1st January
written by Todd Harrison

This premier soldering station edition is a 75 watt programmable station with 3 save points, a sleep mode that ramps down to 100 C as well as a programmable power off timer. As a premier set it also comes with 2 rosin & brass wool cleaning cups and a variety 10 pack of solder iron tips which are interchangeable with my Hakko type pencil iron.

Get this Soldering Kit Here: https://www.circuitspecialists.com/CSI-PREMIER-75W-Soldering-Station-Kit.html

Video chapter links for your convenience:
Initial thoughts
Compare / contrast to my Hakko 936
Using the unit


I will start the summary by saying I found this soldering station very useful and quality built. With its amazing features it was actually more usable and had better heat recovery than my Hakko 936. It seems to have the same type of ceramic heating element as my Hakko. I would not be surprised to learn if the heating element was built by the same Japanese supplier as was my Hakko 936 element. The tips are even interchangeable with the exception of one of my Hakko tips that was a bit too fat to fit the CSI. However, all 10 extra CSI premier 75W tips fit my Hakko 936.

One of the best features of this soldering station is its programmability. It comes with three programmable temperatures settings as well as a low-power sleep mode and programmable power off mode. To come out of sleep mode you merely tip the iron at about 75° at which point you’ll hear an audible click and your set temperature will recover in 15 seconds. If your station goes into power off mode merely press the rotary encoder button and the unit will ramp back up to its last temperature in ~20 seconds. These superb features will prolong the life of your tips and save power consumption. I would not think one could get such features in a $60 station. Plus the premier station comes with 10 extra tips in a variety of sizes which would cost at least $40 making the $80 premier unit price quite attractive.

Another nice programmable feature is the ability to set a temperature correction offset by +/- 50 C to accommodate for a tip error or to calibrate the solder station.

There was one noted problem with the programmability of the low temperature sleep mode. The sleep mode would ramp down at your programmed time interval but for some strange reason it would ramp down to 100 C whereas the manual and other documentation states it should ramp down to 200 C. I had this problem in both Celsius and Fahrenheit settings.

Not that it’s a problem with the feature set but I did find it strange that the power off mode starts its timer only after the low-power sleep timer. And you must learn that if you do not set the sleep timer you will not have a functioning power off timer. This is all fine once you understand how these settings work but they are not intuitive.

Setting the temperature with the rotary encoder was not difficult. That said if it had been programmed to be velocity sensitive it would have been even better.

The premier set comes with two rosin and brass wool cleaning cups which did not work at all. If the rosin had been left out I think the brass wool would have been okay. The rosin simply gets everything dirty, sticky and makes a mess of the tips.

The iron stand was also meant to hold the extra tips in small drilled out holes in the top however this feature did not work and the tips would just rattle and fall out. Also referencing the stand, the angle is too shallow so it is difficult to get your hand on the iron without interacting or interfering with the sponge or rosin cup. This sharp angle also made it difficult to remove your hand without pulling the iron out of the stand because your wrist would catch on the cord. This shallow angle may be a requirement for the sleep mode to function.

I found it strange that the advertisement was for a 1.2 m cord for the iron however the iron that I received only had a 1 m cord.

There was a heat recovery graph silkscreened on the front of the product. This is non-information and should not exist on the front of the product. It’s clearly there to impress people that don’t understand what to look for in a product. This graph cheapens the look of the product and needs to be removed.

My 5 favorite features:
1) Programmable auto sleep and power off.
2) Fast heat recovery from turn on in 20 seconds and 15 seconds from low power sleep mode.
3) Having three saved temperatures that are easy to recall with a single button press.
4) I liked the rotary encoder for setting the temperature.
5) The tips were interchangeable with my Hakko 936.

CSI Premier 75W Soldering Station Manual.
All solder stations sold at Circuit Specialists.

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