Are you looking for an alternative to a heat gun? You are in right place. We often need to perform mild tasks that use a trim level of heat, and without a heat gun, we leave those tasks pending until we can purchase a heat gun. In our abode, there are few essential tools we can convert to a heat gun and will perform the task efficiently, well, not like a heat gun, but who cares, as long as it gets the job done.
There are few alternatives to a heat gun if you seek to engage in certain industrial or household activities that require minimal heat.
Activities such as paint removal, softening adhesives, bending plastics, roasting coffee beans, melting sugar, etc., all require a level of heat that can be generated through a heat gun.
Hairdryers, clothing irons, soldering iron, alcohol burners, etc., are common alternatives to a heat gun. However, whichever option you go for, you need to acquire the essential know-how to handle them properly to avoid minor or major accidents. The other options and their usage guidelines are listed below:
Common Alternatives to Heat Gun
A hairdryer does not produce great heat compared to a heat gun but can be used as an alternative when the undertaking requires lower heat. Hairdryers emanate a heat of 100°C to 250°C, which can work efficiently for higher airflow and lowers the risk of burning any appliances or materials.
For many households, the hairdryer is frequently used as an alternative to a heat gun because it is easy to acquire and can carry out most actions that need a small amount of heat.
A hairdryer or blow dryer is a sufficient substitute for embossing, paint drying, plastic bending, mobile repairs, or candle wax removal. They often tend to malfunction or overheat when used for a prolonged period. The guidelines below will give you a broader insight into how to use a hairdryer.
Guidelines to Using a Hairdryer
Step 1: Plug the hair or blow dryer into a firm electrical socket.
Step 2: Turn on the hairdryer, set it to the hottest. The heat makes it generate enough temperature to perform faster.
Step 3: Place the dryer close to the material you want to work on at the moment. You can use a nozzle to direct the airflow for more efficiency.
Step 4: Adjust the heat regularly to your desired temperature based on whatever task you are carrying out. However, don’t operate for long durations to avoid malfunctioning.
2) Alcohol Burner
The alcohol burner produces a moderate level of heat that makes it a sufficient alternative to the heat gun. You can use a gas burner if you do not have an alcohol burner. However, for an alcohol burner, it’s essential to make sure it’s paired with a metal funnel can, and for the gas burner, it’s best to make sure it doesn’t emit smoke or soot.
An alcohol burner can also be made locally with some essential tools. Click the link below to see how to make an alcohol burner.
https://youtu.be/m4fB4hGhgeA – How to make an alcohol burner from a can.
Guidelines to Using an Alcohol Burner
Step 1: Before setting light to the burner, ensure you place it on a fire and heat-resistant surface.
Step 2: Pour some alcohol inside and around the burner. It sets the alcohol into a combustible vapor.
Step 3: Lighten up the burner, and immediately you’ll see the flames popping out from all created pores.
Step 4: in order to keep the fire from escalating, place the coin in the middle hole.
Step 5: Get a funnel and place it over the burner. Ensure the funnel is supported and lifted a bit higher not to emit flames and restrict the airflow.
3) Soldering Iron
Soldering iron is an effective alternative to a heat gun, best used when dealing with smaller surfaces that require more accuracy and delicate artistry. Soldering iron is mainly used to repair motherboards and mobile phones and to join wires or metals together.
It reaches a heat of about 200°C to 480°C and melts at an approximate temperature of 185°C. The video below presents some tips on how to use a soldering iron.
https://youtu.be/oqV2xU1fee8 – How to use a soldering iron.
Guidelines to Using a Soldering Iron
Step 1: Start by making sure the tip is connected to the iron and screwed adequately.
Step 2: Turn on the soldering iron and let it heat up. If you’re using a soldering station with adjustable temperature control, set it to the relative temperature you want it.
Step 3: place the edge of the soldering iron on a moist sponge to make it well cleaned. Then delay a few seconds to let it heat up again.
Step 4: Place the soldering iron and the solder on each of your hands. Touch the solder to the iron and make sure it flows evenly around the end.
4) Butane Torch
A butane torch produces an intensely hot flame using butane and can serve as an excellent alternative for a heat gun. It has a temperature of approximately 1,430°C, which is high enough to melt some common metals such as copper and aluminum and hot enough to vaporize some organic compounds.
A butane torch is used effectively for activities such as brazing, soldering, plumbing, etc. See the link below on how a butane torch works.
https://youtu.be/ROM9oVnwWYA – How a butane torch works.
Guidelines to Using a Butane Torch
Step 1: Set the torch to the desired direction at about 8 inches higher to the surface, then switch control on the gas steam control valve.
Step 2: As the gas begins to flow, push the fire switch to make a fire. If the blow torch has the safety to stop an unintended fire, make use of it.
Step 3: Adjust the fire heat to suit the purpose you want to serve and begin use.
Step 4: Once done, switch the light upside down, stop the gas, and wait for the flame to extinguish.
5) Clothing Iron
The clothing iron is a regular household item that can serve as an alternative to a heat gun for embossing. It is an everyday household instrument that can perform a limited range of household tasks without having to buy a heat gun.
Guidelines to Using a Clothing Iron
Step 1: Plug in the iron and please keep it in an upright position, and allow it to burn up to your desired temperature.
Step 2: Carefully bring the object near the iron and ensures that you are not touching the iron.
Step 3: Slowly move the iron over the object, ensuring that each surface area receives the same measure of heat exposure.
Step 4: Once done, put out the heat and place the iron in an upright position.
Take your time and be patient while working with the iron to ascertain the desired result.
6) Light Bulbs
Light bulbs can be used as a substitute for heat guns when performing heat shrinking tasks. They can produce heat energy of approximately 2,204°C. Using light bulbs for any heat shrinking exercise, place the object close to the heated bulb and wait till the shrink melts.
It would be best to exhibit a whole level of patience when using light bulbs because they take a little while to reach their total temperature.
Do It Yourself (DIY) Alternatives to Heat Gun
Here are some specific DIY approaches to alternative means of using heat guns for particular tasks:
1. Alternative to Heat Gun For Mobile Phone Repair
Soldering iron or a hairdryer works effectively for mobile phones and motherboards repairs. So in place of a heat gun, get yourself a soldering iron and a solder, then apply it to the material you are working on at the desired temperature. Please don’t keep the soldering iron on the object for too long to avoid burning intensely into it.
I advise using a hairdryer for minimal heat effect on certain activities performed on mobile phones.
2. Alternative to Heat Gun For Shrink Wrap
A heat gun is the best partner for any shrinking exercise. However, if you do not possess a heat gun, a better alternative is to use a hairdryer, light bulb, or a process heater.
An essential hairdryer can shrink when it’s set to a very high temperature. Please make sure the tube is heated on all sides till it contracts to your desired size. When there is no hairdryer, you can use a light bulb. Just hold the heat shrink close to the bulb and allow it to melt into place.
3. Alternative To Heat Gun For Embossing
When you want to melt embossing powders on materials, it’s necessary to use a heat gun. However, there are other practical substitutes for heating embossing powder without a heat gun. An electric stove, a clothing iron, a toaster, a curling iron can be substituted.
Carefully spread the embossing powder on the material’s surface, move the heating element close to the material with the embossing powder, without having contact with it, to melt it.
4. Alternative To Heat Gun For Resin
A butane or propane torch is a suitable alternative to the heat gun to remove bubbles in the resin. The heat and intensity of the torches make it an efficient choice. Place the butane or propane torch at 20-25 cm away from the resin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is an alternative to a heat gun Necessary?
If you are required to do some task that would optimally require the use of a heat gun, but you do not have one, then an alternative to a heat gun would be necessary. Most times, these alternatives won’t perform like the real thing.
You can either make a DIY heat gun at home or purchase a mini heat gun if you do not want to buy an industrial heat gun. Your selection depends on the job you want to execute and what suits it best.
Can you make use of matches in place of a heat gun for effective heat shrinking?
Yes. Matches can perform some heat shrinking exercises in place of a heat gun. In fact, a lot of people find match sticks controllable and easier to manipulate. Matches work to shrink tubing, but they might char or burn the tubing.
What is the major contrast between a hairdryer and a heat gun?
A heat gun can perform many activities requiring a high level of temperature. It can produce a temperature of about 1,100°F while a hairdryer is just around 140°F. Heat guns have lower airflow and a strong fan motor to allow nozzle attachments specific to a hairdryer.
Can you use an alcohol burner for heat shrinking tubes instead of a heat gun?
Yes. An alcohol burner acts as a heat gun alternative for heat shrink tubes. It produces an open flame at a moderate temperature. All you need is to place the tube close to the burner and mildly adjust it. Make sure you are putting on a heat-resistant glove to prevent your hand from the heat.
Can a hairdryer be employed for mobile phone repair as a substitute for a heat gun?
To some extent, a hairdryer can be used as an alternative to a heat gun for mobile phone repair if the heat level needed to repair a mobile phone is minimal, such as removing a screen on an iPod, then a hairdryer is sufficient. If you are dealing with a technical repairing task, you should use a heat gun instead of its alternatives.
Can a hairdryer be used as a replacement for a heat gun for paint pouring?
A hairdryer performs more efficiently than a heat gun when moving paint around a surface, primarily acrylic paint. It is straightforward to use and control. This time, turn on the dryer to a lower setting first, then progressively turn it to a higher ground while moving the paint around.
It’s best to know that no alternatives can perform efficiently as a heat gun; however, a soldering iron, a butane torch, or an alcohol burner are sufficient for little DIY activities. Some household items such as clothing, iron, lighters, and matches are substituted when the minimum temperature is required.
To get the best out of any alternative you decide to implement, endeavor to use it for the specific task that suits its purpose.