Wednesday, January 3, 2007

All about heat guns

Shoshanna asks:
I want to buy a heat gun for general craft use and I'm not sure what type to buy. Any advice?

I think you can break down heat/embossing guns into these categories: Commercial heat guns, crafting high temperature heat guns, and crafting low temperature heat guns.

Commercial heat guns (paint strippers) are overkill. The air flow is too strong for most applications, they get way too hot for what you would probably need to do, and they are also very expensive.

If you go to your craft store (in person or online) you'll see that there are a few brands of high temperature crafting heat guns. They don't look like your standard hair dryer heat gun - they look like long straight tubes. Two brands that come to mind right off the bat are Darice and Marvy Uchida. The Uchida heats up to 680 degrees Farenheit and the Darice to 650. These are great for general use and I have one that I use mainly for melting fabric and felt. My husband just stole it from me to melt wax to rub into some leather knife sheaths.

One that I really like is the Heat It tool - it is a lower temperature/lower air flow gun. This one looks like a hair dryer. I don't like it for fabric melting applications because it doesn't get hot enough but it's great for embossing because it doesn't blow your powder all over the place. I prefer to use this one for any rubber stamping project.

Here's my recommendation - if you can afford it - get one of each! A high temp and a low temp.

Hope this helps!

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