Heat Gun vs Speedheater Infrared Gun

A heat gun can be used to apply heated air to any surface. Similar to a hair dryer in appearance, a heat gun is different in that the temperature of the air emitted is much higher. Electric heat guns have an electric heating element. A fan ensures that enough air is passed over the element and out of the nozzle. Furthermore, the nozzle of some heat guns can be modified to deflect or direct air to a specific area. Heat guns are used in various fields, such as science, electronics, engineering, and construction for many different purposes. They have also found use in many homes as a power tool for stripping away old paint, applying shrink or plastic filming, thawing frozen pipes, bending and welding plastic, drying wet wood, and other such tasks. In fact, heat guns are more often than not used in many home DIY projects.

A speedheater infrared gun, as the name suggests, also allows you to apply infrared heat to a specific surface. These guns are relatively newer in comparison to heat guns and can be used to perform almost all the same functions as those of a heat gun. A speedheater infrared gun looks more like a rectangular clothes iron and less like a gun or a hairdryer. A speedheater infrared gun does not emit heated air; it emits infrared heat.


While a heat gun can emit air at temperatures ranging from 200°F to 1000°F (and even 1400°F), a speedheater infrared gun provides low heat (400°F to 600°F). This difference in temperature is important because at high temperatures some paints (such as lead) vaporize, giving off highly dangerous and toxic fumes. Thus, in this regard, the speedheater infrared gun scores higher over the heat gun since it is safe for use with all paint surfaces. Moreover, a speedheater infrared gun allows you to control the temperature. This is not always possible with a heat gun.


Although a speedheater infrared gun can be used to perform all the functions that a heat gun can perform, it is most commonly used to remove paint and varnish. The design and lower temperatures make the speedheater infrared gun ideal for stripping paint and varnish from doors, windows, boats, and other surfaces. In comparison, a heat gun (owing to the modified nozzles) can be used to target any specific area with more ease, such as de-soldering circuit board components. Moreover, a heat gun works at higher temperatures, making it suitable for projects that require more than 600°F of heat. Hence, while the speedheater infrared gun may be more suited for paint and varnish removal, the heat gun is far more versatile.


Many models of heat guns are available at varying prices. Nonetheless, almost all heat guns are considerably cheaper than speedheater infrared guns. This means that if you do not intend to work with lead (or other such toxic paints), a heat gun will be a better buy not only because it is more versatile, but also because it is far more affordable.

Last Word

While speedheater infrared guns are gaining considerable popularity owing to the fact that they are far safer to use, heat guns are still quite popular because they are cheaper and can be used in more applications.

Looking to purchase a new heat gun? Check out our Heat Guns Buyer's Guide.