Screen printing isn’t complete after running ink over fabric on a heat press. Waiting for screen-printed ink to dry, storing the product, and delivering it to clients is tiresome.
A heat gun is an easy-to-use appliance that doesn’t take up much space, unlike a conveyor drier, which is a pretty large and expensive machine. So, if you work in this business, you’ll need the best heat gun for screen printing.
Screen printers have found dual temperature heat guns beneficial. If you’re looking for high-quality equipment at a reasonable price, you may have a hard time finding it.
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Small businesses need a way to dry multiple shirts quickly and customize the packaging with various inscriptions. Those who lack the time or space to air-dry multiple clothes may also benefit.
So, in hopes you’ll find it useful, we’ve compiled this list of the best screen printing heat guns.
1. SEEKONE Heavy Duty Heat Gun
The SEEKONE heavy-duty heat gun is perfect for producing quality work at a reasonable cost. But be careful when using this device to cure screen printing ink on a T-shirt, box, or other material, because it is a powerful tool.
It is easy to use. Move the grip’s black button up and down for low or high heat options. Drag the button down once for a lower temperature of 122℉ and twice for a higher temperature of 1112℉. An overload protector is included in this sturdy design.
To help it warm up, I keep the temperature on the low side. When you’re ready, turn the heat gun up and wait. From what I’ve learned, this is the best way to do it.
In addition to the device, the SEEKONE heavy-duty heat gun comes with many necessary extras. These accessories may not be needed for screen printing, but they can be used to remove paint, weld wires, or remove a bumper sticker. The kit contains different-sized nozzles and a flat paint-removal attachment.
One of the extensions has a small opening, so it can be used to dry a smaller area of the screen print while keeping all the heat in one place.
The second one is a little bit bigger. But the third one, the deflector nozzle, is shaped like a ring and has the most oversized diameter, which is perfect for screen printing. I usually use this extension to dry water-based inks and plastisol inks because it is the fastest way.
You also get a reflector nozzle, which is excellent for welding wires but won’t help much with the ink drying process after screen printing.
The SEEKONE heat gun 1800 W features an adjustable fan speed. But be careful. If heated air is aimed at fabric for too long, it may catch fire, which is easy to avoid.
Don’t dry a screen-printed white colored T-shirt or other sensitive fabrics at the highest temperature. First, try low-temperature settings. Then, slowly raise the heat gun’s temperature until you are sure your shirt won’t get burned.
The good thing about this electric tool is that it has a design that keeps you from getting burned, which makes it safe and reliable. The SEEKONE heat gun has a compact size, which is good because it’s easy to hold and won’t make your hands too tired.
The item can be operated hands-free and stand on its own if you don’t need it, but be careful not to burn yourself when you take it up again.
One problem with this heat gun is that the cable is only 5.25 ft (1.6m) long. If the shirt you’re drying after printing is still attached to the screen, you’ll probably need to use extension cables to get to it.
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2. Wagner Spraytech HT1000 heat gun
Wagner HT1000 is another fantastic, inexpensive hot air gun. Even though it can’t go as hot as the last heat gun, it’s great for screen printing.
It is effortless to use because the button to change the temperature is on the handle.
It has three accessories: a reflector nozzle, which protects delicate surfaces from overheating; a flare nozzle, which spreads heat over a wider area; and a concentrator nozzle, which focuses the heat for more detailed work, which is an excellent heat gun tool.
Like the last basic model, this one has two easy-to-change temperature control: 750 °F for the low setting and 1000 °F for the high temperature.
That’s why this heat gun is so useful, even though it can only achieve a maximum temperature of 1000 F. For those who don’t have to deal with ink regularly, this device is an excellent investment.
The fan on this device can be adjusted, which is handy. You may change the fan speed in two ways, giving you control when drying t-shirt ink. Also, this heat gun’s nozzle is corrosion-resistant, which is significant given how hot it gets.
I really liked the design of this device. The ABS plastic body incorporates a hanging hook for easy storage. You can hang it on a work table in the workshop or garage.
The heat gun has a two-year household warranty. It’s 1.28 pounds and fits neatly in your hand.
The Wagner HT1000 has a power consumption that goes up to 1200 watts, a little less than the last one but still a high temp to dry the ink on a screen-printed shirt.
However, it didn’t work very well for some people who tried to use this tool for different things. Several reviews say their heat guns stopped working after only a few months of use.
The manufacturer has solved this problem, too, and gives you a two-year warranty. So, if you choose this model, read the warranty terms before you use it to see if you are also covered.
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3. PRULDE HG0080 Hot Air Gun
The PRULDE HG0080 is another excellent heat air gun. People who use this device often brag that they can keep using it for more than 600 hours straight on a high setting without it breaking down.
You already know that it can take more than 10 minutes to dry just one garment. So, you need a hot air gun that can reach a desirable temperature, work for a long time without overheating, and cost a reasonable amount of money if you want to achieve a quicker complete cure.
