Porter Cable PC1500HG Heat Gun Review
Variable temperature control and twin-fan speed settings deliver precise control — while the integrated hands-free stand and low weight should increase user-friendliness and reduce fatigue.
Hailing from Porter Cable — a USA-based company with over 100 years of experience in power tools — the PC1500HG is the only product in its heat gun category. As such, Porter Cable has developed a machine that aims to possess everything you can need — instead of spreading features across different models.
Features and Benefits of Porter Cable PC1500HG
Here’s exactly what you get in this affordable heat gun.
Wide Temperature Range
To achieve impressive results with your gun you need precise control — at both ends of the temperature spectrum.
While cranking up the heat to the max for desoldering will undoubtedly loosen electrical components, your circuit board will be destroyed. Equally, taking it easy on a low setting for stripping paint may prevent burning the wood underneath — but you’ll be stuck on that project for weeks.
The Porter Cable 1500 watt heat gun possesses a temperature range of 120 to 1150 degrees Fahrenheit (across two fan settings) that I propose will be more than adequate for all household heat-centric projects. In short, the right temperature for the right job.
The heat level is controlled by a side dial. Unlike some machines, you don’t need to move through a plethora of button presses to achieve your desired setting. Just turn anti-clockwise for lower temps, and clockwise for higher.
This simplicity — combined with the substantial and tactile nature of the dial — may make the Porter Cable PC1500hg heat gun appeal to seniors or those who lack dexterity in their hands.
My only criticism is that temperature selection is a little arbitrary. With no indices or temp markings on the dial or unit, it requires a little guesswork to attain the perfect setting.
As we all know — it’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it that counts.
And this is equally as true in the workshop as it is anywhere else.
The key to effectively using a heat gun is control — and that’s what the twin fans on this unit provide.
This 1500 watt heat gun has two blower speeds — operated by a handle-mounted switch. Unlike some budget units — where fan-intensity is auto-controlled by the machine itself — in the Porter Cable, you decide.
This means not only can you select the optimum temperature for your projects — but also how rapidly that heat is delivered to your working material. And — with a considerable overlap in the settings — you should be able to achieve the perfect combo.
For those who like the tech details, this machine emits heat:
- 120-900 degrees Fahrenheit at 10-11 cubic feet per minute (fan speed I).
- 130-1150 degrees Fahrenheit at 16-19 cubic feet per minute (fan speed II).
You Need Hands — sang the British crooner, Max Bygraves, in 1958. Admittedly, he probably wasn’t talking about the challenges of wielding a heat gun — but he inadvertently addressed a key problem in using these machines.
Holding a heat gun means you only have one hand spare to manipulate your working material. This can be a serious challenge if you don’t have a workshop or garage packed with vises and clamps.
Some jobs which require a little finesse, such as bending plastic pipes, can only be accomplished satisfactorily using two hands.
The Porter PC1500HG boasts an expansive and flat rear — allowing you to stand the heat gun on its end. In this position, it will produce a stream of hot air, so you can two-handedly mold and shape materials above this air curtain.
However, be a little careful.
As this unit isn’t cordless, you need to make sure you don’t inadvertently catch the power cable — which is likely to cause the heat gun to fall over.
Integrated Hanging Hook
While the Porter Cable is a formidable and a beast of a machine — like all heat guns — it needs to be treated with care.
Both the nozzle and heating coil are delicate — and inadvertent damage to either will reduce the efficiency of this precision tool.
Hence, the integrated hook on this unit is a welcome addition. This allows you to hang the device on a wall or pegboard for safe storage — not in the bottom of drawers or toolboxes, where its components can suffer knocks and scrapes.
Six-Foot Power Cord
Over 72 inches of power cable gives you the versatility to complete your projects at an expansive distance from electrical outlets. Furthermore, not being on a short tether should increase safety and prevent overstretching.
That said, there will be jobs when you need to run an extension cable. In those circumstances, always ensure that your cord is heavy-duty enough to carry the power required to run the heat gun. The manufacturer’s instructions provide a handy table indicating cord length and the minimum amperage.
