Jump to content


Photo

Soldering Iron Evolution. Pondering The Fx 601 Hakko


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Boris_USA

Boris_USA

    Lampman

  • Assistant Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,531 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern Shore of Maryland USA
  • Interests:Way too Many...

Posted 05 July 2016 - 09:34 PM

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



#2 annabelle

annabelle

    Homeowner

  • Glasser
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:04 AM

I have been glassing for nearly 30 years...But have never been as technically oriented as you....or Graham (remember him?...really nice guy)...or others...That said, I used what works for me consistently...Before I got my Hakko 456, I always had 2 irons going, just to be able to keep up...My little 456 quickly became my iron of choice, replacing the 2 Wellers.  I recommend Hakko irons to my students, and they love them...I use both the larger tip and the smaller one for different applications, and both work equally well...I think it has something to do with the ceramic core vs metal...For me, they are just better irons.



#3 stargazer99

stargazer99

    Community Leader

  • Glasser
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 467 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Asheville,NC
  • Interests:Retired tool and die maker. Decorative ironwork, German Shepherds, precision machining, stained glass

Posted 06 July 2016 - 09:45 AM

I too have a 456 with a 3/16 tip and it works fine.



#4 Boris_USA

Boris_USA

    Lampman

  • Assistant Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,531 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern Shore of Maryland USA
  • Interests:Way too Many...

Posted 06 July 2016 - 03:56 PM

I have been glassing for nearly 30 years...But have never been as technically oriented as you....or Graham (remember him?...really nice guy)...or others...That said, I used what works for me consistently...Before I got my Hakko 456, I always had 2 irons going, just to be able to keep up...My little 456 quickly became my iron of choice, replacing the 2 Wellers.  I recommend Hakko irons to my students, and they love them...I use both the larger tip and the smaller one for different applications, and both work equally well...I think it has something to do with the ceramic core vs metal...For me, they are just better irons.

 

I agree with you here. The 456 has been one of my favorites since it came out. My question is with the new iron that they evidently promote as taking the place of the 456, which looks much smaller and is rated at ony 65 watts, and in some ads as 50 watts.  Of course they post the tests on their website along side tests on the 456, and show the 601 as giving better results. The test seems to be on copper filmed paper, soldering a joint every 3 seconds.  I found several comments, both good and bad. The people using it say its great. The people that have had the ceramic heater fail, are not that happy, yet neither has actually tested it under glass working conditions.  The only tests I saw, which was a partial test, was by an electrical engineer, who found it to be not as great as the ads said it was.  Also the ad Hakko is using as a video is the same one they used for the 456, which, in my opinion was a workhorse, but now discontinued. They also claim the FX601 uses less power, but outperforms the 456, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

 

What I would be interested in is how it preforms on running beads on glass. How much heat it loses in a given distance of soldering, of lets say 4 or 5 inches, and how fast it recovers , compared to a 456 or another brand comparable. Over the years, I am sure a lot of folks here have used different irons, mostly iron core and wire coil heaters, of different wattages and mass (weight) and would have some thoughts on this.
 



#5 Tod Beall

Tod Beall

    Daily Mirror Owner

  • Glasser
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,632 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Massachusetts just west of Brimfield
  • Interests:Mostly flat glass. I started with sg over 30 years ago. I also collect books about sg. Please visit Beall Glass Studio on Face Book.

Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:43 PM

No question that even room temperature glass with foil draws the heat out of an iron. I'm too old fashioned to comment further on this topic. Have fun!



#6 Boris_USA

Boris_USA

    Lampman

  • Assistant Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,531 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern Shore of Maryland USA
  • Interests:Way too Many...

Posted 06 July 2016 - 10:04 PM

No question that even room temperature glass with foil draws the heat out of an iron. I'm too old fashioned to comment further on this topic. Have fun!

 

Yep, maybe technology knows something we don't know.  Maybe I need to get one of those and try it out this winter, when I have some window repair glass work planned, and see how it does. In the mean time, will stick with the 456 and the Hexacon as my favorites.  If some one that has been doing glass for years gets one before that, and has used other irons that they could compare it to, it would be interesting to know.

 

Tod, I still take spells and fire up a good vintage iron once in a while, and they still work as well as new ones, plus they feel good in your hands. I bet you have a few "Gems" stashed also.
 



#7 annabelle

annabelle

    Homeowner

  • Glasser
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:17 AM

I have an old Hexicon that is heavy, but still a trooper....and I have a small Weller with a pencil tip I use for tiny places....I don't have any research to back my opinion of the Hakko I use, but I just like it a lot.



#8 stargazer99

stargazer99

    Community Leader

  • Glasser
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 467 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Asheville,NC
  • Interests:Retired tool and die maker. Decorative ironwork, German Shepherds, precision machining, stained glass

Posted 07 July 2016 - 03:24 PM

I have seen and picked up the 601, but have never actually used it. I was told it works beautifully by a friend, but he has never used the 456 tho. It looked and felt awful 'chintzy' com[pared to the 456, but then I felt that way about the 456 compared to the Weller until I've used it for awhile. Guess I'm an old school thinker too.



#9 Boris_USA

Boris_USA

    Lampman

  • Assistant Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,531 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern Shore of Maryland USA
  • Interests:Way too Many...

Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:33 PM

I have an old Hexicon that is heavy, but still a trooper....and I have a small Weller with a pencil tip I use for tiny places....I don't have any research to back my opinion of the Hakko I use, but I just like it a lot.

 

Hexacon makes  a heck of a soldering iron. Thy are heavier than some, but sure pack a punch.



#10 Boris_USA

Boris_USA

    Lampman

  • Assistant Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,531 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern Shore of Maryland USA
  • Interests:Way too Many...

Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:41 PM

I have seen and picked up the 601, but have never actually used it. I was told it works beautifully by a friend, but he has never used the 456 tho. It looked and felt awful 'chintzy' com[pared to the 456, but then I felt that way about the 456 compared to the Weller until I've used it for awhile. Guess I'm an old school thinker too.

 

 

Just using good common sense. You can't believe sales pitches anymore, and almost have to have it in your hands to decide on your own. I will lay my hands on one sooner than later. Not that I need it, but just to see what it really is.

 

I probably have 30 or more,  Irons and Soldering Bench top Stations of different brands, mostly commercial stuff. 



#11 Tod Beall

Tod Beall

    Daily Mirror Owner

  • Glasser
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,632 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Massachusetts just west of Brimfield
  • Interests:Mostly flat glass. I started with sg over 30 years ago. I also collect books about sg. Please visit Beall Glass Studio on Face Book.

Posted 08 July 2016 - 08:36 AM

I really enjoy my 200 watt Hexacon. When you're soldering with a beast like that, you know you're bringing serious capacity to the party! I also have an Esico 200, a Hexacon 100 hatchet and many other options but no where near 30!!



#12 Boris_USA

Boris_USA

    Lampman

  • Assistant Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,531 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern Shore of Maryland USA
  • Interests:Way too Many...

Posted 29 July 2016 - 03:56 PM

I really enjoy my 200 watt Hexacon. When you're soldering with a beast like that, you know you're bringing serious capacity to the party! I also have an Esico 200, a Hexacon 100 hatchet and many other options but no where near 30!!

 

The Hexacon is hard to beat, and yes, it is a "Beast" of an iron.  Its very, very, hard to drain off enough heat, that forces you to wait for it to recover. I think you could solder a Cowcatcher on a Steam Locomotive with that thing. LOL

 

Post a picture of the Esico if you have a chance.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users