5 Best Heat Guns for Paint Removal

best heat guns for removing paint

Heat guns are quite popular for paint removal as they heat the existing paint until it becomes soft and can easily be removed from the surface.

They operate by having a strong heat element that may be electronic or, in some cases, an open gas flame. And the temperature they produce can range up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type you choose.

If you are looking for a heat gun that’s easy to use, does the job quickly, and has the capabilities needed to work quickly, here in this guide, I will help you find one.

Besides the best heat guns for stripping paint, I will also discuss how it works and what to look for when buying a heat gun for your paint removal project.

So, let’s dive into…

Top Rated Heat Guns for Removing Paint

In case you are looking to buy a heat gun tool that is good at stripping the paint, stain, varnish or any other type of tinting, here are my top options.

While there are many newer brands on the market available, I think they are the most reliable and are worth for you to consider.

1- Wagner HT1000 Heat Gun

Wagner Spraytech 0503008 HT1000 Heat Gun, 2 Temp...
  • DUAL TEMPERATURE HEAT GUNS: The HT1000 Heat Gun offers a 750ᵒF and...
  • HEAT GUN FOR HOUSEHOLD PROJECTS: Use this heat gun to soften paint,...

*Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Wagner Spraytech HT1000 is a versatile heat gun that not only can be used for removing paint but also for jobs like shrinking wrap, bending plastic pipes, thawing frozen pipes, loosening rusted nuts/bolts, and much more.

Thanks to its corrosion-resistant nozzle that enables you to get high-temperature heat outputs, you can complete countless DIY household projects with ease.

This Wagner gun is designed to be sturdy with a lightweight handle.

Also, it features dual temperature settings that allow you to switch between the two temperatures (low 750°F and high 1000°F setting) very easily.

Key Features:

  • 1200-watt power
  • Two fan speeds – for heating control
  • Temperature switch built into handle – for convenience
  • Integrated storage hook – to hang the tool easily on a peg wall or workbench
  • Integrated stand – for safe, hands-free operation (avoids touching the hot nozzle accidentally)

Overall, the Wagner HT1000 is an easy-to-use and highly durable hot air tool by which you can apply focused heat to accomplish tons of your DIY projects within a few minutes.

Go and use it risk-free for an extended period, as a 2-year warranty backs it.


PORTER-CABLE Heat Gun, 1500 Watt, Dual Temperature...
  • 1500 Watts Deliver High Heat And Multiple Fan Settings For...
  • 2 Speed Selector Delivers High And Low Fan Speed Settings
  • Variable Temperature Dial Allows For Easy Adjustment Of Temperatures

*Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The PORTER-CABLE heat gun is second on our list that can help you get success with your paint softening job.

This comes with a variable temperature control dial so that you can easily set the temperature on your heat gun according to the task you want to accomplish.

It also features a dual fan speed selector (with high and low-speed settings) that allows you to get concentrated heat on the target according to your work.

Key Features:

  • 1500-Watt motor
  • 6 Feet high-quality electric cord
  • Integrated hands-free support stand

If you are concerned about reliability, worry not!

Since the machine comes from a leading brand in the home improvement industry (PORTER-CABLE), you are offered a 90-day money-back guarantee (if you are not satisfied), a 1-year free service, and three years of limited warranty.

3- DEWALT LCD Heat Gun D26960K

DEWALT Heat Gun with LCD Display & Hard Case/Accessory...
  • LCD display of DEWALT heat gun allows user to adjust temperature...
  • Built-in overload protection shuts the heating element down and...
  • Built-in hang ring adds a convenient storage feature

*Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re at home trying to strip away the old paint from your doors, windows, or trim, this guy can help a lot.

The fact that it comes with an integrated LCD display allows you to easily adjust the temperature within 50-Degree increments (in a range of 150 to 1100-Degree F.)

Although a bit more expensive than the others I mentioned before, this is a tool worth investing in – especially if you want a professional helping hand for all your DIY home improvement projects.

