Fnirsi HS-01 Smart Soldering Iron (Review)

    • by Jean-François Simon
    • Reading time: 3 min

    Get to know the Fnirsi HS-01, a soldering iron designed for versatility. The adjustable soldering iron features a built-in 0.87-inch OLED display that quickly reaches temperatures between 80-420°C (180-780°F).

    We're excited to review the Fnirsi HS-01 smart soldering iron, which steps into the arena eight years after the well-regarded TS100 made its debut. With many competitors now in the market, we're eager to see how the HS-01 measures up.

    Initial Impressions

    The HS-01 from Fnirsi is a versatile soldering iron designed with a USB-C input connector, allowing it to be powered by a USB charger, power bank, or any 9 to 24 Volts DC source using a 5.5x2.1 mm barrel plug. This adaptability is complemented by temperature control, a compact OLED display, and two user-friendly buttons. As smart soldering irons continue to grow in popularity, we'll evaluate whether the Fnirsi HS-01 stands out in this crowded field.

    What’s in the Box?

    The unboxing reveals a cardboard case with the iron itself, a tip (HS01-BC2), a concise user manual, and a “Quality Check” card. Accessories include a USB-C to 5.5x2.1 mm barrel adapter, a variety of additional tips like KR, K65, B2, ILS, and BC3, and a mini stand equipped with a tip-cleaning sponge.

    Package contents.
    Package contents.
    The iron in its case.
    The iron in its case.

    Detailed Design

    The soldering iron features a CNC machined aluminum casing that exudes quality, complete with a rubber grip to prevent slipping during use. A protective cap safeguards the soldering tip and your belongings when the iron is not in use—a feature long utilized by gas irons like those from Weller and Portasol. We'll test its effectiveness and the heat resistance of the grip area during extended use.

    The HS-01 soldering iron.
    The HS-01 soldering iron.

    Design Considerations

    The soldering iron’s tip is secured with a locking collar, which may be less convenient than the simpler push-in designs of some competitors, but provides a reliable connection. The iron also features strategically placed buttons that minimize accidental settings changes.

    The iron is comfortable to handle.
    The iron is comfortable to handle.

    Flexible Power Options

    Fnirsi opts for a simple USB-C connector for the power supply, which is both a flexible and modern choice. Most users likely have access to a compatible power source, whether it's a Power Delivery charger or a power bank. The inclusion of a USB-C to barrel adapter broadens the range of usable power sources, enhancing the HS-01's versatility.

    Performance and Usability

    Initial testing with a USB-PD laptop charger at 20 V worked seamlessly, although it was a short test due to the need for the charger elsewhere. Subsequent tests with a modified Lenovo charger also proved successful. The iron heats up to 360°C in less than 10 seconds, a commendable performance that rivals many in its class. Adjusting the temperature is straightforward with the iron's intuitive button setup.

    Day-to-Day Use

    After several days of use, the HS-01 handled most soldering tasks without issue. Its ergonomic design makes it comfortable for extended periods, although it does struggle with some high-demand joints compared to more powerful, yet significantly more expensive, models.

    The HS-01 is fine for everyday soldering.
    The HS-01 is fine for everyday soldering.

    Strengths and Limitations

    Pros include its cartridge system combining the heating element, iron tip, and temperature probe for optimal thermal transfer and accuracy, and its compactness allows for easy portability. On the downside, it lacks compatibility with IronOS, has no chisel tips available from the manufacturer, and does not include a silicone pad for hot tip changes, which would enhance safety and convenience.

    Final Thoughts

    The Fnirsi HS-01 smart soldering iron is an excellent choice for beginners and a reliable secondary tool for seasoned users. It's particularly suited for on-the-go applications, like outdoor work or mobile repairs. Its small size and flexibility in power options make it a handy addition to any toolkit. While it may not be revolutionary compared to other smart irons, its performance and price point make it a worthwhile consideration for most users.



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