Looking for a nice tool add to your workspace? The VTSS230 2-in-1 SMD hot air rework station from Velleman combines a traditional SMD soldering iron with a hot air iron and is about as big as a normal station.

My Lab Bench

On my lab bench, there are two soldering stations, one for precise (SMT) work with a fine tip and a second station for high-power work with a fat tip. (For really big pieces, I use a hot air gun.) I also have a hot air soldering station, but it takes up too much space, so I only set it up when I really need it. This is a shame, because it would see much more use if I could leave it on the bench.

To desolder SMT parts, I either go around the part and heat each pin little by little or I use both irons at the same time, which is not very easy but works well on two-terminal devices. Desoldering large components or parts with many pins is easiest with hot air unless you don’t mind destroying the part (or the board, an easy job for a hot air gun).

VTSS230: Two for the Price of One

If you are in a similar situation like me, then you might be interested by the VTSS230 2-in-1 SMD hot air rework station from Velleman. This is a cute, space-saving device that combines a traditional SMD soldering iron with a hot air iron. It isn’t a fancy station but has everything you need and is about as big as a normal station.

Each part has its own power button and temperature control, so it really are two independent stations sharing a 2 kg base station. The temperature display units can be set to Celsius or Fahrenheit with a slide switch.
Velleman VTSS230

The “normal” iron is a 24 V, 60 W iron with a sharp pointy tip. The VTSS230 comes with one tip, but there are five more available as options (which makes six in total). The temperature is adjusted with up-down pushbuttons from 50°C up to 480°C (which is hotter than any of my irons can go). A stand/holder with sponge is included, of course.

VTSS230: Hot Air Station

The hot air station is a 300 W device with adjustable temperature from 100°C to 500°C. The air flow is controlled by turning a potentiometer. Three nozzles are included. The weird thing, at least to me, is that the holder, which is attached to the base station, seems to be the wrong way around. It blows hot air towards you and don’t you dare reaching for it without looking!

Sleep to Stay Healthy and Save Energy

When the irons are in their respective holders, they are put to sleep. This makes them last longer and consumes less energy, a typical win-win situation. Removing an iron from its holder wakes it up, making it return to its target temperature quickly.

All in all, the Velleman VTSS230 is a pretty cool (or should I say hot?) tool and a nice addition to any electroncs lab.