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Hot Air Gun
How heat guns work:
Heat guns look a lot like hair dryers - but, as many instructions thoughtfully point out, should never be used for drying hair! The method of operation of a hot air gun is similar to a hair dryer: a fan pulls air into the body of the tool and drives it across an electric heating element and out through a nozzle.
Heat Gun features:
As such a simple tool, there are not many differences between one model of heat gun and another - but there are some features which are important.
- Wattage - commonly from 1000W to 2000W (a measure of the power of the gun). Providing that there are heat and/or airflow controls, the higher the wattage, the better.
- Main control switch - usually mounted on the front of the pistol grip, and normally a 'dead man' switch so that power is switched off when the finger pressure is removed - an ideal safety feature as the heat gun stops if it is accidentally dropped.
- Temperature setting - at least 500°C is needed for stripping paint - the lower the bottom end of the range the more useful. A choice of controls make the tool more useful.
- Airflow setting - having variable or more than one speed makes the tool more versatile.
- Thermal cut out - this will switch off the tool if it becomes overheated. If this occurs, it indicates a fault in the tool or method of use - for safety, the fault must be identified and corrected before the heat gun is again used.
- Flex length - lengths of 2.5 to 3 m are normally fitted, this means that when using an extension lead, the tool can be used at the full reach without having the socket hanging in mid air.
- Hanging hook - useful for storing the tool.
- Surface stand - this enables the heat gun to be safety 'rested' during pauses in the work and after uses. It also allows the gun to be used 'hands-free' when two hands are required on the work piece (such as when bending a plastic pipe).
- Nozzles - most heat guns have a range of nozzles that can be fitted for specific uses, generally these need to be purchased separately.