Let’s take a closer look at the MAIN features and benefits of this heavy-duty DEWALT heat gun. No wonder these are all crammed for professionals and experienced DIYers at home.

Key Features:

  • 1550-Watts of Maximum power
  • Compact lightweight design that weighs only 2.3 lbs
  • Cord Protector and built-in overload protection for safety
  • Built-in unique kickstand support that offers greater stability and prevents tip over
  • Ergonomic comfort grip for enhanced comfort – lets you work without any fatigue for long hours

In addition to all the above, this highly versatile paint heating gun comes with 12 common accessories and a hard case kit box so that you can easily store the device when not in use.

A built-in hang ring is also added to hang it in between the small usages conveniently.

The device also comes with three years of limited warranty from the manufacturer to make your purchase completely risk-free.

4- SEEKONE Heavy Duty Heat Gun

SEEKONE Heat Gun 1800W 122℉~1202℉(50℃-...
  • ▶ 【Strong Power With 2 Modes】 SEEKONE 1800W heat gun provides...
  • ▶ 【Variable Temp Control & Overload Protection】 Unlike other...
  • ▶ 【Scientific Ergonomic Design & Wide Applications】 Seekone heat...

*Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SEEKONE Heat Gun is a heavy-duty hot air gun kit that offers you premium features and extra power at a very affordable price range.

Like others on our list, with this gun, you can easily perform more than just one type of job – thanks to its 4 Nozzles accessory kit (Deflector nozzle, Reflector nozzle, and 2x Concentrator nozzles).

Not to mention, it’s IDEAL for tasks such as shrinking wrap, heating PVC, electronics, cell phone repairs, removing floor tiles, loosening rusted bolts, and many other heating or thawing purposes.

Since it comes with a scientific ergonomic design handle, you can complete all these jobs without worrying about any repetitive strain injuries, even when you want to use the machine for a long.

Key Features:

  • 1800W to quickly heat up to 1202℉ (650℃)
  • Easy Variable Temperature Control Dial with 2-Temp Settings
  • Four Nozzles accessories to provide concentrated heat for varied applications
  • Overload protector to prevent your heat gun and circuit from getting damaged

As said before, one thing I like the most about this heated gun is its low price with premium features – that comes with a lifetime free warranty from SEEKONE.

For example, no other heat gun in this price range offers you a power of 1800 Watts and a precise LCD display (which you can get at a few additional bucks if you want).

5- BLACK+DECKER Heat Gun HG1300

BLACK+DECKER Heat Gun, 1350 Watt, Dual Temperature...
  • VERSATILE USE – 1,350 W heat gun is useful for a variety of...
  • DUAL TEMPERATURE SETTINGS – Switch between 750°F and 1,000°F...
  • BUILT-IN STAND – Makes cooldown easier and safer.

*Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now, this is the most basic design and least expensive in our list here.

Worry not. You need not compromise with the quality as it comes from a reliable brand BLACK+DECKER (a leader in the home improvement tools industry).

The Black & Decker HG1300 Heat Gun is what we are talking about; it’s super lightweight and has a compact design for easy use and handling.

Whether you want to strip the paint, varnish, or hard, toughened enamel, it can do the job very well. Also, it can quickly heat and dry almost anything within seconds.

This dual-temperature heat gun offers you two temperature settings (750 Degrees and 1000 Degrees) to complete a wide variety of applications like a pro.

Switching between the heat is very simple, with a button on the handle.

Key Features:

  • 1375-watt power
  • Built-in stand for easy cool-down
  • Easy-to-use button for switching the temperature

In addition, this tool also comes with a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Since this one is a basic tool just for quick heating without a lot of fancies, you should only pick this guy if you do not want to kick a big hole in your credit card.

For those who want a professional tool for more advanced functioning and accessories like additional nozzles, this may not be the right pick.

For a one-time or seldom use, you might also consider renting a more professional heat gun or purchasing one that can be resold.

best heat gun for removing paint

Types of Heat Guns for Paint Stripping

Understanding the differences in the types of heat guns that are commercially available will help you choose the right one for your needs.

