220 dollar IR reflow oven

Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 in #liveupdates, Global Geek by Ian


Picked up this infrared reflow oven for 1400 rmb, about 200 bucks, in Shenzhen. It isn’t the at923 (or whatever) that shows up on eBay for $300, and lacks the viewing window. Comes highly recommended by Dimitri at SmARtMAKER, and seemed better built than the other one which was available at the stand next door. Still only two or tubes but the center area is even over the space of at least the eagle minimum size.

Also bought a hotplate for 300rmb, about 45 bucks. Also a metal solder paste squeegy to use with the boards and stencil on the way from Hackvana.

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38 Responses to “220 dollar IR reflow oven”

  1. varun says:

    Ian even take a stencil frame or Jig or machine it will be very helpful for applying solder paste when using stainless steel stencil… in Shenzhen as you know u can get steel stencils for 20-30 bucks very cheap compared to US… :-)

  2. Ian says:

    Were using the stencil8 system with a milled aluminium block with pegs to hold panel and stencil.

  3. Sleepwalker3 says:

    Can you get those cheap stencils through a service, in a similar way to Seeed PCB? I’ve seen the Kapton ones, but the only stainless ones are local or US that I know of, never seen a cheap Chinese service advertised.

    • Winston says:

      Cheapest place I’ve found is here:

      8.5″x11″x.0035″ laser-cut Kapton stencil – US$25 + shipping

      I haven’t actually used their service, yet.

      • Sleepwalker3 says:

        Thanks Winston, I’ve known about Ohararp for a while, but the Stainless are preferable, especially if not much more than Kapton. Up till now I’ve just made my own, but if there’s a cheap Chinese service, that’s preferable, much less mucking about. Below Ian has advised Mitch is doing them, so I’ll check that out too.

  4. varun says:

    yup.. forgot about it so finding someone who does stainless steel stenciling finishes the job and can ship to Amsterdam quite cheaply better than those kapton sheet stencils. now we can see Ian stenciling more BP’s in workshop.videos :-)

  5. varun says:

    there are Chinese suppliers for stencil who can make and ship stainless steel stencil 30$ shipped in eBay and Chinese sites but not dedicated like seed pcb service…

  6. Sjaak says:

    Iteadstudio provide a service for producing stencils. Not as cheap, but you can combine it with getting your pcb made.

    • Sleepwalker3 says:

      Thanks Sjaak, yeah I saw that (actually thought I posted about it since, but doesn’t seem to be here or I mucked up). Was a bit more expensive at $90 for a laser cut one and $45 for a chemical one, though they do come with frames. Also they determine the shim thickness, you can’t pick it apparently – not always ideal. I usually get my boards from Seeed, not Itead though, so a bit more freight, but still worth considering.

  7. Ian says:

    We ordered them from, don’t forget mitch’s service which is based in Shenzhen. He is even setting it up for stencil8 for us.

  8. George says:

    Would be great if Mitch can get something going for PCBs + Stencils. I think Seeed also dropped 4-layer so they’re lacking that too.

    • Ian says:

      That is the one I was talking about in the post. It was at the stand next door for same price. I read mixed stuff… Some like it some don’t. It has a glass window and mine doesn’t. Mine seems to have a bigger exhaust fan and Dimitri likes it so I thought I would try. Both just have 2 ir tubes and part of the work area is unusable. For single prototypes it should be fine though. Will let you know if it makes it to the shop and still works :)

  9. Ian says:

    Today I noticed that Seeed has the exact same brand if oven albeit the bigger version. So there’s two endorsements. Looking forward to trying t and will probably pick up a solder paste dispenser and stereo microscope as well.

  10. Sleepwalker3 says:


  11. Xinort says:

    Interesting info on stencils. I’m fixing to go to framed stainless stencils with a stencil printer. I’ve been using the last few years they have a 12″x18″ 4 mil mylar stencil service for $35 (used to be $25) which includes shipping. They also have a 12″x12″ 7.5 mylar stencil for the same price. The only thing is they don’t take gerber files. If any one is interested I have instructions for how to use inkscape and gerbmagic to produce a file that Outfab can use.

  12. Anton says:

    First of all I would like to thank Ian for great post. For the price of toaster oven + PID controller you can get this semi-professional device.
    I am not sure if this information would be useful for others, but if you are not travelling to China often it might be good option to buy this reflow oven. For the price I decided to give it a shot and asked long term supplier of components if they can source it by any chance. I asked to search on the market, but to my surprise in the morning I got a reply that they can buy it directly from the factory! The link is:

    It was the great news for me as it stated that I can order 110V version which saves me from the headache to buy extra transformer. The price end price (including 3 day DHL shipping and bank fee ended up to $370) A bit steeper than Ian’s but definitely worth it. I asked permission to share my contact and she graciously let me post it here.

    Janice Zhang
    AAA Electronic (HK)Co.,Ltd
    MSN /Mail:
    Skype : sales_aaaic
    Tel:86-755-83789008 fax: 86-755-83789118

    Mind it is not their core business. I am not sure if Ian got his oven already. I should get mine in 2 days. Will try to post my review here or in the forums.

    • Ian says:

      Fantastic! Thank you so much.

      Mine was released from customs an hour ago and should be here in time tomorrow for a Workshop video about it.

      • Anton says:

        Looking forward for your workshop video tomorrow :)

      • Ian says:

        I got it all planned in my head :) Dave Jones style EEV blog first person, first impressions, off the cuff reflow goodness! Honestly I’ve never really used either the oven of a hot plate much in the past, so I’m a total newbie!

      • Excellent! Do you plan to buy a Puhui T-962A too eventually? It’d be terrific to see a comparison.

      • Sleepwalker3 says:

        Yeah, then you’d have a window to see your Ham/Cheese/Tomato (oh sorry, Bagel ;) being grilled :D

        I’ve heard a few reviews that suggest the bad points of any of these cheap ovens are that you have to play around a bit because of uneven heat zones. But for the price, I guess that’s not a big deal.

      • Ian says:

        Probably not another unless this one is worthless, one is quite enough for me :)

      • melvin zammit says:

        I bought a qs-5100 reflow soldering machine as well. However it is being held in customs because they need a ce declaration of conformity. Qinsi provided me with a ‘certificate of LVD’, but apparently its not enough for Europe.

        How did you manage to get it out of customs please?

      • ian says:

        My logistics provider handled all of it.

    • Ian says:

      I see it is listed at 1600rmb, you could easily have asked for a 200rmb discount :) 1400 is the default price in the market as far as I can tell, and that could even be talked lower.

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