LAST UPDATED: October 31, 2019
Best Heat Guns: A Great Tool for Numerous Tasks
A heat gun helps with tasks in the home and in the shop
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 31, 2019
A heat gun is a multi-purpose tool that professionals, homeowners, and hobbyists use for a variety of tasks. You can strip paint, remove old wallpaper, bend pipes, or light a charcoal grill with one. Craft people use heat guns when working with vinyl, plastic, and leather. Other uses include removing rusty bolts and screws, solder-sealing wire connections, thawing frozen pipes, shrink wrapping, and softening adhesives. You can even use a heat gun to dry out a wet cell phone. Check out the top heat guns in our buying guide below.
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DeWalt's heat gun has a variable temperature control dial, two fan speeds, and two nozzles, so it's designed for a variety of different tasks around the home. It also features a sturdy, shock-resistant housing; an extra-long cord; and a comfortable ergonomic handle to prevent fatigue after hours of use.
The tool is compact, lightweight, durable, and simple to use. It warms up quickly and puts out steady heat between 120 and 1,100-degrees Fahrenheit. It has a cord protector to keep it from fraying or breaking at the point where it attaches to the gun. The built-in overload protection prevents the tool from overheating and burning up. It also has a built-in kickstand for stability and a hanging ring, so you can store it quite easily.
Unfortunately, this heat gun isn't the best option for industrial use. It may also take a little while for the tool to cool down. In addition, the settings are in very small print and hard to read. Plus, it does not display the operating temperature.
The Porter-Cable heat gun has a strong 1,500-watt motor, low and high fan selector, and variable temperature control. The tool is lightweight at just two pounds, which prevents hand fatigue. It also has a support stand, so you can use both hands for tasks such as repairs, plastic pipe bending, and shrink wrapping.
This value-priced tool is solidly built and reliable. It gets quite hot and has a wide temperature range of 120 to 900-degrees Fahrenheit. It also has an adjustable heat control knob that works really well and provides steady heat. The six-foot, high-quality cord combined with a stable, no-tip stand provide flexibility while you work.
One problem with this heat gun is that it may not last as long as some of its rivals. It may also be a little noisy. In addition, while the volume of air is fine for small projects, it's not enough for larger ones.
The SEEKONE Heat Gun is a versatile option. It has two different heating modes and two airflow levels, which make it a great option for tackling different projects. The 1,800-watt tool has a temperature range of 120 to 1,202-degrees Fahrenheit. It's designed with an ergonomic handle to prevent fatigue and pain.
The black dial provides rheostat-type heating, while the high/low switch on the handle controls the airflow. It comes with an overload protector to prevent circuit damage if it starts to overheat. The tool also comes with a deflector nozzle for a long and narrow heat pattern, two nozzles for concentrated heat flow, and a reflector nozzle to evenly disperse heat flow. The manufacturer even includes a lifetime free warranty.
One problem with this heat gun is that it can be difficult to balance when not in use. Also, it doesn't display a temperature reading, so it can be hard to determine heat output.
With nine different temperature settings, this heat gun from Makita is the best for detailed precision work. It’s dial can go from 122 to 1,022-degrees Fahrenheit. There are also two airflow settings: seven and 14 CFM for even more flexibility. This heat gun weighs only 1.5 pounds, so it is light and easy to maneuver.
This heat gun is best for vehicle wraps, vehicle tinting, loosening putty, re-melting adhesives, and blending a variety of materials. With a sleek turquoise design, this heat gun is as nice to look at as it is to use. Makita offers a variety of different nozzles, though they are sold separately. It is on the pricier side, but it falls about mid-range for the heat gun market.
There is not as much airflow as you would hope for in this heat gun, particularly compared to competitor products. There are also some big jumps in heat across its nine settings, which can render it dangerous very quickly.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive machine, consider the Black+Decker Heat Gun for all your heating purposes. Whether it’s for a cosplay costume, a home project, or soldering, it’s a great tool for the price. It includes two temperature settings - 750 and 1,000 degrees - so you get more control and precision. It’s a 1,350-watt device and runs off of 120 volts as well, so it heats up quickly and stays hotter longer.
Another one of its best features is its built-in stand. It gives you a quick and easy place to set the gun while it cools, so it isn’t left directly on a countertop. The gun is also lightweight and ergonomic. The handle is designed in a way that makes the tool much more comfortable to grip.
The heat gun does not come with any sort of storage or travel case. Just a simple box would make it much easier to put it away when you’re done using it. Another issue is the wire stand may be rather flimsy. It can collapse if you’re not careful or accidentally bump the table the heat gun is set on.
- Think about how you will use a heat gun before you purchase one. Are you going to use it exclusively for one type of job? Or do you want a gun that you can use for multiple tasks?
- If you are a hobbyist or homeowner, save money by buying a heat gun that is more suited to its purpose. For small household jobs or crafts, you probably don’t need the same type of professional-grade heat gun that auto technicians or plumbers use.
- Check out the various features the different heat guns provide. Look for low and high-temperature ranges, blower speeds, types of nozzles, price, and warranty.
Q: Do all heat guns operate similarly?
A: For the most part, yes. Electricity heats a coil, and a blower forces the hot air out of the front of the gun. But while they operate similarly, features and options vary widely.
Q: How do I use a heat gun for scraping off the old paint?
A: Choose a nozzle that concentrates the hot air and apply the heated air to the painted surface. This warms the paint so that it is easier to scrape off and remove. Removing old wallpaper is similar: You heat the wallpaper, which melts the backing glue, allowing you to easily remove the wallpaper from the wall.
Q: Can I use a heat gun to desolder wires?
A: Yes. Most heat guns reach a temperature high enough to do this. Just make sure you protect yourself against melting solder. Also, aim the gun properly if you are working on a circuit board, so you desolder only the wires you want to desolder.