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189 Reviews
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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice little soldering station
According to the manufacturer (lookup Hakko's website) the new FX-888 should have improved characteristics over their very popular and successful model 936. I got mine at nearby Frys brick and mortar for sixty five. Frys also had full range of tips for this iron averaging about six dol. a piece.

The station is fully temperature-controlled. It is supplied via a...
Published on February 5, 2011 by Reviewer

versus
12 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Before purchasing the FX-888 I carefully read the reviews on the Amazon site. I was impressed with the number of satisfied customers so I ordered the product. I am an electronic hobbyist, not a technician or electrical engineer. The package came intact. After powering up the unit I noticed an audible and annoying hum in the base unit. Unfortunately Amazon does not...
Published 18 months ago by Louis L. Aymard Jr.


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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice little soldering station, February 5, 2011
This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
According to the manufacturer (lookup Hakko's website) the new FX-888 should have improved characteristics over their very popular and successful model 936. I got mine at nearby Frys brick and mortar for sixty five. Frys also had full range of tips for this iron averaging about six dol. a piece.

The station is fully temperature-controlled. It is supplied via a regular transformer which adds to its weight but is much more reliable than a switched mode PS. It has an "artsy" design, offered in four different color patterns, with hard plasic top shell and sturdy metal bottom to which the transformer is attached (yes, I had to open it up ;)). As one can see in the picture, the station has a simple center knob with a dial making it super easy to operate and inexpensive to manufacture. Digital temp. displays always add to the final price tag.

Red LED light indicates when the iron gets its power to heat up. It is actually fun to watch it blink ON and OFF and to see how the circuitry determines the iron's need for more heat. "ESD-safe" means that the iron is grounded throughout - from the mains plug to the iron's tip.

The only one thing I didn't quite like is the plastic socket in the station connecting the iron's plastic plug with it. The plug and socket is of the old European DIN type used for low audio signals, and in here it supplies 3 Amps to the 70 Watts iron. If it just stays plugged in - it should last forever, but if one needs to put it away unplugged often - this connector looks to me like a thing likely to fail at some point in time.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality soldering station!, May 2, 2011
This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
As a hobbyist I work mostly on guitar electronics, and my old flatbed 35mm film editing machine. After having used cheap-o $20 irons, all of which failed after few weeks of heavy use, I wanted to get a quality soldering iron.

Bought this one at Fry's Electronics in the blue and yellow color scheme (It comes in silver, black, and red, however the blue/yellow is the only color scheme available in the US).
The FX-888 has a fun, 50's retro sort of look. Judging solely by appearance it might be mistaken for a fisher-price toy. Be assured... it isn't.

The temperature controller knob changes from 400-900°F and is lockable via a supplied hex key. An ON-OFF button is located on the side of the base. On the front of the base is a red LED which flashes on and off as it calibrates the desired temperature. Below the LED is a calibration pot that is to be adjusted with the "CAL adjustment driver" (also included) when replacing tips or other parts. The holder has the standard iron receptacle, a sponge with hollows (fill it with a little water to keep the sponge damp), rubber cleaner, and cleaning wire sponge. The iron itself feels comfortable and is lightweight.
I put it right to work by re-wiring three of my instruments.

After some heavy use, I have no doubts that this is a high quality tool. The iron reaches the set temperature in about a minute, and cools down quite fast. Temp changes are rapid and maintained constantly within a few degrees. No more cold solder joints from weaker irons. Excellent heat transfer. The tip is very high quality and looks as though it will last a long time, even under daily use.

The FX-888 is the replacement for the much loved "Hakko 936". Having never used that product I can't say whether it is an improved model or not. Standing on its own, the FX-888 is an fantastic, and neat looking tool.

My only gripe... I wish it was available in the other colors.
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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very ugly but the best iron I've used, July 29, 2011
This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
I've had a Hakko 936 for well over ten years of heavy use, and it still works great. I got hired at a company that requires me to do a lot of soldering, so I chose the Hakko 888 because it is the closest thing to the 936.

The 888 is better. Rather than setting the temp knob at about 80% all the time like the 936, I set it to 50% on the 888. Available power is very nice. I can throw away my big soldering "gun" (the type with the trigger) because this thing gets hotter-- it will solder a 10 AWG wire to a large nut, if you turn the temp up. Or it can solder a tiny 0402 surface mount resistor, if you turn the temp down and change the tip.

I spend much of my day soldering at work with this iron. Life is easier with it.

It is ugly.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!, October 28, 2011
This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
Have been using a $12 30 watt iron from Parts Express and a similar one from Radio Shack for about 12 years for DIY audio. Both fell apart and decided to get a more substantial unit. I needed a soldering tool now so read reviews and went to my local Frys to look at them up close. I was willing to spend up to $150 and wanted a known well built product and one that had a temp control to be used with different solder brands I use (Cardas Quad Eutectic and WBT) and the different solder work I do. There are several Stations out there in my price range but after several hours scouring the net for reviews there was mainly only three units under $150 that dedicated DIY hobbiests like me use which is the Hakko FX-888, Weller WES51 and the WESD51. My local FRYs had all three and many others in-stock so I got to look at them all but I was mainly comparing the Weller units and Hakko mentioned above.

The one gripe I have regarding the Hakko is that it looks like it came from Toys R Us! I went with the Hakko for many reasons and after using this unit for 5 hours straight (PCB through hole work with WBT solder) I am wondering why I did not use such a tool all these years, this sucker works like a champ! The very cool thing about a temp controlled Station is that you can adjust the temp to the work you are doing, actually dial in the temp so that what you are working on gets the job done quickly so you do not damage anything sensitive (like traces or other sensitive component parts).

