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Reviews For: Weller PortaSol P1K Butane Soldering Kit

Category: Tools & Test Equipment for the amateur radio work bench

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Review Summary For : Weller PortaSol P1K Butane Soldering Kit
Reviews: 6MSRP: 55.00 (approx)
Kit contains a Weller 10-60 Watt Butane soldering iron, 4 tips, wire stand and cleaning sponge in a plastic storage case.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KD4W Rating: 2012-08-13
Works fine for me Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well, mine is a model P2k and I've used it dozens of times and it always works perfectly. I can't honestly tell you how long I've owned it, but it has to be over two years.
As far as I'm concerned it is a great product.
VK4IB Rating: 2012-08-13
Buy the p1k, the first model only Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this one, which is the original version, 20 years ago and it still works, I still have it! 2 years ago I began looking for an upgrade but all the modern ones, including the new autostart weller, that some of the comments below are confusing with this model under review which does not have auto start but a flint in the cap. All the new ones I bought failed in short order. The end even blew off one, luckily not while I was using it at the time. They made this original for 25 years and if you search a few dusty back shelves you may find one. I bought another at a clearance sale at Dick Smiths last year and I have it hidden, their gold.
KC2MMI Rating: 2010-12-16
Works well but not for long Time Owned: more than 12 months.
" It was disappointing that Cooper (the division that makes them) never bothered responding at all to a polite complaint " Exact same experience!
I've probably had mine over ten years and gone through two butane cans, not a lot of use. Replaced one tip some time ago thinking it was defective--and Cooper never had the courtesy to respond. Now, all three tips are dead after simply sitting in the box in the warm dry closet for six months.
I'll probably try the Benzomatic mini-torch kit, which is 1/3 the price and certainly can't fail any sooner.
Anyone know how to rejuvenate the catalyst inside these tips? Or replace it with new catalyst? Such a shame, because it works so nicely when it has working tips.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KC2MMI on 2004-04-13

Bought mine about 8-10 years ago and I love it. First week I had it was for a major rewiring job where every connection got soldered and heat-shrink wrapped, and the outer sleeve of the "blower" tip literally fell off, rolled away, and was gone forever. It was disappointing that Cooper (the division that makes them) never bothered responding at all to a polite complaint that one of the new parts was defective out of the box. For large heat shrink jobs, it leaves something to be desired, it just doesn't make as wide a heated area as some of the dedicated heat-shrink tools, but it can work if you are patient and heat small areas at a time.

And after some time, you'll find that the tips do need replacing, the platinum catalyst "stuffing" in them does either contaminate or wear out, expect that they need to be replaced every few years.

The nice thing is that this iron works like a champ, and with the appropriate tip can solder a wide range of things. Works for a reasonably long time on each fill, too.

My only regret is not getting one ten years sooner! Buy the whole kit, it is sold at discounts way cheaper than buying individual pieces.
WA4EHO Rating: 2010-03-11
BEWARE Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Being stupid as I am, I bought another one of these thinking that I just got a lemon...not the case. The new one is just as much a piece of crap as the first one was even when using Colibri fuel. After a few uses it would not light and when it did light, it would not stay lit. If you want to spend $50 just mail it to me as you'll get just as much use out of what I send you as you will when you buy this useless junk.

Earlier 2-star review posted by WA4EHO on 2008-04-10

Mine worked great for about a year with me only using it a dozen times. Now it will not light unless I use a match but there is an ignition spark. Also, the flame comes out the holes at the tip. The flame adjustment is erratic and the flame goes high and low. The tank is full as I haven't even used up one fuel canister yet. All of this happen suddenly. I used it to install a coax connector and the next time I went to use it a few days later...Broke! If anyone knows how to fix this thing let me know at my email addr - wa4eho at gmail dot com. Tnx,Sam
KR4UB Rating: 2004-04-13
Great soldering tool for repeater sites Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased a PortaSol P1K soldering kit to use primarily at repeater sites where lugging drop cords and a regular soldering iron can be inconvenient.

I find I use it more and more, especially in limited workspace situations. It's really handy for example working on vehicle wiring.
KE4MOB Rating: 2004-02-23
Handy and reliable--a definite must have Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This particular iron fits the bill perfectly for a smaller iron for the lighter duty work that a ham runs into all the time--it's even great for heavier kitbuilding if you don't mind having to refuel. Anytime I go to a special event, portable operation, Field Day, etc. this is the iron that is in my bag along with my VOM and other stuff. 99% of all my solder work is done with this iron.

The iron has been in use for nearly three (or is it four?) years and I've never had a problem with it. It uses canned butane that is readily available at almost any supermarket in the tobacco section, so fuel is not a problem. The adjustable temperature control has a wide enough range to solder nearly anything from the very small to the moderately large, as long as you have the right tip--often I'll use the blowtorch tip for the larger jobs (like soldering feeders on dipoles).

The only real complaint isn't with the iron itself, it's with the tip selection that makes up the kit. The kit comes supplied with a 2.3 mm tip (T2), blowtorch head (T5), hot air blower (T6) and hot knife (T7). The 2.2 mm tip is a bit too wide for some applications, like tight circuit board work and microphone plug work. It would have been nice to have the T-1 (.79 mm) tip included. I've ordered one for my iron from Mouser, so hopefully it will fill the gap nicely.

Overall, a neat little handy iron for the lighter jobs or portable use.