How To Use A Heat Gun For Shrink Wrap?

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Written By Steven Quinn

Meet Steven Quinn, a true heat tools specialist.

When it comes to wrapping and packaging goods, you have many options, but one crucial thing is how your goods are packaged. And this is when heat guns come into play. Shrink wrapping via a heat gun is a popular method used to seal items before they are shipped.

Shrink wrap is a plastic material with a low melting point. When heat is applied through a heat gun, the shrink wrap gets shrunk and contracts to tightly cover the object. This process is also known as heat-shrink wrapping.

Using a heat gun for shrink wrapping allows you to carefully control the heat without the risk of fire. Besides that, heat guns are more affordable than most other options for shrink-wrapping something with your own hands. 

Why Should You Use a Heat Gun for Shrink Wrap?

If you’re wondering why you should use a heat gun for shrink wrapping, the answer is simple: it’s quick, easy, and efficient. You don’t have to have a lot of experience with a heat gun. You just need to know how to operate a heat gun.

You’ll also need some shrink wrap to use with your heat gun, but you can find that at most home improvement and hardware stores. While there are multiple ways to shrink wrap something, a heat gun is arguably the quickest and simplest way to do so.

With a heat gun, you place the shrink wrap over the object you want to cover. Then, you apply heat to the wrap, which causes it to shrink down around the thing.

Most heat guns are corded, which means that they plug into an outlet, but there are some of the best cordless heat guns on the market that are operated with a replaceable battery. 

How to Use a Heat Gun for Shrink Wrap: 5 Simple Steps

How to Use a Heat Gun for Shrink Wrap

There are a few basic steps to follow when using the best heat gun for shrink wrapping

  1. First, you need to cut the shrink wrap to the size of the object you want to cover. 
  2. Next, place the shrink wrap over the object and secure it in place using tape or by pressing it down with an iron. Then, plug in the heat gun and press down on the trigger to start heating up the plastic.
  3. After heating, use the heat gun to apply the heat directly to the plastic wrap. This will shrink and contract the plastic around the object. 
  4. If the plastic isn’t giving you the results you want, try adjusting the temperature settings on your heat gun. Keep in mind that most plastic shrink wrap comes in a variety of different thicknesses.
  5. While thicker plastic is easier to shrink, it’s also harder to see through. Thinner plastic is more see-through, but it’s also harder to shrink.

5 Tips for Using a Heat Gun for Shrink Wrapping

These tips will help you get the most out of your heat gun while you’re using it for shrink wrapping. 

  1.  If you’re in the market for a heat gun, select one that’s built with high-quality materials and durable construction. The more powerful your heat gun, the faster you’ll be able to shrink wrap objects.
  2. Don’t put the heat gun too close to the shrink wrap. While you definitely want to apply enough heat to shrink the wrap, you don’t want to put the heat gun so close that it actually melts the plastic. 
  3. Burn marks or holes in the plastic are a sign that you’re moving the heat gun too close. Move the heat around the shrink wrap.
  4. It’s tempting to just concentrate the heat in one place and let it sit there until the wrap shrinks. But in order to avoid burning the plastic wrap, you need to move the heat around the wrap.
  5. Avoid touching the shrink wrap with your hands. You don’t want oil or dirt from your hands to ruin the plastic wrap. Use a pair of gloves or an iron with a non-stick surface to avoid leaving behind fingerprints.

Advantages of Using a Heat Gun for Shrink Wrap

Advantages of Using a Heat Gun for Shrink Wrap

 Shrink wrap has become a staple in the world of home and business applications. While you can buy shrink wrap for your projects, using a heat gun to shrink-wrap can save you time and money.

1. It cuts down on installation time:

You don’t have to wait for the heat gun to cool down before making another pass—it heats up much faster than traditional methods like hot glue guns and hot air guns.

2. It saves money:

Shrinking plastic with a heat gun is more cost-effective than other options because it doesn’t require any adhesive or tape, which will cost more in terms of supplies spent over time while using other methods such as gluing or taping together plastic pieces beforehand (especially if you’re doing multiple projects at once).

3. It creates a cleaner finish:

If you’re trying to get rid of any imperfections in your shrink wrap project before applying it to an object, then use a heat gun instead of a hot glue gun.

A heat gun is more accurate and consistent when applying heat onto objects of different sizes, shapes, and thicknesses, so you won’t need as many passes over an object as with a hot glue gun.

Things to be Aware of When Using a Heat Gun for Shrink Wrap

1. Safety First!

Before using any tool, it is important that you take safety precautions first. Do not ever use a heat gun if there are children around because they could get hurt from the heat!

Make sure that no one is underfoot either because they might get burned by falling objects or other materials falling from above them as well. When working with any tool, always wear protective gear such as goggles and gloves whenever possible so that none of this happens!

2. Know Your Settings

The next thing is knowing how much power your specific model has so that you can properly adjust it when using it on your projects while working with it in order to avoid any mishaps or accidents occurring while working it out in the open air where anyone could potentially come upon it.

To avoid damaging the items you wrap or burning yourself, there are a few things you should be aware of while you’re using a heat gun for shrink wrapping. Don’t get too close to anything flammable. Wrap the object completely.

Make sure you’ve completely covered the object you want to shrink wrap before you apply the heat to the plastic. Don’t let kids use the heat gun. Keep the heat gun unplugged when it isn’t in use.

Stay away from heat guns that look like they’re falling apart. They tend to produce poor-quality results. Also, make sure your heat gun comes with a stand, so you don’t accidentally burn yourself.

3. Ventilation

It is necessary to keep certain things in mind before using a heat gun. You need to make sure that your workspace is well-ventilated and that the doors and windows are open.

Inhaling the toxins and fumes that are let out in the process can be harmful and irritate your lungs. It would help if you used heat guns in an outdoor setting.

It is also advisable that you wear safety and protective gear such as goggles, respiratory masks, and heat-resistant clothes when you are working on some projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a hair dryer as a heat gun for shrink wrap?

 I’m not sure if you can use a hair dryer as a heat gun for shrink wrap, but it might work! If you have a hair dryer, you can use it to apply heat to the shrink wrap in order to make it shrink.

Although the heat gun is way more powerful than a hairdryer, you might have to wait to see the results because it will take some time.

What kind of heat gun do I need for shrink wrap?

 If you’re doing simple DIY projects like wrapping or shrinking foam, then a simple dual-setting gun will do the job just fine. But if you’re planning on wrapping plumbing pipes or electrical wiring, then you’ll want one with a full variable-temperature range from 300 to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit.

How much heat do you need for shrink wrap?

It depends on the type of shrink film you’re using. The average temperature for shrink wrapping is about 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can go as high as 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the temperature, the more quickly your product will shrink.

What Should You Do If Your Shrink Wrap Develops Wrinkles?

One of the most common issues faced as an amateur in shrinking wrapping is the formation of wrinkles on the surface. These appear in the form of lines when less heat is applied to the shrinking surface. If you are using a heat gun, make sure to apply more heat to the wrinkled areas. If you are using a heat tunnel, it is advised that you slow down the speed and increase the temperature.


We hope this guide has helped you learn information about how to properly use a heat gun. Proper use of heat guns will help you get the results you want and be safer at work.

In the end, though, the most important thing is to stay safe and know what you are doing before using any type of heat-producing tool around flammable materials. Of course, there will always be inherent risks that can only be mitigated with common sense and proper precautions.

When it comes to heat guns, though, I think we have done our part in providing a helpful and friendly guide that should keep you from getting burned and on your way to shrink wrap success! If you know how to use a heat gun properly, you can shrink wrap almost anything in just a few minutes.

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