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Your old hot glue gun is a tacky, encrusted, unreliable mess, and you’re looking for another to stick with for the long haul. We sympathize; we’ve been there too. These devices can be finicky—it’s challenging to find a fast-acting, safety-forward model that really works, so you can finally use up all those replacement glue sticks rolling around in your crafting drawer. But a good one is well worth some research, and we’re here to help. Say farewell to goo where you don’t want it and hello to our favorite models.
How we pick each product:
Our mission is to recommend the most appropriate artists’ tool or supply for your needs. Whether you are looking for top-of-the line equipment or beginners’ basics, we’ll make sure that you get good value for your money by doing the research for you. We scour the Internet for information on how art supplies are used and read customer reviews by real users; we ask experts for their advice; and of course, we rely on our own accumulated expertise as artists, teachers, and craftspeople.
SureBonder Professional Dual Temperature Glue Gun
This glue gun is an all-around whopper. Boasting 80 watts of power, this gun doles out glue faster than its 40- or 60-watt competitors after a negligible heat-up time. It comes with two temperature settings: a cooler option for delicate fabrics and foam, and a higher temperature for binding heavy-duty materials like wood and metal. You know how some guns require vise grips, as though you’re squeezing the glue out of the nozzle yourself? Not so with SureBonder’s sculpted, easy-squeeze trigger handle. We also like that all SureBonder glue guns come with a safety switch that automatically turns off the machine when it overheats. You’ll save time, money, and headaches with this superb tool. Just grab a pack of SureBonder’s 7/16-inch-diameter glue sticks (sold separately) and get gluing.
WE ALSO LIKE
Chandler Tool Hot Glue Gun
If you want to spend a little less on a hot glue gun, Chandler Tool’s 60-watt model is a stand-up choice—literally. This hot glue gun’s calling card is its flat base, making it easy to pick up and set aside; no need to tip the gun onto a wire stand or lay it flat on your table. It comes in two colors (blue and pink), and its insulated, no-drip nozzle keeps the glue hot and your fingers unscathed. It’s made in the good ol’ U.S. of A, and each gun comes with a dozen 7/16-inch glue sticks.
A GREAT ALTERNATIVE
Westcott ProjectMate Mini Hot Glue Gun
Looking for a gun for crafting with delicate materials like paper and silk? We raise up this low-temperature mini glue gun by Westcott. The nozzle changes from blue to red when it’s all heated up and ready to go and it features two stands—one that flips out and one built into the side. Not that you’ll need to rest it much: With an ergonomic grip, this gun will take you through marathon gluing jobs. Throw in two mini glue sticks (included in your purchase), and you’ve got everything you need to get crafting. Beware, though, low temperatures are relative—the glue is still hot enough to burn you.
AdTech 0453 2-Temp Hot Glue Gun
Think of this 40-watt glue gun as the David in a lineup of Goliaths. Yes, it’s roughly one-fourth the price of our top pick; and yes, it has a plasticky, bare-bones aesthetic. But trust us when we say that this is without a doubt the best budget glue gun on the market. This unassuming yet mighty gadget has two temperature settings—a rarity in this price range—and it is Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certified, meaning it meets flammability and shock-hazard standards for home use. At this price, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that no glue sticks are included, but it should be compatible with any standard 7/16-inch stick on the market. Our only legitimate quibbles with this gun are its heat-up time (between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on temperature setting) and somewhat short cord (5 feet).
Arrow GT300 Pro High Temp Glue Gun
This ain’t your grandma’s hot glue gun. Go Super Saiyan with this high-powered and versatile tool by a company known for another muscular fastener, the staple gun. When we say high-powered, we really mean high-powered: This hot glue gun runs at an astonishing 300 watts, meaning the glue in this gun heats up in no time—and heats up hot. The frame itself is heavy duty but lightweight, with a drip-resistant, heat-resistant safety nozzle and removable flat stand. You can even adjust the gun’s glue flow with a knob. For all intents and purposes, this is a professional-grade glue gun at a hobbyist price.