9 Best Portable Heaters For A Wood Shop

When working in a woodshop, one of the main concerns you may have is during the winter months as the cold air starts to creep into your shop. It may be harder for you to maneuver around and make that gorgeous farmhouse table and chairs that everybody wants in their household.

With that being said, you may be wondering what the best portable heater for a woodshop would be. There are many to choose from, but some of the main concerns you may be wondering are its safety and what to look for in other regards. 

This article will be going over nine of the best space heaters you can use for your woodshop and why they are the better options.

What Is The Best Portable Heater For A Wood Shop?

Aside from numb fingers and sore knees, an unheated or under-heated workspace will make you feel slow and cramped or even prevent you from doing any woodworking at all.

Not just that, but cold weather can cause glues and wood finishes to fail to dry adequately, and freezing temperatures can destroy them. Unheated air can be dry enough to pull moisture from timber, resulting in cracks and severe distortion.

Depending on your circumstances, raising the temperature of your workshop can be as simple as plugging in a space heater, or it may present more challenging situations.

Several heating equipment and systems are suitable for use in a woodworking shop, some of which are compact and some of which need installation. The type of fuel used for a shop heater is also significant since keeping a shop warm should not cost an unreasonable amount.

There are also safety issues. Some heaters have open fires or red-hot components. Others don’t, which is vital to remember because there’s much stuff ready to burn in an ordinary woodshop: wood scraps, sawdust, combustible finishes, and solvents.

Several heating systems and equipment choices include gas furnaces, propane heaters (both built-in and portable), oil-burning boilers and radiators, split heat pumps, portable electric room heaters, radiant heaters, and electric unit heaters.

Electric Heaters

Electricity is one of the most convenient ways to provide heat in a workshop. Portable heaters are affordable, nearly 100% effective, and simple to use: plug them in anywhere needed. 

Even fixed baseboard, wall, and unit heaters are less costly and straightforward to mount than equivalent gas-powered heaters. Since electric space heaters do not absorb oxygen or emit toxic combustion gases, they are also relatively safe to use in a woodworking shop, with the only exception being fire safety.

The most significant disadvantage of electric heaters is their high operating costs, often those of equivalent gas heaters. There are many forms of electric heaters. Some are much better suited for some applications than others.

1. Honeywell Slim Ceramic Tower Heater

Consumers very much praise this Honeywell, and it is reasonably priced at $49.99. This tower heater has a programmable thermostat and simple digital controls.

Not only that, but the heater has two heat configurations: high (1500 watts) and low (1000 watts) (750 watts). Its sleek size allows it to blend into every room in your house without taking up much space but still packing power.

The Honeywell model is also not lacking in safety features. It has oscillation, a sturdy frame, and a great contact plastic enclosure. This radiator also comes with a two-fold overheat safety in the form of an overheat sensor and a cutoff switch to avoid overheating. Along with those capabilities, this model has a 360-degree tip-over safety switch.

2. Lasko 755320

This electric heater has two relatively quiet high and low settings, rated at 1500 watts and 750 watts, respectively. This heater distributes heated air across the room due to its widespread oscillation.

The heater’s 1500 watt ceramic heating unit can be adjusted using the digital monitor. You can choose from a wide variety of Fahrenheit or Celsius temperatures using a primary digital temperature indicator.

Overheat protection means that the space heater does not overheat if kept on for an extended time. The heating stays cool to the touch even after hours of consecutive use due to the cool-touch exterior. This model also provides basic tip-over safety, which automatically turns the device off in the event of an accident.

Radiant Heaters

In contrast to convection heaters, which generate heat by heating the air, radiant heaters, also known as infrared heaters, transfer heat directly to surfaces by showering them with infrared rays.

Consider how the sun heats the atmosphere throughout the day. Most radiant heaters are portable plug-in models that generate up to 5100 BTUs through an electric ribbon or a quartz tube element.

Some versions are ceiling-mounted, whereas others operate on 240 volts and can produce more than 10000 BTUs.

The most significant advantage of radiant heaters is that they emit almost instantaneous heat as long as you are within direct sight of the device and no more than a few feet away.

They’re ideal for heating a specific area, such as a workbench or sanding station. Radiant heaters are also helpful for offering a fast warmup as you wait for your primary heat sources, such as a wood stove or oil-filled space heater, to heat your workspace.

