Heat guns can be used to dry and strip paint, apply heat shrink tubing, apply shrink film, dry out damp wood, bend and weld plastic, soften adhesives, heat shrink wrap on packaging, and thaw frozen pipes. They are also used in electronics to desolder circuit board components. They typically output air at temperatures ranging from 100-550¡ãC (200-1000¡ãF) with some hotter models running around 760¡ãC (1400¡ãF). If lead paint is being removed, it vaporizes at 1000 F. Only low heat 400-600 F is safe with lead paint since it doesn't vaporize the toxic lead. Heat guns have less control over the temperature. An alternative is speedheater infrared gun which emits infrared heat rays not blowing air at these lower, safe temperatures. It can perform all the same functions as a heat gun.
Some heat guns incorporate a built-in rest, so they can be activated and placed on a workbench, which frees the operator's hand. Heat guns can have nozzles which deflect their air for various purposes, such as concentrating the heat on one area, or thawing a pipe without heating up the wall behind.
Most have a heating element based on electrical resistance but some produce heat by a gas flame. A fan increases and focuses air flow for convection heating.