3 BEST Heat Guns For Resin and Resin Bubbles | 2023
When working with resin, one of the best resin tools you will want to get is a heat gun. A good heat gun will smooth out your surface bubbles and will pop any micro bubbles that want to float to the top.
Without a heat gun, epoxy resin won't get that mirror-like glass finish.
There is often a lot of chat in the epoxy resin community over using a heat gun on resin or a torch. We recommend using a heat gun over a propane torch to get your air bubbles out of your epoxy resin for the following reasons:
- You can control the temperature setting of your heat gun
- You get a more consistent temperature
- There is a more consistent hot air flow
- It is much harder to burn your resin
- It is safer to use
Many beginner resin artists are apprehensive with using heat guns on their resin, but quickly learn it is one of the most essential finishing tools. There is even the option of finding a mini heat gun as well.
How are heat guns used on epoxy resin?
Heat guns are very useful when making resin art. Whether you are creating resin jewelry, resin painting, geode resin art, epoxy glitter tumblers, coasters or more, these are the best tools to always have on hand to remove bubbles from your wet resin.
Heat guns are also amazing tools to push the flow of your resin around. They make great lacing cells in resin if you are into those beautiful beachy scenes where the white crest of the waves float over the dark blue resin oceans. This is achieved with the help of a great heat gun.
Do you need a heat gun to cure resin?
No, a heat gun is not necessary to cure the resin, yet in saying that, the heat gun will affect the overall outcome of your resin cure.
Without a heat gun, your resin may release microbubbles, which will slowly float to the surface during the curing process only to leave little dimples in your finished work and possibly throughout as they get caught in the curing resin, leaving you without that crystal clear look.
Can I use a hair dryer in place of a heat gun for epoxy resin?
Technically, yes you could use a hair dryer in place of a heat gun on your resin, but it will not get you the results that you want (and that you deserve after all that work!).
It is highly recommended that instead of using a hair dryer to get bubbles out of resin, you purchase a heat gun specifically for your resin bubbles. It works perfectly for this.
A heat gun is a good tool that will have a more controlled stream of air as well as heat. It will also be more concentrated and will fit better in your hands so you can target exactly where you want your resin to move.
What is the best heat gun for resin?
The best heat gun for resin will offer a continuous flow of controlled air, will offer different settings (heat or power settings) and will have a high enough temperature rating to pop resin bubbles.
There are many variables to determine what makes the best heat gun for poring resin and your other epoxy art. When looking at all of the heat guns available, we kept in mind:
- Temperature settings control ability
- Weight of the heat gun
- How easy it is to use and set up
- The customer ratings and reviews of it
- Our own personal experience with resin
It is important to get those bubbles out of the resin before it cures with a good heat gun, and we are going to share with you how we do just that. Just make sure you are working safely with resin before starting, and then you can get started on your project.
Here are the best heat guns for resin!
Best Heat Gun For Resin
See all heat guns for resin available here (*opens in a new window to compare as you read)
1. Zap Heat Gun for resin (basic option)
The zap heat gun is great for resin, and it's got a great, matching price tag. WE use this exact heat gun for our own resin projects and we have had it for years now; it still performs beautifully.
It weighs 14.1oz and fits nicely in your hands at 5.5" x 2.5" x 11.5".
Made by American Crafts (who is a very well known name in the crafting world), it has excellent reviews and high customer ratings, and again, we can attest to that.
Here is the heat gun being used in our studio while working on some resin jewelry:
This is a heat gun we highly recommend, and it is very reasonably priced. It is especially great for small epoxy resin projects such as resin jewelry, resin coasters and small resin molds.
2. Chandler Tool Heat Gun (more advanced option)
Another option for a heat gun is the Chandler Heat Gun. This is a great option for resin as it has a variable heat setting and speed setting, so having that extra control is great when you need a certain amount of heat or flow.
It is insulated, ergonomic, lightweight and is UL-certified. So it is more advanced in terms of the functionality of it, but is just as easy to use as the previously mentioned craft heat gun.
This is a great option if you are making many resin pieces or are casting into deeper molds. It is also a good option if you like to work on details (ie: beaches and waves in your resin) as it has the variable heat setting to control those waves.
