The Tool Geeks

Best Heat Gun for Paint Removal

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You may need to peel or remove paint as part of any remodeling or home improvement project, but it can difficult if you don’t have the necessary equipment.  Welcome to the heat gun.

Finding the best electric heat guns for paint removal helps make this chore easy. To choose the most effective heat gun for stripping paint, we’ve reviewed the best heat guns you can buy, so let’s get started.

What Are Heat Guns?

A heat gun, also known as a hot air blower, is a tool that blows air using a heating element. It consists of a motor-driven fan that throws air onto an heated filament.  When the filament receives heat, it gets red and can produce temperatures up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Most heat guns are electric, but there are some gas-powered models for industrial uses.   

Heat air guns are must-have tools for professionals and DIYers. They are commonly used for welding, bending plastics, or stripping paint. Due to their versatility, heat guns are also used for various home improvement projects, DIY crafts, and industrial manufacturing projects. 

Best Heat Guns for Paint Removal – My List:

  1. DEWALT D26960 – Best Heat Gun For Paint Stripping
  2. TR Industrial 1700W Digital Heat Gun Kit
  3. Master Appliance HG-501AK
  4. BLACK+DECKER HG1300 Dual Temperature Heat Gun
  5. Genesis GHG1500A Dual Temperature Heat Gun
  6. Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial Heat Gun
ImageProduct NameHighlightsPrice
#1: My Top Choice
DEWALT Heat Gun with LCD Display & Hard Case/Accessory Kit (D26960K) , Yellow

DEWALT Heat Gun with LCD Display & Hard Case/Accessory Kit (D26960K) , Yellow

  • Max Temperature: 1,100°
  • Adjustment in 50° Increments
  • Power:  1,550 Watts
Buy on Amazon
#2: Another Top Choice
TR Industrial 1700w Heat Gun

TR Industrial 1700w Heat Gun

  • Max Temperature: 1,200°
  • Adjustment in 20° Increments
  • 5 Fan Speeds
Buy on The Contractor Shop
#3: Classic Versatility
Master Appliance VT-751D Industrial Heat Gun - Assembled In USA

Master Appliance VT-751D Industrial Heat Gun - Assembled In USA

  • Max Temperature: 1,200°F
  • High airflow rating: 27 CFM at 3400 FPM
  • UL and CUL listed or CSA certified, made in USA
Buy on Amazon
#4: Compact & Powerful Design
BLACK+DECKER Heat Gun, Dual Temperature (HG1300)

BLACK+DECKER Heat Gun, Dual Temperature (HG1300)

  • Max Temperature: 1,000°F
  • Built-in Stand
  • Lightweight:  1.67lbs 
Buy on Amazon
#5: Budget Pick
Genesis GHG1500A 12.5 Amp Dual-Temperature Heat Gun Kit

Genesis GHG1500A 12.5 Amp Dual-Temperature Heat Gun Kit

  • Max Temperature: 1,500° F
  • High and low temperature settings for versatility
  • 3 Position rocker type switch 
Buy on Amazon
#6: Durable
Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial Heat Gun

Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial Heat Gun

  • Max Temperature: 1,000° F
  • UL and cUL listed
  • Smaller and Precise Jobs
Buy on Amazon

How to Choose the Best Heat Guns for Paint Removal

When shopping for the best heat gun, you’ll come across various terms, such as gas-powered hot air guns, dual temperature settings, or heavy-duty heat guns. Getting the appropriate heat gun type may significantly reduce the time and aggravation you spend stripping paint. This guide contains useful information regarding heat guns to help you choose the perfect one for your needs.

Project Type

A hot air gun can help you do a lot of tasks, from DIY to professional uses.  There are a lot of heat guns to choose from.  You can use simpler heat guns like the Black and Decker for DIY tasks such as stripping paint or shrinking cable sleeves. On the other hand, more professional tasks require more sophisguns to be used in warehouses and automotive industries. 

Professional heat guns are designed to withstand wear and tear and the conditions of their surroundings. You can also consider other features, such as power, adjustable temperature, adjustable airflow, residual heat indicators, nozzles, and accessories, according to your project type. 

