A heat gun can help you accomplish many tasks, but temperature will play an important role in how successful your projects are. Certain materials, such as adhesives or paints, will respond only to an even application of heat, set within the right temperature range. Any more or less could ruin your materials or render them ineffective.
How hot should your heat gun get for your next project? Use this guide to find out:
Some heat guns can reach up to 1,100 degrees, but not all projects require such high temperatures. In fact, some tasks should be completed with lower heat ranges to prevent damage and injury.
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Activating adhesives: 250 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
Heat-activated adhesives create strong bonds that endure the test of time, and a heat gun is a convenient way to ensure they reach optimal bonding temperature. Most need to reach at least 212 degrees before they're fully activated.
Stubborn glues and gunk also respond to warm temperatures. If you're trying to remove old stickers from a surface, such as the bumper of a car or a metal appliance can be difficult, a heat gun can soften the material and make these tasks much easier.
Warm vinyl siding: 325 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
Vinyl is a popular siding option for homeowners because it's low maintenance, long lasting and available in just about any color. But vinyl is very sensitive to temperature. Installing it during cold weather is difficult and can cause the material to crack. Contractors commonly use heat guns to warm the vinyl siding, making it easier to work with and preserving their supplies.
What about when your heat gun projects get into the 400-and-above range?
Solder sleeves: 350 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Solder sleeves protect repaired wire to ensure it stays secure and won't be affected by moisture. But setting and shrinking a sleeve into place is only effective in the long term when you apply a consistent and correct temperature, preferably with a heat gun.
Paint stripping: 400 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
Many people use heat guns for paint removal. Scraping dried paint take a lot of time and elbow grease, but heat-softened paint is easily peeled away.
When it's time to really turn up the heat, it's important to have a reliable heat gun. Here's how much heat you need to thaw a frozen pipe, which is one of the most popular high-temperature heat gun uses:
Thaw frozen pipes: 750 to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit
If a frozen pipe isn't addressed in a timely manner, it can do a lot of damage to a building. As water turns to ice, it expands and can cause pipes to burst. The problem is, ice doesn't form all at once. When this happens, icy cold water surges into the space around the pipe and can then cause expensive destruction. You can use a heat gun to thaw newly frozen pipes and prevent them from turning into a much worse situation.
Choose the right heat gun for your projects
When shopping for a heat gun, it's important to think about all the different applications you'll use the device for. These projects will help you determine which heat gun settings you'll need the most.
If you plan on taking on numerous projects that require a range of different temperatures, a dual temperature heat gun or a model with a variety of heat settings will be most helpful. For example, the Proheat 1200 Varitemp Heat Gun lets users select any temperature between 130 and 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it's well suited for any of the above projects.
Check out Master Appliance's high-quality products to find the right heat gun for your projects.