Best heat gun reviews 2018
DEWALT D26960K Heavy Duty Heat GunPerfect for heavy-duty use
High-end amateur heat gun comes with innovative features and multiple accessories – ideal for the passionate hobbyists.
DEWALT D26960K Review
The DEWALT D26960K is an exceptional heat gun designed to withstand heavy-duty amateur use. It’s perfect for the hobbyist looking for high-end quality and impresses with a 13-Amp 1550 watts heating element that warms up in a breeze. An adjustable temperature range and an extensive set of accessories add versatility. The heat gun can be used for a broad range of tasks, from thawing frozen pipes on the lowest heat setting to welding plastics and even scraping paint. The temperature range varies from 150°F to 1100°F with 50°F increments and is easy to adjust thanks to the convenient LCD display.
Safety features include a cord protector and a built-in kickstand that prevents tip over. Moreover, an overload protection designed to shut off the heating element prevents burn up and prolongs the unit’s lifespan. Thanks to its generous temperature range and multiple accessories, the D26960K can handle even the most demanding tasks – all you could wish from a heat gun built for performance.
Tacklife HGP72AC Heavy Duty Hot Air GunMemory settings and wide temperature range
Designed with the DIYers in mind, yet capable of handling heavy-duty demands.
Tacklife HGP72AC Review
The Tacklife HGP72AC comes with a host of benefits for the homeowners scouting the right balance between value and money. Summarizing all the qualities of this heat gun is near impossible. This top-notch power tool boasts a variable temperature range from 122°F to 1202°F that can be quickly adjusted thanks to the large LCD screen. A built-in ceramic core and two switch modes improve the performance while four memory settings allow you to memorize the most used temperature and fan settings.
Performance is also guaranteed by the 1700-watt power that ensures a quick warm-up of the heating element. Four nozzles make the tool suitable for a wide range of projects, from simple household tasks like thawing frozen pipes to scraping paint and qualitative changes. An outstanding price point and best-in-class features make the HGP72AC the best heat gun to buy.
DEWALT D26950 Heat GunUltra-lightweight design
A dependable tool for home and light commercial use; comes with an innovative kickstand for greater stability.
DEWALT D26950 Review
The DEWALT D26950 is one of those tools that can’t be overlooked if what you’re after is reliability at a good price. Slightly weaker in terms of performance than our best-value pick, this tool is great for the novice. This heat gun can handle a wide range of applications thanks to its adjustable temperature range that varies from 120°F to 1100°F.
A 10-foot power cord ensures mobility while the cord protector prevents the tearing of the housing. Similar to our best-in-class pick, the DEWALT D26950 comes with a built-in kickstand that improves stability while a selection of nozzles add versatility. Ultra-lightweight and easy to maneuver, this heat gun is perfect for beginners and makes a great second-best pick.
PORTER-CABLE PC1500HG 1500-Watt Heat GunIdeal for DIY applications
Mid-range heat gun ideal for home and DIY use delivers versatility and adaptability to many applications.
PORTER-CABLE PC1500HG Review
Scraping paint, welding plastics, shrinking tubes, or bending pipes require a reliable heat gun. The PORTER-CABLE PC1500HG is perfect for all these and many more applications, and it won’t break the bank. Designed with the hobbyist in mind, this heat gun boasts a powerful 1500-watt heating element and variable temperature ranging from 130°F to 1150°F. Together with the dual fan speed selector, the adjustable temperature ensures suitability for a wide range of projects.
A nice heft of only 2 pounds and ergonomic grip reduce fatigue and improve user’s experience, while the integrated stand keeps the gun upright during use for hands-free operation. Its mid-range performance and convenient price point make the PORTER-CABLE PC1500HG the best budget heat gun for enthusiast homeowners and beginners.
2. Why invest in a heat gun?
A heat gun, also called hot air gun, is one of the most versatile tools to have in your home or workshop. It is mainly used by DIYers to scrape paint from furniture and other surfaces, or to mold and weld plastic, PVC, or nylon materials. But a heat gun is much more versatile than this.
In the colder months, you can use it to thaw frozen pipes. Throughout the year, you can use a hot air gun to sterilize hard surfaces, such as stone countertops. Other applications include removing adhesive from surfaces or loosening rusted materials including nails and bolts.
An array of nozzles make the gun even more versatile, and there truly are countless ways to use a heat gun at home.
