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A heat gun is a handheld device capable of generating and emitting a stream of hot air, usually at temperatures between 50 °C and 700 °C. Heat guns are similar in function to blow driers, the main difference being they can operate at higher temperatures.
Heat guns are electrical powered devices which contain an inner fan which blows air over a series of heating elements. An internal thermocouple measures and controls the temperature. For simple models, fan speed and temperature are fixed by an adjustable dial, generally in 3 or 4 steps. More advanced models have a small LCD with buttons where you can set the temperature and fan speed more precisely.
Heat guns are sold in many hardware stores, with price depending on the brand and type. They can also be bought online.
DIY heat gun
While you can make your own heat gun either by modifying a hair drier or from scratch using a fan and some heating elements, it's much cheaper to buy it from the store.
- Heat and pre-heat flasks
- Dry materials
- Desolder electronic components
- Unfreeze frozen ground glass joints
Safety and handling
Because heat guns can reach very high temperatures, it's easy to get burns if the hot air gets blown across your skin.