What is the Best Hot Glue Gun to Use?

What is the best glue gun to buy? Which one will work best for my project?

Glue guns are necessary if you’re going to be a crafter or even a mom in general. Currently I own more glue guns than kids and pets combined and they are stationed all over the house for easy reach when I need to glue something back together. So what is the best glue gun for your needs and how do you decide which one to use? Do you need a high temp glue gun or a low temp glue gun? Cordless or with a cord? Mini glue gun or a full sized glue gun? What is the best glue gun to buy? 

High temperature vs. low temperature glue guns. 

High temperature glue guns are extremely hot! They are not safe for children to use without extreme supervision and if you have been using one for years, you might not have fingerprints anymore. However these glue guns are going to give the best bond to tougher materials. Wood, paper, plastic, and thicker fabrics are going to work best with a high temperature glue gun. Anytime I make a wreath that will hang outdoors I use a high temperature glue gun because it will hold better under the weather conditions. 

Low temperature glue guns are still hot and children should still be supervised but they are not as hot and you might be able to keep your fingerprints by using one. Low temperature glue guns work best with delicate items such as very light fabrics and thin plastics. The one downside is that the bond created by low temperature glue guns will not hold up as well so you should really use it only on projects that won’t require very much handling or use. 

So which one to buy? I always go with the high heat glue gun first because I know I can use it on almost any project. The good news is that now they are starting to make glue guns that can flip between high heat and low heat. I would probably still use the high heat setting so at this point, I do not plan on purchasing one. For any project that I would use the low heat, I just use traditional glue instead of hot glue. 

Cordless vs. with a cord.

Cordless glue guns are great. No longer do you have to go dig the extension cord out of the garage just so you and a friend can sit on opposite sides of the table and craft at the same time (not that I have ever had to do that). Cordless glue guns come with a base that has to be plugged in and you let it charge before using. The downside is of course that you can loose charge while working on a large project and have to give it time to charge again before continuing to use it. 

Corded glue guns are cheaper and reliable. I know that when it’s plugged into the wall, it is most likely going to work. You will not have to wait on it to charge, just plug, heat and go. Of course the con is that the cord can get in your way and you will have to use extension cords when working with friends.

They are also slowly starting to make battery powered glue guns which I’m excited about. Honestly this battery powered glue gun that switches between high and low heat might be one of my future purposes.

Mini glue gun or full sized?

Mini glue guns are small and therefore easy to hold and maneuver into tight spaces. The glue sticks will not last as long but they are cheaper and easily found, even sometimes at the dollar store. 

Full sized glue guns put out a lot more glue than their mini counterparts. They are also much bigger and can sometimes be hard to get the glue into the exact spot that you want it to go. Plus many times the full sized glue sticks are a little harder to find. 

If you’re running a business that relies on hot glue then invest in a few full sized glue guns that will be work horses for you. However if you just occasionally use hot glue guns for personal use, I find it handy to get several mini glue guns and toss them out when they finally die. 

There’s also specialty glue guns.  There are industrial glue guns that will glue siding onto a house or even fine tipped glue guns for those times when you have to have the glue in a perfectly thin line. Now there’s even fancy accessories such as glue gun tools and colored glue for your glue gun. 

There’s so many glue guns to consider these days and it can be overwhelming. Hopefully now that you know the pros and cons of the different types of glue guns you can make a decision that will best fit your craft project. 


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  1. says

    I am hinting for a glue gun for Mother’s Day πŸ˜‰ Just one question, some people suggested a “variable heat” glue gun. Would that be the low and high temperature type you are describing combined? I have only seen two at our hardware store in SA and one is for heavy duty and the other for every day, but the heat settings seem to be the same? Thank you for this post {I will also only trust something which can be plugged into the wall and be sure it will work!}

    • says

      yes! Variable heat guns have both high and low setting, kinda the best of both worlds. But I think that you would rarely find yourself using the low heat so I wouldn’t spend a lot of extra money to get one.

