So, you would like to use vinyl film to customize your car. Wow! That’s a great upgrade of the car’s look. But there are other ways you might want to use a vinyl wrap. For example, to adorn walls or create a mobile billboard.
Anyway, you need a few basic tools like the best heat gun for vinyl wrap to give your vehicle a new fancy feel.
A vinyl heat gun provides a strong stream of heat that helps get rid of wrinkles and bubbles when you apply the film as well as allows sealing the edges of the wrap. Use the heat gun for the post-heat process or remove the vinyl wrap.
But how do you pick one? There are so many heat guns for vinyl wrapping out there that you may feel absolutely confused. Do not worry, I have you covered. I’ve put out this review to guide you through the selection process smoothly.
|Heat gun||Type||Watts||Max. output temperature||Airflow, CFM||Review|
|DEWALT DCE530P1 best cordless heat gun||cordless||400||990° F / 532 ° C||6.7||Review|
|PRULDE NHG0140 budget cordless||cordless||N/A||1022 F / 550 ° C||N/A||Review|
|DEWALT D26960K best corded heat gun||corded||1550||150-1150° F / 66-621 ° C||17.7||Review|
|PORTER CABLE PC1500HG budget corded||corded||1500||105-1085° F / 41-585 ° C||19||Review|
Types of heat guns for vinyl wrap
There are cordless and corded heat guns out there. Just as the name implies, corded devices are attached to the energy source (usually, a plug) with a cord. The length of the cord is a critical parameter to consider, as it may limit your range of motion if it is too short.
Cordless devices are equipped with a battery, frequently a rechargeable one, and operate without a cord. The battery capacity defines how long you will be using the tool on a single charge. It is more convenient as you do not get tangled in the cord, and you can use it wherever you want.
However, you can find more heat gun for shrink wrap types of heat guns on the market. Let me briefly describe each of them.
- Gas – relies on propane and butane gas to emit heat
- Electric – works from an electric source of energy
- Infrared – uses infrared heat to produce a stream of heat.
Best Heat Guns for Wrapping Reviews
Best cordless heat guns
DEWALT DCE530P1 – best cordless heat gun
DEWALT 20V MAX* cordless heat gun is a true godsend if you are looking for a practical and ergonomic device.
This item is equipped with a DCB205 5Ah battery, which ensures 42 minutes of uninterrupted work per charge. The maximum output temperature of this heat gun is 990 F. This is enough to deal with applying the vinyl wrap, stripping paint, and tackling other tasks that do not require extremely high temperatures. But if you are taking on heavy-duty projects, you may feel that the item is not powerful enough to meet your needs. Also mind that it might take time for the heat gun to heat up to the maximum temperature point.
The peculiar feature of this model is a lock-on trigger that allows for hands-free use. Besides, you will love a LED footlight that will ensure greater convenience when using the tool in dark areas. On top of that, the device features a flat nozzle and a hooked nozzle attachment to let you work with different surfaces.
Compared to PRULDE NHG0140, the DEWALT DCE530P1 looks almost similar. Both devices have nearly the same characteristics, but the PRULDE tool has more nozzles in the set (4 compared to 2). The major difference lies in the duration of the operation. DEWALT unit works much longer, while there are significant issues with the battery life of the PRULDE heat gun.
All in all, I enjoyed using this DEWALT cordless heat gun. It’s ergonomic and has two fan speed settings, which makes it great for a wide range of activities. Just like all cordless tools, this one has a significant disadvantage – it is not as powerful as a corded one. Moreover, this item heats slowly, and it seems that there is not enough air to push out the heat. Honestly, I expected a more robust heat output.
To sum it up, the DEWALT DCE530P1 is the best cordless heat gun option. It has a powerful battery for longer operation, two fan speed modes for different activities, and an optimal temperature range to cover your needs.
