Hakko FX-888D Review
Hakko FX-888D Review and Soldering Tip Care!
I recently had the opportunity to review a Hakko FX-888D from HMCelectronics, and have been very impressed with the unit and thought I would share my review video here and add a few extras words!
First I would like to thank HMC for partnering up with me, they have been my main equipment supplier for a number of years and have provided an excellent service. If you are in need of equipment or help with tool selection service or generally anything, I have found them to be very helpful, please don't hesitate to use them! From now until the end of august 2014 if you enter SparkyWidget in the comments on checkout you will get a small discount!
The video review does a fairly good job of reviewing the smaller points most reviews miss so I tried to focus on these positive aspects of the Hakko FX-888D. The 2nd part of the video talks about soldering iron tips, how they are made and how to take care of them! This is an important point that is not emphasized enough, and I thought it was worth adding in a section to help illustrate why tip care shouldn't be neglected! There is a lot of engineering and science put into the development of modern soldering iron tips and with their costs going up its important to take good care of them!
Overall I would give the Hakko FX-888D an 8 out of 10. It is a strong station with plenty of power and is very easy to use! I like that it has a 65watt pencil that is comfortable to hold. As mentioned in the video the stand is very nicely engineered and should help keep your tips in top shape while keep the work area clean. Some of the points I don't like, the lack of an auto-ff similar to the Weller unit means if you forget to turn it off and haven't tinned you tips well you will burn them up. The other things that stand out is the availability of tips and replacement parts in certain parts of the world. If you are in these locations you would be better served with a Weller unit. Remember long term maintenance is a concern with these units, they work very well and will last a long time so you want to be sure you can get tips and parts!
As for a few words on tip care, always keep fresh solder on your tips! I follow the routine of removing pencil from stand, cleaning thoroughly, reapplying fresh soldering and repeating the clean action again. This ensure fresh rosin activation cleaning on the tip and then the removal of this very quickly before soldering. Once I have completed the soldering work I clean the tip again, then reapply a ample amount of solder to protect it while its sits in the stand or storage. I find this is the best way to keep tips in top shape. (I generally only use the brass sponge to avoid thermal shock and micro fractures, though there are times when the heavy cleaning action is useful but it should be used sparsely on precision tips)