Soldering Gun vs Iron

by Joost | Updated on:  June 20, 2021
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Soldering guns and irons are similar in most ways except for some basic differences. If you are new to soldering it will be very confusing to select any one of them considering those similarities. So, here we have described all of the activities, advantages, and disadvantages of the gun and iron.

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Here is comprehensive comparison between these two items.
Soldering-Gun-vs-Iron

Structure

As it is called a soldering gun, so is it shaped in the form of a pistol. Soldering iron seems more like a magic wand and the tip is used for soldering works. Both of them are used to join two different pieces or surfaces of metals. They have a soldering tip made of copper wire loops. Because of their difference in voltage or time to heat up each of them is effective in distinct sectors.

Rating of Wattage

The maximum amount of power a soldering gun or a soldering iron handles safely is known as the wattage rating of that specific device. With this rating, you will understand how quickly the gun or iron will get heated or get cool after using it. It has no relation to controlling the voltage. For the iron standard wattage rating is about 20-50 watts. Soldering gun includes a step-down transformer. This transformer is used to convert the high voltage from the power supply into a lower one. It doesn’t change the peak value of current so the gun remains safe and heats up quickly. The copper tip heats up within a few moments after you plug it in. Soldering iron doesn’t heat up as fast as a soldering gun. Iron takes a little time to heat up but that stays longer than the gun. As the gun heats up and cools down quickly, you will need to power it on repeatedly. But for the iron, it won’t happen and the flow of your work won’t get interrupted.
Soldering-Gun

Soldering Tip

The soldering tip is formed by the loop of copper wires. In the case of a soldering gun, the soldering tip heats up fast so the loop dissolves very often. To continue your work you will have to replace the wire loop. That’s not a very hard task but repeatedly replacing the loop will surely consume a good amount of time. In this case, soldering iron will save you time. And for the same reason making a soldering iron is both easier and cost-effective.

Effectiveness

Soldering irons are easy to work with because of their lightweight. They are lighter than soldering guns. For a long period of work, iron is a better choice than a gun. Various sizes of soldering irons are available so it will give you more flexibility to choose than the guns. You can use small size irons for lighter projects. Large ones are used for heavy-duty works but here effectiveness will decrease. On the other hand, soldering guns are effective in both light projects and heavy-duty projects. As guns have more voltage than irons they are capable of doing the projects by properly using power resources. Because of the voltage guns will need less effort to complete the task.
Soldering-Iron or not

Flexibility

The soldering gun will give you great flexibility during your work and workplace also. It doesn’t matter if you work in a confined or an open space the gun will perform well in both places. But with iron, you will not have that flexibility. Irons will provide you the flexibility of sizes and you can choose iron according to your project. Guns are able to provide proper visibility as they create a small amount of light during work. The guns can’t make sure of a clean environment. The small lights can leave stains at the working place. Though irons don’t have that stain problem, they have no temperature control. For any long term project, the increasing temperature can be risky. Overall guns are more energy-efficient than the irons.

Conclusion

Knowing all the essential information is enough to die down the dilemma. Soldering guns and iron, both, are effective in their distinct fields. You just have to identify the effective one for yourself. Now your task is to consider your project including all its requirements and get the correct one. We hope our guide will equip you to identify the right path.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.