In my opinion, the Porter Cable is a flexible and adaptable heat gun that should meet the demands of the serious DIYer. But how does it fare out in the field?
To check out how useful and practical this unit is in the real world, I examined industry-expert opinion and the feedback from owners of this machine. Overall, the response to this heat gun is reassuringly positive.
Points that were commonly praised were its rapid heat-up time, easy-to-use controls, and lightweight design. Admittedly, some guys found the lack of dial markings an annoyance — but that didn’t detract from their satisfaction with the gun’s heating ability.
But, don’t just take my word for it, take a look for yourself.
Alternatives to Porter Cable PC1500HG
If this unit doesn’t meet all your requirements in a heat gun — then consider these equally robust and reliable alternatives.
The DeWalt D26960K delivers a temperature range from 150 to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit — selectable by easy-to-use buttons. Moving up in 50-degree increments — the heating setting is displayed on a top-mounted LCD screen — meaning you know the exact operating temperature.
- Features an overload protector not included on the PC1500HG.
- Angled toward the professional, where the Porter Cable is more for general DIY.
- Harder on the wallet than the Porter Cable.
The Tacklife HGP72AC includes four additional heat nozzles, scraper blades, and a putty knife. Hence, ensuring you have the optimum gun-end for each specific project. Furthermore, it has a higher temperature range — achieving 1202 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Includes an LCD screen, not a feature of the PC1500HG.
- Two-handed operation — the Porter Cable is single hand.
- Slightly less affordable than the PC1500HG.
Unlike the mains-cabled PC1500HG, the Milwaukee is cordless. Thus, it gives you the freedom to operate outdoors or in remote locations — without requiring an extension cord. According to the manufacturer, the 18-volt battery of the 2688-20 will provide about 45 minutes of continuous use.
- Harder on the bank balance than the PC1500HG.
- More compact than the Porter Cable — allowing use in confined areas.
- Integrated ladder hook for high-level work — not found on the PC1500HG.
Hands-free operation, a six-foot power cord, and an integrated hanging hook, all make this power tool highly user-friendly. What’s more, the substantial dial and switches are really useful for those with poor hand dexterity.
Admittedly, the lack of exact temperature indicators may be frustrating for the user who demands perfect accuracy.
However, for a lightweight and spec-heavy heat gun that will not burn a hole in your pocket — check out the Porter Cable PC1500HG.
Porter Cable PC1500HG FAQs
Q: Porter Cable PC1500HG Heat Gun Uses?
With its wide range of temperature settings, the Porter Cable PC1500HG can be used for:
- Stripping paint.
- Drying paint.
- Molding plastics and plexiglass.
- Shrink wrapping.
- Loosening stubborn screws and bolts.
- Removing glue.
- Defrosting pipes.
- Lighting a grill.
- Cookie decoration.
- Soap making.
- Removing automotive decals and stickers.
- Tinting windows.
- Repairing smartphones.
Q: How Much Does the PC1500HG Weigh?
This heat gun weighs two pounds.
Q: Is It Normal for the Porter Cable Heat Gun to Smoke?
If you haven’t used the machine for a while, or it’s fresh out of the box, it’s perfectly normal for the nozzle and coil to smoke a little. This is due to detritus and oil burning off.
Q: What Is the Temperature of the PC1500HG?
This heat gun has a temperature range of 120-1150 degrees Fahrenheit. This is controlled by a dial on the side of the unit.
Q: Is the Porter Cable Heat Gun Noisy?
No. The PC1500HG is a quiet-operating machine that makes less noise than a hair dryer.
Q: Can You Remove Wallpaper with the PC1500HG?
Yes. This heat gun will remove wallpaper by warming up the glue beneath. However, use a low setting to ensure the paper doesn’t catch fire.
Q: Will the Porter Cable Heat Gun Remove Panel Glue From Cars?
Yes. The PC1500HG can remove panel glue, decals, and automotive stickers. Make sure you use a low-to-medium temperature, to prevent damage to the paintwork.
Q: Does the PC1500HG Come With a Case?
No. However, the Porter Cable PC1500HG incorporates an integrated hook, which allows you to suspend the heat gun on your wall or peg board.