Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wagner HT-1000 Heat Gun

It's the Last Stripper I'll Ever Pay For!

House paint serves more than decorative functions, it's also the homeowner's front-line defender against moisture. That's why many older houses (like our 1895 Queen Anne) are covered in multiple layers of the stuff. When I had to do some window window repair on the dignified old gal, I remembered once more why the owners of historic houses speak "previous owner" as a profanity. Because of a few rotten spots in the window frames we cleaned everything down to bare wood before proceeding. Yep, more than a century's worth of paint; oil-based or latex; leaded or lead-free; green, white, red, brown, tan... they overmatched every chemical stripper we could find. That was before I wandered into the little hardware store on the corner and found a Wagner HT1000 Heat Gun. I may never buy a paint stripper again.


The Wagner HT1000 looks so much like a hair dryer that the owner's manual says, in bold red letters, "No use la pistola de aire caliente como secadora de pelo" or, in a nutshell, "Don't use it for a hair dryer!" You can use it other tasks, though, like to thaw a frozen pipe; bend a plastic pipe; loosen rusted bolts; and remove sheet goods like Formica and floor tile; and my favorite to remove paint.

The HT1000 is Wagner's entry-level heat gun, 1200 watts with two temperature settings: 750° and 1000° F). A slider switch in the pistol grip controls the temperature. The heat-resistant body houses double-insulated electrical guts, and the heating unit rests in a four-inch chrome "barrel." You only hear a faint hum from the blower fan when using it. The power connection is a 6' heavy-gauge grounded cord. At low temperature, it draws 650 watts; at high temperature, 1200. There's a small loop set into the case so that you can hang it on a hook to cool down: the nozzle takes a long time to reach ambient temperature, and is hot enough for you a nasty burn when running.

Using the HT1000

The Owner's Manual includes a table cross-referencing different jobs with heat settings and its optional tips. This model comes without accessories, but there's also a kit that includes an HT1000 gun and tips to concentrate or spread the heat, a multihead scraper and a case.

All you need for ordinary stripping is the heat gun, a 6-in-one painter's tool, and a little elbow grease. Just play the heated air on the paint, keeping the tip in motion to avoid overheating the paint or setting it on fire. Immediately follow the heat with the scraper, working with the gun in one hand and the scraper in the other. You'll be able to lift 6 - 8" multilayer strips of paint with just moderate effort. Take care near windows, since the heat can break glass on high.

Bottom line? I'll gladly take a Wagner HT1000 Heat Gun the next time I go up against a century-old paint sandwich. You can use it to make toast or roast weenies, too!


PLUS: removes paint like a charm
MINUS: comes without tips; cools very slowly
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: A Wagner HT1000 Heat Gun removes paint like a champ, not to mention performing other warming jobs in the workshop.

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