A heat gun is a great tool to have when you are into DIY and crafts. They have a variety of uses and can solve tons of problems when it comes to candle making and issues like uneven surfaces, wet spots, and jump lines. Let’s take a closer look at heat guns. What are heat guns?
Heat guns are single-handed handheld tools that resemble the shape of a hairdryer. They work in a manner much similar to hairdryers by forcing hot air out through the nozzle heating whatever it is pointing at. Heat guns are widely used in crafts, DIY, and construction.
Heat guns have a size and shape similar to that of a hair dryer, however, they produce temperatures much higher than any hair dryer and it is not recommended to use a heat gun as a hair dryer.
How Does a Heat Gun Work?
A heat gun is an electric tool that produces hot air. It features a design like a traditional hairdryer, although a heat gun will generate significantly hotter air than what a hairdryer would produce. How does a heat gun work?
Heat guns use a fan to force air over a heating element, they then emit heated air at temperatures of between 200 and 1000°F. The air goes through a nozzle that focuses it for efficient use. They are useful for heating materials without the use of a flame or liquid.
A heat gun works with a few steps:
- You’ll start by adjusting the temperature setting. The gun handle may feature a lever that adjusts the intensity of the heating element inside the gun. It may take a bit for the heating element to become active.
- You will also control the fan speed before you start using the gun. The fan speed will determine how much surface area the heat will cover.
- By pressing the trigger, you will activate a fan inside the gun. The fan will pull in the nearby air.
- The air the gun collects will move across a heating element on the inside.
- The heated air moves out through a nozzle. The nozzle should stay a few inches from the surface of whatever you’re heating.
Heat guns can produce extreme temperatures. A model can produce heat starting at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 49 degrees Celsius. But many models can feature heavy-duty heating elements that produce temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit or 540 degrees Celsius.
Can You Use a Heat Gun on Candles?
People use heat guns for many home purposes, including stripping paint, removing wallpaper, thawing frozen plumbing pipes, and drying wood. But you can also use a heat gun when making candles.
A heat gun will help you prepare your container and correct any wax-related issues with your candles. The compact design makes it easier for you to heat a candle and keep its body under control. Can you use a heat gun on candles?
Heat guns can be used on candles and are useful tools to have for candle makers. They can be used to fix surface flaws, to fix uneven surfaces, and warm containers before pouring your candles. Which can help prevent sinkholes, and wet spots as well as other candle making issues.
The Use of Heat Guns In Candle Making
You can use a heat gun for candle making in many ways:
Uses For Heat Guns In Candle Making
- You can fix surface imperfections on a candle. Sometimes a top will not appear smooth, or you might see air bubbles from under the surface interfering with the candle texture. Your heat gun will add even heat to fix these issues.
- You can place your candle wick in a new spot after heating your candle. Sometimes you might put the candle wick into the candle at an angle, or it might not be in the center. By heating the candle once again, you can adjust the wick placement until it is correct.
- A gun can also heat the container before adding hot wax. Your candle will develop shrinkage if the container is colder than the wax. The shrinkage will cause parts of the candle to shift and become uneven. Your heat gun will add extra warmth to the container before pouring something in, reducing the risk of shrinkage.
- Cleaning up after creating your candles is easy with a heat gun. Heat guns can also melt the wax and other materials off the items you use when making candles.
How To Choose a Heat Gun For Candle Making
You’ve got a full assortment of heat guns to explore when looking for something for your candle making needs. But you should watch for what you’re getting out of your heat gun first. Here are a few things to review when choosing a mode:
How To Choose a Heat Gun For Candle Making
- Temperature range. Look at the temperature range on your heat gun to ensure you can handle it well. The gun should support low heat levels at around 120 degrees for minor corrections. But a quality model can also handle more intense temperatures when you’re heating your containers or cleaning your materials. Your gun should feature a knob or lever that controls the temperature.
- Fan control. Your gun also needs a control feature that lets you adjust how fast your fan will run. A good gun for candle making will support slower speeds that produce less heat, letting you target specific parts of your candles.
- Safety features. A gun should feature a cut-out switch or other feature that shuts the gun off if it overheats. A latch or other locking feature that keeps people from easily triggering the gun is also necessary.
- Storage stand. A gun can include a storage stand on the end. The stand keeps the nozzle upright, preventing residual heat from inside from harming a surface.
- Heating element. Most heat guns use ceramic heating elements that produce intense heat without causing the rest of the gun’s body to overheat. But the element used to create all that heat can vary by model.
- Cord or battery. Look at how your heat gun will receive its energy. You can use a corded heat gun that you can plug into a wall outlet. You could also use a cordless model that runs off a rechargeable battery.
- Lifespan. The lifespan measures how long the heat gun can work at its maximum temperature in its lifetime. Most guns can last for hundreds of hours before breaking down.
