Tool Review: Master Appliance ProHeat LCD Dial-In Heat Gun

Master Appliance’s UL-certified ProHeat LCD Dial-In Heat Gun, No. PH-1400, features separate, easy-to-use controls for digitally displayed temperatures in 10-degree F increments, from 130 degrees F to 1,000 degrees F. It displays in Fahrenheit or Celsius; air flow is adjustable from 4 cfm to 16 cfm. The Proheat LCD Dial-In Heat Gun Kit includes the PH-1400 heat gun, five specialty attachments and a carrying case.

The Review

Lou Fort, lead technician at K.A.R.S. Inc. in Huntingburg, IN, understands that the heat gun is often an uncelebrated, but necessary, tool. After receiving the ProHeat for reviewing purposes, he immediately put the tool to work on needed wiring repairs and decal work in the shop.

Right away Fort noticed that the “lock in” feature that allowed him to adjust exact temperature and fan settings was helpful. “Being able to lock in both a temperature and fan-speed setting for repetitive work is a major plus,” he said. “By locking in your settings when doing these jobs, you won’t have to set up the gun each time.”

Most of the tool setup was reportedly user-friendly. Fort found that the user can choose between using the fan only or fan and heat with “a simple flip of a three-position (OFF/FAN/FAN & HEAT) switch.”

He observed that “once you have made that choice, setting the desired fan speed and/or temperature requires turning the adjustment knobs on the top of the unit. Setup may also include locking, if desired, the settings with the use of a magnetic key. Picking Fahrenheit or Celsius for the temperature display is also possible if desired; this also takes the magnetic key supplied with the unit.”

Fort was most impressed by a subtle safety feature that reflects the tool’s overall attention to detail: “The unit has a built-in safety feature that … keeps the unit from turning back on by itself in the event of a power loss. Here is a quick explanation of how it works: Say you have the gun sitting on a bench all powered up and running when, wham, out go the lights. If you were to just walk away to investigate this sudden loss of power and it happens to come back on while you were away, the gun will not turn back on by itself. Rather, the unit will display ‘OFF’ and require you to turn it fully off and back on to restore its use.”

Fort appreciated that the product was manufactured in the U.S., and thought the packaging should proudly display the product’s origin.

He also made one suggestion for improvements on the tool: He found using the magnetic key for adjusting the tool’s settings difficult to use, simply because he did not know where to put it.** “Either place a decal or make markings on the rear housing that would aid in proper placement of the magnetic key,” he suggested. “I feel that this was a small detail that got overlooked when they improved the gun’s stability by removing a locating pad that had key placements in it.”

He contacted John Brott from Master Appliance regarding this. “[He] promptly returned my email, and called me,” Fort said. This conversation “made ‘key’ placement a no-brainer.”

After figuring this out, Fort was tempted to use his heat gun on everything, including on his lunch on the day there was a line for the microwave. Joking aside, he rates it a solid 8 out of 10, because of its overall quality but imperfect manual. “I would have loved to have given the PH-1400 ProHeat LCD Dial-In Heat Gun a 10,” he explained, “I am confident it is built with the same quality as all my other Master Appliance tools.”