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Heat guns and torches both have different properties and usefulness. To understand more about these two, we first need to look at their pros and cons.
It may be a bit confusing for new users to choose what to buy. Both the tool has their own advantages and disadvantages. I have been using these two tools for like 8-9 years now. I will try to describe in short which one is better in this heat gun vs torch article.
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- It blows hot air, and it’s flameless.
- It has variable temperatures.
- It is a low-cost tool.
- It comes with a variable nozzle which gives more control over the area of heating.
- It is convenient for tiny areas and corners.
- Starting and pausing the tool is very instantaneous.
- It does not emit any poisonous gas and is not messy.
- It is very portable.
- It makes low noise like a hairdryer.
- It runs on electricity, so you always need to work beside a power socket.
- The hot air can burn your skin.
- It can cause fire to highly flammable materials.
- It is a hand-held tool so we can’t use it for very long. The area of heating is small.
- It can produce high temperatures and is suitable for welding work.
- It is very cheap.
- It doesn’t require any maintenance.
- The flame and heat can be adjusted.
- It does not create any mess.
- Starting and turning off the tool is rapid and easy.
- The noise it makes is very low.
- It emits poisonous gas.
- It can cause a fire.
- It can burn your skin very deeply.
- The high-pressure gas cylinder is needed to be stored in a cool and dry place.
- Not good for reactive materials.
Comparison in different circumstances
Heat Sink Tubing
For this purpose, both the tool is good. As both the tool allow us to control the heat, we can use both of them. The heat gun comes with a different nozzle only for heat sink tubing.
It gives us more control over heat sink tubing. And as it uses only hot air, so it is a bit safe than a gas torch.
Popping Bubbles form resin
In this field, a heat gun is better, but you can use a blow torch as well. Heat gun uses hot air, so it is safer, and the control overheat is also very useful. You can adjust the height between your resin workpiece and heat gun, which also gives us more versatility.
The blow torch also works fine. You can lessen the flame and quickly blow over the resin, which will make the bubble pop.
For this purpose, a heat gun is a great tool. It uses hot air, which is required for this job. It is flameless, and it does not emit any kind of toxic gas. It is ideal for this job.
But a blow torch also can do the work. If you are using a blow torch, my recommendation would be to use it very carefully and not use it in a closed environment.
Both the heat gun and torch are suitable for this job. If you have access to a power socket, you can use a heat gun, but it will make it difficult to work if the power cord is short.
My recommendation would be to work with an extension cable. A blow torch is also a good tool for this purpose. Just make sure to handle it carefully and keep the flame always moving.
This work can not be done by heat gun. In this work, very much heat is needed, which a heat gun can’t produce. On the other hand, it uses hot air, which cannot melt metal like copper, aluminum. Six months back, the copper pipe of my air conditioner was leaking.
With a blow torch, it took only like 10 minutes for me to repair the leak.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I solder PCBs with a Heat Gun?
You can solder but my recommendation would be not to do it with a heat gun. PCB components are very small and packed tightly. The heat gun heats a large area compared to PCB. So, don’t risk damaging other components with a heat gun. There are other tools for this purpose.
How long can you run Heat Gun?
Heat guns can run for quite a long time but if the airflow is reduced it will be overheating and could catch fire. But from my experience, it will be better to run a heat gun continuously for not more than 15 minutes. After 15 minutes put the gun down for a minute or two for cooling.
Why does my blow torch keep going out?
It happens when the liquid in the cylinder covers up the hole for the gas. On this occasion, the liquid blocks the gas to go out which makes the flame extinguish. Try using the Blow torch horizontally and make sure it is not leaning.
Is it safe to blow torch food?
Yes, it is safe to blow a torch at food. Butane and propane gas are safe for cooking. A lot of people use blow torch in this work. It is completely safe.
From my experience, I have seen that a heat gun is much more useful and safer than a blow torch. But both of the tools have their uses. From the above article, I think it will be clear for you. Taking environment and situation into consideration choose between them wisely.