We commonly see stained glass work in picture frames, windows, lampshades, jewelry boxes, clocks, cabinet doors in the kitchen, and much more. There are many similar tools and accessories for stained glass work that can be found in the market. Among them, soldering iron is mostly used to create beautiful stained glass art pieces.
Soldering irons are an easy way of joining colored 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 molten solder to hold all the glass joints in 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
Weller WLC200 Soldering Station
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American Beauty 3158-200 Soldering Iron
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Hakko FX888D Soldering Station
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Weller 1175 Stained Glass Iron
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Hakko FX601-02 Soldering Iron
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The Most Beneficial 6 Soldering Iron for Stained glass
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 glass workpiece.
1. Weller WLC200 Stained Glass Soldering Station
- Temperature: 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 the max of 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 for 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 tips;
- Variable temperature controls from low to high;
- Arrives with a complete unit;
- Stylist design is different from other models in the market;
- Reasonable and affordable price;
- Detachable and replaceable heating core and iron.
- The cord is shorter than other similar models;
- It needs to rest for a minute to retrieve its heat.
2. American Beauty 3158-200 Heavy-Duty Soldering Iron
- Temperature: 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 maintained soldering temperature in stained glass art. It has 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 is easy to clean. The replaceable structure allows you to renew the consumable parts easily to last longer. You can count this on 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 more expensive than similar models;
- Suitable for larger projects.
3. Hakko FX888D Digital Soldering Station
- Temperature: 120 to 899 degree(f);
- Temperature stability: + or – 3.6°F.;
- Material: Plastic and Metal;
- Power supply: 120v/ 60Hz;
- One display;
- Weight: 2.60 pounds.
The Hakko FX888D is a 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. It comes with a display so you can easily understand the temperature capacity of your tools.
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 maximize 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. You just need to follow some easy steps to do your work. It’s a good choice for both new and professional users. 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 applications;
- Compact and easy to use;
- It has excellent thermal recovery;
- Decreasing the thermal impact on ingredients;
- Reduce the chance of tip oxidation;
- The tip temperature drop demotes during constant work;
- Easy step to use even new users can use it;
- 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
- Temperature: 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 temperatures 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 is intended for stain glass work mostly. It’s widespread and trusted by expert artists.
It’s a high-quality iron that is designed and built with a 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 than the competition;
- Short heat-up times and maintain a particular temperature;
- Available at a reasonable price rate;
- Modern and lucrative design.
- It’s hard to find the replacement part;
- Beginners may find it hard to handle the quick heat-up option.
5. Hakko FX601-02 Soldering Iron for Stained Glass
- Temperature: 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 is 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. The pen shape design of these tools makes them lightweight tools. This soldering iron comes with an easy design and a model that is easy to handle.
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 make 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 of the 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 is lightweight, then this is the one.
- Adjustable and automatic closed-loop temperature control;
- Slim and ergonomic handle;
- Lightweight so easy to carry and manage;
- 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
- Temperature: 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, it also offers 100 watts to produce over 1,000 degrees(F) of power.
The lightweight body and pen-shaped ergonomic handle are easy to operate for long ends. 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. It’s a budget-friendly soldering iron so if you are a new user it will be a good choice. 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;
- Very lightweight tools so easy to manage;
- Very reasonable price even its available for under 30 dollars;
- 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 Choosing 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 stained glass. After researching 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 must offer from 40 to 200 watts of power. Typically, low-watt irons provide less power and are suitable for light applications only. On the other hand, high-watt soldering irons offer a 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 another crucial feature that 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 a soldering iron with a stand to avoid any mischief.
Read more: 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 is usually bigger and heats 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 is typically smaller and heats 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 a few other accessories available in the market for soldering iron. Some are essential, and others semi-essential. Soldering iron stands, tip-cleaning brass wire, and cleaning sponges are necessarily associated with soldering ironwork. On the other hand, a protective workplace mat, with lights on top of it provide extra facilities. Try to find a package that includes all the essentials.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the Best Temperature for 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 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 and is commonly used for stained glass work.
Read more: Welders for Automotive Sheet Metal
How Long Does It Take 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 for 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 cools down before cleaning it for your hand’s safety. For, you can damp your cloth material to wipe it off.
Why Temperature Control is Important for Soldering Iron?
Temperatures often become unstable during casting because standard stained glass melts at temperatures around 360 to 370 degrees Fahrenheit. For this purpose, it is wise to bind iron with an underlying temperature regulatory structure. Frameworks usually match a temperature dial like a computerized temperature control dial or a normal dial.
What is the Warming Component for Soldering Iron?
Most patching irons are worked with one or the other artistic or metal warming components. Assuming you need an iron that warms up quicker and keeps up with reliable temperatures go for one with an artistic warming component.
In the event that you plan to do expanded and more elaborate tasks, you better pick a binding iron with metal wire components.
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 need 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.
Tips for Safety
Safety is the priority when you work with any kind of tool. Always remember that safety is the first factor of work. Do not ignore the safety issue when you work with any tools because they can damage your body badly. When you work with Soldering Irons concerned about your safety. Now I am going to share the safety tips when you work with soldering irons.
Do not touch the soldering iron when it is hot. Because it can burn you badly so ignore touching the head part of the soldering iron.
Never switch it on when it is not working, it can cause any kind of accident, So be sure to turn off this tool when there is opposition to work.
When the work is done, place the soldering iron in a right place or on its stand, do not leave it open as it may cause an accident.
When the work is done, you must turn it off. If you do not work under any circumstances, do not turn it on.
Work with safety gloves on your hands. This will reduce the chances of getting your hands dirty. Because if you ever touch your hand with this machine, your hand will be protected.
When it comes to baby safety, keep it in a place that is out of reach of any child.
There is no other option for glass staining rather than a soldering iron. A real, sustainable soldering iron makes this process so easy that long tiring work seems less fatiguing. There are plenty of excellent soldering irons on the market. Using our buying guide, we hope you can make the most suitably possible purchase of a soldering iron for your precious artwork.
A well-made soldering iron will grant you a long time and worry-free quality soldering projects. But remember, always give priority to the durable tip and constant heating power when purchasing a soldering iron for stained glass.
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About This Writer
Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.