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Glue guns 101

If you've ever walked down the adhesive aisle at your local craft store, you've probably been overwhelmed by the mass amount of choices. Glue guns are no exception. There are several types of glue guns, and knowing which gun to use for which product can be confusing.

Glue gun
Aodasi -

Sharon from Richton, MS asks, "What kind of glue gun do you use where?"

Glue guns are a staple in the craft world. Many crafters use them (and have burn scars to prove it). A glue gun is a tool that melts glue that's in stick form. Glue comes out by pressing a "trigger," hence the use of the word "gun." Glue guns are found in full- and mini- sizes. The full-size glue gun holds glue sticks with a 7/16-inch diameter, while mini-size glue guns hold glue sticks with a 5/16-inch diameter.

There are three types of glue guns: low-temperature, high-temperature, and cool-temperature. Low-temperature glue guns are most commonly used with fabric, paper, and florals. This type of glue gun is perfect for the everyday crafter. Of course, don't let the name fool you! Low-temperature does not mean the glue will not get hot. In fact, a low-temperature glue gun melts glue at 250 degrees F.

High-temperature glue guns get even hotter, reaching a temperature of 380 degrees F. This glue gun is great for projects that require industrial strength - metals, ceramics, and plastics. High-temperature glue guns are used in manufacturing and sealing cartons.

Cool-temperature glue guns are better suited for projects that do not require as much heat for bonding, as they heat only to 175 degrees F. A good example is a project involving foam. This type of glue gun is also safer so a child could use it. As always, an adult should always monitor a child with a glue gun to help prevent any injuries.

However, suppose you like to dabble in floral wreaths but you find a glue gun to be a hassle. There's no need to worry because you aren't limited to glue guns. You can achieve the same effect of a glue gun by using glue chips. Trees 'n Trends floral designers are well-known for using glue chips to make their gorgeous wreaths and floral displays. Because they do quite a bit of gluing, they find that melting glue chips makes the entire process go much quicker.

As shown at their holiday show, the designers will place glue chips in an old baking pan and set it on a portable burner. The burner will melt the glue chips, and the designers can dip the bottom of the flower in the glue and place it on the wreath. They don't have to worry about the glue stick running out in the middle of their project.

Trees 'n Trends, located in Cloverleaf Mall across from Wal-Mart on Hyw 49, sells glue chips, which can be found in their floral supply department. A good idea is to search out garage sales and thrift stores for a portable burner and baking pan.

An exciting new product that debuted at Winter CHA is Plaid's Hot Glue Gun Helpers. These tools can help prevent those unwanted burns and make using glue guns an easier and more enjoyable experience. Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza, hosts of the emmy-nominated craft show Creative Juices, helped create these tools which will retail for $19.99. Watch as they explain how these nifty tools work.


  • Sherry 4 years ago

    Great article. I had no idea there were different types of glue guns. Now I can make an informed decision for my next project.

  • Profile picture of Laser Tek
    Laser Tek 1 year ago

    I never know that there are variety of glue guns. I've learned so much about the topic. Good article. :)

  • Profile picture of Laser Tek
    Laser Tek 1 year ago

    I never know that there are variety of glue guns. I've learned so much about the topic. Good article. :)