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EPISODE 1"Hikaru stands head down at the DIY store."


  • Hikaru
  • Yotchan
  • Mr. Tanaka

Wow, Look, Hikaru!
This car is cool, isn't it? It runs very fast.

It looks cool. Can you show me how it runs?

What's wrong? It does not run. It did before, but now there's something wrong with it.
Hikaru, please check this.

Let me just have a look.
The wire is disconnected.
That's what is causing the problem.

Please fix it, Hikaru.

No, I can't fix it.

Hey, Hikaru!
You can fix it by soldering.


- Hikaru goes to a DIY store to buy soldering goods.

Wow! There are so many types of soldering iron.
Nichrome heater or ceramic heater?
I'm not sure which type of soldering iron I should buy.

‐Mr. Tanaka appears timely while Hikaru is standing at a loss in front of the soldering iron counter.

Hi, Hikaru! How are you?

Wow, Mr. Tanaka. You've appeared at a good time. I heard that you are good at electronic handicrafts.

Yes, it's my job. How can I help you?

I came here to buy a soldering iron, but I'm not sure which type of soldering iron I should buy. There are so many to choose from.

What seems to be the problem?

They are labeled "Nichrome heater" or "Ceramic heater". I do not understand them at all.

The Nichrome heater is made of wound Nichrome wire. Mostly, this type of heater is used to heat up the soldering tip from the outside. The "HAKKO RED" is classified into this type. I'll show you a brief drawing of a Nichrome heater. (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1 "Soldering iron using Nichrome heater"

I see. By the way, what is the Ceramic heater?

A Ceramic heater is made of Tungsten enclosed with ceramics. (Fig. 2) For example, let's look at the "HAKKO DASH" and the "HAKKO FX-600". With a ceramic heater of such a shape, the whole soldering tip encloses the heater. Therefore, most of the heat is conveyed throughout the soldering tip and this type of heater can heat up the soldering tip more efficiently than the Nichrome heater. As its first advantage, the ceramic heater provides small resistance when the heater temperature is low. Smaller resistance allows larger current flow, so it can heat up the soldering tip rapidly. A 20W ceramic heater shows 60 to 70W soon after being powered ON.

Fig. 2 "Soldering iron using ceramic heater"

I see. You mean that a Ceramic heater is better than Nichrome heater.

Hmm. The Nichrome heater, "HAKKO RED", is good enough for soldering of radio-controlled models. The Nichrome heater is less expensive than Ceramic heater.

I see.

The important thing is to select a right tool for your work. If you intend to use it for different purposes in the future, you should buy a soldering iron that can sufficiently meet your intended purposes.

I have another question. "HAKKO DASH" shows only a "W" value, but "HAKKO FX-600" shows a "W" value and "Temperature". I noticed that the W value of "HAKKO FX-600" is larger than that of "HAKKO DASH". Why?

That's a good question. I'll explain more to you about the types of soldering iron.

Are there differences in the types of soldering iron, other than the types of heater?