What’s one tool that can help you grill a steak and peel paint? A heat gun is a tool that blows superheated air and it’s going to change the way you tackle DIY projects. Choosing the best heat gun is key to successful projects. The air blown by heat guns at over 1,000 degrees can light charcoal in minutes. It also can help you strip paint. It is a lifesaver when it comes to removing bumper stickers.
The best heat gun will heat to the right temperature while having safety features to prevent accidents. The highest quality heat guns will come with extra nozzles and accessories. Use our guide to find the right heat gun to complete your toolbox.
8 Best Heat Gun Models
Now that you know what to look for, read through our heat gun reviews. Buy the one that fits your needs for temperature and accessories.
Best Heat Gun for the Money
There is an LCD display for the temperature control. It also comes with overload protection, cord protector, and kickstand support as safety features.
You can adjust the temperature in 50-degree increments. The ergonomic grip makes holding the 2.3-pound gun a breeze. 13 different accessories come included with the gun. You will have both nozzles and scrapers to tackle any project around the house. With all of the included accessories it’s easily the best heat gun for the money.
Best Cheap Heat Gun
If all you need is a basic heat gun for the odd project then this is a great option. The 1,500-watt motor powers the gun while you adjust the temperature with a dial on the side. You can adjust the temperature from 130 to 1150 degrees. You don’t get any nozzles with this gun though.
Best Small Heat Gun
This affordable and small heat gun is perfect for a variety of DIY projects you have around the house. It only has two heat settings of 750 and 1,000 degrees. You can control the flow a bit more with the two different fan speeds. You can use the hook that comes with it to hang it up during use or storage.
There is no stand for hands-free use though. The build quality is durable so while it may not do every job, it will last for years to come for the small ones.
Best Industrial Heat Gun
If you want an industrial quality heat gun then you need to look at this one. It has a powerful 1680-watt motor, die-cast aluminum housing, and a rubberized back.
The useful life of this heat gun can last much longer than others on this list. The ceramic heating elements and motor brushes can get replaced. It is a bit heavier and more expensive than other models on this list. However, these two negatives are outweighed by the benefits and many uses.
Best Heat Gun for Beginners
The lightweight and compact design of this heat gun make it easy to handle. You have two options for heat 750 and 1,000 degrees. This makes it perfect for removing the paint from that wood project before you take your orbital sander to it.
Some may find the small temperature range limiting. However, the range that it is makes it good for a variety of projects.
You’ll have the trusted quality and reputation of a well-known brand for many tools such as laser levels. The price makes it affordable even though it doesn’t come with accessories. This is a great model for the first-time heat gun owner. Start with the gun and then buy nozzles and accessories as you get more experience and take on more projects.
Best Heat Gun for Removing Paint
You have two heat options with this gun, 572 or 1,000 degrees. It has two output settings, 750 or 1,500 watts. Plus, two fan settings. This gives you a ton of customization when you combine all of these options. It gets better with the four nozzles that it comes with.
This lets you do a variety of jobs big and small with this heat gun. It has a stand, but you need to take care when you go to use it. The stand has you balancing the gun on the back end so the nozzle points straight up in the air. This makes it very easy for it to get knocked over.
Best Heat Gun 2017
This kit comes with extra nozzles to give you flexibility in use. There is a large, medium, and small deflector. While this kit comes in a case, it can be difficult to get everything back into it. This may be a minor complaint though.
There are two heat settings at 572 and 932 degrees. Its 1,500-watt motor makes it heat up in seconds.
Best Heat Gun Accessories
The Wagner is one of the best heat gun kits to buy for at home use. You have the option of two different heat settings, 750 and 1,000 degrees. This should work well for almost any home DIY project you throw at it. You will have to be careful with projects that need a more custom heat setting though.
Three different nozzles come in the kit to concentrate the heat. You will also get 5 different types of blades. Another stand out feature is the case that holds the entire kit. This makes it easier to bring the gun with you to the project.
What Can You Do with a Heat Gun?
The traditional use for heat guns was to strip paint or repair a roof. Today though they can help you soften putty, remove decals and stickers, or apply vinyl adhesive.
How Is a Heat Gun Different from a Hair Dryer?
Both look the same and make the same sound. They both function by blowing air over a heating element. The difference is that a heat gun will produce temperatures of 100 to 1,000 degrees. While a hair dryer is only going to top out at 140 on the highest setting at best.
How Much Heat Do You Need?
Before you buy a heat gun you need to think about the projects that you will be doing. This will tell you how hot you need your heat gun to go. Most of the project you do around the home will need heat between 250 to 1,000 degrees.
How Do Heat Guns Work?
Heat guns have a fan that draws cool air into the tool. The cool air flows through the heating element.
Once the air reaches the output of the tool you have superheated air. This air is then directed where you point the tool. The air can get heated to 212 to 1,472 degrees depending on the model you buy. You will see that there is gas powered and electric versions of heat guns. Both versions are small, handheld devices.
Gas powered heat guns can produce more heat than their electric counterparts. The catch is that gas-powered guns have an exposed wire that creates a risk of fire.
Different Types of Heat Guns?
Some other types of heat guns that you may see are infrared and industrial heat guns. For an infrared heat gun, the infrared heat does the work instead of hot air. The temperatures infrared guns can produce are between 752 to 1,112 degrees. This is a wise choice if you have concerns about the fumes from traditional heat guns.
Industrial heat guns will have a place in engineering, automotive, or construction projects. They produce significantly more heat topping out at 1,800 degrees. You’ll notice that these guns have die-cast housing and ceramic heating elements.
Types of Nozzles
Depending on the project, you need the right nozzle. You cannot interchange them so pay attention to the nozzles that come with the different guns.
The glass shield around the nozzle protects the area surrounding your project. This nozzle works well if you are removing paint from around a window.
The heat gets directed towards the window frame with paint. While the glass of the window doesn’t get the full effect of the heat. Having a quality glass protector is a key feature of the best heat guns for paint stripping.
This is the standard nozzle you will see on most heat guns. For most projects, this style will work fine.
Think of this nozzle like a fan that spreads the hot air out. If you have a large area you are working on this nozzle will make it go faster.
If you need the heat super focused, then you need the cone nozzle. This will focus the heat to a concentrated central point.
This nozzle is for soldering pipes. Its unique shape lets you direct the heat to where you need it.
When using a heat gun always pay attention to the direction you are pointing the gun. The hot air produced can cause materials to crack, melt, or even catch fire. Pointed at the glass, you can cause it to shatter. Pointed at skin you can cause serious injuries.
Only use a heat gun that you can comfortably hold and maneuver. Never leave the gun unattended while it is turned on.
If you heat plastic, you need to make sure your workspace is well ventilated. Consider a model with a “dead man” switch that will automatically turn the tool off. Always put your specialized nozzle on before you turn the heat gun on. Make sure that the internal grills are clear to reduce the risk of fire.