There are a ton of portable soldering irons on the market that cater to makers on the go — including popular models such as Weller’s Portasol Professional P2C Butane iron, Hakko’s FX-901 battery-powered iron, and Master Appliances’ Ultratorch UT-100Si iron/heating tool to name just a few. Those examples are all great for small or medium soldering jobs in the field, but that lack a particular feature that others might prefer, in this case being open-source, which would allow anyone to build a decent soldering iron without paying an excessive amount of money.
Case in point, Nicolas Schurando’s Solder Ninja soldering iron is powered via USB port so it technically isn’t as portable as the others listed here, but can be used with a laptop, USB charger or other portable battery. Schurando’s soldering iron is still in development, but he’s passed the prototyping phase and is set to enter the manufacturing part of the Solder Ninja project.
“The Solder Ninja is the result of a two-year-long adventure in trying to make electronics more accessible by creating a tool both durable and affordable that would bridge the gap between cheap bulky soldering irons and professional soldering stations.”
The Solder Ninja features a USB Type-C connector with the current firmware supporting USB BC 1.2, USB Quick Charge, and USB Power Delivery. The soldering iron also sports an STM32 microcontroller, a Maxim MAX31855 type-K thermocouple, and small LCD display, all packed into a CNC-machined aluminum body.
To test the iron’s temperature accuracy, Schurando used Hakko’s FG-100 thermometer, which offers a +/- 30C tolerance (as shown in the video above). As mentioned earlier, the Solder Ninja is still a work in progress; however, those who would like to track Schurando’s progress can do so on his project page.