The Best Heat Guns of 2022

From removing stubborn stuck-on labels to applying vehicle decals to bending plastic pipes, a heat gun is a tool you can’t do without.

By Timothy Dale | Updated Mar 30, 2022 9:01 AM

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The Best Heat Gun Option

Photo: amazon.com

A heat gun is one of the best-kept secrets in an avid DIYer’s toolbox. These handy tools resemble hair dryers by pulling in air with a fan and then pushing it across a heating element and through a nozzle to produce superheated air.

Remove product labels or old bumper stickers, strip paint, heat-shrink plastic, soften Super Glue, and apply vehicle decals. You can even use the best heat gun options to bend plastic piping, defrost frozen pipes, or loosen solder joints. As with any tool, quality tends to dictate results, so be sure to choose a well-made product like those below.

  1. BEST OVERALL: ENERTWIST 1500W Heat Gun
  2. BEST BUDGET: PORTER-CABLE Heat Gun PC1500HG
  3. BEST INDUSTRIAL: SeekOne Heat Gun
  4. BEST CORDLESS: Milwaukee 2688-20 Cordless Heat Gun
  5. BEST MINI: LDK Mini Heat Gun
  6. BEST DUAL-TEMPERATURE: Genesis GHG1500A Dual-Temperature Heat Gun
  7. BEST ATTACHMENTS: Xpeoo Heat Gun Kit
The Best Heat Gun Option

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Heat Guns

Heat guns come in four different types: electric, gas, industrial, and infrared. But no matter what type of heat gun you use, it’s important to be aware these tools can be dangerous if used improperly or carelessly. Although heat guns don’t use an open flame, they are capable of producing temperatures as high as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. When using a heat gun, take extreme care to avoid burning yourself or damaging the material you are working with.

  • Electric heat guns can be either corded or cordless, small or large, and even the temperature range and fan speed can vary. Electric heat guns are the most popular style of heat gun, and usually the most cost-effective as well. Due to their popularity, manufacturers in recent years have focused more attention on developing electric heat gun technology, while gas-powered heat guns have slowly become a thing of the past.
  • Gas heat guns use either butane or propane gas in place of a heated element. These gas heat guns are less popular than electric models for a few reasons. The first is that they tend to be more expensive. Secondly, you need to continuously buy and fill gas canisters to use the gun, which is much less convenient than just plugging in or charging an electric model. Professionals in the plumbing or electrical field may use a gas heat gun if their work takes them away from accessible electrical outlets or to avoid the safety hazard of running an extension cord, but beyond the professional trades, the gas heat gun has lost a lot of its popularity in the DIY market.
  • Industrial heat guns are only differentiated from electric and gas models by their robust construction, higher heat levels, and higher fan settings. Professionals use industrial heat guns for heavy-duty jobs in mass retail factories, packaging plants, and automotive repair. Because they are designed for industrial work, these tools don’t allow for the fine-tuning of temperature and fan control needed for smaller precision projects.
  • Infrared guns are relatively new to the market. They use infrared heat, as indicated by the name, and tend to run on the cheaper side for a heat gun. They produce a maximum temperature of 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit, more than enough for many household projects.

What to Consider when Choosing the Best Heat Gun 

Heat guns are not light-duty heating devices like hair dryers, so you need to make sure that you know what to look for when selecting a heat gun. Consider the temperature settings, temperature control, fan speed, nozzles, and various accessories to find the best heat gun for your next project.

Temperature Range

The temperature range of a heat gun determines the type of work you can use it for. Heavy-duty jobs like paint stripping and plumbing will benefit from a heat gun that has a maximum temperature of around 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimum temperature of around 120 degrees Fahrenheit for increased versatility.

DIYers looking to complete everyday household projects like heat-shrinking plastic or softening the adhesive on flooring tiles may be content with a heat gun that has a narrower temperature range, somewhere between 392 degrees Fahrenheit and 752 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature Control

Basic heat guns operate at a single temperature—the gun automatically heats ‌to its maximum temperature and the only way to adjust the heat level is to move the gun closer to or away from the target object. Dual temperature heat guns have two temperature settings, while more advanced models may have up to three settings, allowing you to select between high, medium, and low heat, depending on your needs.

