Pros from nearly every trade can find a use for the Ridgid 18V Butane Heat Gun and its adjustable 1100°F max on-demand heat. I regularly use a corded heat gun with dual temperature modes. My unfamiliarity with—and skepticism about—using and re-filling a butane tool burned off pretty quickly. Let me show you how this tool saved me some setup and tear-down time.
- Nearly instant heat
- Quick cool-down
- Easy to fill with butane canister (not included)
- Simple temperature adjustment dial
- Kickstand for safer cool-down and hands-free work
- No butane gauge
You don’t have to be skeptical of this butane tool. It’s easy to fill, and its benefits far outweigh the fact that you need to carry around a refill canister. There’s no way to tell how much butane is in the tank, but that’s no deal breaker since this gun heats up in just a few seconds. A kickstand allows hands-free work and safety when cooling down (which is also very fast). It’s an immediate and significant time-saver that I now take to every job.
As I mentioned, I’ve saved significant time since picking up the Ridgid 18V Butane Heat Gun. Those 25-30 minute curing times that paint samples and spackled holes require on their own turns into about 45 seconds. If every Pro painter picks up the R860434, the expression of boredom like watching paint dry may no longer be accurate!
Of course, a corded heat gun works as well, but I find the hassle of pulling out the cord, locating an outlet, etc, causes me to often skip it when not absolutely necessary. A cordless solution like the Ridgid heat gun had me pulling it out of my tool bag more often to speed up my day.
I expected that carrying around a butane can and filling up the Heat Gun would be a small pain in the neck. But it’s really not a problem at all. Ridgid estimates you’ll get around fifteen minutes max runtime on a full tank. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how much is in the tank. For me, the on-demand heat and time savings far outweigh that little inconvenience. There’s no waiting around for it to heat up. And its cool-down mode means you can get on to the next task quickly.
Moreover, a simple dial allows you to modulate the temperature. Although Ridgid doesn’t mention the low temperature bound, I do know that it gets about as hot as a 1500W corded model at 1100°F. For comparison, the Makita Variable Temperature Heat Gun (corded) only goes to around 1022º F.
But Wait, There’s More
That higher heat makes removing unwanted paint easy. In a couple of instances, I held the Ridgid 18V Butane Heat Gun close to the substrate until the paint bubbled. Then I scraped the paint off with a flat blade. Obviously, if you’re taking the paint off a large section of exterior siding, a corded model will provide uninterrupted workflow—and a lighter-weight tool. For smaller areas, however, the Ridgid cordless heat gun makes for a compelling option.
If you’re painting around new construction and the windows still have stickers, the heat gun will make quick work of them. If you’re painting around old construction, you might be able to loosen rusty nuts and bolts if you come across them.
It’s unlikely that you’ll run into wallpaper nowadays, but here’s a Pro Tip for any DIY readers: use a steamer to remove wallpaper, not a heat gun!
When you release the heat gun’s trigger, air keeps flowing for several seconds to cool it off. Even so, I recommend that you use the folding kickstand that keeps the gun upright when setting it down. The kickstand also makes hands-free work easy. Not much hands-free work exists in painting. However, electricians or other tradesmen can make use of this feature for shrink tubing and similar work.
You can pick up the (bare) Ridgid 18V Butane Heat Gun for $109. There isn’t much competition in the cordless heat gun category. Ridgid’s closest competitor is probably the $129 Milwaukee cordless heat gun (2688-20) which skips butane and heats to 875° in about 6 seconds using just the battery. That tool also nets you diminished run-time since the battery has to supply the heat in addition to moving air. That tool seems particularly suited to shorter-run-time applications.
The Bottom Line
Ridgid’s made the best tool I didn’t realize I needed with the R860434B Heat Gun. I suspect Pros across the trades will think the same. You’ll need to keep some butane on hand, but don’t let that dissuade you: this tool’s usefulness in terms of time efficiency is unmatched—and so is the heat it produces!
Ridgid 18V Butane Heat Gun Specifications
- 1100º F maximum temperature
- Adjustable temperature output
- Foldable kickstand
- Automatic fan cool-down
- HexGrip textured handle
- 3-year limited warranty (not LSA-compatible)
- Includes: 18V cordless butane heat gun, operator’s manual (battery, charger, and butane tank sold separately)