The ZD-8922 2-in-1 SMD Hot Air Rework Station is a tool that makes soldering less of a hassle — especially if you are dealing with SMD components. Equipped with a 24V/60W soldering iron (50°C - 480°C) and a hot air element (100°C - 500°C), you have the basic infrastructure to solder and even rework THT and SMD components.

Note: If you are new to SMD and hot air rework, take a look at this Elektor article.

Simple and Intuitive Controls

When it comes to soldering and rework stations, sometimes having less is more. While there are less than 10 buttons and knobs on the front of the unit, this is all we need. The soldering iron and hot air part have sperate power switches. This enables you to turn off the hot air or soldering iron individually. Also, for the temperature controls, we have plus and minus buttons for each part as we have a know for the air low.

Wondering how to get the display from °C to °F if you need to? A simple flick of a switch will do the magic. No hidden menus. No special key combinations.
The main controls on the ZD-8922
The main controls on the ZD-8922 (Source: Zhongdi)

The ZD-8922 Soldering Iron Handle

A soldering iron's handle is much like a set of new shoes. Some people like sneakers, others prefer sandals. With this handle, it is the same. It is shaped like the well-known T12. They work well, and you can solder your components with the precision needed. The rest is solid metal: no meltable parts included. Also, you get a cleaning sponge. It is a solid, well-proven design.
ZD-8922 Soldering Iron
Soldering handle (Source: Zhongdi)

The ZD-8922 Hot Air Handle

This is something you won’t find on a usual soldering station. It is one of the benefits that the ZD-8922 2-in-1 SMD Hot Air Rework Station offers. Buy why do I need hot air? If you are doing SMD components or need to heat up a large area like under a MOSFET, hot air is more than handy. If you are working with solder paste, you will apply those to your SMD pads and place the components afterwards. You could now try to heat every leg with the soldering iron. Besides this being time consuming, it may can also cause more unwanted short circuits. With hot air, you can heat up all the pins of your components, melt the solder paste, and your part will be located where it needs to be. For populating by hand, it has become my preferred way of mounting SMD components. Also with hot air, the removal of broken or misplaced components becomes very easy. Just heat up the component of choice. After the solder melts again, simply grab the chip and remove it while it is hot. To avoid blowing parts from your PCB, you can adjust the airflow directly at the station, as well as the temperature.
Hot air part
Hot air part (Source: Zhongdi)

A Station for You?

Since Elektor sells the station in its shop, you may ask, how independent is this review? Did we leave some points out? Did we hide something? We have ourselves one of these stations around in our office, and it is doing its job. If you consider the price of the unit, it should be clear that it won’t compete with a more expensive station from another A-grade vendor. But don't forget: even the quality of some A-Grade vendors can be surprisingly bad these days. This sub-€100 station has a reasonable build quality, and it offers a well-proven soldering handle style and a hot air part. And if you have any questions, the Elektor Store's customer suport team will be happy to help you.