You may not realize it but hot glue guns were first used way back in the 1940’s. Heavy use of them first took place in the 1950’s when shoe manufacturers started to use them to keep their employees from getting burned when they were applying hot glue to attach the soles of shoes. Since that time they have become extremely popular and perfected to use as an aid when doing craft projects. Any true woodworking shop will now have one or more of them in it too. There are just so many things you can do when you own the best hot glue gun.
In this article, we will talk all about these handy glue application devices. It includes a glue gun buying guide and other useful glue gun information. We will even do a hot glue gun review on several of the top model glue guns you will find in the marketplace. All this information is designed to give you an edge once you start shopping for the best glue gun for your own personal needs.
Best Hot Glue Guns
Here is what we consider the absolute best hot glue gun buys you will find in the marketplace.
1. Pam HB220 220 Watt Adjustable Temperature Glue Gun
This is a very powerful glue gun from PAM Fastening Technology that’s loaded with several impressive features. Most notable of those is its fast heating 220-watt element. That allows this model glue gun to be used at its highest temperature in less than 5-minutes. In no time at all, you can be using its two suggested glue types to do such things as tack down carpet or repair shoes.
The temperature settings on this glue gun offer you a wide working range too. You can set its fully adjustable temperature anywhere between 285°F – 428°F (140°C – 220°C). That gives you a lot of versatility when doing different projects with it. This Pam hot glue gun also has an adjustable trigger and a company designed drip-free nozzle. It’s a larger size glue gun that can even handle non-stop professional use too. There is also an attached stand to hold it upright when this glue gun is not in use.
2. Impact Tools Full-Size Hot Glue Gun
If it’s an economically priced glue gun you want that is loaded with features, then you will want to take a closer look at this Impact Tools glue gun. There is much to like about it like its dual temperature 60/100 watt heat settings. That makes this glue gun versatile enough to do crafts or light professional gluing tasks. It preheats and is ready to use in under 3 minutes time too.
Perhaps its best feature is its precision glue application tip. It makes it very easy to put your glue exactly where you want it when doing any project. The tip also features a unique pressure valve to prevent accidental dripping. Other nice features on this Impact tools glue gun are its 7’ long power cord and sturdy built-in stand. It also features a leak-proof glue feeding tube and an overheat cutoff sensor.
3. AdTech 0189 Pro 200 Industrial Glue Gun
Here is another really nice full-size hot glue gun from AdTech. With its large 200-watt heating element it’s ready for use in less than 3 minutes time. That makes this glue gun work at temperatures that are ideal for both industrial and professional gluing tasks.The ergonomic design of this glue gun also makes it suitable for prolonged use. Part of that is its comfortable four finger trigger setup. That allows you to dispense hot glue at a much faster rate than similar types of glue guns.
This model includes a built-in stand so you do not have to set it down in-between uses. The AdTech 0189 is built to last too. It features sturdy hardened plastic shell to help protect it in a work environment. AdTech will also cover this product with a warranty that is good for a period of one year from the date of purchase.
4. Hot Melt Glue Gun Kit by PROkleber
Here is a German-made glue gun that is great for both professional and amateur use. It’s a larger size glue gun that has a nice 100-watt heating element built into it. With that type of high heat it only takes 2 – 3 minutes until this hot glue application tool is ready to use. We also really like its ergonomic design. It feels very natural in your hands and that makes it simple to pull back the large caulk gun-like trigger. This is a good choice gun if you will be using it to do gluing jobs for long periods at a time.
You get more than just a good working glue gun with this package too. PROkleber includes a storage bag, 12 glue sticks and 3 silicone finger protectors as part of the kit. That will help protect the gun from damage when it’s being stored and you will be able to keep small amounts of supplies right in the bag too.
5. Chandler Tool Large Glue Gun CT60
This is a large size glue gun made that is made by Chandler Tools. It is an affordable glue gun model that is great for crafts and light professional use. It features a 60-watt heating element and the product is fully UL-certified for use in the US. This durable molded plastic shell glue gun is very easy to operate too. It’s designed in a way so that it does not drip glue when the trigger is not depressed.
It also includes a snap-on, detachable stand that keeps it upright very well when you are not using it. There is also a standard type glue gun stand in the package too. Also included in the package is a nozzle cover to protect it during storage and 12 full-size glue sticks. One of the very best things about this model glue gun is its exceptional warranty. Chandler provides those who purchase it with a full lifetime warranty.
6. Cobiz Full-Size Hot Glue Gun
If you are looking for a full-size glue gun that is budget-friendly, then this may be the right one for you. It features dual power settings of 60 and 100 watts. That makes it a very good choice for those who like to do crafts or light duty professional work. In just 1-3 minutes it will have your glue warmed up and ready to use.
