The Best Heat Guns of 2023

From removing stubborn stuck-on labels to applying vehicle decals to bending plastic pipes, a heat gun is a very handy tool to have around.

By Timothy Dale | Updated Sep 15, 2023 12:09 PM

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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 tool box. These helpful 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.

Heat guns can be used in a range of projects. You can remove product labels or old bumper stickers, strip paint, shrink wrap plastic, soften super glue, and apply vehicle decals. The best heat gun will offer the option to bend plastic piping, defrost frozen pipes, loosen solder joints, or even solder circuit boards. It’s also a handy crafting tool for melting candle wax and assisting in jewelry making. As with any tool, quality tends to dictate results, so be sure to choose a well-made product, like those listed here in a host of popular categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Enertwist Variable Temperature Control Heat Gun
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Porter-Cable 1500-Watt Dual-Temperature Heat Gun 
  3. UPGRADE PICK: DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless Heat Gun Kit
  4. BEST INDUSTRIAL: SeekOne 1800-Watt Fast-Heating Heat Gun
  5. BEST CORDLESS: Milwaukee M18 Electric Cordless Heat Gun
  6. BEST MINI: LDK Dual-Temperature Multipurpose Mini Heat Gun
  7. BEST DUAL-TEMPERATURE: Genesis Dual-Temperature Heat Gun
  8. BEST ATTACHMENTS: Xpeoo 5-Nozzle Variable Temperature Heat Gun Kit
  9. BEST FOR DIYERS: DeWalt Heat Gun With LCD Display and Accessory Kit
  10. BEST FOR REMOVING PAINT: Wagner Furno 300 Dual-Temperature Heat Gun
The Best Heat Gun Option

Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Heat Guns

We considered over 30 different heat gun products for selection in this guide; extensive product research went into putting together the best heat guns described here. The most important factors we considered included the type of heat gun, temperature controls, 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, such as 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.

Our Top Picks

We chose our lineup 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 in a DIYers tool box for use in a host of household projects.

Best Overall

The Best Heat Gun Option: Enertwist Variable Temperature Control 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 from Enertwist. If two hands are required to support the material, then simply place the heat gun on the nonslip base for hands-free use. This heat gun has a 12.5-amp motor and a built-in overload protection system to prevent overheating.

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

Product Specs 

  • Type: Electric
  • Temperature range: 140 to 932 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature control: Variable-temperature dial

Pros

  • 9 temperature settings gives it the ability to handle a variety of jobs
  • Nonslip standing surface allows you to use the heat gun hands-free
  • Includes multiple nozzles and accessories with a carrying case

Cons

  • Has a lower maximum temperature than other corded heat guns

Get the Entertwist heat gun at Amazon.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Heat Gun Option: Porter-Cable 1500-Watt Dual-Temperature Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

Porter-Cable’s heat gun is an affordable option that 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 105 to 1,085 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature range 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: 105 to 1,085 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature control: Variable-temperature dial

Pros

  • Multiple fan settings allow you to control the heat output
  • Integrated hanging hook makes for easy tool storage when not in use
  • 6-foot-long power cord eliminates the need for an extension cord

Cons

  • Does not come with a carrying case or any adapters

Get the Porter-Cable heat gun at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Walmart.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Heat Gun Option: DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless Heat Gun Kit
Photo: amazon.com

Those who use a heat gun often or take it from jobsite to jobsite will appreciate this cordless model from DeWalt. It works off of a 20-volt battery, which allows it to reach a max heat of 990 degrees Fahrenheit while providing up to 42 minutes of runtime. There’s also a lower heat setting, and it comes equipped with a lock-on button that’s useful for longer heat gun efforts.

This DeWalt model comes with two nozzle attachments, including a flat nozzle for hot air welding and a hook nozzle that can be used for shrinking tubing or as a replacement for a soldering iron to solder copper pipe. This kit includes a charger and 20-volt battery, but it’s also available as a tool-only option at about half the cost for those who may already have DeWalt cordless power tools.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Temperature range: 990 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature control: 2 heat settings

Pros

  • Cordless design makes it easier to take from jobsite to jobsite
  • Kit comes with 2 commonly used nozzles for heat guns
  • Works with the DeWalt family of cordless batteries and chargers

Cons

  • Has a limited maximum runtime of just 42 minutes

Get the DeWalt MAX heat gun at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Industrial

The Best Heat Gun Option: SeekOne 1800-Watt Fast-Heating Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

SeekOne’s heavy-duty heat gun is an ideal tool for a variety of serious projects because of its wide temperature range of 120 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 when not in use. Users 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 during use

Product Specs 

  • Type: Electric
  • Temperature range: 120 to 1,202 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature control: Variable-temperature dial

Pros

  • High maximum temperature output compared to other heat guns
  • You can fine-tune the temperature with variable control dial
  • Comes with 4 different nozzles to suit different heat gun applications

Cons

  • Some customers have complained that the heat gun does not hold up well

Get the SeekOne heat gun at Amazon or Walmart.

Best Cordless

The Best Heat Gun Option: Milwaukee M18 Electric 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 this heat gun can reach its moderate operational temperature of 875 degrees Fahrenheit within just 6 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 design makes it ideal for projects away from the workshop
  • Built-in LED light automatically turns on to illuminate the work surface
  • Compact size makes it easily portable and able to fit into tighter spaces

Cons

  • Single temperature setting limits its use to applications that demand high heat

Get the Milwaukee heat gun at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Mini

The Best Heat Gun Option: LDK Dual-Temperature Multipurpose Mini Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

Maneuverability and control are highly sought-after traits in a heat gun when working in tight spaces or needing precise control to avoid damaging a workpiece. 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 to 482 degrees Fahrenheit, while the high setting ranges from 572 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 size makes it easy to use, store, and transport
  • Heats ‌to 392 degrees Fahrenheit in seconds, allowing you to get to work quickly
  • Built-in stainless steel stand and safety shield allows for safe hands-free use

Cons

  • Low max temperature and narrow range limits this heat gun to light-duty applications

Get the LDK heat gun at Amazon.

