Can you use a Hair dryer instead of a Heat gun? Heat gun vs Hair dryer

Many times, we think if there exists an alternative for a tool that would work the same way as the original tool does. This question arises in the case of heat guns and hair dryers too. Can a hair dryer be used in situations when we don’t have a heat gun handy?

What are the similarities and differences that both have? When should we use a heat gun and when should we not? All these questions come up in a lot of minds and that’s why you are here as well.

Well, to answer all your questions, we have listed out all the possible explanations, similarities and differences that we could figure out. Read on to dwell deeper into the heat world!

Can you use a hair dryer instead of a heat gun?

In few cases where a heat gun is used for tasks where low temperatures are required, the hairdryer can be used instead of a heat gun.

Tasks that require the use of a heat gun but at very low temperatures include:

  • Peeling off stickers from the wall
  • Melting wax or crayons
  • Defreeze food items from the fridge at home
  • Dry half wet clothes
  • Dry half wet shoes

The above tasks need a temperature of about 120-150 C which is a lower temperature range of a heat gun and the highest temperature range of hair dryer is 120-150 C, so these tasks can be alternatively done using a hairdryer.

Hair dryer vs Heat Gun

If we talk about the basics then their body shape, their function and control are pretty similar. They both have the same two elements – a fan and a heating coil.

Although they work on the same principle of heat, there are quite a lot of differences that exist between them.

Hair DryerHeat Gun
Application: To dry the hair and style it sometimes.Application: Removing paint  from vehicles and shrink-wrapping objects
Maximum Temperature: 150 CMaximum Temperature: 700 C
As it is designed to dry out hair, the hot air coming out of the hair dryer is not that concentrated or in a continuous flow.They are designed for high-end application of heat and so have a concentrated flow of hot air
Material: The hair dryers are made out of plastic and ceramic to withstand low temperaturesMaterial: The heat gun is designed using similar material of ceramic but has a nozzle to protect the object from dry contact the hot air. It also has external strands to help store it, when not in use.
It is less efficient as the air is scattered.They are more efficient as their air is not scattered
It cannot burn the surface of the workpieceIf used for a long time, it can burn the surfaces of the workpiece.

What can I use instead of a heat gun?

There are a few alternatives that can be used instead of a heat gun. For temperature ranges of 120-150 C, a blow dryer would do a good job. For higher temperature ranges, you could go for the household irons or a blow torch that is used by plumbers to heat adhesive tape.

One more very similar alternative is a pneumatic heat kit which is a lot like a heat gun and the only difference is that this tool uses a compressed air source.

For works like bending pipes and plastics, you could go for glow rings as well.

When to use a Hair dryer, but not a Heat gun?

The hair dryer doesn’t actually emit hot air as the temperature is so low; it actually gives off air to accelerate the process of evaporation of water from your hair.

Hair dryers were originally made for hair salons and drying hair quickly. Fast hair dryers do the job even quicker but these hair dryers are being used for other tasks (including the previous tasks that have been mentioned at the start of the article) as well such as:

  • Removing wrinkles from clothes
  • Dry off wet nail polish or defrost frozen things
  • Dry the washed vegetables

And so on. Basically, hair dryer can be used at places where there is a need to evaporate water from any surface at low temperatures.

For few tasks, hairdryers can certainly be used instead of a heat gun like melting wax or removing the labels from the back of a product.  But do not use these products for a long time as they might get destroyed after being overheated.

Top 3 Hair Dryers

When to use a Heat gun, but not a Hair dryer?

If you are thinking of using a heat gun on hair, then it is a big no-no as it can cause the hair to singe and burn.

Heat guns are best for tasks that require very higher temperatures such as melting or defrosting large products.  Heat guns are typically used for the following tasks:

  • Defrosting pipes which need 1000 F
  • Removing paint from vehicles where a temperature of 750 F is needed
  • To mould plastic or bend plastic which needs around 300 F
  • Drying the paint which requires 250-300 F
  • Defrosting fridges or breaking frozen locks which need 300-400 F

And so on. So basically, heat guns can only be used when there is a need for high-temperature tasks. Heat guns should be handled with care as the high temperature can cause severe burns when not used with care.

It is popularly used to scrape off paint and shrink wrapping ( wrapping a sheet of plastic) around objects.

Top 3 Heat guns

When can you use either a Hair dryer or a Heat Gun?

There are hardly any tasks where you could use both interchangeably.  But the high-end temperature of a hair dryer and the low-end temperature of a heat gun are more or less the same as that is 150 C. So there are a few tasks where you could carefully make use of the hairdryer.

  • If you live in a humid area, then a hair dryer might come in handy to set the plastic on the windows.
  • Hair dryers can also be used to melt crayons. You could always melt it and make a unique color out of it.
  • Sometimes, the adhesive tapes stick to the walls or products and do not easily come off. In those cases, hair dryer or a heat gun, anything can be used to take it off.
  • Other tasks can include removing stickers from the wall or from the back of items or melting wax.

Who should you use neither Hair dryer nor Heat gun?

People who are not experienced with using heat guns shouldn’t use heat guns at all as the high temperatures can burn their skin if mishandled. It should also be kept away from children.

Hair dryers although harmless in most cases can heat up if switched on for a long time. In that case, it can burn the hand and can cause electric shocks to children.

If the heat application demands a temperature lower than 100 C, then using a hairdryer is not advisable in such cases.

  • You can definitely not melt paint using a hair dryer so they can’t be used in such cases. Heat guns shouldn’t be used for tasks that involve lesser temperatures less than 200 C. Their lowest temperature is 150 C but it is better if you use it for temperatures above 200-250 C.
  • Heat guns shouldn’t be used for applications that need temperatures higher than 800 C as they won’t be effective at all.
  • When the temperature range of working goes out of their bounds then, neither of them is to be used.

Prolonged uses for both can result in damage so switch it off after using.


While there is no clear answer to if we can use a heat gun and heat dryer for similar tasks but we tried to list a few tasks that you can try.

Just like hair can’t be dried using a heat gun, shrink wrapping cannot be done using a hair dryer. Both work in their temperature ranges and cannot be used in place of each other for most all tasks.