This glue gun model also features easy trigger action and a non-drip nozzle. This glue gun also has a solidly built hardened plastic shell and a textured pistol grip handle. There is an improved metal stand built into it too. Another nice thing about this glue gun is the warranty that comes with it. It features a full 3-year warranty and a 45-day money-back satisfaction guarantee too. That shows Cobiz has a lot of confidence in the way this glue gun is built. Included in its kit are 10 glue sticks and 2 rubber finger protectors.
Hot Glue Gun Buying Guide
In case you were wondering what to consider when looking for a new hot glue gun; here are some of the main features to focus on when you are shopping for a new one.
A List of the Most Important Hot Glue Gun Features & Specifications
Hot glue guns are definitely not a one size fits all item. That’s why there is such a wide variety of different types of them in the marketplace. Here are the three main categories that glue guns fall into.
As the name indicates, these are smaller and very easy to control glue guns. They are perfect if you are into such things as using your glue gun to make crafts. They also come in handy for light household use and occasional glue gun users. Mini hot glue guns are not recommended for professional use or those who use their glue guns many hours every day
These are the type of hot glue guns you want if you use your glue gun regularly or like your glue gun to have a few more features on it. These are usually made well and can even handle professional or repetitive use.
If you work in a factory setting that requires glue gun use or you find yourself constantly in need of a hot glue gun at work, then this is definitely the type of glue gun you should look at buying. Heavy-duty glue guns have many features on them and are built to withstand industrial and professional working environments.
Hot glue guns come in two main ways to power them. They can either be corded or battery operated. There are good and bad things about both types (we will discuss that in more detail later on). Here is some general information on each.
These are highly portable glue guns that can be used for a variety of different gluing jobs. They are used by hobbyists, homeowners, professionals and those that work at remote sites with no power.
Cordless hot glue guns are by far the most popular type. There is a huge selection of these to choose from. They really can be used by everyone from those who make crafts to professionals that work in the field or people that work in industrial settings.
Why does the wattage matter when it comes to hot glue gun use? It stands to reason that the higher the wattage the faster your glue gun will heat up and be ready for use. This may not mean much to a casual glue gun user, but it can be very important for those that work in places such as an assembly line or are professionals that work out in the field.
Some glue guns will even give you the ability to choose the wattage you use them at. Lower wattages produce less heat and are great for delicate arts and craftwork. Higher wattages work well for tasks that require heavy-duty gluing.
Unless you are an avid hot glue gun user, you may not realize that the temperature you glue at makes a difference depending on what you are gluing. Sure you can glue just about anything as long as the glue is melted but some hot glue applications come out better at certain temperature settings. If this is the case with a project you are doing, then you will want a hot glue gun model that allows you to pick the temperature you want your glue to be at.
The vast majority of glue guns do not have this feature. That means you will have to look closely at the packaging or the manufacturer’s information to find out if a glue gun you are thinking about buying has this feature. Price is a good indicator when looking to see if a particular hot glue gun will allow you to adjust the temperature on it. That’s because as a general rule only the more expensive models come equipped with the ability to do this.
Glue gun tip
The tip of any glue gun model you are thinking about buying is very important. You have to look at the shape of it and also determine how well a tip works as far as not dripping glue when it’s not being used.
The tip shape is important because it determines how accurately you can apply the hot glue. Accuracy is especially important when gluing jewelry, crafts or when doing other gluing tasks that require extreme precision.
You also want your hot glue gun tip not to drip when it’s sitting in its stand. It not only wastes glue, but dripping glue can burn you or make a mess of the project area where you are working.
Yes, all hot glue guns have a trigger mechanism that dispenses the hot glue. That’s where the similarities start and end though. Different style glue gun triggers tend to advance a glue stick and dispense different amounts of glue. Some triggers are also more sensitive when it comes to depressing them than other ones are. You will have to do a little research on any model hot glue gun you are thinking about buying to determine its trigger characteristics.
You want your hot glue gun to be comfortable when using it. This is especially important if you use it for prolonged periods during the day. That’s why owning a glue gun with a nice ergonomic design is so important. An ergonomically designed hot glue gun is one that feels comfortable in your hand and makes it easier to dispense the hot glue.
You want your new glue gun to be built well so it will last you a long time. Look for such things as a UL listing to make sure it’s a glue gun that will operate properly and safely. You also want its shell to be made out of sturdy materials such as hardened plastic in order to help your glue gun handle harsh working conditions better.
There are some features that come on hot glue guns that are nice to have. These include such things as a sturdy stand and on/off switches. It’s also nice if your new glue gun comes with such bonus items as extra glue sticks, finger protectors, and a carrying case. So check for these things as you are looking at different model glue guns.
You will definitely want your new hot glue gun to come with a warranty. The more money you spend on a glue gun the more important having a warranty becomes. Look for a glue gun model that comes with a warranty that lasts a long time. You also want it to cover all of the components of that glue gun.
Corded Vs Cordless Hot Glue Guns
Are you trying to decide whether you want a cordless or corded hot glue gun model? Take a look at the pros and cons of each type. It will help you make your decision. We will start with the good and bad things about corded glue guns.
