Heat Gun

Your Complete Guide To Heat Guns

Heat guns is a power tool that has gained a lot of popularity recently. They are used for a myriad of reasons and have enough durability to last for years. That's why it's important to invest in a heat gun.

Our main purpose is to teach you about heat guns. Understanding heat guns will make you more confident when it's time to make a purchase.

Read this educational guide if you want to know the specific mechanics of what makes up a heat gun, heat gun safety, and other information that we'll explain throughout on this guide.

What Is A Heat Gun?

A heat gun is a device that delivers a stream of hot hair. On average, they emit heat at around 200°F - 1000°F. Higher end models release heat at around 1400°F. It's important to know the temperature settings of your gun before buying it.

Heat guns create a source of heat that's powered by either gas or electricity. It uses a fan to move the heat from the gun onto the desired object. Because of this, heat guns are fast and efficient as transferring heat and are used for almost any DIY project.

Heat Gun Settings Review

One of the main advantages of heat guns is that they are flameless. Other heat generated devices produce flame; which can be dangerous if left unattended. Also, the flames might damage the surface you're working on and could cause a fire.

For 95% of your DIY projects, a heat gun with a temperature of 750° Fahrenheit is perfect for you. In fact, a multitude of heat guns allow you to adjust the temperature to your liking.

When it comes to price, heat guns can range from $40-$2000. We suggest getting heat guns that are priced between $50-$100 if you're just starting. For those who need an industrial gun for more complex projects, expect to pay a few hundred dollars.

What Is It Used For

Heat guns are versatile machines because they can handle a various set of projects. In this section, we'll talk about the multiple tasks a heat gun is compatible with.

Stripping Paint

For most paint removal projects, heat guns allow you to remove the paint quickly. Once the paint blisters from the heat, it's easy to scrape it off by hand. You'll want a heat gun with a temperature setting of at least 500°F or higher for this to properly remove heat.

Heat guns are great at removing old layers of paint. Heat guns allow you to clean your wall without the use of chemicals fully, or paying for professional assistance.

Stripping Paint

We suggest conducting a lead test before using a heat gun in your home. Homes that were built before 1978 have a high concentration of lead. This can make the paint removal process dangerous as the lead chemicals will infect the entire house.

Lead is complicated to remove unless you are thoroughly trained in it. If you do see any lead in your home, chances are you should ask for professional assistance. Doing this ensures that you'll remove the paint safely without getting in contact with any harmful lead chemicals.

Shrinking Materials

Heat guns are the preferred choice when it comes to shrink wrapping. Shrinking materials are made out of plastic beads. First, place the shrink material over the desired object. Once it fully covers the object, you'll want to apply heat onto the material.

As the heat is applied, the shrink wrap will shrink tightly over the object. You'll want to make sure that you have a heat gun whose temperature settings are powerful enough for this procedure. A heat gun with a temperature range between 400°F - 1000°F are ideal for projects that involve shrinking materials.

Dry Out Damp Wood

Wood can become damp for various reasons. This can become dangerous as constant exposure to moisture can lower the wood's quality. Heat guns are great at keeping your wood dry and working properly.

Drying out Wood Review

For damp wood, we suggest getting a variable temperature heat gun. When wood becomes damp, it starts to crack and become exposed to mold. Using a heat gun to dry out your damp wood is a gentle way to revive the wood and protect from any further damage.

Bend And Weld Plastic

There are some situations in which you'll need to weld plastic. Since plastic is a flexible piece of material, you'll need a heat gun to weld it properly. Some high-quality plastics such as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (HDPE) can't be glued and need a powerful heat gun to be welded.

Desoldering

Desoldering is defined as the removal of components on a circuit board. Heat guns are useful for this process as it allows you to safely heat up the required part and remove it from the board.

Desoldering with a Heatgun

Remember, desoldering without the proper training can be dangerous. Call for professional if you are finding problems with desoldering. They can ensure that your circuit board or any other material and leave a more professional result than you could do on your own.

Heat Gun Types

There are quite a few heat gun types:

Electronic Heat Air Guns

This type of air gun uses electricity as a primary source. Most electric heat guns come corded, but some cordless options are available.

If you plan on sink wrapping or softening substances, then you'll need a smaller heat gun. For projects that require a large area of paint removal, you'll need a larger heat gun with more horsepower.

Electronic Heat Air Gun Review

There are two things that electronic heat guns use during their operation: a heating element and a fan. Once you turn on the heat gun, the fan begins to rotate. This rotation takes out the hot air passing through the heating system. This results in a jet of hot air directed onto the object.

Gas Heat Gun

Gas heat guns are powered by either propane or butane gases. Gas heat guns are usually seen in construction and welding field. Most industries tend to use gas heat guns instead of electronic heat guns.

