What to use a heat gun for?
Heat guns can be used for a great variety of jobs. These versatile devices emit a stream of hot air that can range from lower level temperatures of 200°F to much higher temperatures of 1000°F and more. The nice thing about these tools is that they can still be safely used by hand, even at these high temperatures. This makes them ideal for lots of different jobs, which include thawing frozen pipes, loosening rusty bolts, paint stripping, or softening adhesives.
Features to consider while choosing a heat gun
The motor of a heat gun has two important responsibilities. Its first job is to create the amount of heat necessary for whatever project you have in mind. The more powerful the motor, the quicker these high temps can be achieved. With a more powerful motor, you will also be able to reach higher temperatures.
The second function of the motor is to control the airflow. With a more powerful motor, you will be able to have a much higher airflow rate than you would with a weaker motor.
The only drawback to having a powerful motor is that it could cause the device to overheat relatively quickly. When you are searching for a heat gun, you need to be sure to get one that has an overflow or overheating control system. This will help to increase the longevity of the tool and keep you safer while you are using it.
Depending on the job that you intend to accomplish, you are going to need a variety of temperatures. For instance, you need a much lower temperature to dry paint (86-300°F) than you would if you were stripping paint (900-1000°F).
The temperature control gauge should be easy to read and manipulate. If you can, look for a model with a digital temperature readout, like the URBEST UR-3000. These digital displays make it quick and simple to get your tool up to the temperature you require without a ton of guesswork.
There are a couple of different ways that you can control the airflow. Some of the more advanced models have a simple control to adjust that will speed up or slow down your tool based on your needs. If you need even more control over the airflow rate, however, you need to look to the nozzle.
Every heat gun comes with a standard nozzle attached. While this nozzle is pretty good for a wide variety of jobs, it might not work for some projects. Luckily, there are lots of other nozzles available to help you get the right amount of airflow.
While different nozzles can be used to increase or reduce the amount of airflow that your heat gun will put out, that is not all that they do. These accessories can also be used for a variety of specialized jobs, such as:
- Soldering pipes – Reflector Nozzle
- Creating a Wave of Heat – Flat or Fishtail Nozzles
- Protecting Windows – Glass Protector Nozzle
- Stripping Paint – Stripper Nozzle
Having the right nozzle for the job is essential, as it will help to cut down the amount of time and effort that you need to put in to get the job done. Make sure that you have the right nozzle for your job before you get started, or you’ll end up wasting a ton of time.
Cable length and weight
The cable length and the overall tool weight are up to your personal preference and budget. If you are only going to be using the tool sparingly, then you can probably save yourself a bit of money and go for a lighter weight model with a shorter cord.
Of course, if you need a powerful motor for a lot of different jobs, then get a heat gun that weighs a bit more. It would also make sense, in this case, to get one with a longer cord as well. That way, you won’t need to plug, unplug, and replug all the time while you are completing your project.
As with pretty much any tool that you buy, you want to be sure that you get a good warranty. That way, you will be able to get any of the moving parts replaced should they fail. The last thing that you need is to have a piece of your brand new tool fail and not be able to replace it because you didn’t get a good warranty. Luckily, all of the heat guns on our list above are backed by a 25-year warranty, which should give you peace of mind.
While heat guns might not look all that dangerous, they most certainly are if you are not careful when using them. They are, after all, putting out a ton of heat at any given time. This is why it is important to find a model that has some safety features built in.
The safest heat guns will have extra-thick grips, which not only make it less likely that you will accidentally drop the tool but also insulate your hands from the heat source. It is also a good idea to find a heat gun that has an automatic off switch. That way, if you do accidentally drop it, it will turn off right away, which should help eliminate the risk of a burn.