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How Hot Does a Heat Gun Get? – And What’s the Optimal Temperature?

Using a heat gun

As with most things, the maximum temperature of a heat gun will depend on a couple of factors. So too will the ideal temperature.

Let’s first address the matter of maximum temperature. How hot the gun can get will depend on the specifications set by the manufacturer.

However, the majority of products do more or less follow the same temperature trends. Heat guns with a big range will start at 120 degrees, and reach a maximum of 1100 degrees. To put that number in context for you, 1100 degrees is the temperature of your average fire.

You will also see options that can get even hotter than that—1300+. The hotter that the gun can get, the better suited it will be for bigger tasks, like light welding work with plastics.

That said, the majority of people who own a heat gun bought it for the purposes of stripping paint, or perhaps loosening rusted over bolts. When it comes to these uses, less is more.

To make paint easier to strip, you can get away with using only about 400 degrees. Similarly, loosening bolts will probably never need more than 800 degrees.

You can get more for working with plastics (heat guns can also be used to shrink PVC tubing, or easily lift adhesives) but if you don’t see yourself doing those sorts of jobs, you will probably want to avoid the higher temperature guns.

Why? Well, as we said earlier, 1100 degrees is the temperature of fire. If you don’t have to deal with temperatures at that level, you probably should avoid it.

The majority of people will only ever need a maximum of 800 degrees. If you fall into that category, there’s no need to run the risk of higher temps.


So to conclude, the optimal temperature really depends on the intentions of the user. If you are using your heat gun for the purposes of a painting project, you don’t need that much heat.

The nice thing is that there are a lot of options out there that allows for extremely precise temperature setting. Some even include digital LED controls so that you know the exact temperature your gun is set to.

Granted, these tools cost more, but for the professional, that is very particular about their work the cost is well worth it.

At the end of the day though, no one is a better fit to determine the future application of your heat gun than you are. If you take the time to consider your needs for the product, you should have no trouble finding something safe and useful.

–> We’ve also written an article about 5 smart uses for your heat gun that we recommend reading.

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