One of the most important tools in the world of DIY and construction is the heat gun. It is a device used to remove old layers of paint on different types of surfaces through the process of a water jet at a high temperature. It is also used to weld, desolder, varnish and thaw pipes. Given the importance of the work to be done with this tool, it is important to choose it carefully. Discover the criteria to consider when buying a heat gun.
How does a heat gun work?
Before sanding a surface, it is necessary to use a heat gun to make it clean. This is why it is often said that this device is complementary to the sander. It looks like a hot air gun with a handle and works like a hair dryer.
The thermal stripper has a motor with a turbine that collects the air. Thanks to electric resistance, the air is heated up to 600°C and then comes out through the nozzle placed at the front of the scraper. To operate the device, it must be connected to a 220 V mains.
Having a thermal stripper means being able to perform various tasks. Indeed, this tool ensures several functions, among others:
- The removal of old layers of paint or varnish on a surface
- Heating of wooden supports before gluing
- Heating of frozen pipes
- Drying of coatings
- Shaping of thermoforming materials
- Desoldering of printed circuits
- Loosening jammed screws.
What to consider when buying a heat gun?
Depending on the use and the type of energy required, a few criteria must be taken into account in order to have the right device at your disposal.
The energy used
Manufacturers offer two types of heat guns:
- The thermal gas scraper: its use is independent of electricity, and this is its greatest asset. This model is easy to transport without the wire, which is why it is recommended for outdoor work.
- The electric heat gun: this is the most sold model on the market because of its practicality. Indeed, it is enough to plug it directly into the mains to use it. Moreover, the electric heat gun guarantees safer work compared to the gas model.
Accessories and features
A good handyman will opt for a model equipped with different types of nozzles:
- The dedicated nozzle for cutting plastic
- The angled reflector nozzle for thawing, bending and welding
- The reduction nozzle for desoldering and welding plastics
- The flat fan nozzle is used for stripping.
In addition, it is important to ensure that the thermal stripper is ergonomic. In order to better meet the expectations of users, manufacturers have designed, for example, models with :
- An anti-overheating option
- An ergonomic handle that makes it easier to hold the device
- A bag or a carrying case for safe storage of the appliance.
The temperature setting
If the heat gun is designed for multiple functions, buying a model with temperature control is best. In general, it is possible to set the device to 3 temperature levels: 50, 400 and 600°C.
This criterion is of primary importance when deciding to buy a heat gun. You can find on the market devices whose power is between 1500 and 2500 watts. The choice will depend on the work to be done and the frequency with which the scraper will be used. The higher the power, the faster and more efficient the result.
The flow of hot air
It is expressed in litres per minute. The hot airflow is essential to reach the desired temperature quickly. Therefore, choosing a model with several settings is highly recommended to complete the work in a short time.
Will you only use the scraper occasionally? Then there’s no need to spend money on a high-end model. On the other hand, if the tool will be dedicated to purely professional use, you should opt for a very powerful and ergonomic device. In general, the price of a thermal stripper is between 20 and 200 dollars.
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