Ideal for roofers and floor layers as well as keen DIYers, hot air barrel-type tools make precision jobs easy. They can help with welding tarpaulins, linoleum and roof membranes, heat-shrinking, shaping, and removing. So, how do you choose the right one? The following guide highlights the key features to compare when considering which hot air gun, you should buy.

Table of contents

What is a hot air gun?

If you’re a crafty type or DIYer, you may be familiar with glue guns. These are similar but operate slightly differently.

Also known as heat guns, these handy little tools blast streams of hot air onto specific materials to melt them. Many types have different power settings to suit your requirements. Including:

  • Settings to control the power.
  • Temperature controls.
  • Different nozzles to use in different applications.

What is a hot air gun used for?

You can use a hot air gun for many different types of projects. How you use it will depend on your level of expertise. For the DIY householder, you may use it to:

  • Thaw frozen pipes in freezing temperatures (especially in winter).
  • Strip paint and wallpaper (handy if you want to redecorate).
  • Remove flooring (such as vinyl and linoleum).
  • Upholster/repair furniture.

It doesn’t stop there. Some personal uses include:

  • Roasting coffee beans.
  • Searing meat.
  • Melting chocolate.
  • Defrosting your freezer.
  • Making homemade candles.

Now, if you’re a tradesperson, you may be familiar with the paint stripping benefit. Here are some other ways a hot air gun can be used:

  • Bending plastic and metal material to adjust them.
  • Loosening old bolts and screws for removal (especially if they’re rusty!)
  • Removing excess or old adhesive.
  • Embossing (creating a raised image, text or design on specific materials).
  • Melting wax (e.g. candle wax).
  • Shrink wrapping objects of larger sizes.
  • Drying damp wood or other materials prone to moulding.
  • Sterilising tools to ensure they are properly sanitised.

Whether you’re a DIYer or a tradesperson, make sure you use the right temperature for the job.

How to decide which hot air gun to buy

The following elements should be considered when deciding which hot air gun to buy:

Motor life Represents the expected number of ‘motor life’ hours. After the motor life expires, the product will need to be replaced.
Element life Represents the expected number of ‘element life’ hours. After the original element expires, a new element can replace it.
Airflow rateThis represents the power behind the hot airflow. The higher the rate, the more precise the airflow, and the more accurate the job.
Warranty period This is usually shown as the number of months and/or hours of use that you can expect to achieve with the tool.
Temperature The wider the temperature variation, the wider the range of work possible with one tool.
Preset programmes A range of preset programmes means you won’t have to manually set the gun each time you use it.

Accessories for your hot air gun

Consider what accessories are available for each type of hot air gun. Will a specialised nozzle (window, soldering, welding, reduction) make your work faster or more effective? Could you increase the product’s value by using it across a wider range of projects? Check out available accessories for ideas on how to extend the use of the product.

Which hot air gun should I buy

Help to decide which hot air gun to choose

Are you still unsure about which hot air gun to buy? Steinel and Lancastria Tools provide a range of indispensable tools for professional traders. These come complete with a variety of applications, including:

  • Welding plastics
  • Shrink tubing
  • Shaping thermoplastics
  • Stripping paint

One of the all-around recommended products from Steinel is the Steinel HG2620 E. This is the perfect product for professional purposes. It has many industry-leading features to make your work more efficient.

Also available as a money-saving kit, it boasts a large 10,000-hour motor life and 800–1,000 element hours. The HG2620 E offers the highest airflow rate of any heat gun on the market, ensuring hot air precision even when working outside in winds.

View our full range of hot air gun products and accessories to find the right hot air gun for your requirements.

Using the HG2620 E to weld a flat roof corner

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