3. CCC Comfort Zone Radiant Quartz Tower

This CCC model from Comfort Zone is a great option when it comes to radiant space heaters. At $42.99, this model is one of the most affordable on the list.

This practical radiant heater efficiently and thoroughly warms people and objects in its pathways. When activated, the dual quartz tube will automatically switch on and generate a warm light.

A stay-cool molded handle, metal housing, a tip-over switch, and an overheat security mechanism are new safety features. Like most others on this list, this heater has the same safety features to ensure your comfort when working in your shop.

4. Taotronics Space Heater

Taotronics’ take on radiator heaters is next on the list. This unit costs $59.99, which is not that bad as the other items on the list.

This space heater’s internal ceramic heating components warm up softly to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in 3 seconds, quickly warming up comparatively small spaces such as a bedroom or smaller living room.

This heater with less noise makes it suitable for use in your woodshop as an additive personal heater for your work tables.

This model also has specific security measures such as an overheat cover, an auto-shutoff switch that activates if the device is tipped or knocked over, and a heat-resistant protected contact casing.

For those times when you fail to turn off the radiator, the Taotronics space heater has a 7-hour timer and a 12-hour auto-shutoff timer.

Convection Heaters

Convection heaters, either portable or built-in, heat the air that passes through them by moving it through electrically heated coils or pipes, ceramic plates, or oil-filled tubes.

Mobile versions are cheap to purchase and use (plug them in anywhere needed) and good at heating small to medium-sized areas due to their large heat distribution.

Devices with built-in fans spread heat quickly, whereas most baseboard, frame, and oil-filled electric heaters take a long to heat.

Convection heaters powered by 110 volts will generate up to 5,100 BTUs. It’s safest to run this on a 15-amp circuit with no other devices plugged in.

Higher performance 240-volt models can produce up to 17,000 BTUs and are ideal for more extensive workshops. Though simple to use, these need a 30-amp breaker on a dedicated circuit, similar to those used to power an electric clothes dryer.

Almost all modern electric heaters have built-in safety features such as automated shutoffs that work if the appliance overheats; compact models have tilt sensors to shut the heater off if it is inadvertently knocked over.

5. De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator

The De’Longhi comes in at a higher price, with an asking price of $179.99, and is available in black or white. This heater has one of the quickest room heat-up times available, with 25% more space for air circulation and quiet operation. Not only would you be unaware of its presence, but your room would quickly heat up.

This oil-filled space heater also has several safety features, including the required tip-over security, aided by its extra-wide feet. Thermal cutoff for overheating power. It also has an insulated heating system that heats the diathermic oil permanently sealed inside the heater.

6. PELONIS Space Heater

The price of this heater is about $69.99. For this price, this heater still provides a lot of bang for your buck.

This heater has a unique double cover configuration that improves heat conduction and speeds up warming while still uniformizing heat.

The improved fins on this model have more excellent thermal conductivity, allowing it to keep its space warm and comfortable for more extended periods.

This model has three heat settings, High, Low, and Eco, as well as a temperature range of 40 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit to reach your ideal comfort temperature and mode.

The heater will automatically adjust the room temperature and heat settings to save energy when using the ECO mode.

This model has the same safety features as the previous models, such as an anti-scalding shield, tip-over protection, and an auto overheats shutoff button. These features make it an ideal choice for families of children and pets.

Split Heat Pumps

Electric split heat pump systems, also known as ductless air conditioners, are outfitted with multifunctional compressors that can deliver warmth in the winter and cooler air in the summer.

A split system is powered through 220V electricity and consists of an outside compressor or condenser unit and one or two indoor evaporator units located within the shop.

The central unit circulates a liquid coolant through a condenser coil and compressor before pumping it to the indoor unit through copper tubing. It uses an evaporator coil to transport warmth or coolness to the air. The hot or cooled air is then circulated to the shop by a fan.

The indoor-mounted evaporator device of a split pump is supplied by refrigerant fluid provided from the compressor or condenser device outdoors. It is fitted with a fan that blows warm or cooled air across the room.

Split pumps are ideal for installation in woodworking shops because they emit no fire, have no hot components, and the indoor unit’s coils never get hot enough to ignite debris as well as other flammables.

