A multi-tool, a heat gun, also called a heat gun, is primarily used to strip paint or varnish from a surface. But it can also be used to solder and unsolder, degrade, bend, thaw, or even accelerate the drying of paints.
How does a heat gun work?
It is equipped with a motor that drives a turbine catching air. The air is then heated via an electric resistance, then comes out through the nozzle located at the front of the gun. A heat gun is connected to the mains (220 V).
What is a heat gun used for?
Stripping paints or varnishes: this is the main use of a heat gun. The heat produced by the hot air gun allows the old layers of paint, stain or varnish on objects to be lifted off using a spatula.
Working or welding plastics: a hot air gun offers the possibility of carrying out various heat-welding operations. Its heat makes it possible to work or assemble plastic parts. It is the ideal tool for setting up a heat-shrink tubing.
Heating before gluing: the electric gun can for example heat pieces of wood before assembly by glue.
Defrost pipes: this can be useful in the case of frozen pipes.
De-seize: hot air can loosen nuts or screws.
Speed up drying: thanks to the hot air generated, it can in some cases reduce the drying time of paints, varnishes, plasters or glue.
The different criteria for choosing a heat gun
The power of the device
It is expressed in Watts (W) and determines the temperature that can be reached by the hot air guns. The power is between 1500 and 2300 W. The higher the power, the faster and more efficient the action of the stripper.
The temperature setting of the heat gun is an important criterion because it determines the different possibilities of use. Continuous temperature adjustment (in 10 ° C steps) from 50 to 600 ° C offers more precise use.
Some heat guns are equipped with an LCD liquid crystal display that accurately displays the temperature.
Adjusting the hot airflow
The airflow is expressed in liters per minute. It makes it easier to reach the desired temperature. Some models have a single airflow, typically 500 l / min, and others have multiple settings. It is useful to be able to choose the airflow to suit the job at hand.
The weight of the heat gun is an important selection criterion, especially in the case of prolonged use.
How to choose your heat gun?
Often supplied with heat guns, the accessories are usually nozzles for specific uses.
Among its accessories, we find most often:
- a flat jet nozzle for stripping.
- an angled reflector nozzle that allows defrosting, bending, and welding.
- a nozzle for cutting the plastic.
- a reduction nozzle to weld or reduce.
The options present on certain models, such as anti-overheating, an ergonomic and non-slip handle or an LCD screen are all additional criteria for choosing.
Using a heat gun safely
A heat gun can be dangerous if misused. Several recommendations must be taken into account to avoid accidents.
It is essential to wear protective equipment:
During use, wearing a pair of glasses is mandatory to protect against projections. To avoid burns, it is also necessary to wear protective gloves. Even more when changing nozzles. When stripping paints or varnishes, they can generate toxic gases. It is therefore essential to ventilate the room in which you are working and to wear a protective mask.