How To Use Heat Shrink Tubing (with & without Heat Gun)

Are you on the lookout to install heat shrink tubing in your office or home? Have a look at this comprehensive guide to assist you on how to use heat shrink tubing!

Heat shrink tubing, commonly known as electrical shrink tubing, is a vital protection component in a variety of electrical arrangements. Heat shrink tubing is a ubiquitous component in most electrical installations that protects cables and electronic systems from external influences including humidity, dust, and sharp objects that could otherwise damage them.

how to use heat shrink tubing

It also binds loose wires, plugs end, and splices together, making bundles more structured and manageable. The use of color-coded heat shrink tubing makes it easier to identify wires and components. You’ll be able to make repairs quickly and easily with the correct tubing and a little practice!

You’ve come to the right site if you’re looking for information on how to use heat shrink tubing. Let’s take a closer look at this electrical tubing and how it’s used.

Steps To Use Heat Shrink Tubing

Understand how to use heat shrink tubing to fix frayed wrapping on a wire or cable by following these steps.

  • Choose a sheet of heat shrink that is large enough just to slide over the wire before warming but still provides a tight fit once heated, based on the wire’s diameter. To guarantee a snug fit, the reduced diameter should be somewhat less than the wire diameter.
  • Take a piece of heat shrink tubing that is somewhat longer than the broken wire segment. Most heat shrink tubing shrinks 5-15 percent lengthwise, so make sure you have quite enough tubing to fill the open area after heating.
  • Cut the tube to the proper length with a pair of scissors.
  • Slide the tube over the wire, covering the damaged/exposed area.
  • Shrink the tube with a heat gun. Maintain the heat gun shifting back and forth down the tubing’s length, as sitting in one spot might cause the wire to deteriorate even more. Heat the tubing until it is securely attached to the wire.

How To Use Heat Shrink Tubing Without a Heat Gun

Nothing matches a heat gun when it relates to shrinking heat shrink tubing. What would you be doing if you don’t have one? You could still use heat shrink without the need for a heat gun at all. It responds to a wide range of heat sources, so there are many other tools you might want to use instead.

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Below are some of the popular methods to heat shrink without a heat gun, which are easy to use and give the same efficient results as a heat gun would!

Hair Dryer

A hairdryer, often known as a blow dryer, can be used in place of a heat gun on occasion. And besides, blow dryers are basically little heat cannons. Whether or not you should use a hairdryer to shrink heat depends on the hair drier model and the type of heat shrink you’re using.

For safety purposes, hair dryers typically have a minimal upper-temperature restriction, and not all of them become hot enough just to trigger shrink tubing. You may have full, moderate, or no shrinkage according to the blow dryer’s output power.

Because polyolefin heat shrink has the smallest activation temperature of all typical heat shrink substances, it is likely to operate best. To shrink tubing with a hairdryer, put it to the hottest setting and press the nozzle close to the tube until it shrinks. To uniformly distribute the heat, you’ll need to rotate the wires or blow dryer.


A simple lighter is another way for starting heat shrink. It works faster than a hairdryer and has a high enough temperature for any form of heat shrink. It does, however, have some restrictions.

One thing to keep in mind is that the open flame can cause black soot to accumulate on your heat shrink. This isn’t an issue if you’re using black tubing, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re using colorful tubing.

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Rather than keeping the tip of the flame adjacent to the heat shrink, you can eliminate the impact by keeping the blue base of the flame beside it. Another potential issue is the flame’s impact on nearby items. It can burn heat shrink, cables, your fingers, and possibly burn flammable things in the area if held too nearby.

Butane Torch

A butane torch is a huge upgrade from a lighter. It not only gives you a more controllable flame, but it also distributes more heat over a broader area. This tool is considerably better for several or bigger pieces of heat shrink.

how to use heat shrink tubing without a heat gun

While greater temperatures appear to be hazardous for heating shrink tubing, there isn’t much to be concerned about in reality. To avoid damage, reduce the flame and position the butane torch at a larger distance from the tube.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use heat shrink tubing without a heat gun?

If you do not have a heat gun for heat shrink tubing at hand, you do not have to worry. The excellent thing is that there are several alternatives to the heat gun that can be used instead. Depending on the situation, a dryer, industrial heater, lighter, or even a lighting bulb can be utilized in a crisis.

What is heat shrink tubing used for?

Heat shrink tubing forms a protective coating around wire arrangements and electronic parts by collapsing laterally to fit the equipment’s dimensions. It can protect against roughness, mild impact, cutting, dampness, and dust by covering sections of individual wires or bundling entire arrays.

Wrapping up How To Use Heat Shrink Tubing

Heat shrink is made in a two-step process and comes in a variety of materials to suit practically any application. This is an essential mechanism for many because of its adaptability, and it can be performed quickly if you understand the dynamics, which we have adequately detailed in our article!

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