I found myself smiling at the interchange between just17 and uT6 for several reasons.
The main one being that they seem to be in agreement without realizing it.
When just17 pointed out the picture of a soldering iron with a long very pointed conical tip and pointed out that it is rarely useful, apparently UT6 did not notice that it was not the short seemingly conical tip with a somewhat blunt end shown in the picture of three tips .
The one shown in an iron was apparently a 1/64" "long conical" tip with a one inch reach.
The bottom tip shown in the picture of three tips was a PTAA7 tip as shown by the writing on it. That is a 1/16" "Single Flat" tip with a 5/8 inch reach.
"Single flat" is what Weller calls the tip that matches the profile described by just17 as the most desirable profile. You could not see the flat on the very end of it because it is on the opposite side from the writing which the picture showed.
By the way, the WPTCP soldering station is normally shipped by the factory with a 1/16" screwdriver tip with 5/8" reach. This again, is a tip with flats on both sides of the very end of the tip. Interesting that the manufacturer agrees that for general usage the tip should have at least one flat at the work surface.
The manual which shows which tips were available for that soldering station when the manual was written can be found at:http://www.apexhandtools.com/onlinecatalog/Parts_Lists/WTCPT_OI_PL.pdf
I was also smiling at uT6's implication that maybe just17 and I did not have enough soldering practice to achieve the results that he does. How could he know that we each have been doing this stuff for longer than he has been alive.
I guarantee that old timers with experience can achieve a satisfactory repair with almost any iron.
But, this misses the whole point of this thread. What we are trying to do is impart knowledge to people with little or no knowledge of soldering that will allow them to do simple repairs on items that would otherwise be discarded.
We are trying to make it as easy as possible for them.
We have both seen what happens when a newcomer attempts a repair with less than optimum tools, materials or knowledge.
I have seen a number of folks who tried to get into electronics who just gave up because they could never make a solder joint.
What they did not know was that the problem was not their technique but their tools.
For years, I have seen stores selling "soldering kits" that contain re-purposed wood burning tools with very pointed tips made out of materials that can not be tinned with solder instead of real soldering irons. Frequently, they also contained solder of a diameter and alloy that was totally inappropriate for the power of the iron or the tasks that the purchaser was likely to attempt. Sometimes it had no flux or worse had acid core solder. In an emergency, an experienced technician could affect a repair with one of these but a newby did not stand a chance.
This is why us old guys ask that you try to understand why we tend to not back down on some things. We want to share the knowledge while we can. It frequently only takes one attempt with frustrating results to convince many people that it is magic and just too hard to do these kinds of repairs. They never try again.
It is not that other tools and techniques won't work, it is that we want a newby's first attempts to be positive. Things that are not a problem for someone who has already "paid their dues" can be a show stopper for many newbies.
This forum should never set up a newby for failure, even inadvertently. We can leave that to some of the other forums.