Hello all, this old EE has used solder wick and various spring loaded solder suckers, all are slow, and damage delicate PCBs. Due to maintenance, cost and bench space, I never got a rework station like the Pace. Now am restoring a number of TEK 2465/7B and 7000 plugins, so easily unsoldering components and ICs without board damage is a must.
Seems the Hakko FR-301 is highly regarded and gun style, needs no separate power supply/vacuum. (USA 120V model) But rather costly $250-350.
I have several other Hakko 926 (ancient analog control) irons quality and longevity is super.
I ask the Forums feedback on the Hakko, as well as lower cost alternatives.
Most of my work is thru hole, not SMD, perhaps 3-10 jobs in a year.