Redesigning the soldering iron!

Hi, we’re a team of engineering undergrads hoping to redesign the soldering iron. Specifically, we’re looking at making it safer and more usable by younger teens and children.

We’re looking for any feedback or advice you might have, especially if you have kids, so if you can spare a few minutes to fill out our survey, that’d be awesome. Or if you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email at: Thank you for your time and input!

also, does anyone know why there is so much metal exposed towards the tip?

why there is so much metal exposed towards the tip?

Because it makes it easier to see what you’re soldering … no guards or plastic shrouds blocking the view. Also, there are many different tip shapes for different soldering applications. The tip needs to be easy to change and clean.

Your survey discussed irons that feed solder instead of melting it on the tip. Have you ever used a hot-melt glue gun? They suck!

There are many really good reasons why soldering irons haven’t changed in 100 years.

A 12-year old child bakes cookies in an oven. 350 degrees. They know the oven racks are hot, the pans are hot, the cookies are hot. There is certainly a lot of exposed metal. That child understands the dangers and risks.

I actually think your “safer soldering iron” project is sort of a waste of time, but that’s my opinion.

PS… the biggest danger is not the heat, but the lead fumes. I would put more focus on that aspect.

I did the survey and wish you luck with the project. The two biggest things that I noted are:

  • What are you comparing the new idea to? Metcal irons already have improved characteristics that address many concerns noted in the survey.

  • Solder needs to be applied in areas other than where the tip is so a tip that dispenses solder will not work.

  • I think the long metal part houses the heating element in some irons. It could be insulated but then it would be more clunky.

I agree with user mlseim, the fumes are the biggest safety concern.

Burns with irons are minor and heal perfectly.