Saturday, March 12, 2011

Portable soldering iron: Such a wonderful thing does exist!

Whiskey not included.

Have you ever stumbled across a tool that made you wonder how you ever got along without it? How you never so much as considered such a thing might exist or how it would work?

The Weller Portasol is one such tool. A couple Xmases ago, I received this butane-powered soldering iron kit and the standard tabletop electric kit behind it. Both were gifts from Amanda's dad, Jim, and both had been sitting at his place unused for many years. The Portasol is probably the best unexpected gift ever.

I've often needed to solder something inside a car, but it was impractical or impossible to take the part out and bring it indoors to solder. Using a soldering iron in a driveway is also annoying, especially when you don't have a long enough extension cord and it's too cold and/or windy outside for the iron to stay hot. Herein lies the joy of this little tool.

The kit has a sponge, a stand, and a handful of attachments including a hot knife. There's even a striker in there, so to take it anywhere all you need is a wet sponge and some butane. The solder has an on/off control, and a flame (temperature) adjustment.

It was 30-some degrees and windy last night when I went outside to repair Amanda's coil pack connector. I loved being able to just grab the kit and go to work. No need to run an extension cord out the window and down one story. It's easy to use and does everything you can ask of it. A perfect tool. Even for quick indoor jobs I prefer to use it over an electric one.

This particular model is no longer sold, but you can find new Portasols out there.

Mad props to Jim for this gift. The variable temperature electric iron is handy as well. Thanks!

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