The Speedheater™ Infrared Paint Remover is the ORIGINAL infrared paint remover designed by a Swedish inventor and long-time preservationist. His company manufactured the Speedheater™ in Sweden and began selling it in Europe in the late 1990s. Around 2002, the Speedheater™ was retrofitted for the US electrical requirements and imported and sold in the USA by a US company named Viking Sales. This company chose to rename the product the “Silent Paint Remover.”
Later in 2002, This Old House Magazine, the most prestigious and widely-read DIY magazine for older homes, published an article called, “Stripped Bare.” In this article, the “Silent Paint Remover” was praised as the best method for removing paint from the exterior siding of the old house in the pilot test. “The Silent Paint Remover” endorsed in this article was, in fact, the Speedheater™. Until 2006, Viking Sales continued to sell the Speedheater™ under the name of “Silent Paint Remover”.
In 2003, Eco-Strip LLC was formed and began selling the Speedheater™ under the Swedish manufacturer’s name of Speedheater™ Infrared Paint Remover.
In 2006, Viking Sales stopped importing the Speedheater™, aka “Silent Paint Remover”. They copied the Speedheater™ in design and appearance and began manufacturing and selling their own copy of the product under the same name of “Silent Paint Remover”. From functionality, external appearance, and name continuity, the present “Silent Paint Remover” product looks, to the general public researching paint removal methods, like the Speedheater™. IT IS NOT. You can see reviews of this product Here.
In addition, in 2007 another copy of the Speedheater™ Infrared Paint Remover was released by a larger US company which manufactures other paint removal tools.
The US-version of the Speedheater™ Infrared Paint Remover and its accessories have been upgraded several times since 2003 and continue to be sold in the US by Eco-Strip LLC. In 2006, the Speedheater™ received the prestigious UL Listing (Underwriters Laboratory) and further stabilized the infrared bulbs with 4 shock absorbers. In 2005 and again in 2008, the Speedheater™ manufactured in Sweden passed other rigorous safety testing in the US. These tests documented that the temperatures generated by the unit are low enough not to vaporize the lead commonly present in paint used before 1978 on older homes and that the scraping of heated and soft paint generates insignificant lead dust while dramatically eliminating the lead paint on the wood to EPA’s extremely low permissible safety level. These distinguishing factors are present in the Speedheater™ Model 1100-15 sold by Eco-Strip LLC since 2006.
“This Old House” technical editor, Thomas Baker, retracted their endorsement of the Silent Paint Remover and now endorses the Speedheater™. Check it out.