I don’t know how and I don’t know why they do it. But Thanko, the Tokyo-based maker of gadgets no one needs, is now selling a USB-powered soldering iron [JP]. Alternatively, you can use the thing with a 9V battery.
Only in the latter case, you’ll be able to heat the iron up to 500℃. If you plug the device into one USB port, around 200℃ can be reached (about 300℃ with two USB ports). The USB cable is 100cm long.
Thanko offers the USB soldering iron for $28. Expect the device to get listed in the company’s English store soon.
Hat tip to Franceso Fondi [IT]