- Type: cordless
- Watts: 400
- Max. output temperature: 990° F / 532 ° C
- Airflow, CFM: 6.7
- Runtime per charge, min: 42
- Cordless design for better maneuverability
- DCB205 5Ah battery for up to 42 minutes of use
- Lock-on trigger for hands-free operation
- Two fan speed modes: low and high
- Up to 990 F of max temperature.
- Might be not powerful enough
- Requires recharging.
PRULDE NHG0140 – budget cordless
PRULDE 20V Max cordless heat gun is a budget-friendly alternative to DEWALT DCE530P1, which would bring more convenience to your work.
This automotive heat gun has a compact cordless design, making it an excellent tool for working in any environment. It delivers up to 1022F of max temperature output, which is more than DEWALT model. 20V Max Lithium-Ion battery ensures continuous operation and enables rapid recharging. It features a lock-on mechanism to ensure you can use the tool hands-free. There are four nozzle attachments in a set, so you are free to use the tool for a wide range of applications, including vinyl wrapping, paint stripping, cell phone repairs, and more.
This PRULDE heat gun has nearly identical characteristics as the DEWALT DCE530P1, although it offers a bit higher max temperature point. However, the price difference is quite remarkable and may put some customers off.
PRULDE NHG0140 fits the hand perfectly. The handle grip is pleasant to the touch and is easy to grab. It’s light and not bulky, so I had no trouble using it at a high altitude. It heats up really fast, and I especially liked the nozzles that came with the tool. However, mind that this heat gun might not be too powerful for you, especially if you are planning to use it for high-performance tasks. The battery doesn’t last long either, so get ready to recharge it frequently.
Considering the modest price, this PRULDE NHG0140 is a worthy investment if you do not plan to perform heavy-duty tasks. It heats up fast, provides around 1022F of max temperature output, and contains great nozzles for various activities.
- Type: cordless
- Watts: N/A
- Max. output temperature: 1022° F / 550 ° C
- Airflow, CFM: N/A
- Runtime per charge, min: N/A
- Optimal max temperature output – 1022F for different tasks
- Four nozzle attachments to cover various needs
- Cordless design for convenience of use.
- Can be too weak for certain applications
- The battery life is not long.
Best corded heat guns
DEWALT D26960K – best corded heat gun
Do you believe that it’s high time to equip yourself with a professional heat gun? You are lucky to find this DEWALT D26960K.
Being lightweight and compact (only 2.3 lbs), this device is a superior option for numerous activities, including vinyl wrapping. It provides up to 1100 F of max temperature output to ensure you can perform any action without issues. The tool has built-in overload protection shuts, which prevent the chance of burning up. The cord is 10 ft long to ensure you can get as far as you want and reach any place without any trouble. Besides, the cable is covered with a special protective layer to prevent it from any damage or impact. An LCD screen shows the set parameters and allows you to regulate the temperature within 50-degree increments.
Compared to the cordless model of this brand (DEWALT DCE530P1), this heat gun is much more powerful – 1550 W. It also comes in a box for storage convenience and includes more than 10 accessories to help you perform different tasks.
This heat gun comfortably rests in hand. I used it for several hours and my hand didn’t hurt. The LCD display is very helpful when regulating the temperature. Comparing to a turn dial, this is a fantastic option. But mind that the display shows temperature only in Fahrenheit. There is nothing wrong with that, but it would be really nice to have a Celsius option as well.
In general, I believe this is the best corded heat gun for vinyl wrap you can find on the market. It’s powerful and allows you to carry a wide range of tasks. You will love the case that enables convenient storage of the device and additional accessories.
- Type: corded
- Watts: 1550
- Max. output temperature: 150-1150° F / 66-621 ° C
- Airflow, CFM: 17.7
- Cord length, ft/cm: 6 / 183
- 1550 W to deliver power for any task
- Max temperature: 1,100 F for a wide range of applications
- 10-ft cord covered with a special protective layer to prevent damage
- LCD for neat temperature regulation
- Overload protection to prevent overheating
- It comes in a box with additional accessories.
- Can be too weak for certain applications.
