The best heat guns are used in a wide variety of applications in chemistry, physics and engineering as well as in homes, crafts workshops, and general contracting businesses. These are devices that emit a stream of hot air in varying temperatures.
These are usually used in shrinking heat shrink tubing, stripping paint, and drying out damp wood, even thawing frozen pipes with each job requiring different heat and airflow settings.
In our list of the best heat guns, we have chosen the ones that can be used at home, such as by do-it-yourself enthusiasts, arts and crafts makers, and general contractors.
We chose them, too, based on their ease of use, safety features, and wide range of applications as well as their durability (i.e., frequency of use over several years of proper use).
We always suggest reading the instructions of use first before using a heat gun, even when you have used other models before, so that you can familiarize yourself with its features and functions.
Table of Contents
- Best Heat Gun – Comparison
- 10 Best Heat Guns in 2021 – Review
- 1. Dewalt D26960K Heavy Duty Heat Gun
- 2. Dewalt D26960 LCD Heat Gun
- 3. Dewalt D26950 Heat Gun
- 4. Porter-Cable PC1500HG Heat Gun
- 5. Astro 9425 Dual Temperature Heat Gun Kit
- 6. Genesis GHG1500A Heat Gun Kit
- 7. ABN Mini Heat Gun
- 8. Pit Bull CHIGH0014UL 1200W Electric Heat Gun
- 9. Wagner 0503008 HT1000 Heat Gun
- 10. Wagner (0503010) HT1100 Heat Gun Kit
- Tips on Choosing Best Heat Guns in 2021
- Final Verdict:
Best Heat Gun – Comparison
|Dewalt D26960K Heavy Duty Heat Gun|
|Dewalt D26960 LCD Heat Gun|
|Dewalt D26950 Heat Gun|
10 Best Heat Guns in 2021 – Review
1. Dewalt D26960K Heavy Duty Heat Gun
Unlike many heat guns, this unit has an LCD display that allows its user to see the temperature setting in a glance. We like that the heat settings can be adjusted in 50-degree increments within the 150°F to 1100°F range, a feature that allows for more customization for the job.
Many home-use devices only have two heat settings – high and low – so this feature is a welcome one.
This also has several safety features that make it more suitable for heavy-duty use. The overload protection feature immediately shuts down the unit when too much heat has been generated so there’s little to no risk for burns – and in heavy-duty jobs, this is a must.
The kickstand support can be used to keep it upright while we rolled out air bubbles, among other things, without turning it off so we were more efficient.
We can handle the heat gun for extended periods, thanks to its lightweight and ergonomic design, especially on the trigger. We found the plastic housing to be solid, too, while the cord protector prevents the cord from being separated from the unit during use.
Like the Astro 9425, this unit also comes with several accessories albeit in greater number – 12 in all. These accessories increase the number of uses for the heat gun obviously although we doubt if DIY enthusiasts will find uses for all of them. The heat gun plus accessories can be stored in their own case.
The Dewalt D26960K is more suitable for construction projects but it can also be used in home projects with the right skills.
- LCD display
- Customizable heat settings
- Convenient storage, either in the case or in the hang ring
- Handy kickstand support
- Heavy-duty use, thanks to its durable casing, powerful motor, and dozen accessories
- No backlight on the LCD display
- No cool-down feature
2. Dewalt D26960 LCD Heat Gun
We like that it mainly because it’s more convenient than second-guessing yourself, not to mention that the 50-degree temperature increments make it easier to customize heat generation.
We can increase or decrease the temperature using the controls, say, from 750°F to 000°F and get the desired temperature within seconds so there’s little downtime between tasks.
The Dewalt overload protection feature also prolongs the tool’s life although proper use is still a must. We suggest keeping within the temperature range and choosing the temperature according to the demands of each job. We also recommend not abusing the heat gun beyond its stated use.
