The soldering iron handle is the insulated part of the iron that you hold while working. This is usually made of materials such as rubber and plastic to avoid accidental contact with live wires. However, wrong use and maintenance of the soldering iron will often result in broken handles or cracked ones. This poses a danger of electric shock and exposure to heat. We analyze the possible causes of a broken soldering iron handle and ways of minimizing the effects of the same.
Leaving the Iron Unattended
This is especially true with older soldering iron models. These had no thermostat or any other means of regulating temperature. Once left unattended, these irons would continue to heat as long as the power supply was still on. This causes overheating of elements within the soldering iron and eventually reaches the handle. The material making up most soldering iron handles is usually one with relatively low melting points and exposure to such heat will cause instant melting of the handle. To avoid this, ensure that you do not leave your soldering iron unattended especially while plugged into a live power source.
Dropping and Banging
Similar to many other electrical appliances, soldering irons are susceptible to damage if dropped or banged against. This is especially true for soldering irons that use plastic or ceramic soldering iron handles – http://www.amazon.com/iCooker-Soldering-Iron-Watt-Solder/dp/B01774KARE. These can easily break or crack. If this happens, it will almost certainly expose you to live electric current and heat which may cause injury. It is important to always handle the iron with care and ensure the workspace is free of clutter that may cause accidental drops of the iron.
If your soldering iron has a faulty handle, have it replaced by a qualified electrician since it poses significant risk while working with.