Hakko has been producing high quality (de)soldering related tools for many years. The Hakko FX-951 is a high end soldering station. The unit comes with a 70W soldering iron. It has great heat transfer and thermal recovery capability. It heats to 500 degrees F within under 20 seconds.
It features a very unique soldering iron/pencil that uses the pulsing heater technology to provide a consistent temperature even with different application. Its temperature ranges from 400 to 840 degrees F. Have a stability of about 9F.
Soldering pencil and tip
For some reasons, the unit does NOT ship with a soldering tip, not even a standard one. Make sure that you buy the tips separately. Both T12 and T15 tips should work. It cost about $10, which is sort of reasonable for the high end stations.
When the soldering iron is docked, it can put your iron in a sleep mode. It idles the soldering tip at the very low temperature to prevent the tip damage from oxidation. Due to the fast thermal recovery time, the tip will heat back up to the operating temperature almost in seconds. Soldering tips are hot swappable. You can use the heat resistant pad to take off the hot tip and then insert the new tip. By the way, its soldering iron cord is made of non-burnable material. If the hot tip accidentally touches the cord, it should not burn it.
Temperature and Wattage
The unit comes with a 70W soldering iron. Its temperature ranges from 400 to 840 degrees F. The temperature stability is about 9F. It has great heat transfer and thermal recovery. It takes about 20 seconds to heat up to 500 degrees F, which is more than decent. Either Celsius or Fahrenheit temperature display could be selected. The reading on LED is the set temperature not necessarily the tip temperature. When the set temperature is reached, there will be a beep. You can preset the temperatures. A little card could be used to lock those setting.
There are a couple of feature associated with the soldering stand itself. First, the iron holder angel can be changed easily so that the iron/pencil holder accommodates soldering in either a standing or a sitting position. Secondly, more important to us, if you put the iron into the holder, it triggers a switch to turn off the solder iron the minute iron put in. Of course, you can program a time delay up to 30 minutes with the unit.
With this unit, Hakko includes a bass wire for tip cleaning. As mentioned, with the trend of the lead-free soldering, sometimes it may be better to clean the soldering tip with brass wire.
The Hakko FX-951 is an ESD safe unit. The soldering tip is grounded while the rubber handle of the soldering pencil is conductive to remove the charge.
In all, the Hakko FX-951 deserves the 5 star(as we write) review on Amazon. Its heat up time is fast and has quick thermal recovery time. Also, its tip is slightly less expensive than that of the Weller WD1001, another great high-end station. It lowers the cost of ownership in the long run. If you are looking for a relatively low cost high-end station with fast heat-up, the Hakko FX-951 could be your best choice.