When held in the hand, we appreciate its ergonomic design so it’s so easy to hold and handle for extended periods, such as an hour straight for removing paint. We didn’t experience wrist and hand fatigue because it has the right balance between lightweight and heft, as well as the right balance from front to rear.
The temperature also changes when the fan speed changes. This is a minor matter but it’s helpful to know about it.
We are satisfied with the performance of the Dewalt D26960, thus, its inclusion in our list.
- Multiple temperature settings in 50-degree increments
- Overload protection
- Durable cord with cord protector in place
- Mid-sized to heavy-duty use possible with proper care and maintenance
- Sturdy plastic casing although dropping it too many times isn’t recommended
- LCD display for temperature settings
- Comfortable to hold and handle with its comfort grip
- Fold-out stand
- no cons
3. Dewalt D26950 Heat Gun
The heat settings on this heat gun range from 120°F to 1100°F, which makes it suitable for small to mid-sized home improvement projects, either by an amateur user or professional contractor.
We may like the large temperature control knob but its location at the unit’s rear may not be the best place for it.
We commend Dewalt for incorporating variable heat adjustments, thus, allowing for a specific temperature for each job (e.g., to avoid melting the sleeves). Like most of the Dewalt heavy-duty heat guns, this one has built-in overload protection and kickstand support as safety features.
The unit itself can detect when it’s nearing heating limits so it will shut down automatically, although we understand that overheating isn’t common. The kickstand is convenient for making it “stand up” so turning it off isn’t necessary while you’re preparing for the next immediate task.
Overall, the Dewalt D26950 works well for home improvement projects. Even beginners should be able to use it well provided that they first read the instructions before actually using it.
- Variable temperature settings
- 10-foot thick cord with cord protector keeping it connected to the main unit
- Comfortable to use even for lengthy periods due to hand-friendly design
- With two accessories, namely, a fishtail surface nozzle and a cone nozzle
- Sturdy construction with thick plastic housing
- Quiet heavy but not so heavy as to prevent comfortable handling
- Limited working area (4×4”)
4. Porter-Cable PC1500HG Heat Gun
We have to say that the temperature control dial sits too low so it isn’t as easy to turn as we would have liked but it does the job.
We can choose the temperature range from 110°F to 1100°F, which refers to the heat emitted by the heat gun an inch from its nozzle. The control dial is also used in choosing the fan speed, which can either be a boon or bane for its user.
We consider it a minor inconvenience in the sense that you can’t quickly cool down the unit without constantly turning its control dial, especially when you’re breaking it in (i.e., low-high alternating periods). But when in use, this becomes less of an inconvenience.
The built-in support allows for hands-free use, a major convenience that we think makes it stand out from the rest of the heat guns. The integrated hooks is a great feature, too, since you have to hang the unit while cooling it down and for storage purposes.
The Porter-Cable heat gun’s affordable price and effective features make it one of our best heat guns.
- Powerful 1,500-watt motor
- Variable heat and fan settings controlled from a single dial
- Built-in hands-free support stand
- Durable 6-fee cord
- Effective for several home improvement projects
- Affordable price
- Sturdy construction
- Good ergonomics so it feels comfortable in the hands even for extended periods
- Quiet operation
- Relatively low levels of airflow
- Low profile on the control dial
5. Astro 9425 Dual Temperature Heat Gun Kit
This comes with several accessories – large deflector nozzle, small deflector nozzle, reflector nozzle, and reduction nozzle – along with the heat gun. The accessories expand the unit’s applications so part-time contractors and skilled DIY enthusiasts will find it more suitable for their purposes.
The basic uses, nonetheless, are similar to the other units in our list including stripping paint, removing tiles, and shrinking film.
But while the accessories expand the possible applications, putting them back into the case can be a bit tricky. We couldn’t figure out where to place them specifically in the case so, in most instances, we just placed them anywhere. We also had issues with wrapping the cord in order to fit the unit inside its case but these are minor flaws.