Power

A heat guns’ power is usually measured in watts and the power determines the corresponding temperature ranges and airflow capability.  Most heat guns range in power between 300W to 2000W for general uses.

Ensuring the heat gun has at least 1000W should provide you enough of a temperature range for most home DIY projects, with crafts usually having a lower power number, and contracting uses needing up to 2000 watts.

More powerful, industrial-level heat guns may need 3000W or more, for certain professional applications.

Temperature

Temperature range is an essential feature to check. Some lower-end and older heat guns have a two settings, a low and high temperature, while mid-range and higher-end ones will have multiple temperature ranges.  Contemporary heat guns typically include a feature for rapidly cycling across a broad temperature range and provide an LCD display to show the current setting.

Typically, the temperature range of today’s models extends from a 200 degrees to well over a 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you the flexibility to operate in either a low-or high-temperature environment as needed.  Generally, a temperature of 900 to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit should cover most home-based paint removal.  But when in doubt, check the paint-type’s softening temperature. 

Variable Air Flow

The airflow speed is almost important as the ambient temperature. If the gun isn’t effective at delivering the heat to the target surface, it won’t matter how precise the temperature setting. 

Typical ranges are from 3 to 25 CFM (cubic feet per minute) or 80 to 700 L (liter) per minute.  And look for variable airflow, or fan speeds, if  you plan on multiple uses for the heat gun.

While medium- and high-speed options are standard on many models, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive the best performance. Checking the model’s wattage is a smart approach to ensuring it has sufficient power to provide enough airflow. The likelihood of having sufficient airflow to complete the task increases if the unit’s power output is at least 1000 watts.

LCD Display

Due to added cost, many models don’t bother with a display function, even though it’s standard equipment. Nonetheless, it’s comforting that you can preheat the heat gun to the desired temperature and that it is ready to go before you begin your task. This is why LCD displays are so desirable. If your heat gun suddenly malfunctions and emits heat at the incorrect temperature, the screen will show the inconsistency.

More precise temperature controls are often found in models with an LCD-display. There may be a difference of several hundred degrees in setting preferences between various models. The accuracy and control afforded by digital models allow for rotations as small as 100 degrees.

Auto Shut Off

Rather than being a desirable extra, auto-turn-off should be standard; if it’s not in the model you’re considering, you may want to reconsider. Heat guns, like any machinery, are susceptible to overheating and premature failure. Even though they can withstand greater heat than regular household tools, they can melt and stop working if they become too hot.

Inconvenient as it may be, thermal cut-offs aim to shut off the equipment far before it can reach certain temperatures, protecting your investment, you, and your project.

Nozzles

Usually, heat guns come with a general-purpose nozzle and some will include additional nozzle types for various applications:

  • A Concentrator or Reducer nozzle is used for aiming heat at target areas for specific and controlled applications.
  • An Edge Protector nozzle can be used for stripping paint off windows.
  • A Flat nozzle is a good choice for protecting specific areas, and can focus heat over a thin or broad surface.
  • A Reflector nozzle is used for reflecting heat outside of the target area.

Price

Finding the best hot air gun for removing paint doesn’t have to break the budget these days, thanks to the many discounts available.

But remember to go beyond the price tag and evaluate the tool’s appropriateness for your project requirements and expected uses.

Weight

The weight of a heat gun can’t be ignored when shopping for one. Choose a model with an intuitive and sturdy design, but don’t compromise on its weight.

A heat gun should be portable and lightweight so that you can easily hold it without getting hand fatigued.  For uses requiring an extended period of time, look for models that come with a stand that allows hands-free operation. 

Best Heat Guns for Paint Removal – My Reviews

1. DeWalt D26960K – Best Heat Gun For Paint Stripping

Best Features  DEWALT Heat Gun with LCD Display & Hard...

  • Allows 50-degree increments in temperature changes
  • Comes with multiple nozzles and tools
  • Super versatile

My Overall Rating

 

It’s time to rethink what a heat gun can do since the DeWalt D26960K heavy-duty is the best of its kind. It incorporates an LCD display that shows you the exact temperature with the buttons right below the display.  The temperature can be set within 50-degree increments, anywhere from 150 to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it versatile enough for delicate and rugged tasks.  It heats fast due to its 1550 watt motor, it remembers the last temperature settings you used and it comes with built-in overload protection to prevent overheating.  