The manufacturer of this heat gun, Neu Master, has enabled us to do just that. They also have great customer service, so if your product breaks, you can count on them to quickly replace it or give you your money back.
The manufacturer also says that this device passed the drop and aging tests. Luckily, I haven’t dropped it yet, so I wouldn’t know if this is true.
But one thing I really like about this heat gun is the way its handle is made. At the bottom, you’ll see that the tube is very flexible, which keeps the cable from bending or breaking over time.
Plus, when they designed this heat gun, they thought of everything.
In particular, this heat gun is small and light. On the back is an integrated stand for support, so you can put it on a flat surface while it is working and enjoy this hands-free operation without worrying about it falling over.
One of the most significant advantages of this heat gun is certainly protection against burning. I think that this setting on the heat gun is crucial, especially when drying subliminal ink on T-shirts after screen printing. The handle is also made so that it doesn’t slip out of your hands, which makes it easier to use for longer.
Like the previous models, there is variable temperature control.
It doesn’t weigh very much (1.85 pounds), and it’s almost the same size as previous models, with dimensions of 9.06 x 3.15 x 7.87 inches, but with the previously mentioned significant advantages in the design itself.
It works with a power consumption of 1200 watts, and the rest of its performance is almost identical to the previous one, except that the cable is longer. From my point of view, this is a big plus. The length of the cord is 6.5 feet, which is important for people who don’t want to use extension cords.
A spoon reflector nozzle, an air reduction nozzle, a BBQ lighter nozzle, and a fishtail surface nozzle are included in the package along with the device.
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4. CARTMAN Heat Gun
Like the other items on our list, this portable heat gun can be set to two different temperatures. The lowest temperature is 842 F, and the high temperature can go up to 1112 F.
The best thing about this thermal device is that it comes with nine accessories, including 4 different nozzles, 1 scraper handle, and 4 scraper attachments. These accessories will be handy if you buy this device to dry subliminal ink after screen printing, but you can also use them for other DIY heat gun projects, such as heating PVC or removing floor tiles, and save up to $50 by not buying them separately.
Another thing that makes this product stand out is how well it was made. German nickel-chromium is used to make the wires inside this device, which means it will last longer than similar products.
As for the weight and size of this heat gun, it is a little heavier than other heat guns (2.2 pounds), and it is a little bigger with dimensions of 14.57 x 1.97 x 10.63 inches. The electricity power is quite solid and runs at 1500 watts.
One disadvantage of this screen printing heat gun is that it cannot be used for an extended period of time without overheating. The manufacturer stated that if the heat gun works continuously for thirty minutes, smoke may start to come out of this device. Wherein it is the steam that comes from the thermal insulation material.
The CARTMAN heat gun can reach a high heat very quickly, which is excellent, but the mentioned shortcoming can be an issue if you plan to use it throughout the day.
You should carefully plan the breaks. Maybe the best solution is to immediately dry the ink with a heat gun after printing a T-shirt with a heat press, then turn off the heat gun and keep working on the clothes on your screen printing machine.
Or process all the t-shirts one after the other on the heat press and have more breaks later during the drying process.
The difference from other heat guns is also apparent in the way the gun is packaged. In particular, this heat gun comes in a case. But, it’s a plastic case you can take with you everywhere, which is very useful, but be careful. Please make sure the heat gun and the nozzle on top of it are entirely cool after use so the box doesn’t get damaged.
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5. Vastar 2000W Heat Gun
Vaster’s 2000-watt heat gun is the strongest on our list. The Vastar heat gun quickly reaches its maximum temperature and produces a lot of hot air.
The heat gun’s temperature ranges from 122 to 1022 F and 194 to 1202 F in 20 seconds.
But the best thing about this heat gun is that it has a digital LCD, so you can keep an eye on the temperature and set it to the right level. It also has a built-in stand, which allows hands-free operation.
Compared to the other items on our list, this one stands out.
If you’re a perfectionist, remember that the temperature is monitored inside the device, not outside.
Even though the two temperatures don’t differ much, the data on the screen is an approximation.
What we liked the most is that this heating device has an infinite button on which you can easily adjust the temperature settings.
In addition, this hot air gun has an ergonomic handle that makes it easier to use so that you can prevent straining your hands during use.
You can also avoid getting burned because this tool has a nozzle safety shield that protects against burns.
What the producers of this heat gun can boast about are definitely the filaments with double heating.
So, this heat gun heats up quickly, saving you time and letting you use it more smartly.
When you apply ink to a wardrobe, your heat gun will be ready to use instantly after being plugged in, and efficiency is crucial to us all.
The description says this heat gun has overload protection, but we didn’t know for sure until we used it for more than 10 hours straight.
Just be careful, and keep the heat gun at a safe distance from the fabric or box when working at high temperatures to prevent damage. Always keep the heat gun moving.
