Heat guns are quite useful. You can use it to remove paint (1,000+°F), shrink wrap, or use it for crafts (epoxy resin art), to name just a few uses. Whatever you use a heat gun for, you probably want to use the best heat gun for that purpose, right?
Now, with so many varieties of heat guns (from heavy-duty ones to heat guns for crafts), it’s quite tricky to separate good heat guns from bad ones. Inevitably, we do make quite a few mistakes when choosing the best heat guns, including:
- Choosing a heavy-duty heat gun powered by 1,000+ Watts and generating 800+ °F for crafts. That will melt epoxy resin like butter; it’s an overkill pick.
- Choosing a smaller heater gun powered by less than 500W and producing less than 600°F for heavy-duty tasks like removing paint. That’s a good heat gun for crafts but it’s not powerful enough for shrink wrapping, for example; it’s an underperformance pick.
- Choosing a corded heat gun to use in a place without electric outlets. The cordless heat guns would be a better idea here (albeit not everybody knows that battery-powered heat guns exist).
To help everybody out, we segmented top-rated heat guns by function. From these best-performing heat guns, we choose the best heat guns for a specific purpose. These range from best paint removal heat gun, best heat gun for crafts, to shrink wrapping guns, and so on.
You can check the list of the best heat guns below. You will also notice the included spec-by-spec comparison, followed by reviews of the best heat guns for a specific purpose.
First, however, let’s look at the two most important specifications that you should check out before choosing the right heat gun for your project. These are heat gun power (wattage) and heat gun output temperature.
It’s vital we understand the importance of these two metrics before buying a heat gun. That’s why we will start by covering both heat gun power and output temperature before we move on to the list of the 8 best heat guns for a specific task:
Heat Gun Power (Wattage From 150W to 1,800W)
Usually, we don’t care about the wattage of a heat gun directly. We care about how it can remove paint, shrink vinyl, melt the resin, and so on. All of these tasks a heat gun can perform, however, depend most heavily on heat gun wattage (and secondarily on heat gun output temperature).
The most powerful #2 SEEKONE SDL-2816 heat gun can produce 1,800W of power. The smallest wattage #4 Chandler Tool HG603D heat gun produces 150W or 300W of power (dual wattage/temp heat gun).
Due to such different wattages, these two heat guns are used for completely different purposes. #2 SEEKONE SDL-2816 is the best gun for removing paint (heavy-duty) and #4 Chandler Tool HG603D is the best gun for crafts (light-duty).
In practice, you can tell what a heat gun is used for just by looking at the wattage. Based on wattage, we can categorize heat guns into two groups:
- Heavy-duty heat guns. These have at least 1,000W power input and can be used for paint removal, vinyl and shrink wrapping, and so on. You will also notice that they can, due to their higher power input, produce higher output temperatures; 750°F or more.
- Light-duty heat guns. These usually produce less than 500W of power and are primarily used for crafts (epoxy resin art, wax melting). Even the best heat guns for crafts produce less than 750°F temperature output because that’s all you actually need. Wax has a melting point of 104°F and epoxy resin has a melting point between 300°F and 330°F.
There is a special category of heat guns that has low wattage (below 500W) and high output temperature (650°F or more). There are two kinds of such heat guns that favor either portability or small size, namely:
- #5 DEWALT DCE530B cordless heat gun. This heat gun favors portability; you can use it at a remote location without a standard power supply (it’s a heat gun powered by a battery). To conserve battery, it can a maximum wattage of 400W but it can generate a rather high 990°F output. It can be used for heavy-duty tasks, despite having low wattage.
- #8 SEEKONE mini heat gun. This is the smallest heat gun on the market; it’s only 9 inches long and weighs less than a pound (0.9 lb, to be exact). Having a very small heat gun can be useful in various cases. The problem is that small heat guns have lower wattage; this one has 350W maximum wattage. In order for this mini heat gun to be used for heavy-duty tasks, it has to have a temperature output higher than 500°F. The #8 SEEKONE mini heat gun has a maximum temperature setting of 662°F.
As we see, the wattage is a very important specification to check when it comes to choosing the best heat gun. The other important wattage is the temperature output:
Heat Gun Temperature Setting (From 392°F To 1,200°F)
In heat guns, temperature matters quite a lot. That’s one of the primary reasons why the #1 Wagner Spraytech HT1000 is considered the best heat gun currently on the market; it can produce up to 1,000°F temperatures at the nozzle.
The higher the temperature setting, the more heavy-duty tasks you can do with a heat gun.
The most intense task you can do is paint removal; in that case the most powerful #2 SEEKONE SDL-2816 with 1,200°F comes in handy.
Note: Temperature output is standardly measured 0.4 mm away from the nozzle after 340 seconds at the set temperature setting.
The #1 Wagner Spraytech HT1000 is so versatile because it has a dual-temp setting (750°F / 1,000°F). With that range, you can do all heavy-duty tasks like vinyl wrapping, caulking removal, adhesive removal, plastic pipes bending, paint removal and even loosening nuts and bolts.
