on 9 July 2014
I've been making guitar pedals for the last few months and have completed four projects succesfully with three circuits to debug. I've been using a 60 watt cheap soldering iron with a tiny tip but my guess is that one of my problems has been far too much solder leaking accross the stripboard gutters because the soldering iron was too hot and delivered heat too fast.
Advice on line seems varied and sometimes contradictory but there were a few votes for a lower wattage soldering iron and this model had a lot of good reviews for the price.
My soldering improved immediately. Stripboard is pretty unforgiving for clumsy hands and while I still run a knife allong the gutters, by eye there seems to be no overspill.
I didn't think that the chisel tip was ideal as a defult but gave it a go and actually it's good because the flat delivers heat to the strip and the tip heats up the component leg quickly and safely (I'm expecting to find some blown components in my debugging pile because of excessive heat from my old iron). In the count of two the solder flows into the heated intersection neatly.
I haven't tried the model without the silicone cable but the soldering iron is very light and I wouldn't want any excessive pull on it from behind so I can see why this has been highlighted as a feature.
This was the same price on Amazon as it was on the Amtex website but there were additional charges there for shipping if you want to save money.
on 15 February 2016
I can't even remember when I got my previous Antex XS25 soldering iron - I think it must have been some time around 1987. I stood on it some time in the 90's which cracked the body, but I taped it up and it continued to work fine. Even up until recently I was still on the original bit, with no signs of wear. I decided it was time to treat myself to a new one, and with many choices around - too many - thought I'd pay up and get another Antex. This new iron seems to heat up and solders ok. However, it's missing the hook that the previous iron had, which allowed it to be hung from anything convenient nearby while in use (i.e. empty tea mug). I was interested to try the silicone cable given positive reviews elsewhere but I actually found it's too floppy: with the old style cable you could kink it into place, and it would stay there - handy for keeping the iron where you need it. I just found the silicone cable annoyingly floppy. In all it does the job of soldering very well - just didn't quite meet my (high) expectations.
on 5 July 2014
had a few soldering stations, including weller and i keep going back to these antex, they just work as the should, dont over heat, nothing complicated to go wrong in them and tips are cheap, i have the 18w version too, get the silicone lead one its worth the little extra
on 29 December 2014
Excellent, easy to use, well balanced. The silicone cable is, in my view, essential, as it's so much more flexible than conventional flex, making the iron far easier to handle.
on 10 January 2015
Excellent iron, bought to replace my cheap one. I was advised to buy it by somebody who know all about soldering. I have used it a lot now and am still pleased. It does a very good job on thick wire considering it's only 25W. Silicone cord worth the extra for safety and, especially, being tangle free.