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Awesome New Hakko Soldering Equipment

Knowing how people enjoy reading about workshop tools and equipment, I thought I’d briefly mention my recent purchase of premium new Hakko soldering equipment.

This January purchase was held up for about a month by the central Australian floods that broke the trans-Australian rail system, but it all finally arrived and both new pieces are set up now and running beautifully. In fact, I’ve repaired quite a few pieces of hi-fi gear with these two now and they’ve already proven themselves to be outstanding.

The new soldering and board rework equipment consist of Hakko’s most advanced soldering station, the induction-heated Hakko FX-100, and a state-of-the-art Hakko FM-204 desoldering station. I grabbed a few tips and consumables for each, so this was a considerable small-business investment, somewhat north of $2k AUD, from my regular supplier of such things, Mektronics.

New Hakko soldering equipment
Hakko FX-100 on the left, FM-204 on the right.

For those interested, Hakko is an old-school Japanese company and one of the original players in soldering equipment manufacture. Everything is still designed in Japan, made in Japan and yes, you’ll pay a little more for that level of Japanese build quality and engineering, but it’s worth it. It’s always worth it.

From a business perspective and for anyone just wanting elegantly designed, extremely well-built equipment that performs, I cannot recommend Hakko highly enough. Their gear is just beautiful, a delight to use. Some competitors may be flashier or have better specs on paper, but I really rate Hakko gear and have been using it since Liquid Audio began.

New Hakko Soldering Equipment
The Hakko FX-100 inductively heated soldering iron is the best iron I’ve ever used. Ultra-fast heat-up means she is ready to go in less than five seconds, from OFF! The pencil is way nicer than the alternatives out there too. This station is a bit of a sleeper, I suspect not many have them because of the cost and fear of the unknown inductive heating vs regular resistive element.
New Hakko Soldering Equipment
The Hakko FM-204 is significantly lighter and more powerful than my already excellent previous desoldering tool. Most importantly, the handpiece, shown here without the pistol grip, is much smaller and lighter, with greater suction. It’s an excellent desoldering station.

You might be thinking: “Mike, you already had great Hakko soldering equipment, why did you need more..?!” Honestly, a lot of it comes down to the pleasure and enjoyment of owning and using equipment like this. This is true of good mechanical tools, test and measurement gear, soldering equipment and anything else. It’s also probably true for many of you reading this, in terms of your own professional tools and equipment.

The new soldering and desoldering stations are both significantly better than the excellent equipment I have been using. Both are nicer to use, ergonomically better and deliver better results. I use them a lot too, so the user experience stuff matters. I love good tools and equipment as most will already know, but tools like these are a literal world away from the cheap soldering tools and Hakko clones prevalent on eBay, Ali and elsewhere.

In short, premium equipment like this is an investment in the business. Ultimately, and in the right hands, tools like these deliver better results and that benefits me and my customers. Everyone’s a winner as they say!

New Hakko Soldering Equipment
They make a nice little stack that fits perfectly into my existing workshop shelving. By the way, see my super-cool Philips PM 2505 analog multimeter? That thing is super-sensitive, with a 10MOhm input impedance, extraordinary for a meter like this where competitors often featured 20kOhm input impedances.
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My near-new Hakko FR-301 desoldering gun and Hakko 633 stand.
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This is my previous Hakko FX-951 soldering station.

My previous equipment – a Hakko FX-951 and Hakko FR-301 you see above are now for sale for anyone wanting a really nice rework setup. Both pieces are in excellent condition and available for viewing in the store, in the miscellaneous section!

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8 thoughts on “Awesome New Hakko Soldering Equipment”

    1. Thanks Ralf, one thing I much prefer about the FX-951 and FX-100 over Goot, JBC and everything else are the pencils. The FX-100 pencil especially is a revelation ergonomically and in terms of size and dexterity.

  1. timothy joel davis

    So, am I right in thinking that your acquisition of these tools is equivalent to that moment in Quentin Tarentino’s Kill Bill opus in which Uma Thurman’s character is presented with an authentic Hatori Hanzo sword by legendary actor Sonny Chiba which he prefaces by telling her “If you encounter God in your journey with this sword, God will be cut”.?

  2. Hi Mike,
    I just recently picked up an FM-204 and I’m waiting for it to come in. Funnily enough, this was the only review I could find on the 204. I’m upgrading from my trusty FR-301 after years of reliable service. Do you have any updated thoughts on the FM-204? The expensive tips and disposable filters are kind of throwing me off here. Hopefully it will work out and not give too much trouble. It looks like a great piece of kit and I trust your feedback! Hope all is well!

    Connor G

    1. Hey Connor, hope all is well and Happy New Year! Good work getting the FM-204, it beats the FR-301 in every way. I went through three FR-301s over the years before upgrading to the FM-204 and should have done it sooner. The tips are very long-lasting, I grabbed my three favourite sizes and they are still going strong. The disposable filter thing bothered me at first too until I realised you can easily clean and re-use them many times over. Hakko doesn’t mention that of course! The gun is much lighter and less cumbersome and suction power is improved over the 301. This better Hakko gear is in a league of its own and I reckon you’ll really like it. Let me know what you think when it arrives.

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