
- Power range: Adjustable 5 to 80 watts;
- Chisel tip: 3/8th-inch;
- Power Supply: 120v/ 60Hz;
- Weight: 2 pounds.
Weller holds the prime position on our list because of its wide range of flexibility. According to your projects' needs, the first convenience is to control the power from anywhere between 5 and 80 watts. You can raise the temperature to max 900 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain it as long as you need it.
The lightweight and portable iron allow you to carry it anywhere you want. Moreover, it has a 3/8th-inch chisel tip that will enable you to work on various medium-sized projects. It also provides more options of fitted with a 1/4th-inch chisel tip and 0.375-inch cone tip.
The nice-looking iron holder is another handy feature where you can keep the iron while you're not working and prevent the tip from oxidizing. Besides, the cleaning sponge lying in the base allows you to regularly clean the tip and regularly increase its longevity. The heating center heats the iron very quickly and doesn't take any time. The iron's tip is made from iron, chromium, and nickel plating and has a copper core. Hence, this rust-proof soldering iron is free from lead and also eco-friendly.
- Lead-free material and eco-friendly;
- Lightweight and portable for easy carrying;
- Offers a maximum temperature;
- Compatible with different size chisel tip;
- Variable temperature controls from low to high;
- Arrives with a complete unit;
- Detachable and replaceable heating core and iron.
- The cord is shorter than other similar models;
- It needs rest for a minute to retrieve its heat.
2. American Beauty 3158-200 Heavy-Duty Soldering Iron
- Temparature: 1000 degree(f);
- Length: 14 inches;
- Diameter: 5/8 inches;
- Power Supply: 120v/ 60Hz;
- Weight: 2.25 pounds.
American Beauty makes this heavy-duty soldering iron that can produce heat up to 1000-degrees Fahrenheit. For those who are looking for a hardy but ergonomic 200-watt soldering iron, this one is for you. The excellent quality material provides trouble-free service for a long time.
It works so well in thick metal pieces to glass by its Ni-chrome confining cut heating elements. This soldering iron provides the most maintaining soldering temperature in stained glass art. It has a paragon iron-clad lead-free tips that are environmentally beneficial and can use ten times more than a regular soldering iron.
Furthermore, the Plug-style standard diamond tip design provides superior heat transfer to the glasswork and easy to clean. The replaceable structure allows you to renew the consumable parts easily to last longer. You can count this in your list if you're looking for a reliable, easy-to-use, modular soldering iron.
- Design by protecting instance cut from a single block of steel;
- Heavy-duty heating provides quick heat-up;
- Superior thermal and electrical insulating parts;
- Solid materials and production;
- Durable and easy to use;
- It works in various materials like glass, metals, nylons, etc.;
- It can produce maximum temperature.
- It's a little expensive than similar models;
- Suitable for larger projects.
3. Hakko FX888D Digital Soldering Station
- Temparature: 120 to 899 degree(f);
- Temperature stability: + or – 3.6°F.;
- Material: Plastic and Metal;
- Power supply: 120v/ 60Hz;
- Weight: 2.60 pounds.
The Hakko FX888D is the renewed digital version that adds various new features like digital calibration, usable and selectable preset temperatures, and password protection. So, you can set and lock the temperature. It's a reliable tool that can weld, embed, or repair parts and household items too.
This soldering iron has a great temperature range from 392°F to 896°F and controls the idle temperature within 1.8°F. The full station is easy to manage from digital controllers. Besides, it is incredibly convenient with a tip cleaning sponge and the five extra tips that add further benefit and allow you to use the iron for various purposes. The removable tip allows you to use a micro pencil tip with the station.
Simultaneously, the tip temperature fall also decreases during constant use to maximizing dynamic power. Overall it's a compact, lightweight, and practical soldering iron for stained glass and other material fixing. Especially ideal to use in a home or professional workshop. We suggest you start soldering iron at a low-temperature range and slowly increase the range for expected results in stained glass.
- Compatible with a wide range of application;
- Compact and easy to use;
- It has an excellent thermal recovery;
- Decreasing the thermal impact on ingredients;
- Reduce the chance of tip oxidation;
- The tip temperature drop demotes during constant work;
- It includes five bonus tips for more versatility.
- Sometimes the multiple functions are hard to control;
- It doesn't provide a constant temperature.
4. Weller 1175 Stained Glass Iron
- Temparature: 1000 degree(f);
- Type: Non-temperature regulated;
- Cord Length: 5 ft;
- Diameter: 5/8 inches;
- Power: 50 watts;
- Weight: 0.01 ounces.
The Weller 1175 heats up rapidly and controls temperature up to 1000 degrees. The iron's rounded grip provides users with comfort and flexibility. You can roll the device in your hands for more open access to edges and notches. This strong 50-Watts iron intended for stain glass work mostly. It's widespread and trusted by expert artists.
