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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.
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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:
- DEWALT D26960 – Best Heat Gun For Paint Stripping
- TR Industrial 1700W Digital Heat Gun Kit
- Master Appliance HG-501AK
- BLACK+DECKER HG1300 Dual Temperature Heat Gun
- Genesis GHG1500A Dual Temperature Heat Gun
- Weller 6966C 250 Watts Electric Industrial Heat Gun
#1: My Top Choice
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#2: Another Top Choice
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#3: Classic Versatility
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#4: Compact & Powerful Design
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#5: Budget Pick
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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- In-Display-Controller (LCD)
- Multiple nozzles
- Long power cord
- Wide temperature range
- Lacks a fast cooldown system
- Moderate weight