Heat Guns- Heat Gun Buying Guide
Heat guns are an inexpensive and versatile tool. People use these to thaw frozen pipes, strip Paint, and so on. These are ideal for DIY projects. You can increase the speed of your project using these tools. While using these tools, the essential thing that you need to consider is safety. However, these tools can be dangerous. That’s why it is vital to choose the right one. In this article, we have elaborated niceties about this tool. Along with this, here we have described the features of the top 5 most demanding heat guns. Let’s check it out.
What is a Heat Gun?
It is a versatile tool that most DIYers prefer to carry in their tool-box. This tool looks like hair dryers. Both hairdryer and heat gun can operate in a similar method. What you need to do is pull the air inside. You have to use a fan in this process. After that, you have to push it across a heated element. You need to use a nozzle also so that it can generate warm air.
From professionals to homeowners and hobbyists— everyone can use the tool for various tasks. It may seem to you like a futuristic weapon. A heat gun is a power tool. You can use this tool for different types of home repairing works. These devices weigh only a few pounds. Besides, you get these tools in both corded and cordless models. These devices are available at between $40 to $200 budget-friendly rates.
The main benefit of these devices is that they are flameless. The hot air released from the device is very safe and perfect for home improvement projects. A few models come with a stand that can be used when you are not using this tool.
How Heat is Generated in Heat Gun
A heat guns usually generate heat. Heat-gun comes with an electrically heated element. But in few models, it makes gas flame. It follows a mechanism for moving the hot air. But it is unable to do it until the gas pressure is enough. A nozzle is present there that helps to direct air. Sometimes, the nozzles come in several shapes. The primary purpose of such a design is to concentrate the heat on a tiny area.
Along with this, you can use it to thaw a pipe. These tools include housing that helps to contain these components. Besides, there are a handle, a switch, and a built-in or external stand. However, you can use the gas-powered soldering irons. These contain interchangeable hot air blower tips. With the help of these tips, it can create a narrow stream of hot air.
How Does a Heat Gun Work?
The tool produces heat using its fan. To do this, first, the fan draws in air at the rear side of the gun. Then, it passes that air through the overheated elements. Thus, it helps to make a stream of hot air. These devices work at temperatures ranging from 100°C – 550°C. But, please make sure that you people are not using these tools to dry your hair.
When you use a heat gun, always hold it at a 45-degree angle. Besides, confirm that you are not keeping it in one place for more than a few seconds. Once the Paint starts to bubble due to heat, you need to move the tool. After that, you have to strip the Paint. Use a scraper in this case.
The Paint started bubbling when the air gets trapped under the Paint. But make sure that you are not burning the Paint. You need to warm these only. Continue this process until you see the blisters. The heat released from the tool helps to soften the Paint.
How to Use Heat Guns:
Heat guns get much hotter compared to hair dryers. You can use this tool for multiple tasks. Here, we have given a process that you can follow to use the tool.
Always put on long sleeves and heavy-duty work gloves before using these tools. Make sure that you are wearing a long-sleeved shirt also. These will work as a barrier between skin and heat. On the other hand, ensure that the clothes and gloves must not get exposed to any flammable materials. But always remember that the barrier can prevent damage to your skin only for a few seconds. Therefore, you need to confirm that you are not targeting the gun at any part of the body.
The heat-resistant work gloves are available at hardware stores. But sometimes, you may need extra protective gear. Although it depends on the type of work you are performing. For example, this additional protective gear is required when you dry glassware.
You can use goggles and a fire-retardant coat as protective gear. Use a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) if you want to strip lead-based Paint. You need to use HEPA filters and an organic vapor cartridge also in this case.
Additional Safety Procedures
Carry a fire extinguisher while working. It is because there always remains a risk of fire while working with a powerful heat source. That’s why it is better to keep a fire extinguisher in the working place.
You can plug the tool into a wall outlet. Usually , these tools use a high current. Therefore, the extension cord or power strip gets overheated. You can plug the gadget into a wall socket. It will help to reduce the fire risk. But don’t use the adapter as it can cause electric shock.
