Here’s a little Circuit DIY on how to make a hot knife with your old solder. Speaking of, I have an old solder just like it, a great mod for those of you who want to spend less.
For years I tried soldering with the old, cheap, 20- or 25W soldering pencil shown below. I was never very good at it and was continually frustrated, imagining there must be something wrong with my technique. I read tutorial after tutorial claiming that good soldering required heating the work rather than the solder directly, but that trick never seemed to work for me. If I wanted to make a joint I had to melt solder onto the iron tip and then try to smear it onto the work, which, as everyone knows, is no way to make a solder joint.