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.