Hakko has announced a new compact induction-heated soldering system, FX-100.
- Easy to use
- No calibration necessary
- User-selectable power display
- Password lockout
- Tip sleep function reduces temperature during inactivity
- Backlit display
- Activity monitor
- User-programmable heating profiles
- Auto power-off safety feature
- Compact and stackable base station
- Slender and lightweight soldering iron with burn-resistant cord
- Compatible with T31 series tip cartridges
The heating element auto-detects tip cartridges and sets the temperature accordingly to either 400°C (750°F) or 450°C (840°F). The FX-100 soldering iron does not come with a tip, so you will need to order one separately.
ETA: April 2014
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I have had great experiences with my Hakko FX-888 soldering iron and have heard good things about their digital FX-888D. While I probably won’t need to set up to the FX-100, it looks like a compelling product, if the price is right.
Inductively-heated solder irons, such as the FX-100, work by means of a rapidly changing magnetic field. A conductor, or soldering iron tip, within the magnetic field will develop an electrical current and will heat up rapidly. This allows for much quicker heat-up times compared to other types of soldering irons that work by means of resistively-heated elements that draw current from the power supply.
Technically, the FX-100 soldering station doesn’t come with a soldering iron, it comes with a handpiece.
What I find especially appealing is how different heating profiles could be programmed into the soldering station, to allow for quick and easy setup when using different tip shapes or solder alloys. I also like how no calibration is required, although I haven’t had any difficulty with my FX-888.