Variable temperature heat guns have a dial for selecting a temperature between the minimum and maximum of their range. Some newer models have electronic displays that allow you to set the exact temperature you want and adjust it by increments. For the most accurate heat setting, opt for a heat gun with detailed temperature and fan controls.

Fan Speed

Fan speed determines how much surface area the heat gun will impact. Lower fan speeds are best for precise projects, like loosening solder joints or removing labels, while higher fan speeds allow for a greater distribution of heat across an area.

As you move a heat gun with a low fan speed away from the target object, the surface area increases but the temperature decreases. A powerful fan allows the surface area to increase without a significant drop in temperature, allowing a greater area to be heated at one time. This setting is useful for larger projects, like stripping paint or defrosting pipes.

Accessory and Nozzle Options

Heat guns come with a wide variety of accessory and nozzle options designed to provide more accurate temperature control and more efficiently direct the flow of heat. They can also come with a nozzle safety shield to help keep you safe during use.

Popular heat gun accessories include a dead man’s switch that shuts off the power when pressure is removed, a thermal cut-out that switches off the heat gun if it becomes overheated, a hanging hook for storing the tool, and a surface stand that allows you to safely rest the gun during pauses in work. The surface stand also provides a hands-free alternative for projects that require two hands, though you would need to do this with extreme care to ensure that the heat gun is stable and directed away from potentially flammable objects.

Popular nozzles for heat guns include reducer or cone nozzles that concentrate the heat onto a specific area, spoon reflector nozzles that wrap around piping to evenly heat the entire circumference of the pipe, flat nozzles for a wide, horizontal line application, and glass protector nozzles for stripping paint off of a window while preventing direct heat on the glass.

There are other options for more specialized uses, but these are the most popular additions to the average heat gun.

Additional Features

Aside from the plethora of heat gun nozzle and accessory choices out there, some models offer additional built-in features.

  • Some heat guns boast extended cord lengths for more freedom of movement.
  • Some feature high-temperature protection on the nozzle to help keep your hands safe.
  • Built-in memory settings can instantly adjust the heat and fan speed to exactly what you need for a specific project you’ve done before, like stripping paint, with a single button press.

Our Top Picks

We chose our list of top picks for heat guns based on price, popularity, customer approval, and purpose. Any of these high-quality models would surely find a place as your next go-to tool for household projects.

Best Overall

The Best Heat Gun Option: ENERTWIST 1500W Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

Work with one hand while the other holds or supports the target material with this compact and versatile heat gun. If two hands are required to support the material, then simply place the heat gun on the non-slip base for hands-free use. It comes with a 12.5 amp motor and a built-in overload protection system to prevent the heat gun from overheating.

Control the temperature with the variable temperature dial and choose between 9 temperature settings, ranging from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 932 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, take advantage of the three-speed fan settings for further control. The corded product comes with four nozzles and four scraping tools to help complete DIY renovation projects.

Product Specs

  • Type: Electric
  • Temperature Range: 140 degrees to 932 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Control: Variable temperature dial

Pros

  • 9 temperature settings
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Non-slip standing surface for hands-free use
  • Multiple nozzles and accessories included

Cons

  • Limited maneuverability
  • Low maximum temperature

Get the ENERTWIST heat gun on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Budget

The Best Heat Gun Option: Porter-Cable Heat Gun PC1500HG
Photo: amazon.com

PORTER-CABLE’s Heat Gun features a 6-foot long cord for maximum maneuverability and an integrated hands-free support stand for projects that require two hands. A variable temperature control dial on the side of the gun can adjust the heat within a range of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to 1,150 degrees Fahrenheit.

