Hot glue guns are extremely versatile tools that are an absolute must-have for artists, hobbyists, designers and creatives.

For those that don’t know, a glue gun is a portable device that is used to dispense hot melted adhesives (or hot glue) onto a chosen surface. Hot melt adhesives were created to better less efficient water-based glues that weakened when they are exposed to any form of moisture such as humidity, and as a result are able to provide a very efficient adhesion to also most any surface.

Firstly for speed and efficiency we only review and shortlist our top 5 results, and the below products form a list of what we consider to be some of the best hot glue guns currently available:

Best Overall: Arrow GT300

Best Light Weight Model: Anyyion

Best Value: AdTech 0189 Pro 200

Best Quality: 3M Hot Melt Applicator

Best For Craftwork: Pam HB220 220 Watt

Best hot glue guns

Arrow GT300 Glue Gun, Clear

Dimensions - 11.1 x 2.2 x 14.2 inches | Weight - 1.66 pounds | Warm up time – Fast | Working power - 300W | Working voltage - 240 V | Working temperature - High temperature | Nozzle diameter - Varies

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  • The Arrow GT300 is a heavy-duty, high-temperature glue gun that is durable and offers the precision needed for both DIY home repair and professional applications.
  • It has a working power of 300W which heats up fast, giving you the best control in combination with its precision control adjustment knob and drip-resistant nozzle. This makes it easy for you to place smooth lines or small dots with accuracy.
  • It has an ergonomic design that makes it easy to control.
  • It is light in weight and has an oversized trigger that is easy to pull.
  • It has an extended nose which enables it to navigate corners which are difficult to reach especially in a tight work area.
  • It is ideal for carpentry, upholstery, craft projects, and heavy-duty home repair.

Key features:

  • Has a drip resistant precision nozzle
  • It is light in weight
  • Has an adjustment knob that controls glue output
  • Has an ergonomic design which makes it comfortable and convenient to use
  • Has an extendable nose
  • Has a sturdy stand that has wing attachments that help prevent mishaps
Anyyion 200W Glue Gun

Dimensions - 10.3 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches | Weight - 1.5 pounds | Warm up time - Fast | Working power - 150W-300W | Working voltage - 110V-240V | Working temperature - High | Nozzle diameter - Varies | Cable length - Yes (55 inches)

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  • The Anyyion hot glue gun can be used not only in daily quick repairs but also in DIY crafts.
  • It heats up fast, taking about 2-5 minutes.
  • It also has an anti-overheating case that has thermal insulation on the handle.
  • The handle has a button that allows you to switch safely between uses.
  • It features several safety features such as an internal safety fuse that prevents overheating, smart temperature control, and an LED on/off display which is energy efficient, just to mention a few.
  • The glue warms up fast and the temperature is moderated by the smart temperature control which maintains it at a reliable temperature.
  • It has a dual wattage option that makes it possible for you to use it for light and heavy-duty jobs.
  • It is suitable for DIY projects, decorations, fabric, wood, plastic, paper, ceramics, leather, glass, school projects, frames, and more.

Key features:

  • Has a beautiful design which is easy to use
  • Has several safety features which make it safe to use
  • Can be used for both light and heavy-duty jobs
  • Is energy efficient
  • Warms up within a short period
Adtech Hot Glue Gun

Dimensions - 10.5 x 2.3 x 8.5 inches | Weight - 1.6 pounds | Warm up time – Fast | Working power - 200W | Working voltage - 120V | Working temperature - High | Nozzle diameter - Varies | Glue strip diameter - 12mm

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  • The AdTech 0189 Pro 200 glue gun is an efficient heavy duty product with a powerful 200 Watt PTC heating system.
  • The glue heats up fast, taking approximately three minutes to warm up. It operates at temperatures of 210 degrees Celsius.
  • It has an output rate of 3.5 pounds per hour.
  • The design comprises of a 4 finger trigger which makes it very comfortable to use and you can use it for a long time without straining your fingers.
  • It also has a high-quality durable shell, and uses glue sticks which are 0.5 inches in diameter.
  • The base is sturdy and allows it to maintain balance when used.
  • It is perfect for DIY home applications, commercial, and light industrial use.

