Toolcraft ST-80D Digital Soldering Station Review

Soldering Station

The ST-80D is a low cost soldering station made by Toolcraft (other clones available) currently selling for £58 on Conrad UK, different versions are available at varying prices, the range includes a 50W, 80W and 100W station in analog and digital.

All versions include a good quality low voltage iron, iron stand with sponge and the main unit, the digital version includes a digital display and three preset buttons that set a stored temperature when pressed.

The external build quality is quite nice with the plastic and metal being of decent quality, slots are also provided which are good for storing soldering supplies, the inside however is not quite as good quality with some poor soldering in places.

One major problem with this station is that it does not actually measure the tip temperature of the iron, rather it simply measures the power draw along with some software calibration to give a very rough indication of what the tip temperature 'should' be, so this does not take into account cooling of the tip when soldering.

Another minor annoyance is the fact they don't use a 3 pin power cord, rather an earthing connector is placed on the front, this is understandable since it's designed for the European market but it would have been nice if they'd used a standard IEC connector with the earth pin utilised. On the whole since the displayed temperature does not reflect the tip temperature the analog version would be preferable if you can get it cheaper and are considering purchasing.

Aside from these minor faults the soldering station is pretty solid and gives excellent value for money, tip warm-up time is also significantly better than many cheap irons being in the 10-20 second region.

Overall if you're looking for a good station on a budget I highly recommend this.


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