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10 Surprising Ways to Use Your Heat Gun (with Videos)

removing paint using heat gun and scraper

Heat guns have historically been used for painting projects, but advanced technology has made them suitable for a wide range of other projects too. Since heat guns are a more expensive product, it makes sense to want to get the most bang for your buck and use the heat gun as frequently as possible.

Here are 10 surprising uses of the tool. Some of these uses are more traditional and to be expected, while others are contemporary and creative. Let’s check out these cool ways to use your heat gun:

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10 Ways to Use Your Heat Gun

Here are 10 ways to use your heat gun:

1. Paint Drying

We might as well start with the most basic use of a heat gun: paint drying. If you are on a time crunch or don’t want to worry about dust getting stuck in the drying paint, grab your heat gun and point it towards the painted object. This will get the paint to dry faster. Just don’t stand next too close to the wall or painted object. If you do, you run the risk of burning the paint.


2. Paint Stripping

One of the more standard ways to use a heat gun is for paint stripping, which is almost an extension of paint drying. All you have to do is heat the paint up to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Even some of the least efficient heat guns will be able to reach this degree.

Using a heat gun for paint stripping can be advantageous to using a paint solvent, Since solvents use harsh chemicals, they are unsafe to you and the environment. By opting for a heat gun, you avoid these harsh chemicals entirely.


3. Plastic Welding

With the right equipment and a heat gun that can get up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit, you will be able to do some plastic welding. The tool will give you a precise and efficient way to melt the plastic. Though you will need to get additional attachments for the job, the attachments may be cheaper than getting a device specifically for plastic welding.

One tool that may help you weld plastic with a heat gun is a soldering iron. This tool will help you when it comes to soldering plastic work.


4. Heat Shrink Plastic Tubing

If you need to shrink plastic tubing and connectors, you can easily do this with a heat gun. I used this tip just last month. A dog ate my glasses (luckily, he missed the lenses), which left uncomfortable plastic bits hanging off the frame. As expected, these bits rubbed my head uncomfortably.

I put a little bit of heat shrink plastic tubing I found online around the frames and shrunk them down with my heat gun. The process was really simple, yet it saved money from buying a whole new pair of glasses. It also made the glasses fit better to my head!


5. Loosen Adhesives

Have you ever put a sticker on your car in your youth but regretted it later on? Not only is the sticker ugly, but it is likely difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Luckily, you can easily use a heat gun to soften the adhesive so that you can remove the sticker. This will be great for bumper stickers or decals on your car.


6. Remove Wallpaper

Since a heat gun can loosen adhesives, it is a great way to remove wallpaper. It will be really helpful if the wallpaper you are trying to move has a textured appearance and many layers of paint. These sorts of wallpaper are often resistant to soaking, making them more difficult to remove by traditional measures. However, you must be careful when using this technique since it poses a fire risk.


7. Shrink Wrapping

Many people know that they can use a hair dryer for shrink wrapping, but this process is often long and aggravating. You can use a heat gun in place of your hair dryer for shrink wrapping, though. The process is much speedier, saving you valuable time. Of course, you will need special shrink wrap for this purpose.


8. Thaw Pipes

If you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, you undoubtedly know the pain of a frozen pipe. Next time you find your pipes frozen, you can use a heat gun to thaw them out. This will be a quick and easy way to get your water flowing again.

As a word of caution, be sure to go slowly with this process. If you heat the pipes up too quickly, you could damage the pipe. That’s because ice expands as it thaws. If the ice expands too quickly, you will damage the pipe.


9. Restore Plastic Trim on Car

If you have damage on your plastic trim, don’t go to the mechanic. Instead, pull out your heat gun and fix it yourself. It’s pretty simple and straightforward. You can use the same technique to restore bumpers, wheel arches, and door strips.


10. Remove Rusted Bolts

One of the more popular uses of a heat gun is removing rusted bolts. Sometimes, bolts can become so old and worn down that it is nearly impossible to remove them. By using a heat gun, you can loosen the bolts and nails with little to no hassle. You will need around 800 degrees of heat in order to remove rusted bolts, but that temperature may change depending on the state of the bolts.

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Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to use a heat gun today. From traditional paint drying to creatively loosening adhesives, heat guns can be a really useful and versatile tool to keep around your house. Just be careful and smart with them since they can potentially be dangerous to you and your home.


Featured Image Credit: K-STUDIO, Shutterstock

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