You must not keep the tool near flammable materials. For this, you need to check the working place. Confirm that there must not present anything that can catch fire quickly. Remove these fire hazards from the workplace if there are any— Chemical solvents, Pieces of paper ( paper towels or instruction booklets), Drapes or curtains, Flammable fumes, or gases.
Before using the tool, ensure that the air inlets are unblocked. If the inlets are covered, it can get over head the gun. After that, it can catch fire. You need to ensure that the air inlets are open while using the tool. These inlets resemble a group of slits or holes. These are placed at the back part of the device. A few users need to use both hands to aim the gun or make it steady. In that case, it should confirm that the hands are not covering the inlets.
Removing Paint Using This Gadget
In this case, you need to use an attachment in terms of targeting the heat. Usually, heat guns contain multiple attachments. These help to target the heat. You can use a nozzle attachment if you are willing to heat any specific area and don’t want to damage its areas. The nozzle attachment will help to narrow the heat flow.
As an alternative way, you can cut a hole in the cardboard. By doing so, you can create a shield. But make sure that the hole is slightly larger in size than the target area. For insulating the cardboard, you need to cover the cardboard using aluminum foil. In this process, you need to keep the shield between the nozzle and painted surface.
You can adjust the tool to the recommended setting. Usually, those tools designed for paint stripping come with one fan speed and heat setting. However, you can choose the advanced models if you need multiple settings. In this case, you can see the user manual to get the proper settings to strip Paint.
The heat amount depends on the paint type and the building material. If you want to remove the Paint properly, then heat the tool at least 700 °F. But if you are working in a constructed building before 1978, make sure you are using a heat gun at more than 1,100 °F.
Using the tool at higher temperatures can cause danger in the working place. A few models have separate controls that allow you to adjust both the temperature and airspeed. You need to adjust the device to the correct settings before turning on the airflow.
Additional Safety Procedures
Firstly, you have to place the nozzle near about 5.1 cm above the working surface. While using the tool, you must not keep the nozzle near the painted surface. Thus, singeing can be prevented. Then, your job is to hold the device at a certain distance.
It would be best if you held the gun at a fixed distance from the working surface. In case you see that the Paint is not separating from the surface at that distance, you need to move them a little closer to the surface. While doing this, ensure that the distance between the nozzle and surface is at least .4 inches.
You can move the tool continuously in a sweeping motion. Here, you need to work in small sections. In this case, sweep it back and forth on the painted surface. Do it again and again on the same area till the Paint starts to get separated.
You need to move the tool constantly. Otherwise, it may damage the surface under the Paint. This tool is very effective for remove Paint. If you work on a large surface, then the process will be slower.
Wait until the Paint starts bubbling. The tool helps to bubble up the Paint. Besides, it helps to pull the Paint away from the surface. You need to continue moving the device. Do this process until a small part of the Paint started bubbling up.
Removing Old Wall Paper:
You can use these tools to remove old wallpaper. It is very effective as it helps to loosen stubborn wallpaper. A few advanced models are available in the market that comes with multiple settings. In this case, you need to adjust the tool to the lowest possible setting.
It will help to prevent scorching. You need to hold the tool 15 cm away from the wall. Now, you have to move the device in a sweeping motion continuously. It will help to soften the glue as well as remove the paper.
After that, you need to lift the paper edge using a paint scraper. Then, peel the paper off the wall carefully. While doing this task, always carry some trash bags. These bags are very beneficial for storing paper scraps. You should always do the job in a well-ventilated area.
The tool will help to soften caulk, glue, and other adhesives. You can use the device to remove the residues left over from the stickers and levels. Here, you need to heat the adhesives continuously using the tool. Do it till the adhesives get soften.
Now, scrape these away with the help of a paint scraper. Ensure that you have gone through the user manual before using the tool and finding the correct heat setting. Use a scraper to test the adhesives. It helps to let you know if the working area is soft enough to come off or not.
You can use these tools to remove old window glazing. The device is very effective when you want to redo the glazing on the windows. Glazing is a putty that helps to hold the panes at a place.
Using a heat gun along with a heat shield attachment is helpful in this case. It helps to soften the old glazing. Then, you can use a stiff putty knife. It helps to gouge out the glazing. You need to keep the tool moving so that it doesn’t make the glass overheated. It will reduce the risk of cracking the glass.
