How the Three Bears Picked a Heat Gun – Too Hot, Too Cold and Just Right

Recently I needed to get a heat gun because I wanted to make some hoops for my Mittleider-style garden which required bending PVC pipe for mini-greenhouses but when I started to buy one there were so many different kinds and styles. Without doing any research I bought a Steel and promptly sent it back. I just didn’t like it. Now I know Steiner makes good heat guns but I wanted something better. Something with more versatility as just about every gun made has only two temperatures. Since this was going to be one of those purchases that were supposed to last a lifetime I decided to start looking around and compare.


I looked at the typical lineup, Milwaukee, Steel, Dewalt, Wagner and even the cheap ones from Northern Tool and Harbor Freight but when I saw this one I knew I had to buy it.

Heat Guns range widely in price and features as well as uses. Some are as inexpensive as 10 dollars and the Milwaukee I looked at was over a hundred dollars.  A bit pricey for no more than I need it for.

The previous post gave you a partial list of things a heat gun can do and as you can see it’s pretty extensive. With that in mind the wider the heat range the more projects you can use it for. Most guns have two heat ranges 750 and 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, but what if you want to dry paint? Those temps will burn the paint if not used properly. High temps are great for removing paint but not for drying it.

After looking at several models the one I think is the best all around heat gun is the Wagner HT3500. It has a temperature range of 250 to 1350 degrees which will handle just about everything you can throw at it. This tool is the first one digitally controlled with 12 temperature settings that you select on the rear of the gun. What’s unique about it is that it also has a cool down mode that automatically shuts off when the gun has reached a cooler preset temperature.

The molded handle is ergonomic and the tool is well balanced so it’s not a pain to hold for longer periods of time. It also has an integrated backrest so you can stand the heat gun on its back pointing straight up and use it hands-free for shrink wrapping wires or bending plastic or whatever you need to do.  There’s also a small hoop in the handle which is great for hanging it on the shop wall.

On the downside, this tool and one from Milwaukee was recalled by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2009 due to nine reported burn issues but they have since been corrected and haven’t had any more issues.

To learn more about this amazing heat gun, Click Here.

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