This is because gas heat guns speed up project operations and deliver more power. Also, gas heat guns are easier for shrink wrapping in comparison to electronic heat guns.

Gas heat guns are cost efficient. When using an electronic heat gun, you're using a lot of kilowatts in each operation. This can lead to higher electric bills due to the energy used. Gas guns are a cheaper alternative and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Gas-Powered Heat

However, you'll want to be safe when using a gas heat gun. They are prone to fires if used neglectfully. To prevent this, keep your work space clean from any naked wires. Your gas gun can get caught in between the wires and potentially cause a fire.

Gas powered guns are not just limited to the industry. You can use them at home for recreational use. We suggest practicing proper safety techniques with a gas heat gun before you use it for your DIY projects.

Infrared Guns

Instead of hot air, infrared guns use infrared heat. On average, infrared guns come at low temperatures ranging from 400°F to 600°F. This gun is perfect for beginners who need a heat gun to complete their small projects.

InfraRed Heat Air Gun

Safety is another advantage of infrared heat guns. This is because the heat is low enough to manipulate the desired materials while also protecting the user from unwanted toxins such as lead.

Consider an infrared gun if you want a safer way to remove paint. They are less expensive than industrial guns and still can help you achieve the desired result. Thus, you should look into an infrared gun if you want a safer alternative than traditional heating guns.

Industrial Guns

Based off the name alone, industrial guns are used by professional industries because of their power. Industrial guns are meant to do heavy duty jobs. They are used in packaging, engineering, and building fields.

Industrial Heat Guns Review

The average industrial gun can emit up to 1800°F of heat. Since these are the most powerful types of heat guns, they are the most expensive. We suggest checking out the scope of your project before purchasing an industrial gun.

How To Use Heat Guns Safely

Heat guns are handy tools that are used for remodeling or redecorating. But they are also dangerous due to the high-temperature output. This can cause severe burns, so it's important to know a few safety tips before buying your first heat gun.

Safety Gear

You'll want to invest in a pair of safety goggles before getting a heat gun. This protects your eyes from potential heat sparks coming from the machine.

Get a respirator mask for projects dealing with lead or any other toxic gas. The mask will prevent the toxins from getting in your body and saves you from experiencing any long-term damage.

Respirator and Mask for Heat Gun Protection

For pain scrapers, purchase chemical resistant gloves. Gloves that are chemically resistant make it easier to remove paint without getting your hands filled with toxins and paint.

Users with long hair should keep their hair tied back. Your hair can get set on fire if the heat gun comes in contact with it. That's why it's important to keep your hair thoroughly protected during your projects.

Location

Make sure that the area is well ventilated if you plan on using an air gun inside. This helps prevent fumes from staying in one area of your home. If you can, try to work outside as it's safer and you won't inhale any of the fumes present in the air.

Extra Safety Tips

One important part of being safe with a heat gun is knowing how to use it properly and knowing when it's inappropriate to use it. For instance, you don't want to place the heat gun on a piece of wood for too long. Use slow, circular motions when dealing with sensitive material such as wood.

Aiming a Heat Gun

Always make sure that your work area is clean from any debris. You heat gun can accidentally set the debris on fire. To be safe, have a fire extinguisher with you at all times in the event an emergency occurs.

You need to be careful where you aim heat gun. It's very easy to point it at yourself without even knowing it accidentally. Heat can penetrate through your clothes, and it can cause severe burns. Wear protective gear and use your heat gun safely.

Keep children away from your workspace. Because of the toxic fumes, it can cause extreme damage to their bodies. Women who are nursing or is pregnant should stay away from the area as well.

After using your heat gun, place it on a heatproof mat or another heat-resistant surface. Keep it there until it cools because the machine will still be very hot after use.

Following these safety tips are crucial. Heat guns are powerful tools that can become deadly if used incorrectly. Practice proper care and usage of your heat gun to prevent these issues from occurring.

How To Use Heat Guns Professionally

While it's important to use a heat gun safely, you need to know how to be efficient with it as well. Here, we'll teach you how to use a heat gun like a professional. Knowing how to use it right helps you finish your projects faster and remove paint without any issue.

Before using a heat gun, read up on the product information. It will detail the machine's horsepower, temperature settings, and general functions. Read it a few times to know how the machine works and see if it's a good fit for your project.

Don't attempt to repair a hose that's damaged. The hose connected to your air gun is made out of high pressure and is very dangerous to touch when it's broken. We suggest getting a replacement instead of paying for repairs.

