The Best Glue Guns of 2022

Hot glue guns make it easier to complete all kinds of craft and DIY endeavors, but these handy tools have subtle differences that make them suited to various projects. Use this guide to the best glue guns to choose which one is right for your craft and DIY needs.

By Glenda Taylor and Debbie Wolfe | Updated May 26, 2022 10:37 AM

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The Best Glue Gun Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

A versatile glue gun comes in handy for creating everything from kid-friendly crafts and decorative seasonal items to fabric-based interior design pieces, such as headboards, lampshades, and no-sew pillow covers. Around the house, a hot glue gun can also help plug nail holes, add traction to the back of rugs, and a host of other projects. While many types of glue require time (sometimes hours) to bond, a hot glue gun dispenses melted adhesive that bonds as it cools—usually in less than a minute—so crafts and DIY projects go more quickly.

We tested the top glue guns on the market to help you pick the right one for your home repair and crafting needs. Whether you’re shopping for your first glue gun or are ready to upgrade to a higher-end model, keep reading to learn how to vet these tools and find out why we chose the following models as best for most crafters and DIYers. Each of the top picks below was selected after an in-depth review of the market and thorough product vetting.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun Kit
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Elmer’s Craft Bond High-Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun
  3. BEST ALL-PURPOSE: Chandler Tool Hot Glue Gun Kit High Temp Industrial
  4. BEST CORDLESS: WORKPRO Cordless Hot Glue Gun
  5. BEST LOW-TEMP: AdTech Ultra Low-Temp Cool Tool
  6. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Surebonder PRO2-220 220 Watt Adjustable Hot Glue Gun
  7. BEST FOR WOODWORKING: Ryobi Glue Gun P305 with Charger and battery
The Best Glue Gun Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Glue Gun

All glue guns dispense melted glue, but depending on the crafts and repairs you most often tackle, one model might be better suited to your use than another. Evaluating features such as how hot the unit actually gets and how much glue it dispenses will help you make the right choice.

Hot and Hotter

There are both low-temperature and high-temperature hot glue guns, each with its own best uses.

  • Low temperature: A low-temperature glue gun heats glue to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Though the glue gun still gets very hot at the tip, it’s safer to use and less likely to cause accidental burns than a high-temperature tool. Low-temperature glue guns are designed for use only with low-temperature glue sticks, which have a silicone base that melts easily under lower temperatures. This type of glue gun is suitable for light-duty projects, such as making paper chains and scrapbooking. It is also the tool of choice for child-friendly crafts, but children still must have adult supervision when using any glue gun.
  • High temperature: Reaching temperatures of approximately 380 degrees Fahrenheit, high-temperature glue guns can melt many different types of glue sticks, including those containing thermoplastic compounds, polymers, and acrylic ingredients that create a strong bond on plastic, wood, and even metal. The downside is that the super-hot glue is more likely to burn or blister skin if touched while still hot. For this reason, high-temperature glue guns are ideal for bonding materials such as metal, rocks, wood, and plastics together, and they should only be used by adults.

The Wattage Factor

When it comes to glue guns, power and heat go hand in hand. More wattage means a hotter glue gun, faster heating, and the ability to stay hot longer. A rating of 10 to 20 watts is common for low-temperature glue guns. High-temp guns start at 20 watts and can go as high as 100 watts or more. For a project that requires a lot of glue, such as creating a heavy wreath from pine cones, there’ll be less downtime using a high-temperature gun with 60 watts or more. Such a wreath can be created with a low-temperature gun, but it might take a minute or more between attaching pine cones to allow the gun to heat up again.

Dual-Temp Glue Guns

Most glue guns have a single temperature, but a few have adjustable controls that allow switching between high and low temperature as needed. For a wide variety of craft and DIY projects, the best choice might be an adjustable-temperature gun.

Gun Size

Glue guns come in full size or mini, and size relates to the type of glue stick the tool can take. A mini glue gun takes narrow sticks that are 0.27 inches in diameter, and full-size glue guns take larger sticks that are 0.44 inches in diameter. Full-size guns dispense a larger volume of hot glue with each squeeze, while mini guns dispense a smaller amount, making them great for wrapping gifts and making delicate craft objects such as Christmas ornaments.

Additional Options

Most glue guns don’t have a lot of fancy bells and whistles; their design is pretty straightforward. But there are a few extra features that can make using a glue gun safer and easier.

  • On/off switch: Most glue guns are on by default when they’re plugged in, but a few feature on/off switches that let you turn off the gun when it’s plugged in.
  • Stand: Many guns feature a flip-down tripod that balances the tool when you set it down, but some come with a separate stand on which the gun can rest. Still others feature an upright design that can stand on its own base.
  • Sleeved tip: The safest glue guns feature a heat-resistant sleeve that covers most of the metal dispensing tip, lessening the risk of burnt fingers.

Corded vs. Cordless

For years, the only type of glue gun on the market had to be plugged into a wall outlet, but the new kids on the block are cordless models operating on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or disposable butane cartridges. Cordless models make it possible to reach spots where an outlet isn’t available, such as gluing down that loose shingle on the garden shed. A single butane cartridge or a fully charged 18-volt battery will power a glue gun for approximately 2 to 3 hours.

