by | Sep 30, 2020 | Crafting, Reviews, Z

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2020 @ 2:56 pm.

What's the best hot glue gun? We tried out several brands, using hot glue for items like wood, glass and metal. And then we tried low temperature glue for fabric, jewelry and floral crafts. What was easiest to use? Fastest to heat up? Offered dual temperature option? Here are the ones we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Mini Hot Glue Gun

Dual temp = more flexibility
Loved this easy to use glue gun, with built-in stand. Fast to heat up, this gun can be used indoors or outside—and has a safety fuse just in case. Caveat: two hands required, so not as ideal for kids.
$12.49

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Best Mini Hot Glue Gun: Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun

What’s the best hot glue gun for your next craft project?

The answer: it depends. What exactly are you glueing? That’s important because some hot glue guns are dual temperature (hot and not as hot). Others have just one temperature.

Hot glue is used for projects that involve glass, metal, plastic or wood.

Lower temperature glue is used in crafts like jewelry making, as well as fabric, foam or floral arrangements. Basically, more delicate items.

FYI: Typically, each temperature requires special glue sticks—you can’t use low temp glue in a hot melt glue gun, for example. So if you get a dual temperature glue gun and plan to use it for low temp projects, be sure to get glue sticks that are either low temp or dual temp. (Yes, there are three types of glue sticks: high temp, low temp and dual temp sticks that work at either temperature! Confusing, we know).

Glue guns come in three varieties: mini, full-size and cordless.

After surveying our parent readers to find their favorites, we tried out several top brands. 

For the best mini hot glue gun, we’d recommend Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun—it hit all the bases (easy to use, fast to heat up, etc.) at a price that is also easy on the wallet.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Fast to heat up!

• Easy to use.

• Affordable.

• Dual temperature = more flexibility with craft projects.

• Long trigger = easier to grip.

• Safety fuse.

• Includes 30 4″ mini glue sticks.

• Built-in stand. 

What Needs Work

• Adult supervision required. That’s because this gun on high temp can get too hot for kids to handle, in our opinion. Care is required to avoid burns!

• Cord could be longer.

• Two hands needed. That’s because you have to feed in glue stick manually. Other glue guns have a trigger that enables automatic feeding—this model doesn’t have that.

• Cooled glue in the feeder can cause a back up.

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Best Budget-Friendly Glue Gun

Leak proof nozzle
Excellent mini glue gun for high temp craft projects—metal, stone, ceramics and more. Lightweight and easy to use, with one-handed operation. Heats up quickly.
$11.99

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Best Budget-Friendly Glue Gun: Topelek Mini Heating Hot Melt Glue Gun

If you just need a hot glue gun that works with high temperatures, our pick would be Topelek’s Mini Heating Hot Melt Glue Gun. It works well with good bang for the buck.

What We Liked

• Quickly heats up (1 to 3 minutes).

• Lightweight.

• Easy to use.

• Trigger is easy to, well, trigger!

• Includes 30 glue sticks.

• Affordable.

• One-handed operation. This gun automatically pulls in the glue stick, so you can just use one hand.

What Needs Work

• Doesn’t work with low temp glue. This is NOT a dual temp gun—it is designed for high temperature glue, for use with metal, stone, brick, glass, wood and so on.

• Gets really hot!

• Too small for larger projects? If you need a bigger glue gun . . . or a cordless model, consider our next recommendation.

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Best Cordless Hot Glue Gun

Look ma! No cord!
Great corded full-size heat gun—we liked the fold-out kickstand, light weight and ease of use. Includes 10 glue sticks. Also nice: copper nozzle. Caveat: takes longer to heat up than others we tried (5 minutes).
$22.51

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Best Cordless Hot Glue Gun: Ryobi P305 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Hot Glue Gun

Got a big project that needs serious glue? Maybe you are putting together drawer boxes for a chest of drawers . . . and you quickly realize that little mini glue gun isn’t going to cut it.

For the best cordless, full-size heat gun, we’d recommend Ryobi’s P305 One+ Hot Glue Gun. Good news: this glue gun works with a rechargeable battery, enabling you to take it anywhere (sans cord). Bad news: the battery isn’t included.

Yes, it works with many Ryobi lithium ion batteries you see with Ryobi’s other cordless tools including battery models P100, P102, P103, P104, P105, P107, and P108.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Super easy to use.

• Stands up by itself.

• Lightweight. 

• High temp = great for metal, glass, ceramic and wicker project.

• Works for about an hour on a single charge. Yes, the maker says it works up to 3.5 hours per charge, but in real world testing, we think this is more realistically one hour. Still, we think one hour is good enough for most projects.

What Needs Work

• No auto shut-off.

• Battery not included.

• No glue sticks included.

• Pricey—especially if you don’t already own a Roybi battery pack!

• Tends to drip from the nozzle.

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Best Full Size Hot Glue Gun

Works with high and low heat glue sticks
Great corded full-size heat gun—we liked the fold-out kickstand, light weight and ease of use. Includes 10 glue sticks. Also nice: copper nozzle. Caveat: takes longer to heat up than others we tried (5 minutes).
$23.99

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Best Full Size Hot Glue Gun: Cobiz Full Size 60/100W Dual Power High Temp Heavy Duty Melt Glue Gun

If you want a full-size glue gun but don’t need to go cordless, we’d recommend this model: Cobiz’s Full Size 60/100 Dual Power glue gun. Yes, this is a dual temperature full-size gun, which adds flexibility (note the Ryobi recommended above is high temp only).

What We Liked

• Easy to use.

• Dual temperature = more projects!

• 3 finger trigger.

• Copper nozzle. 

• Includes 10 glue sticks.

• Metal kickstand.

What Needs Work

• Can get very hot! Adult supervision is recommended if you are having kiddos use this for craft project!

• Takes longer to heat up than other models (5 minutes in real life).

• No on/off switch.

• Drips from nozzle.

• Power cord could be longer.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here's another key point: we don't take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no "partnerships." Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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