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Heat guns are surprisingly useful tools; once you have one, you’ll realize how often it comes in handy. They’re great for stripping paint, removing stickers and decals, shrinking certain types of plastic, or bending other types.

Heat guns produce heat either through an electric coil, infrared, or, more rarely, gas. There’ll be some kind of fan to push the heat out, and these guys can get hot—over a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. There are a couple of extra features that can drive up the price, but also provide some great utility: some are battery powered and cordless, and others may have multiple temperature settings or an LED light for visibility in the dark.

Battery Powered

This product includes an LED light to illuminate your work when it’s dark. Runs up to 42 minutes on a single charge. DEWALT

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When you’re talking tools, going cordless generally means you’re looking at a higher price. Corded products will work fine, but if you have the space in your budget, it’s worth it to consider going cordless instead. You won’t have to consider outlet placement, you won’t need extension cords, and you can angle the heat gun however you want without worrying about tangling a power cord.

Ergonomic Design

This product comes with detachable heads that make it ideal for any task. Reaches more than 1200°F and features to automatically shut off if overloaded. SEEKONE

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Many heat guns come with nozzle attachments, which can direct heat in different patterns. Remember that these are essentially tiny space heaters equipped with a fan, so you can change the airflow however you want. Some nozzles shrink the output, so you can direct an even stronger amount of heat to a smaller area. Some do the opposite. It’s always helpful to have these options.

Protects Glass

Works as well at stripping paint as it does for melting plastic and lighting charcoal grills without lighter fluid. Cool this model by standing it on its back side. Genesis

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You’ll need to monitor your temperature carefully when using a heat gun; the amount of heat needed for melting plastic isn’t the same for removing paint, and you don’t want to start a fire. With some heat guns, there’s only a single temperature setting, so you’ll have to move the heat gun closer to and farther away from your target. Or you can opt for a heat gun with multiple temperature settings, which can ensure that you don’t blast something delicate with 1200 degrees of heat.

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