Choosing the Best Cordless Heat Gun: Managing Expectations
We are witnessing a growing number of cordless heat guns entering the market. However, if you’re considering switching from a wired model, it’s important to understand what you can expect from a cordless heat gun. The best cordless heat guns available depend on what you hope to achieve with them. It’s worth noting that cordless heat guns have significant limitations compared to their wired counterparts in terms of heat generation and runtime.
Setting the Right Expectations
When we think of cordless tools, we often assume they require multiple accessories. However, in the case of cordless heat guns, all you need is a battery to power them. Constructing a cordless, airless heat gun is an ambitious project due to the high electricity consumption associated with heat generation.
Even with high-capacity batteries, the runtime of cordless heat guns is limited. If you’re looking for a cordless heat gun that can handle basic tasks like shrinking connectors, softening PVC, and removing decals or stickers, it will serve you well. However, it may not have enough runtime to tackle more demanding projects.
Yet, if you’re open to using butane and an open flame, you can expand the capabilities of your cordless heat gun. With butane fuel, you can achieve higher temperatures faster and operate for longer periods.
The Best Cordless Heat Gun Overall
Makita 18V LXT Heat Gun XGH02
Makita takes the crown for the best cordless heat gun of the year with the XGH02 model. It is the first battery-only heat gun to reach temperatures exceeding 1000°F, making it an excellent choice for high-heat applications. The XGH02 features a variable temperature dial, enabling you to work with different materials effortlessly. If you’re on a budget and don’t need the variable temperature feature, the XGH01 model is a more affordable alternative.
Both models boast an airflow capacity of 7.1 CFM, with the XGH02 also offering a low-speed option of 4.2 CFM. The advanced features of the upgraded Makita model result in a maximum runtime of 30 minutes when using a 6.0Ah battery.
The barebone XGH02 is priced at $198, while the XGH01 is available for $129.
The Best Cordless Butane Heat Guns
Bernzomatic ST2200T Butane Micro Flashlight
If you don’t mind using butane as fuel, the Bernzomatic ST2200T Butane Micro Flashlight is an excellent choice for small-scale projects. This compact cordless heat gun can be refilled using a butane refill bottle. It reaches temperatures exceeding 3000°F, making it ideal for tasks such as shrink tubing. The ST2200T is perfect for precision work, fine soldering, crafts, and heat shrinkable wire. Its versatile design allows you to switch between a tapered tip, a hot air blower, and a micro torch tip for more precise flame control. With an adjustable flame knob, you can easily vary the intensity and work comfortably for extended periods.
The Bernzomatic ST2200T is available for under $36, making it an affordable option for those who don’t require a full-size cordless heat gun.
Best Budget Battery-Operated Heat Guns
Greenworks 24V Rechargeable Heat Gun
When it comes to budget-friendly options, the Greenworks 24V Cordless Heat Gun stands out from generic brands available on Amazon. Greenworks is known for producing reliable products, and their 24V batteries are compatible with approximately 100 types of power tools and lawn care equipment. The Greenworks Cordless Heat Gun reaches an impressive temperature of 1080°F and heats up quickly, making it usable within just 9 seconds. It includes three nozzles, allowing you to handle various tasks. Although it falls slightly short in terms of heat compared to other options, it still offers excellent performance at a competitive price.
The Greenworks Cordless Heat Gun is priced at $99.99 and comes with a battery and charger.
The Best Precision Cordless Heat Guns
Dremel VersaTip 2000-01
If you don’t own a heat gun for shrink connections, you can consider using a lighter or an open flame torch as an alternative. While these options have some limitations and lack airflow, they can still get the job done at a lower cost. The Dremel VersaTip 2000-01 is an excellent alternative heat gun, particularly for precision applications. The included tip provides a smaller heated area, allowing for more precise work. With a temperature range of 1256–1832ºF and up to 75 minutes of runtime using 0.57 fl oz of fuel, this heat gun is perfect for heat shrink connections and other detail-oriented projects. It also offers additional functions such as cutting, shaping, heat writing, and soldering. The Dremel 2000-01 kit is available for approximately $49 and even comes with a convenient storage box.
