Ender 3 Hotend Upgrade: 3 Options For Your Printer

Published on:

We participate in the Amazon affiliate program and may earn a commission if you make a purchase through links on our site. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

The Ender 3 is one of the single most successful budget 3D printers around. This has a lot to do with the quality of its components as well as its low price. However, a key feature that makes it so endearing to its dedicated fan following is its extreme flexibility.

This is very easy to hack printer and it can be upgraded and modified as and when desired, to create a bespoke machine that would be perfect for your needs. One of the best things you can get for your machine would be an Ender 3 hotend upgrade.

What Is The Default Hot End On The Stock Ender 3?

While the stock hot end on your Ender 3 machine is both simple and capable, it can do with a lot of improvement. This has a lot to do with the low range of materials that it can handle perfectly. This is the part where an all-metal hot end can come into the picture. As far as Creality Ender 3 upgrades go, it is a very important one indeed.

The key issue here is that in every standard hotend there a PTFE tube that goes all the way right down to the nozzle located against the heat block. However, it is pertinent to note here that this PTFE tube basically starts to degrade at any temperature over and above 250 °C.

In this case, the range of materials that this hotend can accommodate is limited. After all, the PTFE tube is directly responsible for emitting toxic fumes in the first place. Eventually, it will definitely have to be replaced if it is used for an extended period of time at very hot temperatures.

However, in any all-metal hot end, the PTFE tube will never be inserted all the way down to the end. On the contrary, it will instead sit on the top of the heat break itself.

This will allow the end-user to print plenty of exotic as well as high-temperature filament materials such as polycarbonate, nylon, and even carbon fiber, too. This is in fact, the key reason why people ever bother to upgrade to this type of hotend.

The stock hotend cannot account for such exotic materials and therefore it won’t be able to print everything you like.

Ender 3 Hotend Upgrade Options

1. Micro Swiss All Metal Hot End (No Extra Mounts Required)

Now that you know that all-metal hot end ender 3 pro upgrades are the best thing money can buy for your Ender machine, it is time to find that ideal one for your purpose. There are few really good ones available in the market and we should take a closer look at those. You can also find a few for the CR 10 as well.

However, it is imperative that you cull out the best from the rest and only opt for an all-metal one in order to derive the maximum benefit from your new purchase. This is because there exist a whole lot of hotends for your Ender three series machine and they have been designed to work in lieu of your stock one.

However, it does not matter whether it is an original piece or a clone, as long as it has been made of quality parts and it works fine and is both reliable and durable. These hotends are some of the best ones available in the market and they definitely suit the Ender 3 and help it hit its optimal level of performance. Their top-quality and ultra-precision manufacturing basically ensures the very best printing performance for just about all of your high-temperature printing needs.


It is keeping the 3nder 3 series in mind that the new Micro Swiss All-Metal Hot End has been crafted. As a matter of fact, it is one of the best very best and most compatible hotends for your machine. It can be effortlessly and perfectly plugged into your unit without any need for purchasing any sort of extra brackets or mounts.

The new Micro Swiss hotend uses a cutting edge titanium heat breaker. One that actively helps to keep the heat well contained to the main heat block alone. Apart from that, the nozzle is also well plated with its own wear-resistant coating too. This means that you can now easily print some of the more abrasive materials including carbon fiber as well as metal-filled filament without any need to worry about excessive nozzle wear.

Now that you are well are of the core characteristics of the Micro Swiss All Metal hotend you should know how it can benefit your builds:


The key advantages include some of the following ones:

Higher Temperature Support Capability

It is very simple really. If you must print with an all-metal hotend there is no need to search for a better one than this one. It is ideal for exotic or any other non-standard filaments. This is due to the fact that your all-metal Micro Swiss typically require far higher printing temperatures than the stock one as such. If you have to get a fresh hotend for your exotic work, this one will definitely fit the bill.

No Need for Replacing the PTFE Tubes In Your Printer

The PTFE tube in your stock printer will eventually come to a point where it will start to degrade over time. This holds particularly true when you use if for very high-temperature printing set-ups, especially with PETG as well as ABS. With the Micro Swiss all-metal hot end, there would be no issue of having to deal with replacing the original PTFE liner as such.

Key Drawbacks

This hotend is not without its own issues and the major one includes:

Retraction Settings

Virtually all high-temperature filaments typically stick to the walls of the heart breaker if you have set your retraction settings too much. This is why you must always start with the lowest retraction settings whenever you try to upgrade your Ender machine.

Redoing Extrusion Settings

When you use this hotend you will have to lower the RD (retraction distance) to approximately 3.5 to 4 mm or so. At the same time, you will also have to lower total speeds to 45 mm per second. Here it is imperative that you make sure that you experiment enough to find the very best settings that work fine with your specific materials as well as hardware.

How to Install

It is very easy to install components and does not require any extra mounting as such.

2. E3D V6

This is undoubtedly one of the single most versatile as well as popular designs that currently exist on the market today. As a matter of act, the new E3D V6 Hot End is justly renowned for its extreme reliability as well as material compatibility for most 3D printing applications. It has a 100 percent stainless steel heat breaker. This means that it will keep the PTFE tube well away from the main heating block.


  • It is very durable and can outlast just about any stock hotend for most 3D printing work
  • It is compatible with a broad range of materials

How to install

  • The fact that it is not easy to install is its biggest drawback. It is not a simple plug and plays. In fact, you will have to 3D print a mount before you can install it on your machine. You can print this part to mount the new hot end.

2. E3D V6 Lite Hot End

This little number is also referred to as the baby brother to the E3D V6. It offers much the same features as the bigger and more expensive version, but at a considerably lower price. Table for PLA, but it will also work with other materials as well. All in all, it is a good budget option.


  • It is reliable and inexpensive
  • It is robust and can withstand newbie accidents
  • It gives excellent results and lasts longer than a stock hotend.


The filament in the heat sink of the E3D V6 Lite Hot End is subjected to very drastic temperature differences. The lack of a PTFE tube makes it much more difficult to stop the filaments from getting damaged since the component’s heat break conducts the heat a whole lot faster because there is no PTFE tube to stop it. If the filament melts and breaks off in the heat sink; it can easily create a clog and your whole build will suffer as a result.

How to install it?

It is a slightly difficult procedure to install it and you will need to gather your Thermistor parts, beforehand. After that, you will need to orient the heater block, slide in the Thermistor, slide in the heater cartridge, and screw in the grub screws, and finally assemble the nozzle.


Ender 3 Nozzle Size

Best 3D printer hot end options


All of the above hotend upgrades can serve you very well. Once you get any one of these upgrades, you can rest assured that the performance of your machine will be a lot better than if you were to use a stock component. You may follow us here for more information regarding quality upgrades.

Photo of author


In 2019 Shabbir bought a Tevo Tarantula and fell in love with 3D printing. He now shares his tips and love of 3d printing with the world exclusively through Maker Shop. Here's how he builds Ender 3s that can print at over 1000mm/s (25x stock!) for under $600.