The Best 3D Printer Hot End
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The 7 Best 3D Printer Hot Ends (All-Metal!)

Last update: September 2022
Best overall
  • Excellent printing performance
  • Available in several configurations
  • Excellent community support
Best hot end for Ender 3
  • Easy to use with Creality printers
  • Good build quality
  • Good customer support
Best high-end
  • Compact form factor
  • Faster print speeds
  • Easy maintenance

When it comes to 3D printing, the hot end is one of the most important components. It’s responsible for melting and extruding the filament, so it’s crucial that you have a good one.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best 3D printer hot ends on the market. We’ll also give you a few tips on how to choose the right one for your needs. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

SUMMARY
3D Printer Hot EndMax. TempFilament Dia.Voltage(s)Price (~)Best Offer
E3D V6300 °C1.75 mm, 2.85 mm12V, 24V$59 and up
Micro Swiss All Metal Hotend Kit300 °C1.75 mm24V$63
E3D RapidChange Revo300 °C1.75 mm12V, 24V$88 and up
Slice Engineering Mosquito500 °C1.75 mm12V, 24V$145
E3D Supervolcano Upgrade Kit300 °C1.75 mm, 2.85 mm12V, 24V$96 and up
DyzEnd PRO500 °C1.75 mm12V, 24V$130
Phaetus Dragonfly Hot End500 °C1.75 mm12V, 24V$69

What is the hot end in a 3D printer?

A hot end is the heating element in a 3D printer. It comprises several parts, including the heating element, nozzle, heat sink, and heat break.

The heating element is responsible for heating the filament to its melting point. The nozzle is a small hole through which the molten filament is extruded. And finally, the heat break limits the amount of heat that transfers to the heat sink.

These elements work together to provide an even flow of melted material and give you a smooth 3D printing experience.

What makes a good hot end?

The best 3D printer hot ends have good heat management, durability, material compatibility, and material flow rate. They minimize heat creep and maintain a stable printing temperature during extended 3D printing times. A stable hot end temperature reduces the chances of the hot end clogging up and prevents print failures.

A hot end with a high flow rate lets you print at faster print speeds and larger layer heights. This reduces print times and creates a strong 3D printed part.

Another aspect you need to consider is the material composition of the hot end. 3D printer hot ends with brass nozzles are not the best for printing with abrasive materials. Instead, you should look for hot ends with stainless steel or hard-coated nozzles. These nozzles are more wear-resistant and can handle abrasive materials better.

Similarly, if you want a hot end for 3D printing high temperature (>300°C) filaments, you are best off with a hot end with a copper-plated heater block, a high-powered heater cartridge, and a thermocouple. These hot ends can handle the higher temperatures required for printing with polycarbonate, PEEK, and other engineering-grade filaments.

The Best All-Metal 3D Printer Hot Ends in 2022

E3D V6

Best overall
An all-metal E3D V6 hotend
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E3D manufactures some of the highest quality hot ends and the E3D V6 is one such example of that. It is simple yet effective and delivers excellent printing performance. It is suitable for both direct and Bowden drive extruders, and you can further customize it for your 3D printer directly through E3D’s website.

The E3D V6 is an all-metal hot end capable of reaching temperatures of up to 300 °C in the standard configuration. The cartridge-style heating block facilitates the easy removal of heater cartridges and thermistors for easy installation and maintenance. Its heatbreak is designed to maintain consistent and accurate temperature in longer prints.

As with all E3D products, the V6 has excellent community support, ensuring that you can quickly resolve any issues. Overall, it is a superb hot end that will take care of most of your printing needs and is suitable for hobbyists and professionals alike.

Standout Features

  • All-metal heatbreak
  • Cartridge style heating block
  • Simple design

Technical Details

Maximum temperature 300 °C
Filament diameter 1.75 mm, 2.85 mm
Available voltages 12V, 24V

What We Like

  • Excellent printing performance
  • Available in several configurations
  • Excellent community support

Could Be Better

  • Big form factor
Find E3D V6 at

Micro Swiss All Metal Hotend Kit

Best hot end for Ender 3
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The Micro Swiss hot end is an upgraded version of the stock hot end for Creality 3D printers. You can install it directly on the default setup of CR-10 and Ender 3 series 3D printers without any extra mounting systems and brackets.

The Micro Swiss comes with a similar appearance to the stock Ender setup, albeit delivering improved performance. You get a titanium heat break that does an excellent job in thermally separating the hot and cold regions of the hot end resulting in a more defined melt zone.