Corded Hot Glue Guns
- Can come in high wattages that produce rapid high heat
- Fairly portable
- A large variety in the marketplace to choose from
- Take time to set up
- Cords can restrict movement when working with them
- Cannot be used at remote sites without power
Now take a look at what is good and bad about cordless hot glue guns.
Cordless Hot Glue Guns
- Super portable
- Are ready to use in just a few minutes
- Perfect for remote locations with no electricity
- Batteries run out with constant use
- Do not heat up as fast or heat as high as corded glue guns
- Less of a selection to choose from
Hot Glue Gun Uses
There is a reason that hot glue guns have gotten very popular lately. Some of that has to do with the fact that the adhesive sticks that you use with them have improved so much over time. But the biggest reason for a big rise in glue gun popularity is the fact that they have so many uses.
Here are some of the more common uses of these hot glue application devices:
- Tacking down carpet
- Adhering two wood pieces together
- Making arts & crafts
- Shoe repair
- Repairing jewelry
- Laying hardwood flooring
- Ceramic tile repair
- Toy repairs
- School projects
This is just a partial list, to say the least. People have gotten very creative when it comes to hot glue gun use. They can be used on a wide variety of surfaces and make a very strong bond if you want them too. You really are limited only by your imagination as to the uses you have for your hot glue gun.
How to Use Glue Gun?
If you have never used a hot glue gun before these are the basics.
- Step 1: Set up your hot glue gun according to the instructions in your owners manual. Follow these same instructions to insert a glue stick into your glue gun.
- Step 2: Place the glue gun into its stand and turn it on. It will take it a few minutes to heat up and melt the hot glue. Put on any finger protection you have available at this time too.
- Step 3: Once the glue in your hot glue gun is sufficiently melted you can start gluing. Place the tip of the glue gun at the areas of your material that need to be glued together. Squeeze the trigger in a way that it applies the right amount of glue for the type of gluing task you are doing.
- Step 4: Join together the items that you just applied glue to.
- Step 5: Set the glue gun back in its stand. Turn it off if you have no further use for it at this time. Also, quickly clean up any extra glue that is visible on the outside of the two pieces of material that you have glued together. Do this with a flat piece of plastic to avoid burning your fingers.
How to Clean a Hot Glue Gun?
As always, you should follow your hot glue gun manufacturer’s specific instructions on how to clean it. We will discuss here in general terms how it’s done. That way in a rare instance you do not get an owner’s manual with your glue gun, you will not be left out in the cold when it comes to cleaning it.
With the glue stick removed from your hot glue gun, plug the glue gun in and turn it on. Wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the tip too. Let the glue gun heat up for a few minutes. Gently rub the aluminum foil around the tip to remove any excess glue. Your hot glue gun is now clean and ready for your next use.
How to Treat a Hot Glue Gun Burn?
Of course, you have to use caution when working with your hot glue gun. Even with that there still may come a time when you accidentally get some hot glue on an exposed area of skin. If this happens to you immediately douse the glue in cold water and remove it from the skin (never try to remove hot glue from your skin). Continue to rinse the burn area on cold water several minutes where you removed the glue.
Burns that are not too severe will appear reddish, possibly slightly swollen, and will most likely be accompanied by some pain. A burn where there is blistering or other severe signs needs to be looked at by a doctor to help prevent infection.
Rubbing some vinegar on the burn area may kill the pain a little. Aloe Vera also works very well at soothing burns on the skin and is thought to speed burn healing too.
Hot Glue Gun FAQ’s
Here are some of the most frequently asked question that people ask us about when it comes to hot glue guns.
- Question: can you use just any type of glue stick in all different glue guns?
Answer: the answer here is no. each glue gun is designed to use certain size glue sticks. Read the owner’s manual to find out what size glue sticks your particular glue gun uses.
- Question: I don’t see an on/off switch on my glue gun. Is this normal?
Answer: the answer is this is quite common. It does make it a bit inconvenient. Just remember when you plug your glue gun in it’s on and when you unplug it obviously it’s off.
- Question: I was told by a friend never to use hot glue on glass. Is this true?
Answer: No it’s not. Hot glue can be used on glass very effectively if you do two things. The area of the glass where the glue is going needs to be very clean. You should also rough up the gluing area with sandpaper to ensure the glue bonds well to the glass surface.
Some Final Thoughts on Hot Glue Guns
We encourage any professional, hobbyist, do it yourself person or craftsman to have some sort of hot glue gun available to them. There are some inexpensive models out there that make glue gun ownership quite feasible for just about anyone. They can come in handy for a variety of gluing tasks, which makes them a great item to have available in a pinch.
It is our hope that you found the information in this article helpful in your search for the best hot glue gun. Keep in mind that any of the models that were in our hot glue gun review list would make for an excellent glue gun purchase. Make sure before you start shopping for your new hot glue gun that you also go over what was covered in our glue gun buying guide. This is the best way to purchase a hot glue gun that perfectly matches up to the needs you want one for.