More Recommendations from Trusted Brands
Best Artisan Cordless Heat Gun
Craftsman V20 1228-BTU Heat Gun
Craftsman’s V20 heat gun stands out for its affordability. Priced at just $89, this brushed motor heat gun includes a deflector and diffuser nozzle. While it has a slightly lower maximum temperature of 950°F compared to comparable DeWalt models, it still offers reliable performance for a budget-friendly cordless heat gun.
DeWalt 20V Max Heat Gun DCE530B/DCE530P1
The DeWalt 20V Max Heat Gun stands out for its quick heating capability, reaching the shrink temperature in just 7 seconds. With a maximum temperature of 875ºF, it comes close to the performance of corded heat guns. This compact model measures only 6.33 inches, making it highly portable. The kit includes a 5.0Ah battery, charger, protective nozzle, and reducing nozzle. Priced at $219, it’s an attractive option for those looking to enter the cordless heat gun market.
Best Kobalt Cordless Heat Guns
Kobalt KHG 124B-03 24V Heat Gun
Kobalt Tools has made a name for itself with its line of 24V power tools. The KHG 124B-03 24V Heat Gun offers users an entry-level professional cordless heat gun option. With a maximum temperature of 1000° F and the ability to cool down to 550° at cryogenic temperatures, it provides versatility for various applications. Priced at $99, it competes favorably with other entry-level manufacturers.
Best Milwaukee Cordless Heat Guns
Milwaukee M18 Heat Gun 2688-20
Milwaukee’s M18 Heat Gun is renowned for its rapid heating capabilities, reaching the shrink temperature in just 7 seconds. With a maximum temperature of 875ºF, it comes close to the performance of corded heat guns. Measuring just 6.4 inches, it offers compact portability. The kit includes a 5.0Ah battery, charger, protective nozzle, and reducing nozzle. The bare tool is priced at $149, making it a compelling option for those looking to invest in their first cordless platform.
Best RIDGID Cordless Heat Guns
RIDGID 18V Rechargeable Heat Gun R860435B
While the RIDGID 18V Cordless Heat Gun offers a lower top temperature compared to its butane-fueled predecessor, it matches the runtime. It provides a suitable option for shorter projects where temperatures exceeding 1000° F are unnecessary. The bare tool is priced at $119, while the kit with two 4Ah batteries is available for $149.
The Best Ryobi Cordless Heat Guns
Ryobi 18V ONE+ Cordless Heat Gun P3150
The Ryobi P3150 Cordless Heat Gun offers similar performance to the Milwaukee design, albeit without the hook. It reaches a temperature of 875ºF, claiming to do so in just 10 seconds. The package includes guard and concentrator nozzles. Although the Ryobi heat gun lacks some of the convenient features found in the Milwaukee or DeWalt models, it offers reliable performance at an affordable price. The bare tool is priced at $79.
Best Cordless Heat Gun Buying Guide
To help you make an informed decision, consider the following factors when selecting the best cordless heat gun:
Wired or Wireless?
If you’re considering a cordless heat gun, it’s crucial to assess whether it suits your specific needs. For tasks such as removing paint from the side of a house or handling large-scale projects, a corded heat gun may be more suitable. Cordless heat guns lack the sustained heat generation and runtime required for extensive work. Additionally, corded heat guns are usually lighter than cordless counterparts.
Consider the temperature range required for your intended applications. Most projects don’t necessitate the maximum heat generation capacity offered by heat guns. Soldering may require temperatures of around 600° – 700° F, while plastic softening occurs at lower temperatures of approximately 350° – 400° F. Paint stripping typically requires around 600°F. Understanding the temperature requirements of your projects will help you choose the right cordless heat gun.
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Remember, choosing the best cordless heat gun depends on your unique requirements. Consider the specific applications you intend to tackle and select a heat gun tailored to your needs.