My first order of business with this and every product review is a disclaimer: I am not a professional contractor. I am a farmer and a fine furniture maker. When it comes to construction and renovation projects, I’m a DIYer and weekend warrior. That said, I doubt many professional contractors will be reading my tool reviews. My goal in reviewing tools and products is to provide honest feedback based on my own use and experience with these tools to other regular folks like me- wanting to get their hands dirty, try new things, and get the best value for their hard earned dollars.
Let’s talk about the RYOBI 18-V ONE+ Hybrid Soldering Station
When I was a kid, soldering was my game. I was tearing apart, repairing, and rewiring our home electronics enough to drive my parents absolutely insane. In college, when Adam and I were playing and recording lots of music, there was the occasional speaker repair, or minor computer chip mod, but since then, I really haven’t touched the stuff. Technology has changed a TON over the past 12 years and I have not even tried to stay up with it.
People who follow my channels know how much I love and use my little wood stove in my shop, and sitting atop it is a sterling powered fan which displaces the heat. Well, it recently stopped working, and, after a little online sleuthing, I found out that, more often than not, a $12 replacement part from Ebay could fix the fan rather than having to replace it, so I found myself in need of a soldering iron. Enter, the Ryobi 18-V One+ Hybrid Soldering Station.
This handy little gadget can be used on the go on Ryobi’s 18V battery system, or can be plugged in for continuous use. While I was tucked away comfortably in my shop for this particular project with plenty of access to plugs, I can see plenty of potential when working on the truck or on something out and about where I don’t have access to power, when this battery powered option will come in especially handy. I used to work at a fire and security company, and I can imagine that the battery feature on this tool would be especially desirable for techs working on the go. While on battery or plugged-in power, the unit heats remarkably quickly.
The unit is designed to be fully self-contained. It’s got an iron holder for safe and convenient storage, it comes with a fine point and chisel tip, a small solder coil, and a cleaning sponge. It heats up to 900 degrees F, with consistent temperature, allowing you to set and maintain your desired temperature. The LED light indicator lets you know when the tip is hot.
As is my opinion with most budget-friendly tools, with this one, you are getting a great tool that should far exceed what a homeowner/diyer would need from a tool like this, but it isn’t a pro-quality tool. I wish there were a greater variety of tips and/or that they were interchangeable with some of the professional standards. The tip next to the handle gets very hot, so if you are like me, and hold the tool like a pencil, you’re going to have to readjust your position and technique a tad. Because there isn’t a digital readout on the tool, there is also a bit of trial and error when getting the desired temperature.
At the end of the day though, even buying a new tool at $79 and a replacement part for $12 on Ebay, I’ve now got a working fan for a fraction of the cost of a new one. This is a fun little bit of kit, and I won’t ever write a review of a Ryobi tool without mentioning their incredible warranty program and their dedication to have backward battery compatibility. If you’ve got two wires that need to become one, some jewelry work, some electronics work, this is a great tool for the job.