  2. says

    Thanks for this post! Another advantage I noticed with having smaller glue guns is that you can change out different colored glue sticks if you want. It’s impossible to only use a glue stick halfway, because it’s essentially stuck in the there once it starts melting. So having smaller ones around are great if you are getting fancy with your glue.

  3. Zahra says

    Thanks for this post! It was really helpful in figuring out what to look for… But now I’m wondering if there is a brand(s) that you would recommend for glue guns and glue sticks?
    If you have tried many brands for both, how would you review them? Looking forward to what you have to say :)

  4. grace (o^_^o) says

    Hello! Thanks so much for posting this! I felt silly googling it, but had a low-temp hot glue gun & a pouch I glued together fell apart after a few uses so I was wondering if a high-temp would make that much of a difference. From what you are saying, it sounds like the high-temp is what I need! Thanks for your helpful post! =)

  5. Andrea says

    Is there a difference on types of hot glue sticks or is it just simply high temp glue sticks and low temp glue sticks? Thanks!

  6. says

    Hi there! I I use a high temp glue gun when attaching pearls to fabric, but it seems if you’re too rough with the item, the pearls fall right off! How can I keep things from coming off? Plz. reply to email..

    • says

      I would try a different glue such as e600. Just do a test patch on fabric and wash it to see how it holds up. Plus the longer you let glue “cure” , meaning just sit for at least 3 days without touching it, than the better it will bond and hold to an item.

  7. shir says

    First of all THANKS FOR THE POST…i have a question in wondering which temperature glue gun will be helpful in creating flower pens..when I’m wrapping the pen and should i also use a small gun or large….thanks once again

    • says

      I would use a small one if you’re working in a small space or with small items such as pens and flowers. The high heat are going to give you a long hold so with something being handled daily, I would use a high heat one.

  8. says


    Thank you for such useful information, what glue gun would you recommend for hair accessories? My mom makes crown for special occasions such as communions and weddings and she adorns them with handmade cold porcelain flowers. We have noticed that sometimes they fall off after the glue dries. Since we sell online we cannot afford to have this happen to our customers once they receive their item. Please help! Thanks in advance.

  9. Lisa B. says

    I agree mini high temp glue guns are generally the way to go. Be sure to get a silicone glue mat and a stand for your glue gun since they are so lightweight and topple over easily.

  10. Johnnie Lemky says

    I am making a pinecone Christmas tree. I am gluing them to poster board shaped into a cone and glued to a base. After a few days the hot glue will not hold the pinecones and they fall off. Any ideas what kind of glue to use?

  11. says

    Making a headpiece for a costume and need to adhere tulle and elastic to a plastic headband. Have never used a glue gun. Will it give a strong enough bond to hold? Fabric is ightweight but can’t have it coming loose if I’m dancing.

    • says

      It should hold! You may want to also use a little clear line or fishing wire wrapped around the headband and tulle if you can for a secure hold.

  12. kathleen Kovally says

    I am making mesh wreaths with embellishments. I am finding that the embellishments are falling off. I am using glue gun.. Am I not letting them dry long enough or what? I have been dotting the glue in little bumps. Should I spread it out instead an use pressure? It seems like they come off when they hit cold air. What glue would you suggest I try.

    Thank you so much.

  13. says

    I detect that people are want a specific brand and model number – if you are particularly happy with one, please share the exact make and model!

    • says

      I use many different brands and models. I have many glue guns at my house. As the post outlines- there’s different ones that work better for different crafts. I suggest you find the make and model that works best for you.

  14. Patrice Robinson says

    Hi I am needing to glue small mirrors to cover all over a pair of gumboots which will be hung as a center piece. Could you advise what type of glue to use in a gun. Due to the type of material it will be glued to I need to be sure they will stay. I am yet to buy the gun as well. I am not a crafty person!
    Could you reply to email.
    Many thanks

    • says

      I would use something such as e6000 glue, which comes in a tube not a glue gun, and let it cure for three days before hanging it or moving it a lot.


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