You will need to recalibrate your retraction settings and ensure proper assembly of this hot end, however. Set it up correctly, and the Micro-swiss hot end is an excellent upgrade for anyone who wants to print high-temperature materials on a budget.

Standout Features

  • Aluminum heater block
  • Titanium heat break
  • Brass plated MK8 nozzle

Technical Details

Maximum temperature 300 °C
Filament diameter 1.75 mm
Available voltages 24V

What We Like

  • Easy to use with Creality printers
  • Good build quality
  • Good customer support

Could Be Better

  • Requires tweaking
  • Potential retraction and leakage issues
Find Micro Swiss All Metal Hotend Kit at

E3D RapidChange Revo

Best high-end
E3D Revo
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Swapping out a 3D printer nozzle can be a labor-intensive process and result in significant downtimes in your 3D printing process. To speed this process up, the E3D Rapid Change Revo comes with a unique design that lets you quickly change your nozzles without any tools.

It features a design similar to the E3D V6 hot end but in a more compact and lightweight form factor. The hot end comes with a redesigned heating block that is engineered for safety and maximum heating performance. The Revo is compatible with most high-temperature materials and delivers superb print quality out of the box.

You can get the hot end in three configurations – Revo Micro, Revo Six, and the Revo Hemera. Each version is developed for different use cases. Together, the Revo Rapid change system covers a wide range of 3D printing applications.

A RapidChange Revo hot end is well-suited for professional users who are looking for the best hot ends with easy maintenance.

Standout Features

  • Quick-swappable nozzles
  • Lightweight design
  • Fast heating times

Technical Details

Maximum temperature 300 °C
Filament diameter 1.75 mm
Available voltages 12V, 24V

What We Like

  • Compact form factor
  • Faster print speeds
  • Easy maintenance

Could Be Better

  • Limited nozzle options
  • Pricy nozzles
  • Not compatible with 2.85 mm filament
Find E3D RapidChange Revo at

Slice Engineering Mosquito

Best for high-temperature filaments
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The Slice Mosquito hot end comes with a unique design that separates it from other hot ends. The heater block is entirely separated from the frame of the hot end with the help of four support rods. It helps to eliminate heat creep and improves thermal performance.

This design allows the hot end to be highly compact and lightweight, resulting in extra vertical height and faster print speeds. Its rigid construction allows for one-handed nozzle changes making maintenance an easy task.

In contrast to the previously mentioned hot ends, the Slice Mosquito is rated to print at high temperatures of up to 500 °C, covering filaments such as PEEK, ULTEM, and PPSU.

At a starting price point of $144.99, it is certainly not for budget 3D printer users. However, the Slice Engineering Mosquito hot end is ideal for professionals who need a high-performance hot end that delivers excellent print quality and broad material compatibility.

Standout Features

  • Unique design
  • High printing temperatures
  • High structural rigidity

Technical Details

Maximum temperature 500 °C
Filament diameter 1.75 mm
Available voltages 12V, 24V

What We Like

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • No heat creep
  • Compatible with majority of FDM 3D printers

Could Be Better

  • No liquid cooling option
Find Slice Engineering Mosquito at

E3D Supervolcano Upgrade Kit

Best for large 3D printers
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The E3D Supervolcano upgrade kit is specifically designed for fast printing of large objects. It delivers up to 11x more volumetric flow rate than regular E3D V6 hot ends. This lets you 3D print at higher speeds with large layer heights and widths.

Wider layers allow for better interlayer adhesion resulting in a stronger 3D printed part. While 3D print strength is something you can also increase by choosing the strongest infill pattern and strongest filament, printing wider layers gives you another option to do so.

The Supervolcano can reach a maximum print temperature of 300 °C, letting you print with materials like PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU. It is fully compatible with various other E3D hot ends and extruders, so you can easily upgrade your default setup to a Supervolcano.

This is the best 3D printer hot end for a large format 3D printer to carry out high-volume printing. If your printing workflow consists of large-scale and high-volume 3D printed parts, the Supervolcano kit is crucial in reducing your 3D printing times.

Standout Features

  • 11x volumetric flow rate (compared to V6)
  • Copper plated heat break
  • Readily compatible with E3D hot ends

Technical Details

Maximum temperature 300 °C
Filament diameter 1.75 mm, 2.85 mm
Available voltages 12V, 24V

What We Like

  • High filament melting rate
  • Suitable for large objects
  • Option for second thermistor

Could Be Better

  • Reduces print height
  • Increased chances of thermal runaway and safety issues
Find E3D Supervolcano Upgrade Kit at

DyzEnd PRO

Most durable nozzle
A Dyzend Pro hotend
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The DyzEnd Pro hot end is a high-performance hot end developed for a professional workflow. It comes in a lightweight and compact design that takes up less space.

