From DIY projects to repair works at home, a hot glue gun is a must-have accessory in your toolkit. Depending on the nature of use, glue guns come in different shapes and types. One must choose the right glue gun for the work or it may get very messy. There is no universal glue gun and you have to be very particular while buying a glue gun.    

In this blog, I will walk you through the different kinds of glue guns and their best uses. After reading this post, you will be in a better position to make the right buying choice.

Types of Hot Glue Guns

Hot glue guns can be categorized based on their temperature, size, and connectivity. And different categories of glue guns are used for different purposes. It is very important to understand the features of any given glue gun to make the best use of it.  

Glue Guns Based on Temperature:

Based on temperature glue guns come in three main types—

  1. Low-temperature glue guns, 
  2. High-temperature glue guns, and 
  3. Dual-temperature glue guns

Low-Temperature Glue Gun: 

If you are working with delicate materials, you should buy a low-temperature glue gun. These glue guns will give you a strong bond but without destroying the surface. Low-temperature glue guns are best for delicate materials such as; lace, foil, ribbon, lightweight fabric, and foam. They are also children friendly as the guns do not get extremely hot. Still, it can go up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, so adult supervision is necessary.

Certain craftwork requires delicate works with delicate materials. Low-temperature glue sticks are the perfect choice for light projects that need a strong bond.

High-Temperature Glue Gun: 

When you are working with tougher and heavier materials and need a strong bond, high-temperature glue guns are the appropriate glue gun for the job. These provide a strong and tougher bond and last longer. One should use high-temperature glue guns for working with materials such as; metal, wood, plastics, ceramics, magnets, and all non-porous material.   

High-temperature glue guns can reach up to 380 degrees Fahrenheit, so can melt all types of glue sticks. Some glue sticks only melt at high temperatures and their specific compounds give stronger bonds.

However, I suggest you should be very careful while working with it. It can get really hot and you will get skin burn if not careful. 

Dual Temperature Glue Gun: 

However, if you are like me and are not sure what temperature you need, or you want flexibility, I suggest, you go for Dual Temp Glue Gun.

Duel temp glue guns give you the option to use the glue gun in both low temp and high temp mode. You can switch the mode of temp by a switch. It gives you options to work with different kinds of projects and repairs. 

It can be used for Wood, Plastic, Metal, Glass materials while high temp mode is on. On the other hand, when the low-temperature mode is on it can be used for Floral, Fabric, Foam, Jewelry, and more.

Glue Guns Based on Connectivity: Cordless vs Corded

Based on connectivity, you have the option to buy a corded glue gun or a cordless glue gun. There are some hybrid glue guns as well, which can be used both as corded and cordless. So based on connectivity you can buy a-

  1. Corded glue gun;
  2. Cordless glue gun;
  3. Hybrid glue gun;

Corded Glue Guns:

Though corded glue guns do not give flexibility like cordless ones, they give you reliability. Especially if you are planning to use the glue gun for an extended period, I suggest you to but a corded glue gun. Apart from the high-end ones, most cordless glue guns drain the batteries quickly.

Again, while buying the corded models, check if the length of the cable is suitable for you. Many models come with short cords which can be a deal-breaker for many.    

Cordless Glue Guns:

The use of glue has been made easier by cordless glue guns as the process is less messy and is more fun. Cordless glue guns have become vital tools due to their efficiency, as they do not need to be directly connected to the source of power. With the advent of new technologies, the efficiency of cordless glue guns has increased many folds. The manufacturer has come up with a variety of cordless solutions for glue guns. You must understand the pros and cons of these varieties to buy the best cordless glue gun.

Based on the battery types, cordless glue guns can be divided into three categories;

Cordless glue gun with external battery

Glue guns like the Surebonder PRO2-60 and Ryobi P305 use an external battery system. These glue guns are usually for heavy-duty works and are meant to last a long time. Usually, with a full charge, they give up to 4 hours of runtime.