Our Top Picks

We put a variety of highly rated glue guns through their paces and found the following models to be among the best on the market. One is likely to work well for your crafts and DIY projects.

Best Overall

The Best Glue Gun Option: Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun Kit
Photo: amazon.com

The Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun weighs just 12 ounces and boasts an ergonomic trigger that makes it easy to wield. The well-designed nozzle allows for precise placement of hot glue, and because it features two heat settings, it can accommodate both low- and high-temp glue sticks. In fact, the Gorilla comes as a kit with a pack of 30 glue sticks included.

In tests we found that the mini glue gun’s grip is comfortable in the hand, the nozzle doesn’t leak or drip glue while positioned upright, and the built-in stand holds the tool securely in place when not in use. We appreciated the impressive 45-second heat-up time, too. Keep in mind, though, that the tool is pretty petite, so it may not feel comfortable in larger hands.

Product Specs

  • Type: Dual temp
  • Power: 12W
  • Size: Mini

Pros

  • Durable flip-down stand
  • Ergonomic trigger
  • Two heat settings
  • Doesn’t leak or drip glue

Cons

  • May be too small for larger hands

Get the Gorilla glue gun at Amazon, Walmart, and The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Glue Gun Option: Elmer's Craft Bond High-Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun
Photo: amazon.com

Elmer’s Craft Bond glue gun may be small and inexpensive, but it features big safety perks. The glue gun has a heat-insulated nozzle and an emergency automatic shut-off feature, making it a good option for use around children.

We were skeptical at first because of the gun’s small overall size and tiny trigger, but we found the slightly curved handle to fit comfortably in the palm of the hand. Categorized as a high-temp glue gun, it has just 10 watts of power, so reaching the high melting point takes several minutes. Once it’s raring to go it should be perfectly capable of handling most crafting and home repair adhesive needs.

Product Specs

  • Type: High temp
  • Power: 10W
  • Size: Mini

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Built-in side lifts allow the glue gun to rest safely on its side
  • Durable flip-down kickstand

Cons

  • May be too small for larger hands

Get the Elmer’s glue gun on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best All-Purpose

The Best Glue Gun Option: Chandler Tool Hot Glue Gun Kit High Temp Industrial
Photo: amazon.com

Those looking for a versatile and powerful glue gun for a variety of crafts and household repairs should check out the Chandler Tool Hot Glue Gun. With 60 watts of heating power, the glue gun will melt a variety of full-size glue sticks. It features a unique no-drip tip designed to reduce those annoying strings of excess glue that can get on surfaces when the gun is set down.

In addition to the kickstand, there’s also a built-in base that keeps the tool securely in an upright position—and we found that to be its standout feature, as models with a flip-down kickstand have a frustrating tendency to fall over. We found this full-size glue gun to be comfortable to hold, especially for those with larger hands. We also appreciated the safety feature of its well-insulated sleeved tip. However, the plastic body does feel a bit thin and not very durable.

Product Specs

  • Type: High temp
  • Power: 60W
  • Size: Full

Pros

  • Built in stand-up base
  • Optional kickstand
  • Minimal drips from nozzle

Cons

  • Plastic body feels a little thin

Get the Chandler Tool glue gun on Amazon.

Best Cordless

The Best Glue Gun Option: WORKPRO Cordless Hot Glue Gun
Photo: amazon.com

A cordless glue gun can be a real convenience in areas where a corded model can’t reach, and the WORKPRO Cordless Hot Glue Gun is a quality choice. It features a 2600 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, allowing for 30 minutes of continuous cordless work time and up to 110 minutes total on a fully charged battery.

The glue gun preheats in 2 minutes and can be fully charged in 2 hours with the USB data cable. The mini cordless glue gun also has advanced safety features, including an auto shutdown feature after 15 minutes of inactivity and separate LED indicators showing the battery level and working status of the glue gun.

We found this high-temp mini glue gun comfortable to use, thanks to a trigger that has room for both the index and middle finger; most mini models only have space for an index finger. The LED indicators show when the gun is on and ready to dispense, it has ample power, and the cordless flexibility can’t be beat for gluing virtually anywhere.

Product Specs

  • Type: High temp
  • Power: 2600 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Size: Mini

Pros

  • LED indicators
  • Drip-proof nozzle
  • Charging cable
  • 30 minutes of cordless work time

Cons

  • Didn’t last a full 110 minutes on a fully charged battery

Get the WORKPRO glue gun on Amazon.

Best Low-Temp

The Best Glue Gun Option: AdTech Ultra Low-Temp Cool Tool
Photo: amazon.com

The AdTech Ultra Low-Temp glue gun was designed for delicate tasks, and its low temperature makes it a good choice to introduce children to crafting. Its single setting runs 75 degrees cooler than a standard glue gun, and it’s also well-insulated, so it’s cool to the touch even when it’s on. The tool is lightweight and petite—perfect for little hands.

The AdTech glue gun is a simple tool that performs as described. It only has 10 watts of power, so it took several minutes to heat up in our test. