Heat gun buying guide

Heat gun buying guide

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

192 guides

The heat gun, or hot air gun, is useful for stripping paint and varnish, welding, desoldering or thawing pipes. The generated hot air can easily reach 600 ° C. and can be powered through gas or electric means.

Important features

  • Electric or gas
  • Output
  • Power
  • Accessories
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What are the different uses of heat guns?


A heat gun is primarily used for stripping paint on surfaces like walls, blinds or any other facade before sanding .

Its high temperature also allows for different uses:

  • Heating of frozen pipes ;
  • Heating of wood before gluing;
  • Dislodging warped screws ;
  • Heated welding ;
  • Drying of primer or paint ;
  • Shaping heat-formable materials such as tar roofing;
  • Desoldering of circuit boards etc.
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What are the different types of heat guns?


Hot guns are distinguished by two technologies: gas and electric.

Gas heat gun

Although less frequently used, they provide independence from electricity thanks to gas cartridges- of the C206 genre. Gas heat guns are easier to handle - as they are cordless.

Electric heat gun

More common, they are plugged directly into a 220V outlet and benefit from a safer use when compared to gas. For better accessibility, the use of an extension cord may be necessary.

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Extension cord

What important factors should you look out for?


A heat gun has very few factors to consider, since its mechanism is relatively simple. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to be pay attention to it's power, flow of extremely hot air and temperature control.


Expressed in Watts (W), the gun's power determines its maximum temperature - ranging from 1,500 to over 2,300 W. The higher the temperature, the faster the effect on the unwanted paint will be, making it easier to take off.  Be very careful however, as falling asleep with it still on the stand will result in damage, melting or and maybe even ignition!

Hot air flow 

Expressed in liters per minute (l / min), it influences the rate at which the temperature reaches the surface.
It is most commonly set at 500l / min and can be adjusted (2 or even 3 possible configurations) depending on the model.

Temperature control 

Essential for those hoping to engage in the varied use of heat (welding, bending, ect). Often comes with 3 temperature options: 50, 400 and 600 ° C. The high-end heat guns even have liquid crystal display.

Heat gun: what are the different accessories?


Accessories are dependent on intended uses. Any heat gun is usually delivered with:

  • A scraper, to combine scraping and heating;
  • Cone nozzle to focus the beam of the resulting heat;
  • Spoon reflector for defrosting, bending or welding;
  • Surface nozzle for welding.

All these accessories make it possible to focus the hot air and thus facilitate the specific uses listed upstream above.

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Heat gun

Top Tips


To summarize, choosing a heat gun comes down to two main points: power source (whether or not you have a supply of electricity) and the intended use.

The specific projects and their frequency will also help to determine the usefulness of the accessories and the required level of workmanship.

Some models even have the anti-overheating option, an ergonomic handle, a bag or a carrying case... it's up to you to choose!

And beware, this is not a hair dryer! Always use proper safety: gloves , goggles and protective mask!

More Information

For passionate hobbyist and DIY-lovers, follow the links below for DIY-related accessories, advice from our editors and more helpful guides:

And to work safely:

  • How to choose your protective gloves?
  • How to choose your protective eyewear?
  • How to choose your protective mask?

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Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 192 guides

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check. The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job! What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!

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