The 10 Best Heat Guns

Updated May 16, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Heat Guns
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you're stripping paint, loosening old bolts, bending pipes, or shrinking insulation, one of these quality heat guns will help you get the job done fast. Some are even capable of lighting charcoal to get that barbecue roaring quickly. We've included models priced for the occasional DIYer along with some heavy-duty options suitable for professional contractors. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best heat gun on Amazon.

10. Master Appliance HG-501A

The Master Appliance HG-501A boasts a unique design that includes an extra-large attached rear stand that makes it incredibly stable when set down for cooling. That will certainly come in handy, considering it emits heat at a whopping 3,000 feet per minute.
  • good for desoldering and soldering
  • low and high heat models available
  • durability over time is questionable
Brand Master Appliance
Model HG-501AK
Weight 8.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Weller 6966C

The Weller 6966C runs on just 250 watts, making it useful for jobs where energy consumption is a concern. It's lightweight, with a powerful internal fan that keeps it cool during use, and, unlike some models, can handle epoxy curing without a problem.
  • cul certified for laboratory use
  • overpriced for its functionality
  • cannot select specific temperatures
Brand Apex Tool Group
Model 6966C
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Tacklife HGP70AC

The Tacklife HGP70AC offers three temperature settings between 122°F and 1,022°F in addition to a dedicated cooling mode. It includes four nozzle attachments, one of which is an extension tube that is ideal for quickly igniting coals in a barbecue.
  • large vent holes
  • high level of airflow
  • not suitable for contractor use
Model HGP70AC
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Porter-Cable PC1500HG

The Porter-Cable PC1500HG features a continuously variable temperature dial and a rubber-coated grip, making it comfortable enough to use all day. The 1,500-watt motor means it's fully capable of handling all kinds of labor-intensive tasks, such as bending plastic pipes.
  • integrated hanging hook
  • quieter than many other units
  • does not come with any accessories
Model PC1500HG
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Black & Decker HG1300

The Black & Decker HG1300 is a compact, dual-speed model with a built-in stand on the back for cooling down. It works well for a variety of applications, including stripping paint, loosening rusted bolts, and quick-drying almost anything.
  • backed by 2-year warranty
  • hits max heat within seconds
  • grip area never gets hot
Model HG1300
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. ZeopoCase Mini

If you need a unit capable of very fine detail work, the ZeopoCase Mini is your best bet. Its small size and exhaust hole make it easy direct the airflow exactly where you need it, though it doesn't get as hot as full-sized models, which makes it less versatile.
  • textured exterior for a secure grip
  • 100-percent money-back guarantee
  • works only with 110v power sources
Brand ZeopoCase
Model pending
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Steinel HL2010E

The Steinel HL2010E comes with a full set of accessories, including a spreader, a reflector nozzle that protects glass, welding rods and shrink tubes. Its winning features, though, are a microprocessor controller and an LCD that let you set very precise temperatures.
  • 10-degree adjustment increments
  • ceramic-enclosed heating element
  • lightweight enough for extended use
Brand Steinel
Model st34859
Weight 5.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Hitachi RH650V

The Hitachi RH650V is a capable, variable-heat unit that offers a temperature range from 120 to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. It features overload protection that helps safeguard it from damage during long periods of use and can move up to 17.7 cubic feet of air per minute.
  • can stand upright
  • comprehensive instruction manual
  • ergonomic soft-grip handle
Brand Hitachi
Model RH600T
Weight 4.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Wagner Furno 300

The Wagner Furno 300 is great for DIYers with a lot of home projects, like stripping tiles and removing the coating on cabinets. It can even shape plastic piping for plumbing jobs or do something as simple as defrost a freezer.
  • budget-friendly price
  • well-balanced for fatigue-free use
  • rapid cool-down function
Brand Wagner Spraytech
Model 503059
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. DeWalt D26960K

The DeWalt D26960K is powerful enough to strip linoleum off any surface, and to melt most other materials, allowing for versatile applications. It features a cord protector that keeps the wire from tearing away from the housing, making it suitable for contractor use.
  • lcd screen for precise temp control
  • comes with eight different tips
  • includes a hard carrying case
Model D26960K
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Heat Gun Construction And Uses

A heat gun's most basic components include a fan, a heating element, a nozzle, an on/off switch and a housing. The fan draws air into the body and pushes it along the heating element before finally pushing it out of the nozzle. The heating element is most often electric, but can also be a gas flame in some industrial models. Whatever heating element is used, it must be powerful enough to heat the air instantly as the air moves through the system at high speeds.