Most heavy-duty heat guns will have a 750°F lower temperature setting. What really makes a difference between a good and not-so-good heavy-duty heat gun is the higher temperature setting. 1,200°F and 1,000°F higher temperature setting heat guns are considered better than 800°F or 900°F higher temperature setting guns.
For arts and crafts, on the other hand, the temperature setting is not all that important. It’s quite easy to achieve a temperature to melt the wax (107°F melting point) or resin (300-330°F melting point). That’s why you will rarely see a heat gun for crafts with above 600°F; that’s more than sufficient.
When comparing heat guns, the wattage and temperature settings are the two key metrics you should base your decision on.
To make this process simpler, we have collected a whole range of the best heat guns currently on the market, with specified wattage and temperatures settings. Using the comparison table below, you can easily compare heat guns head-by-head, and see the other specifics like brand reputation, reliability, and prices in the heat gun reviews below this spec-by-spec comparison table:
List Of 8 Best Heat Guns In 2021
1. Best Heat Gun Overall (For All Kinds Of Projects): Wagner Spraytech HT1000
Wagner HT1000 is widely considered the best and most popular heat gun you can buy. Why is that? Well, if you check out the specs, it’s rather obvious. The dual 750°F / 1,000°F dual temperature setting makes it the most useful heavy-duty heat gun. Basically, it’s a $25 heat gun you can do pretty much everything with.
First of all, you have to check the wattage. Wagner HT1000 is powered by a 1,200W input. With this input, the heat gun can generate a temperature output of 1,000°F. That makes one of the most energy-efficient heat guns on the market.
For comparison, most heat guns that can achieve 1,000°F temperatures require about 1,400W. Compared to a standard heavy-duty heat gun, the Wagner HT1000 is about 17% more energy efficient.
You can use it for the widest range of household projects, including paint softening and removal, bending plastic pipes, electrical wire shrinking, caulking, adhesive, or putty removal. You can even loosen rusted nuts and bolts in order to easily unscrew them.
All in all, Wagner HT1000 is the best heat gun on the market. It has more than 15,000 positive reviews on Amazon, top-notch specs, you can do pretty much anything with it, and it costs only $25:
2. Best Heat Gun For Removing Paint: SEEKONE SDL-2816 1,800W
SEEKONE SDL-2816 is the most powerful heat gun with variable temperature output. This enables it to produce temperatures as low as 120°F (wax melting temperature) to as high as 1,200°F. Pretty much any heat gun can produce low below 500°F temperatures. The primary task SEEKONE SDL-2816 is an absolute best of is as a paint removal heat gun.
If you check the comparison table, you can see that even other best heavy-duty heat guns can produce at most 1,000°F. With some very hard-to-remove paint, that’s simply not enough.
SEEKONE SDL-2816 uses the way-above-average 1,800W of power to increase the temperature output from 1,000°F to the maximum of 1,200°F. This temperature will melt and remove any kind of color (even car color). This is the perfect paint scraping tool.
The original model also comes with 4 nozzles add-ons. These nozzles are used to focus all that heat to remove paint even more effectively. The narrower the nozzle, the more focused heat you get.
All in all, the SEEKONE SDL-2816 might offer the biggest range of output temperatures but it’s a literal blast specifically for removing paint. You can get it for less than $30 (with 4 nozzles includes):
3. Best Cheap Heat Gun For Less Than $25: BLACK+DECKER HG1300
For any kind of project, we usually prefer reliable and cheap heat guns. BLACK+DECKER HG1300 is not only the best cheap heat gun – you can find a lot of those that don’t work that well – but it’s also one of the most reliable ones on the market.
BLACK+DECKER is a well-known HVAC producer. They produce anything from air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and, yes, even heat guns. They always have the same mentality for their products: make them reliable, make them budget-friendly. BLACK+DECKER HG1300 is no exception to that rule.
As you can see, the BLACK+DECKER HG1300 has solid specs. The 750°F / 1,000°F dual temperature output, generated by a 1,350W power input. This is a solid specs framework if you want to make a reliable yet cheap heat gun.
These specs are nothing new. They are the tried-and-tested solid specs of a heavy-duty heat gun. That means you can use the BLACK+DECKER HG1300 for a variety of tasks like stripping paint, thawing plastic pipes, loosing bolts, and so on.
At below the $25 price tag, BLACK+DECKER HG1300 is the most budget-friendly heat gun. The key thing here is that it is very reliable and can be used for a wide array of tasks; otherwise, you would basically just be throwing money away.
If you’re looking for a cheap gun that will serve you for years, this is it:
4. Best Heat Gun For Crafts (Epoxy Resin Art, Candle Making, etc.): Chandler Tool HG603D
Chandler Tool HG603D is the best of the light-duty heat guns. This is completely another animal as the thus far reviewed heavy-duty heat guns. This is the best kind of heat gun for crafts and arts like epoxy resin art, candle making, wax drawing, and so on.
