A heat gun is a device used to emit a stream of hot air. They are superficially similar in shape and construction to a hair dryer, though they run at much higher temperatures. They are often found in physics, materials science, chemistry, engineering, and other types of laboratory or shop settings.
Heat guns can be used to dry and strip paint, apply heat shrink tubing, apply shrink film, dry out damp wood, bend and weld plastic, soften adhesives, heat shrink wrap on packaging, and thaw frozen pipes, depending heavily on heat output . They are also used inelectronics to desolder circuit board components. They typically output air at temperatures ranging from 100-550°C (200-1000°F) with some hotter models running around 760°C (1400°F). If lead paint is being removed the heat gun should be kept under 590°C (1100°F) to minimize the risk of vaporizing the lead paint.
Some heat guns incorporate a built-in rest, so they can be activated and placed on a workbench, which frees the operator’s hand. Heat guns can have nozzles which deflect their air for various purposes, such as concentrating the heat on one area, or thawing a pipe without heating up the wall behind.
Most have a heating element based on electrical resistance but some produce heat by a gas flame. A fan increases and focuses air flow for convection heating.