Hair Dryer vs Heat Gun: Best One for Acrylic Pouring and Resin/Epoxy

As a beginner in acrylic pouring and resin, I was often confused as to when to use a hair dryer vs heat gun.

If you are a beginner just like I was a few years ago, and are also wondering if you can use a hair dryer as a heat gun for epoxy or acrylic pouring, or vice versa, then keep on reading.

Questions About Heat Guns vs Hair Dryers

These are the questions I hear most often when it comes to using a heat gun vs a hair dryer:

  • Can I use a hair dryer instead of a heat gun for resin?
  • What is the hair dryer temperature?
  • What can I use instead of a heat gun?
  • Which is the best heat gun?

So let's start by addressing each of those questions (and a few extra things that will be really useful for you) in the context of acrylic pouring and resin.

Can I Use a Hair Dryer Instead of a Heat Gun for Resin or Epoxy?

The short answer is... It depends on what you are trying to accomplish!

A heat gun is mostly used to heat up the resin so that the bubbles in the resin rise to the surface and pop. This way, you can ensure that once the resin or epoxy cures, you have a crystal clear finish with no bubbles trapped inside the resin. At the same time, the hot air from the heat gun will help the resin colors (if you have poured several colors) blend with each other. 

However, even though a heat gun can help pop resin bubbles, it can blow dust all over your wet resin since it also blows out air. Therefore, whenever working with resin or epoxy, I prefer to use a butane torch or propane torch. 

A torch is easy to use, doesn't have cables moving around which can get into your resin, and has the perfect heat intensity to pop bubbles for a flawless finish! 

I use this propane torch from Benzomatic along with these propane cylinders, however, you can start with a smaller butane torch like this one.

But if you still want to use a heat gun, then get this one from Makita!

It is not that expensive and comes with a ton of accessories. Plus, it has a variable temperature control with 3-air flow settings so you can have more control over the heat, prevent scorching your paint or resin, and minimize the amount of dust blown around while heating your resin.

And it comes with 4 attachments and an lcd screen display.

 It is a great tool to have for other projects around the house!!!

Now, if you are trying to create some effects by moving the resin with air pressure (like ocean waves), a heat gun will not be your best option!

You see, even though a heat gun blows air out, the air pressure is not that great in comparison with a hair dryer. So for this specific case, you will want to use a hair dryer to move the resin. 

So technically, if you are wanting to create a beach scene painting using resin/epoxy then you will want to use both a hair dryer to make your waves and a heat gun or torch to pop the bubbles.

So when you find yourself asking... Can I use a hair dryer as a heat gun for resin or for epoxy? Think about what you are trying to accomplish.

Technically, you will ALWAYS need a heat gun or torch if you are going to be using resin, but you won't always need a hair dryer. 

So now let's discuss the use of a hair dryer vs a heat gun when it comes to acrylic pouring.

Can I Use a Hair Dryer Instead of a Heat Gun for Acrylic Pouring?

In the case of acrylic pouring, a hair dryer will be the best tool. 

Why?

Because the heat of the heat gun is too powerful for acrylic paints and you will end up cooking your paint and ruining your painting if you get it too close to your paint or leave it on one spot for too long.

So, what is the hair dryer temperature?

A standard hair dryer will have a maximum temperature of around 140°C. Now compare that to a heat gun which can have temperatures ranging from 100°C to 700°C.

No wonder your acrylic paint will cook!

Also, in acrylic pouring, the hair dryer is used to blow the paint in different directions to create awesome designs... and as I already mentioned previously, the heat gun doesn't have enough air force compared to a hair dryer. So in this case, the heat gun will be of no use and you will want to choose a blow dryer instead.

Now, this doesn't mean that you won't need a heat gun for your pour paintings.

You will!!!

Your acrylic paint will also have bubbles that will need to be popped to avoid pinholes in your dried painting. So you will need a heat gun or a torch! I prefer using a torch!!!

Make sure that when you use a heat gun or torch, you just do a quick pass over your painting instead of leaving it in one spot or getting it too close to the paint so your paint doesn't burn.

So for acrylic pouring, you'll need both... a hair dryer and a heat gun or torch.

What is the Best Hair Dryer for Acrylic Pouring?

Well, the best hair dryer will need to have a drying concentrator styling tool hood cover like the one shown below. That is the essential part!

Without that, you will not be able to blow your paint appropriately across the surface of your canvas.

Other than that, you don't need anything fancy or super expensive. Just make sure that it is from a reliable company so that it doesn't break down easily.

That is why I prefer to use this one from Remington.

It is strong enough to get the job done, made by a reliable company, and already comes with the drying concentrator tool.

What can I use instead of a heat gun?

Now that you've learned that you'll need a heat gun or torch for fluid painting and for resin/epoxy, let's talk about what other tools you can use instead.

It should be clear by now that a hair dryer won't replace a heat gun when it comes to popping bubbles in your acrylic paint or resin!

So then you might be asking yourself... What can I use instead of a heat gun?

Like I already mentioned, when working with resin, you can also use a butane or propane torch.

In fact, I prefer to use a torch rather than a heat gun to avoid getting dust on my resin, for it's efficacy at removing bubbles, and because it doesn't have cables attached to it that make it hard to move around a big art piece. 

You can use a big propane torch or a small culinary torch like the following.

The small culinary torch is perfect for smaller projects and the bigger propane version is perfect for large pieces of art, furniture, tabletops, or countertops.

Pro tip: Now remember that whether you are using a heat gun or torch, you should always use a back and forth motion across when torching your resin or your acrylic pouring project. Don't hold the heat gun/torch too close to your resin or paint so you don't scorch or burn it. Keeping it on one spot for too long will cause damage, yellowing, dimples, waves, fish eyes, or a crust of resin or paint on the surface. Also, avoid using a heat gun/torch immediately after using a flammable item like alcohol or spray paint.

And remember to never leave a flame unattended!!!

Last Tip... Check your project often during the curing process to make sure no new bubbles have developed. If they have, then torch again to remove them before the resin hardens.

So now that you know that using a tool with heat is necessary for your acrylic pouring and resin project, let's take a look at the best heat guns and torches. 

Which is the best heat gun, best torch, and best hair dryer?

Here is a list of my favorite heat guns, torches, and hair dryers. 

Best Hair Dryers

Any of the following two hair dryers will be great options.

Best Propane Torch

This is the one I use and I love it! You will also need to purchase the propane cylinders.

Has an auto start/stop ignition that lights and extinguishes the flame with the push of a button, while a run-lock button keeps the torch lit for continuous use. It also has a pressure regulation that allows the flame to burn in any direction and ensures consistent performance.

Best Butane Torch / Culinary Torch

The first one comes with a safety lock, ignition button, adjustable flame control, and 1 canister of butane. The adjustable flame reaches temperatures of up to 2,370°F/1300°C. It is a small but powerful tool.

The second one is also a great option. Also has an adjustable flame dial that regulates the gas flow and flame and a gas flow safety lock when turned off. The torch can create a continuous flame up to 6 inches long with a temperature of 2370°F/1300°C. But since this one doesn't come with a canister of butane, you will have to purchase that separately. 

Best Heat Gun

Like I mentioned above, Tacklife has a great heat gun with different temperature and air flow settings. Comes with 9 attachments. It is a great tool to have for many different projects around the house. 

Hope this post was helpful for you. Keep pouring and enjoying life!


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