The 5 Best Heat Guns On the Market
Quite the versatile tool, heat guns can assist you in completing DIY projects, yet have the power needed for industrial applications. Finding the best heat gun is not as easy as you might think, however, as there are a wide range of options available. Thankfully, this guide aims to help you find your top heat gun, so you can get started on your next project.
In This Article
Best Choice: Tacklife Heat Gun HGP72AC 1700W Heavy Duty Hot Air Gun
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The HGP72AC heat gun from Tacklife has all the functionality of the higher-end models without the price tag to match — and it even comes with a full kit of nozzles, scrapers, and other helpful accessories. With a claimed high-temp of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, this heat gun can handle a wide range of tasks, including stripping paint and shaping plastic. You can set the temperature and fan speed using the digital display to use the precise settings your project demands. Moving through the LCD display, you can even set up four custom temperature and fan speed settings for later use.
Although they somewhat missed the mark, Tacklife set their sights on improving durability with a cooling mode and elements that protect from overheating. When the system detects temps above the threshold, its overload system halts the function of the heating element, promoting rapid cooling. In tests performed in the lab, this heat gun model operated at maximum temperature for over 600 hours on a consistent basis.
Unfortunately, quality control issues keep this from being a reality for all customers. Some of these heat guns tend to fail after a short period, while others run for years without problem. The manufacturer offers a 24 month warranty, but does not have the customer service needed to provide proper support.
Item Key Features:
- Easy to use
- LCD screen with memory settings
- Ample accessories included
- Inaccurate temperature
- Lower airflow
Premium Pick: DEWALT D26960 Heavy Duty Heat Gun with LCD Display
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DEWALT built their D26960 Heavy Duty Heat Gun with LCD Display to outperform the rest, and then equipped it with all the latest and greatest accessories. Their build has an incredible LCD display that allows you to move between temps and fan speed settings with ease. Moving in 50 degree increments, this heat gun adjusts to your ideal temperature within minutes. With a claimed 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit max temperature, this innovative tool should be able to handle nearly any job imaginable.
Unfortunately, inaccurate temperature outputs and slow fan speed settings impede the performance of the DEWALT heat gun. The overload protection proves helpful, but the lack of a cooldown mode can impede project progress. Despite those issues, the lightweight build and ergonomic grip allows you to apply heat for long periods without feeling fatigued. As this kit comes with most nozzles and accessories, it is a great starter kit for those who do not yet have a heat gun.
Item Key Features:
- Digital LCD display
- Built-in kickstand
- Lightweight at 2.3 pounds
- No auto cooldown
- Inaccurate heat output
Best Value: Wagner Spraytech Wagner 0503008 HT1000 Heat Gun
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The Wagner Spraytech 0503008 Heat Gun has a simple design, but enough power to get the tough jobs done right. The low price reflects the lack of high-tech features integrated into this tool’s design. It does not have a digital display, for example. Instead, you operate it using the switches and dials on the handle.
With only two temperature settings — 1,000 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit — you are limited in your temperature options. You can vary the temps a little bit by switching between the high and low fan speeds as well. The switches right on the handle allow you to make changes on the fly, helping improve your project results.
The lightweight constructions protects your hands and wrists from fatigue, though Wagner did not put much thought into ergonomics. Even with infrequent use, these heat guns just do not last, however. Their low price point makes them relatively painless to replace, but with some only lasting a single use, picking one up could prove dicey.
For home use, Wagner provides a two year warranty. If you can get ahold of their customer service team, they may send out a new unit if yours fails within that time period. Heat guns used for commercial applications, however, only receive a 30 day warranty from the manufacturer.
- Two temperature settings
- Dual fan speeds
- Low price point
- Prone to fan failure
- Slow to cool down
- Case gets hot to the touch
Best Mini: Mini Heat Gun, CooBox 300W Electric Mini Hot Air Gun
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Although unassuming, the CooBox 300W Electric Mini Hot Air Gun packs a powerful punch. This compact tool can heat up materials to 390 degrees Fahrenheit within minutes of turning on. When used at a 45-degree angle, the tip avoids heat suck and your projects move forward without a hitch. You only have one temperature setting to work with on this device, but it works wonderfully on low-heat applications, such as wrapping soap with heat shrink. You may need to use an extension cord when setting up this device, as it comes with a short cord.
You will need to plan your projects accordingly while using this heat gun as it can only run in spurts of 10 minutes at a time. Exceeding that timeframe can result in the failure of the device as the case heats up too much. Furthermore, the extremely hot case could burn your hands if used past that point. The device does not have overheat protection or any other helpful control systems, so you must watch the time carefully on your own.
If you need to apply heat to sensitive materials, you may benefit from this device over the higher-powered models. You just have to understand and work within its limitations to achieve the best results.
- Quickly heats up
- Low price
- Low max temperature
- Poor durability
Commercial Pick: Hitachi RH650V Heat Gun With Variable Heat and Fan Settings, LCD Display
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The Hitachi RH650V Heat Gun comes with all the bells and whistles at an affordable price. You are treated to an LCD display and buttons that allow you to set it at a precise temperature, for example, without the premium price point.