Cordless glue gun with internal battery

On the other hand, the glue guns with an internal battery system are usually used for light craft and DIY works. These are less powerful and usually come with a 2200 to 2600 ma lithium-ion battery. They also work for a short period. The most proficient ones last up to 40 minutes of continuous work.

Cordless Butane Powered Glue Gun

The butane-powered glue guns do not use electricity as other traditional cordless glue guns. It runs on butane gas. It uses gas cartridges, which are very easy and quick to refill. It takes about 15 seconds to refill and gives close to 100 minutes of running time.  

The butane-powered glue guns are versatile and extremely flexible. However, there is less option in terms of brands creating butane gas-powered glue guns and a bit more expensive than the traditional cordless glue guns. Steinel TM 6000 is a butane-powered glue gun with great reviews from its users.

Hybrid Models:

For those who want the best of both worlds, the hybrid models are the best choice. Hybrid models have both cordless and corded features. They are basically corded glue guns but the exception is that, once they are heated up, they can be used as cordless glue guns. That gives the user flexibility. But unlike the cordless glue guns, these give you a very short run time, and then you have to plug in the cord again. 

Glue Guns Based on Size:

The size of the glue gun plays an important role as well. Depending on the project and your preference size do matter. Based on size glue guns come in two main types—

  1. Full-size glue gun;
  2. Mini size glue gun;

Full-Size Glue Gun:

Full-size glue guns come with a comfortable grip and easy to use mechanism. Large glue sticks that are .44 inches in diameter are used for full-size glue guns. The glue guns are longer and thicker, so they last longer. They are best for heavy projects where a greater flow of glue is needed. Full-size glue guns are more powerful and can reach higher temperatures quickly. So you get a large volume of hot glue with each squeeze of the trigger.

Mini Size Glue Gun:

Mini-size glue guns are best for craft and jewelry-making projects. These guns dispense a smaller amount of glue, making them best for delicate objects. The smaller size makes it easy to hold and maneuver thus giving greater precision.

Narrow sticks that are 0.27 inches in diameter are used in mini glue guns. The sticks are smaller and come in different variants of decorative colors. The best mini hot glue guns are lightweight compact tools that let you create precise results for craft and DIY projects.  

Glue Guns Based on Wattage:

Wattage should be one of the first things that cross your mind while buying a glue gun. The wattage on your glue gun signifies its power. And more power means it generates more heat and does it so quickly. High temperature gives greater dispense of glue, which can be both useful or troublesome depending on the usage.

If you need precision and working with delicate materials, then high heat and chunks of glue are the last things you want. You will need a glue gun with lesser wattage that will give you more control and precision.

More wattage also means quick heating and a longer period of running time. That is especially handy while working on a bigger project.

The low-temperature glue guns come with lesser wattage. It can range between 10-20 watts. While the high-temperature glue guns start at 20 watts and can reach up to 100 watts of heating power.        

Other Distinguishing Features of Glue Guns

The design of glue guns is pretty standard and the mechanism quite simple. You pull the trigger and hot glue comes out of the nozzle. However, there is some extra feature found in some guns for the ease of use.

Some glue guns come with a stand. It protects your workstation from dripping hot glue. So glue guns are designed in a way that, they can stand on their base. Off/ On switch is another standard but important feature. Again LED light indicator for charging and heating is another useful feature that comes with most glue guns.   

Final Thoughts:

Glue guns are a handy tool and a useful crafter’s companion. But depending on the use, you need to choose the right one. All glue guns melt glue and the hot glue is used for DIY or repair work. But depending on the amount of glue it dispenses or the temperature it raises to, choosing the right model for your job is a must. Before buying any buying decision, do evaluate the features of the glue gun and if that fits your need. A glue gun that is perfect for jewelry making might not work at all for woodworking. Again same glue gun might not work for gift wrapping and big DIY projects. So before buying, understand the features and differences between various models of glue gun and you are good to go.

Judy Eaton

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