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Hot Glue Gun Tips

Learn how to prevent glue gun strings and more with these glue gun tips.

Updated January 12, 2021
Hot Glue Gun Tips and Tricks

Before you heat up that glue gun, check out these hot glue gun tips and tricks. They will not only help you maximize the benefit of your glue gun but also stay safe while working with such a hot substance.

Hot Glue Gun Tips

  1. Glue guns take at least 10 minutes to heat up. Never force glue through the gun. Forcing glue through the glue gun can break the glue feeder that pushes glue through the machine.
  2. Hot and low temp glues have the quickest set time. If you don’t feel like waiting minutes or even hours for a glue to dry and set, hot glue is a great option.
  3. Not all glue sticks are the same. Read the packaging to determine what the glue will bond. Most glue gun glues are acid free. Also note the “open” time the heated glue will have. Some hot or low temp glues have an open time of 30 seconds while others have 90-120 seconds.
  4. Some glue guns come with interchangeable tips. This is a great option if you want more control over the heated glue.
  5. Although there is no difference between the bonding of a hot and low temperature glue sticks, there is a difference in the glue’s temperature. If you switch back and forth between Hot and Low temperature glues, please remember when you are using the HOT glues that they can burn.

  1. Keeping a bowl of ice water near your work area is a great idea. When working your fingers near the glue, dip fingers into the water to prevent scalding. Always use the stand to keep your glue gun up right when not in use.
  2. Don’t think of glue as just an adhesive. Use glue as a medium. You can paint on it! Add glitter to it! And the only real limit is your imagination!
  3. Many different things cause glue strings. Heat, humidity, and other situations in your environment can cause strings. Put glue sticks in freezer to cut down on strings and keep the glue gun tips clean to prevent strings.
  4. Buy a glue gun that matches your hand size for maximum comfort. Look for glue guns that are spring feed.
  5. Slick, smooth surfaces are the hardest to bond. Make sure surface is clean (wipe with rubbing alcohol) and score (cut or sand) surface if possible.
  6. Low temp is best for delicate materials. It will not melt or burn delicate materials like Mylar, nylon, or laces.

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Thank you for the good post! I just ordered a glue gun and I going to try do something with my kids)

Very well compiled and detailed list. Working with a glue is probably something you will regularly do as a crafter and so you need to know the basics safety and operational tips to prevent you from harming yourself or damaging the glue gun. This list has most of the safety tips and some other useful ideas.

This is a nice and simple . Thanks for sharing.... == e-super-glue-or-cyanoacrylate-glue

Omg, I think I broke my hot glue gun. I kind of forced the stick in, but it wasn't even trying to feed thru. I just bought it too, and it wasn't working at all, and now it's worse!

Please...please....NO bowl of water while you are working with an electrical appliance!!!! Much better to just keep a wet/damp washcloth can use it to cool a minor burn or wipe off regular glue or clean up a paint spill. Also keep in mind when using hot glue that if you are making a decorative object for outdoors hot glue is probably not the best pick. It will get brittle in cold weather and soften in hot weather. Better to use a good liquid glue formulated more for the weather and give your project more time to dry. As for the glue webs, if you pull the tip of the gluegun about 1" away from your project and just move it back and forth slightly...or even blow on it.....the web will cool and break. Don't glue and pull the gun away leaving a long trail. Also if you want to paint on glue...apply a very very fine film of dish detergent and let dry...then paint. The soap helps the paint to adhere to the slick surface of the glue.


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