At last, you need to test the wood. Check whether the wood is damaged or not. But make sure that you have repaired damaged areas before, including the new glazing. Use wood epoxy to repair the damage of wood.
Use a shrink wrap with this tool. You can use it to shrink plastic wrap. In this case, what you need to do is to wrap the item first. Then, keep it in a shrinkable plastic bag. After that, you need to use the tool over the plastic. Do this process until it shrinks into place. Now, hold the device and keep it away 2.5–5.1 cm, i.e., 1-2 inches from the wrap.
Additional Safety Procedures
While working with this, make sure that you are moving the device continuously. Thus, you can prevent melting a hole in the plastic. You can use the shrinkable bag also. To do this, first, your job is to tuck the opening shut.
Then, you need to tape it. If you want, you can tie the shut-off at the top. You should always use shrink-wrap plastic in this case. You must not use regular plastic cling-wrap. Otherwise, it will get burnt. Then, it may release harmful toxic fumes.
You can defrost the frozen metal pipes using this tool. Sometimes, metal water pipes get frozen. Heat guns are helpful in this case. You can open the valve up at the bottom part of the pipe. After that, you need to move the tool along the pipe.
Do it very carefully for melting the ice. While doing this task, check the lines. Be careful while doing this task so that these don’t get overheated. Due to overheating, the tubes can burst. Try to use the tool in a low setting.
It would be best to remember that you should not hold the tool too close to the pipes. Make sure that you are not using this tool on plastic pipes. It is because plastic pipes will get melted quickly. Even at low temperatures, these get singed.
Other Uses of Heat Guns
People use the tool for removing old bumper stickers, strip paint, heat-shrink plastic, soft glue, etc. You can apply it in vehicle decals.
You can use this tool for plumbing jobs also. Using this device, you can bend plastic piping, defrost frozen pipes, or loosen solder joints.
You can even light a charcoal grill using these tools.
Although, these tools can be used while working with vinyl, plastic, and leather.
People can use the tool to remove screws, rusty bolts, solder-sealing wire connections, thawing frozen pipes, shrink wrapping, softening adhesives, etc.
If you want, you can dry out your wet mobile with the help of this tool.
Types of Heat Guns
Usually, these devices are available in four different types— electric, gas, industrial, and infrared. However, it doesn’t matter which kind of gun you have, or you are using. You should understand that it can be dangerous if you don’t use the tool properly.
Using these devices carelessly can harm you. Usually, these tools don’t require an open flame. These tools can generate high temperatures of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you should take care of yourself while using the gadget. It is because these guns can damage the material with which you are working. Even these can burn you if safety precautions are ignored.
This type of gun is available in both; corded and cordless models and small or large sizes. Besides, the temperature range varies along with the speed of the fan. These models are very famous in the market as they are cost-effective also. Nowadays, most brands are producing this type of tool because of its huge demand. The manufacturers are now paying more attention to electric heat gun technology. Whereas, nowadays, the users don’t prefer to use gas-powered models.
These models mainly use butane or propane gas instead of a heated element. A few reasons are there for which this type of model is less demanding than the electric models. Firstly, these are very costly. Secondly, you need to buy and fill the gas canisters to use the tool again and again. Compared to the electric models, these are less beneficial.
It is because you need to plug in the wire to use the tool. People working in the electrical field and those who have to perform their tasks away from any electric outlet prefer to use a gas heat gun. Besides, if you are a plumber, you can also go for this kind of model. But these heat-guns don’t have too much fame in the DIY market.
The robust construction, higher heat levels, and higher fan setting make these guns rare from the electric and gas models. If you are more familiar with this tool, you can use this kind of model for heavy-duty jobs. For example, you can use these tools in packaging plants, mass retail factories, and automotive repair.
These models are designed especially for use in industrial works. That’s why features like fine-tuning of temperature and fan control are not available in such models needed for small precision projects.
These models are launched in the market recently. Infrared heat is used in this case. The models can create a maximum of 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit that is quite enough for most household projects.
