Re: Hakko FR-301 alternatives?

John Crighton

Hello Michael and the Group,

there is a review of this ZD-985 on youtube.
An old workmate of mine bought one and he is delighted with the performance
of the ZD-985 in removing large components from double sided boards.

I have an old Hakko 700 de-soldering station. It cannot remove large components as easily as the ZD-985
For me it seems to loose heat too quickly, from memory the element is around 40W. (For the ZD-985 a power of 80 Watts was mentioned in the video)
The parts are expensive for the Hakko 700. I have difficulty finding in Sydney. The unit is 30 years old so once the heating element fails in the
gun, the unit is finished. Maybe I am expecting too much from Hakko in long term after sales service. The little rubber diaphragm in the vacuum pump is
not available from Hakko in Sydney. That tiny piece of thin rubber is a consummable and should be available. To me, Hakko is letting me down.

For hobbyists and enthusiasts, this cheap and cheerfull ZD-985 is probably a better investment than a Hakko.

John Crighton

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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