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Vulkan Gas Tools

Guide Rating and Review

My review of the Vulkan Gas Tools.

Vulkan Gas Tools
by Vince Ciulla

Guide Rating -  

Vulkan Gas Tools

One of the more common jobs as an automotive technician is repairing the wiring in a car. With about two miles of wire in today's cars, that can be a daunting task. When a broken wire is found the first thing most people tend to use to repair it is a solderless connector. They are quick and easy to use and they do a good job. But over time the joint will corrode and fail. The best thing to do, and what most professional technicians will do, is to solder the connection for a reliable, permanent repair.

The thing about soldering a connection in a car is that you have to string an extension cord into the car and most times a soldering gun is too big and bulky to get into the tight spots, not to mention they take a while to heat up enough to make a good solder joint.

I had a cordless electric soldering iron that I used for many years, but I really wasn't too happy with it. It didn't last very long before it needed to be recharged. And as you used it and the battery wore down, it got harder to solder a joint. But still, it was better than dragging a cord and gun around so I used it.

Then I got the Vulkan Gas-Powered Soldering Iron. I have been using it for the last three months and, I must admit, it has performed superbly. It's light, compact and very easy to use. I have the Vulkan model P-100 and P-200 and I am impressed with the way they both perform. They both use regular butane lighter fluid and are as simple to fill as a cigarette lighter.

Anatomy of a Gas Soldering Iron

The Vulkan P-100 is a lighter duty iron and the kit comes with a stand, 2.4 mm chisel point-soldering tip, blowtorch tip, hot air tip and a knife tip for cutting plastic. It also includes a tube of solder, igniter and a safety cap for storage and a nice tool box to store it all in. The P-100 does a good job of soldering light wire and soldering components on a PC board. The hot air tip is most useful for heat shrink tubing, a lot safer than using my cigarette lighter. The P-100 iron puts out the equivalent heat of a 100-watt soldering gun and will go about one hour between fills under normal use.

P-100/PS-100 P-200/PS-135

The Vulkan P-200 is the big brother of the P-100. It has all the accessories the P-100 has except they are a little beefier for the bigger iron. The really nice thing about the P-200 is that it is self-igniting where you need a spark igniter (included with the P-100) to light the P-100.

The P-200 puts out the heat equivalent to a 130-watt soldering gun and will solder wire up to 4-gauge without a problem. It will go about 2.5 hours between fills with normal use. It is a bit too powerful for small jobs but the P-100 takes care of that problem nicely.

The tips are very quick and easy to change. Simply screw off one and screw on the next. I would suggest, however, waiting for the tip to cool off before changing. There are accessory kits available for both the P-100 and P-200. Both kits have the standard 2.4 mm chisel tip as well as a pencil point tip.

Both irons feel good in my hands and are as intuitive to use as a pencil. The small gas regulator of the P-100 was a little difficult for me to adjust because it sits inside the housing and is a little small. I think if it were just a little bit larger, like the P-200 regulator, it would be much easier to use. This probably won't be a problem with someone with smaller hands than mine. I also like the see through fuel tank. It takes the guesswork out of knowing how much fuel is left.

I was hard pressed to find anything bad about either iron. Both irons are very well made and perform very well and I was very happy with them. They are a very welcome addition to my toolbox.

In addition, the September 2000 issue of Classics magazine, a UK publication, did a performance review of ten brands of gas soldering irons and rated the P-200 as the best performer and the P-100 as the best value. That's an assessment that I agree with. I think anyone who uses these tools will be very pleased with them.

Bernzomatic, a name long synonymous with quality gas tools, markets Vulkan Gas Tools in the United States. The PS-100-K is the P-100K with the complete kit and the PS-100 is the iron alone. The PS-135-K is the P-200K with the complete kit and the PS-135 is the iron alone.

PS-100-K $59.99 | PS-135-K $69.99
PS-100 $34.99 | PS-135 $49.99
Accessory Kit
$19.99 |
Accessory Kit

P-100K/PS-100-K Kit

P-200K/PS135-K Kit

These tools are available in hardware stores and from better tool suppliers everywhere.

Vulkan Gas Tools
Strawhall Industrial Estate
Carlow, Ireland.
Telephone: 00353 503 70724
Fax: 00353 503 30674

In the US:
Medina, NY

Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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