gun with kick stand

Crafty people aren't alone in knowing hot glue guns are useful and sometimes indispensable tools. The guns are important to hobbyists, florists, contractors and anyone looking for a simple and fast way to bond two surfaces. Hot glue guns are also the ideal tool for making many small home repairs. The appeal of this tool is the ability to produce an instant bond that cools quickly, allowing immediate handling of the item. The bond also has a reasonably long life in most cases.

Temporary or Permanent Bond
Hot glue guns can be used to permanently or temporarily adhere porous as well as non-porous surfaces. Woodworkers find glue guns extremely handy for short term alignment of their work, or holding hardware in place. A good example is hot gluing hinges on a door as a guide for drilling holes. This is a convenient and quick way to get the job done. When the holes are drilled the hinge and glue can be removed with a tap of a hammer. While porous surfaces will not come apart so easily, non-porous surfaces can usually be separated with some force. Hot glue can be removed cleanly from glass.

There is a big difference in craft/hobby glue guns and industrial types. One of the most notable is that industrial glue guns and hobby glue guns melt their adhesives at different temperatures. When buying a hot glue gun, the temperature should be determined by your application. If you're working on delicate materials like silk flowers, a lower temperature gun is all you need, one that melts the glue sticks at around 250 degrees. A gun that works at 380 degrees would be more suitable for heavier materials like wood. A different gun isn't necessary for each of these applications though, as some guns come with a dual temperature control.

The more features built into these point and squeeze guns, the costlier they get. You can find guns starting at $4 and some exceeding $50. Think about how often you will use this product, and all the features offered before deciding how much you want to spend. Some features to consider are:

• Cordless
Some models come in a charging dock or cradle. While complete freedom and mobility are certainly a great asset, be aware that the gun use is limited to the life of the charge. It may require waiting for another charge before continuing a project.

• Dual Temperature
Some glue guns have a dual switch for high and low temperatures.

• Long Barrel
A longer gun body will allow you to pack in an additional glue stick so you don't run out of glue at an inconvenient time.

• Faster Heating
Some guns heat more quickly than others. Read the product specs.

• Interchangeable Nozzles
Additional nozzles may be included with higher priced guns. The nozzles are designed for specific jobs or to restrict the flow of the glue which is important in detail work. Here are some nozzle examples:
flat wide - for flat accurate lines
pinpoint - for crevices and small holes
ribbon - for flexible lines
side-cut - for getting into corners

• Larger Trigger
Guns with a larger trigger generally supply more glue with each squeeze. Some guns are simply manual feed.

• Auto shut off

• Non-drip Tip
Most glue guns drip a lot when heated and not in use, wasting glue. Look for products that feature minimal drip or non-drip tip.

• Balance
Many guns have a built-in collapsible "kickstand" which keeps the gun upright between applications. But even with a kickstand, light weight guns tend to fall over if they are lightly bumped. It's desirable to have a gun that's reliably upright, making it easy to grasp while you work.