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If you regularly do small soldering jobs – even in some tight spaces – you may want to have a
good long look at the Milwaukee M12 REDLINK Cordless Soldering Iron Kit. It’s designed to
be portable and flexible – perfectly suitable for automotive installers and field technicians as well
as anyone who does service or repair work on location. It’s also a handy tool for those of us who
like having a fully-equipped workshop at home.
It’s a tool that can help you out on a job site when you’re outside of the shop. The sheer
portability and functionality of this Milwaukee soldering iron under most conditions makes it a
worthwhile asset to acquire. It’s also a solid choice for the homeowner too who would like the
convenience of cordless soldering.
I recently purchased the Milwaukee M12 soldering iron and I wanted to share my thoughts
A portable soldering iron may or may not be something you’re going to use regularly. For
example, if you already own a reliable corded iron, you still may want to fire up that one if you
have any heavier-duty soldering to do and you can complete the work at your workbench. But if
you need to solder wires or small parts in various (and sometimes awkward) places – you just
can’t beat having a quality cordless soldering iron.
The problem is that most portable units are butane-powered and those ones seem to take forever
just to reach a usable soldering temperature. That’s one area where the M12 cordless really
shines. It takes as little as 18 seconds to heat up to the point where you can use it.
- Opt For the Complete Kit
- Why Heat Output Is An Important Consideration – Especially For Beginners
- What About A Stand?
- Cordless Does Make A Difference
- Portable But A Little Larger Too
- Built-In Light Shines Bright
- Battery Life
- Portability Makes This A Great Soldering Iron To Own
- Battery Power
- An Extra Feature That Makes A Difference
- Being Able To Control Temperatures Would Be Nice
- Pros Vs. Cons
- What Do Others Think About The M12 Soldering Iron Kit?
- The Final Verdict
Opt For the Complete Kit
You may have the option of purchasing the M12 soldering iron as either the basic tool – as a stand-alone product with no extras – or as a kit that includes all you need to use it from the get-go.
With the kit option, you get the charger as well as one 1.5Ah battery, in addition to the bright red (and remarkably tough plastic) Milwaukee-branded carrying case. Both versions come with 2 iron tips of the chisel and pointed pen variety.
You may have the option of purchasing the M12 soldering iron as either the basic tool – as a
standalone product with no extras – or as a kit that includes all you need to use it from the get-go.
With the kit option, you get the charger as well as one 1.5Ah battery, in addition to the bright red
(and remarkably tough plastic) Milwaukee-branded carrying case. Both versions come with 2
iron tips of the chisel and pointed pen variety.
I recommend getting the kit every time. It’s better valued and gives you exactly what you need to
get the job done.
What’s In The Box?
Not only do you get the cordless soldering iron when you purchase the kit, but you also get a
rechargeable battery, which at a full charge, brings the soldering iron up to temperature rapidly.
The included charger allows you to keep your battery fully charged. You can also power up extra
batteries the same way, so you have reserve power. With both the chisel and pen tip – you can
comfortably handle most common soldering jobs. And all of this comes in a convenient storage case too.
The case makes it easy to put the equipment way in a safe place when you’ve completed your
work. There’s also room inside for one extra battery, which is something you’re going to want to
have on hand. Of course, you’ll need to pick the solder and extra battery separately. But
everything else comes with the kit.
Why Heat Output Is An Important Consideration – Especially For Beginners
When soldering, you don’t actually melt the solder material itself with the tip of the iron. What
you do instead is heat the pieces being soldered together until they are hot enough to melt the
At times you may need to solder to larger, flatter areas. The problem is that these surfaces tend
to absorb heat more rapidly and some soldering irons just can’t keep up. This can be frustrating
when all you want is to be able to create a quick and effective connection. But that doesn’t seem
to be a problem for the Milwaukee M12. It heats up to the correct temperature in as little as 20-
What About A Stand?
You can usually count on any bench-top soldering iron to come with a separate stand. This gives
you somewhere to safely place the soldering iron when you’re not soldering. On the other hand,
portable soldering irons have to be set down somewhere and that may not be ideal in every
instance. Other portable irons come with a built-in stand. But I found those to be a little
But the M12 Milwaukee soldering iron is sturdy and stable in all of its configurations. The best
part is that it doesn’t need a stand of any kind – as long as the iron gets placed down on a
relatively level surface.
It sits on the base of the unit itself, so the extremely hot tip won’t come into contact with the
surface, and therefore cannot do any damage. Of course, you’ll have to be sure to steer clear of
any hot soldering iron until it cools down after being shut off – which in this case takes about 5
minutes – give or take.
Milwaukee does not make or market a compatible stand. But due to the fact that this soldering
iron is weighted and shaped in such a way that it will stand upright on its base, it really shouldn’t
need any type of stand.
Everything you need to know at a glance
Cordless Does Make A Difference
Milwaukee is a widely known brand of power tools and general tools preferred by many pros and
do-it-yourself types too. Their M12 soldering iron is one of the products in the cordless M12
range of tools, which all use the same battery.
This is crucial. If you already have one Milwaukee product, it means that you don’t need to buy
an additional battery for this soldering iron, making it more affordable. And as you acquire more
tools from the same line, you’ll have additional batteries that you can keep charged and have
ready to go for whatever job you need to complete. It also means that you won’t have an ever-
growing collection of batteries for different power tools taking up space in your work area.
