I have been asked a few times whether the TS-80 soldering iron is better than the TS-100. In this article I will give you an overview of the TS80 and how it compares to the TS100.
Where to Buy?
The Advantages of TS-80 Soldering Iron
The TS80 has the similar form factor to the TS100. The TS80 feels better build quality than the TS100 because the shell is made of anodized aluminium while the TS100 is just plastic.
The ergonomics also seems to be better on the TS80, you get a better grip than the TS100. The TS80 has a shorter grip-to-tip distance, which helps with soldering precision.
The biggest difference is perhaps the power sources.
The TS100 is powered by 12V-24V DC via a 5.5mm barrel connector. That’s the reason why the FPV community loves it so much because you can use a 4S to 6S LiPo to power it directly.
On the other hand, the TS80 has a USB-C connector and requires a “quick charge” battery pack to work, which is rated at 9V to 12V. If you try to power it from a normal 5V USB port, e.g. from your computer, it won’t work as it doesn’t provide enough power.
The iSDT Battery Checker Powers the TS80!
If you own the iSDT BG-8S Battery checker, you will be amazed to know that this little guy has a “quick charge” USB output! That means you can use it to power the TS80 using a LiPo battery.
Product Page: https://goo.gl/VGWqRL
The image below shows it’s outputting 5V, but when you hook it up to the TS80, the voltage will go up to 9V as in “quick charge” mode.
The Downsides of the TS-80
The TS80 is over $30 more expensive than the TS100!
The maximum temperature you can use with the TS80 is 400°C, which is lower than TS100’s 450°C with custom firmware.
The power rating is a lot lower in the TS80, at up to 18W. The TS100 delivers up to 65W with a 24V (6S), or 30W @ 16V (4S). Despite the lower power, the TS80 can actually heat up just as fast if not faster as the TS100 from some testing online.
Both TS100 and TS80 are high quality portable soldering irons, probably the best in the market right now. The decision really comes down to what features you are after.
The TS-80 can be a very convenient solution in some situations, but personally I still find the TS-100 a more versatile option due to the power method, especially for building multirotors. Not everyone has a “quick charge” compatible powerbank, but everyone in the RC hobby should have a 3S, 4S, 5S or 6S LiPo in their possession. Unless you have a LiPo to USB-C Quick charge adapter like the BG-8S Checker.
The TS80 is fine for small stuff but I think at 18W it might struggle a bit for heavy soldering like XT60 or PDB.