The heat gun is mid-range in weight for all its features, at 2.3lbs, and its pistol design was comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.  It heats up within 30-40 seconds and comes with multiple cone, fishtail, and surface nozzles that can change the airflow direction for more precise use and better productivity in everyday situations.  The kickstand on this heat gun lets you aim it at the project surface for hands-free operation when in use and to cool down the nozzle safely without dangerously touching it.  Once it has cooled down, a built-in hanging ring makes for quick storage.  And to wrap it up, DeWalt provides a hard-surface carrying case for the heat gun and associated nozzles.

This model is almost perfect except for one minor detail: a fast cool down option.   That said, this is one of the most versatile heat guns for the price that I use on a regular basis.

If you’re looking for a cordless heat gun, DeWalt offers a battery-powered cordless heat gun version for more portability.

Pros 

  • In-Display-Controller (LCD)
  • Multiple nozzles
  • Long power cord
  • Wide temperature range
  • Kickstand

Cons 

  • Lacks a fast cooldown system
  • Moderate weight

2. TR Industrial 1700W Digital Heat Gun Kit

Best Features  TR Industrial 1700W Digital Heat Gun Kit,...

  • Accurate temperature control
  • Customizable fan settings
  • Powerful 1700 watt motor

My Overall Rating

 

The TR Industrial 1700W digital heat gun kit is a complete package for all DIY lovers. It is perfect for all tasks, such as plastic welding, shrink tubing, paint stripping, PVC pipe bending, and carbon fiber wrapping.

The large LCD display and multiple surrounding buttons allow you to easily adjust the temperature in 20 degree increments between a range of 120 and 1200 degrees Fahrenheit as well as adjusting the airflow between 5 fan speeds.  To further add to the precise control, the TR heat gun has four memory settings that save both temperature and fan speed.  Plus, it’s powerful 1700 watt  motor enables quick heating capability.

You don’t have to be concerned about the tool overheating because it has built-in overheat protection, which extends its life.   And it comes with a a fast cool down mode and front hand bumper to provide a level of safety.  Using a similar ergonomic pistol design enables you to confidently hold the heat gun and it’s balanced design allows you to stand it on it’s back for a vertical hands-free operation.

We did find that we had to cycle the heat gun on and off to change the memory settings.  And it’s larger motor does make it heavier, however, I was able to hold it for a long enough time for my projects.

Plus, the heat gun comes with an integrated kickstand for horizontal hands-free operation.  And TR includes a range of accessories, including a cone nozzle, a fan nozzle, a glass protector, a spool reflector, a putty knife and a handheld scraper.  TR wraps up the product and accessories in a hard-surface carrying case.

Pros  

  • Faster heat up
  • Front hand protection bumper
  • Variable temperature control dial
  • Precise digital controls
  • Four memory settings
  • Built-in auto overheating protection

Cons 

3. Master Appliance HG-501D

Best Features  Master Appliance VT-751D Industrial Heat Gun,...

My Overall Rating

Check Amazon Price

 

Master Appliance has been making heat guns since 1959 and it’s VT-751D model is a high-quality heat gun featuring a powerful 1740 watt high-speed motor. The heat gun features a variable temperature range of 200-1,200  degrees F and provides an industry-best airflow of 27 CFM.  It is a rugged and durable with its sturdy die cast aluminum housing.  The ‘D’ Series models offer buying choices to operate either on 120V or 220V current. 

Besides the variable temperature controls, it has a main rocker switch with heat, cool, and off settings. The ‘Cool’ setting helps to cool down the heat gun before storing it. An ergonomic soft grip handle maximizes comfort and allows you to hold it for extended periods of time.  Plus, the gun has a large rear integrated plated-stand, adjustable by 90 degrees, that allows you to safely put it on a surface for hands-free operation and cool down.

The one key thing it lacks is a LCD display.  You change the temperature by rotating a physical dial on the right side of the motor in approximate 150 degree F increments.  And this brand of heat gun does look somewhat like a hair dryer.  While the most durable heat gun on this list, it is also the highest priced.