PORTER CABLE PC1500HG – budget corded
PORTER corded PC1500HG heat gun model is a reasonably priced device that would allow you to apply a vinyl film as well as perform other tasks that require heating.
This mini heat gun offers a dual fan speed option, which allows you to use the device with low and high speed settings. Thanks to 1500W, the item is powerful enough to tackle almost any heating task. You can easily regulate the temperature using an ergonomic dial. The heat gun is only 2 lbs, so you won’t be fatigued when using it.
Compared to DEWALT D26960K, this model has a shorter cord – 6 ft. However, this is enough for operating the item connected to the plug. It also features a special support stand for hands-free use, which is not available in DEWALT’s model. Besides, PORTER heat gun is twice as cheap as the DEWALT tool, so this might be a defining factor for you.
Generally, it’s the perfect budget corded heat gun for some crafts and simple tasks that require heating. It’s powerful and provides some great heat. The temperature control dial is responsive, but you may have a hard time manipulating it to set the desired parameter. I also had some issues using the fan speed regulator as the switch didn’t stop at the spot where I wanted. All in all, the minor flaws don’t beat the price of the tool.
- Type: corded
- Watts: 1500
- Max. output temperature: 105-1085° F / 41-585 ° C
- Airflow, CFM: 19
- Cord length, ft/cm: 6 / 183
- Lightweight and easy to hold: only 2 lbs
- 2 fan speed settings for processing different surfaces
- The length of the cord is optimal for performing tasks
- Hanging hook for easier storage.
- Inconvenient temperature dial
- Fan speed regulator fails sometimes.
What to look for when choosing a heat gun?
Adjustable temperature range
If you are planning to use this device for multiple purposes, you’d better consider variable temperature heat guns.
Most heat guns cover the temperature range of 120F – 900 F. So, if you are not planning to involve the unit in a serious job and need a heat gun for vinyl wrapping, a standard device will do. Let me remind you that the optimal temperature range for applying the film is between 125-195F.
You might want to deal with plumbing, paint stripping, and other heavy-duty tasks using the heat gun. In this case, it would be a wise decision to go with the tool that has the 120F – 1290F temperature range.
Fan speed control
If the area the heat gun can cover is crucial for you, then you should check the fan speed feature. The device with lower fan speeds is great for accurate and precise work, while a more powerful tool is capable of distributing heat over the larger area without the temperature reduction.
In our case, a heat gun with higher fan speeds would be a better option since you will want to cover more area in less time.
Built-in LCD or LED displays
Not all heat guns have LCD or LED displays. Perhaps, you won’t need this feature since its presence will add to the price of the tool.
If you are planning to use the heat gun for simple tasks and in-home use, you might be satisfied with the tool that is not equipped with a display.
But in case you aim at having utmost control over the operations and settings, you should invest in the heat gun that features a display. It enables you to set a more precise temperature or other parameters that are critical for your project. What is more, you will be able to do it effortlessly with one click on the screen. That’s a great advantage when your hands are dirty or oily, and you can’t use the switcher.
Nozzles are indispensable for accurate and neat work, as they distribute the heat over the right area of the surface. This enables you to maintain the proper temperature range and cover the desired spots with little effort.
There are numerous nozzle options, and you might need a specialized one if you are planning to take on extraordinary projects. But there are standard nozzles like a reducer (enables to focus heat on a definite spot), flat (is suitable for big areas), glass protector (allows stripping off the paint from the window without heating glass), and more.
Do you need a heat gun to wrap the vinyl? Can I use a hair dryer?
Let’s think this way. You use a hair dryer to dry your hair. Thus, the device has the characteristics that are designed to cover this need solely. You can use the tool for 10-20 minutes without the risk of overheating. And you know what happens when you misuse the device – it gets broken. Besides, the temperature range might be inappropriate for applying the wrap.
Comparing a heat gun vs hair dryer vinyl wrap, the professional device is meant to be used for extended periods while providing a more powerful stream of heat. What is more, a heat gun ensures a more targeted flow of heat that enables shrink wrap more effortlessly.