23.04.2012|Articles & Video

Lukey 868 Hot Air Soldering Station Review

At ToolBoom supermarket for engineers you can find a wide range of hot air soldering stations from various manufacturers, such as goot, SUNKKO, Pro'sKit, Lukey, BOKAR, Atten, and AOYUE. In this article I would like to tell you about Lukey 868 hot air soldering station and how it differs from other Lukey models, namely 702 and 898. These stations look alike and have similar technical specifications.

Lukey 868 Hot Air Soldering Station
Lukey 868 Hot Air Soldering Station

Lukey 702 and 898 hot air soldering stations are popular as they have technical specifications suitable for minor repairs of SMD boards and are quite cheap. Consequently, this is an investment with quick payback period. Of course such equipment is not perfect. Operating parameters of these soldering stations, especially of hot air guns, may often differ from the set ones.

In fact, the situation is not that bad. In case you have limited budget and want to buy more reliable soldering station, check Lukey 868. It has advantages over 702 and 898 soldering stations. Lukey 868 hot air soldering station has more reliable soldering iron heating element and better system for monitoring air temperature of the heat gun.

Hot Air Gun of Lukey 868 Soldering Station
Hot Air Gun of Lukey 868 Soldering Station

This hot air soldering station has standard Lukey package content: three cylindrical nozzles, soldering iron stand with magnetic part, hot air gun stand with cellulose sponge for cleaning soldering tips.

Lukey 868, 702 and 898 soldering stations have reed switch, which turns on when you place the hot air gun on the stand. Hot air gun is cooled to 50 º C and after that it shuts down. The station goes into standby mode. When you take the hot air gun off the stand, it turns on and resumes working with the last saved settings.

Hot Air Gun of Lukey 868 Soldering Station
Hot Air Gun of Lukey 868 Soldering Station

A special tool is required to torque collar of hot air gun nozzle as it is hard to do it using hands. One interesting fact you should know about this soldering station is that the difference between set and operating heat gun air temperatures changes depending on settings and nozzle. The table below shows difference between set and displayed value, and air temperature at the nozzle measured using UNI-T UT325 digital thermometer.

Set Temperature, ºC Displayed Temperature, ºC Temperature at Nozzle, ºC
Minimal Flow Maximum Flow Minimal Flow Maximum Flow
Without nozzle
100 100 100 100 100
180 180 160 190 170
250 250 210 270 245
360 360 320 400 387
With thin nozzle
100 100 100 100 110
180 180 180 180 208
250 250 250 230 285
360 360 360 340 410
With thick nozzle
100 100 100 95 100
180 180 166 170 160
250 250 210 220 220
360 360 320 300 326

As you can see, values taken from an internal temperature sensor and a control thermocouple in some cases differ. Many soldering stations face the same problem. You can make your own table of real air temperature at the nozzle and use it.

Lukey 868 soldering iron looks the same as other Lukey models. Japanese HAKKO heating element 1321, which ensures reliable performance and durability, is the main difference and advantage. This soldering iron has the same thermocouple unsoldering scheme as Lukey 852D +, therefore, they are interchangeable.

Soldering Iron of Lukey 868 Station
Soldering Iron of Lukey 868 Station

The soldering iron is easy to use, disassemble and maintain. You can use long nose pliers to remove a contact card. Of course, soldering iron has ESD safe construction.

Disassembled Soldering Iron of Lukey 868 Station
Disassembled Soldering Iron of Lukey 868 Station

Lukey soldering iron has a slight construction defect. During factory assembly the soldering iron tip and the heating element are mounted with space. Therefore, it quickly loses its heat when touching a solder. Due to the construction defect the real tip temperature does not match the displayed ones. This problem can be easily resolved. You can either solder heating element contacts, and thus move the element closer to the end of the iron tip, or shorten the length of the bounding part.

Soldering Iron Heating Element of Lukey 868 Station
Soldering Iron Heating Element of Lukey 868 Station
Hot Air Gun Heating Element of Lukey 868 Soldering Station
Hot Air Gun Heating Element of Lukey 868 Soldering Station

The control board of Lukey 868 has been modified with planar chips. That's why the reliability of this soldering station has enhanced considerably.

Lukey 868 Hot Air Soldering Station
Lukey 868 Hot Air Soldering Station

Lukey 868 Hot Air Soldering Station Technical Specifications

Power Input, V 220
Power Consumption, W 750 (max)
Soldering Iron Power Consumption, W 35
Hot Air Gun Power Consumption, W 400
Soldering Iron Temperature Range, ºC 200 to 480
Hot Air Gun Temperature Range, ºC 100 to 480
Soldering Iron Heating Element Ceramic Heater
Hot Air Gun Heating Element Metal Heating Core
Pump Type Diaphragm Pump turbine
Station Dimensions, mm 160 × 190 × 116

Conclusion

Lukey 868 soldering station is an improved version of Lukey 898 and 702 equipment. It is as ergonomic as these mentioned stations but it's hardware component has been modified.

Reliability of Lukey 868 soldering station is proved by the low number of returns during warranty period. In fact, it's almost equal to zero.

Lukey 868 soldering iron is equipped with a Japanese HAKKO 1321 heating element which ensures reliable performance, durability and temperature stability. The set and real temperature value of the heat gun air flow don't differ greatly if you use nozzles.

Thus, if you buy this hot air soldering station, paying a little more than for Lukey 702 and 898, you will get equipment of higher quality and with stable technical specifications.

You can buy Lukey 868 hot air soldering station at ToolBoom online store.

Sergiy Safonyuk
Technical specialist of ToolBoom online store

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