Review – Farnell #1737234 – Duratool Soldering Station kit

This is my review of the Duratool D00661 Soldering iron, sold in a kit by Farnell here for £30.38.  First, the kit contents:

So as you can see, the kit is a great deal compared to buying all the parts individually (£66.16), at less than half the price!

The Solder station contains the station itself, and the iron.  The station has an integrated stand, which is easily removable by sliding the whole thing backwards.  It also comes with a slide-out parts tray / sponge holder, in case you need to store any small parts while soldering. 

The iron is a fairly typical unit, but comes with some handy features.  First off, the rubberized grip area helps you keep a good grip on the iron, so should help avoid burns due to dropping the iron.  The element is replaceable, so if you manage to burn it out you can get another for £1.64 without buying a whole new iron.  The tips are changeable, with a wide variety of tips available including: 1mm Pointed, 0.5mm Pointed, 3mm Chisel, 2mm Flat, and 1mm Bevel; each of which cost only £1.11.

The solder station unit has controls for shifting the temperature up and down, and an on/off button.  The dual-readout LCD shows both the current and target temperature, which is an incredibly handy feature for knowing when your iron is up to temperature.  As far as i can tell, the target temperature can only be set in Celsius, so those of you who measure in Fahrenheit or Kelvin are out of luck!  The station lets you adjust the temperature from 150 all the way up to 450 degrees, very handy for lead-free solder!

The iron takes under 30 seconds to get to temperature, and while in use, holds within 5 degrees of the target temperature.  I have noticed that when not in use, the temperature tends to be slightly on the high side (+5-10 degrees) due to the bang-bang style of temperature control, but this will rectify itself once the iron is used.  The iron comes pre-tinned, but i would suggest using tinning compound to make sure the tip stays in tip-top condition.

So, we come to the actual usage of the iron.  I found it works very well for the cost, almost as well as some £100 irons i have used, and far better than any other £30 irons.  I used the included 1.0mm tip to do some SMD soldering on a new R2 board, and very good results.

In summation, this is a good iron for anyone wishing to do hobbyist work, and will work well all the way down to tiny SMD equipment.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the market for an iron.  Its not just good for the price, its good!

3 thoughts on “Review – Farnell #1737234 – Duratool Soldering Station kit

  1. I bought one on Ebay based on this review and wasted my money:
    1- The quality of it`s case is very poor, looks like really cheap plastic.
    2- I recieved mine in ridiculous light blue color, not dark gray.
    3- The rubber grip is small, but stinks like a big dirt elephant. I have to keep my window open to work with it.
    4- There is not an easy way to change the tip.
    Well, the waste of money was not 100% because I`ll use it`s as a weigth to keep the door of my dog`s house opened.

  2. Hi Fernando,

    Sorry to hear about your problems, I’m guessing yours must be a different model though (possibly a cheap clone), theres no smell on the farnell one, the tip unscrews very easily, and the plastic feels like… normal plastic.

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