With the introduction of the new and improved Blackjack Solderwerks BK8000, among other additions to our soldering equipment selection; we figured it would be an ideal time to cover some of the Frequently Asked Questions surrounding the “Blackjack” line of products and our Circuit Specialists (CSI) “House Brand” soldering stations.
A quick browse through our inventory will show that we offer many units similar in function, both from Blackjack Solderwerks and our CSI house brand. Whether it’s a simple analog-style pencil grip system, or a complete all-in-one rework station you’re looking for, chances are we have two units that could satisfy your needs. (Click any photo for more information)
Now, the question is…. what’s the difference?
Simply put, the difference between the Blackjack units and our CSI units is in the material quality and unit efficiency. Blackjack systems are built to the absolute highest standards in smaller facilities than the CSI units, and have a few advanced features that allow them to create the same heat, but with much less power.
To create an easily relating example, let’s consider the difference between a Lexus and a Toyota vehicle. Both are made by Toyota, have 4 wheels, an engine, and a warranty (if you buy new); however there are a few differences in what you get with your purchase.
Being a “Luxury Brand” the Lexus is going to come with a much more sophisticated interior and suspension system. It’s going to look amazing, and drive like you’re floating on a cloud. You’ll pay much more for the Lexus, but as far as the destination is concerned, the Toyota will get you there exactly the same.
This is an appropriate way to compare the Blackjack Solderwerks to the Circuit Specialists brand soldering equipment. Both brands offer an excellent product that will accomplish your goals, and both come with a warranty. The only difference will be the overall experience of accomplishing your soldering goals.
Some Specific Differences Include:
All Blackjack units are built into a heavy-duty steel case. They are extremely durable, and will endure years of service. The Circuit Specialist units are built into lighter weight plastic cases; are often as functional as their Blackjack counterparts, but with more budget conscious components.
The Blackjack soldering irons feature a replaceable Temperature Stable Ceramic element, which feeds data back to the unit’s microprocessor, allowing it to use less power to maintain the desired heat. You’ll notice entry level Blackjack units start at 35w and CSI units start at 60w; but have the same temperature ratings.
Higher wattage typically indicates a shorter heat recovery time due to higher power reserve. However, because of the advanced design of the Blackjack unit, the heat recovery times are comparable between the Blackjack and CSI units. We previously published a blog explaining Soldering Station Temperature and Wattage Specs, see this for more information.
The final primary difference between the Blackjack line and the Circuit Specialists brand is that ALL Blackjack Solderwerks units are RoHS Compliant. The Lead Free Circuit Specialists units are RoHS compliant of course, but you’ll only find this feature in specific CSI units.Conclusion:
If you appreciate luxury, a steel case, RoHS compliance, advanced features and top quality build standards; go for the Blackjack unit. However, if you are looking for an excellent product and are more concerned with value than features, go for the Circuit Specialists brand.