It may not be the first tool that you consider when filling out your toolbox, but a heat gun can prove extremely valuable. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, they can be used for a vast array of tasks.
They work by emitting hot air or infra-red rays and can be powered by electricity or gas. If you want a cordless heat gun but are not keen on a gas model, there are battery-powered options too.
Here’s how you can make use of a heat gun and the safety measures to consider when working with them.
To some, heat guns are surprisingly versatile. Their uses include:
Defrosting pipes – January 2021 was the UK’s coldest winter in 10 years, but a heat gun can help combat the effects. This is by thawing out pipes to stop them bursting and causing damage.
Decorating – watching paint dry boring you? Use a heat gun to speed up the process! The tool can also strip away paint or wallpaper, soften adhesives like glue and cement or remove moisture from a surface before restoration. However, be aware of potentially hazardous substances in the paint before commencing work.
Sanitising – the high temperatures they emit can sterilise equipment. It can be extremely beneficial in certain environments amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Moulding materials – by applying the heat to plastics, you can bend them to your will and create new shapes that fit your needs.
Shrink wrapping – packaging a gift for a family member or loved one? A heat gun can help provide the look of gift wrapping in a more cost-effective way.
Standard heat guns can reach temperatures of 650° Celsius, meaning it is important to take plenty of precautions before using them.
Wear heat-resistant gloves to avoid the possibility of nasty burns on your hands. Plus, it is advisable to put on a respiratory mask and goggles if removing paint in a confined area. Furthermore, avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and make sure the area you are working in has good ventilation.
In terms of settings, always stick to the recommendations by the manufacturer and have a fire extinguisher to hand.
You will need to let the heat gun cool completely after use, so make sure you have a heatproof surface within reach for when the job is complete.
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