Being around a lot of Internet Stained Glass groups, I keep seeing the Hakko FX 601 Soldering Iron popping up as a "Favorite" among Hobbyists. Did a lot of reading on it, and what the Manufacturer says about it, and the comparisons they posted to the Hakko 456, which I have and use, I have a lot of questions in my mind. Both are Ceramic elements, but the Hakko 456 has higher wattage, then the 601 which is rated at 65 watts. Seems most of the folks using them, are getting them with a 3/16th tip, which seems kind of narrow to me. I may have to get one, just to test it against a couple of other irons, but it seems to me it may be on the threshold of being inadequate, based on the wattage and the tip size. Seems to me, a 65 watt iron is not going to recover as fast as a, lets say 90 or 100 watt iron, and is going to cool down faster under use because its won't produce as much heat as fast as a bigger iron, if both are ceramic. Also, a 3/16h tip seems a little narrow, and will not transfer as much heat from the element to the solder, as a tip with more mass, and would cool down faster when in use.
There are a lot of good reviews, but most of them are not based on any other criteria than opinion on how it works for them, and not likely compared to anything in a real test. I have to wonder how it would stand up in a match where all factors where even, pyrometers where attached, to my Hakko 456, my Weller 100, my Hexacon, and my American Beauty, in the 100 to 200 watt range. I hate to buy one just to run it through its paces, but it may come to that, just for curiosity.
What's everyone's opinion on this? The people here have done as much soldering and more than most, and have packed away a lot of knowledge on this