Standard heat guns have just one heat setting and one fan speed and are designed mainly for paint stripping.
More complex models have two or three heat settings or even a variable adjustment within a heat range, combined with a choice of two, three or variable speeds of air flow.
When using a heat gun to strip paint, the heated air is directed on to the painted surface, helping it to soften so that it can be easily stripped off.
The tool is used one-handed, with the other hand to hold the stripping tool. Heat guns are really effective for getting rid of a build-up of paint. Usually the gun should be held approximately four inches away from the painted wood, but check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper distance and degree of heat for each project.
Move the gun around, as holding it still in one can cause charring or burning of the wood. Hold the heat gun with one hand and use a putty knife or scraper to go along behind the gun and scrape away the loosened paint.
Some heat guns can be used on a stand so that both hands are free to work with other tools alongside the hot air. To get the most effective temperature, any heat gun can be held further away from the surface to reduce the heat, but having variable settings offers more choice.
Most heat guns are compatible with interchangeable nozzles, helping to optimise how the tool works on different surfaces and tasks.
While the typical nozzle is an open and even heat output, there are different types of nozzles that can concentrate, protect, reflect or distribute the air.
Special nozzles are available for most models of heat gun for specific uses other than stripping paint and are generally sold separately. These main types are listed below: