Best Digital Heat Guns in 2021 — Buyers Guide, Review and Comparison
Top Digital Heat Guns 2021
|Check Price at Amazon Wagner HT4500 Review Wagner HT4500 Review|
|Check Price at Amazon Wagner Furno 700 Review Wagner Furno 700 Review|
|Check Price at Amazon DeWalt D26960K Review DeWalt D26960K Review|
|Check Price at Amazon Makita HG6530VK Review Makita HG6530VK Review|
|Check Price at Tacklife Tacklife HGP72AC Review Tacklife HGP72AC Review|
|Check Price at Amazon Cartman 1500W Review Cartman 1500W Review|
Best Digital Heat Guns Buying Guide
Offering the largest range of temperature settings in the hot gun category and often boasting a choice of fan speeds — these versatile units allow you to select the perfect heat delivery. This makes them ideally suited to those power tool lovers who plan on working with a hot air gun on a regular basis — and aim to tackle a wide variety of both projects and materials.
However, if you’re seeking a more basic machine, and are thinking about doing little more than paint stripping or pipe thawing — personally, I’d check out the best dual temperature units instead.
Yet, for those hot air aficionados who require accuracy — or just adore the feeling of being completely in control — digital guns are the ideal tool.
When selecting your perfect machine, consider:
What Is a Digital Heat Gun?
Back in those days, consumers went wild about the fact you could actually talk to someone on the move — without being tethered to the wall with a cable.
Then smartphones took mobile technology to the next level.
These awesome gadgets allow you to access the internet, video call, find your way when you’re lost, and store your entire music collection. In short, they took versatility to the max.
And that’s the same attraction as digital heat guns.
Ok, admittedly they’re not going to allow you to send selfies or play Fortnite — but they enable a wider range of applications than a standard DIY hot air machine.
Many heat guns offer just a couple of temperature settings, typically around 700 and 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, adjusted by a rocker switch.
However, digital versions are much more flexible.
As their name suggests, these units incorporate an LCD screen. This allows you — through up-and-down selector buttons — to program your desired heat setting. This is typically in 20, 50, or 100-degree increments.
Furthermore, from this digital control console, some models — such as the Wagner HT4500, allow you to both adjust and view the current fan speed settings on the LCD screen. Thus enabling precise heat delivery onto your project.
Digital LCD Heat Gun Advantages
Sure, they have upper grunt — which is ideal for paint stripping, lighting grills, or plastic welding — but that’s all they can do. This means they’re unsuitable for any projects requiring a heat setting lower than 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some jobs, such as desoldering circuit board components, demand minimal temperatures. Trying to tackle something like this with a standard machine would be akin to using a chainsaw to cut a piece of paper — meaning your electronics become a pile of molten metal (or, you’ve lost your fingers in the chainsaw metaphor).
Digital LCD guns offer a choice of low heat settings. This makes them suitable for moderate temperature projects, such as:
- Defrosting freezers.
- Removing car decals.
- Soldering and desoldering.
- Removing smartphone screens.
- Drying paint.
What’s more, with a digital hot air gun, you can also crank up the heat to the max — making it equally suited to paint and varnish stripping or loosening rusted bolts and nuts.
I’ve never been particularly interested in cooking. Don’t get me wrong — I love eating — but the technical stuff I leave to the pizza delivery guy or the wife. And that’s not being sexist — she’s just good at it. Equally, she hasn’t a clue how to drywall a loft — and leaves that to me.
Horses for courses and all that.
However, despite being completely ignorant about kitchen-based food preparation, I do know one thing — you need accurate temperature selection when cooking.
Stick a chicken in the oven on too low a heat — and you’re likely to suffer from Salmonella poisoning the next day. Too high, and your once plump bird has turned into a shrunken, charred mess.
The same attention to temperature detail applies to hot air guns.
