Workshop: Multifunctional Gas Soldering Tools

by Airwolf | August 1, 2012 | (13) Posted in Reviews

The multifunctional gas soldering tool is a necessary addition to the tool set of every RC modeler. It allows you to solder, melt, hot-cut, weld and burn so you can use it for many various applications. It doesn't need electricity so it works outdoors too - you can take it to your flying field for fast and easy repairs of your models. Fill it with a lighter gas (liquid butane) and you can use it anytime, anywhere.
Another good thing about the gas soldering tools is that they become hot almost instantly - you don't have to wait a few minutes before starting your work. I've also found out that they are more efficient than most electrical soldering irons of the same size - you can solder bigger elements or thicker wires without problems.

It's very important to buy a quality gas soldering tool. Some of the good brands are Dremel, Iroda and Weller. Quality tools are more reliable and allow you to adjust temperature. Good soldering tool also should have a safety and locking mechanisms that will make harder to light it up by an accident (or by children). You should use quality (refined) lighter gas for refills - it's slightly more expensive but won't clog your tool, will burn evenly and won't produce excessive odors.

I'm using Dremel VersaTip tool and just like most of the other gas soldering tools it comes with additional accessories and exchangeable tips:

  • soldering tip - used for soldering
  • cutting knife - sharp blade for cutting plastics (zip ties, covering film etc)
  • hot knife - shaping and cutting plastics and foam, plastic welding etc
  • flat wide flame head - paint removal, heating things up etc
  • reflector - for application of heat shrink insulation
  • wide and narrow blower heads - for heating things up (for example for releasing nuts locked with anaerobic sealant)

You can also use the tool without any of the tips - turning it into a small, portable bunsen burner - very useful for bending thick steel wire, brass tubing etc.

Unfortunately there are also some problems associated with gas soldering tools: they usually become hotter and stay hot longer than an electrical soldering irons. Soldering tip and cutting knives have exhaust outlets - if you are not careful enough you can burn your finger or something around your desk - even a few centimeters away.

Still for most of us and for most of our work (soldering connectors and wires, application of the heat shrink insulation, bending wires) it's an excellent tool, and I'm pretty sure you will quickly find out it's the only soldering tool you will ever need.


  • Wide range of tips allows for many different applications
  • No need for electricity - use them anytime and anywhere
  • Long time between refills
  • Ready to work almost instantly
  • Very efficient, can solder even thick wires or elements



  • Stays hot longer than electrical soldering irons
  • Produces a lot of heat and may be too hot for some applications (delicate electronics, SMD elements)
  • Soldering tip and cutting knives have exhaust outlets blowing hot air


Nonamerc on August 2, 2012
Good article! 5 stars
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jd7792 on August 2, 2012
I have just spent the last two weeks fighting with a couple of soldering jobs, to which I gave in and called a friend for help. He brought a gas solderer and before I had the two stubbies open he had finished the two week problem.
Now that I have watched this article I have told the home boss that you said I have to get one....What out for her!
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Brandon28 on August 2, 2012
Is there a way to adjust the heat on the soldering iron attachment?
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Jeriah on August 10, 2012
where can you get one?
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InComing RC on August 1, 2012
I want one!
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Airwolf on August 2, 2012
Yes. All good gas soldering tools (at least those I had in my hands) had a flame size/temperature control. It won't give you a wide range of the temperatures, but enough to use it effectively (so you won't burn the soldering flux or waste the gas).
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Workshop: Multifunctional Gas Soldering Tools