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Anti-Static Protection: If you're interested in soldering a lot of static-sensitive parts (e.g. CMOS chips or MOSFET transistors), more advanced and expensive soldering iron stations use static-dissipative
materials in their construction to ensure that static does not build up on the iron itself. You may see these listed as "ESD safe" (electrostatic discharge proof). The cheapest irons won't necessarily be ESD-safe but never the less will still probably perform perfectly well in most hobby or educational applications if you take the usual anti-static precautions when handling the components. The tip would need to be well earthed (grounded) in these circumstances

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