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On test: Heat guns

The electric heat gun has replaced the very hot and hazardous blow lamp and deemed by the health and safety people plus the fire brigade as being a lot, lot safer. The main safety aspect is that one would naturally switch it off when putting it down and it cools quickly. Useful obviously in stripping old paint and for the plumber for de-icing frozen pipes, also for softening plastic pipes for bending. However, although they resemble a hand held hair drier please don’t use it as such as unhappiness, blisters and even baldness might result. Here are six easily available examples that were put through their paces.

Makita HG5012

Guide Price £44.24 (My Tool Shed)
Watts 1,600W
Air temperature 350°C – 500°C
Air volume High. : 500L / min.
Low. : 300L / min.
Net weight 0.6 kg


Very basic heat-gun with a 2 step switch controlling temperature and air flow. Strips paint and varnish, thaws frozen metal pipes, loosens tile and putty. Non-slip handle for easy operation. Complete with three nozzles, fan shape, glass protector and a pipe de-icer plus a blown plastic case.

Clarke International 3400757

Guide Price £17.39 (Machine Mart)
Watts 1,500W
Air temperature 300°C – 500°C
Air volume High. : 450L / min.
Low. : 280L / min.
Net weight 0.7 kg


Another basic heat gun consuming 1500 watt, able to strip paint and varnish as well as de-icing frozen pipes. Has just the one glass protecting nozzle. Use only for ten minutes at a time and then allow three minutes to cool down. The gun body is shaped to enable it to be positioned pointing upwards for hands free operation. Supplied in a cardboard box.

Clarke International CHG2000B

Guide Price £20.39 (Machine Mart)
Watts 2,000W
Air temperature 350°C – 550°C
Air volume High. : 500L / min.
Low. : 300L / min.
Net weight 0.71 kg


A low cost, powerful, 2kW heat gun with two heat settings, 350°C and 550°C. Able to stand on its back so bending plastic pipes and be done by one person. Good for stripping paint and varnish as well as de-icing water pipes etc. Comes in a blown plastic case with 4 nozzles, reflector, concentrator, glass protector and a diffuser plus a shave hook and a handle for it.

Draper HG2003

Guide Price £54.58 (Amazon)
Watts 2,000W
Air temperature 50°C – 550°C
Air volume 280L / min.
Net weight 0.95 kg


Although there are two ‘on’ positions on the on/off switch the air flow stays the same, the heat control is on the back of the main body of the gun and is a large easy used knob. The gun is supplied with a full compliment of paint scrapers and air direction nozzles, all this comes in a blown plastic case.

Screwfix Titan 73867

Guide Price £21.99
Watts 2,000W
Air temperature/Air volume 50°C-350 L / min
450°C-450L / min
600°C-550L / min
Net weight 0.8 kg


Very high value at low cost, the Titan has uniquely three temperature setting and three airflow rates. Gun comes in a blown plastic case with a scraper and four nozzles. Able to stand on its back so it can be used hands free to soften plastic pipes etc.

Screwfix Energer 59740

Guide Price £11.99
Watts 2,000W
Air temperature/Air volume 450°C – 300L / min
600°C – 500 L / min
Net weight 0.72 kg


Lowest cost in this line up, Able to stand on its back to allow hands free use to soften plastic items, pipe etc. Three position on/off switch, high heat, low heat and off. Comes in a cardboard box with four nozzles.

Reproduced from The Professional Painter and Decorator Spring 2018 issue

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