20 Heatgun Uses – Who Knew?

by Andy on March 3, 2009

Heat guns are pretty versatile tools. But when you use them everyday for your job or hobby you may get “tunnel vision” and only see one or two uses for this great piece of equipment. So we decided to dig up a few more, perhaps unconventional, heat gun applications.

1. Shrink Wrapping – from videos to gift baskets and beyond, when it comes to shrink wrapping the heat gun is the only way to go. Here’s a video that compares shrink wrapping with a heat gun vs. a hair dryer. Who do you think will win?

2. Desoldering – one of our specialties is in the electronics department and desoldering is one of the more common uses among our customers. There are many attachments that make it easy to direct the heat to just one component.

3. Paint Drying – probably a more obvious use is to dry paint once it has been applied. If there’s work that needs to be done to a freshly painted wall but can risk messing up the paint, this can decrease your wait time dramatically.

4. Heat Shrink Tubing – another customer favorite is using a heat gun to shrink tubing and around wires for wire harnesses and connections.

5. Paint Stripping – when stripping old paint from furniture or other woodwork, use a heat gun as an alternative to paint solvents or other harsh chemicals. It’s safer and more environmentally friendly! This article from eHow shows us how easy it really is.

6. Weld Plastics – the process is very similar to stick welding. Using a special nozzle for the heat gun and strips of plastic called welding rods, you can weld anything from PVC pipe to floor tiles.

7. Join Tarps – another plastic welding use but deserves its own number is tarp welding. Using a slit nozzle for the heat gun, overlap the two tarps heat the sides then immediately press together the two sides using a roller. This is great for large tents, awnings, trucking or even tarps for pond liners – anything you need a very large tarp.

8. Soften adhesives – Have you ever tried to get a bumper stick off of your car? If you have, you know how difficult that task is to tackle. Just heat the area with a heat gun and peel off. Any remaining residue can be removed using bug & tar remover or WD-40.

9. Restore Trim – You’ve seen older cars that used to have black trim but now look more like a dull gray. Using a heat gun you can restore that trim to its original shine! Video demo.

10. Thaw Frozen Pipes – It’s the dead of winter and you turn on the faucet to make some hot tea or coffee. One problem, no water comes out! Time to break out the heat gun. If you have pinpointed where the frozen pipe is you can apply heat to thaw it out. Be sure your pipes can handle it otherwise if you heat the pipe too rapidly or the pipe just can’t handle the heat, it may burst.

11. Embossing – This one is for all our crafts people out there. Used in conjunction with rubber stamping, embossing powder and special ink, the heat raises the embossing powder creating a nice embossed design. Step by step embossing instructions.

12. Wax The Snowboard – For a quick way to get the perfect coat of wax on your snowboard or skis use a heat gun. This guy shows us how to do it in minutes.

13. Make Candles – You just created the perfect candle when you notice a nick or it’s not level on top. A heat gun makes an easy fix of any defects along with a few other neat tips we picked up reading this article.

14. Roasting Coffee – Who’d a thought getting the perfect roast could be is easy as using a heat gun. An article by Jim Liedeka says he uses temperatures up to 750 F. We can definitely accommodate that!

15. PVC Pipe Bending – Plumbers love heat guns for this reason. Using a heat gun and a special wire coil you can bend a piece of PVC pipe at just about any angle without using any adhesives or elbow joints. Not only convenient but also dramatically speeds up the job because you don’t have to wait for any glue to dry before testing if the seal around the joint is ok.

16. Upholstering Furniture – This is mostly used when upholstering with vinyl. The heat makes it much easier to stretch the vinyl around the piece of furniture you are upholstering. When it cools it will be a perfectly fitted upholstery job.

17. Window Tinting – What you’re actually doing here is heat shrinking the tint film to the window. All you need is tint, a smoothing tool and, of course, a heat gun.

18. Molding Skates – You can mold ice skate or roller blades for a custom form fitted boot. The types of skates that can be molded are usually constructed of a type of carbon fiber composite. Check with the manufacturer to be sure your skate is heat moldable.

19. Dent Removal – For small shallow dents that don’t have creases in it may be able to be removed yourself. Using a heat gun, gently warm the area then apply dry ice to quickly cool the metal contracting it and popping out the dent. Be careful not to over heat the metal or you’ll be doing #5 to your paint.

20. Vinyl and Leather Repair – Trimming stray fibers, applying adhesive and filler compound, press a special textured cloth over the tear, heat with heat gun. That’s all there is to a do-it-yourself vinyl and leather repair.

Did we miss one? Is there a use for a heat gun that you would like to see on this list? Please, by all means, leave us a comment below. Maybe together we’ll be able to find 100 uses for the mighty heat gun! :)

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