How to Use a Hot Glue Gun – In-Depth Tutorial

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Whether you are doing crafting or DIY, hot glue guns are a versatile and useful tool to have around the home. You may ask, why you could not just use a normal glue adhesive in its place? Well, hot glue certainly has some added benefits to normal glues and adhesives. In this article, we are going to dive into the world of the best hot glue guns, how to use them, and why to choose them over other glue options.



What Are Hot Glue Guns?

Hot glue guns are exactly what they sound like. They are mechanisms created to melt glue sticks at high temperatures to give you the strongest adhesive option. They were first created in the 1940s as an improvement and alternative to water-based glues that were not compatible with humid conditions.

Nowadays, the best hot glue guns come in different colors, sizes and with different glue stick mediums depending on your project requirements. These glue sticks will vary in size too and not all will be compatible with every hot glue gun out there. There are different formulas available including resins, waxes, and thermoplastic polymers. Some glue guns are specifically designed for home use (for example cordless hot glue guns), while others are for industrial and larger-sized projects.

glue gun reviews

Using a glue gun is beneficial as they have a nozzle that allows more control over your glue application. The use of the smart trigger also allows you a steady hand and an even flow of glue to avoid mess and sticky applications. Hot glue guns also come in different heat settings and options. The high wattage ones are used for bigger projects or even outdoor applications.

These are of course more dangerous to use as there is a high risk of burning. For this reason, some glue gun suppliers provide finger protectors with their products. Otherwise, a protective pair of gloves would be recommended. Low wattage glue guns only get warm enough to melt the glue, these are safer for kids and beginners. Below we will look at the different uses for hot glue guns and the best product recommendations.

mini hot glue guns



How to Use a Hot Glue Gun

There are many reasons one would use a hot glue gun. Within our homes, we would be more likely to explore the best glue gun crafts or use them for woodwork and even repairs. Certain industries use this tool daily to manufacture and create the products we are buying.

One of the main reasons to use a hot glue gun is the fast-drying time! While normal tube adhesives are often thick and can take a few hours to properly dry, these hot adhesives will firm up in under a minute of applying them. Creating a durable bond that will last for years. Here, we will discuss how and where hot glue guns are best used within the home, as well as which ones to try!

best hot glue gun


Woodwork and Furniture

Hot glue guns are especially great when used for making or repairing furniture and other wooden items. They are effective on most surfaces including wood, MDF, fabrics, foam, and laminate. There are shot glue guns that are specially designed for use on wood, this is because they speed up your drying and production time and make woodworking a little easier.

When using a glue gun for wood your gun will need to be of higher wattage, allowing more heat and better adhesion from your glue sticks. Here is our recommendation for a high temp glue gun that is perfect for any sort of home project you may be thinking of.

hot glue guns


Using Glue Guns for Fabrics and Footwear

Hot glue guns make working with fabrics fun and simple. Not only do they provide a seamless adhesive with no residue, but they are also tough and durable making them a good option for shoe repairs too. The shoes we wear are already made using hot glue in factories, although they may be using an industrial strength option. At home, you can use these fabric glue guns for adding décor or rhinestones to your shoes and clothing including leather as well as repairing shoe soles or even holes in the fabric.

Some people get confused with a glue gun for fabric and a hot glue applicator. An applicator wand will heat up just as a glue gun would, however, it is not made to take glue inside it. This tool is used to heat the glue on surfaces to melt and activate it and provide a firm hold once dry. Both options can be used with fabrics, leather, and shoes.

Below we will look at a recommendation for each of these types of glue guns so you can see the difference and base your purchase on your own project requirements.

high temp glue guns


Repairing and Binding Books With a Hot Glue

For many readers out there, hot glue guns can be a lifesaver. Often books can get damaged by simple wear and tear or if you are a fan of older novels they may need repairing or restoration done. Books are already bound using an industrial-strength hot melt. This is usually very strong and toxic glue used to keep all those pages tightly bound and secure. Some industrial-strength hot glues can be purchased for use on your books, these can also be painted or sprayed on.


Using Hot Glue for Labels

Whether you are getting labels ready for shipping or your kid’s schoolbooks, a hot glue gun may just come in handy. Using this tool for label applications makes them quick and easy. A hot glue gun will also not leave any lumps or sticky residue visible under your label like using a sold glue would. Adding the glue to the back of your label will allow you to smooth it upon application to your surface. Creating a smooth and perfect adhesion.


The Best Glue Gun for Crafts

Crafting can refer to a multitude of projects including paper, fabric, clay, or many other tougher surfaces and materials. Using a glue gun in crafts is beneficial to speed drying time, make the application process easier and less messy and it may also be an opportunity to use a low-odor or non-toxic glue option. Some glue guns are flexible in what mediums they will adhere to, although the lower wattage ones are best suited to smaller crafting needs and easier projects.

There is also the choice of using a low or high temp glue gun when crafting. Low-temperature glue guns will still heat your glue sticks, although they will not get hot enough to burn you. Making them much safer for children or when first starting work with hot glue guns. The high temp glue guns are better suited to bigger projects, tougher materials, or even outdoor use.

These glue gun reviews are based on the above activities and project ideas suitable for all home crafts and smaller projects.

cheap hot glue gun



Hot Glue Gun Hacks

Aside from the uses we have already mentioned, these are some nifty ideas on where your glue gun can add value around the home.

  • Use your hot glue gun to add traction underneath your rugs or mats in the home.
  • In the same way, you can also add some lines or blobs of hot glue under socks or shoes to prevent slipping.
  • Hot glue can be added to your hangers to prevent clothing from sliding off.
  • This is a much safer alternative to tape when it comes to sealing boxes or parcels for shipping and travel to prevent tampering.
  • Décor is a fun part of using hot glue too. Using this medium over glass items to create patterns and then painting over them will give a unique look and texture.
  • Repairs are obvious when it comes to using glue of any kind. Hot glue is no different. You can safely use it for repairs on toys, clothing, ceramics, frames, and so on.
  • Hot glue is also great as acting as a sealant. Some use it to seal or protect surfaces but you can also use it to create protective covers for your knife blades or other sharp items around the home.
  • Hot glue can also be used to make protective ‘feet’ under your pot plants or heavy furniture so as not to damage your floors.
  • Fun fact – some hot glue guns can also take wax crayons in their dispensers! This creates a colorful liquid wax that one can use on canvas or paper projects to add something fun!


Now that we have covered the uses and types of glue guns out there, we should discuss glue sticks and which ones would be best when you need a top-up.



Glue Sticks

Just like hot glue guns, there are different types of glue sticks too. These come in different formulas and most are made to withstand high temperatures as well as humid conditions. You do get multi-temperature glue sticks that will work in low or high temp hot glue guns, others may be specific to only one or the other.

Another factor to consider when purchasing glue sticks is whether they are compatible with your hot glue gun. If you have a full-size gun, you will not be able to use mini glue sticks for example. Glue sticks are also available in different colors for crafting as well as the standard plain clear or white options. Below we will look at the best glue stick options when purchasing them separately.

best glue gun crafts


Now that we have been through all these useful tips and great recommendations, you should know where to buy your hot glue guns, which are the cheap hot glue guns, and what the average price is for hot glue guns on the market. Happy crafting!



Frequently Asked Questions


Where to Buy Hot Glue Guns?

Wondering where to buy hot glue guns? Glue guns can usually be purchased at your local hardware, hobby store on online. Along with these you should also be able to purchase glue stick separately.


Can You Get Cheap Hot Glue Guns?

Most hot glue guns for home use are inexpensive and still of a high quality. There are also mini glue gun options available which will be cheaper than a bigger one.


What Is the Hot Glue Gun Price?

The hot glue gun price will depend on a few things. Some come as a single item while others include glue sticks and other useful materials. Pricing for a hot glue gun can range anywhere from $10 to over $100. The quality of the gun, glue sticks and features each hot glue gun has will play an important role in the price.


What Is the Best Glue Gun for Crafts?

The best option for crafting and smaller projects would be a mini gun or low wattage hot glue gun. These are safer to use, easier to handle and most will stick perfectly to a variety of surfaces.


Hot glue guns are incredibly useful tools for all kinds of arts, crafts, and DIY projects. Our guide above on the best hot glue guns should have prepared you for everything you need to know about these handy items. Happy crafting!