Although they are more costly to purchase, they are more accessible and less expensive to implement than ductwork-based heating systems.

They are far more powerful and less costly to run than standard electric heaters due to inverter technology that enables their compressors to run at varying speeds, providing only the amount of heating/cooling required.

7. Bosch Ultra-Quiet 12K BTU 230V Mini Split Air Conditioner

Being the first split heat pump on this list, the Bosch rolls in at a hefty price tag of $1,445.14. Keep in mind that the split heating pumps will be the most expensive items in this article. The units come with two separate parts that work in conjunction to heat or cool your home or workspace. 

The Bosch Mini Split system offers high-efficiency heating and cooling convenience that you can use almost anywhere. This cutting-edge device includes a streamlined indoor air handler and a small outdoor air condenser regulating temperature throughout the year.

Choose the right choice for you: a system without a line set, a system with a 16-foot line set, or a system with a 24-foot line set.

With super-easy installation, you can have this up and running in under a few hours, setting you up to be able to work comfortably in your garage or workshop.

Gas Heaters

Gas is still one of the more affordable fuels for heating a house in most nations. Natural gas is far less costly than liquid propane, although not often used in rural or remote areas. Gas heaters, including electric heaters, come in various styles that vary greatly from one another.

Portable Gas Heaters

Portable propane heaters are cheap and provide a lot of BTUs for your money. They also consume oxygen and produce noxious combustion gases, such as lethal carbon monoxide, if these heaters are not taken care of properly.

In addition, gas portable heaters use an open flame or hot element to combust sawdust and other flammable materials. Portable propane units are clearly too risky to operate within a locked workshop. There’s also the risk of using a propane cylinder inside, which heater manufacturers actively advise against.

Due to the safety issues with portable gas heaters, we will not be recommending any in this article.

Wall, Baseboard and Unit Gas Heaters

Wall and baseboard-mounted versions and industrial-style space heaters suspended from a ceiling or wall frame are examples of built-in gas heaters.

Depending on the manufacturer, these devices have heat outputs ranging from 5,000 BTUs to 125,000 BTUs and higher. There are wall-mounted gas heaters that can produce either convection or radiation heating as well. 

Those with built-in fans spread heat more efficiently, but they still collect more fine dust and are often cleaned. Unit heaters use convection to heat and disperse warm air through louvered fans.

Although the upfront cost of built-in gas heaters is similar to comparable electric models, gas models usually cost more to install BTU performance and reliability. These higher overall costs, however, are quickly replaced by lower monthly running costs.

8. Dyna-Glo BFSS10NGT-2N

This Dyna-Glo wall heater is an excellent option for healthy, supplemental indoor heating. It costs $244.99, which is equivalent to the price of most other wall-mounted natural gas heaters. Its innovative vent-free design reduces the need for a flue or chimney.

These heaters are suitable for use in the house, a cabin, or the garage. Since they do not need fuel to operate, they are an excellent choice for everyday heating and emergencies when the power goes out.

Using blue flame heating technology, heat is distributed comparable to a central home heating system. This Blue Flame Wall Heater is only available in Natural Gas and has a 99.9% efficiency score.

Being appropriate for daily supplemental or emergency use, such as power failures, and saving money on energy costs by heating occupied areas.

The built-in oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) shuts down the boiler if carbon monoxide or oxygen depletion is detected.

9. 30,000-BTU Natural Gas Heater

This heater from UTY uses natural convection to circulate warm, comfortable air throughout the room, great for family rooms, workshops, the basement, and other hard-to-heat areas. It also comes with the ability to heat up to 1000 sq ft.

The UTY heater comes with legs to stand up and can be portable, or you can mount it on a wall in your workshop or any room in your home. Along with this, the UTY is really easy to install and does not require electricity of any kind.

The UTY also comes with the standard in natural gas or propane heater safety features. With its ODS and tip-over safety, this unit will help ensure your safety while also providing you with an enormous amount of comfort.

Final Thoughts

After discussing the many options, you have for heating your workspace in your garage or woodshop. We hope to have guided you in the right direction to help you look for the right heater for your space.

Whether this article has shown you the right heater, or maybe it has led you to the right spot to help you look for heaters you would prefer to use.

Photo of author

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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