This hot end comes with a tungsten carbide nozzle with excellent wear resistance. This means you can use the DyzEnd PRO for 3D printing abrasive materials, like carbon fiber or glow-in-the-dark filament, without fear of it wearing out.

Its all-metal heat zone and steel heater block ensure that you can print materials up to 500°C with ease. You can also quickly cold swap the nozzle on the DyzEnd Pro for less downtime and easy repairability.

It is a superb hot end meant for serious professionals who regularly print with high-temperature materials. If you’re looking for a lightweight, robust and good quality hot end for your 3D printing workflow, the DyzEnd Pro is one of the best hot ends available.

Standout Features

  • Cold swappable nozzle design
  • High maximum temperature
  • Liquid cooling ready

Technical Details

Maximum temperature 500 °C
Filament diameter 1.75 mm
Available voltages 12V, 24V

What We Like

  • Fast printing speeds
  • Increased durability with abrasive filaments
  • Compatible with different temperature sensors

Could Be Better

  • Limited nozzle sizes
  • Requires considerable fine-tuning
Find DyzEnd PRO at

Phaetus Dragonfly Hot End

Check price at

The Phaetus Dragonfly hot end is an all-metal hot end designed for hobbyists and professionals. It uses copper alloy material for its heat sink for better heat dissipation. The Dragonfly also lets you print at up to 500 °C, making it one of the cheaper 3D printer hotends that can reach these high temperatures.

This hotend has a smooth inner surface that aids in getting an uninterrupted filament flow. Its conical heat break designs allow fast heat dissipation, maintaining good thermal separation and a stable melt zone.

Compared to the other hot ends that can reach 500 °C on this list, the Dragonfly is reported to come with more quality control issues. This is something that can be expected given its low price but it is still something we think you should be aware of.

The Dragonfly Hot end comes in two variations suitable for Creality and Prusa 3D printers. It is ideal for individuals who need a high-temperature hot end that’s easy to use and comes at a budget price.

Standout Features

  • All-metal design
  • Conical heat break
  • Copper alloy construction

Technical Details

Maximum temperature 500 °C
Filament diameter 1.75 mm
Available voltages 12V, 24V

What We Like

  • Excellent heat dissipation
  • High printing temperature
  • Relatively low price

Could Be Better

  • Quality control issues
  • Inconsistent printing performance
Find Phaetus Dragonfly Hot End at

Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose a 3D Printer Hot End

3D Printer Compatibility

Hot ends are not a generic component and are often designed for a specific set of 3D printers. Checking the hot end’s compatibility with your 3D printer is essential for getting the best results. It will ensure that you get the right hot end that supports your 3D printer’s hardware and electronics.

One of the things to look for is the heater cartridge voltage on the hot end. It has to match the printer’s voltage to ensure proper heating of the hot end.

You also need a mounting system for the hotend. Any additional mounting plates and hardware will translate to an increase in the cost, even though you can 3D print these yourself sometimes.

Material Compatibility

A hot end with wide material compatibility is always a good thing to have. This allows you to experiment with different materials and find the ones that work best for your needs.

The most important thing to look for is the maximum temperature that the hot end can reach. This number will give you a good idea of the range of materials that the hot end can work with.

Typical all-metal hot ends can reach up to 300 °C and can easily print most thermoplastics. This range covers PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, and flexible filaments like TPU and TPE.

If you need to print high-performance plastics such as PEEK, ULTEM, Polycarbonate, and PEI, you will need a hot end that has a maximum printing temperature of 500 °C.

High-performance hot ends will be more expensive than the basic ones and might not yield good results when printing at lower temperatures. If you primarily print with materials that melt below the 300 °C points, basic all-metal hot ends like the E3D V6 and the Microswiss should be enough for you.

Nozzle Compatibility

A nozzle is an important component of the hot end assembly. Nozzles are designed with their hot end’s specifications in mind. The nozzle you use defines the printing capability and material compatibility of your hot end.

A larger nozzle size will let you print fast and with large layers, while a fine nozzle is suitable for printing detailed parts. Both can be properties to look for when looking to make money with your 3D printer.

Similarly, a nozzle’s material will also affect the print quality. Nozzles made from stainless steel can handle higher temperatures and are more wear-resistant. As a result, they can last longer, but they might not be the best choice for printing with PLA.

On the other hand, brass nozzles are a good all-around choice and can be used with most materials. If you are unsure about the material of the nozzle, always check with the hot end’s manufacturer.

