How to Use Heat Shrink Tubing Without a Heat Gun

People frequently inquire whether there is an alternate tool or method for heating shrink tubing that does not involve the use of heat guns or flames.

This question can seem stupid to others, but I believe it is essential to keep yourself informed about all possible alternative alternatives at any given time. If you ever find yourself in a position where you cannot use your reliable heat gun, you will be able to effortlessly switch to one of the many heat shrink gun alternatives available.

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common alternatives to heat shrinking that you can use. Several of these tools are almost sure to already be in your possession.

What you need to know when shrinking a heat shrink without a heat gun

What you need to know when shrinking a heat shrink without a heat gun

Several factors must be considered while shrinking heat shrink to achieve the best results.

1. Make sure that you are using the right side of the shrink

The tubing will never compress to the proper dimensions if you misuse its sized manner. As a result, I always suggest getting a kit on hand that contains a selection of heat shrink sizes in different sizes.

The following section contains steps for determining the proper heat shrink size.

2. Before you begin, double-check the tubing’s specifications

Because not all heat shrink is created equal, understanding the maximum temperature and the shrink ratio of the tubing is critical to achieving satisfactory results. This information is often found on the sales or specifications page for a particular heat shrink product, or it may be imprinted on the side of the tubing.

3. Avoid overheating

When heat shrink tubing is heated with anything other than a heat gun, there is a risk of overheating the tubing, which can be dangerous. To avoid brittleness or damage, avoid heating the shrink tube above its recommended operating temperature.

Standard methods to use heat shrink without a heat gun

how to use heat shrink tubing without a heat gun

In cases where you do not have a heat gun, you need to have alternative methods on using your heat shrink. This table includes the different methods used.

How to use a heat shrink without a heat gunHow to useEssential products
Using a hairdryerIt should be as close as possible to the heat shrinkCheck this lightweight hairdryer from Amazon.
Using a lighterIt should be placed under the shrink tubingCheck the USB Rechargeable flameless lighter from Amazon. 
Using a soldering gunYou need to strip down the wire firstCheck the Weller professional soldering gun kit from Amazon.
The light bulb methodKeep the heat shrink tube sleeve close to the high voltage bulb Vintage light bulb
Using a process heater Process heater

1. Using a hairdryer

Heat shrink tubes can be activated using conventional hair dryers, which are readily available. To begin, secure your hairdryer closure to the sleeve of your heat shrink tube, keeping in mind that your hair dryer should be as close to the heat shrink as feasible.

Then, raise the temperature or heat level of the heat shrink to its maximum setting or temperature. Heat shrink tubing evenly to achieve the appropriate shrinking size while compressing heat shrink to the size needed.

Similarly, if you want to shrink rubber tubing, you can use any standard blow dryer to accomplish your goal. Just take your focus on the plastic form and use tweezers or skewers to hold it in place while shrinking the plastic to the desired size. It’s important to remember, though, that hairdryers will take far longer to dry than heat guns, especially if you’re using an essential hairdryer.

2. Using a lighter

Using a lighter

Because all that is required in this procedure is a smaller weight, it is an excellent choice if you seek cost-effective choices to consider. Place a lighter under the shrink tubing near enough so that the blue beam of the hotter flame contacts the shrink tubing to complete the process. Using the shrink tube as a guide, move the flame backward and forth until it has reduced enough to leave grey lines on it.

People also use butane torches because they are much smaller and more portable than any heated air or paint stripper gun and can be used almost anywhere. You can even utilize a butane mini–torch, which is considered a viable alternative to the tiny heat gun in some situations.

Keep in mind that you should proceed with caution when working with a lighter or butane torch near high temperatures or dangerous gases and liquids. Also, protect the work equipment by wrapping them in plastic handles, which will help you maintain your hold on them.

3. Using a soldering gun

To heat shrink the tube with a soldering iron edge, you must first strip the wire down to the point where a piece of heat-shrinking pipe can be inserted into it. Furthermore, your tubing piece must be long enough to encircle the entire exposed wire completely.

Slide the tubing down on the iron edge before soldering using the iron edge. While heat shrinks the tubes, the soldering iron, on the other hand, tends to leave only a tiny amount of solder behind. As an alternative, you might use a butane soldering iron, which is a multi-purpose instrument.

4. The light bulb method

You can use a hot light bulb as an alternative heat source if you do not have access to heaters or heat sources such as a heat gun, lighter, or hairdryer.

Keeping the heat shrink tube sleeve close to the high voltage bulb will help it stay in place until the flame touch melts the shrink tube sleeve. However, because a light bulb can only produce medium heat, it will not deliver high temperatures or heat like a heat gun. As a result, this method will take significantly longer than using a lighter or hairdryer.

5. Using a process heater

In comparison to other heat sources, process heaters are more potent and more prominent in size, but less portable. They are also significantly more efficient if you intend to control a large amount of heat shrink, particularly in process-intensive environments. To heat shrink tubes without the use of heat guns, a process heater is the best option if you don’t have any other tools on hand to do it with.

In addition, heat tunnels or shrink tunnel machines, which are readily accessible on the market, can be used for this purpose.

Uses of a heat shrink tubing

Uses of a heat shrink tubing

In addition, if you are unfamiliar with the activity, this is yet another quick query that may come to mind. To learn more about the heat shrink approach, let’s look at some examples:

1. Specifically, the Raychem Corporation designed heat shrink or shrink sleeves in Northern California to improve wire insulation, the efficiency of heat shields or heat shields for heat, the lifetime of wire before the heat, and network cables.

2. When it comes to bundling cables, heat shrink is even employed for various applications, including speaker cable bundling and freeform and lightweight aviation cables.

3. In welded connections and metal piping, heat tubing that has been specially designed for this purpose can be used as a rust preventive. The wires are also less stressed as a result of it.

4. Used for cable construction and creating more attractive speaker cable pants or 12 ga cable, among other applications.

5. Stain relief for cables can be achieved using a heat shrink tube sleeve.

Let’s wrap up on how to use heat shrink tubing without a heat gun

Hopefully, you’ve already grasped the concept of using heat shrink tubing without the need for a heat gun. This article explains how and where to use heat shrink tubing without using heat guns and covers other related chores.

Overheating should be avoided at all costs because it can make heat shrink, deteriorate, and become brittle. It’s also crucial to choose the correct size of heat shrink. A diameter that is too large for your wires will never be able to shrink down to the proper size for your project.

Leave a Comment