When looking at heat guns, this is an option that has everything you want in it to get a super clear resin surface. Plus you can choose between the blue or the pink heat gun.
3. Heat Vinyl Shrink Gun Kit for resin (best option)
Here is the most professional heat gun option that is easy to use. This lightweight heat gun has an LED display and a built-in circulation system that has automatic cooling after it is switched off.
There is one concentration nozzle for directing the high heat flow to the surface bubbles of your resin to move your resin around and get them all out.
Here are some features that resin artists will like about this heat gun for resin:
- Temperature settings range from 212-896F
- 12" long
- Max diameter 2.3"
- Fits nicely into hands for ergonomic work
- Weights 1.3lb
- US style plug format with ground plug
- comes with 3 different size nozzles for different needs
- C to F conversion
Whichever heat gun you choose for removing bubbles from resin, there are also some things you need to remember for keeping annoying bubbles out of your resin before you get to the heat gun stage, and these include:
Stir Resin Gently To Avoid Bubbles
There are many brands of resin out there and they all have different mixing ratios. However, it is the mixing of the resin with the hardener that often creates bubbles.
You will want to stir the resin slowly. It will take longer because you want the resin and hardener to be well-mixed, but if you start off your project with the intention of keeping bubbles at bay, you will be less likely to have to get the bubbles out of your poured resin project.
Room temperature affects bubbles in resin
The temperature of your area plays a big role in resin art. For those of you who are working with your resin outside for safety reasons, this is something to keep in mind. Resin is happiest at around 75 F.
Pour resin in no more than 1/8" layers
If you are making a piece of art that has thick resin, pour it in layers and let cure in between these layers.
You won’t want to fill more than 1/8” deep at a time unless otherwise stated on the resin bottle you are using.
Pour resin close to your surface
When you are pouring your resin, make sure you are pouring as close to the surface or mold as possible, and do so slowly. You want to eliminate every chance for air to get into the resin.
Dry your inclusions thoroughly before embedding into resin
There are many beautiful things you can place in your resin pour. Popular choices include leaves, flowers and bugs. You will want to make sure your specimen is completely dry before embedding it in your resin though.
If your organic matter is not completely dried, it will continue to decompose within your resin and release bubbles.
Seal inclusions that may release air
If your inclusions are of a, organic, decomposable nature (flowers, herbs, wood), they may release air bubbles. Seal them before setting into your resin. You could use a paintbrush to paint a thin layer of mixed resin onto your items to be included in your art and let it cure.
Then you can pour your resin on top and use your heat gun to get bubbles out without worrying about your dried inclusion decomposing in your epoxy.
You could alternatively spray it with a spray sealer before setting it into your resin as well.
What to do if a cured resin piece has bubbles?
If you find that your resin piece has already cured and has bubbles in it, you can sand the surface of your resin with a very fine sandpaper and re-pour another layer of resin. Just remember, a respirator mask is highly recommended with both resin mixing and with sanding.
Unfortunately, you can't get out any bubbles that are trapped deep within the pour.
Heat guns are one of the best tools you can have as a resin artist, plus they are also a versatile tool as you can use them for so many other purposes other than pouring resin including transferring decoupage, for embossing, on heat transfer vinyl and more.
Be sure to leave us a note or a comment below to let us know which one you went for and how you are liking it! We are always researching and looking at the information so feedback from you is so appreciated. Just be sure to bookmark this page so you can find us again :)
Here are some more helpful articles you may be interested in reading:
Resin How To's
Resin Supplies & Purchasing Advice
Best Resin For Your Project
USE RESIN SAFELY
No matter what type of resin you decide to use, always use personal protective equipment (PPE). Take time to carefully go over safety data sheets before making anything with resin, and make sure you have the proper gloves on (not latex) and the right respirator for resin protection.
Here are the exact gloves we always use
This is the respirator we use and recommend for resin work
Read more about resin safety here
And please remember, even if your epoxy resin of choice is "VOC-free, odor free" and/or "non toxic", please always wear the proper respirator for epoxy resin.
Here is the BEST respirator mask for epoxy resin: this Full Face Organic Vapor Respirator checks off all of the boxes for resin safety, and comes with
- free 30 day returns
- a 1 year factory warranty
- free US shipping and free shipping on international orders
Here it is:
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