You can use the Master Appliance heat gun to cure adhesives, tubing, and packaging; defrost frozen pipes; dry and heat parts; solder and desolder; and more.  It also comes with a reduce, spreader, and shrink nozzles along with a new rugged carrying case.

Pros 

Cons 

4. Black Decker HG1300 Dual Temperature Heat Gun

Best Features  BLACK+DECKER Heat Gun, Dual Temperature...

My Overall Rating

Check Amazon Price

 

The compact form factor of this Black and Decker HG1300 heat gun is perhaps its most vital feature. It’s incredibly lightweight and affordable compared to other devices on our list. Weighing in at 1.6 pounds, it’s ideal for lengthy usage on smaller things or in confined locations due to the ability to hold it for extended periods of time.  It has a 3-position side handle that provides a comfortable grip and superb control for all applications.

Due to its portability, it comes with two temperature options of 750 and 1000 degrees F, which is fine for paint removal.  It’s 1,350 watt motor still provides fast heating.  Plus, there’s an integrated kickstand to set it down on its back for hands-free operation and during cool down. 

Also due to its compact form and very low cost, it lacks a digital display and doesn’t come with additional nozzles nor a carrying case.

That said, this Black and Decker model is perfect if you want a lightweight and low cost heat gun with high enough temperature for stripping pa and a small form factor.

Pros 

Cons 

5. Genesis GHG1500A Dual Temperature Heat Gun

Best Features  Genesis GHG1500A Dual Temperature Heat Gun...

My Overall Rating

Check Amazon Price

 

The Genesis GHG1500A is our budget choice for a heat gun with two temperature settings. It features a low setting of 572 degrees F, powered at 750 watts and a high-temperature setting of 1000 degrees F, powered at 1500 watts, suitable enough for paint removal.

The heat gun weighs only 1.2 pounds, making it easy to carry for many hours. It comes with four nozzles that can be used for various tasks, such as treating delicate glass surfaces, stripping paint, defrosting freezers, and thawing pipes.

Due to its affordability, it lacks a digital display, a kickstand, and a carrying case.  But it can be stood up on its back for hands-free operation.

It is a very cost-effective option when it comes to dual-temperature heat guns. It's for casual DIY-ers and beginners but not suitable for heavy-duty use. This Genesis heat gun is good for home improvement and repair projects. It also comes with a sturdy case for easy transportation and storage. 

Pros 

Cons 

6. Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial Heat Gun

Best Features  Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial...

My Overall Rating

Check Amazon Price

 

The Weller 6966C is an energy efficient heat gun that weighs less than one pound.  I included it on my recommended list due to its durability and lightweight design.  Weller has been making 'hand-soldering' devices for over 100 years.

The temperature ranges between 750 and 800 degrees Fahrenheit, selected by a 3-position switch and powered by a 250 watt motor, which still enables it to be used for paint removal.

While it may not have the best aesthetics, it is lightweight and comes with five different types of nozzles.  The multiple nozzles allow you to use the heat gun for different applications, but due to its smaller motor, it is mainly used for small tasks. The gun is ESD-safe, which means it's made of materials that reduce the discharge of static electricity.and suitable for extended use.  

Lacking a digital display or integrated stand, it makes up for it with a cool air feature that allows you to cool the tool down before storing it.

Overall, the Weller heat gun is a portable and easy-to-use tool that can be used for various home repair and improvement projects.

Pros 

Cons 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is a heat gun useful for stripping paint?

Heat guns are the best tools for scraping paint off for a number of reasons. These products make it easy and affordable to remove paint. You can count on their many built-in safeguards, efficiencies, dependabilities, top-notch performance, and user-friendliness.

They also have many additional applications and may greatly aid domestic refurbishment tasks. Heat guns can be bought for a low price, which makes them a good way to save money.

2. Can you use a hair dryer as a heat gun?

No, you can't use a hair dryer as a heat gun. Though both tools have similar functions, the amount of heat they produce is not the same. 

Heat guns are designed to perform tasks that require high heat and more concentrated airflow. A heat gun has a narrow heat stream, and it's more efficient for stripping paint and other high-standard applications. 