Sometimes I form concentric circles like I’m drying my hair to make sure this robust equipment won’t harm my items.
It comes with four standard nozzles and a cable that is 6.56 ft long, which is quite long for various uses.
At the same time, this item has standard dimensions of 10.98 x 10.16 x 3.66 inches and weighs 7 ounces.
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6. PHALANX Heat Gun
It may be last on our list, but it is certainly not negligible. The Phalanx is a modest firm, but their heat gun has proven that it can compete with even the most well-known manufacturers of this type of gear.
There are up to five different nozzles in this heat gun, which is unusual but certainly a good thing. It comes with a whole set of paint removal equipment, which can also be helpful if you are into screen printing and you may need to remove ink from some objects.
Also, this heat gun is mighty and works at 1500 watts. It comes with the now-familiar burnout protection feature.
It is very important that you trust this device when applying heat.
No one is comfortable using a heat gun at the maximum temperature for only two or even three months, only to have the engine shut down due to overheating as a result of such use.
That’s why this is a reliable device.
Like all other heat guns, this one has two temperature settings: one goes from 122°F to 752°F and the other from 194°F to 1202°F. It has as many as seven temperature classes.
But you will notice that a good design choice has been made on this heat gun.
The button that lets you change the temperature doesn’t stick out of the handle’s frame. Instead, it’s recessed into the handle, so the button won’t be in your way when you hold this heat gun.
Also, the heat gun’s rubber handle is well designed to fit nicely in the hands and is easy to hold.
Like the other tools we’ve discussed, this heat gun has a built-in stand so you can use it without holding it. During the screen printing process, this isn’t an essential feature, though.
Even though Phalanx is a small business, it has good customer service. It offers a guarantee for up to a year after the purchase. When making a purchase, bear this in mind.
However, this manufacturer notes that during the first ignition of this heat gun, smoke may appear due to the combustion of production oils.
I was scared the first time when I plugged it in. I already wanted to return this device and report a failure when I saw that it had happened to many people. Still, later, this device worked perfectly, and the smoke disappeared quickly.
It’s a bit heavier than other heat guns (2.6 pounds), with pretty standard dimensions of 9.84 x 8.07 x 3.03 inches, but it has a great 6.6-foot cable, which is very important to me.
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Things to Consider When Buying Heat Guns
- temperature rangeWhen you put screen printing ink on fabric or any other material, you want to dry it with a very hot gun. Because it is so much faster, that is the reason why you bought this device in the first place. Pay attention to those that can develop different temperatures so that you can always adjust the heat according to your needs.With this process, you evaporate the water in the water-based ink, which leaves a permanent ink on your product. But, you don’t want to burn the cloth or cardboard you’re working on, though.
- overload protectionIf you require this equipment and it overheats after only a few hours of daily use, you will not be comfortable. As a result, the heat guns with this option are more durable and a better investment overall than those without this feature.
- power consumptionRemember that even though you have a significant power consumption of 2000w or 18000w, you’ll need sockets that can support those powerful gadgets.So, first, find out how much power your outlets and extension cords can produce.Since I don’t use the 220v one, I couldn’t even get the power consumption on the highest setting and usually couldn’t get more than 1290 watts.
TIP: always keep a safe 5-7 cm distance from the material, move the heat gun around instead of keeping it still, and change the temperature of this tool to suit your needs. Using this method will give you cured ink in just a few seconds.
Is it faster to heat set the ink with a heat press?
Yes! Because it functions like a conveyor dryer without a belt, and a heat press has a more potent heat source than a heat gun. The heat press may be speedier, but it’s more expensive and takes up more space. So be careful when setting ink with a heat press and use a Teflon sheet to protect the garment.
Bear in mind that electronic repairs to the conveyor drier and heat press are more expensive than buying a new heat gun.
How can I dry plastisol ink without cracking?
The best way is to heat set the ink with this device or the conveyor dryer immediately after applying the ink to the desired product. After that, leave the product in a room with good ventilation to air dry.
To ensure that the ink has not burst, I suggest you do a wash test. After the first test, you will see whether you have achieved the desired results.
Can a heat gun be used instead of a flash dryer to dry ink?
A flash dryer is a piece of equipment that can be used in many different ways. Curing with a flash dryer takes some practice to get right, but there is another way to dry prints without using a conveyor dryer. The heat gun is a great alternative, of course.
If you are wondering which hot air gun is the best, you will easily notice that they have more or less the same performance, so the final choice is yours. But remember that the answer to that question, which is the best heat gun for screen printing, will be given after the wash test.
Whether you’re curing a product for yourself, a friend, or a business, it’s crucial that the ink stays fixed to the fabric, so it doesn’t fade. After the first wash, I was disappointed when I used the more expensive products.
Therefore, you won’t regret trying any of the products listed above.