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What You Need to Know Before Buying a Hot Glue Gun

Whether you’re a DIY crafts lover or your business requires wholesale packaging supplies, a hot glue gun is a must-have. This essential tool makes it possible to bond two materials together, making it useful for a range of tasks.

Not sure what to consider before making your purchase or if at all buying one is a good call? Keep reading as we briefly explain how a hot glue gun works, the types available to you and factors to keep in mind when choosing one. We’ll round off the article by outlining a few safety tips. Ultimately, we want you to make an informed decision.

How Glue Guns Work

Glue guns are portable devices shaped like pistols and powered by electricity, battery or compressed air. To use the glue gun you first need to load it with a hot melt glue stick, which are available in a few different sizes, so check that you have the right glue stick for your particular glue gun. Some glue guns also take glue beads and glue pillows.

After loading (and once sufficiently heated), you aim the nozzle on the desired surface and pull the trigger. Upon activation, the stick is melted by a heating element found in the unit and released as hot sticky glue. The melting process will take anything between three and five minutes depending on the model of glue gun.

Types of Hot Glue Guns

Glue guns are classified into three categories. Their differences lie in the operating temperatures, intended application and environment and heating time, as discussed below.

High Temperature Hot Glue Gun

As the name implies, this gun melts the glue stick at hightemperatures of around 190ᵒC. And they tend to heat up pretty quickly. They are high performance units ideally suited for bonding heavy-duty material such as wood and strong plastics. It follows that they aren’t recommended to use on delicate materials that can easily be damaged by high heat. High temperature glue guns work best for industrial work, small DIY tasks or simple home repair projects.

Low Temperature Guns

Low temperature guns are usually much smaller and cheaper than high temperature hot glue guns. But despite the name, low temperature guns can still get extremely hot, reaching temperaturesof approximately 120ᵒC. As such, we recommend that you use them with the same caution you would when using high temperature glue guns.

Given their lower operating temperatures, low temperature glue guns are slightly safer to use than hot glue guns. They work best on lighter materials and are ideal to use for smaller arts and crafts projects.

Dual Temperature Hot Glue Guns

Dual temperature glue guns allow you to control the melting temperature according to your preferences. This makes them the more versatile option, but also the most expensive option of the three.

What to Consider Before Choosing One

Before purchasing a hot glue gun there are key factors you must take into consideration:

  • Intended Application: What do you intend to use the gun for? Is it for simple arts and crafts hobbies or for industrial and professional use? Pick low temperature guns for simple tasks and high temperature guns for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Size: With glue guns you’ll find lightweight, medium and heavy weight units. Lightweight guns can weigh as little as 250g and are ideally suited for low level use. Medium duty guns weigh around 500g and can be used for intricate jobs such as ducting or shop fitting. Heavy-duty guns can be as heavy as 2.3kg and are suited for high level uses such as architectural bonding or product assembly.
  • Heating time: Consider how fast the unit takes to heat up. Heavy-duty guns usually allow for fast warm up compared to their lightweight counterparts.
  • Power: Do you want a glue gun that’s electronically or battery operated or to be used with compressed air? Battery operated glue guns come in handy for applications where mains power isn’t available. Alternatively, you can also opt for gas powered glue guns, which are powered by small canisters of butane gas easily available in hardware and trade supply shops.

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Safety Tips When Using Glue Guns

As mentioned, irrespective of whether you’re using high or low temperature glue guns, safety is paramount. Always follow these safety tips:

  • Familiarise yourself with the instruction manual before use.
  • Inspect the glue gun for signs of damage before use.
  • Check the unit’s electrical cord (if present) for damage or fraying before use.
  • Wear the appropriate gear such as heat resistant gloves and safety goggles.
  • Keep the glue away from flammable materials.
  • Give your undivided attention to the gluing task at all times, to prevent unnecessary accidents.
  • Never leave a plugged-in glue gun unattended.
  • If glue happens to come in contact with your skin, immerse in cold water immediately.
  • If hot glue gets into your eye, irrigate it with cold water and seek medical attention right away.

Ready for a New Hot Glue Gun?

At Venus Packaging, we supply a wide range of hot glue guns for any task. If in doubt, our team is more than happy to offer expert advice and help you pick the right glue gun for your application. Feel free to contact us today on (03) 9428 1652.

Category: Articles & Handy Tips, Hotmelt Glues and Glue Guns
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