Soldering iron and other tools for making cables?


Prominent Member
I'm think about making some of my own cables but am stuck at the first hurdle because I don't have the right equipment. What soldering iron do you guys recommend and I assume I also need a crimp/wire stripper tool. Preferably not too expensive either. :)



Originally posted by fufna
A small clamp vice is also essential

Found this out the hard way thankfully I discovered there was a gap between the glass cooker top and kitchen work surface where the RG59 cable I was using at the time fitted perfectly :D

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
The contraptions that consist of 2 crocodile clips on a swivel mounting-bar + usually a magnifying glass and a weighted base are often called "Helping Hands"
They make a very useful clamping device for soldering.

On my (10 year old) one, the plastic magnifier has been ruined by solder or iron burns over time - but the clamp part is in daily use.
They only cost a couple of quid & are well worth getting despite their cheap oriental origins.

Chris Muriel, Manchester.


Prominent Member
I really need one with a temp control? I can't find them under £50. I need to spend that much to solder a wire to a plug?


Originally posted by Daneel
I really need one with a temp control? I can't find them under £50. I need to spend that much to solder a wire to a plug?

Really depends on how much soldering you think you are going to be doing and how often it will be taken out of your tool box!

I bought a cheap £10 job from Maplins 35Watt I think, I've used it to make all the interconects for my gear. Just finished 3x7 meter component jobbies to connect my Panny 300 to the DVD player and that's about it!
Can't see me needing to use if for quite some time so its been £10 well spent!

I'm sure there will be some here that endorse spending much more, I don't ;)


Temp control is essential with some smaller connections

4 pin Din (S-Video) for instance.. these are very hard to solder well with a single temp iron as full power melts the isolation surround whilst soldering.


Prominent Member
Thanks for the link eviljohn2.

I've ordered one of those, some solder and a desolderer. I went for the silver solder as they had it in stock and I thought it would be easier to work with + better for audio, was that a good idea? I neglected to buy a crimp/cutting tool though, is that going to cause me lots of problems? They seemed to be quite expensive.

I also bought the cable and plugs mylo recommended in his home brew thread. Along with a number of banana plugs it all added up to about £70 so I hope I can make something decent!

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