Five Best Heat Gun Reviews
DeWalt Heat Gun
Description: This model comes with two different fan speeds, a variable temperature control dial, and two nozzles. You can use the tool for different types of tasks in the home. The model comes with sturdy, shock-resistant housing, an extra-long cord, and so on. The comfortable handle prevents the fatigue of hands when the device is used for a long time. This device comes with a compact design and weighs very light. On the other hand, it is effortless to use, and the model is durable enough.
The model gets warmed up very fast. As a result, it can put out the heat between 120 and 1,100-degrees Fahrenheit. There presents a cord protector that prevents it from getting frayed or broken at that point where it remains attached to the gun. But it is not the appropriate model for use in industrial works. Sometimes, this tool takes time to become cool.
Temperature control: It comes with a temperature control function. This feature allows you to adjust the heat settings as per your preference.
Extra protection: The model comes with built-in overload protection that helps to prevent burn up.
Built-in hang ring and kickstand: This model comes with a handy hang ring. Besides, it has built-in innovative kickstand support. Using these, you can prevent tip over. Moreover, this kickstand offers more excellent stability.
Cord protector: The device comes with a cord protector. Its job is to keep the cord from tearing away from the housing. Besides, it offers an ergonomic comfort grip. Due to this, you will get more comfort and can use the tool for long hours.
- Built-in overload protection
- Cord protector to avoid damage
- Built-in innovative kickstand support
- Ergonomic grip for more comfort
- Small printed settings that are tough to read
- Unable to display operating temperature.
Porter-Cable Heat Gun
Description: The device comes with a powerful 1,500-watt motor. Besides, it features a variable temperature control along with a low and high fan selector. The weight of the model is only two pounds. As it weighs very light, the device prevents hand fatigue. The support stand allows you to use both your hands to do tasks. For instance, you can do plastic pipe bending, repairing, and shrink wrapping.
The model is very costly. However, it is super durable and robust too. This gun gets warmed very quickly. The range of temperature of the tool is 120 to 900-degrees Fahrenheit. What makes the model too-notch is its adjustable heat control knob. The feature provides steady heat. The no-tip stand of the tool offers enough flexibility while working. But this tool comes with a disadvantage. It is that this model doesn’t last too long compared to other models.
Speed selector: This model comes with two fan speeds. Therefore, you can adjust the speed as per your needs.
Variable temperature control dial: The tool features a temperature control dial. It allows you to adjust the temperature when it is required.
Additional features: It comes with an integrated hands-free support stand and a six feet high-grade cord.
- Variable temperature control
- Six feet high-grade cord
- Two different fan speed options available
- A little bit of noise creating
- Air Volume is not perfect for the large projects
SeekOne Heat Gun
Description: If you are looking for a model for using in several tasks, this model is an excellent option. It comes with two different heating modes along with two airflow levels. Those who want to handle various projects at a time should go for this model. It is equipped with a 1,800-watt motor.
Besides, the temperature range of the tool is from 120 to 1,202-degrees Fahrenheit. An ergonomic handle makes this model mind-grabbing. This model’s praiseworthy design allows the user to use the model for an extended period without having any fatigue and pain in hand.
This model comes with a black dial that offers rheostat-type heating. On the other hand, the model comes with a high/low switch. This switch is available on the handle that allows the user to control the airflow. There is also an overload protector available. Using it, you can prevent circuit damage when it begins overheating.
It has a deflector nozzle that can use for both narrow and long heat patterns. Besides, two nozzles are used for concentrated heat flow. A reflector nozzle is there that you can use to disperse heat flow. If you buy this product, you will get a lifetime free warranty from the manufacturer.
Performance: The 1800 W motor of the gun allows the device to heat up quickly. It can make the tool warm up to 1202℉ (650℃) in seconds. There are two temperature modes— 50-450℃, 190-210L/min, and 50-650℃, 250-500L/min.
Temperature control: This model features variable temperature control. With this, you can adjust the temperature setting.
Ergonomic Design: It comes with a scientific ergonomic design handle. This handle helps to prevent repetitive strain injuries. Besides, it helps to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. You can use the tool to shrink heat shrink tube, shrink wrap, heat PVC, electronics, cell phone repairing, vinyl wrap, removing paint or floor tiles, and so on. Moreover, it also assists in loosening rusted bolts. You can use this tool for other thawing purposes.
