@Spark17 @gloomycats @ecasti @Sub
Thank you for pointing this out, I’ve never seen this review and I didn’t notice this issue.
Everybody pleases chill, 35uA of current is really not a dangerous amount and I can assure you that you can solder 95% of common hobbyist electronic components with this soldering iron without damaging the components because of the unisolated soldering tip.
I and my colleagues have soldered numerous MAKERbuinos with this soldering iron and they were undamaged. In fact, boards and kits made for makers and hackers (e.g. Arduino boards) are made pretty robust and you’ll have a hard time breaking them (especially the 8-bit MCU’s on them, I’ve managed to completely break just a couple of them in my hardware hacking career).
The only thing you have to be aware of is that these soldering irons must be plugged in a USB adapter that can supply at least 1.5A of current and a 2A supply would be optimal. The soldering iron work fine with some desktops and laptops and from my testing there is really not a pattern and the only way to know if it works is to either check your computer’s motherboard’s datasheet or just plug in the soldering iron and see whether it’s getting enough power to heat properly and melt solder at a decent rate.
In fact, this unisolated soldering tip problem can be found in many cheap soldering irons powered with 230 or 110V (you’re not going to get electrocuted with 230V but on some cheap models there is usually a small leakage sufficient for powering an LED similar to what the guy was telling in the video. In other words, your “regular” soldering iron might be doing the same thing without you actually knowing it.
P.S. I don’t really understand the theory behind this “voltage leakage” that is happening when plugging the USB soldering iron in a 5V power adapter, can somebody please shortly explain it to me. Thanks!