While that isn’t the widest temperature range out there, it is more than sufficient for household tasks and even some industrial tasks, like stripping paint. A high and a low fan setting controls the flow of air through the heat gun, and an integrated hanging hook is great for storage.

Product Specs

  • Type: Electric
  • Temperature Range: 120 degrees to 1,150 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Control: Variable temperature dial

Pros

  • High and low fan settings
  • Integrated hanging hook
  • 6-foot long power cord
  • Hands-free support stand

Cons

  • Limited maneuverability

Get the PORTER-CABLE heat gun at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.

Best Industrial

The Best Heat Gun Option: SeekOne Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

SeekOne’s Heavy Duty Heat Gun is the perfect tool for a variety of serious projects because of its wide temperature range of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to 1,202 degrees Fahrenheit.

The gun comes with four nozzles for various applications and features a heating mode and a cooldown mode for safer storage once you’re done using it. You can adjust temperatures with the control dial on the back of the gun. The heat gun has two fan speed settings, labeled low and high, and has a 5.25-foot cord for increased freedom of movement while using it.

Product Specs

  • Type: Electric
  • Temperature Range: 120 degrees to 1,202 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Control: Variable temperature dial

Pros

  • Heating and cooldown mode
  • Two fan speeds
  • Includes four different nozzles
  • Integrated overload protector

Cons

  • Limited maneuverability

Get the SeekOne heat gun on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Cordless

The Best Heat Gun Option: Milwaukee 2688-20 Cordless Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

Built for compact spaces and efficiency, the Milwaukee Electric Cordless Heat Gun measures just 6.4-inches in length. It is powered by an XC 5.0 battery that is able to heat over 40 connections on a single charge.

There is no built-in temperature control, but it can reach its moderate operational temperature of 875 degrees Fahrenheit within seven seconds of the trigger being depressed. Designed for tight spaces that lack room or adequate light for working, this model features a built-in LED light for better visibility.

Product Specs

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Temperature Range: 875 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Control: Fixed temperature

Pros

  • Cordless maneuverability
  • Built-in LED light
  • Heats ‌in just 7 seconds

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a battery
  • Fixed temperature

Get the Milwaukee heat gun at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.

Best Mini

The Best Heat Gun Option: LDK Mini Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

Maneuverability and control are highly sought after traits, especially when it comes to power tools because users are often working in tight spaces or need incredible control to avoid damaging the material they are working with. This mini heat gun measures just 8.7 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. It has a 4.9-foot power cable and weighs only 0.68 pounds, making it ideal for working on sensitive electronics, making cell phone repairs, or removing paint from tight corners and edges of a room.

The heat gun can be set to one of two temperature settings. The low setting ranges from 392 degrees Fahrenheit to 482 degrees Fahrenheit, while the high setting ranges from 572 degrees Fahrenheit to 662 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat gun also has a built-in stainless steel stand and a nozzle safety shield, though the movement is limited by the power cord.

Product Specs

  • Type: Electric
  • Temperature Range: 392 degrees to 662 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Control: Dual temperature setting

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Heats ‌to 300 degrees in seconds
  • Built-in stainless steel stand
  • Nozzle safety shield

Cons

  • Limited maneuverability
  • Narrow temperature range

Get the LDK heat gun on Amazon.

Best Dual-Temperature

The Best Heat Gun Option: Genesis GHG1500A Dual-Temperature Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

Variable temperature controls are great for tackling a range of different projects, but a dual-temperature heat gun is just as effective at thawing frozen pipes or gutters, speed-drying epoxy or cement, and removing adhesives, like caulking and putty. This heat gun even comes with four nozzles, including two deflector nozzles, one air reduction nozzle to concentrate the heat, and one reflector nozzle to increase thawing speed.

Use the straightforward, 3-position switch to turn the heat gun off or set it between 572 degrees and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The powerful 12.5 amp motor helps to thaw pipes, gutters, freezers, and radiators, as well as being effective for caulk and putty removal and paint stripping. It weighs just 2 pounds and has a textured grip that helps prevent the tool from slipping out of the user’s hands. However, like all corded tools, this electric heat gun is limited by the length of the power cord or extension cord to which it’s connected.