A digital heat gun with temp control not only allows you to choose from a large heat spectrum — but also enables you to make precise adjustments, as your project requires. This feature means that your delicate jobs are more successful and have better results than you would otherwise achieve with a single or dual temperature unit.
For example, say you want to remove your ‘DIYers Do It With a Massive Tool’ bumper sticker from your car. You need sufficient heat to melt the glue of the decal — but not so high that you will tarnish, melt, or burn your car’s bodywork.
Using a digital heat gun with temperature reading enables you to start at a relatively low power setting — and then gradually raise this in small-degree increments — until the adhesive starts to soften. This means you will be using the optimum temperature to remove the sticker — without the risk of setting your automobile alight.
While the variety of applications and precise control are the two key benefits of a digital hot air gun, they also have the advantages of:
- Being easy to use.
- Allowing an at-a-glance check of temperature and fan settings.
- Reducing the risk of incorrect heat — a problem with dial-controlled machines that have arbitrary single-digit numbered settings.
- Incorporating other features, such as auto cool down and rapid warm up.
How to Choose the Best Heat Gun with LCD Display
Here are a few points to consider:
Temperature Range and Adjustment
However, there are few units that have settings outside of this range. So, if you need an unusually low or high temperature for your projects — think about a unit such as the Wagner Furno 700. This tool offers a 125 to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit spectrum.
Additionally, consider how precisely you can alter the temperature level. A unit that offers 10-degree incremental changes as opposed to 100 degrees allows for more accurate control. This may appeal if you’re dealing with more delicate materials, such as circuit boards or vinyl car wraps.
LCD Screen Size
While those lucky few with 20/20 vision may have no issues with a minuscule screen, the majority of us will struggle. Plus if you’re of more mature years, or you’re wearing heavily scratched eye protectors (that’ll teach you not to leave them in the bottom of your toolbox) — the issue is exacerbated.
Hence, not only check that your heat gun has a sufficiently large and clear screen for ease of reading — but also that all the information displayed (temp level, fan speed, etc.) is clearly delineated and not a mess of graphics and numbers.
While allowing for a greater degree of accuracy than a dial version, they can be a little awkward if they lack substance. Larger controls are more forgiving than small ones — enabling you to easily crank the heat up or down while wearing thick work gloves.
At the very least you will require:
- Concentrator nozzle — for a tight focus of hot air, for projects such as soldering.
- Reflector nozzle — for molding or welding pipes.
- Fishtail nozzle — to spread the heat over a wide area, e.g. when window tinting.
Ensure that your machine has a standard 2-inch tip — allowing you to fit nozzle accessories that are available to purchase separately. Alternatively, go for a tool such as the DeWalt D26960K, which comes complete with seven nozzle attachments.
Our Picks of the Best Digital Heat Gun
Best Under $50
It provides an expansive temperature range of 120-1200 degrees Fahrenheit — displayed on its easy-to-read LCD screen — and adjustable in precise 20-degree increments. Combine this with a choice of five blower speeds, and you have the accuracy to deal with any heat job.
This machine comes complete with a hard carry case — ideal for safe portability. Furthermore, it boasts four additional nozzles and a scraper — meaning you have the perfect tool for your current project, every time.
Providing heat from 125 to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit — adjustable in 10-degree increments — this machine is suitable for anything from removing crayon from walls to molding hockey skates.
The LCD screen indicates current temperature and fan speed settings — while a cool-down mode protects the sensitive heating coil, extending its longevity.
Combine this with two additional nozzles, integrated hanging loop, and protective sidebars — and you have a robust unit, suitable for the DIY fanatic.
Best for Accessories
Our Rating: 4.6
The LCD screen and simple push-button functions allow you to set your operating temperature in 50-degree increments. Plus, a two-handed operation facility means that you can complete longer projects without suffering fatigue.
Including seven interchangeable nozzles, you will always have the optimum heat delivery for the project in hand. Furthermore, a hard carry case ensures your heat gun remains protected — and makes the unit ideal for portable use.
