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I would like to be a able to grip my soldering iron closer to the tip to have better control of what I'm soldering.

As asked, here is a picture of the soldering iron, it's an chinese TS100: Small soldering iron

On expensive soldering irons the distance from grip to tip can be very small, like on the JBC nano handle:
JBC nano handle

I guess I would need to place a good insulator around the hot metal to be able to do it. A great insulator that would resist the heat?

I found the insulator Pyrogel XTL, maybe it could be wrapped around the tip.

  • Could you by any chance show a picture of what you soldering iron looks like that way it would be easier to solve a solution. Thank You! – Pobrecita Aug 27 '17 at 0:23
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If you want to do precision soldering, you could try one of the below options,

1) buy a more expensive iron for the job that's required - not a life hack,

2) instead of putting the objects being soldered into a clamp, have a clamp hold the iron at a set angle, then hold the objects you are soldering and manoeuvre them to the iron accurately. - kind of life hack by using the tools you may have available to you in an alternative way.

enter image description here

Note: added image of second idea, a little crude, but you hold the items being soldered accurately in your hands whilst using a clamp to hold the soldering iron in a steady fixed position.

  • Can you explain your second point? Not sure what that means – Sachin Oct 5 '17 at 10:55
  • @Sachin I have added an image to hopefully explain my idea. – TiO Oct 5 '17 at 11:37
  • That's dangerous to do, really. I've done enough soldering to know that this is not a good idea at all. Of course someone could do it without hurting themselves, but I would not recommend it! The professional way to do it to use the clamp for holding your board/PCB, and soldering on that. – Sachin Oct 5 '17 at 12:10
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I would like to be a able to grip my soldering iron closer to the tip to have better control of what I'm soldering

Actually if control is what you are looking for, you should try a PCB Clamp

Holding the soldering iron closer to the tip is dangerous to say the least. It is advisable to always hold the iron from its grip.

You can also consider using the clamp tool along with a magnifying glass stand for better visibility. But holding the iron up close to the tip is not a good idea.

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Try using a wire coil handle (replacement).

The coil handle is hollow and both ends are open. You would slide the soldering pencil tip through one end of the handle until the point protrudes enough for you from the other end. Holding the coil as the handle, you can get your grip practically at the hot tip.

wire coil handle

Here's the problem you'll have to play with to find an optimal solution. The metal coil will draw heat from the heating element and heat up eventually. Also, unless there is something like a shim to keep the heating element from touching the coil handle, it will take longer to reach proper temperature for good melt.

coil handle replacement package

Same idea using different materials:

Alternately, a simple hardwood tube could also act as an insulator as it does on many skillets with wooden handles. The soldering iron will not get hot enough to burn the wood. Wood will not get as hot as the metal coil and will not steal heat from the heating element as the metal coil. Slip one over the end of the soldering iron that fits snugly enough to hold securely.

wooden sleeve handle for soldering pencil

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This is how to use soldering iron. With practice u will be comfortable to do soldering jobs with very little chance of burning u r finger. I learned this method from BigClive

enter image description here

  • 3
    The user5507535 did not ask how to use a soldering iron. The question was how to grip the soldering iron closer to the tip. – Stan Aug 27 '17 at 19:04

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