It's a high-quality iron that design and built by heat resistant material to last a lifetime. The tips are sensitive to exhaust. It heats equally, moves smoothly, and it's faster than any other soldering iron. Its lightweight body seems lighter when in use.
The Weller iron weighs a mere 6.9 ounces. It is 11 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. The iron's black and red covering makes for a neat and outstanding surface. This iron touches its target temperature within minutes. It's easy to clean and maintain. Moreover, it is manufactured to resist even the most challenging jobs.
- High-quality tool designs for professionals;
- Compatible with the most challenging task;
- Durable and lightweight construction;
- Heating times are much onward of the competition;
- Short heat-up times and maintain a particular temperature;
- Modern and lucrative design.
- It's hard to find the replacement part;
- Beginners may feel hard to handle the quick heat-up option.
5. Hakko FX601-02 Soldering Iron for Stained Glass
- Temparature: 240 to 540 degrees (C);
- Temperature stability: +/- 10 degrees(C);
- Including Lock key and standard T19-D5 tip;
- Power: 67 watts;
- Weight: 1.28 ounces.
This stained glass solder iron comes in excellent rich blue color and very lightweight with a wattage of 67. Its highly adjustable temperature is the most suitable option for stained glass soldering. Besides, it has enough power to heat the tip quickly if it cools too much, but it won't get too hot that it will melt the lead came.
This soldering iron only has 67 watts, which is pretty similar to a 100-watt soldering iron with a wire element rather than a ceramic element. Usually, it holds a consistent temperature of a +-10 degrees range. Its heating efficiency and content makes it one of the safest soldering iron for stained glass.
This budget-friendly soldering iron is suitable for small to medium stained glass projects, although it can manage most utmost materials. Just keep in mind larger projects may require large solder supplies and broader framing. If you need a soldering iron that heats quickly and lightweight, then this is the one.
- Adjustable and automatic closed-loop temperature control;
- Slim and ergonomic handle;
- Comfortable and easy to hold for an extended time;
- Temperature control sensor ensures constant heat;
- Substantial ceramic construction lasts longer;
- Soldering solar panels provides mobility.
- It's not suitable for larger projects;
- Replaceable tips are hard to find.
6. Choice 100W Stained Glass Soldering Iron
- Temparature: 1000 degrees(F);
- Chisel style: 1/4 inch tip;
- Material: Aluminum;
- Power: 100 watts;
- Weight: 4.8 ounces.
The Choice is a favorite soldering iron among stained glass artists and other hobbyists. Because it features a tough aluminum covering with a rubber grip and an extensive power cord, also, it offers 100 watts to produces over 1,000 degrees(F) of power.
The lightweight body and pen-shaped ergonomic handle obtain easy to operate for long ends. While it does not have a temperature dial, so it fits with most other options. The iron comes with a regular 1/4 inch chisel tip. However, a powerful heating system and accurate tips work perfectly beside copper foil.
Furthermore, it measures 10 1/2 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. However, there is no power indicator light on the body, but you can still heat up fast and maintain its temperature as well. We suggest you pair it with a branded thermostat and heat-resistant expansion cord to operate it smoothly and efficiently.
- An ergonomic pen-like handle for a comfortable grip;
- Maximum watts of power;
- Changeable chisel tip;
- Higher temperature limit ;
- Built of aluminum to last long;
- It's a lightweight and modular internal part.
- It doesn't come with a holder;
- Replacement tips are not easily accessible.
What to Look for at the Time of Buying a Soldering Iron
A perfect soldering unit can make your glasswork operation more comfortable and efficient, So you don't have to face primary challenges while working on your stain glass. After researching on many soldering irons, our Toolsscore expert team thinks, if any soldering iron provides a super performance, then it must need to offer you the following features:
Every soldering iron highlights a particular wattage. A stainless glass soldering iron most offer from 40 to 200 watts of power. Typically, low-watt irons provide less power and suitable for light applications only. On the other hand, high-watt soldering irons offer more steady and robust performance. To get your needed temperature faster and more consistent, try to buy with higher wattage iron. Also, it's easier to recover from drops in temperature with high wattage.
Not all soldering iron offers a temperature control option. With this controlling option, you can handle the voltage to give you the desired temperature. The tip needs to reach and manage a specific temperature to melt the solder frequently. You will need varying temperatures from time to time, especially for stained glass work. Ensure that the temperature is effortless to change, and when you need a very high temperature, it heats fast.
Lightweight bodies with slip-resistant grips are other crucial features of a stained glass soldering irons should have since glass soldering is a long and tedious task, so the handle must be comfortable to hold. Pencil-style soldering iron with an ergonomic rubber coating is perfect for purchasing to avoid user fatigue. It helps if the pen has a covering that raises the tip in the air to prevent an accident. We suggest looking for soldering iron with a stand to avoid any mischief.
