Three Affordable Heat Guns for Your Shrink Wrap Film

Shrink Wrap Heat GunsShrink wrap film, by design, shrinks down when put in direct contact with heat. Many shrink wrap machines are used in conjunction with heat tunnels and integrated hoods, but one of the most popular tools for applying heat continues to be the heat gun (found here). There are a lot of misconceptions about these tools. I would like to clarify what makes a heat gun and recommend a few you may want to use.

As mentioned earlier, shrink film contracts when applied to heat. This is designed to produce a tight, clear and smooth surface for packaging purposes. You have probably dealt with shrink film when opening a DVD, CD or other packaging. While there is a lot of different types of shrink film out there, two are used above all others. These are:

  1. PVC Film (found here) – This type of film is clear, common and cheap. It is extremely popular, universally compatible with pretty much all shrink wrap machines and is excellent for packaging boxes, CDs, DVDs and much more. This type of film has been around a long time. It should be noted that it is not food safe and it is more brittle than Polyolefin film.
  2. Polyolefin Film (found here) – This film is also clear and shrinks much like PVC film. The difference being that it is FDA approved for direct contact with film. Polyolefin film also has much stretchier properties to it when compared to PVC film. While it used to be more expensive per square foot than PVC, the cost has really come down over the years. Polyolefin, unlike PVC film, little to no odors and smoke.

Heat guns can be used to shrink down either one of these types of film without any problem. They can be used with centerfold rolls of film, bags, sheets and much more. One question I get frequently asked is, “Is a heat gun the same thing as a hair dryer?” The quick and simple answer to this is a definite “NO.” A heat gun is many times hotter than a hair dryer, even on the low setting. A heat gun would literally singe the hair off your head.

Heat guns shouldn’t be intimidating though. They are designed to be safe to use including insulated handles that will stay cool during use. You just need to use a little common sense when operating one. At ABC Office we currently offer three different models of heat guns. I would like to cover these three.

  • HG-1-CY Heat GunSealerSales HG-1-CY (found here) – This is one of the least expensive heat guns available on the internet. This gun is lightweight, has a dual temperature setting (high and low) and includes a kickstand that allows it to sit on end when not in use. At just 1 pound 10 ounces, this heat gun isn’t going to tire you out with continued use. It can be used with most types of shrink film including PVC, POF, PET and PP film. You really can’t go wrong with this heat gun, especially for the price.
  • SealerSales HG-1 (found here) – If you like the HG-1CY, but need some added temperature, consider going with the HG-1. This heat gun is just a few more dollars, but can go all the way up to 1,100 degrees for use with film that needs a little more heat. This heat gun also works with most film and is extremely easy to use. The design allows it to easily sit on its end without the need of a fold-out kickstand.
  • Traco Hot Shot (found here) – This heat gun is one of the most popular used today and has been around for over a decade. It features a variable temperature control that goes all the way up to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.  This gun comes with Traco’s lineup of I-bar sealers by default, but it can be purchased by itself as a replacement or for use with other I-bar sealers, heat sealers and L-bar sealers.

Hopefully this list helps you out. At ABC Office we also offer a great selection of shrink wrap machines (found here). If you still have questions, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have over 30 years of experience and would love to help you out.

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