Heat guns are power tools used for both commercial and personal projects. While the commercial versions are a bit more powerful and slightly more expensive than the home versions, the range still isn't very big. Most heat guns have a minimum temperature of around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), although a few start even lower at 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). The top temperature of a heat gun typically reaches around 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit (593 degrees Celsius), although some get even hotter. For most heat gun uses, 750 degrees Fahrenheit (399 degrees Celsius) will suffice [source: Capotosto].
Heat can be used around the house for all types of projects, and heat guns can produce the amount of heat needed for many of them. For example, to soften or blister old paint or putty to make it easier to scrape off, you need something that produces 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (93 to 204 degrees Celsius). If you want to thaw a frozen lock or loosen a rusted nut, 400 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit (204 to 427 degrees Celsius) should be your goal temperature. That range can also be good for electrical and plumbing soldering projects. However, heat guns don't produce the firepower you need to weld or cut iron and steel [source: Kelsey].
The most common uses for a heat gun include the aforementioned paint and putty removal projects, along with various defrosting jobs. Heat guns are also frequently used to heat shrink tubing and to allow easier stretching and bending of plastics and PVC vinyl. Plus, they can be used to unstick adhesives, like those on the back of damaged tiles, and they can be used to apply veneer tape and laminate on curves and areas that are harder to get at with a flatiron. While other heat-producing tools could theoretically be used for the same tasks, ones that use a flame are less desirable, since fire can damages surfaces and likely ignite a dangerous blaze.