Pinecil — Smart Soldering Iron — Awesome Open Hardware

In the series: Gadgets and Gifts that Respect Our Freedom

A smart soldering iron? An open-source-hardware soldering iron?

Yes! The Pinecil by Pine64.

The Pinecil — Smart Soldering Iron by Pine64

Designed by Pine64.

Pinecil-v2 reviews: at, at

Pinecil Accessories include a flexible heat-proof cable and sets of tips.

Would I Use It?

Since I was a teenager I have been using my father's trusty old 15W Antex Precision Model C soldering iron, which has gone through a couple of new tips back in the days when I was building a lot of circuits, and otherwise just keeps working.

Antex soldering iron

However, the old soldering iron's mains cable, very thin though it is, has become so hardened and springy that I have to pull against it to move the iron where I want it. And it heats up slowly so after plugging it in, and waiting for minutes before tinning it, I end up leaving it on, its tip smoking and charring, until clearing up time at the end of the project.

I would love a Pinecil, especially for its temperature regulation and for its quick heat-up, claimed as 6 seconds.

But the 32-bit microprocessor? The control buttons, the USB connector? I can't see it lasting 50 years. This would not be a purchase for lifetime reliability. This would be for fun, for utility, and for the sake of supporting open hardware design.

#awesomeFOSS, #openHardware


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