Where to Source Soldering Iron Tips

diogenes009

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
16
Hello, everyone!

It has been a while since I have been around... 2007? Yikes!

Anyway, moving swiftly on, I am having a very hard time finding soldering iron tips for my old Craftsman 45 watt soldering iron. I figure there should be enough people here who have soldering experience to help me figure this out.

The iron takes a 4.77 mm shaft x ~ 70 mm length (could be as short as 60 mm, I suppose) tip.

I ordered some tips off eBay but they were 5 mm and just a tad too thick. I then found one conical tip on eBay in the correct size (https://www.ebay.com/itm/141671817515) but I would like a chisel tip as well and I cannot find any in the right size anywhere.

Is there a site where I can sort by size and tip type? Am I really trying to do something so unique that nobody supports it? Or, am I just too thick to see the obvious error in my approach to getting new tips?

Any thoughts or ideas welcome. I am not looking to move up to a station, I just don't solder that often and mostly it is under a dashboard or inside an engine compartment.

Thank you!
 

diogenes009

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
16
@djans1397 Thank you for the ideas.

I thought Radio Shack had gone the way of the video rental store, to be honest. I just looked at their site and the only tips they show that may be a match have no size information. They are just identified by their Radio Shack part number. They have several irons that are twins to mine but they all take thread in tips that appear to be much shorter than what I need and, again, of unknown girth.

Sears.com doesn't list anything for Craftsman soldering iron tips. The general listings look the same as Amazon and eBay.

It just strikes me as odd that I can't simply find and order tips by size.

Thank you again.
 

louie

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Messages
1,105
Location
Seattle
Post a picture of the tip alone from several angles. Sears probably sourced their soldering iron from a company like Weller, although if they used a company that's now gone, you may be out of luck.

I think what's left of Sears and Radio Shack is unlikely to have the tip. Sears sold the Craftsman name to Stanley IIRC. It may just be time to buy a new iron.
 

Bradbn4

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
47
Location
Colorado - USA
FYI: I do have a Weller version of the Sears / Radio Shack iron that looks like your hardware. I would try e-mail the e-bay vendor that you got a fit on and say I want to buy a different style tip that is designed like xxxx.

I had similar issues with another soldering iron that was a clone of a clone with no tips to be found. I ended up breaking down and picked up a ts100 + clone of said iron(pinecil). It is a portable iron designed to run off common 5 cell battery packs used in drones / radio control cars, etc. And the wonderful thing was I could find tips for the iron. The real TS100 could work with 6 cell batteries (much more common than 5); but it was a bit more expensive but better built iron.

The nice thing about the pinecil was it could drive the iron off a USB-C type adapter. The down side to said USB-C adapters is they just don't provide the power to drive the iron at max temp. So best performance was via battery pack + adapter cable.

hakko fx-888d is overkill; but it is a fine, fine iron. I found that picking up real OEM tips performed much better than the cheap knockoff ones via flee bay or other sources. So this is a small warning that even if you can get a replacement tip it might not perform the same.

I found that either the TS100 or Hakko work much much better on heat up cycle and fit the hand better than my old Weller iron. The lack of tips that I wanted ended up pushing me from using my old unsupported iron to something that I could use everywhere.
 

diogenes009

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
16
Post a picture of the tip alone from several angles. Sears probably sourced their soldering iron from a company like Weller, although if they used a company that's now gone, you may be out of luck.

I think what's left of Sears and Radio Shack is unlikely to have the tip. Sears sold the Craftsman name to Stanley IIRC. It may just be time to buy a new iron.

It's a pretty plain, straight chisel tip. It's about 3.25" long and .188" in diameter. That would approximate 3/16". The picture distorts the length but 3 and 1/4 inches it is.

I have not searched using the fractional size yet, so I may find some love there.
 

Attachments

  • CraftsmanIron.jpg
    CraftsmanIron.jpg
    228.7 KB · Views: 122

diogenes009

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
16
FYI: I do have a Weller version of the Sears / Radio Shack iron that looks like your hardware. I would try e-mail the e-bay vendor that you got a fit on and say I want to buy a different style tip that is designed like xxxx.

I had similar issues with another soldering iron that was a clone of a clone with no tips to be found. I ended up breaking down and picked up a ts100 + clone of said iron(pinecil). It is a portable iron designed to run off common 5 cell battery packs used in drones / radio control cars, etc. And the wonderful thing was I could find tips for the iron. The real TS100 could work with 6 cell batteries (much more common than 5); but it was a bit more expensive but better built iron.

The nice thing about the pinecil was it could drive the iron off a USB-C type adapter. The down side to said USB-C adapters is they just don't provide the power to drive the iron at max temp. So best performance was via battery pack + adapter cable.

hakko fx-888d is overkill; but it is a fine, fine iron. I found that picking up real OEM tips performed much better than the cheap knockoff ones via flee bay or other sources. So this is a small warning that even if you can get a replacement tip it might not perform the same.

I found that either the TS100 or Hakko work much much better on heat up cycle and fit the hand better than my old Weller iron. The lack of tips that I wanted ended up pushing me from using my old unsupported iron to something that I could use everywhere.
Yeah, I won't be returning the tips. Shipped from China for $12 there is no economical way to return/exchange them. I knew that when I pulled the trigger.

I've heard of the Pinecil (I can't quite justify ordering a Pine Phone Pro yet, but, man I want to...). My soldering (Usually quick automotive repair or salvaging some piece of equipment that just needs a little dab of solder) is sporadic and occasional. I can't justify buying new for the little I do. Of course, I do eye the occasional project kit... Until I find a regular need for a soldering station I suspect I will keep muddling through with stuff that's old enough to walk into a bar and buy a round.