Heat Gun AiR Hose

Your heat gun has a regulator which is used to reduce high LP tank pressure into a heat gun friendly pressure. Each heat gun is designed to achieve to maximum operation efficiency at the specific pressure.

While some heat guns allow you to adjust the pressure, you don't want to have it at a setting that's too high or low. This can cause for the machine to malfunction or destroy the combustion chamber.

If your regulator is defective, then you need to take it to an authorized repair center. Never attempt to repair an LP gas regulator. You'll end up destroying the machine and potentially cause a fire.

Understanding LP Tanks

LP tanks are pressure containers that are made to follow the rules and regulations of the American Gas Association (AGA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Both organizations ensure that each LP tank is inspected before the heat gun is sold.

There are two types of LP tanks:

  • Vapor Withdrawal: Used for heating guns, cooking grills, and heating appliances.
  • Liquid Withdrawal: Made for internal combustion engines and fuel tanks.

LP tanks have an assortment of sizes. The most common tanks come in 20, 40, 80, and 100 pounds.

Make sure to keep your LP tank in good condition. Not doing so will cause rust to build up in the tank. Don't use an LP tank that's damaged or has a faulty shut-off valve. Maintaining your tank ensures that your heat gun will work effectively and last for a long time.

LP Tanks For Gas

Using your heat gun correctly helps you in the long-run. When you know exactly how your heat gun works, you reduce the exposure to hazards and other dangerous situations from happening.

For beginners, we suggest practicing with your heat gun to learn how to use it at a professional level. This helps you utilize the gun and protect you and others from injuries. Practice using your heat gun every day to see positive results and completed projects.

Heat Gun Care And Maintenance

Like any other power tool, your heat gun needs to be constantly maintained. Hidden areas such as ceilings or behind the walls might contain flammable parts. These materials can accidentally become ignited when using a heat gun in these areas.

When working in confined locations, you want to move your gun in a back and forth motion. Pausing or staying in one spot might cause for the material to accidentally ignite it.

Here are a few pieces of extra heat gun safety advice that you should follow:

Remove any personal belongings, furniture, rugs, and any that might accidentally get ignited by the heat gun.

Work in one area at a time. The work areas should be sealed off from the rest of the house. Seal the doorways with drop cloths to prevent other areas in the home from getting contaminated by the fumes.

Airgun Working in Home

Keep drinks and food away from the work area. Make sure that your hands, face, mouth, and arms are completely clean before eating food or drinking.

Cleanup dust and paint via wet mopping the floor. Don't vacuum, sweep, or dry dust any areas where the paint is clinging. Use trisodium phosphate (TSP) or a strong phosphate detergent to help with the removal of paint.

Remain safe when using a heat gun. You'll want to keep it moving because an excessive amount of heat will cause you to generate fumes. These fumes are dangerous if inhaled; so, we suggest wearing a protective mask.

After you've completely stripped the paint from the wall, you'll need to transport the paint chips out of the area. Use a double plastic bag, close it with twist ties or tape and safely remove it from the workspace.

Heat Gun Maintenance

Listed below is a few tips that you should consider when maintaining your heat gun:

Check your device's brushes once every 400 hours. Doing this ensures that your heat gun brushes remain operating correctly.

Brush Holder for Heat Guns

Inspect your plug and cord to ensure that its protective insulation cover isn't broken.

You don't need to add lubrication to the device's bearings. Bearings on every heat gun have a professional level of lubrication. Also, they are sealed to last throughout the lifespan of your device.

DIY Heat Gun

When it comes to DIY projects, you want to get a heat gun that has an adjustable heat setting. These devices are safer and will make your project easier to complete.

Also, you can opt for an infrared heat gun. As we stated earlier, Infrared heat guns release infrared heat at a range of 400°F to 600°F. It gives the user the best temperature control. Look onto our buying guide to see which heat gun will help you on your DIY projects.

Heat Guns Vs. Hair Dryers

They key difference between heat guns and hair dryers lie in their intended usage. Hair dryers are used to create hot or cool air to dry the hair after a shower quickly. They are used at a lower temperature then heat guns and are safe to use.

Heat gun vs Hair Dryer

Heat guns are similar to blow dryers, but they have a higher heat setting. Their temperatures range between 200-1000°F. Some of the commercial heat guns can go up to 1400°F.

They feature a nozzle that can be easily used and adjusted. Because of this, heat guns are versatile and are used for a lot of commercial and industrial applications.

Conclusion

Now that you know everything about heat guns, there are a few more things that you need to know. You need to find the right heat gun to assist you during your everyday work session.

We invite you to look into our buyer's guide. In it, we give a thorough review on the top 5 heat gun products in today's market. No matter which one you buy, you'll have a valuable tool to have in your household and use for professional heat applications.

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