Can a heat gun be used to melt solder?

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Soldering is used in a wide range of fields, including plumbing, electronics and metalworking. It’s a basic process but sometimes you don’t have a propane torch that you can use.

If you’re looking to purchase a heat gun, check out our guide today.

Can you use a heat gun to melt solder? 

Tacklife Heavy Duty Heat Gun

A heat gun can usually be used to melt solder.  The big word is usually. It depends on two variables: the material of the solder and the power of the heat gun. Once you know both you’ll be able to determine if you can solder. 

 

Solder Material


Solder is a low-melting alloy, usually based on lead and tin, and used to join less fusible metals. Think of it as glue. There is an effort today to make lead-free solder (for safety concerns.)

 

Heat guns work best with soft solders with a melting point below 400 celsius.  However, different solders have different ratios of materials with different melt temperatures. Whether your heat gun can melt it depends what your solder is made up of.

 

Different power of heat gun

 

This goes without saying, but there is a wide variety of heat guns. Usually the more expensive ones are more powerful. A heat gun emits hot air between 100 and 500 degrees celsius. Some hotter models go all the way up to 760 celsius or 1400 fahrenheit. That’s a big variance in power. A 760 celsius model could easily melt some solder that a 500 couldn’t touch. It’s quite easy to find soldering material that has a melting point below 400 celsius, so you should be fine with most guns. 

 

Remember to have a clean work area and that you cannot solder steel. 

 

Sometimes a propane torch is hard to come by. It’s a pain to always have propane available or you might be saving up for a different tool. If it’s melting solder, a heat gun can usually get the job done and save the day.

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