Product Specs

  • Type: Electric
  • Temperature Range: 572 degrees and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Control: Dual temperature setting

Pros

  • Simple, 3-position switch
  • Textured grip for better control
  • Includes four nozzles

Cons

  • Limited maneuverability
  • Only two operating temperatures

Get the Genesis heat gun on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Attachments

The Best Heat Gun Option: Xpeoo Heat Gun Kit
Photo: amazon.com

Choose between the low gear, marked by a 1 on the trigger for a heat range of 122 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, or opt for the high gear, marked by a 2 on the trigger for a wider heat range from 122 to 1220 degrees Fahrenheit. When the job is done, just flip the switch to the center to turn off the heat gun. During use, the heat can be further controlled by turning the variable temperature dial located on the back of the tool.

When a project requires two hands to support the material, this heat gun can be placed on the flat base for hands-free support. It also comes with five nozzles and five scraper tools to help remove paint, caulk, and other adhesive materials. Users can keep an eye on the current temperature just by glancing at the digital temperature gauge on the side of the heat gun.

Product Specs

  • Type: Electric
  • Temperature Range: 122 degrees to 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Control: Variable temperature dial

Pros

  • Digital temperature display
  • Two-gear heating
  • Includes 10 nozzles and accessories
  • Hands-free support base

Cons

  • Limited maneuverability

Get the Xpeoo heat gun on Amazon.

Our Verdict

Get a complete kit including multiple attachments and paint and grout removal tools as well as a protective case with the ENERTWIST heat gun, but if you aren’t looking for an entire kit, then the PORTER-CABLE heat gun is an excellent choice.

How We Chose the Best Heat Guns

Over 30 different heat gun products were considered for selection and only through extensive research into each product was it possible to put together this list of the best heat guns. The most important factors that were taken into consideration included the temperature controls, the type of heat gun, the temperature range, fan speed settings, and any nozzles or accessories that could improve the versatility of the tool.

Products that came with built-in safety features, like a nozzle safety shield, or premium features, like built-in memory settings, typically stood out from competitors as long as other important factors were relatively constant. Quality heat gun kits that came bundled with multiple nozzles, accessories, and a carrying case, were also highly rated.

Tips for Using a Heat Gun 

Heat guns are dangerous power tools that can just as easily peel wallpaper as they can burn your skin and hair, so it’s important to always dress appropriately and wear personal protective equipment. Long sleeve shirts, long pants, and closed-toe shoes are recommended, as well as safety gloves, safety glasses, and a mask to help avoid breathing in chemicals while you work.

You should also make sure to work in a well-ventilated space because the chemical smell produced by stripping paint or melting the glue on wallpaper can be harmful if inhaled. It can also cause eye irritation, which is why protective glasses or goggles are a good choice.

To avoid damaging the material or burning anything, start the heat gun further away from the target material and slowly bring it closer until it can melt glue, loosen paint, or heat shrink plastic.

  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Operate a heat gun in a well-ventilated space.
  • Start further away from the target material and gradually bring the heat gun closer.

FAQs

Learn more about using a corded or portable heat gun by taking a look at some of the most commonly asked questions below.

Q: Is a heat gun hotter than a hair dryer? 

Even a mini heat gun can reach significantly higher temperatures than a hair dryer. Typically, a hair dryer will have a maximum temperature of about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while many electric, gas, and cordless heat guns have a minimum temperature of around 120 degrees.

Q: Can you weld plastic with a heat gun? 

Plastic can be welded with a heat gun. These tools are commonly used to weld high-density polyethylene and polypropylene plastic, because these plastics are difficult to effectively glue.

Q: How long can you leave a heat gun on?

The exact length of time a heat gun should be left on varies depending on the product. However, it isn’t recommended to use a heat gun for longer than 15 to 20 minutes continuously before allowing the heat gun to cool.