Our Rating: 4.3
Including a hard carry case for secure transportation, this unit boasts three fans speeds, an LCD screen, and delivers a solid temperature range of 122-1202 degrees Fahrenheit.
A rubberized and ergonomically-designed handle reduces hand fatigue, even on lengthy projects — while a pleasingly long power cable increases working freedom. The gun arrives complete with four additional nozzles — to enable correct heat distribution and intensity on specific jobs.
Our Rating: 4.0
With a large temperature range, choice of five fan speeds, and a plethora of nozzle and scraper accessories — this unit is a one-stop shop for hot air versatility.
The LCD screen delivers feedback on current heat and blower settings, while a memory function enables you to save up to four of your most frequently used temp/fan combos. It has a lengthy power cable and the reassurance of an overload protector — but perhaps lacks the robust nature of a truly high-end product.
A rear-mounted LCD screen with straightforward push-button control allows you to select the perfect heat and blower rate for your current project. The two-handed operation should reduce hand fatigue on longer jobs, and an integrated hanging loop provides a simple storage solution.
While lacking the durability of high-end units — making it unsuitable for the tradesperson — this machine should be sufficiently robust for general household use.
Delivering a massive temperature range and the ability to select heat settings in relatively small increments — these units provide unmatchable, accurate control.
This means that they’re suited for the largest scope of applications in the hot air tool world — being able to tackle anything from paint stripping and rusty bolt removal through to hockey boot molding and arty craftwork.
Admittedly, they may be considered overkill for the infrequent user. If that’s the case, check out some dual temperature machines instead.
However, if you’re a professional or hardcore DIYer — the best digital heat gun is perhaps the most versatile power tool you’ll ever own.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Are Digital Heat Guns?
These hot air machines possess LCD displays that indicate your current temperature and fan speed settings. They are some of the most versatile heat guns on the market — offering greater temperature ranges than standard DIY units.
Q: How Hot Does an LCD Heat Gun Get?
While exact heat limits differ between models and brands — a typical digital hot air gun will have a lower setting of around 150 degrees Fahrenheit and an upper level of approximately 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q:How Much Does a Digital Heat Gun Cost?
Despite being technologically advanced hot air machines — these power tools are remarkably affordable. Even a complete LCD set with a carry case and additional nozzles — such as the DeWalt D26960K — is surprisingly light on the wallet. Check it out here to see what I mean.
Q: Do Digital Heat Guns Break Easily?
While packed full of tech, these hot air machines are incredibly robust. That being said, you need to take care when storing them, to prevent the LCD screen from becoming scratched or broken.
Hence, wherever possible, purchase a heat gun with a carrying case, such as the Makita HG6530VK, or alternatively, a model which comes with a hanging loop.
Q: What’s the Difference Between Dual Temperature vs Digital Heat Gun?
A dual temperature heat gun, as the name suggests, has just two heat settings — generally one around 700 degrees Fahrenheit and the other at about 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. You typically select the temperature by means of a two-way rocker switch.
A digital heat gun offers greater versatility in that it provides a heat range of approximately (depending on model) between 150 and 1100 degrees Fahrenheit — and, most importantly, increments in between.
Q: Can I Strip Paint With a Digital Heat Gun?
Yes. Using an LCD hot air machine on a higher temperature setting (700 degrees Fahrenheit or more) will allow you to soften and then remove paint.
However, while the lower heat setting of these machines increases their versatility — they may be considered overkill if you’re just planning on paint removal. That being the case, it may be beneficial to check out the best paint removal hot air guns instead.
Q: Do Digital Hot Air Guns Show Temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit?
This depends on the model of the machine.
Some digital heat guns only display the heat setting in one temperature metric. Others allow you to toggle between the two different measurements.
Q: Do Digital Heat Guns Have a Clock?
No. To find out the time, look at your watch or smartphone.
While heat guns with an LCD screen don’t have a clock — they indicate current temperature, fan speed, and cool-down mode.