100% Satisfaction: Along with the lifetime free warranty, the manufacturers offer a refund policy that depicts that they will return the entire money if you face any issue with the product. You can also take help from the service center if you found any problem with this tool.
- Ergonomic handle
- Lifetime free warranty
- Temperature adjustability
- Unable to display the temperature reading.
- It is challenging to read heat output.
Makita Variable Temperature Heat Gun
Description: The tool’s nine different temperature settings make the device one of the most demanding models in the market. If you are looking for such a model that can be used for detailed precision work, it is the perfect option. The airflow settings offer more flexibility. It is very light and weighs only 1.5 pounds.
It comes with a sleek turquoise design that makes the model commendable. The device comes with various nozzles. However, you can buy the nozzles separately. The tool is relatively pricier. But this tool doesn’t offer too much airflow.
Temperature control: It comes with a variable temperature control dial. The temperature range of the product is 122 – 1, 022°f. What makes this gadget exceptional is that it has nine different settings. These allow you to use them in various types of tasks.
Airflow settings: The tool contains a slide switch. It sets two airflow settings that are 7 and 14 CFM. These two airflow settings provide you greater versatility.
Compact design: The compact 1.5 lb. design of the tool makes it tremendous. It comes with a rubberized pistol grip handle. Besides, the model has an integrated rear stand.
Ideal to use: People can use the model for vehicle wraps and tinting, stripping lacquer, Paint, varnish, thawing frozen pipes, etc. Besides, you can use it to loosen tile and putty, re-melt adhesive, bend plastic pipes and sheets, and so on.
Easy to use: You can use the device with different nozzles. It comes with multiple accessories for increased versatility.
- Easy to use
- Perfect for wraps, Tining, Paint, varnish, etc
- Compact design
- Two airflow settings
- Not long-Lasting
Milwaukee Electric Tool Heat Gun Kit
Description: The length of the tool is only 6.4-inches. It comes with an XC 5.0 powered battery. With the help of it, the device can heat more than 40 connections on one charge. There doesn’t exist any built-in temperature control. However, it only takes seven seconds to reach its moderate operational temperature, i.e., 875 degrees Fahrenheit. It is such a feature that makes the tool different from other models.
You can use this cordless, battery-powered device anywhere you prefer. It comes with a built-in LED light also. As a result, it makes things more visible, even in tight spaces where you may find a lack of light. Moreover, it has a battery, a battery charger, a hard-wearing carrying case, and two specialty nozzles.
Excellent performance: The heating coil helps to reach operating temperature within just a few seconds. The temperature management system of the device offers maximum life.
Nozzles: There is a long guarded nozzle that doesn’t allow you to contact unprotected surfaces.
Accessories: The tool comes with an m18™ heat gun, one M18 XC5.0 battery, charger, 3/8” concentrator nozzle, hook nozzle, and a carrying case.
Compact design: The compact design of this tool makes this product exceptional. This gun can deliver a temperature of 1000° F. Besides; the model uses redlithium battery technology. Therefore, you don’t need to carry the cords from one place to another. It also comes with Redline plus intelligence and a temperature management system.
- Compact Design
- Uses redlithium™ battery technology
- Carrying case is available
- Drains battery too fast
Best Buying guide
When you buy the best heat gun, a few factors are there that you need to consider. Here, we have given a few points that you should check before picking a heat gun.
Before buying, it is an important feature that you need to consider. This feature lets you know for which purpose you will be able to use the tool. People who are doing heavy-duty jobs get advantages from the instrument. For example, those who are doing paint stripping and plumbing can use it. These tools come with about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the maximum. And the minimum temperature of these tools is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
DIYers who want to need a tool for household projects must use it. For example, they can use it for heat-shrinking plastic. Besides, they can use the gun to soften the adhesive on flooring tiles. These models have a narrower temperature range. It is from 392 degrees Fahrenheit to 752 degrees Fahrenheit.
Usually, the regular heat guns allow you to control at a single temperature. This device heats up to the maximum temperature automatically. But you can adjust the heat level. To do so, you need to move the tool closer to the object or keep it away from the targeted item. However, the advanced models come with two or three various temperature settings. These different temperature settings allow you to choose between high, medium, and low heat. It entirely depends on your requirements.
