Whether you need to solder wires for a Do-It-Yourself project or are an expert that does soldering as your trade having a soldering iron is a must. When you don’t have one readily available plans, sit and stagnate. Like other tools, people may look at renting to keep costs low. Thus arises the question can you rent a soldering iron? The answer is yes; there are many hardware stores that rent tools, including soldering irons.
How to Rent a Soldering Iron
The first step to renting any tool is to find a hardware store that allows rentals. After finding a store, call ahead to make sure they have soldering irons available, and they will be able to tell you all of the specifics about renting the tool.
When you go to the store, you will need to supply your identification, address, and other pertinent information for the rental process. Some stores may require you to set up an account with their store, while others may accept just your identification and address.
After you have finished with the tool or your rental period has ended, you will return it back to the store. There are a few items to pay attention to during the return. First, makes sure that you have something in writing, ensuring that the store accepted the soldering iron in good condition. This will protect you from being charged for damages you did not cause. Next, ensure that you are credited with any deposit amount before the final charge is made to your account. Finally, double-check the ending figures with what you were told you would be charged when you picked up the equipment. Ask any questions about the charges before the final charge is made, to avoid misunderstandings and hassle at a later time.
Questions to Ask the Rental Company
Calling the rental company ahead of time to ask informative questions is always a good idea. You may choose, though, to ask the questions in the store where the representative can demonstrate their answers. Here are some of the questions you should be asking about the rental process and the tool itself.
- What is the wattage? The wattage of the soldering iron is going to determine how quickly the tool heats up and how long it maintains that higher temperature level. Higher wattage units will heat up to the desired temperature quicker, keep temperature longer, and reheat back to the temperature in less time than lower watt tools. The optimal range for these tools for small appliance jobs is between 20 and 60 watts. The wattage needed will depend primarily on the soldering job.
- What accessories does the rental include? Accessories for soldering irons may include items like differing tips, stands, and clamps. These are items that will help with the job as well as make using the soldering iron easier.
- What type of soldering irons are available? This question will help decide which tool to choose for your specific needs. There are four basic styles in soldering irons, which include soldering guns, soldering pencils, soldering systems, and soldering stations. Each of these serves a different purpose as follows:
- Soldering Guns are suitable for larger projects and have a shorter warm-up time than smaller soldering tools. They are not ideal for delicate or precision needs as they can overheat the parts that are being soldered and damage more delicate pieces like circuit boards.
- Soldering Pencils are an excellent choice for small do-it-yourself projects. Like the soldering gun, they are not recommended for delicate jobs because they do not generally have temperature controls, and the higher temperatures will again damage more delicate pieces.
- Soldering Systems are generally used for industrial soldering. These machines are usually equipped with more than one handpiece that will allow multiple tips to be utilized at once.
- Soldering Stations are soldering pencils that are attached to a power station, which allows for adjustment of the temperature. These controls allow for precision temperature settings, which make this type ideal for delicate work like circuit boards that are easily ruined by too much heat.
- What documents are necessary for a rental? Asking what documents are required before heading to the store will allow you to be ready when you get there and shorten the time you spend waiting.
- What is the length of the rental? Make sure that you ask what the length of the rental period is and about penalties, if any, for late return. Asking about store hours will also help ensure that you avoid late fees for returning the tool after the store closes.
- One final question that you need to cover is the rental fees. Make sure you inquire as to what is covered by those fees. Is the item insured, are you being charged extra for insurance, is there a deposit, and how much is the hourly or daily rate. This is also an excellent time to verify that you understand all of the late fee policies that apply.
Is Renting the Right Choice?
Now that you know that it is possible to rent a soldering iron and the steps to take for renting one, there is another question to be asked. Is it better to rent a soldering iron or buy one? While this question is something, each person must decide for their situation, here are some things to think about to help make the choice easier.
Figure out what you are going to use the soldering iron for?
- Will you be using the soldering iron for one project, and then it will sit in the garage without being used?
- Will the soldering iron be used for this one project and possibly a few more projects in the future?
- Will you use the tool for this project, and probably many more in the future?
Answering the question of what you are going to do with the soldering iron will help decide whether it is more cost-efficient and convenient to buy or rent. If you are likely to use the tool for your current project and leave it tossed away in the garage, this would be a good time to rent. By renting you will not be spending any extra money on something that is only going to collect dust.
If, on the other hand, you will utilize the soldering iron for future projects, then buying is most likely the better option. Depending on the type of soldering iron needed, the cost to buy the tool is about the same as the rental fee, with the exception of the soldering system, which can be much higher to buy than to rent.
Another consideration to think about when choosing whether to rent or purchase is whether you will need to travel with the soldering iron. If there is a possibility that you may have to transport the tool on an airplane for jobs in other locations, it is essential to know the rules and regulations as they apply to your specific device. While some airlines allow soldering irons in check-baggage, not all do, and most of them that do allow them have particular guidelines that must be followed for them to be packed in check bags. If you frequently travel for your work, check with the airline company before deciding whether to rent or buy. If they do not allow soldering irons at all or the hassle is not worth it, this may be a good time to rent instead of buying.
Following the guidelines above will help you find and rent a soldering iron for any project that needs doing. Ensuring that you understand the process and have all of the pertinent information when arriving at the rental store will save you time. Before you make the trip to the rental store, think about the amount of use you have for the soldering iron and whether you will need to travel with the device often in the future, to decide whether renting or buying is the better choice.