With this heat gun, precision is the name of the game, as you can move the temperature up by 20 degree increments. At the max temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, you can sear meat in moments, while the lowest setting of 120 degrees allows you to take stickers off most surfaces with ease.
Safety is also a main focus at Hitachi and this heat gun definitely shows that commitment. They integrated a rapid cooling function and overheat protection into their design to ensure your safety. You can use the rear stand support to hold the heat gun as it cools, protecting your work surfaces.
As if efficiency and safety were not enough, this heat gun has its focus on comfort as well. With its soft grip handle and light weight design, you can use this tool for extended periods without growing fatigued.
Although sold as a kit, you only receive four nozzles and a handheld scraper with this heat gun. If you want to complete specialty tasks, you will need to source these nozzles and other accessories separately.
- Sensitive adjustments
- Accurate temp readouts
- Retains settings when unplugged
- Stiff power cord
- Comes with minimal attachments
Important Features to Consider
Quality heat guns do a lot more than simply blow hot air in the direction they are pointed. With their many exceptional features, you can use heat guns to apply a specific amount of heat to a targeted area, achieving your project objectives.
Digital displays make everything easier to use — and heat guns are no exception. High-quality models come with an LCD display integrated into the handle to give you access to all the controls. These screens not only ensure your convenience, but also improve your accuracy as you dial in the temperature and fan settings.
Temperature and Fan Controls
When well made, heat guns have variable temperature and fan controls that allow you to dial in your ideal settings. You should be able to adjust the temperature in 20 to 50 degree increments and move the fan speed between high and low. Depending on the display type, you may use dials or buttons to move between the settings on your heat gun.
On the highest-quality heat guns, you will find memory settings that let you save the temperature and fan levels you use most often. With a few clicks of a button, you can program the settings into the machine for later retrieval. After that, you can simply go to that setting to use the heat and fan level that benefits your project most.
With these features on your heat gun, you can quickly pick up the device and get started on your planned tasks.
Main Nozzles Used for Heat Guns
Heat guns come with a basic nozzle that you can use to complete most everyday tasks. When it comes to completing specialty jobs, such as scraping window putty, you must select from the many other nozzles to get the task done right.
The best heat guns come with a wide range of addition nozzles, including:
- Glass protector
Each allows you to complete a specialty task without causing damage to the materials or surrounding area. With the glass protector nozzle, for example, you can strip away the putty on your windows without damaging the glass. You can buy the nozzles one by one or pick up a kit with many of the top options included.
Proper Usage and Storage of Heat Guns
Heat guns allow you to remove paint, adhesives, and other materials stuck fast to the surface at hand. You can also use these versatile tools to:
- Shape plastic
- Mend leather and vinyl
- Weld plastic sheeting
- Smooth seams
- Prepare wire harnesses
Before you can get started with any of these tasks, you must know how to properly use and store your heat gun. You will need to start by preparing your work area, installing the right accessories, and plugging in the tool. You will need to set your heat gun temperature and allow it to warm up over the next five to ten minutes.
Once your heat gun is at the set temperature, you can use it to complete your desired tasks. You should always hold the heat gun at a 45 degree angle to your work surface and use sweeping motions to apply the heat. Avoid holding the heat gun on any one area for more than three to five seconds or you could damage the material. In stripping paint and adhesives, you may need to go back and forth between heating up the surface and scraping at the old material to make any progress. Consider wearing gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself while working.
Once you finish with your heat gun, you will need to unplug it and hang it up somewhere to cool. Most heat guns come with a little hook to hang them from, though you could also make your own. Make sure to hang your heat gun in an area clear of all obstructions, as the case will be hot for up to an hour after its use.
Common Precautions for Heat Gun Use
Heat guns can put out serious temperatures with many reaching 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit on their highest settings. Being this hot, heat gun usage requires that you take many precautions to stay safe and ensure your projects turn out right. To stay safe, never point the heat gun at your hair or skin — or anyone in the vicinity.
You should also never use your heat gun near an open vat of water or in a humid area. As an electrical power tool, heat guns should only be used in dry spaces with ample airflow. Ensuring your work area has the right level of airflow is even more important when heating up substances that emit vapors and generate an odor. Consider moving your project outdoors or setting up a small exhaust fan in your work area to mitigate those vapors and odors.
Always spot test materials before using your heat gun for the full project. By testing on a small area, you can see how the materials respond to the heat and adjust the settings to achieve the desired effect.
Despite having overheat protection, even the best heat guns remain susceptible to rapid wear and failure — even within just a few uses. Of this group, the Tacklife HGP72AC Heavy Duty Hot Air Gun performed the best for the value. This heat gun is the clear winner of the round up as it actually works, comes with all the most important features, and does not break the bank.
You get a digital display, easy setting buttons, and an integrated rear stand in its basic design. You also receive the four basic nozzle types plus a handheld scraper to help you get started on your next project. Unlike the other options, you can expect accuracy from this heat gun, maximizing the value of its sensitive temperature settings. You can move the dial by 20 degree increments each time to ensure you have the heat on the right setting for your project’s needs.
This heat gun will never fail to remind you why it is your favorite. When you pull it off the shelf for another use and it works, you will know you made the right choice by selecting this model.