I was asked by Chandler Tools to review their new woodburning-soldering tool. Full disclosure: They provided the product free of charge in return for writing this review. The full title of the product is as follows:
Chandler Tool Wood Burning Kit - 30 Watt - Pyrography Woodburner with Solid Brass Tips - for Woodburning, Leather Burning, Soldering
Here is yet another great tool made by Chandler, a family owned company, well known for creating high quality tools at reasonable prices. I previously reviewed their glue gun and heat gun, so I am familiar with their innovation and quality.
I received the product well packaged from Amazon and in excellent condition.
I removed the plastic container and noted immediately that the handle is very durable, easy to hold and grip due to its texture. Like all of Chandler's products, it is sturdy, well-made and easy to handle. It is well-balanced and light-weight.
It comes with a coil of solder and a variety of tips that you can use depending on what your project is. The gold tips are for woodburning and the silver tips are for soldering. You need to be sure not to mix them up. The iron is well-designed so that it can be used for either function.
It is not cordless, which I would have preferred, but it may not have provided as much heat that way. It heats up very quickly, and there is no heat transferred to your hand. I used the device for over an hour and my hand did not even get warm . There is a small stand that comes with the product so that the tip is protected and prevents inadvertently applying heat to other items on your workbench.
My first project with this new woodburning-soldering tool was to use it to solder a 24 gauge stranded wire to the rail of an N scale track, since this is what I often use a soldering iron for (among other things) in my hobby of model railroading.
I fastened the track down with a clamp on the workbench. After stripping the wire and twisting the strands, I used a smaller clamp to hold the wire against the outside of the rail where I wanted to attach it. Many model railroaders like to attach the wire to the bottom of the rail so that the wire doesn't show at all after the track is installed. But for the purpose of just testing the product, I chose to solder it to the side of the rail.
So I applied the iron using one of the larger silver tips to the top of the rail, let that heat up for about 10-15 seconds, then applied the solder to the rail and the wire on the side. The solder was a little sluggish in flowing into the area at first, but after I tinned the tip and added some solder flux, it flowed smoothly and after a few seconds of cooling, I had a solid connection.
My next project was to use the tool as a woodburning instrument. My skills at woodburning, I must say, are very limited. The last time I did any woodburning was when I was about 12 years old. So safe to say, I am not an expert in this field.
However, using the beveled gold tip, and a piece of balsa wood, I think my project came out pretty well on my first try. See what you think...
An attachable hot knife is included as well, which can be used to easily cut through styrofoam blocks to create elevations, cliffs, rock outcroppings for the model railroader, but can be used for many other crafts as well.
I think this is an excellent product, well-designed as 3 tools in one at a very reasonable price. It is easy and safe to use. There is no heat transferred to the hand. Multiple exchangeable tips are provided that allow for a variety of uses in both large or small projects. As noted, they even supply an attachable knife blade that can be used as a hot knife for cutting styrofoam and other soft products with ease.
Here is the description given on the Amazon listing for this device...
So before you go out and spend over $100 for a soldering iron, a woodburning tool and a hot knife, you may want to take a look at this multipurpose product that can do all three for less than the price of one of the lesser quality tools.
I am also impressed by the fact that it comes with a lifetime warranty. If it fails, they will replace it for free.