In my years of dog bowl roasting I’ve gone through 4 different heat guns. Bottom line, in case you don’t read everything is:
#1: You want a professional quality gun in order to get consistent high heat.
#2, Light weight will make roasting more enjoyable.
1 Wagner HT1000?*
Pro: Available in-store, cheap
Con: Low Power
Wagner HT 1000
I believe my first gun was a Wagner HT1000, although mine was black (sorry Wagner if it wasn’t you). Whatever model it was, the big-boxes carried 2-3 types of heat guns. The “cheap one”, a “digital one”, and maybe a third similar gun with another feature. The best thing I can say about the in-store guns is they are cheap. As I was on a tight budget this was a compelling feature. The gun “worked” for roasting but it wasn’t very powerful. You’ll be happier if you skip these low power guns and get a “real” gun.
2. Makita HG 1100
Pro: Light weight, works good
I purchased a Makita HG 1100 in August 2005 from Amazon. I loved the increased power and was finally able to get the performance that I wanted. After about 2 years the blue plastic near the output began to melt. Maybe I was resting the gun while I was roasting and eventually distorted the gun? Whatever the case, smoking and burning plastics is probably a sign that it was time to get a new gun.
3 Wagner HT 775
Pro: Won’t melt, works good for awhile, good customer service
Con: Heavy, didn’t last long
Perhaps plastic wasn’t the right material for a heat gun? So I found a Wagner that was all metal.
However, After 7 months the gun stopped working. I spoke to customer service and it turns out that roasting is not the intended use for the gun and therefore not necessarily covered under the warranty. Roasting requires the gun to be used for 20+ minutes at a time, multiple times a week, The normal use of the gun isn’t nearly as intense. So I went on bought another gun. And as the way things work, shortly after I bought my new gun, Wagner shipped me a brand new gun!
4 Milwaukee 8975
Pro: Light weight, works good, lasts forever
My 4th gun, purchased in 2008, was a Milwaukee. Yep, went back to plastic. I couldnt’ find another metel one that looked good and Milwaukee seemed like a good brand. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the all metel Wagner weighed a ton! When you are holding the gun for 20 minutes with one arm and stirring with the other, lighter weight is a nice feature. This gun is still in great shape – even though I leave it outside.