Hot Melt Glue Gun Buying Guide: How It Works, Types, Notes

hot melt glue gun

Whether creating art, doing crafts, or simply filling in, a hot melt glue gun is a great tool. As a handy DIY tool, almost every household has one on hand. Before using a hot melt glue gun, you need to know how it works, the types of glue guns, and other information.

How a hot melt glue gun works

The structure of a hot melt glue gun often consists of a heater, a squeeze-in structure, a nozzle, and housing. The heater is, in general, a PTC heater or an electric heater wire. The heater melts the hot melt glue in the metal tube cavity, and the trigger is pulled to push the subsequent hot melt glue into the heater so that the melted glue flows out of the nozzle. After leaving the heater, the hot melt glue, which still has a dynamic flow, is applied to the object to be glued, the temperature gradually drops, and the hot melt glue cures.

Structure of the hot melt glue gun
Structure of the hot melt glue gun

Types of hot melt glue guns

From the power supply point of view, there are two types: the battery version and the power cord version.

The battery version is not limited by the power cable and is easy to use outdoors. On the other hand, the corded version needs to be used close to the power supply but will be more efficient.

From the point of view of the materials used, there are three categories: 7 mm, 9 mm, and 11 mm diameter sticks. Hot melt glue guns with a 9 mm diameter stick are rare on the market.

Hot melt glue guns with a 7 mm diameter stick are generally smaller and more flexible. Hot melt glue guns with an 11 mm diameter stick tend to be a little more robust. When buying hot melt glue, please read the manual of the hot melt glue gun. Accidents generally occur when using hot melt glue sticks that do not fit the size of the gun.

hot melt glue sticks
Hot melt glue sticks

Classification according to their primary materials

Traditional hot melt adhesives use several varieties of basic resins such as polyurethane (PU), polyamide (PA), polyethylene (PE), and ethylene/vinyl acetate (EVA).

Classification according to their additives

  1. UV stabilizers

They protect the material from degradation by UV radiation and thus extend the service life of the hotmelt.

  1. Pigments and dyes, glitter

When added, hot melt adhesives have a specific color or glitter and are mainly used for decoration or crafts.

  1. Wax powder

One of the key ingredients in the recipe reduces the viscosity of the melt and can improve the bond strength and heat resistance.

Notes on the use of hot melt glue guns

  1. The area around the nozzle and heater usually becomes extremely hot during use, do not touch it with your hands as this may burn your skin.
  2. The melted hot melt glue is hot and should not be touched to the skin.
  3. Do not energize the hot melt glue gun when it is not in use. Otherwise, it will cause the hot melt glue to heat up continuously and the glue sticks to turn yellow and black. Also, hot melt glue sticks may be oxidized after long storage, resulting in a gradual yellowing of the color.
  4. Most hot melt glue guns are still warm after the power has been turned off, and a small part of the melted glue will flow out by gravity. You can pull out the hot melt glue stick slightly backward to reduce the outflow of hot melt glue. You can also place a piece of paper under the glue gun to prevent the glue from dripping onto the table.
  5. Clean the hot melt glue gun after use to avoid clogging the nozzle with glue. We have a detailed guide on how to clean the hot melt glue gun.

Creative uses of the hot melt glue gun

Hot melt glue crafts

Extrude a variety of patterns onto a smooth flat surface and spoon out the glue pieces to create a three-dimensional charm.

Data cable reinforcement

The connector of the data cable is very fragile, and the casing can crack over time with use. As well as buying a new one, try dressing it up with a protective cover using hot melt glue. Choose a hot melt glue gun with a low-temperature and small glue output to insert the hot melt glue stick and heat it to melt; rotate it around the interface of the data cable while hitting the hot melt glue; wait for the hot melt glue to cool down, and then you can use it, usually, and use the same method for other power cables.

Non-slip chopping board

Insert a hot melt glue stick into the hot melt gun and melt it. Select the four corners of the chopping board and apply the melted glue. Once the glue has cooled, turn the board upside down and use it. The glue will increase the friction between the board and the tabletop, thus providing an anti-slip effect.

Doorknob protection

Apply melted hot melt glue to the most prominent part of the door handle. You can choose the thickness of the hot melt glue according to your preference, and once it has cooled down, it will prevent the door handle from hitting the wall. The hot melt glue is strong and does not come off quickly, and is moderately challenging so that it will not easily damage the wall.

Hanger reinforcement

When drying clothes, they always slip off easily and need to be fixed with clips, which is very inconvenient; in this case, you can put hot melt glue on both sides of the hanger to increase the friction between the hanger and the clothes so that they won’t fall off without clips.


The principle of using a hot melt glue gun is not complicated; as long as you master the use, follow the basic steps, and keep in mind the safety guidelines, you can easily play with the hot melt glue gun.