A heat gun can serve a lot of different purposes than just drying out things. If you find the best heat guns for you and your projects, you would see how convenient working can get. However, there are some things you need to know first before buying.
That is why today, we will be featuring a simple buying guide to buying the best heat gun. We included some things you should consider first before buying as well as several reviews on products that we think you might want to try.
Last update on 2019-07-20 at 11:54 PST - Details
Everything to Know About Your Heat Gun
Although a heat gun might work similar to a hair or blow dryer, its temperature is significantly higher. Different types of a heat gun that serve for different purposes have varying temperature ranges and airflow.
A standard heat gun usually ranges from 100 to 550-degree Celsius. However, some heat guns come in higher temperature ranges up to 760-degree Celsius. A significant part of a heat gun is its nozzle.
Heat guns have a different kind of nozzles. Some models are designed to have detachable nozzles so you can switch it up with a different one to serve your purpose. Some of the most common uses of a heat gun are:
Although there are still some other uses we might not have mentioned yet, these are just some. So if you didn’t see the nature of your project among its listed uses, do not be afraid to research some more if it is suitable for using a heat gun.
Some Things to Consider Before Buying
Just as we mentioned earlier, it is important that you know the things to consider when buying. You must know what to expect from your heat gun and what you need from it. Here are some factors we think you might want to look into:
1. Safety Features
It is a critical aspect, especially if you will be using your heat gun regularly, for a long time. And most especially because, when using a heat gun, you will be dealing with extremely high temperatures.
It can potentially burn or scald you, leaving permanent injuries. Among any other tools or equipment, they should have safety features. Safety features help keep you from experiencing any dangerous accidents so be sure to pay them attention.
Does it come with a stand or hook for after use? Is the temperature settings highly functional? Is the switch strategically placed for emergencies? Can it shut down automatically after reaching a certain level of temperature to avoid overheating?
2. Type of Heat Gun
Determining which type of heat gun is best suited for the nature of your project can help increase its efficiency. There are four main types of heat gun: infrared heat guns, industrial heat guns, electric hot air heat guns and the gas powered heat guns.
An infrared heat gun makes use of infrared heat as opposed to other types that use hot air instead. That also makes it very ideal for those who want to keep it safe and not inhale any toxic fumes.
Also, they can also be significantly cheaper than other types of a heat gun. However, they might be less versatile due to their low-temperature range which is usually just between 204 to 315 degree Celsius.
On the other hand, industrial heat guns can be electrically or gas powered. Industrial heat guns are more heavy duty, powerful, expensive and larger than other types.
Gas powered ones make use of butane cartridges, fuel cells or tanks plus an electric ignition. Moreover, some models that are more advanced have self-calibrating features as well as a wider range of temperature and microprocessors.
As for the electric hot air heat gun, its temperature range is usually from 600 to 1200 degree Fahrenheit. That makes it a pretty versatile heat gun. It comes in those small sizes which are perfect for home use and again, those larger ones that are for industrial work.
3. Type of Nozzle
As for the types of a nozzle, five to six categories: the spoon reflector, built-in scraper, glass protector, cone, fishtail, and surface or flat nozzle. The spoon glass is ideal for soldering pipes as it reflects heat only around a small area.
The built-in scraper is best suited for paint removal as it allows for one hand operations. Also ideal for paint (or adhesive) removal, the glass protector type can prevent window glasses from overheating.
With the cone nozzle, its shape is perfect for concentrating heat on one area due to its reduced nozzle output size. Contrary to this, the fishtail nozzle can help you spread heat to a wider coverage area due to its “fishtail” structure.
Lastly, the surface or the flat nozzle is mostly for covering or extending heat to precise measurements only. So be sure to identify the nature of your project carefully and choose the right type of nozzle for it.
Read the manual carefully before using. Do not forget to buy protective gears and wear something that is apt for your work. It is important to have a fire extinguisher ready as well as goggles, respiratory mask, and some heat resistant gloves.
These can hugely help make your work safer. After using the heat gun, use the stand or the hook and let it cool down first before touching it. Remember not to hit the nozzle. Also, it is best to work in properly ventilated areas to avoid inhaling too much of the toxic fumes, even if you have a respiratory mask.
Our Top 5 Picks
The best heat gun for you will depend on the nature of your project/s as well as the frequency of your usages. However, if you want a very safe yet flexible (in temperature) heat gun, Dewalt’s might be a good option for you.
Not only does it have a lot of safety features, but its LCD is also a handy addition to the features that can make using it a lot easier. Most importantly, though limited, comes with a three-year warranty.
We wish you luck in finding the best heat gun for you!
Thomas Roberge is a Pro himself, who has been in the business of home renovation and construction, working with various tools. He used to be the owner of 2 local construction companies with over 18 years experience. His works also include writing inspiring Do IT Yourself Tips and Tricks.