By far, this is my favorite tool. I honestly use this thing every day. Todd Svec first turned me on to this tool back in 2004, and I'm now on my second one. The motor on my first one burnt out a year ago, and since just the motor cost over $70, I just got a new 808 and kept the old one for spare parts.
If you do a lot of board work, this is a must-have for your work bench. Once you use this tool to desolder a 24-pin IC, or a row of header pins, you'll wonder how you ever got along without one. You'll effortlessly remove parts from single-sided boards, and with a little extra attention on your part, it also easily removes parts from double-sided circuit boards too. Think about it - you're desoldering a 20-pin row of 0.100" header pins, and when you desolder that last pin, the row drops out all on it's own. How often does that happen w/ your bulb sucker, or those cock and shoot suckers?
These can be found on e-bay for under $200, and at Fry's and Tequipment. Tequipment seems to list more parts and that's where I usually buy my parts, but I think they are actually shipped from Hakko USA.
A1003 Nozzle - 1.0mm hole and thin edge to limit trace damage. Great for IC's, normal components like 1/4 Watt resistors, small diodes, disk capacitors, 0.100" header pins, etc.
A1007 Nozzle - 1.6mm hole and a thicker edge. Perfect for larger components like big capacitors, fuse clips, wire, 0.156" header pins, etc.
A1396 Nozzle - 2.3mm hole and a thicker edge. Great for removing really big things, like relays and board-mounted heatsinks.
B1087 1.0mm Tip Cleaner - Use this to keep the tip clear. I often have to clear the 1.0mm tip, but I find I never have to clean out any tips larger then the 1.0mm. So the 1.0mm wire is the only one I use.
A1033 Ceramic Filters - You'll go through lots of these, so stock up. Lately some vendors are selling thinner versions of these, which do not last as long. It's worth the effort to look for the thick ones, or ask before you order.
A1267 Aluminum Pre-Filter - The 808 comes with one of these, but get a 5-pack so you have some sprares. Avoid the ceramic fiber types, they don't work well at all.
Plus, these items, while not necessary, are nice to have:
599B-02 Tip Cleaner and "Wool" - This is a nice tip cleaner for both the 808 and your normal soldering iron.
559-029 Spare Cleaner Wool - Get one or two spare tip cleaners too. On mine, one wool ball was too loose in the 599 holder, so I packed two in there and that made them nice and tight in the holder. When they get dirty, I just remove them, shake them out, and repack so "fresh" wool is exposed.
1.0mm Drill and Pinvise - I consider this a must-have. Eventually, your 1.0mm tip will start to clog such that the pin cleaner can not free it up. Then the only thing that will help will be this 1.0mm drill bit. You have to be careful when cleaning out your tip do you don't break the bit. If you drop the pinvise, you may also break the bit. As a bonus, I use the 1.0mm bit to clean out corrosion from through-board solder holes when I'm repairing corroded MPUs.
633-02 Holder, with Sponge - I use to just set my 808 up on it's end, but one day it fell over and landed on my hand, and after that, I got a stand. This one has a sponge, which may be a good complement to the wool cleaner I mentioned above. They also have Model 633-01 which is basically the same stand but instead of a sponge, it holds the 599 cleaner.
Wrench - If your 808 kit did not come with one of these, get one. It comes in handy when changing nozzles. Sometimes the nut gets too tight, do to heat expansion I assume, and this wrench does not work well, so I use pliers in that case.
Heater Cleaner - If your kit did not include this long skinny screwdriver, then get one. It's used to clean out the heater barrel, and I use it every time I change tips.
And some spare parts, just in case:
Filter Pipe Holder - Eventually this part will degrade from all the heat which will make it hard to insert back into the tube, or may cause a bad vacuum seal. I think it's a good idea to have a fresh one on hand, just in case.
Front Holder - This goes on the other end of the filter tube and it will also degrade over time due to the heat. Your 808 relies on a good strong vacuum in order to properly function, and this rubber part plays an important part in that.
Valve Plate (2 pack) - Eventually, the valve plates become crusted with solder residue and the suction will be reduced because of it. You can clean them with alcohol, or just replace them with new ones. Either method requires you to disassemble the pump.
If your 808 seems to have lost some or most of it's suction, and you've tried all the obvious things to fix it (clean the tip, replace the ceramic filter, ...), then it may be time to clean or replace the pump valve plates. Take a look here and I'll show you how to do it.
Finally, I'll leave you with this interesting photo:
This is all the solder I've sucked with my Hakko 808 in about the
last 6 months, plus little bits of scrap solder here and there.
Weighs in at just over 3 lbs.
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