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Product Review - Workbench ESD Safe Smoke Absorber BK 486

Product Review

Safety is very important in soldering and this Workbench ESD Safe Smoke Absorber BK 486 helps you breathe clean air.  Here we will unbox the smoke absorber or fume extractor and test the dB noise level and ability to remove solder smoke for you.

 The Workbench ESD Safe Smoke Absorber comes in a white box labelled Auxilliary Tool.

Opening the box reveals a set of instructions.

Under the instructions we find a metal stand and the smoke absorber.

There are two filters attached to the front.

Here is the top and back of the unit as well.

smoke absorber top  smoke absorber back

To assemble the unit, first remove the extra filter from the front.  Do this by prying off the metal hooks at the bottom of the front from the plastic tabs and taking off the extra filter.  Replace the hooks back around the plastic tabs.

Your front should now look like this.

Now unscrew the large round plastic knobs from either side of the main body.

 smoke absorber side

 Attach the metal stand to either side by inserting the screws through the screw holes.

smoke absorber stand

Now screw the large plastic knobs back on to either side.

smoke absorber side view

Now to plug it in a give it a test!

smoke absorber test

 

The first thing we did was to measure the noise level or dBs.  We did this through a free app on our iPhone called Decibel 10th.  Our room before turning on the smoke absorber was in the low to mid 40's which is labelled in the app as Avg. Quiet Home.  

Next we put the phone on the desk int front of the smoke absorber which was on the stand.  The phone was about 6 or 7 inches away from the bottom edge of the smoke absorber.  Turning on the smoke absorber resulted in a solid click from the switch.

You can see the graph in the image below.  The highest it ever got was 76 dB but was normally around 67-71.  The app labels 71 as Avg  Inside Car.  When it went below 70 the app called it Avg Normal Conversation.

 smoke absorber db level

 

In reality the smoke absorber is not quite whisper quiet but I could easily hear my radio and the noise level was perfectly fine.  Now to see how it performs.

First we tested the smoke absorber on it's stand working directly in front of it, which was about 5 1/2 - 6 inches away from the bottom edge.  This worked well until we moved further away from the smoke absorber and notice smoke being pulled away, but some of it going under the filter.

We then propped the unit up so the bottom edge was flat on the desk and the stand behind it.  Starting at 4 inches away from the filter and going out to 9 inches we tested the smoke absorber again.  After about 8 inches we noticed some smoke going under the filter.  7 inches and closer seemed to work fine. 

At no point in the testing did the fumes / smoke get into our faces.  Even at 9 inches out it still pulled the smoke away from us.

smoke absorber test

 

We also thought of putting the smoke absorber upright on it's stand and raising our work level to be closer to the height of the filter, but that was not ideal in our case. 

There is also a plastic lip on the bottom that you could potentially use to clamp to your workbench or desk. Check out the short video below.

 

Conclusion

Our conclusion is that the BK 486 Smoke Absorber performed very well and the noise level was completely acceptable.  We would highly recommend this product as other solder fume extractors / solder smoke absorbers cost a lot more.


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