6 Best Heat Gun Reviews 2019 | Remove Paint From Wood or Metal Like a Pro

If you work as an amateur handyman at home with your various crafts projects, then you’ll certainly benefit from having the best heat gun available among your tools. These devices emit hot air, and they can be used in many ways. You can use them to dry out damp wood, to strip paint, to shrink heat shrink tubing, and maybe even to thaw out frozen pipes. Other heat gun uses include bending and welding plastic, as well as softening adhesives.

Top 3 Heat Guns 

4.6/5

  • This Porter Cable heat gun offers a very wide range of temperature settings
  • The integrated support stand allows for hands-free use​
  • It's lightweight and easy to wield for most people.

4.5/5

  • This small heat gun is very lightweight
  • You also get a lot of fine control over the gadget
  • There’s a retractable stand for hands-free work

4.5/5

  • The temperature range is astonishing, with a truly high temperature limit
  • You’re able to specify the temperature you want 
  • The heat gun is easy to use

What is a Heat Gun?

This is a handhelds device that emits a stream of hot air. The temperature of the air is typically within the range of 200 to 1,000 degrees F. However, some handheld models can actually reach a temperature of 1,400 degrees F.

This temperature range is the main difference in the heating gun vs. hair dryer comparison. Hair dryers simply can’t reach the temperatures that a hot air gun can. At the same time, learning how to use a heat gun starts with not using it to dry your hair!

There are many types of heat guns. The most popular type of hot air gun is an electric model. These usually come in your basic “gun design”, with a barrel, grip, and a trigger, although there are exceptions like a design similar to a pen. They also tend to come with an electric cord, though you can find a battery powered heat gun as an alternative.

A few people go with a gas-powered model, although they’re only more practical for places without electricity. These use a fuel cell filled with butane. For large industrial or construction jobs, industrial types may be used instead. These are more powerful and larger than a standard heating gun.

Factors to Consider for the Best Heat Gun

If you’re like most people, you need an electric heat gun for practical convenience. You certainly don’t need an industrial model.

So how do you know which the best heat gun is for your needs? Some like the Drill Master heat gun especially with the drill master polisher. Others may go with the Master heat gun or maybe another Master Appliance heat gun.

The first step is to determine what you want to use these mini heat guns for. The best heat gun for removing paint may not be your best option if all you want to do is to dry paint or damp wood.

Here are a few other considerations to keep in mind:

Temperature Range

This is a crucial factor to consider, because it directly affects what kinds of tasks you can do with your hot gun. To dry damp wood, you need a temperature of 212 to 392 degrees F. If you’re using it to shrink plastic film, then the temperature needs to be between 392 to 572 degrees F. But for heat gun paint removal, you need a temperature of about 932 degrees F.

Therefore, the wider the temperature range you have on your mini heat gun, the more uses you can have for it. You’ll be able to work with more types of materials.

Fan Speed

The more able you are to control your fan speed, the greater ability you have to control the airflow from the hot air gun. You need a higher air flow for bigger jobs, so that the greater amount of hot air you have won’t take you long to finish the task.

Part of learning how to use a heat gun is determining the proper level of temperature and airflow for a particular task. You can’t have too low temperature or air flow, or else you won’t work effectively. But if your air temperature is too high or your air flow is too much, you can end up burning or melting your work materials.

Available Nozzles

Some of your heat gun purchases can come in a package with different nozzles. These nozzles generally have very specific uses, so they dictate what jobs you can immediately do with your heater gun.

Among the most common heat gun attachments and their uses include:

  • Scraper for stripping paint

  • Glass protector nozzle to protect your windows from direct heat when you’re stripping window frames

  • Fishtail or flat nozzles when you want to spread the hot air over a wider area

  • Reducer or cone nozzles to focus the hot air to a particular spot

  • Reflector nozzle to solder pipes

Ease of Use

This is a catch-all factor for many specific features. How easy is it to hold the hot air gun? How heavy is it? How long is the electric cord? Does it come with a built-in stand for easier cool-down? All these questions pertain to how easily you’ll find the work with the heat gun.

In general, you’ll find a much more accurate picture of how easy it will be to use a particular heat gun model by reading heat gun reviews written by actual customers. When you find a lot of complaints about how unwieldy a particular model is for customers, then you may be better off with another model.

Cost

The more great features you have, such as wider temperature range or greater air flow control, the higher the price you tend to have to pay. That’s a basic rule in consumer economics. So you need to balance your needs with your budget.

If you’re going to use your heat gun extensively, then a more expensive hot air gun may be right for your needs. But if you’re only going to be an occasional user, a very cheap model may be more appropriate.

Durability

How long will the heat gun last? A more expensive model may be the better buy if it will last many years, compared to a cheaper model that only lasts a year or so. You’ll get a better sense of the value of a heat gun by dividing the price by the number of years of service you can expect from it.