Perhaps more importantly, it will help you determine the type of heat gun you do not need, so you are not wasting any money.

What follows are the most typical types of heat guns broken down by category to help you narrow down the available selection.

2. Infrared

Instead of using air, this type of heat gun uses infrared rays.

They generate a temperature between 400- and 600 degrees F, so they are well-suited for small paint removal projects around the home.

They are also quite affordable but are limited in terms of their variability for different projects.

But given how inexpensive they are, these heat guns are also perfect for small craft projects and woodworking.

1. Gas

Gas-powered heat guns are for heavy-duty jobs such as construction, automotive, or welding industries. They use either butane or propane as part of the heating element.

Depending on the size and design of the gun, the temperature can be varied depending on its needs.

The advantages of gas start with its hotter temperatures, but the real benefit is that it is cheaper, more flexible, and can heat up quickly to use than its electrical counterpart.

The one drawback is higher than the normal tendency to catch fire if the wires are not properly covered. This means you have to be careful when the heat gun is in use.

3. Electrical

They can be battery-driven or operate using a nearby wall outlet or an electrical socket to operate by electrical means.

Heat guns that work via electricity tend to be designed for the following depending on their size;

  • Housework
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Industrial purposes

How does it work?

Heat guns for removing paint come in standard models, but some have features such as an adjustable nozzle, ergonomic handle, or a stand that can be used to either hold the gun when not in use or focus the heat on one area for an extended time.

The heat from the source is propelled out at the end of the gun by a fan, and the nozzle will direct the airflow over the surface when the power is turned on.

From melting wax to bending PVC pipes, the electrical heat gun offers plenty of options.

If you need a heat gun for your crafts, softening materials, or apply shrink-wrap items, one with a small motor will probably work fine.

However, if you need to remove large amounts of old paint from the walls, you probably need a larger, more powerful heat gun.

Is the heat gun the same as a hair dryer?

Despite its appearance, you should not mistake a heat gun for a hair dryer.

A heat gun is not a hairdryer. But we can say it’s a kind of overpowered hairdryer.

A hairdryer is similar in design but will not produce temperatures greater than 140 degrees Fahrenheit because that will burn the skin.

This means that a hairdryer is not capable of producing enough heat to soften or loosen the paint that you need to remove from plaster, concrete, drywall, wood, metal surfaces, etc.

Just in case you find a heat gun not removing paint well for you, you can try other alternatives, such as household iron, heat tape, or a blow torch. It will generally depend on your requirements and the type of job you need to complete.

Choosing the Right Heat Gun for Your Project

Although most heat guns have the same features, some have special capabilities or are geared toward specific jobs.

When looking for a heat gun to remove paint (whether water-based or oil-based), you should consider the following features…

1- Nozzle Type

Most heat guns come equipped with a wide-mouth nozzle that allows you to apply heat to an area across a surface evenly.

Some nozzles may be permanently attached, while others are removable and come in different shapes.

The most common types of nozzles include, but are not limited to, the following;

  • Cone: This concentrates the heat onto a specific area
  • Flat: Can concentrate the airflow across a wider area
  • Fishtail: This covers a wider area compared to a flat or surface nozzle
  • Built-In Scraper: This allows you to scrape away the paint with the same hand as holding the gun
  • Spoon Reflector: Perfect for pipe soldering
  • Glass Protector: Designed for use on glass that needs paint removed

As indicated with the nozzles, if you plan on removing paint from the glass, you’ll need that specific type to do the job.

While the final three are special types of nozzles, the most common for paint removal are the flat, fishtail, and then cone.

But there are other options besides nozzles that you should consider.

2- Temperature Control

Controlling the temperature generated by the heat gun is an essential part of removing paint. This is because different paints soften at different temperatures.

If you do not apply enough heat, the paint will remain solid. But be aware if there’s too much heat, you may damage the surface.

The suggested temperature range of a heat gun to soften the paint or adhesives (for stripping) is anything between 400 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, you should look for heat guns that offer variable temperature control or perhaps dual temperature control, where you can set it as needed.

