Whether you are a weekend warrior who works on your project car in the garage or a professional mechanic, you will occasionally need a heat source to melt glue or adhesive backing, shrink heat shrink tubing while wiring a car stereo, make the paint pliable when rolling your fenders, or just heat up that leftover grilled cheese sandwich you brought for a snack. There’s no better way to accomplish all of that than with a hand-held heat gun…well except for the grilled cheese in which case we’d recommend a toaster oven.
The uses for a heat gun can vary from simple projects such as stripping paint and accelerating the drying time of painted items to more complicated applications such as warming vinyl as you’re wrapping your car. They can also be used to help form custom plastic brackets and help to free up stuck bolts (in some cases working more effectively than rust penetrant).
The Best Heat Gun
When it comes to choosing the best heat gun for automotive use, there are many options out there. However, the best heat gun we’ve seen is the Porter-Cable PC1500HG due to its simplicity, versatility, and ease of heat control which allows you to supply the right amount of heat when and where you need it. Not to mention, it only weighs two pounds so it’s very light weight and perfect for longer projects underneath your dashboard without causing too much fatigue.
The Porter-Cable is made with a durable plastic casing and will plug into any 120V outlet in your home or garage with its 6-foot highly durable cord. Holding it in your hand, the first thing that you will notice is the comfortable rubberized grip that will help you direct heat at your convenience and will not give you a hand cramp after using it all day. If you need both hands to hold a large piece or rotate an item in the heat, you can simply turn the gun over on the integrated support stand and safely use it to heat your project piece.
If you need low heat instead of a high temperature, you can simply use the red dial on the side of heat gun to fine tune the temperature which is a nice feature as sometimes heat guns can apply too much heat which can make certain projects difficult. Beyond an adjustable temperature setting, the Porter-Cable unit also has a dual speed fan to add to the versatility. Adjust between high temperature and low speed for more heat penetration or low temperature and high fan speed for rapid drying of a painted or wet surface. The low speed fan setting temperature ranges between 120 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit and the high speed fan setting temperature ranges from 130 to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you are done using the heat gun, storing it safely is very easy. There is an integrated hook on the base of the power cable and heat gun to hang from a hook on your pegboard in your garage. You can also coil the power cord neatly and place it inside a drawer or cabinet. Just allow the gun to cool completely before storing to prevent melting or burning surrounding objects or surfaces. The back of the gun does stay cool during use, which makes it easy to use over and over without risking a burn near the handle.
The Porter-Cable PC1500HG heat gun comes with a 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects and if you run into a problem they have a a pretty active customer support team available by phone 24/7. Just make sure you keep your original receipt showing purchase and you’ll be taken care of.
As far as available purchasing options, Amazon seems to have the best value around. Overall, the Porter Cable heat gun is one of the best heat guns around with the necessary quality to serve you well over the long term. We give it a solid recommendation! Happy wrenching!