Make repairs and complete craft projects in record time with the best hot glue guns.
An eminently useful and frequently overlooked device, hot glue guns help everything from kid’s crafts to fabric-based interior design projects such as homemade lampshades and headboards. Unlike other glue forms that take a substantial time to attach (sometimes hours), a hot glue gun produces a molten adhesive that sticks as it cools—usually in less than a minute.
If you’re trying to buy the first glue gun or upgrade to a new and improved brand, go ahead with our advice on finding the right hot glue gun for your project needs, as well as our top tool picks roundup.
Hot glue guns are useful instruments for Craftsmen, Hobbyists, and DIYers. Review our guide below for the best glue guns guidance on choosing among the many choices available today.
Our Top Picks
What to Look for in a best hot Glue Gun
Pay attention to the wattage to assess the heating capacity of the glue gun. Entry-level glue guns usually have around 20-watt heaters, which may be adequate for simple projects but may not be sufficient for home renovation projects or heavy-duty products. More flexible glue guns can work anywhere from 60 to 220 watts or more.
How fast the glue gun produces adhesives depends on how hot it is. Some glue guns do not provide any temperature control—just an on-off switch—while other versions allow you to change the temperature up or down to generate glue at a faster or slower pace. It is critical if you need more-glue quickly or if you want to slow down the flow of complicated projects.
The low-temperature glue gun heats the glue to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit. While the glue gun is still scorching at the top, it’s better to use and less likely to inflict unintentional burns than a high-temperature weapon.
Low-temperature glue guns are always the chosen option for child-friendly projects, but children can also have adult guidance when using any glue gun. Low-temperature glue guns are designed only with low-temperature glue sticks made of a silicone base that quickly melts at lower temperatures.
This type of glue gun is ideal for light-duty tasks such as the development of paper chains and scrapbooking.
Gaining temperatures of about 380 degrees Fahrenheit, high-temperature glue guns can melt several different glue sticks, including sticks that include thermoplastic compounds, polymers, and acrylic ingredients that form a tight bond to plastic, wood, and even metal. The downside is that the super-hot adhesive is more likely to melt or blister the skin if it is touched while still hot. For this purpose, high-temperature glue weapons are best suited for adult Craftsmen and Hobbyists.
Most of the glue guns have a single temperature, but a few have adjustable controls that allow the user to switch between high and low temperatures as desired. For a wide range of art projects, your best option may be a temperature adjustable glue gun.
Glue stick size:
Each glue gun is designed for working with a particular glue stick, varying from smaller, thinner 12mm sticks to larger 15mm sticks. With any glue gun you’re considering, pay much attention to the compatible size of stick glue to make sure you don’t end up with unmatched products!
Key Shopping Considerations
All glue guns are dispensing molten glue, but based on the nature of the craft you make, one model might be perfectly suited to your use over another.
Evaluating features such as how hot the glue gun gets and how much glue it delivers can help you decide the best one for your crafting needs.
The Wattage Factor
When it comes to glue guns, strength and heat go hand in hand. More wattage means a cooler sticker gun, improved heating, and the ability to keep hot longer while you’re working. A rating of 10 to 20 watts is typical in low-temperature gluing weapons.
High-temp guns run at 20 watts of heat and can be as high as 100 watts or more.
If a job requires a lot of glue, such as having a dense pine cone, you would have less downtime if you had to use a high-temperature gun of 60 watts or more.
You can still make a wreath with a low-temperature pistol, but you may have to wait a minute or so after adding each cone to allow the gun to heat up again.
Glue guns come in full size or small size, and their size corresponds to the type of stick they take. A small glue gun uses thin “mini” sticks that are only 0.27 inches in diameter, and full-size glue guns take wider sticks that are 0.44 inches in diameter. Full-sized guns deliver a greater volume of hot glue on each squeeze, while mini guns have a smaller amount, making them perfect for wrapping presents and making fragile art items such as Christmas ornaments.
You’re not going to find many fancy bells and whistles on most glue guns; their architecture is relatively simple, but you will find a few choices that could make it easier to craft.
Most glue guns will be on while plugged in by default, but there are a few off/on switches that let you switch it off when the gun is plugged in.
There are many glue guns with a flip-down tripod that balances the glue gun when you put it down, but others come with a separate stand where you can rest the gun before you need it next. Others also have an upright style that can stand on their base.
the best glue guns include a heat-resistant shield protecting a substantial portion of the metal dispensing tip. You’re less likely to burn fingertips like that.
Corded vs. Cordless
For years, the only form of glue gun on the marketplace had to have been connected into a wall socket. The latest kids on the block are cordless versions running on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or removable butane cartridge.
Cordless versions make it easy to enter areas with no outlet, such as the loose shingle gluing down on the garden shed. A single butane cartridge or a fully charged 18-volt battery can fuel the glue gun for around two to three hours.