The heat tool you use for your production facility or personal project can seem like a commodity item. The market is crowded with hundreds of heat guns and torch tools that claim to be the best. This can make picking the right tool for your specific application seem more complicated than it needs to be.
Having tested and shrunken thousands of protective covers using a variety of heat tools here at Transhield, we have put together a guide that will help you choose the right heat tool for your job and your budget. Follow along and you’ll be on the path to selecting the heat tool that’s just right for you.
What’s the job?
This is the obvious first question. Heat guns can be categorized, unofficially, into two categories: personal-use and industrial. With the two categories differing greatly in cost, power and functionality, it’s essential to know which category your job or project falls within.
You will find this category of heat gun to be the most common. These heat guns are generally electric powered, and their temperature output is measured in Fahrenheit. Personal heat guns are perfect for small, we’ll call it, “around the house” projects, though their impact is anything but small. Tasks like paint stripping, removing stickers, drying damp wood, softening adhesives, heat-shrinking tubes, melting plastic, thawing frozen pipes, etc., are all made easier with the use of a personal heat tool.
If this sounds like the category your project falls under, check out a few of our top picks:
The D2690 from Dewalt is one of the most reviewed heat guns on the market. Compact and lightweight with several nozzle accessories and a wide range of temperature options, this heat gun will do the trick for just about any project that requires some heat.
Price: ~$80 - $110
Weight: 2 lbs.
Top Temperature: 1100°F
The HGP73AC heat gun from Tacklife has gained a reputation for being a trusty go-to. Not sacrificing price for quality, this heat gun boasts 7 temperature control levels, a comfortable grip, sturdy frame and 4 nozzle accessories in the base package alone.
Weight: 1.89 lbs.
Top Temperature: 1112°F
The Spraytech 0503008 heat gun from Wagner is a simple and affordable option for those in the heat gun market. This no-frills heat tool is extremely lightweight, durable, offers two temperature control settings and a corrosion resistant nozzle.
Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Top Temperature: 1000°F
This category of heat gun is for industrial and manufacturing businesses or anyone that needs a more powerful heat gun solution. Typically powered by a propane or gas tank, the power output for this type of heat tool is measured in BTU’s (British Thermal Units) rather than the Fahrenheit metric. These industrial-strength heat guns are normally used for shrinking shrink wrap and other shrinkable fabrics used to protect equipment assets and machinery.
If this sounds like the type of heat tool your project requires, check out some of our recommended picks below.
Undoubtedly one of the most popular industrial heat tools, the Model 998 from Shrinkfast is a solid option for a reliable and robust heat shrinking tool. Offering 200,000+ BTU’s of power and a lightweight, sleek design (just 2.2 lbs.), this tool is made with the operator in mind. The model is dynamic, offering up to a 6 ft. extension for hard to reach areas on larger pieces of equipment. The 998 is also UL® (Underwriters Laboratories) safety-certified.
Price: ~$500 - $1,000
Putting out close to 260,000 BTU’s of heat and weighing just under 3 lbs., the Series 3000 packs a powerful punch in a lightweight, portable frame. This heat tool has an ergonomic handle and a 360° rotating “cold nozzle” that stays cold even during high-temperature use. The Ripack also comes with a variety of extension nozzles spanning up to 6.5 ft. for hard to reach areas.
Price: ~$800 - $1,000
The Model 975 from Shrinkfast is a fantastic tool if your business or operation is looking for a sturdy and reliable heat gun. The Model 975 has a power output of 125,000 BTU’s and weighs just over 3 lbs. This Shrinkfast model also offers a range of nozzle extensions reaching up to 6 ft. And with a user-friendly design that mimics the Model 998, this heat gun from Shrinkfast is more than capable, boasting a 30-year track record of dependable performance.
Price: ~ $580 - $800
Choosing the right heat gun shouldn’t be a hassle. By narrowing down your desired price range, end-use, and the power and functionality required by your specific project, you can more easily determine the heat gun that’s right for you.
About the Author
Executive Vice President Sales
Matt joined Transhield in 1995 and has led the sales efforts to be what they are today - a nationwide presence in virtually every major industry. He is heavily involved in the design of new products as well as day to day operations. While he's been involved in sales across most market segments, he spends most of his time in the marine industry. He is the vice president of the Marine Leadership Alliance, and a board member of NMMA Marine and Component Division.