Generally speaking, the greater the variety of temperatures you can set, the more useful the heat gun will be in removing different types of paint without damaging the surface.

3- Airflow

In addition to temperature control, more advanced heat guns offer speed control of the fan.

This makes the gun more useful when working with different surfaces and types of paint.

4- LCD Screen

The good thing is built-in LCD screens are very useful. And the bad thing is it is found only in only premium models.

Most professionals who need to change the temperature with great accuracy find this extremely useful.

So, if you want this feature on your machine, be ready to spend a bit more.

5- Automatic Off

This is a safety feature that shuts off the paint gun once the pressure is removed from the handle.

In other words, if you drop the paint gun, it will shut off to prevent the burning of other surfaces, which may include your clothes or skin.

6- Hook and Stand

An integrated hook allows you to store the heat gun on the wall easily. If you need to take a break or want a sip of coffee, you can hang your machine safely with this hanging feature.

With a stand, you can either set the heat gun safely between jobs or hold it in one position to bend plastic pipes or other objects.

7- Your project requirements

From automotive repair and construction to mass retail and more, professional contractors and painters use these devices to remove large amounts of paint from the sides of trucks, buildings, and the like.

However, besides stripping paint, there are several other ways in which a heat gun may be used. So, depending on your project, it’s good to pick the machine (and the features) that serve your purpose well.

A few other common applications of heat guns include the following:

  • Thaw out items, such as frozen pipes
  • Soften adhesives, such as glue, stickers, and the like
  • soften caulking, adhesive, or putty for removal
  • Pop small dents from vehicles
  • Bring luster to auto trim
  • Roast coffee, create or adjust candles
  • Encaustic painting, tint windows and paint pouring

In addition to all the above, you must make the following considerations when shopping for a heat gun.

  • How often will it be used?
  • Is it comfortable to operate and not tiring?
  • Is the heat gun compatible with the electricity type that is available?
  • How much does it weigh? This also means having an ergonomic design!
  • Does it come with a proper warranty, after-sale service, and repair instructions?

Using Your Heat Gun – Tips and Safety Considerations

A little precaution can go a long way toward the proper operation of the heat gun without putting you or anyone else in any danger.

While you cannot prevent all accidents from occurring, the chances of you becoming injured while wearing proper protection are quite small.

So, first and foremost, you need to treat the heat gun like you would any device that generates enough heat to burn the skin.

Without the proper safety precautions, you can wind up burning yourself or someone else all in a matter of a few seconds.

1- Stay protected:

The first rule is never to point the heat gun at yourself or anyone else, as using it without proper care can be a fire hazard.

Also, do not forget to wear the proper protection, which will save you if you drop the heat gun, or it slides from your grip.

Softening and removing the old lead paint (in older buildings) with a heat gun can also produce toxic fumes. You will, therefore, need to work in a well-ventilated space using a premium-grade respirator.

2- Wait for the heat:

Next, when you start the heat gun, let it build up in the heat for at least 45 seconds. A fully operational heat gun means it takes less time to soften and remove the oil-based paint from surfaces.

Once you start, do not adjust the heat gun when it is in operation.

That means if you want to change out the nozzle, then shut the heat gun off, set it down, and then remove the old nozzle to add the new one.

3- Keep it clean:

Keep the inlet grill clean of any blockage, as the lack of incoming airflow will cause the heating element to overheat and shorten the lifespan of your heat gun.

In some instances, the heat may become so hot that it not only burns out the interior components but also catches on fire. So, before you start up the heat gun, check to see that the airflow inlets are not blocked.

Wrapping Up

A heat gun can help you speed up the process of removing paint considerably, taking away the old layers in a fraction of the time compared to scraping.

Plus, you can make preparing the surface easier for the new paint by drying the primer or paint between coats using your heat gun.

Whichever model you choose, keep in mind that a heat gun is not a hairdryer; it produces temperatures that are quite hot, so you will need proper protection and use the device with precaution.

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