Thank you for your thoughts. I'm going to kick around the fractional measurement and see if I find anything. Who knows?
 

Bradbn4

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
47
Location
Colorado - USA
Auto repair is where that 45 watt soldering iron you own shines the best. I ended up spending more trying to find a soldering tip that would work for me than the old iron cost. The problem with the TS100 it is designed to be portable...so the price of power source can be higher than the iron itself.
 

diogenes009

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
16
Auto repair is where that 45 watt soldering iron you own shines the best. I ended up spending more trying to find a soldering tip that would work for me than the old iron cost. The problem with the TS100 it is designed to be portable...so the price of power source can be higher than the iron itself.
I hear that. I avoid battery powered tools for the most part because I just don't use the tools regularly enough. The battery is always low when you pull it out after not using it for a few months. So you end up either not doing the repair now or pulling out a pneumatic or plug in tool to get the job done soonest. Battery tech has come a long way but I don't think it meets my use case yet.
 

turbodog

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
6,425
Location
central time
Chuck in a drill, use emery cloth to cut the diameter down.

That said I would really, really lean toward replacing the iron.

I use a weller w60p, 60 watt temp controlled (through tip swapping). It's ~35 years old and still on original tip. Don't know what they coat the tips with, but it does not wear off or burn up. I've left the iron on more than I want to admin for days on end.

If you get the life I have from my iron... it will cost you ~$2/year.


1652642431680.png
 

Bradbn4

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
47
Location
Colorado - USA
wise choice; I use the batteries for other things so I already had the power source. With the right USB plug in charger the Pinecel would be the choice of the portables. In a pinch the Weller can be a good replacement; cheap, same form factor you are used to. and Weller has been around for a long time so you can always find a replacement tip.
 

diogenes009

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
16
Chuck in a drill, use emery cloth to cut the diameter down.

That said I would really, really lean toward replacing the iron.

I use a weller w60p, 60 watt temp controlled (through tip swapping). It's ~35 years old and still on original tip. Don't know what they coat the tips with, but it does not wear off or burn up. I've left the iron on more than I want to admin for days on end.

If you get the life I have from my iron... it will cost you ~$2/year.


View attachment 27704
I ended up using my files on it as it spun in my drill. Worked out ok. The steel is gone, it's coppertone now.

But it fits.

At some point, I will upgrade. But for now I have a working tool.

Thank you for helping.
 

louie

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Messages
1,105
Location
Seattle
Looks like OP is good to go. I think unplated copper gets eaten away kinda fast, but the price is right. The simple, temperature controlled Weller W60 tips are iron plated IIRC, I still have one and use it for quickies.

I don't know much about the simple end of the market, but it does appear that it is hard to find a good variety. Probably everyone made a different size. And they'd prefer to upsell you to a station with temperature control (which can be had domestically for as low as $25-30 and cheaper direct from Asia), but I'm guessing in 30 years you'll again have toruble finding tips!

It's worse in the mid-high price range. Tips seem custom for their temperature control systems.
 

diogenes009

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
16
Looks like OP is good to go. I think unplated copper gets eaten away kinda fast, but the price is right. The simple, temperature controlled Weller W60 tips are iron plated IIRC, I still have one and use it for quickies.

I don't know much about the simple end of the market, but it does appear that it is hard to find a good variety. Probably everyone made a different size. And they'd prefer to upsell you to a station with temperature control (which can be had domestically for as low as $25-30 and cheaper direct from Asia), but I'm guessing in 30 years you'll again have toruble finding tips!

It's worse in the mid-high price range. Tips seem custom for their temperature control systems.
I think I am set for now.

I did not remove the plate all the way to the tip. There is about an inch of plate from the tip up the shaft.

I assume that there is hope on the part of manufacturers that by making their accessories "special" by a fraction here or collar there that they will insure continued income from accessory sales. But if they are popular enough, knock offs will abound to compete on price.

Of course, now that the knock off accessory is plentiful and cheap low end manufacturers will start using that cheap and plentiful supply in their knock off products. Then the manufacturer redesigns the product with a "new" "special" fraction here or collar there.

Please stop the world. I want to get off. --sigh--

Thanks again!
 

sween1911

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Messages
2,055
Location
Pennsylvania
My retired electrical engineer father-in-law gave me his old beloved Ungar soldering iron for doing my flashlight mods. I of course broke the original tip like an idiot, and was going CRAZY trying to find a replacement. Started hunting around on ebay and tried a couple that were the wrong size. Fortunately I got ahold of someone who really knew their stuff and he helped guide me to exactly the right part. There were so many that were almost close, you really need someone who knows what part fits what iron. I'll PM you the username if it helps.
 

turbodog

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
6,425
Location
central time
I think I am set for now.

I did not remove the plate all the way to the tip. There is about an inch of plate from the tip up the shaft.

I assume that there is hope on the part of manufacturers that by making their accessories "special" by a fraction here or collar there that they will insure continued income from accessory sales. But if they are popular enough, knock offs will abound to compete on price.

Of course, now that the knock off accessory is plentiful and cheap low end manufacturers will start using that cheap and plentiful supply in their knock off products. Then the manufacturer redesigns the product with a "new" "special" fraction here or collar there.

Please stop the world. I want to get off. --sigh--

Thanks again!

FWIW, my ~35 year old weller 60p... just bought some new, different temp tips the other day. Readily available. Regular price.

Stay with a name brand.
 

turbodog

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
6,425
Location
central time
Years ago I spent summers rewinding electric motors. The place had a VERY old soldering iron that we used on windings in 100-200HP motors. You would solder a bundle of wires, each the size my pinky.

This thing took 2 hands to hold it, then another guy would hold the wires w/ pliers and apply solder by the foot.
 
Top