Re: Hakko FR-301 alternatives?


I am cheap, so I took a chance on a CCC (Cheap Chinese Crap) ZD-985 Vacuum desolder station @ about $119.00 (about 2 years ago) delivered in 2 days. Amazon has a great return policy, so when I got it, I immediately started cleaning components off of old boards, for practice and as a "stress test". Figuring that this thing would throw craps in an hour or two, I was greatly surprised! The thing came through with flying colors. No return needed. That was almost two years ago, it still works great. I am not sure how much solder this thing has removed, but the gun has been cleaned many times with large globs of solder being removed from the gun each time. The ZD-985 also came with a bunch of extra parts, tips and filters. The only parts needed, so far, are the little filters that go inside the gun. For a cheap alternative, this thing is more than acceptable. It sure beats solder sick, manual solder suckers and the like. Much less likely to damage a precious board with this tool. Is it equal to a genuine HAKKO? I doubt it. Is it 90-95% of what a HAKKO is? I say it is for me and I have $200+ in my bank account as a result. The sad thing is that some HAKKO products or components are being sourced in China, and ruthlessly counterfeited there as well.

Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR

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