How to choose the right heat gun setting

Looking for a versatile, multifunctional tool that easily strips paint, welds plastic and even repairs dents? A heat gun from Master Appliance does all of the above, plus way more!

Though heat guns may be constructed in a similar design as an everyday hair dryer, don't let the ease of use and simple construction fool you. The average handheld blow dryer only reaches 131 degrees Fahrenheit, while a heat gun can reach 1,000 degrees – enough to produce significant burns. That's why it's important to know what type of heat gun you're purchasing, how high its heat setting can go and the kinds of applications it is useful for.

Choosing a heat gun

The first thing you should consider is the gun's primary use. Different models of heat guns are more suitable for certain projects over others, depending on the temperature range.

"More heavy-duty or industrial projects generally need a higher heat setting."

Crafts around the house, such as embossing, shrink wrapping gift baskets and removing adhesives or paint usually require lower heat settings. Meanwhile, more heavy-duty or industrial projects, such as upholstering furniture, auto repairs or bending PVC pipe material, generally need a higher heat setting.

If you're unsure of what the heat gun will be used for, or if you plan on completing a wide variety of projects that fall under several categories, you might want to invest in a heat gun with a variable heat setting.

Heat setting options

There are several varieties of heat guns available. The simplest versions just have one heat setting and are generally purchased for less heat sensitive applications such as stripping paint. If you know you're only going to use your gun for one purpose, it makes sense to get a single-setting model, such as the Proheat 1000 Quick-Touch Heat Gun.

If you plan on doing more than this, it's a good idea to invest in a dual temperature model. These typically have robust airflow speeds and will be more versatile. The Proheat 1100 Dualtemp Heat Gun would be an excellent choice for this. The low temperature is 500 degrees, perfect for craft projects, while the higher temperature goes up to 1,000 degrees, which is better for industrial applications.

While a dual setting gun is useful for tackling many different types of projects, there are still some limitations. For example, if you were to thaw a frozen pipe, starting with too high of a temperature or turning up the heat too quickly can cause damage. Instead, it's better to start at a lower temperature and gradually increase the heat as you go. That's why many people love variable temperature heat guns, such as the Proheat 1200 Varitemp Heat Gun. In addition to the benefit of gradual temperature increases, you'll also get the advantages of multiple heat settings, much like the dual setting gun. In this case, you'll have even more options, giving you much more freedom in terms of which projects you can accomplish with your heat gun.

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