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Sometimes less is more—at least that’s how we feel about glue guns. Granted, some heavy-duty jobs require a big-barreled model, but when it comes to detail work and smaller crafts, mini hot glue guns are our go-to. These devices are inexpensive, light, and for the most part easy to reload: Just be sure to buy 5/16-inch-diameter glue sticks rather than the standard 7/16-inch. Here are the five best small glue guns money can buy.
Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Glue Gun
Gorilla’s name is practically synonymous with glue, so it should come as no surprise that the company puts out the mightiest pocket-size glue gun on the market. Its super-precise nozzle is paired with an easy-squeeze trigger, comfortable grip, and a wide base for setting it to rest. But its greatest advantage is the choice of low and high settings—hard to come by in a mini glue gun, whose functionality is typically pretty limited. This 12-watt tool comes with 30 mini glue sticks; when it’s time to restock, a variety of vendors sell Gorilla’s mini glue sticks in bulk.
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Elmer’s Craft Bond High-Temp Mini Glue Gun
This itsy-bitsy glue gun comes with big perks. It melts glue at a super-high temperature, meaning it stands up to home improvement projects—metal, leather, wood, and ceramic are all fair game for this spectacular model. Elmer’s palm-size design is also safety forward, with a heat-insulated nozzle and emergency automatic shut-off feature. This 10-watt gun is picky about the glue sticks it will take, but it works great with Elmer’s-brand mini sticks (not included, alas).
AdTech Low-Temp Cool Tool
Don’t be turned off by the cartoony packaging and kid-friendly design: This is the stealth pick of our list. Yes, it only has a low-temperature setting, running 75 degrees cooler than a standard glue gun, but that makes this 10-watt tool perfect for delicate tasks like scrapbooking, fabric work, or balloon sculptures. Kids and adults alike will love this tool, which is reliable, light, well insulated, and easy to use. It comes with 10 AdTech cool glue sticks to get you started.
Westcott ProjectMate Premium Hot Glue Pen
For something a little different, consider Westcott’s mini hot glue pen. The trigger sits on top of this slender tool, with a padded rubber grip perfect for long jobs. As with Westcott’s other models, the nozzle’s tip color changes from blue to red to indicate when it’s ready to use. Glue comes out in a consistent moderate temperature, perfect for materials ranging in delicacy from silk to plastic. Glue sticks aren’t included, but this tool works great with Westcott’s all-temperature mini glue sticks.
TOP OF THE LINE
SureBonder Mini Cordless USB Glue Gun
Want a truly portable option you can use anytime, anywhere? SureBonder makes a spiffy 10-watt glue gun that’s totally chargeable by USB. One charge gets you 75 minutes of battery life, plenty of time to complete most gluing projects. The nozzle is heat-insulated, plus there’s a safety fuse that will shut off the device if it overheats. Just note that a chargers isn’t included, nor are any mini glue sticks.