It was time to upgrade my soldering skills as well as my soldering iron. So I decided to buy a HAKKO FX888D of which I have seen so many people use and recommend.
I highly recommend this iron! The difference between this iron and my old variable controlled one (from R.I.P. Maplin) is like night and day.
Also get yourself a couple of good chisel tips (instead of using the canonical tip) as well as 0.5mm or smaller solder.
The solder I am currently using is the lead free 0.5mm 100g Fairlötet solder bought from Pimoroni and I have had no issues with it.