How Does A Heat Gun Work (The Complete Guide)

Heat guns are flameless electric air guns used for various repairing and construction-based work. They are handy tools and can be used as both portable and stationary working equipment.

You can’t use a heat gun without proper techniques, as it has to do with high temperature and safety issues. So, it is essential to have a clear idea about how does a heat gun work.

In this article, we have covered the internal functions and working process of a heat gun so that you can have a better understanding of this power tool.

Uses of Heat Guns

A heat gun is a multipurpose electric tool used for different types of personal and professional tasks. It is like a piece of standard essential equipment that you can use in your university projects, household repairing work, and even other tough jobs in your workshop and laboratory.

Here is a list of some of the versatile uses of heat guns to know how they are being used in different projects.

  • Heat guns are mainly used to strip paints from various materials, including wood, metal, and glass. A heat gun will provide you the highest perfection while stripping paint compared to other electric tools out there.
  • DIY electronic projects and metalworking shops often depend on heat guns for soldering wires and fixing metal parts. They work great for soldering copper pipes. You can use the heat gun temperature control feature both for soft solder and hard solder.
  • An electronic heat gun can remove putty and old paint from furniture and walls. As they can melt all types of glue, people often use them for separating pictures from walls and other hard surfaces.
  • You can use a heat gun for crafting different household items and decorative pieces. They are popular among artisans because of their convenient usability and accuracy, which is much needed for small craft items.
  • While packaging goods in factories, often, workers used hair dryers for wrapping with shrink wraps. But a heat gun is much more convenient to use in the shrink wrapping and also works faster than a hairdryer.

Working Principle of A Heat Gun

The working principle of a heat gun is a bit similar to a hairdryer as both of them produce heat and flow hot streams of air. But the temperature is much higher than a hairdryer, which is why this heat is used to melt different types of materials.

A fan inside the gun body draws outside air into the gun to generate a continuous flow of hot air. Generally, you will find two types of heat guns: corded and cordless. The corded ones are electrically powered, while the cordless ones run on batteries.

When the heat gun is supplied with electricity, the heating element generates a high temperature and heats the air. After that, the hot air flows out through a nozzle attached to the heat gun.

Each material has a specific melting temperature, and according to that, you can use the heat gun temperature chart and set the exact temperature on your heat gun.

When stripping paint with a heat gun, turn on the power, and set the heat gun temperature for paint removal. Generally, 400-600 degrees Fahrenheit temperature is necessary for this job. Now, trigger the gun to the target point, and after a while, the paint will strip off the surface by melting down slowly.

Features of Heat Guns

A wide range of various features and attachments are essential to adjust your heat gun for getting the highest efficiency. You will find different brands and models of guns, but the following features and attachments are almost common in all of them.

1. Control Switch

The main switch on a heat gun placed in front of the trigger grip is used for turning on/off the gun. This “dead man” switch acts as a heat gun safety feature and provides accidental protection by turning off the gun when you remove the finger pressure.

2. Adjusting Temperature

You can adjust the temperature according to the task you are performing. For materials with low melting temperatures, use less than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, you can use a higher temperature within the range of your heat gun.

Without setting the right temperature, things can go wrong, and your workpiece might get damaged.

3. Airflow Settings

While working on a small area with a high-temperature setting, set the low airflow option. But if you want to work within a large area, always adjust the airflow setting to high. Otherwise, the heat will increase, and the surface will burn.

4. Setting Nozzles

Attaching the correct nozzle is necessary while you are using a heat gun because they control the hot airflow, which is different for each task. Among a wide range of nozzles with various measurements, four types are essential for your regular work with a heat gun. They are reducer, reflector, flat, and glass protector nozzles.


Are heat guns safer than torches and flame guns?

A heat gun is comparatively safer than torches and flame guns because there is less chance of generating flames and catching fire by heat guns.

Can you dry your hair with a heat gun?

You can’t dry your hair with a heat gun because it has a high temperature, and your hair might get burnt by the excessively hot airflow.

What is a thermal cut-out in heat guns?

It is a feature that turns off the heat gun when the gun is overheated.

Are heat guns portable?

The cordless heat guns are incredibly portable for carrying from one place to another.


If you know how a heat gun work, it becomes easy to follow the necessary steps and techniques while doing any of your projects with this electric power tool. I hope this article was helpful and provided you with a complete guide about a heat gun’s functions and working process.

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