The modern standalone soldering iron is undoubtedly a versatile tool and many different soldering and desoldering tips are available for many different applications. In many cases, tips are quick and easy to change and there are many soldering accessories and spare parts. For professional use, however, a soldering station is usually the preferred choice. Soldering stations offer improved performance, highly controlled temperature settings and the flexibility to allow different soldering irons to be connected as and when needed, eliminating the need for frequent changes of soldering tips. Some offer dual soldering iron capabilities, making them suitable for two users, or one user using two tools. With the use of suitable soldering accessories, similar stations can also be used for desoldering operations, but in many cases, especially when dealing with PCBs with surface-mount devices, dedicated desoldering/rework stations are preferred. These often allow for multiple tools to be used, along with suitable desoldering accessories, such as solder removal devices. Hot air irons are a favourite choice when these miniaturised components are involved, especially when any subsequent reworking is required.
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