Key features:

  • The 4 finger trigger design is comfortable
  • Takes a short time to warm up
  • Has a high-quality design
3M Hot Melt Applicator

Dimensions - 11.5 x 10.8 x 9.2 inches | Weight - 1.9 pounds | Warm up time – Fast | Working power - 250 watts | Working voltage - 120 volts | Working temperature – High | Nozzle diameter - Varies

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  • This glue gun is specifically designed for 3M Hot Melt adhesive sticks.
  • It is light in weight and easy to use with a palm trigger for added comfort.
  • It can administer up to 3.5 pounds of adhesive per hour.
  • It has a wide range of applications including packaging, woodworking, product assembly, upholstery, structural bonding, in DIY home applications, and more.

Key features:

  • The palm grip makes it comfortable to use
  • It is light in weight making it easy to handle
  • Its rugged design makes it dependable in use
Pam HB220 220 Watt Adjustable Temperature Glue Gun

Dimensions - 17 x 17 x 5 inches | Weight - 4.4 pounds | Warm up time – Fast | Working power - 220 watts | Working voltage - 120 volts | Working temperature - High | Nozzle diameter - Varies

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  • The Pam HB220 220 Watt is a heavy-duty high-temperature glue gun.
  • It heats the adhesive to reach the maximum temperature in less than five minutes.
  • The high temperature of the adhesive is adjustable between 140 degrees and 220 degrees Celsius.
  • For best results, you use FMFLEX180 of FMFLEX40 hot melt adhesives.
  • It features a powerful 220-watt heating element and is designed to be used fast and continuously.
  • It also has a trigger that is adjustable which ensures that the output is maximized while at the same time reduces fatigue.
  • It has a drip-free nozzle which ensures that little or no adhesive goes to waste.

Key features:

  • Has a powerful heating element
  • Has an adjustable trigger that is comfortable
  • Has a drip-free nozzle
  • Takes a short time to heat the adhesive

How do you use a hot glue gun?

  • When using a hot glue gun, the first thing you need to do is attach the hot melt glue sticks through the cavity at the back of the device.
  • You can do this either by pulling the trigger of the gun or manually, depending on the make. Once activated, the glue is pushed behind the nozzle to a spring valve loaded with balls known as a check valve.
  • The valves stop the flow of the glue and prevents it from spilling. Some products are designed to have a viewing window that enables you to see if there is enough adhesive in the chamber.
  • Glue guns usually take about two to five minutes to melt the glue sticks. However this time usually differs depending on the model.
  • Most models have a thermostat that controls the temperature of the melting adhesives. This is a resistor that is sensitive to temperature, therefore limiting the heat current when the glue melts. This aspect of regulating heat reduces the risk of getting burnt..
  • The hot melt adhesive is then dispensed from a metallic conical nozzle. Since the nozzle is metallic, it may become very hot. Some models are fitted with a protective rubber encasing at the nozzle to prevent burns.
  • The glue is expelled from the gun in thin strips. The glue takes a few minutes to dry and harden once dispensed.

Limitations

There are many situations where hot glue guns are indispensable while at other times, they can be a hindrance.

The first limitation is that hot melt glue guns are greatly influenced by the variation in temperature. They have limited performance when the heat resistance by the thermistor is not enough.

They can be subject to bad corrosion resistance, and lastly, hot melt guns cannot be used with heat-sensitive materials such as polystyrene.

Types

There are two main types of glue guns; these are the hot melt and low melt, (also known as high temp and low temp).

Low melt

Low melt glue guns are safer and easier to use than high melt products due their lower temperature. They are mostly used to bond heat-sensitive materials such as polystyrene and are extensively used for arts and crafts.

Low melt adhesives set quickly and can be used for various applications such as sealing cartons among other applications involving wood, paper, GRP, board, some plastics, and aluminum. It can also be used to assemble polyethylene foam since low application of temperature prevents the polyethylene from thermal distortion.

Hot melt

Hot melt glue guns are used to dispense hot melt adhesives, and are more suitable to use on more challenging materials such as plastics, polypropene, acrylics, ABS, and even metals.

…Glue guns can also be classified either as trigger feed or push feed.

Trigger feed glue guns dispense glue by pulling on a trigger, whereas push feeding requires the user to insert the glue stick into the hole at the rear end of the gun and manually push it through in order for it to dispense.

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