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This was purchased as a direct replacement for the original “exact” Hakko purchased a couple of years ago that finally reached the end of its useful life after a lot of use.
The original received a 5 as it was near perfect, but this purchase did not. When I insert the tip, I’m very certain that there is not nearly as much of the cleaner material as was in the original and thus makes it hard to get the tip clean. The material pulls out when I insert the tip, but never did that before.
Before trashing the original, I did a quick check and I would guesstimate at least a 3rd less material, probably worse... I’d rather have paid a bit more for an exact replacement!!!
The brass curls work great, but the holder is just way too light to be practical. If I don't hold it in place or use foam tape to stick it down, it just slides around when I try to use it one-handed. I took the curl out and stuck it into a coffee cup and it was a much better experience by leaps and bounds.
This curl is larger than some of the cheaper ones, which is really the important part. It does work well. Just poor choice of holder for the curl.
This product works as far as cleaning the iron tip, however it is so light that it slides all around the work area when using. Also, this model does not come with a removable base to empty out accumulated solder or to make it easy to replace the sponge. When it's time to replace, I'll go with something else.
First let me say, if you have never used a "wire sponge"... YOU MUST, You will never go back to a wet sponge again. I have used this type of tip cleaner for years and needed another holder for a second shop location. My only gripe is that this is very light and I am going to find a small piece of scrap metal to glue onto the bottom so it does not wander around the bench. There are better ones on MCM.
The thin plastic housing needs more weight to be used standalone or else it needs to be glued to a flat weight. As it comes, the amount of cleaning mesh inside is sparse and as such tends to pull out if penetrated from the side and also does not provide enough density for good cleaning. Order the replacement cleaning copper mesh (Amazon) and stuff the housing to capacity. You'll have enough replacement then to last a long time.
For some reason I thought this was going to be metal. It's just cheap, thin plastic coated in a brass color. The problem is the damn thing is just so light that it moves all around my desk while I'm trying to clean my iron. I have to hold in in place with one hand why cleaning the iron with the other. Some added weight would do this product wonders.
Other than the weight, it cleans my iron very well, and looks pretty good.
It's odd that a tip cleaner, which is just a ball of metal wool in a metal can, costs more than 10% of a nice digital soldering iron or a variable power supply, but it was the best deal I could find on Amazon. It's been perfectly effective for tip cleaning. In a low humidity environment like Colorado it's much more convenient than the usual sponge, and who wants a bottle of water sitting near their electronics table anyway?
It's okay. It beats a sponge to a point. Not very noticeable on a 1/8" chisel tip. It does not remove solder, but the tip stays shiny. Lightweight (thin!) anodized aluminum. A bit overpriced compared to a black-colored aluminum one just like this for about 20% less is available here. Four rubber tips on the bottom kept mine from moving around (unlike other reviews) and I was aggressive at times. For those folks with a permanent setup a couple of small spots of double sided sticky foam tape or 3M emblem tape would give a firm mount.
Not great. The little pads on the bottom to hold it still are covering up 3 holes. If those pads become warm and are allowed to move, all the solder starts to leak out slowly over time. It doesnt weigh enough for you to use it without holding onto it. And the wire quickly becomes a ball of unuseable wire crap. Not really worth it.
I think this is just for looking cool on your desk or workbench. It is pretty. It does clean the soldering iron tip very nicely. It does sit quietly without making inane criticisms of your haircut. But if you are more a worker than a poser, you could buy the same thing in a less attractive container for a bit less money. Anyhow I've found that, at least with the high quality of Hakko soldering irons, the sponge included with them works just as well, and doesn't significantly affect the tip's heating cycle.