Read more: 10 Best Plastic Welders Reviews and Rated
The Nichrome wire element and a ceramic element these two types of components are generally used in soldering iron. The Nichrome wire element, usually bigger and heat a larger metal body with resistance wire. This larger body sends heat to the tip. The large body can store more heat, and the tip temperature will drop more slowly.
The ceramic element heats based on the same system but are typically smaller and heat the ceramic body much closer to the tip. The ceramic body transfers heat to the end faster, but the heat sustains less time.
Several kinds of tips are available in the market for soldering irons like an angle chisel, a chisel tip, conical, and point tips in a range of sizes. But among them, a chisel tip is the most regularly used for stained glass soldering. Always look for a few handy replacements and removable tips. Also, assure the replacements are easily available in the market.
There are few other accessories available in the market for soldering iron. Some are essential, and others semi-essential. Soldering iron stand, tip cleaning brass wire, cleaning sponges are necessary associates with soldering ironwork. On the other hand, a protective workplace mat, lights on top of it provides extra facilities. Try to find a package that includes all the essentials.
Commonly Asked Questions about Soldering Iron for Stained Glass
What is the Best Temperature to Solder Stained Glass?
Ans: Common solder melts between 360 and 370 degrees Fahrenheit. But with controlling power soldering iron, you can set the temperature to approximately 700 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for melting and working in stained glass.
But you must maintain a consistent temperature at all times to avoid cold spots. It is essential to monitor your soldering iron's temperature, as excess temperatures could cause the glass to shatter.
What Kind of Solder is Used for Stained Glass?
Ans: Usually, most of the glass artists use lead-free solder for stained glass. If you are a beginner, then learning how to solder stained glass copper foil is very important. Solder is a lead or tin compound except for lead-free solder, which is a tin-copper alloy.
There are three basic types of solder used for stained glass. The higher ratio of lead to tin helps the solder flow at lower temperatures is commonly used for stained glass work.
Read more: 8 Best Welders for Automotive Sheet Metal
How Long It Takes to Heat a Soldering Iron?
Ans: It depends on the individual item.The more the watt, the less time it takes to heat up. Usually, a handy unit should be capable of heating up in just 30 sec.
Can Lead-free Solder Be Used to Stained Glass?
Ans: Yes, it's possible to use it. Lead-free solder stained glass produces a very high temperature that will give you excellent results in your workpiece.
Do I Need to Clean Soldering Iron Regularly?
Ans: Yes, you need to clean the soldering iron after each use with a sponge, wool, or damp cloth material to remove rust stuck on the tip. But make sure that your unit reduces its heat or cool down before cleaning it for your hand's safety. For, you can damp your cloth material to wipe it off.
Tips for Fixing Soldered Stained Glass
Sometimes we need to remove the existing solder or replace the broken glass pieces—that time, we need to follow a step by step process to do the work correctly. Here is the procedure to follow-
- Firstly, you'll require to cut and scrape your replacement glass to fit in the broken section of your stained glass perfectly. To facilitate this process, you can use a felt-tipped pen to produce a fractured glass piece's stencil on the replacement glass.
- Secondly, run a conventional glass cutter on the lines to cut the glass. Then, double-check the replacement part to ensure its fittings.
- After that, operate your soldering iron over the bead to remove solder from both sides of the stained glass. When most of the solder has dissolved, use grozing pliers to peel away any leftover foil or solder. Use a glass cutter and the ball to collect the remaining shards of glass.
- Next, cover the edge of the glass in foil and ensure that it is even with the surface of the glass. Accurately adjust the replacement piece in the original stained glass piece. Next, wipe the border with flux.
- Then, use your soldering iron to repair the bead on one side. Once the solder has reduced its heat, flip it over to apply a bead on the opposite side.
Now you can successfully repair your stained glass.
There is no other option of glass staining rather than a soldering iron. A real, sustainable soldering iron makes this process so easy that long tiring work seems less fatigue. There are plenty of excellent soldering irons on the market. Using our buying guide, we hope you can make the suitably possible purchase of soldering iron for your precious artwork.
A well-made soldering iron will grant you with a long time and worry-free quality soldering projects. But remember, always gives priority to the durable tip and constant heating power when purchasing a soldering iron for stained glass.
Last Updated on January 1, 2021 by John Dylan
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I am John Dylan. I have a clear experience about different types of tools since my childhood. I start my career as a handyman then I also work as a plumber, electricians. At one point I noticed that people struggle to find quality tools.
So I started to research and explore different tools. I try to present a proper information about any tools I use. Hope my attempt help you!