We chose to focus instead on the heat gun’s efficacy in doing the jobs we used it on. The two heat settings 572°F and 932°F are sufficient for most home improvement jobs while the double insulation added to our safety when using the heat gun. The unit’s overall design including the construction was solid and stable so we were confident that it can withstand frequent use.
The Astro 9425 isn’t your run-of-the-mill heat gun with its various nozzles, which are useful for many jobs.
- More applications due to the nozzles
- Goes from hot to very hot within seconds after adjusting the controls
- Cools down relatively quickly
- Low noise and vibration operation
- Robust 1,500-watt motor
- Heavy plastic for the housing
- Comes with case
- Accessories and cord can be tricky to fit inside the case
- Funny smell when it’s first use but it resolves by itself within a minute or so
6. Genesis GHG1500A Heat Gun Kit
This may be an affordable heat gun but it is neither cheap nor inferior in quality. We like that it has both high and low temperature settings for working on several jobs, such as thawing freezers, radiators, and pipes, stripping varnish and paint, and removing adhesive labels.
There’s even a reflector nozzle for speeding up thawing of frozen pipes and a deflector nozzles for protecting surfaces like glass.
These attachments fit securely on the heat gun so there’s little risk of shoddy work provided that you know what you’re doing. The heat generated can become very hot in a few seconds but the unit’s body stays cool throughout the operation.
If you want to put it down without turning it off, you can just let it lie on its back. You can also manipulate the piece you’re working on with your two hands while subjecting it to the unit’s heat in this position.
The Genesis heat gun is a solid unit that should be useful for beginners and DIY enthusiasts.
- Easy to operate
- Lightweight so it can be used for an hour or two nonstop
- Switch stays in place
- Suitable for home use for a wide range of jobs
- Satisfactory build quality
- Comes with attachments
- Smoke generated when used for the first time but it will dissipate within five minutes or so
- Cord isn’t grounded
7. ABN Mini Heat Gun
Even its relatively short 65-inch cord is designed for this purpose since most arts and crafts makers have outlets located near their worktables.
The mini-heat gun is also suitable for other small projects, such as melting and bending small pieces of laminates and plastics, perhaps even softening small tiles before removal.
Even in such a small heat gun, safety features are still a must since the heat generated can burn skin. This has a safety shield incorporated into the unit, which will reduce the risks of burns whenever the heat nozzle accidentally touches any surface.
The self-supporting bracket makes it safer to use the unit since it will stay stable on the tabletop.
- Suitable for small heating projects
- Built-in safety shield to protect against burns on flesh and things
- Self-supporting bracket for stable tabletop use
- Quickly heats up and cools down
- Relatively thin cord but since it isn’t for heavy-duty use, it’s sufficient for the purpose
- No attachments and accessories
8. Pit Bull CHIGH0014UL 1200W Electric Heat Gun
This has an affordable price that immediately attracts potential buyers but it must also be said that this isn’t suitable for heavy-duty use.
Many buyers say that it’s great as a bench tool when used in an intermittent basis but it’s best to find a heat gun with greater power for sustained use, especially at higher temperatures and faster airflow.
But the 580°F setting will suffice for many tasks, such as setting adhesives, shrinking film, and forming plastics, while getting more working time.
The kit comes with the heat gun as well as two reducers and two scraper/deflector attachments but these aren’t as serviceable as can be reasonably expected.
The heat gun, fortunately, has enough stability when set upright as well as enough ventilation so it isn’t hot to the touch, so to speak. The switch, a rocker type with three positions, is easy to use but a bit tricky if you have large fingers.
The Pit Bull heat gun may not be as sophisticated as the Dewalt models but its basic features should suffice for small to medium-sized jobs.
- Can be used on dozens of home improvement jobs although limited in scope
- Easy to operate even for beginners
- Comfortable handling
- Lightweight design
- Durable construction
- Fumes are generated when it’s turned on for the first time
- No fan-only setting
9. Wagner 0503008 HT1000 Heat Gun
This is a heat gun that can withstand months, perhaps even years, of use in several heating applications in the home with its 1,200-watt and 4,100 BTU capacity underlying its power.