Best Dual-Temperature

The Best Heat Gun Option: Genesis 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 excellent dual-temperature model from Genesis 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 three-position switch to turn the heat gun off or set it between 572 and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The powerful 12.5-amp motor helps to thaw pipes, gutters, freezers, and radiators as well as effectively strip paint and remove caulk and putty. 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 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature control: Dual-temperature setting

Pros

  • Simple 3-position switch makes it easy to change temperatures on the fly
  • Textured grip allows you to get a firm, comfortable hold on the handle
  • Comes with 4 nozzles to handle a variety of applications

Cons

  • Does not come with a carrying case for transport and nozzle storage

Get the Genesis heat gun at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Attachments

The Best Heat Gun Option: Xpeoo 5-Nozzle Variable Temperature Heat Gun Kit
Photo: amazon.com

Folks who employ a heat gun for a variety of projects may wish to check out this Xpeoo model. It comes with five nozzles and five scraper tools to help remove paint, caulk, and other adhesive materials. When a project requires two hands to support the material, this heat gun can be placed on the flat base for hands-free support.

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 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit. During use, the heat can be further controlled by turning the variable-temperature dial located on the back of the tool. 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 to 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature control: Variable-temperature dial

Pros

  • Equipped with digital display that allows you to set precision temperatures
  • Has a broad temperature range of 122 to 1,220 degrees
  • Includes 10 nozzles and accessories for various heat gun applications

Cons

  • Does not come with a carrying case, making it a challenge to keep track of the attachments

Get the Xpeoo heat gun at Amazon.

Best for DIYers

The Best Heat Gun Option: DeWalt Heat Gun With LCD Display and Accessory Kit
Photo: amazon.com

DIYers can find themselves doing a broad range of different projects that require heat, which is why this DeWalt model might be a great choice. It includes seven attachments for versatility, including multiple shapes of flat-surface nozzles for paint removal, slot nozzles for air welding, a hook-shaped reflector nozzle for bending pipe, and two reduction nozzles for soldering jobs. All nozzles and the gun fit nicely into a molded carrying case.

This DeWalt heat gun also offers excellent control with an LCD display that allows you to change temperature in increments of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Other notable features include an ergonomic handle that makes the heat gun comfortable to hold for longer periods and an overload feature that shuts the gun down to prevent it from overheating.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Corded electric
  • Temperature range: 150 to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature control: LCD temperature controls

Pros

  • Comes with 7 attachments to suit a variety of project types
  • All attachments and gun fit neatly into the included carrying case
  • LCD display allows the user to set temperature in increments of 50 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons

  • Some customers complain that the scraper and spatula accessories are low quality

Get the DeWalt heat gun and accessory kit at Amazon or Walmart.

Best for Removing Paint

The Best Heat Gun Option: Wagner Furno 300 Dual-Temperature Heat Gun
Photo: amazon.com

There’s no reason to spend more for a heat gun with multiple attachments if all you need to do with the tool is remove paint. This model from paint-sprayer company Wagner will get the job done while still leaving enough money in the budget for paint supplies. The paint gun comes with two heat settings: 1,100 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is ideal for paint removal yet can also work for other tasks, such as bending pipe or removing flooring.

With its lightweight and ergonomic design, the heat gun is easy to handle. There’s also built-in side bars that prevent the nozzle from coming into contact with the work surface and a loop for hanging it in the workshop.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Corded electric
  • Temperature range: 750 to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature control: Switch on the handle

Pros

  • Lightweight ergonomic design makes the heat gun comfortable to hold
  • 2 heat settings make it ideal for paint removal as well as other common household tasks
  • Lack of attachments mean a lower-priced product; ideal for those who use a heat gun infrequently

Cons

  • Limited versatility as it does not come with any attachments.

Get the Wagner heat gun at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Jump to Our Top Picks



What to Consider When Choosing a Heat Gun 

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

Types of Heat Guns

Heat guns come in four different types: electric, gas, industrial, and infrared—and all types can be dangerous if used improperly or carelessly. Although heat guns don’t employ 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 

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 

Gas models 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 

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 

Infrared heat gun technology is relatively new to the market. These guns can produce a maximum temperature of 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit, more than enough for many household projects. They also tend to be affordable products.

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 low 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 and 752 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature Control

Basic heat guns operate at a single temperature—the gun automatically heats ‌to its highest temperature and the only way to adjust the heat is to move the gun closer to or farther 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 low, medium, and high heat, depending on what the project dictates.

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 an exact temperature 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 can increase the surface area 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 for applying vinyl wraps; 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 from radiating onto the glass.

There are other options for more specialized uses, but those described above 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.
  • Others feature high-temperature protection on the nozzle to help keep 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.

Tips for Using a Heat Gun 

Heat guns are potentially dangerous power tools that can burn skin and hair, so it’s vital to always dress appropriately and wear personal protective equipment during use. Long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and closed-toe shoes are recommended, as well as safety gloves and safety glasses.

If the project involves working with chemicals, such as stripping paint or melting wallpaper glue, wear a mask to help avoid breathing in toxic substances. In these cases it’s also advised to work in a well-ventilated space. The chemical smell can be harmful if inhaled and also cause eye irritation.

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 concise answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these tools.

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 and can go as high as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

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 it to cool.

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Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.