You may want to check out the length of the warranty. This is often a clue as to how confident the manufacturer is about the build quality of their product.

It’s also great if the heat gun has components that are easily replaced. This means that if a particular component breaks down, you can just replace it rather than having to buy a replacement for the whole thing.

Best Heat Gun Reviews

Here’s a quick overview at the particular heat guns that may suit your needs and budget:


4.6/5

It shouldn’t surprise lots of DIY aficionados that the PORTER-CABLE PC1500HG is at the top of our list of recommended heat guns. After all, it’s a confirmed bestseller, and praise for it has been virtually unanimous from customers and experts alike.

A glance at its list of features can easily explain the popularity of this Porter Cable heat gun. Perhaps the most notable is its dual fan settings that allow you to perform a wide range of DIY projects. The “low” fan setting gives you an airflow rate of 10 to 11 CFM, and with the 1500W of power you can get a heat gun temperature range of 120 to 900 degrees F. You have a temperature dial too for accurate temperature settings.

Switch to the high setting, and now the air flow goes up to 16 to 19 CFM. This time the hot air gets even hotter, ranging from 130 to 1150 degrees. This can make it an even more effective paint stripping heat gun.

You can use this for a wide variety of tasks. It’s great at welding and bending plastics, removing paint, shrinking plastic tubing, and removing adhesive tiles.

It’s easy to wield, since it weighs only 2 pounds and you have 6 feet of cord to work with. It’s also very quiet. It also comes with an integrated hands-free support stand, plus an integrated hanging hook for storage.

As for its durability, you can guess that it’s a rather tough heat gun with its 3-year limited warranty. You even get free service for a year. You also have 90 days to try it out during the money-back guarantee period.

Things We Liked

  • This Porter Cable heat gun offers a very wide range of temperature settings, which means a wider range of jobs you can do
  • The integrated support stand allows for hands-free use
  • It’s lightweight and easy to wield for most people
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    The high-grade cord is 6 feet long so you have more space to work with

Things We Didn't Like

  • Some people with smaller hands (such as women) may not find it as easy to wield

4.5/5

Not everyone is willing to pay a lot of money for a heat gun, so they’re lucky to have the Wagner 0503038 HT400 as an alternative. The good news about this small heat gun is that while it’s very affordable, you still have plenty of useful features to work with.

This starts with its temperature range. Though it can’t reach the ultra-high temperatures that more expensive heat guns can provide, this Wagner heat gun can still give you up to 650 degrees F of hot air. That means you can still use it to shrink plastic film, bend plastic pipes, dry paint, dry damp wood, and maybe even soften adhesives.

Another special feature is its unique design, which doesn’t look like other heat shrink guns at all. Instead, you have a compact design that resembles a pen. This makes it a fine tool that gives you the precise control you need for more delicate projects. The discharge nozzle is also only half an inch in diameter.

What this means is that you can focus the heat precisely where you want it. You won’t have to wait long, since this can get hot really fast. The compact design also gives you better control, and you can work for longer periods of time before you get tired holding this “heat gun”.

Arts and crafts fans love this, since it’s great for embossing. You can then melt powder much more quickly than with any other tool. Handymen like this too for re-melting hot glue so they can reshape it again. People who go camping also like to use this heat gun to melt the ends of paracord.

This also comes with an integrated stand. The stand is retractable, and it keeps the hot nozzle from touching your work.

Things We Liked

  • This small heat gun is very lightweight
  • You also get a lot of fine control over the gadget
  • There’s a retractable stand for hands-free work
  • check
    It’s very affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • The temperatures it reaches won’t allow you to do jobs like stripping paint

4.5/5

If you need a heat shrink gun for heavy duty work, you don’t need to get an expensive industrial-grade model. You can just get this SEEKONE Heat Gun 1800W Heavy Duty Hot Air Gun instead. This can do just about any job you will ever need a heat gun for.

The “secret” to this is that this is an 1800W model. That’s enough watts to get you to 1202 degrees F in just a few seconds. That should be enough heat for all your needs.

Not that you’re limited to just high heat. You actually have lots of control options so you can adjust the heat to your needs. You have a dial that you rotate so that you can adjust the temperature from 122 degrees F to 1200 degrees F. You also have variable airflow settings, so you can set the maximum temperature to just 840 degrees F.

With that kind of hot air at your disposal, safety becomes a much more pressing issue. Fortunately, you have an overload protector built in so it automatically turns off when it gets too hot.

It also helps that you’re able to control this heat gun comfortably and easily. It only weighs about a pound or so. In addition, the designers put in a scientifically-confirmed ergonomic shape to the heat gun so you can wield it without suffering from musculoskeletal disorders like repetitive strain injuries.

This also comes with 4 nozzle accessories. There’s a deflector nozzle that directs a long, narrow heat pattern. The reflector nozzle spreads the hot air evenly around your work surface. You also have 2 concentrator nozzles that focus the heat for specific areas.

