A soldering iron is a hand tool used in soldering. It supplies heat to melt solder so that it can flow into the joint between two workpieces.
A soldering iron is composed of a heated metal tip and an insulated handle. Heating is often achieved electrically, by passing an electric current (supplied through an electrical cord or battery cables) through a resistive heating element. Cordless irons can be heated by combustion of gas stored in a small tank, often using a catalytic heater rather than a flame. Simple irons less commonly used than in the past were simply a large copper bit on a handle, heated in a flame.
Soldering irons are most often used for installation, repairs, and limited production work in electronics assembly. High-volume production lines use other soldering methods. Large irons may be used for soldering joints in sheet metal objects. Less common uses include pyrography (burning designs into wood) and plastic welding