Of course, Chandler Tool HG603D being a heat gun for crafts, it comes with a different set of specifications. The best heat gun for epoxy resin, for example, doesn’t need 1,000°F output temperature. Nor do you require 1,000W or more to power it.
In fact, the Chandler Tool HG603D has a power input of only 150W for the low setting and 300W for the higher setting. That wattage generates temperatures of 392°F and 572°F, respectively. This is more than enough to melt epoxy resin (epoxy resin has a melting point of 300-330°F, for example).
Another example is candle making. You wouldn’t even need the higher setting. Using the lower 392°F will easily melt the wax (104°F melting point) like butter.
All you require is inspiration and a bit of talent to create truly amazing art. The important thing we can do here is to choose a heat gun that you won’t even notice using. Using Chandler Tool HG603D is seamless and will free you up to your artistic passions.
5. Best Cordless Heat Gun (Battery-Powered Heat Gun): DEWALT DCE530B
All heat guns are corded, right? Wrong. Dewalt, one of the best-known tools brands, has developed a cordless heat gun. It’s the DEWALT DCE530B.
This is quite an amazing battery-powered heat gun. Needless to say, if you don’t have access to electricity, the DEWALT DCE530B comes in extremely handy. Of course, there are limitations to battery-operated heat guns.
This cordless heat gun has a top wattage of 400W and it can achieve an output of 532°F on low setting and 990°F on high setting. That is on par with the output of corded heat guns. You can literally be in the middle of the forest, building an off-grid house, and use the DEWALT DCE530B for various heavy-duty tasks.
Battery-powered heat guns are very much sought after. Nonetheless, we need to know about the cons of batteries that come with it. Obviously, the battery will eventually run out. You can run the DEWALT DCE530B for 42 minutes on a low setting (532°F). Being a new tech, these cordless heat guns are rather expensive, costing $100 or more.
All in all, if you are aware of the limitation of the battery-powered heat guns, and would like to use them pretty much anywhere, the DEWALT DCE530B is the most reliable and best cordless heat gun you can buy:
6. Best Heat Gun For Vinyl And Shrink Wrap: VViViD Vinyl Wrap Gun
VViViD is a specialized vinyl wrap heat gun. That goes for car vinyl or any other vinyl. It is also very useful for shrink wrap and for heating shrink tubing. If you want to adjust the vinyl wrap, the VViViD heat gun is your best choice.
Now, if you check the specs, they are not all that different from similar heavy-duty heat guns. The standard 750°F / 1,000°F dual temperature setting and the maximum wattage of 1,200W are pretty much the top-tier specs you want your heavy-duty heat gun to have.
The key for vinyl wrap here is that the VViViD produces 4,100 BTU of heating output. Car vinyl loses its memory at about 180°F. That means that any heat gun will, do right?
Well, most heat guns have a focused heating output. VViViD is a professional choice for a vinyl wrap because you need to apply the heat to a larger surface. You are not heating a single bolt; in fact, you’re potentially dealing with several square feet of shrink wrap, and for that, you need a broad heating output that the VViViD heat gun produces.
You can also use it as a heat gun for heating shrink tubing, as well as for other heavy-duty tasks.
All in all, if you want to wrap vinyl, and want a professional tool for that, the VViViD is the heat gun you need:
7. Best Heat Gun For Electronics (Hot Air Rework Station): Toolour 858D
Heat guns for electronics (or known as soldering stations) are quite a specific group of tools. The same specs-based concepts like maximum wattage and temperature output are important here, but there are several other specifications such as PID tech, temperature memory, LED screens, noise levels, and so on you have to take into account.
Admittedly, we have not done full research specifically about soldering stations to be able to credibly say which one heat gun for electronics is the best. We might do that in the future.
However, if you need a recommendation for a good heat gun for electronics, the Toolour 858D seems to be one of the best ones out there, based on the temperature and wattage specs.
8. Smallest Heat Gun (9-Inch In Length): SEEKONE Mini Heat Gun
In many cases, you don’t need a big heat gun. In fact, the smaller the heat gun, the better. If you’re looking for the smallest heat gun, the SEEKONE mini heat gun is a good choice.
The full length of the SEEKONE mini heat gun is only 9 inches. It also weighs less than 1 pound. This is the mini version of a heat gun that can be useful for quick projects that don’t require tremendously high-temperature outputs.
SEEKONE mini heat gun is powered by only 350W but it can produce up to 662°F temperature output. This is the best temperature vs wattage ratio out there. Honestly, that’s the only way to make this very small heat gun useful.
662°F is enough to do many tasks the standard 750°F heat guns can do. However, if you’re looking to remove paint, that 1,000°F temperature output is quite useful. SEEKONE mini heat gun is too small to be capable of producing such outputs.
You can still use it for craft embossing, shrink wrapping, and limited low-melting-point paint removal.
Being so small, it also comes at a reduced price tag. Costing less than $20, this is the absolute cheapest heat gun on the market:
This is the ins and outs of heat guns. Hopefully, now you know more about these quite useful tools and can make your decision on which one is the best fit for your needs easier.