I was elated to see this new Milwaukee battery-operated soldering iron hit the market.
People couldn’t understand why I was so stoked, but I was. To me, it’s liberating to not plug a soldering iron into a wall outlet or unravel yards of extension cord. The portability of a self-powered tool just makes it more valuable to me.
Now this is not the first time a soldering iron has been made sans power cord. I’ve seen some that run on butane like a cigarette lighter. But even that version has limitations. Buying the fuel and refilling the iron just seemed like a chore to me, and that’s why I never acquired one. But this Milwaukee version, powered by its popular M12 lithium battery pack system, makes total sense. Best of all, I already have the battery and charger in my toolbox. The M12 tool system includes over 80 different tools and accessories. I already own and regularly use the M12 drill, bit driver, and jig saw in my garage.
The Milwaukee M12 soldering iron heats quickly—like 18 seconds quick—and maintains optimal temperature during use. It offers 750 F max temperature and 90 watts of heat output. Two trick features you won’t find on conventional wired soldering irons are the built-in ready-to-use (steady green LED) and safe-to-store indicator lights (a red LED indicates the tool is off but still hot). So, no more scorched fingertips trying to figure out if the tool is ready.
The body of the soldering iron flexes and locks in one of three positions. So, you can now have a straight 180-degree soldering iron, a 45-degree tool, or a 90-degree version; just choose the orientation depending on where it’s needed and click the pivoting head in place. No more struggling to point the soldering iron in tight confines. It’s about 10″ long and weighs under half a pound. There’s a built-in LED worklight, too. The tool comes with two different soldering tips: one pointed and one chisel tip. And changing from one to the other is a snap with its tool-free bit change design. A threaded collar holds the tip in place.
Because I already own an M12 battery and charger, I opted for the tool-only version, which comes with two soldering tips. But you can also get a complete kit with soldering iron, battery, case, charger, and two tips. The M12 soldering iron comes with a five-year warranty.
The Milwaukee M12 soldering iron makes a nice addition to my power tool arsenal, and my old-fashioned pencil-style hardwired soldering iron has a new home—the trash can. RC