What about durability? That’s not really much of a concern, either. This is meant for heavy-duty work, and that’s why it comes with a lifetime free warranty and 24/7 customer support. If you’re not satisfied with it, you can get a full refund or have it replaced.

Things We Liked

  • The temperature range is astonishing, with a truly high temperature limit
  • You’re able to specify the temperature you want
  • The heat gun is easy to use
  • check
    This is quite tough, and it comes with a lifetime warranty

Things We Didn't Like

  • A temperature readout display would have been nice so you know precisely what the temperature is

4.3/5

Black & Decker is an honored brand in the DIY tool industry, so its presence on this list is expected. This BLACK+DECKER HG1300 is a good example of why the brand is famous, as this heat gun is inexpensive but very useful indeed.

This comes with 2 temperature settings. One lets you get up to 750 degrees F, while the higher setting goes all the way to 1000 degrees F. that means you can use this for many purposes, including stripping varnish and paint, thawing your frozen pipes, and loosening rusted nuts and bolts. If you want to dry anything quickly, you can use this instead of your hair dryer (unless you’re actually drying your hair).

For most people, it’s quite compact and lightweight enough. It weighs about 1.7 pounds, while it is 9.4 inches long. The grip isn’t too wide, so most people should be able to handle it comfortably. There’s a retractable stand at the end of the grip so you’re able to set this down with the nozzle up to let it cool down.

It’s what you’d expect from a good heat gun, and this kind of quality is also what you’d expect of Black & Decker. The build quality is quite high as well, and it also comes with a 2-year warranty. Yet this is a budget tool as well, so it’s not as if you’re overspending for the quality you get.

Things We Liked

  • This can reach up to 1,000 degrees F
  • The build quality is great
  • It cools off safely, while the shell doesn’t really get all that hot in the first place
  • check
    It’s very affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • Those with very small hands may not be able to wield this comfortably for extended periods

4.3/5

Dewalt is also another famous brand, and the DEWALT D26960K is a good example why. This Dewalt heat gun is chockfull of features that you’ll find handy for your various DIY projects at home. 

This is a 1550W heat gun, and this explains why its temperature range goes from 150 to 1100 degrees F. You can adjust the temperature in 50-degree increments, and the LCD display conveniently tells you how hot the air is. Your purchase also includes a kit box with a cone nozzle and a fishtail surface nozzle, along with 10 other accessories.

This comes with built-in overload protection so it automatically turns off to prevent burn up. You can also let it cool down with the integrated kickstand that provides reliable stability so it doesn’t tip over. The cord is 10 feet long which is nice, and it also comes with a cord protector so the cord can’t be torn away from the housing.

Many will find this comfortable to use for extended periods, as the grip is ergonomic and comfy to hold. It also weighs 2.3 pounds which shouldn’t be a problem for many, though smaller users may not find the weight comfortable after several hours of continuous use.

Things We Liked

  • It reaches up to 1100 degrees F
  • The LCD display tells you the temperature setting
  • The grip is ergonomic
  • check
    It has overload protection

Things We Didn't Like

  • The 2.3-pound weight may be a bit heavier than many other heat guns

4.3/5

This Cartman ProTect 1500W heat gun comes in a carry case. That’s certainly convenient, considering that you also lots of accessories.

The main feature here is the temperature range, as you have dual settings that let you get up to 750 or 1000 degrees F. That’s enough even for stripping paint, though the lower setting is probably better for defrosting your freezer or thawing your pipes safely.

It’s a bit on the larger side though, even if it weighs less than 2 pounds. It can get very hot too, and there’s no kickstand to work with. You may have to wait a while for this to cool down.

Things We Liked

  • This can get very hot, which is great for stripping paint
  • It comes with a carry case and lots of accessories
  • It heats up very quickly

Things We Didn't Like

  • It cools down very slowly

Tips on How to Use a Heat Gun Safely

This device emits air hot enough to burn and melt things, so they’re definitely dangerous if you’re not going to use them properly. To help you keep safe, here are some useful tips:

  • Wear the right safety gear. This means wearing safety goggles and heavy duty shoes.

  • Don’t work with flammable materials.

  • Don’t leave it unattended when it’s hot or just plugged in.

  • Let the heat gun cool first before you put it away.

  • Buy one with a dead man’s switch, so that it powers off when your hand us off the trigger.

  • See that it also automatically turns off when it overheats.

  • Keep the inlets clear to avoid overheating.

  • Attach the nozzles before you turn on the heat gun.

  • Work in an area with good ventilation, especially if you’re working with plastics.

Even with the best heat gun in your hands, you do more harm than good if you don’t use your heat gun safely!

Here's a short video with one example (stripping paint) how a good heat gun works:

  • January 15, 2019