The Cons: looks like a toy because of the color scheme but this obviously does not effect performance. This is a analog unit so you do not know what the temp is at the iron tip. The Weller digital unit WESD51 for $45 + tax more would give this information. If the Weller iron felt better in my hand (see below) I would have spent the money and gone with the WESD51.

The Pros: Priced right (I paid $84 + tax) tons of tips and easily available locally, heats up FAST (under 20 secs for 730F temp), seems to keep the temp very stable, small foot print, nice feel to the iron (better than the Weller, Weller feels cheap to me in comparison) and the brass sponge is a nice touch.

In summary if you are using a pencil iron for different types of soldering work and are upgrading this is a very nice unit, Highly Recommended!

Chris
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great soldering iron station, November 16, 2011
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This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
I'm a retired design engineer and over the years, I have had to do my own soldering (re)work when my tech's were not available. The station is on par with the weller soldering station. Weller was the only one we used in our lab.

The unit has enough power to work with TO-220 TO-3 package (heavy duty power devices) but with a quick change of the tip allowed me to work with SOT-23 and 0402 sized packages. Latter ones are the size of a rice grain and smaller. pin pitch of 0.5mm and had no problem. It worked really well with ROHS compliant Pb free 25 gauge solder and below. Didn't bridge the solder connection at these small dimensions. And most importantly, it maintained the temperature precisely so that I didn't damage any of these very small components.

On larger items, I could solder board mounted bananna jacks without problems, no problems handling the power devices.

It's a great station highly recommend it. Ergonomics is nice. Handle diameter could have been bit larger. It's bit smaller in diameter than the Weller soldering iron. Maybe I'm just used to a the Weller. Still very comfortable.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It looks cool, but that leads to my only criticisms, October 14, 2012
This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
I chose this over a 50 W Weller because it has more power and I like the look. I think it will hold up well compared to my Weller at the office.

What I miss from the Weller is

A power switch in plain sight.

A pilot light.

A place to keep spare tips.

I haven't seen signs of an auto power off feature, so I expect I will eventually leave it on overnight after looking at it, not seeing a switch and seeing that the red LED is off because it is not heating.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improved my soldering ability, January 23, 2012
This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
This is one great soldering iron. I have used several soldering irons, pencils, and guns, and this is the best one ever. I have so much more control that I get better solder connections. The right soldering station is an important part of having good soldering skills.

Being able to dial in exact temperatures, and to lock at a favorite temperature with included wrench, is perfect for working with sensitive electronics. I was burning out semiconductors with my old fixed-heat 50 watt iron before; now I don't need to use a clip on the lead to protect components. That speeds things up a lot.

There is a large variety of auxiliary soldering tips for this unit, another reason I chose it. The provided chisel-type tip is about 1/8" wide, and it's fine for most electronics work, but there are smaller chisels, awl, and tapered tips that would be better for more delicate soldering. I ordered two smaller chisels and a pointed tip at the same time as I bought the soldering iron.

If I put the edge of the provided chisel tip in contact with the circuit board and the wire coming through the hole to be soldered, then tilt the iron up until the length of the wedge is in full contact with the wire. This gives an instant heating effect that allows you to just touch the solder on there, and let go after a brief pause. I get great solder joints that way. It's a technique that works with any soldering iron with a wedge tip, but it works especially well with the Hakko.

I notice that the heating indicator turns on and off frequently and for short spells. That seems like a good thing for keeping close to the desired temperature.

I guess not everyone does, but I like the arty color scheme. Makes it easy to spot.

The only thing I don't like about this soldering iron is that replacement sponges cost four dollars a pop and won't last all that long. I tend to use the sponge a lot. I plan to experiment with cutting a household sponge to fit (will update with results).

Overall I am really pleased with this purchase and recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for stained glass, April 16, 2012
By 
SHIRLEY MCADOO (Outback, Oregon USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
I had previously reported that I could not use this iron for my new hobby. However, I spoke with Tom at B&D and he knew it would be OK. Then I spoke with the Hakko rep at a glass show and he assured me that my instructor - who had told me this iron was too hot and would break my glass - was all wrong. So I took it to class and my instructor watched from the corner of the room. I love the adjustable temp control. I started low and slowly raised it to the temp I needed to melt the 60/40 solder I was using. I practiced a little on foiled glass. Then I did my cross. I am so proud of my 2nd piece of work. The iron did a lovely job and I made great beads. The iron is lightweight and a nice size for my female hands. The heat seems to be fluid, no cold hot times. My instructor went into hiding as the other women in the class got to try the iron and loved it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to work with, October 31, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
After using a plain cheap soldering iron for the past two decades, I wonder why I had never invested in such a tool.
This unit heats up fast; in under 30 seconds and is stable. The soldering pencil is ergonomic, light with a soft flexable cable. I like the fact that you can move the holder (with cleaning sponge + brass) around the bench. Its solid metal and I get the feeling I'm using something well built. As a recend poster said, it makes Weller seem cheap!
Given the price, I'm impressed with the quality and I highly recommend it!
Check out Dave Jones' soldering EEVBLOG for superb details.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a HUGE upgrade, October 11, 2011
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This review is from: Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station
The Hakko FX-888 is my first temperature controlled soldering station. I have used a couple cheap 30 watt soldering irons and this BLOWS them out of the water. It gets hot very quickly and can get way hotter than you usually need but having the extra head room means I can heat up heavier duty items.

Great station, would recommend it to everybody.
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