Due to the hot end’s design, nozzles aren’t interchangeable between 3D printer hot ends from different brands. For example, the DyzEnd nozzle is specific to the DyzEnd Pro hot end. Similarly, the E3D Supervolcano exclusively supports E3D nozzles of sizes 0.6 mm – 1.2 mm.

If you 3D print with parts of varying layer heights and with different materials, you need to ensure that you get a hot end that’s compatible with various nozzle sizes and materials.

Build Quality

A hot end is the critical component of the 3D printer and is responsible for extruding the filament smoothly. A poorly manufactured hot end will lead to many issues down the line.

Nozzle clogs, hot end jamming, filament leakage, and improper filament flow all indicate poor hot end build quality.  These issues can be frustrating and time-consuming to deal with. Checking the user reviews before you purchase the hot end will give you a better idea about its build quality.

Cheaper hot ends tend to have poor overall quality and while they might work well in the beginning, they can experience many issues after prolonged use.On the other hand, a well-manufactured hot end will have a high upfront cost and give you consistent printing performance and a high-quality experience.

Should You Buy an All-Metal Hotend or Not?

All-metal hot ends are helpful for printing materials like ABS, PETG, and Nylon. Where PTFE-lined hotends are only suitable for printing up to around 250°C, an all-metal hot end typically reaches temperatures of either 300°C or 500°C

These temperatures are more than enough for printing a wider variety of materials. The all-metal design also eliminates the need to replace the PTFE liner in the hotend over time, as the PTFE tube is no longer exposed to extreme temperatures.

However, the all-metal design can create more filament jamming issues when not configured correctly. A shorter retraction distance helps to minimize stringing and consequently prevent filament jams, however.

If you plan on printing with a lot of different materials or if you want to experiment with higher temperatures, an all-metal hot end is a good investment. Otherwise, a PTFE-lined hot end will suffice for most applications.

That said, you can’t ever go wrong with an all-metal hotend upgrade. If you simply want the best 3D printer hot end for your machine, all-metal is the way to go.

FAQ

When should I replace my 3D printer hot end?

There’s no need to replace your 3D printer hot end unless you’re looking for an upgrade to get better performance. You might have to periodically replace certain components, like the nozzle, when they wear out, however.

If you are experiencing issues with your prints, then it may be time to check your hot end for any damage or debris that may be causing problems.

Is an all-metal hot end good for PLA?

Yes. While all-metal hotends are ideal for higher-temperature filaments, they can also be used with lower-temperature filaments like PLA. Some users find that they get better results using an all-metal hotend with PLA than they do with a standard hotend with PTFE lining.

What type of hotend does the Ender 3 use?

The Ender 3 uses a PTFE-lined hot end, which allows for smoother filament flow and reduced clogging. PTFE is a low-friction material that is resistant to wear and tear, making it an ideal choice for a hot end.

If you want to upgrade your Ender 3 hot end, the Microswiss is one of the best hot ends to swap the stock one out with.

Which hot end is best?

In our opinion, the E3D V6 hotend is currently the overall best hot end on the market. It is made of high-quality materials and has a modular design that makes it easy to assemble and maintain. It also has a wide range of compatibility with different types of printers, making it a popular choice for both beginners and experienced users.

Conclusion

Choosing the right hot end for your 3D printer will extend your printing potential. The best 3D printer hot end minimizes heat creep while maintaining a stable printing temperature. However, you need to check that the hot end you select fits your 3D printing needs and is compatible with your 3D printer.

The E3D V6 hot end ranks on the top as the best 3D printer hot end. It is one of the most reliable hotends that has been well-tested over the years and is suitable with a good of materials. It has an all-metal design, broad 3D printer compatibility, and excellent build quality at a reasonable price.

Its only drawback is its limited range of printing materials. With a maximum temperature of 300°C, it won’t handle true engineering materials like PEEK.

This is where the Slice Engineering Mosquito and the DyzEnd Pro hot end step in. These are rated to print up to 500 °C and come with unique designs with elegant features.

So, what is the best 3D printer hot end for you? It depends on your specific needs. Consider the type of materials you want to print with, your budget, and your 3D printer compatibility when making your decision.

Let us know your experience if you’ve used any of these hot ends. We’d love to hear if you have anything else to add in the comments below.

  • Pranav is an avid maker and DIY enthusiast who specializes in 3D printing. He’s built and operated 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser engravers. He is also familiar with most other machines that you’d find in a MakerSpace. In his free time, you can find him on the road cycling or reading in a corner.

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