On the other hand, the variable temperature models come with a dial. It helps you to select a temperature between the minimum and maximum range. A few models are available in the market that comes with electronic displays. With the help of these, you can adjust the appropriate temperature. If you want the most accurate heat setting, choose those which offer precise temperature and fan controls.
This feature lets you know the amount of surface on which the gun can fall its impact. If you are searching for this kind of gadget that you can use for specific projects, then lower fan speeds are ideal. For example, you can use it to loosen solder joints or remove labels. On the other hand, you can get more excellent heat distribution using such models with higher fan speeds.
When you take away a heat gun with a low blow rate from the object, the area will increase. But the temperature gets reduced. Always choose a strong fan as this helps to increase the surface area.
Moreover, these don’t cause a reduction in temperature. The robust models allow heating greater area at a single time. It is perfect for larger projects. For instance, you can use it in stripping Paint or defrosting pipes.
Nozzle types- protectors and other features:
These tools come with different nozzle options in most cases. All these features allow you to adjust the temperature more accurately. Along with this, it helps to move the heat flow more efficiently towards the object.
Most demanding heat gun accessories come with a dead man’s switch. As soon as you eliminate the pressure, it shuts off the power. A thermal cut-out is present that helps to switch off the tool in case the gun becomes overheated. The advanced models always include a hanging hook. Besides, there is a surface stand.
Using the stand, you can give the tool rest when you are not using it. This stand also offers a hands-free alternative. The alternative is handy for projects which need two hands. You need to do the tasks very carefully and ensure that the device you are using is stable enough.
Most of the top-notch nozzles usually contain a reducer. On the other hand, the cone nozzles help to concentrate heat onto a particular area. The spoon reflector nozzles allow you to wrap it around piping.
It helps to heat the complete circumference of the pipe. You can use flat nozzles for horizontal line applications. A few glass protector nozzles are available, which allow stripping Paint off of a window. It also prevents direct heat on the glass. However, you can get other options for specialized cases.
A few models are available which provide additional built-in features. You can see a few models available that can boast extended cord lengths. Besides, these come with high-temperature protection features.
Additional safety features of the gadget can keep your hands safe. Some tools have built-in memory settings. This inbuilt memory setting allows you to adjust both fan speed and heat. These are the things that one may require for any particular project. For example, you may need these for stripping Paint.
Heat guns come with different temperature and speed control settings. It entirely depends upon you which model you will choose. If you are a beginner, then you may face difficulties while selecting the right one. This article will help you in this case. It will let you know all the necessary information to know before buying a heat gun.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do all heat guns operate similarly?
No, the heat guns are not operate on similar methods.
Q: How do I use a heat gun for scraping off the old Paint?
First of all, you need to hold the tools away from the surface area. Make sure you Kept them a few inches away from the spot. Then, you need to move the gun continuously. It ensures that you are not overheating any area. As soon as the Paint starts to get loosen, you can see it bubbling. Besides, it may change the form as there is a chance of melting. A paint scraper or putty knife can be handy in this case—this helps to remove the Paint with ease.
Q: Can I use a heat gun to desolder the wires?
Yes, you can use heat guns to remove solder. In this case, you don’t need to take the help of a soldering iron. Usually, the tool helps to heat the solder efficiently so that it can remove the components. Although you can use a hot air station, it is costly.
Q: Can I use a hairdryer instead of a heat gun?
Both hair dryers and heat guns come with similar functions. That’s why if you want, you can try a hairdryer too. You can use it while removing labels/stickers, candle wax, etc.
Q: Is a heat gun dangerous?
The heat guns, i.e., the hot air flow, are not so dangerous as a naked flame. But the tool can cause a fire to highly flammable items. Even it can crack glasses, and if it is directed at the skin, it may cause injuries.
Q: Should I use a heat gun inside?
Before using the tool, ensure that the area is adequately ventilated. It will prevent the accumulation of fumes. Try to use the device while working outside. It is because there doesn’t remain any risk of inhaling toxic fumes. Do not forget to wear a respiratory mask while using this tool to work in a confined area.
Q: Does the heat gun make noise?
No, it doesn’t make too much noise. Compared to the hairdryers, the tools are less noisy.