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Handle Your Heat Gun

If you are a stamper then you probably own a heat gun.  It is usually one of the essential tools after stamps and ink.  I have stamped for 17+ years and have owned two makes of heat guns in that time.

My first three heat guns came from the same manufacturer.  The first of those lasted only a few months.  I contacted the manufacturer and they replaced it for free.  The replacement was toast in a couple of weeks.  When I called the manufacturer again about this failure I was given some very good advice, "After using your heat gun, point the nozzle UP.  This allows the super heated air to escape AWAY from the motor and fan."  My third heat gun lasted about 14 years.  And that is saying a  lot because my heat guns really get a work out.  I make between 400 and 600 cards a year and at least half of those have had a heat gun application somewhere in the design process.

A caution when using a heat gun - Watch what you are doing!  This is not a toy.  I have read that the air temperature just out of the nozzle is about 600 degrees.  That can mean some serious burns for the unwary.  If your heat gun has an exposed metal tip be extra cautious, especially around novice stampers and children.  You can scorch or even ignite paper if you are not careful.  ("I don't want to talk about it, I hate flaming projects." says Shelly's voice of experience.)

Heat guns are a crafting tool that are not limited to stamping.  I have found all types of non-stamping uses for my heat guns.  There are many makes and models of heat guns with various features.  I am currently using a Milwaukee heat gun and have been very satisfied with it.  It is one of the more expensive models, but I know that with a little care it will last me for many years.

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6 Responses »

  1. Great info. I'd like to reinerate Cyn's comment on calling it a "Heat Tool", not a "gun" when traveling. Had a friend who ended up in airport security and missed her flight for calling it a gun.

  2. Grand tip. I have used this one for a long time now. I now have two heat guns; only because, in one move I thought it was lost for ever. I got another one and shazam!!! the first shows up, as always.I have been stamping and using my heat gun for at least 25 years. Not 600 cards a year but at least 200+ year year.
    Plus it is good for - removing sticky sticky stickers, refreshing the out side of a candle, burning wood projects, softening CD's to cut.. I have had several uses for my handy dandy Heat tool... tool is the word you want to use if flying with your heat tool. Gun and Airplanes not good... Un-plug when not in use or have on a off switch plug or some such thing. One girl I know had her house catch fire due to an inquisitive cat and the heat tool... keep these ideas and fun stuff comming.. Love it!

  3. I, too, would like to know what kind of 'non-stamping' projects you use your heat gun for.

  4. Good tips Shelly. I've used the same heat gun (Heat It) for 10 years and have had really good luck with it. I don't know what I would do without it. I'm curious as to what non-stamping uses you have for your heat gun.

  5. Hey thanks, good advice. pointing the gun up makes a lot of sense. I'll pass that along.

  6. Thanks, Shelly. The Weller heat gun has a "cool" setting and they recommend flipping it to that and running it a few seconds to cool it down after using, for exactly the reason you're talking about. Here's another tip I learned when I was first stamping: when you're using the gun, don't point it straight down at the paper, hold it at an angle. The "back blast" of heat is very hard on the tool and if you hold it at an angle, that back blast doesn't aim straight into your gun.