Dremel multi-function soldering iron, £32.94
Miles covered/time: One year
What’s good: I tend to use this tool as a soldering iron more than anything else, but that’s not the limit of its usefulness (see below).
It is easy to fill with butane gas (just like filling a gas lighter, if you have ever smoked), and the operation of a simple sequence of safety catches gets the soldering iron alight and soon after that ready to solder.
The gas flow is adjustable so you can easily moderate the temperature, depending on the size of the job you are trying to solder. (I have mainly used it for making motorcycle wiring looms.)
I love the fact you can use it anywhere and are not restricted by the cable that you’d normally find hanging out the back connecting conventional electrical irons to the mains.
I use a lot of heat-shrink to protect the wires and make the job look neat and tidy, now the Dremel soldering iron does come with a hot blower head in the kit, but I found that the hot air coming out of the side of the soldering iron tip (which I can only describe as a 3mm exhaust hole for the hot gases) can be used to shrink the heat-shrink perfectly.
The whole kit comes a neat metal storage case and contains a tool cap, soldering tips, pyrography (wood burning) tip, hot blower head, hot knife, cutting knife, flat wide flame head, reflector, soldering tin, soldering sponge & sponge box, plus 7mm and 8mm wrenches. The only thing that’s not included is the butane gas.
It has more uses than you can shake a stick at! A very nice bit of kit that I’d not hesitate to recommend.
What’s not: There have been moments where (admittedly due to my own inattention) I’ve taken my eye off what’s in the path of the exhaust gases, and have managed to melt the insulation on the wire.