I’ve been using my TS100 for about a day so far. My overall impression is positive. I think it would be an excellent portable soldering iron. It’s good for bench use, too, but there are some compromises.
I like how quickly it heats up. (I’m using a 24V power supply.) I found that it went from room temperature to 340°C in about 9 seconds.
When it hasn’t been used for a little while, it reduces the temperature to 200°C. I found that it would heat back up to the set temperature in about the amount of time it took me to take the iron out of the stand and move it to my board, so I didn’t have to wait for it at all.
The ergonomics turned out not to be a problem. The tips that the TS100 uses are much longer than normal soldering iron tips. But the thing to keep in mind is that a normal soldering iron has a long metal section in between the plastic handle and the tip. In the TS100, the tip plugs directly into the plastic handle; there is no metal section in between. So the distance between the end of the tip and the place you hold the iron works out to be about the same, or slightly shorter.
Here is a picture that compares the TS100 to my old Weller WLC100:
I found it comfortable to use, and the different size and shape didn’t seem to be a problem.
The TS100 does not come with a stand, so I used a 35-year-old stand from Radio Shack that I had lying around. It worked, but since the TS-100 is so thin, it goes much deeper into the stand than a normal soldering iron. This made it slightly more awkward to take it out of the stand, and it also means there’s a danger of melting something accidentally, because the tip protrudes beyond the end of the stand.
The thing I dislike most about the TS100 is that it requires a separate grounding wire. This means that you have both a power cable and a grounding wire going to the iron, which is awkward. I used zip ties to attach the grounding wire to the power cable, to make it act more like a single cable. However, it still meant that the cable coming out of the iron was relatively heavy and cumbersome, especially compared to how small and light the iron itself is.
Overall, though, I found it pleasant to use, and a good upgrade over my WLC100.
The specific items I bought were: