Hot glue guns deliver heat from 250°F to 385°F, melting glue sticks and allowing users to eject glue from the nozzle with a trigger. Once the glue hits the target object, it cools and dries within seconds. The process is less messy and time consuming than using super glue or wood glue.
Although all hot glue guns work in the same basic way, They are not all equal. Some are hard to squeeze, leak, or just don’t have enough battery life for big projects. To find the best hot glue gun, I researched the most popular models on Amazon, selected the top seven, and tested them extensively.
How I tested the best hot glue gun
After receiving the hot glue gun, I put them through a series of tests. I’ve used them to glue tape and twine to glass, wood to canvas, plastic tape, and plastic to plastic. I tested any included accessories and evaluated how comfortable the guns were to use, how easy it was to squeeze the trigger, whether they leaked hot glue, and how quickly they warmed up. If the company markets their hot glue gun as kid friendly, my two daughters, ages 6 and 13, test them out and give me their honest thoughts.
After testing these hot glue guns for two weeks, I’ve assigned each a category for who it’s best for and provided an honest look at the pros and cons.
Top hot glue gun
Best Overall: Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun
The Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun won Best Overall for a number of reasons, including comfort. This is a hot glue gun One of the easiest-to-pull triggers has a feature, Which is essential when working on time-consuming craft or woodworking projects. It also doesn’t leak, which has been a problem with other models I’ve tested.
It has two temperatures: high and low. I can toggle between temperatures by pushing a switch on the base. The lower temperature hot glue was ideal for fabric, foam and floral pieces, while the higher-temperature setting worked for wood, plastic, metal and glass.
Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun comes with a pack of 30 mini glue sticks perfect for indoor and outdoor projects. (You don’t have to use the Gorilla brand, though. The gun is compatible with any 0.27″ diameter mini glue stick.)
- The handle is the easiest to squeeze out of all the glue guns tested
- Lightweight and comfortable to hold, making it perfect for time-consuming projects
- Adjustable high and low temperature settings that are easy to change
- No hot glue leaks when not in use
- Glue stick suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Not the best choice for those who prefer full size hot glue guns
Best Cordless: Surebander High Temp Cordless Mini Hot Glue Gun
There are many cordless hot glue guns on the market, and the Surebonder High Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun is one of the top rated, so I tested it out. I started by unboxing the hot glue gun, loading a glue stick, and then placing it in the charger. It only took a few minutes to heat up and I was able to start working on my craft projects.
I used a Searbonder glue gun to attach the ribbon to the plastic and twine to a mason jar. Detail tip allowed for accuracy. The biggest loss was that Battery lasts only 2-3 minutes Before recharging. Fortunately, I was able to attach the power cord directly to the hot glue gun so I didn’t have to stop working on my projects.
The ability to use it as a corded or cordless hot glue gun earns it the top spot on our list. I also appreciated the fact that it didn’t leak any glue and was comfortable to use.
- Works as a cordless or corded hot glue gun – easy to switch between the two
- The handle is easy to grip, and the precision-detailed tip makes for precise gluing
- No leaks even when the gun is left for long periods of time
- Cordless battery lasts only 2-3 minutes
- It takes five minutes to heat up
- Does not come with glue stick
Best for Woodworking: Melif High Temp Hot Glue Gun Compatible
Those who use Dewalt products and are looking for a hot glue gun to keep in the garage may like the Meliff High Temp Hot Glue Gun. This is a full size glue gun that works with DeWalt batteries. (It doesn’t come with batteries though.)
As a fan of Dewalt tools, I was excited to test out this hot glue gun. After unpacking it, I slide a DeWalt battery into place and let it warm up. It heats up quickly, and since it’s cordless, it’s convenient to carry around. I used it on several surfaces and it worked well but had one major flaw – It leaked glue.
After the initial use, I left the glue gun while I was working on something else and a small but steady stream of glue came out. I think it’s still a nice glue gun to have in the garage, but because of the leaks, it may not give you the accuracy you want.
- Cordless and compatible with DeWalt batteries
- Heats up quickly and is ready to use in minutes
- High quality, comfortable to use design
- Leaking glue – must be stopped between uses
- Does not come with batteries
Best for crafts: Boswell hot glue gun with six copper tips
Those who do crafts frequently and need project-specific tips may like the Boswell Hot Glue Gun. It comes with six copper nozzles and a wrench. When the glue gun arrived, I unpacked it and changed the tip, which was easy to do.
The gun has adjustable heat that ranges from 140-220°C (284-428°F). I put it on the hottest temperature setting and it heated up quickly. Unfortunately, the highest setting and wide tip caused slight leakage. I turned off the heat, and stopped most of the leaks.
I changed the tip a few more times and used a hot glue gun to glue wood to canvas, plastic to plastic and glass ribbon. Boswell glues well, and changing the tips allowed me to customize the amount of glue. The handle was easy to squeeze, and the metal rest on the front prevented the hot tip from touching my table. I think this is a great option for avid crafters.
- Five adjustable temperatures from 140-220°C
- Comes with six different tips, which are easy to change
- The trigger is easy to hold down making it ideal for longer projects
- The gun leaks a little glue at its hottest setting
- Depending on the width of the nozzle, the glue runs out quickly
Best Accessory: Magic Fly 60-100W Accessory with Hot Glue Gun
The Magic Fly Hot Glue Gun comes in two colors: green or gray. I ordered the green, which looks more like a light blue. It comes in a convenient carrying case with a silicone mat, hot glue stick and finger cap This is the most aesthetically pleasing glue gun on the list and was an instant hit with my thirteen-year-old daughter.
I tested this glue gun by applying tape to wood on canvas, plastic to plastic, and a mason jar. My daughter used it to glue popsicle sticks together. We like the look and accessories, but both agree that the trigger was harder to squeeze than other models we’ve tested.
I have used this hot glue gun for several days and have had no problems with leakage. I think this is a good glue gun for older kids, teenagers, or those who do crafts on an infrequent basis. Enthusiastic crafters, or those who need to tackle time-consuming projects, may be better off choosing a glue gun with an easy-to-squeeze handle.
- Comes with a carrying case, glue stick, a mat and finger guard
- No leaks
- There are two easily adjustable power settings for small and large projects
- The trigger squeeze is more challenging than other guns we tested
Best for Kids: Glamgen Kids’ Hot Glue Gun with Carrying Case
Glamgen Kids’ Hot Glue Gun is a mini version that comes in a small carrying case, ideal for packing in a bookbag or tackling art projects. Although glue guns are perfect for kids, they also work well for adults. It comes with 20 glue sticks and 20 popsicle sticks at a budget-friendly price
I tested this hot glue gun on a variety of surfaces, including wood, plastic, and glass. It works well. I also let my thirteen-year-old and six-year-old daughters try it (with supervision, of course.) Both kids thought it was useful. My older daughter liked that it came with a crystal clear glue stick as opposed to the cloudy version that comes with all the other guns.
The biggest problem with this model is that it leaks glue when not in use. We had to place it on top of a paper plate to prevent the hot glue from dripping onto the table. I do not allow small children to use this without supervision. They have a good chance of burning their fingers on the tips or getting glue everywhere.
- Small size is comfortable for children to use
- Comes with glue stick, a carrying case, and popsicle stick
- Easy to squeeze trigger
- Lots of leaks – we had to put a paper plate underneath to catch all the leaking glue
Best Budget: Surebanda’s Mini Hot Glue Gun
At just $3.68, it’s hard to find a less expensive option than the Surebonder Mini Hot Glue Gun. It works with 5/16-inch diameter glue sticks and is lightweight and comfortable to hold.
After receiving the Surebonder Mini Hot Glue Gun, I opened the package, plugged it in and loaded a hot glue stick. After a few minutes, the glue was hot, and I pulled the trigger to release the glue for my projects. I have successfully glued yarn, ribbon, glass, wood and canvas.
The biggest issue was how hard it was to pull the trigger. I think it’s a great budget-friendly hot glue gun for small crafts, but uncomfortable to use for larger projects.
- Inexpensive – Good quality for the price
- Do not leak hot glue
- Triggers are difficult to press – not ideal for large projects
- Does not come with glue stick
- Takes longer to heat up than other models