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I'm thinking about a few hobby projects and the tools I might need for them. Specifically I'm thinking about getting a butane soldering torch that can also be equipped with tips for electronics works. The Seller gives the power as 130 W, max. temp when using tips 580°C, the free flame is presumably hotter.

Is 130 W enough to soft solder small pipes and fittings, I'm thinking up to DN32 (1 1/4") at most? Or should I discard the idea to have one tool for electronics and piping work, and go for different tools?

To be clear, I'm talking about soft soldering, using lead free solder for potable water applications - likely melting ranges are between 220°C and 250°C.

This is the product I was thinking about.

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  • A 1" copper pipe will suck up a huge amount of heat. I'd guess no. You need thorough heating to get good solder flow, not barely enough. Plumbing torches aren't terribly expensive and they're useful for lots of other things, like lighting large quantities of bottle rockets. :D – isherwood Apr 15 '20 at 19:50
  • Temperature is what melts solder. A variable temp soldering iron will do any electric soldering you will want to do. A soldering iron is not used for pipes and plumbing. A torch that burn gas it the proper tool for sweating pipes. – Alaska Man Apr 15 '20 at 19:54
  • it is a torch but a small one. The two of you seem to have experience - do you know the approx. power of the torches you use? That would be the kernel of an anser. – mart Apr 15 '20 at 19:55
  • A torch burns gas, it does not have power, it can not have 130 w. There seems to be a miss understanding. More info is needed. What is 130 w ? Usually the term W in conjunction with the term power means Watts, as in electricity. – Alaska Man Apr 15 '20 at 19:57
  • 130 W is 130 Watts. I just did a more thorough search and finally find a soldering torch where the power was given 3.5kW so it seems the two of you are right and the torch I'm looking at is to weak. – mart Apr 15 '20 at 20:01
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The tool you are looking at is a soldering iron.( not a torch ) Most are powered by electricity but some, like the one you mention, are powered by butane gas.

For sweating copper pipes that tool will not be sufficient or provide enough heat. ( it will melt the solder but it will not heat the pipe up enough to make a bond with the solder. )

You need a Mapp gas torch

There are Flame-less options, i have never used one.

Here is brief synopsis of soldering. Family handyman.

And a YouTube video.

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