In my experience, most Wellers are very good irons.
Most Hakkos are
very very good irons. Metcals are great irons.
I feel lucky. When I got fed up with the $15 hardware-store quality
iron I had and decided to spring for a decent iron, I let the store
talk me into a Hakko, which I was dubious about because I had never
heard of the name before. (It's a 936, in case anyone cares.) It's
stickered at $139.99 but I think it was marked down to under $100.
(Here $ means CAD.)
I'm very happy with it. I don't have much to compare with except the
el-cheapo iron I used to use (constant power draw, overheats or
underheats depending on how much you're doing with it); compared to
that, it's amazing - but, compared to that, pretty much anything that
even _tries_ to do temperature regulation will be.
Perhaps someday I'll have a chance to use a Metcal and compare. I have
used Wellers, but far too long ago to be competent to draw a comparison.
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