Soldering iron tip erosion — Weller WMRP RT3

I’ve been having difficulty soldering properly with well-established settings for quite some time now. I’ve had to set the temperature to 400°C – just to get borderline decent operation. I measured the temperature as well and it was fine.

Looking at the tip closely revealed significant erosion, hence lack of physical contact with the PCB and miserable heat transfer.

weller_wmrp_rt3_tip_erosion

This is what the tip looked like on the first day:

weller_rt3_tip_01

Quite a difference.

For the time being I chose to grind the little peaks away, fully knowing that the plating will deteriorate even faster, but at least I can get stuff done for now. I’ll need a replacement pretty soon.

After just 3 years of moderate usage, the plating is gone. I have a feeling most of the damage was caused by the brass shavings used to clean the tip.

Now I’ll have to fork out 40 something to buy a new one, as the heating element is inseparably fused to the tip.

You cannot just replace the tip itself and keep the fully functional heater / sensor / pencil, you have to throw away perfectly good hardware, just because the tiny tip is EOL.

That sucks!

I guess that is the price to pay if you want to have such a small soldering iron and not deal with a heavy broom-handle all the time.

This entry was posted in Soldering & PCBs. and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.