I recently got to review the new Zhongdi ZD-8961-A soldering station, and I enjoyed using it and was not disappointed at all with its performance and price point. This soldering station has proven itself to be a valuable addition to my toolkit, and I'd like to share my experience with you.

The ZD-8961-A: A Digital Solution

The ZD-8961-A temperature-controlled digital soldering station with an adjustable temperature range from 160°C to 480°C is an affordable and reliable tool for all kinds of soldering work in the (home) laboratory. Thanks to the high-quality coated heating element, the desired soldering temperature (Celsius or Fahrenheit) is quickly reached and shown on the LED display.

What's in the Box?

 The ZD-8961-A's box contains:
  • Soldering station ZD-8961
  • Soldering iron stand
  • Soldering iron with soldering tip N8-1
  • Cleaning sponge
  • Cleaning ball
  • Power cord (EU)
Soldering station box
Take look inside the ZD-8961-A's box

 ZD-8961-A Performance

First and foremost, the performance of this soldering station is much better compared to non-temperature controlled soldering iron. It heats up quickly, maintains a stable temperature, and ensures precise soldering. In testing, it took 44 seconds to heat from room temperature to 370 °C. It functioned quite well in tinning thick copper wires, and during soldering almost 55 header pins on a PCB, no temperature drop occurred, which is good. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned soldering expert, you'll appreciate the accuracy and reliability of this tool. It handles a wide range of temperatures from 160°C to 480°C, making it a versatile choice for hobbyists and professionals alike.
ZD-8961-A station


Up close look
Take a closer look.


Soldering iron in the ZD-8961-A
The soldering iron.

Soldering Iron

The soldering iron has a nice foam grip, holding it for about 45 mins soldering some SMD components was not a problem at all. The weight is decent, and it's comfortable to hold for a longer period of time. Furthermore, its silicon cord is light and durable, so expect a long life for this part at least.

The additional tips are also a nice to have added on as it can help your soldering iron be more versatile, the tips included in the box and also the additional ones are high quality, there is no significant différance between a mid-range tip and these tips.
Soldering station iron closeup
Soldering station iron closeup
Soldering iron tips
Check out these tips!

Affordable Price

One of the standout features of this soldering iron is its affordability. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and capabilities it offers at its price. You don't need to break the bank to get a dependable soldering tool that delivers excellent results. It's perfect for those who want a reliable soldering iron without spending a fortune. The build quality is decent, also includes a place for brass wool to clean the tip along with the wet sponge, which is nice to have. The included power cable is also tick and durable.
The holder
The holder

The holder for the soldering iron is made of metal, but the control unit is made of plastic. Personally, I am not a fan of the display they have, and if the control unit was a bit smaller height-wise it would have been a pleasant design. Overall, it is a good upgrade to get if you are not using a temperature controlled soldering iron; you will be really pleased with its performance with it coming from a normal soldering iron.

User-Friendly Interface

The soldering iron comes with a screen that displays important information, such as temperature settings, one memory setting and temperature unit change as well. It has capacitive buttons and in testing, they worked as they should, nothing to complain about them at all. While it is functional and useful, there is room for improvement in terms of the screen, a better display should've been used, or a smaller one to give it a better design, but that is just a personal preference. It does its job, but a larger and more informative screen would enhance the overall user experience.
The user interface
The user-friendly interface.

The ZD-8961-A: Is it for you?

In conclusion, this soldering iron is a fantastic addition to any beginner or any maker's toolbox. It performs admirably, comes at a budget-friendly price, and offers the added benefit of visual documentation to assist with your projects. While the screen could be improved, it certainly doesn't overshadow the overall excellence of this tool. Whether you're a beginner or a person who is using a normal soldering iron, this soldering station is an exceptional value. I recommend it for anyone in need of a reliable and cost-effective soldering solution.

Rating Overall: 3.8/5

Performance: 4/5

Affordability: 4.5/5

User Experience: 3.5/5

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