The nozzle may be a simple fixed round tube or it can be specially shaped and designed for a specific task. The housing is designed to make the heat gun comfortable to hold as well as protect the user during operation.

Heat guns are surprisingly handy tools that can be used for more than paint and varnish removal. Some common applications for heat guns include forming and shaping plastic pipes, heat-shrinking plastic films and wire connectors, loosening rusty bolts, soldering plumbing joints and drying out damp wood before painting. They can also be used to cure paint and adhesives quicker, allowing you to move onto the next stage of a project without waiting. Other uses include speed drying plaster wall patches, thawing frozen pipes, and softening caulk or putty for easier removal.

Heat guns aren't only suitable for construction applications. The inventive homeowner can find a number of additional uses. If you like to repurpose glass food jars, a heat gun can make removing the label easier and less messy. If you have peeling floor tile or laminate, a few seconds with the heat gun can reactivate the adhesive and make them stick again. They can even be used to roast coffee beans, thaw a deep freezer, or remove window tint.

Tips For Using A Heat Gun Safely And Effectively

Heat guns can function at temperatures upwards of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is important to take safety precautions when operating one. Never touch the nozzle while the heat gun is on and never direct the flow of hot air at yourself or anyone else as this can cause severe burns. A heat gun must also cool down after use before it can be packed away safely.

If you purchase a heat gun with multiple nozzle attachments, you should always attach the nozzle you plan on using before turning on the unit. Wide nozzles are best for paint removal, while smaller nozzles are best when you need to localize the heat into a compact area. If you do need to change nozzles mid job, let the unit cool for at least five minutes before attempting the change.

To ensure your heat gun has reached an effective temperature, let it heat up for 45 seconds before trying to use it for the intended application. If you try and use it before it reaches an optimal temperature, you run the risk of damaging your work surface or, at the very least, making it ineffective and making your job more difficult.

The average heat gun consumes upwards of 2,000 Watts. If you must use an extension cord always choose one that is rated for heavy duty use. Preferably a 12 gauge cable with a minimum of 15 amperage load rating. The extension cord should be fully unwound and cannot be left coiled as the load can generate enough heat to be considered a fire hazard.

Blocking the heat gun's inlet grills can cause the internal components to overheat and possibly catch fire. It will also shorten the gun's lifespan and may cause the fan's components or the heating element to burn out. Operating the heat gun with the exhaust nozzle flat against a hard surface can have the same effect.

Features To Look For In A Heat Gun

There are a number of features to look out for that can make a heat gun easier and safer to use. If you will be using your heat gun for a wide range of applications, purchase one that allows for a variety of temperature settings. Some models have a continuously variable dial that allows you to increase and decrease the temperature in minute increments. In addition to adjusting the temperature, the ability to control the air flow can be extremely helpful. Some models may just have one airflow setting, while others may have a low, medium, and high setting.

The main control switch may be a standard on/off switch, or it can be a dead man switch. Models with a dead man switch are considerably safer as they will turn off if the unit is accidentally dropped during operation. This can be invaluable if the unit falls into a hard to reach area. Another safety feature to keep an eye out for is a thermal cutoff. This will switch the tool off if some of the interior components overheat. If the thermal cutoff is tripped, there is a fault which must be identified and corrected before continuing to use the unit.

Other features which can be helpful include a stand that allows you to use the gun hands-free. This can be especially handy when bending plastic or metal objects. A range of nozzle attachments will also make the gun more useful in a variety of applications.

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Last updated on May 16, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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