Solder Fume Extractor Review and Comparison

Hello this is Sartaj Singh Virdi from TechnoTaj. I am asked to review the entry level Solder Fume Extractors (Smoke Absorbers) from INDE Enterprises. I have two Solder Fume Extractors – The first one is ‘table top type’ and the other one is ‘clamped to the table type’. Please note I will be using Fume Extractor or Fume Absorber interchangeably in the article below - but both are referred to the same thing. Fume Absorber is also known as Fume Extractor is also known as Smoke Absorber - so please do not get confused.

In the recent past solder and fluxes have improved greatly – with brands like Felder, Stannol, Weller leading the market in Solder Wires and Fluxes. It is a well known and a proven fact that when you are performing soldering you really do not want to be inhaling the solder fumes, particularly when we do not have the luxury of having a professional ventilation in our service centers / reworking rooms or in small workshops.

TWO SOLDER FUME EXTRACTOR (SMOKE ABSORBER) MODELS

Here are the two great solder fume extractors from INDE Enterprises that will help make your soldering experience in a small closed workshop safer and more enjoyable. The two great products are ‘Table Clamp Solder Fume Absorber (Extractor) Model I493-A’ and ‘Table Top type Solder Fume Extractor (Absorber) Model I493’.

Fume Absorber Comparison

Fume Absorber Comparison

The model I493-A has an adjustable extension arm that positions Fume Extractor at a desired angle and position to maximize the absorption of the solder fumes, besides saving workbench space. Whereas I493 is a Table Top type that can be placed anywhere on the workbench and the hood can be adjusted from the side handy knobs to clearly face the smoke source.

Actually, both these models use the same main fume absorption unit – it’s just that one is table top type and the other one is clamped to table type. So my review of one is equally valid for the other one.

THE WORKING

Fume Absorber Ways of Extraction

The working of a Solder Fume Extractor (Absorber) is very simple they work like exhaust fan. They suck the air full of solder fumes / pollutants just like an exhaust fan and that air goes into the fan after being filtered by a charcoal activated filter and from the other side the air free of smoke is released back into the work area. Here INDE Enterprises offers two different attachments for the Fume Absorbers.

The first option just sucks the polluted air and redirect it after filtering it near the work bench – see Way 1 in the illustration.

The second option is that the fume absorber sucks the polluted air from around the work bench and through a Hose (attached as in Way 2) it is directed out of the working area.

It all depends on your requirement. However, I would recommend Way 2 over Way 1 as the polluted air is purified and thrown out of the working area away from the working technician. But, it may increase the cost, as you will have to purchase a hose of a significant length.

Fume Extractor Way 1

Way 1: Fume Extractor - Throwing Polluted Air Away from the Workbench

Hose Fitted to Extract Solder Fumes

Way 2: Hose Fitted to Extract Solder Fumes out of Work Area

FUME ABSORPTION CAPACITY

These both fume extractors from INDE Enterprises are wonderful and the foremost reason being they are very quiet and have very powerful high output fans. These fans can extract up to 1.4 cubic meters of air through them per minute. In simple words if your workshop room is 8ft x 10ft the entire air from the room can be pulled up by these fans in 15 minutes only. So within 15 minutes your room is clean of any solder smoke. Wow!!!!

QUALITY

The plastic quality of these solder fume absorbers is rugged and gives you an impression that they are made to last for many years. The clamps holding the filters, the hand knobs, the stand and the fan quality is just way above the best in the industry. These fume absorbers are built for rough use – so use it as you wish in your workshop. I just took apart the outer cover with the screwdriver and to my surprise the inner fan quality is excellent and made up of metal and painted in an ESD safe paint. That was impressive.

HOW TO SELECT

Table Clamp Type Solder Fume Absorber Model I493-A is ideal for the small workshops with limited space on the workbench as it can be clamped to the edge of a workbench and moved around on top of soldering position to directly extract all the fumes (solder smoke). The extension arm provides easy angle adjustment as per solder fumes absorption requirement. It gives you ample room on your workbench for keeping other tools like Smart tweezers, Oscilloscope, Electronic Magnifying Glass and Soldering or Rework Stations for other main usage.

However if you have ample space on your workbench have a tight budget then think about Tabletop Type Model I493 instead. It is priced nearly Rs.800/- less than the former one. It will work equally well.

POWER CONSUMPTION

The power consumption of this fume absorber is mere 20 Watt (for the Table Top Type) and 23 Watt (for the Clamp Type). The input supply to these fume extractors is 220V AC, 50 Hz – so there is no need of any additional adaptor. It works well on low voltages and sudden power fluctuations. So do not worry about it burning if there are any voltage spikes in your area.

NOISE

The fans are virtually noiseless and can operate for many hours continuously without any problem. I operated them for 8 hours continuously and the motors were as cool as cucumber. So they are built to operate for continuous operations without disturbing you.

ESD SAFETY

Be assured that these fume absorbers are ESD safe. Even the stands and table clamps (and extension arms) are ESD safe painted. So it will not harm any of your ESD sensitive circuits or sensitive small chip components

FILTERS

The Replacement Filter IRF493 (that is clamped on the front of the Fume Absorber) is a carbon activated filter that draws fumes and particulates produced during the soldering process and they are easily replaceable. I found out that all I needed to do was to simply pop open the grate in the front of fume extractor and the carbon filter simply popped out. Now, I just had to put the new one in and I was ready to go again.

I am told that these Carbon Activated Filters are exclusively available from INDE Enterprises and can be delivered anywhere in India on a Cash on Delivery basis.

Since there is a filter in this absorber so how often you should change these filters? As per what I could gather from my little experience is that a filter should be changed when it is clogged (this is actually true for all type of fume absorbers) – the more you use it the more frequently you will have to change it. The rule of thumb says that you should think about changing it every 2-3 months if you are regularly using your fume absorber.

Charcoal Activated Filter

Charcoal Activated Filter

PRICE

The discounted price offered by INDE Enterprises for Table Clamp Solder Fume Absorber Model I493-A is Rs.2,780/- only and the price of Table Top type Solder Fume Absorber Model I493 is Rs.1,980/- only. Further, Cash on delivery option is available for selected cities. You can call 9316134502 and talk to Mr Paras or Mr Romesh to get more discounts on bulk purchases.

Solder Fume Extractor

Solder Fume Extractor

SCOPE OF SUPPLIES

The main fume absorber unit, a user manual, INDE Invoice, 3 extra filters made from urethane with refined, activated high absorption carbon, (depending upon your model) an attachment kit to connect the hose to re-direct the solder fumes (solder smoke) outside the working area, or an attachment to re-direct the solder fumes so that the fume is not inhaled by other operators. The filters supplied along conform to international safety standards set in various countries including India.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT

The main disappointment that I came across with these two models is that they do not offer speed controller on the fan. You just plug-it into the mains (220V), switch it on by pressing the button on top and the fume absorber will work in one monotones speed. I thought this feature could have been included in this to make it more versatile.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

My overall experience with this fume absorber was great. These fume absorbers were sucking solder fumes very furiously. They did not let the fumes come to my nose level – and that is what every technician want. There was absolutely no noise from it, making me focus more on my soldering work rather than concentrating on any other unnecessary sound. Further, the extension arm was very stable – and there was absolutely no vibration when I was using it. So it was a very nice overall experience using these two variants of fume absorbers from INDE Enterprises.

Should you guys want to get your product reviewed, please give me a call or drop me an email. I will revert.

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