- Wattage. The wattage in your gun entails how much power the gun produces. A heat gun will require at least 750 watts on average for it to produce enough power.
Nozzle Types To See
You can use one of many nozzles in your heat gun for candle making. A quality gun will support many of these nozzles, with each coming with different benefits for your work needs:
Types Of Heat Gun Nozzles
- Reducer – A reducer nozzle keeps the hot air from moving too far from the gun. It concentrates the heat on one area.
- Reflector – A reflector nozzle features a pipe that wraps around the front of the gun. The nozzle keeps the heat around the pipe surface, which helps if you don’t want the heat to spread to other spots.
- Flat – The flat design of this nozzle dispenses the heat over a wide space. Some flat nozzles can be narrow, but you can find wider choices if you prefer.
Heat Guns & Candle Making
When it comes to candle making there are a few things that can make a heat gun really stand out. The features you require really depend on the types of candles you are making and how many candles you are making. What is the best heat gun for candle making?
The best heat gun for candle making should have a low temperature or adjustable temperature control, moderate fan speed for good heat distribution, and come with some built-in safety features. A heat gun set at too high a temperature can damage your candle and candle containers.
Top Picks For Candle Making
Now that you know what to find in a heat gun for candle making, let’s look at some of the best models available. These heat guns include quality bodies and controls that work for your heating needs.
Prulde makes this first heat gun choice with a durable motor with an approximate lifespan of 500 hours. It uses a ceramic heating element with mica components that produce extra heat without requiring excess energy.
The heat gun features two fan speed settings and can manage temperatures as low as 120 degrees. The gun uses a 6.5-foot power cord and features a non-slip handle that keeps the gun easy to grip. There’s also an integrated stand inside the gun to help you safely cool it off when you’re done.
You’ll have more control over your heat with this EnerTwist model. You can switch between nine temperature settings through the control dial at the back end. The three-speed fan switch at the bottom lets you control how fast the gun works. The 12.5-amp motor produces temperatures up to 932 degrees while operating at maximum temperature for about 500 hours. The 6.6-foot power cord provides the power you need when using the gun.
Seekone’s 1800W hot air gun uses two airflow settings and comes with four nozzles. The temperature control dial lets you adjust the heat from 122 to 1,200 degrees.
The Seekone gun weighs about two pounds and features a 5.25-foot power cable. The design uses an overload protection system to ensure it doesn’t overheat.
Genesis makes this next model with a 12.5-amp motor that supports 750 and 1500W settings. The three-position switch lets you switch between temperature settings right from the handle. It features an integrated stand to keep the gun upright when cooling. The gun also weighs about two pounds and fits well in either hand.
Your last choice to see is this heat gun from Black and Decker. This two-setting gun supports heats of up to 750 or 1,000 degrees, depending on your use mode. The built-in stand lets you place it evenly for cooling purposes. The handle also features a grooved body that ensures it stays in your hand while you work.
Heat Gun Safety Tips
The last thing to see when looking at a heat gun involves how you’ll handle your work. While a heat gun can be convenient, it can also be dangerous if you don’t use it right. Is a heat gun dangerous?
Heat guns are less dangerous than using an open flame, but the hot air produced by a heat gun is not without its risks. The heat can be enough to start fires, crack glass, and burn you if pointed directly at your skin. In addition, the nozzle can get hot and burn you if not handled carefully.
Here are a few safety tips to consider for your model:
Heat Gun Safety Tips
- Never use your heat gun near combustible or flammable materials.
- Turn off and unplug your gun before putting it down. Always use the integrated stand included with your gun if you have one.
- Never insert items into the gun’s nozzle.
- Allow your heat gun to cool down for a few minutes if it overheats. The gun is more likely to overheat and trigger the cut-out switch if you use it for too long.
- Keep your gun a few inches from your candle to prevent burning anything. The nozzle should be at least two inches away from the target.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use a hair dryer as a heat gun for candles?
You can use a hairdryer as a heat gun to fix surface flaws on candles. The hottest hair dryers are hot enough to melt surface wax, however, they may not be hot enough to melt wax deep into the candle. The good news is that most surface flaws do not go very deep.
Is a heat gun the same as a glue gun?
Heat guns are not the same as glue guns. Heat guns produce a stream of hot air forced through by a fan. Glue guns push glue sticks through and melt them and to produce molten glue. However, both are useful for DIY projects and crafts.
What can you use instead of a heat gun?
Instead of a heat gun, you can use a blow dryer or set your oven temperature at 170°F and leave your candles in the oven long enough to begin melting the surface wax. As the wax melts any surface flaws will go away and any sinkholes will fill in.
In conclusion, heat guns have a lot of uses when it comes to DIY, crafts and even construction. However, they are extremely useful for candle makers. I would say they are even more useful to beginners that still experience some of the problems that arise due to pouring your candles at the wrong temperature.