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Wagner Heat Gun is NOT a Vaporizer

January 30th, 2007 by Alex

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Every once in a while you’ll come across a deal that seems almost too good to be true. As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Wiser words have rarely been spoken and they get reinforced daily through lessons learned the hard way. Our product that seems too good to be true is the Wagner HT 400 Heat Gun.

Now, your first question is probably, “Why the hell is theFreshScent reviewing a heat gun?” The answer is simple, because some shady headshops are trying to pass off these Home Depot glue warmers as ‘vaporizer lighters.’

They’ll look you straight in the eye and say that this gun is perfect for use with your pipe or bong and will make the smoking experience much healthier. In a word – wrong.

theFreshScent Product Recap
Category Products > Other
Company Wagner
Made In USA
Pros None
Cons Doesn’t work
Price $60.00
tFS Rating 1.0/10

The Wagner HT 400 has one heat setting of 650° F. This would work to vaporize cannabis, except the vapor-point for our favorite herb is only 356° F. Strike one. Let’s pretend that the HT 400 has the correct temperature setting, would it still work? Nope. When activated, this gun pushes out a continuous gust of wind. Not exactly a Category 4 Hurricane, but strong enough to knock any pot out of the bowl. Strike two.

So, other than the temperature being wrong and the air pushed out of the HT 400 preventing it from working, is it at least cheap? No (again). Well, maybe if you buy it for the actual retail price of $33 from a Home Depot or Lowe’s. Instead, certain headshops are trying to sell this heat gun for $60 a pop – nearly doubling the price of the item. Strike three.

This is by far and away the worst product tFS has ever reviewed. So bad, we had to give it a 1.0 out of 10 rating. The only way it could score worse than that is if a staff member was injured while trying to review the damn thing.

As a vaporizer lighter the HT 400 doesn’t work, it’s expensive and it just plain sucks. It’s designed for construction and arts & crafts oriented work, which it excels at.

If you ever see one of these things at your local headshop, be aware that they’re willing and able to rip you off without a second thought.

12 Comments

  1. Gravatar-licious
    Mobius Says:

    Its true that this gun is not a vaporizer. However, it is possible to use a heat gun as a heat source for a vaporizing chamber. For years I have used the VripTech “VripMaster” Vaporization bowl piece and its amazing. (www.vriptech.com)

    A heat gun is the source of heat, but the instructions tell you which guns to buy and the settings for each. My personal favorite is the Steinel HG 3002 LCD heat gun. It has an LCD readout and the enclosure is made of porcelain so you don’t have to worry about metal fragments.

    Just my 2 cents. -M


  2. Gravatar-licious
    Alex Says:

    Mobius,

    Thanks for giving me the heads up on Vriptech products. Their vaporizing chamber looks extremely interesting. Now I just need to get my hands on one!

    Good point about the heat guns. There are high quality, purpose built guns and then there are the units that shady headshops try to peddle. Obviously, there’s no comparison.


  3. Gravatar-licious
    Nick Says:

    The VripTech “VripMaster” is an awesome product. We used for years in college.

    The volcano is definitely my favorite vaporizer; however the VripMaster is a close second. If you need to save some money, VripMaster is a great call.


  4. Gravatar-licious
    Another Nick Says:

    I actually used that heat gun and it works fine. You wont lose any herb if you fashion an aluminum foil cap over your bowl and punch holes in it with a needle to make a screen. That model costs $20. The $50 Wagner will give you a gun-like unit with multiple temp selectors and 2 speeds for the blower as well as a cooldown selection. The latter model doesn’t necessitate a foil cap.
    You may soon find yourself using it exclusively over regular lighters. Your lungs will heal, and your apparatus’ will stay cleaner. Although the gun is a little cumbersome at first. You will be able to smoke yourself to new highs because you won’t tap out due to lung anguish.
    I also fixed a broken xbox360 with mine.


  5. Gravatar-licious
    mark Says:

    When using a heat gun make sure it has a ceramic heating element…not metal one. Makita makes 1 for $99… saves money on the one vriptech sells…a steinel $260.


  6. Gravatar-licious
    mark Says:

    biggest concern with cheap heat guns is two fold: these guns use a mica sheet that is in direct contact with the hot element and the air flowing through it for insulation (because they don’t use the patented ceramic encapsulation that Steinel uses…this means that it dries out over the years and could quite likely be releasing some silica fibers (can you say asbestos) into the air flow; although it’s likely the water would catch these too it’s still not a risk worth taking in my mind…and secondly, most troublesome to me is the fact that the electronics which have exposed solder that will off gas mercury are in close proximity to the fan and air intake. This is why I only recommend the Steinels which are used in many clean rooms and medical device manufacturing facilities because they have taken these things into consideration and keep the electronics separate from the element and air flow and feature a ceramic encapsulated nichrome element (medical grade materials) and simply have better dynamic temperature control to boot.


  7. Gravatar-licious
    Mezz Mezzrow Says:

    I’m very glad to see a sensible discussion of the usefulness of this sort of tool—it helps to dispel the thought, engendered by some other pages, that perhaps pot does make you stupid.

    Given the Wagner’s high heat and dodgy exhaust, perhaps you could make an heat-exchanger—say, a (safe) stainless steel tube leading to the bowl wrapped with copper (more ductile, but not good for lungs) tubes fed from the heat gun…inefficency wouldn’t be a big deal here because you’ll want to lower the temperature of the exhaust (you want to lose about a third of the heat energy, [1- (T_0/T_1), where T_x is the temperature above absolute zero]).

    I’m attuned to this because I’ve been contemplating high-out hot glue guns, and quickly came to the conclusion that an entire new airpath would have to be used, rather than suck air directly from their gnarly heaters—on the plus side, the tube could be placed inside the original heater….

    And remember, heat all glass and especially metal surface to red-hot before using to blow off volatiles from their process that might otherwise vapourise in use.


  8. Gravatar-licious
    Mezz Mezzrow Says:

    Hmmm, maybe it has made me stupid…or it’s the caffeine:
    “high out” –> “high output”
    “from their process” –> “from their processing”


  9. Gravatar-licious
    Mezz Mezzrow Says:

    Also: it’s not too hard to whip up a VariAC to lower the temperature of a heat gun—ask someone who knows, though, rather than figuring it out for yourself whilst high—don’t be the type of pot user that makes the anti- propaganda vaguely credible at times.


  10. Gravatar-licious
    Vaporizer Says:

    Very Cool site you have! I really like reading it. Its true that this gun is not a Vaporizer. However, it is possible to use a heat gun as a heat source for a vaporizing chamber. For years I have used the VripTech “VripMaster” Vaporization bowl piece and its amazing.


  11. Gravatar-licious

    Haha, using this Wagner would not be my idea of fun. More like burning the crap out of my herb and lungs.

    The first requirement for a heat gun is variable temperature control, and from their the quality of the heating element is up to you.

    The most important element is being able to hold a constant temp around 350


  12. Gravatar-licious
    john smith Says:

    first off I’ve used heat guns with temps above the thc vapor point and they work fine! Can anyone say, “hold it back from the bowl a little!” As far as silica… well that’s another story and I’m not sure about that but it seems credible that silica could be released from the ceramic?? I would say watch out for heated aluminum. peace…



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