Desoldering guns

I’ve been getting back into the arcade cabinet hobby recently and my first experience with a desoldering pump was when I replaced the sound amp on my MK2 sound board. Well it was a huge pain in the ass to do with a desoldering pump and took me probably an hour to get all 12 pins desoldered. I have used it like twice since then and still, using a pump sounds a lot easier than it actually is.

Jump ahead a few months later and now I have 4 arcade cabinets instead of just the 1.

In my first one I had someone install a capkit for me because I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t think I could desolder all of those pins and didn’t want to mess up anything.

Well now that I have 4 cabinets and 4 monitors, I am thinking of getting a desoldering gun. This is the one that I saw come highly recommended:

However it’s pricey at just under $250. But thinking about it, like doing 2 capkit installations on my own would pretty much even out the cost versus paying someone to do it. I paid $175 to have my monitor cap kit replaced (as well as reflow) so it seems like 2 of them would basically pay for itself.

I know with these monitors it’s not a matter of “if” you need to do these things but “when” so it will eventually come if I hang onto them. I also have more PCB’s now so I’m thinking I may need to replace parts on them as well, and having a gun would be nice.

Does anyone have experience with any of these? Are their cheaper alternatives that work as well that aren’t quite as expensive?

This is the cheapest Desoldering Gun i would go with

I would supply your own power cable, as the ones that ship with this one is crud.

But regardless of what desoldering Iron you go with, make sure you clean that desoldering gun with each use, as it will get clogged otherwise.

Hakko is one of the best for equipment, but it’s also the most expensive.

If you are just doing through-hole component replacment, like a recap you can get away with some flux and some desoldering braid or a cheap desoldering iron.

I have tried using desoldering braid with my cheapo soldering iron and that shit just doesn’t work for me. The desoldering braid I have might just be shit or something but it don’t work very well.

The main problem with the manual pumps too is that my whole hand shakes and moves when I push the button, making it move around. I feel like these guns would stay still as it sucks up. I was watching the dude recap my other monitor but not like over his shoulder, and it seemed like it was effortless for him to desolder everything. Like I legit didn’t even know he was doing all of it I thought we were just chatting. He had a fancy setup though, definitely higher end than both of these linked above.

But damn, even cheap ones are still pretty expensive huh. I mean that is like 1/2 the other one I linked to but if it’s going to be a pain to use sometimes, spending the extra may be worth it. I’m a bit out on getting one though so this is me just researching it.

Back in the day when i had to mod a stick with the dreaded “buttons-soldered-to-PCB” non-sense, i just used a “solder sucker” tool with my iron. Heat up the area you want to desolder with your tip, then when it’s molten, use the ‘sucker’. Worked great for me.

Yeah that is what I have and it sucks. That is the kind I mean when you press the button the whole thing shakes in my hand and makes me move it. I watched videos of people using some of em too. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong.

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I have a desolder station and desolder braid
Once you get used to it the braid is hoestly really good
Other issue you might face is if you get it too wide (3mm) it doesn’t seem to pull from the small contacts as well as the 1mm