I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station

I threw the Hakko FX-888 on my Amazon wish list after reading many positive reviews. It also happens to come well recommended by the folks over at SparkFun. If it’s good enough for SparkFun, it’s good enough for me!

I would have really liked one of those fancy ESD Weller units, but $200+ for a soldering iron station is a little steep for me. I’m more comfortable with the $100 range. The FX-888 fits the bill. It’s durable, versatile, it’s ESD safe, and it’s only $80 bucks on Amazon.


Again, my wife gives the merriest of Christmases. I think she pretty much bought everything on my wish list this year.


The iron is very sturdy and the base is solid.


There’s no shortage of goodies. From the sponge to the tip cleaner, it has everything you’d see in an iron twice the price.

• Adjustable temperature control with lock/set screw
• Temperature range 392°-896°F
• Maintains idle temperature within 1.8°F
• Ceramic heating element and sensor ensures rapid heat-up temperature and fast thermal recovery
• Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature display
• Temperature adjusted by simply turning the dial
• Slender iron handles are padded and have an ergonomic design for comfort and ease of use
• Wide selection of tips available for soldering SMD and through-hole applications

They’re not kidding about the “wide selection of tips” either. There’s a good 20 or so listed in the manual. I picked up a few extras to see what I’d like the best.

hakko tip options

The first two look to be almost identical, although the tips have slightly different radii…

haako tip 1

haako tip 2

…while the third needle point will come in handy when doing SMD work.

haako tip 3

Some people think the Hakko looks like a toy with its vibrant color scheme, but I kind of like it. Looking back at the Weller units now, they look like they’re straight out of the ‘70s. The Hakko has a fun/modern look to it.

The pictures I took make the Hakko look a little more blue than it really is. I tried to tweak the images to match the color, but I just couldn’t get them right. So I left them alone. Although they look really blue, the Hakko is actually more of a deep purplish color.


I’m going to love trying this guy out. I’ll be using it soon when I start the Word Clock project.