Glue guns are the must-have tools for art & DIY enthusiasts and minor home repairs. First launched in the 1940s to bond shoe soles, this versatile tool has become a highly sought tool across industries. The very fact that it can be used on various materials, including wood, fabric, stone, glass, metal, plastic, and foam, makes it a handy tool to have.
As of 2020, there are a lot of glue guns available in the market & choosing one from the lot can be confusing, especially when all the brands promise quality products.
This article will discuss in depth the three factors one need to consider before buying a glue gun.
The 3 Different Types of Glue Guns
Irrespective of the type of glue gun, they are all portable devices that dispense a hot and melted adhesive.
The differences between them lie in the temperature at which the melted adhesive comes out of the gun, the way the glue is fed into the heater, and the way they are powered.
Depending on the temperature, glue guns are available in three variants:
- Low Temperature:
- Because of the low temperature of the glue, these guns are ideal for child-friendly crafts and to be used in low-duty projects or on heat-sensitive substrates such as foam, fabric, thin films/plastics, scrapbooks, DIY pots, etc.
- As the name suggests, low-temperature glue guns are those that heat the glue sticks to a comparatively low temperature. It heats the glue to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121o Celsius), which is relatively safer to handle and is less likely to cause accidental burns.
- High Temperature:
- Unlike the low-temperature glue guns, their high-temperature counterparts can heat the adhesive to around 380-degree Fahrenheits. Owing to the adhesive's high temperature, these glue guns are primarily used for heavy-duty projects that require a strong bond.
- Due to the high temperatures, these adhesives take more time than their low-temperature counterparts. This ensures a longer working time to make slight adjustments when using materials such as wood, fabric, florals, metal, plastics, and some polyolefins.
- Dual Temperature:
- Dual temperature glue guns are guns with a switch that lets one toggle between high temperature & low-temperature setting as needed. These guns tend to be on the expensive side of the cost chart but are worth spending your dollars on.
Glue Gun Feed Types:
- Trigger feed guns are the widely used glue gun variants. As you would have imagined, trigger feed glue guns have a trigger assembly. Every time you squeeze the trigger, the glue-stick that is stuck to the gun's rear hole advances to the heater and the heated adhesive comes out through the nozzle.
- Manual Feed Gun:
- Unlike the trigger feed guns, there is no trigger assembly here. Every time you use the weapon, you need to push the glue stick with your thumb.
Depending on the way the gun is powered, there are two types of glue guns:
- Corded Guns: The supply from a power socket powers corded glue guns. These guns predominantly rule the market and are excellent for heavy-duty & indoor operations.
- Cordless Guns: Cordless guns have an additional rechargeable lithium-ion battery or disposable butane cartridges as a source of power. Most cordless glue guns give approximately two to three hours of usage time in one full charge. Having a cordless glue gun can come in handy in outdoor operations.
Choosing the Right Glue Gun
The thumb rule in choosing a glue gun is to have a clear understanding of your use. Here are three factors you should consider before buying one
The heating rate: Ideally, you need a glue gun that heats up fast irrespective of whether they are a low temperature or high-temperature gun. The rate of heating is proportional to the Wattage of the gun. Choose a gun with an excellent watt rating for your requirements.
For low temperature, the operation gets a gun with 10 to 20 watts rating and for high-temperature operation, get a weapon with a minimum of 60 watts rating.
Know Your Purpose: If you are a DIY/art enthusiast, the chances are that you would only need a low-temperature gun. Whereas, if you want something for heavy-duty purposes, get a high-temperature gun.
Well, if you are willing to spend money, we would recommend you to get a dual temperature glue gun.
Size of the Gun: Glue guns generally come in full size or mini size. Though their functionality remains the same, there is a difference in the quantity of glue they disperse with each squeeze. A full-size glue gun spreads more glue than a mini-sized one.
Once you have decided the glue gun of your choice, it is important to get the gun from a reliable outlet. Pro Pack solutions is an industry leader with 62 years of continued presence in the sales & service of entry to mid-level packaging equipment. They are renowned for the heavy-duty glue guns they sell which will last a long time and work for many projects.
Now that we have discussed the various types of glue guns available in the market let us look at how to use a glue gun.
Using a Glue Gun for the First Time.
- One of the reasons why glue guns gained popularity was the ease at which it can be used. But there are certain things you need to take care of when using a glue gun for the first time.
- Check that there is no visible damage to the gun or its power cord. Plug the cord to see whether the power indicator is working or not.
- Remove the cord from the socket and insert the glue stick at the designated place. Slide in the glue stick until it can’t be pushed in further.
- Once the glue stick is loaded, plug the glue gun into a power source. Wait for a few minutes until the heating coils softens the glue. Once the glue is adequately soft, you can see it starting to ooze out from the nozzle.
- Softly squeeze the trigger to release the melted glue. Ensure that you keep the gun's nozzle aimed at & close to the surface where you will be gluing.
- Wait until the glue sets. Depending on whether you have used a low temperature or high-temperature gun, it may take up to a few minutes for the glue to dry.
As always, choosing a glue gun from the lot is a personal choice that has to be made depending on your purpose. Keep in mind the factors discussed previously before you choose a glue gun.