A Nitrogen Soldering Iron Review


If you’ve ever welded, you know that some welders blow shielding gas onto the work for different reasons. For example, you often use a gas to displace oxygen from the area and prevent oxidation. You can also weld using a nitrogen shield. This allows for higher temperatures and a reduction in the flux required in the solder. Wave soldering often uses nitrogen, and JBC offers a soldering iron that can use nitrogen shielding gas. [SDG Electronics] put who retraces his steps in the video below.

As you’d expect, this isn’t a $50 soldering iron. The price of the iron is just under $1000 and that does not include the power supply or nitrogen source. The nitrogen generator that converts compressed air into nitrogen is particularly expensive. [SDG] just used a gas bottle.

Cost aside, is it worth it? The video shows welding work at different flux levels with and without nitrogen. We didn’t see much difference, even though [Steve] mentions that soldering seemed to be a bit easier under nitrogen. The higher flux solder also performed better. Microscopic examination showed some differences, but nothing that would require you to spend on the gas iron. Without flux, the solder wouldn’t wet. Adding a small amount of flux gave a good seal with nitrogen and although the normal soldering iron didn’t do as well it wasn’t bad and it’s not clear why that would be a big advantage for practical use.

There were some advantages to using nitrogen for some specialized welding jobs, but it didn’t seem compelling. Using flux helps and you will need to buy a lot of flux to recoup the investment in this iron.

We’ve seen plenty of cheap irons lately that do a good job. Or, why not convert a really cheap iron into a usable station?


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