Because of my amateur radio hobby, I thought it would be a good idea to learn basic electronics. To move up with your electronics knowledge, you should also learn how to solder, in my opinion. This way you can build kits, make repairs, and troubleshoot better. Not to mention, it could allow you to do better electronics around the house, ie. outside of your electronics related hobby.
For my last birthday, my awesome wife got me the "Elenco AmeriKit Learn to Solder Kit" , as well as a "helping hand" with magnifying glass to help hold stuff.
The soldering practice kit comes with a pretty good instruction booklet that talks about basic electronics and soldering. It also comes with the board, various electronic components, a 25W soldering iron, 5ft of lead-free solder, a basic soldering iron rest, wire cutter, and a solder wick.
I've found the practice kit to be really fun. It is a good refresher of the last time I did soldering which was in 1993 or so! So far I've soldered onto single pads, double pads, made solder bridges, removed solder bridges, simulated a repair to a cracked board using solder bridges and a stripped wire, soldered a wire onto the board, and several other basic techniques to start my learning.
I think an improvement to the kit could be if the kit also came with a basic needle-nose pliers (instead of me using the wire cutter, with just a little pressure, as a pliers). This way the wire and solder wick could be held more safely and easily and "right out of the box".
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