We have used it for loosening rusty bolts, removing old floors and paints on walls, and thawing frozen pipes, usually by changing the temperature settings up to 1000°F.
We can’t say that the two settings for heat and fan speeds are among the most advanced but these are sufficient for several applications in home improvement projects.
The 750°F setting can be used in slowly thawing pipes and defrosting deep freezers while the 1000°F is best for stripping paint, shaping plastic piping, and loosening rusty bolts. You may be able to experiment with other uses for it although this isn’t a suitable heat gun for arts and crafts projects due to the high heat settings.
This is an easy-to-use heat gun, too, since it’s a plug-and-use type. The sturdy plastic body protects the interior parts from premature wear and tear while the nozzle is made from corrosion- and rust-resistant material.
The Wagner heat gun provides good value for the money, if and when it’s used for small to medium-sized home improvement projects.
- Easy to use with two settings for heat and fan speed
- Rugged housing
- Relatively quiet operation
- Hanging hook on the gun
- Lightweight to handle yet with sufficient heft for a man’s hands
- Short cord although an extension wire can be used in the job area
10. Wagner (0503010) HT1100 Heat Gun Kit
At these temperatures, the heat gun can be used for removing paint, thawing frozen pipes, and loosening rusty nuts and bolts for a few hours at a time.
The 1,200-watts motor can handle these jobs well enough for the Wagner heat gun to be considered must-have equipment in home-based workshops. The unit comes with three basic concentrator tips (i.e., nozzles), five assorted blades, and a scraper handle, which are shipped in their own sturdy carrying case.
We find that the carrying case makes it easier and faster to transport and store the kit so it can be used in various sites in and around the house. We also like that it can actually remove paint from wood without charring the surface so it’s a great tool for repainting projects.
Once plugged in, the unit quickly heats up in several seconds. You can choose from among the attachments to speed up the work and achieve better results, such as a wide-mouthed attachment for paint removal.
You can’t make it “stand up” on a flat surface since there’s no self-supporting bracket or kickstand but it can be set down on its back for a few seconds at a time. The Wagner 1100 is a basic yet solid and serviceable home-use heat gun.
- Suitable for most home improvement use
- Easy-to-control temperature adjustment dial
- Quick heating and cooling down
- Comes with several accessories for expanded use
- Carrying case isn’t as sturdy as expected
- Larger-than-expected size can make it challenging to work in confined spaces
Tips on Choosing Best Heat Guns in 2021
With dozens of heat guns, we understand when consumers have a challenging time making the best choice for their own needs and want in the device. We suggest asking yourself these questions when choosing your own heat gun.
What jobs are you planning to use it on?
We suggest a heat gun with variable temperature settings if and when you’re planning to use it as an all-purpose device. You will find that most of our top picks can be used for a wide range of applications in home improvement projects.
Your answer to this question will also determine the types of attachments – nozzles, in particular – that you will want in a heat gun. There are several nozzles that can be used in optimizing the heat gun’s use on different surfaces, such as spoon reflectors, cone nozzles, and fishtail nozzles.
What’s its power source?
Most home-use heat guns are powered by electricity so there are cords and extension wires involved. Keep in mind, too, that the higher its wattage, the more powerful it will be.
What’s your budget?
As with most electrical devices, price and quality are closely intertwined. But you will find plenty of reasonably-priced, high-quality heat guns like the ones we discussed above.
In the end, even the best heat guns will be of little use, even become a danger to humans and animals, when these aren’t used properly. We always suggest reading the instruction manual first and adopting the proper safety measures whenever you’re using a heat gun, even when it isn’t the first time.
These safety measures include wearing gloves, a respirator mask, and goggles; wearing protective clothing and pulling back your long hair; ensuring that your location is safe for working with heat guns, and thinking about the steps for the job beforehand.