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Tips for the top.. a review of Soldering Iron MiniwareTS80 solder tips: B02, BC02 & K4

I’m a big fan of the TS80. I got the TS80 soldering iron as a gift a couple of years ago, and I can’t remember life before it. It’s still my go-to soldering iron, even when I don’t need portability – which is the main feature of this beauty!

I love taking the TS80 out on trips with me and using my solar pack to power it. It allows for repairs on the go or any other electronics I may need to do away for my desk. I’m still using the tip that came with it. Now I want to try more… this post is a look at the included tip (B02), an angled one (BC02), and a chisel tip (K4). Miniware has others and it’s worth looking at what might suit your needs the best.

I’m looking at the functionality and practicality of the tips.

Soldering iron and tips, with components.
All my testing tools for this post.

Hot Swappable solder tip

It sounds crazy, but these beauties are hot-swappable! One of the best parts is the ability to take it on the go and then also swap tips – it has a hot-swappable tip… but how long do I need to wait to swap?

Swapping is so quick and easy. Just swap when you need to.
The soldering iron tip ends to be able to swap the tips.
The ends make changing tips a simple and QUICK thing to do! really great feature.

You don’t need to wait at all. I was pretty hesitant to try it – but after soldering my component, at 410+C I took hold of the bottom mesh part of the tip, and pulled it out.

The testing items, 3 RFID boards, soldering iron and solder tips.
The ‘test’ equipment to be used. The TS80 Miniware solder iron, the three tips, and the 3 RFID boards.

It wasn’t hot to touch and was very quick and easy. No more waiting for the tip to cool, or needing a tool, before a swap out.

Three different solder tips

I’ll be trying the tip that was included with my solder iron, the B02. I’ll also try the two in the photo below, the lovely chisel tip (K4) and the wedge style (BC02).

The tip ends up close.
Tips from MiniWare for the TS80 solder iron, BC02 and K4.
The full tips for swapping in the solder iron.

Verdict of soldering iron tips

All three of these tips have suitable functions and purposes. Depending on your soldering style, you can find one to match your work.

The completed rfid boards.
The three soldered boards, with the solder tips shown above. (my first tip has a lot of ware)

Solder Tip B02

For overall usability for a multitude of soldering needs the supplied tip TS-B02 FS34 you can’t really go wrong with. The point makes it a perfect fit for pinpointing the exact place to solder. The control you have with this size of the tip makes all soldering jobs pleasant.

Solder Tip BC02

When you need a little more ‘ooomph’ in your solder jobs, maybe for larger pieces or lots of soldering in one sitting, the angled and wider tip, TS-BC02 FU01 really shines. It was a little ‘heavier’ in applying the solder so I could have potentially lowered my heat a little, or used thinner solder. It’s a great tip to get the job done fast and as I mention, if you have a lot of soldering with larger components – this would be my go-to tip.

The solder tips.

Solder Tip K4

tip of the solder iron

Lastly, my winner of the dream soldering iron tip is the ‘sliced’ angled tip that is a sharp chisel end. This is a beauty. The TS-K4 FT36 is my overall winner.

The tip end is really tiny to get to the small jobs and really allows for more precision control when soldering smaller components. But, because it has the chisel part to it, you can tip it to create more heat surface or a larger area if you need it.

It will make a difference to the types of jobs you are typically using a soldering iron for.

My use case is typically using only two or three different wire thicknesses. Mostly for Arduino style components. I also do some small circuit things for surface mount components or deadbugging smaller things for fun.

Your mileage may vary.

Close up of the soldering
Check out the solder skills …
packaging of the solder tips

The Future?

I started creating some small circuits, deadbugging, and the wires I use for that are particularly tiny – this tip will now come in very handy for those jobs. I’ll also test this soldering iron (TS80) with surface mount stuff. Sometimes I need to swap out a small surface-mount item and I think this will also work out well there too.

If you only have the one tip – the TS80 Miniware is a solid choice for a soldering iron on the go, (See my earlier review). But, if you want a little more flexibility, or have particular uses in mind – it’s worth collecting additional tips.

My solder box essentials
The little portable solder kit that I take with me. It’s a small container that fits all the essentials so it’s ready to go when I am.

What about you?

Do you solder on the go, or have particular solder needs? I’m curious to hear! please share your favorite solder iron and why – or what projects you’ve been working on.

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