Hair dryers typically max out at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius), to avoid burns, and blow air in a broad stream, which is great for drying hair.  Plus they are susceptible to overheating if used for longer periods of time.  That said, you can use a hair dryer to remove candle wax, stickers, and labels. 

3. Can you use a heat gun on lead paint?

Yes, you can use a heat gun on lead paint. A heat gun is the safest option to remove lead paint. The hot air produced by a heat gun softens and loosens the paint so that you can remove it easily. Moreover, a heat gun's operating temperature is lower than lead's volatilization temperature; therefore, it doesn't produce toxic fumes.

Use the right safety gear, such as a respirator and protective clothing, when working with lead paint. Plus, the area should be well-ventilated.

On the other hand, sanding lead paint should be done with caution as it produces dust that is readily absorbed. 

4. What are the main heat gun uses?

Are you wondering what to use a heat gun for? There is a lot more to do with a heat gun than just using it for removing paint or bending plastic. For instance, you can use a heat gun to:

You can use a heat gun for household as well as industrial purposes. Industries that use heat guns include aviation, automotive, and boating industry. 

Tips For Using a Heat Gun for Stripping Paint

Electric and gas-powered heat guns produce hot air from the front and can help you strip paint and varnish. To get the most out of a heat gun, you must follow these tips for removing paint:

Best Heat Guns for Paint Removal – My List 

  1. DEWALT D26960 – Best Heat Gun For Paint Stripping
  2. TR Industrial 1700W Digital Heat Gun Kit
  3. Master Appliance HG-501AK
  4. BLACK+DECKER HG1300 Dual Temperature Heat Gun
  5. Genesis GHG1500A Dual Temperature Heat Gun
  6. Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial Heat Gun
ImageProduct NameHighlightsPrice
#1: My Top Choice
DEWALT Heat Gun with LCD Display & Hard Case/Accessory Kit (D26960K) , Yellow

DEWALT Heat Gun with LCD Display & Hard Case/Accessory Kit (D26960K) , Yellow

  • Max Temperature: 1,100°
  • Adjustment in 50° Increments
  • Power:  1,550 Watts
Buy on Amazon
#2: Another Top Choice
TR Industrial 1700w Heat Gun

TR Industrial 1700w Heat Gun

  • Max Temperature: 1,200°
  • Adjustment in 20° Increments
  • 5 Fan Speeds
Buy on The Contractor Shop
#3: Classic Versatility
Master Appliance VT-751D Industrial Heat Gun - Assembled In USA

Master Appliance VT-751D Industrial Heat Gun - Assembled In USA

  • Max Temperature: 1,200°F
  • High airflow rating: 27 CFM at 3400 FPM
  • UL and CUL listed or CSA certified, made in USA
Buy on Amazon
#4: Compact & Powerful Design
BLACK+DECKER Heat Gun, Dual Temperature (HG1300)

BLACK+DECKER Heat Gun, Dual Temperature (HG1300)

  • Max Temperature: 1,000°F
  • Built-in Stand
  • Lightweight:  1.67lbs 
Buy on Amazon
#5: Budget Pick
Genesis GHG1500A 12.5 Amp Dual-Temperature Heat Gun Kit

Genesis GHG1500A 12.5 Amp Dual-Temperature Heat Gun Kit

  • Max Temperature: 1,500° F
  • High and low temperature settings for versatility
  • 3 Position rocker type switch 
Buy on Amazon
#6: Durable
Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial Heat Gun

Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial Heat Gun

  • Max Temperature: 1,000° F
  • UL and cUL listed
  • Smaller and Precise Jobs
Buy on Amazon

Conclusion

The versatility of a heat gun cannot be understated, and you will get your money's worth with less time, effort, and tension.  You can use a heat gun to redecorate your home,  fix your cell phone screen,  remove moisture from concrete, release soldered joints, warm up plastic, and shrink-wrap items. You can also use a heat gun to melt plastic pipes, remove rusted fasteners, and defrost frozen pipes during the winter.

The team at The Tool Geeks hope this article helps you choose the best heat gun for removing paint.  While there are many brands and models, you will save time and energy while stripping paint if you take the time to do your homework and choose a high-quality tool like the ones we have reviewed.

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