Glue guns are hot!

How to choose and use your hot glue gun

A hot glue gun is one of the handiest tools you can have in your toolbox. It’s quick and easy to use, creates strong bonds, and works on so many materials. What’s not to like?

Hot glue guns: an overview

Hot glue guns are great for so many projects. The bond formed is very strong and the glue adheres to all kinds of materials. The concept is simple: a glue stick is inserted into the glue gun and then heated until it melts. The melted glue is applied to a surface to bond materials together. Once applied, the glue cools and hardens quickly for a durable bond.

So, which glue gun should you get? Glue guns come in a variety of sizes and models. For small detailed work, you can purchase a mini hot glue gun, while at the other end of the spectrum, large industrial models are available. There are even cordless models available now, although most still plug into a wall outlet.

The other variable is the hot glue gun temperature. There are both high and low heat options. Low heat glue guns use glue sticks which melt at about 120°C. This type of glue gun is best for crafting and for more delicate materials such as paper, cardboard, and fabrics.

If you have children or like to create crafts at home, this type of glue gun will serve you well. Attaching beads, dried flowers, pebbles, and fabric is a snap with a hot glue gun. The items will stay put once the glue cools.

For more substantial materials use a high temperature gun which operates at about 190°C. This type of glue gun is great for repairs around the house since the glue will bond ceramics, wood, plastics, and even many metals. Even relatively large gaps can be bridged with this type of adhesive. You can repair loose trim, countertop laminates, mugs and glassware, and much more.

You may want to purchase a dual temperature glue gun which can be used for either application.

Best hot glue gun practice: do it right the first time

Hot glue guns are easy to use. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Ensure the glue gun is in good shape and the nozzle is clean.
  2. Insert a glue stick into the gun. Then plug in the gun and turn it on.
  3. Leave the glue gun in the stand while it heats up to operating temperature. This usually takes just a few minutes.
  4. Apply the glue carefully to your project. Try to use as little as possible at first, to avoid applying too much. If necessary, you can always add a bit more later.
  5. Hold the parts being glued in place while the glue cools. This only takes a minute or two.
  6. When you’ve finished, turn the glue gun off and allow it to cool down in a safe location.

Hot glue gun price: get the best for your money

Hot melt glue guns are surprisingly affordable and are available at most hardware and crafts stores. For light duty work, you will likely find a glue gun for just a few dollars. The glue sticks are also easy on the wallet. For the DIYer who wants a more substantial tool, there are still many glue guns to choose from in the $20 to $50 range, with most at the lower end.

So there’s every reason to add this versatile tool to your toolbox if you haven’t already!

Here are some safety tips for your hot glue gun. Put the glue stick in the gun before turning it on. While the gun is heating up, leave the glue gun in its stand. Wear gloves or take care to avoid getting hot glue on your fingers. Don’t try to remove a partially melted glue stick from the gun. Always unplug the glue gun after use. Follow these simple rules and your glue gun use should be trouble free!

Alternative to hot glue guns

As useful as hot glue guns are, there are times when you just have a small project to tackle and don’t need to get the glue gun out. There are other heavy duty adhesives that are even quicker and easier to use.

Try Loctite Extreme Gel for such a repair. Loctite Extreme Gel has a revolutionary formulation that creates tremendous bond strength and can withstand extreme temperatures. It is resistant to impact, vibration, moisture, and UV light. It will bond to wood, paper, ceramics, plastics, tile, glass, and most metals.

Loctite Extreme Gel has a high viscosity, making it suitable for filling gaps. It can be used both indoors and out-doors. You’d be hard pressed to find a more versatile adhesive for repairs and crafts.