Parts of a Soldering Iron

By Richard Asmus
Some soldering irons have heat controls.

Soldering irons differ in size, power and features. But most have the same basic parts, including the base, cord, handle, heating element and tip.

Base

Soldering irons with automatic heat controls have a base that plugs into the wall and controls the current to the iron. Some bases include a holder and a sponge to clean the tip.

Cord

Electric soldering irons have a cord that either plugs into the wall or into a base for heat control. The cord on a soldering iron used with a base cannot be plugged into a wall socket.

Handle

Handles vary in size and materials, depending mainly on how hot the iron gets. The handle must insulate the operator from heat so that he can work comfortably.

Heating Element

The heating element, usually rated in watts, must heat the tip sufficiently to melt the solder. A higher wattage heating element heats a larger tip.

Tip

The soldering iron tip comes in many sizes and shapes, from a pin point for precision soldering to a wider tip for larger wires. The tip must be appropriate for your soldering job.

About the Author

Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.