Hakko FR-301 alternatives?


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.



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