3. Types of heat guns
Like most power tools, heat guns come in multiple variants and can be classified based on their power source or type of heat.
- Gas-powered heat guns: Are powered by either butane or propane, are inexpensive, and perhaps the most efficient. The gas-powered units are capable of producing more heat than their electric counterparts and are usually preferred by professionals and industries. However, they can easily catch fire if operated incorrectly, that’s why they are less popular among hobbyists.
- Electric heat guns: Are very popular among amateurs; thanks to the improvement of technologies, the electric guns get more and more powerful and professional users also start to turn towards this solution. Most electric guns are corded and draw electricity from a traditional wall outlet. If you aim for more mobility though, know that you can also choose from a range of cordless models.
Based on the type of heat, we can distinguish between:
- Hot air guns: Work in a way similar to a hair dryer, in that a fan system pulls air into the tool where a heating element brings it to temperature. The air is then blown out through a nozzle onto the surface. These guns are usually equipped with powerful heating elements that heat the air fast and effectively.
- Infrared heat guns: Use infrared heat instead of hot air and are less effective in terms of performance than the hot air guns above, but they are cheaper.
4. How much power do you need?
Assessing how much power you need is important if you want to avoid overspending. Most heat guns for home use have powers between 1,000 and 3,500 watts. The former can handle light-duty tasks alone, such as thawing frozen pipes and perhaps sterilizing the surfaces. The latter can handle most tasks, including heavy-duty and high-volume demands, and are typically preferred by the passionate hobbyists or professionals who need a reliable gun for frequent use.
However, for most home use demands, a good compromise between performance and affordability is represented by the heat guns in the 1,500 – 2,000 watts range.
These are the best heat guns for domestic applications, as they are suitable for a wide range of tasks, such as scraping paint, removing adhesive from surfaces, and more.
5. Heat gun temperature range
The temperature range is another important thing to consider, as it determines the tool’s suitability for a certain job. Most amateur heat guns have temperature ranges between 120°F and 1200°F, and again, the higher the temperature range the higher the price.
- Basic household demands, such as thawing frozen pipes, softening the dry paint, molding plastics, and removing adhesives require low temperatures between 120°F and 550°F.
- Medium-duty applications, including scraping paint, loosening rusted materials, and welding plastic require higher temperatures between 800°F and 1200°F.
6. Types of nozzles
All heat guns come with a traditional, round nozzle that is adequate for most tasks. However, a series of applications require a specialized nozzle. That’s why the best heat guns come with a number of nozzles and accessories designed for specialist applications.
The most popular specialized spouts include:
- Cone nozzles: Used to centralize the heat on a specific area.
- Fishtail nozzles: Spread the heat on a large area.
- Glass protector nozzles: Designed to protect windows and glass in general from the heat when working in the proximity of these delicate surfaces.
7. Other features to look for in a heat gun
Besides all the above, there is a series of features that can further improve your experience with the tool. The best heat gun must have:
- An easy to operate main control trigger positioned on the front of the grip and that turns off the heat when the finger pressure is released. This safety feature is particularly important if the gun is dropped, but also comes in handy if you have to leave the gun unattended for a few moments.
- Another desirable safety feature is an overheat protection system that automatically switches off the gun if the internal temperature of the heating element exceeds a predetermined threshold. This may happen in periods of intense use, and the system prolongs the unit’s lifespan.
- Most heat guns come with integrated stands that keep the gun upright when placed on the workbench. This prevents the hot tool from coming in contact with the workbench or other surfaces but also enables hands-free operation.
- Besides the adjustable temperature, you should also check the airflow. Just like the hair dryers, the heat guns with adjustable airflow are more versatile.
- It may seem trivial, but the length of the power cord also matters. These vary widely from 3-feet cords to 10-feet or over; however, a longer cord isn’t necessarily better. If you want to use the tool in a fixed location near a power outlet, a shorter cord gives you less trouble. On the contrary, a long cord ensures mobility when needed.
- An LCD display is another nice feature to have, as it allows you to adjust and monitor the temperature and airflow.
- A temperature scanner is a versatile thing to look for. This element is usually present on the professional machines and on some high-end amateur units and is useful if you want to read the temperature at the application point. The temperature scanner is particularly important when applying heat to sensitive materials, such as glass or tiles, allowing for a more accurate adjustment of the temperature.