Stick to one reliable brand like Milwaukee and if you’re not yet convinced that cordless tools are
a life-changing advancement, you soon will be. Cordless tools just make life easier. But when
they first came out on the market, batteries were terribly weak compared to what you get these
days. The battery you get with your M12 soldering iron is rugged too, easily withstanding
Portable But A Little Larger Too
The M12 cordless soldering iron is quite portable, even though it is slightly bigger than a
standard soldering iron. In most cases, this shouldn’t be a problem. What’s really helpful with this
model is that the head can be tilted and swiveled, so working in confined spaces is much easier.
Built-In Light Shines Bright
Milwaukee wisely designed this product with a bright LED light to shine on your work area.
This makes it ideal for those who need to solder in challenging positions – like service
technicians who frequently solder electrical components or repair wiring on machinery. Even
those of us working from our workbenches in the basement or garage will enjoy this cord-free
I found the Milwaukee M12 Cordless Soldering Gun Kit to be reasonably priced given that it
comes with a battery, charger, and case. However, it does not have manual temperature control,
so keep that in mind if you often work with different materials where adjusting the soldering
temperature would be beneficial.
If you’re planning to complete multiple solder joints, shutting the soldering gun off after each is
completed can help you get more juice out of one battery. If you leave it on, you may find that
the battery drains quicker than you’d like. Of course, that’s not a problem if you have multiple
rechargeable batteries at the ready. One goes – just connect another that’s fully charged.
You can always add a bigger battery – one that lasts longer – to your soldering iron. It does add a
little more weight and depending on the application, it can feel slightly awkward to some people.
Portability Makes This A Great Soldering Iron To Own
Unless you are soldering smaller items, having a bench iron to accomplish the task may not be
the most effective solution. A portable iron can be easily moved from one work area or piece to
another. It also has the convenience of not having a cord that could potentially get in the way
while you’re working.
But cordless soldering irons have their own challenges. This device’s portability means that it is
thicker and heavier than others. But it’s a trade-off that allows for greater convenience and
efficiency. What makes cordless tools a little bulkier and heavier is the onboard battery. Using
the battery that comes with the M12 seems quite comfortable to me. But I can see how a heavier
battery could be more difficult to work with.
Without a separate or built-in stand, you have to place the iron on the floor or workbench, once
you finish soldering. This isn’t a problem with the M12 though. It is weighted and can be
positioned in such a way that it stands upright on a flat surface and it is steady enough to remain
there safely until it’s called upon again.
According to Milwaukee, a full battery charge should last 45 minutes. In practice, you should
estimate for about half that time – and have a spare battery on standby – should you need it.
The Milwaukee cordless soldering iron is a versatile and user-friendly tool designed primarily
for mobile users. It’s a handy tool to have. With a head that can be rotated, twisted, and angled
without affecting performance, you can easily get into even the most difficult-to-access places to
do your work. This flexibility and ease of use make it suitable for right and left-handed people
An Extra Feature That Makes A Difference
In general, portable tools seem to be more effective when they have fewer additional features
that consume battery power. But there are exceptions. In this case, it’s the built-in LED work-
light that helps you more clearly see what you’re doing as you solder. This allows you to know
when the tip is heated and ready to use, and if the tip is becoming too hot. The lights are practical
and helpful and don’t appear to tax the battery life excessively. I’m sure you’ll like this feature as
much as I do.
Being Able To Control Temperatures Would Be Nice
Although the Milwaukee cordless soldering iron is designed primarily for mobile use and is
reasonably priced, it lacks any manual temperature control. Some claim that it is an oversight on
Milwaukee’s part. But I guess it depends on the type of soldering you do.
The soldering tip on the Milwaukee gun reaches 750°F. Some prefer to solder at lower
temperatures – particularly when using lead-based solder. While this shouldn’t discourage you, it
is worth mentioning. Just know in advance that you will be soldering at a high temperature and
that’s the only setting you have – which is probably just fine for most people.
Pros Vs. Cons
- M12 Cordless soldering iron is remarkably portable and convenient to use anywhere
- Attains ideal temperature fast (it takes less than 20 seconds)
- Built-in Sensors prevent the machine from overheating
- No separate stand required – M12 seems stable when standing on its base (and if you do lay it down, the tip stays off the floor, so it won’t get damaged)
- Pivoting head makes it easier to solder in tight spaces
- Indicator light lets you know when the iron is both ready to use and when it’s safe to store away
- Case provides storage space for one extra battery (great for field service work)
- For a cordless tool – this one is a powerhouse
- Comfortable to hold and easy to work with
- Milwaukee is a reliable brand of power tools
- Easy to take to any job site
- Includes both the chisel and pen tips
- Soldering iron does not come with a stand (although it can stand up on its own)
- Lacks a manual temperature control
- Windy weather can lower the temperature reached with the gun
- In certain situations it can seem a wee bit bulky
- Not interchangeable with other brands of tips
- Battery doesn’t last that long (the same could be said about all cordless tools and brands)
What Do Others Think About The M12 Soldering Iron Kit?
Overwhelming, buyers are delighted with their purchase and collectively have awarded this
product with a 4.7 out of 5 possible stars. And this is with nearly 400 ( a decent sample size)
buyers reporting. Like everything you purchase, a full inspection and operational check should
be conducted as soon as it arrives at your door to make sure there’s no damage and your
soldering gun works the way it is designed to.
The Final Verdict
Chances are very good that you will be just as thrilled with your new Milwaukee M12 Soldering
Iron as the majority of buyers are. It’s a cordless portable iron that allows users to move around
freely without the constraints of an electrical cord. Its clever pivoting head makes it more
functional and the design and load distribution mean the M12 doesn’t need a separate stand or
base – so it’s more convenient to use. This one earns our highest recommendation.