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I work as a mechanic and have been using 12v Milwaukee tools for years. I like the lighter weight of the 12v models and they seem to do the job I need done.
I got their new soldering iron for Xmas. Haven’t had a need to try it yet. Figured it would be just the thing for working around or under the layout. A few days ago. I had to repair a broken wire by by jumpering over a connector under a bus. I held it together with butt connectors for a temporary fix in the field. I brought my new iron to work and it easily soldered a 12 gauge wire for a more permanent repair.
Should work good around the layout. No cord to drag around or trying to lite a butane version. Has a LED so you can see what your doing, heats up fast and has an adjustable handle. The only knock might be it’s weight. Not heavier than say a Weller pistol type.. But a little more hefty than your average pencil type. Nice well thought out tool.
 

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I love Milwaukee M12 Fuel tools. I have 4 and they have proven to be tough well engineered tools. Battery life is stunning. Wish I needed mobile soldering now!
 

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That is a very good tip, thanks. I’ll have a look at that for soldering larger gauge wires. At the other end of the scale, I’ve tried various soldering irons for work on small electronic components such as PCBs and found that the cheapest option, a recent Weller battery powered model, actually worked best. Of course it won’t do a large number of joins in one session but then I work very slowly.
 

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If you're going to be doing a lot of PCB work, my top choice is the Hakko FX880D soldering station. It's a temperature controlled adjustable soldering station for less than $100, and it has 70 watts of power. It also holds the temperature very accurately, and it's user calibration helps keep the temperature on target.
 

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A reviewer of the Milwaukee iron mentioned that he bought a XC4.0(?) M12 battery. That larger battery enabled him to set the iron down on end - very convenient when it's still hot.
 
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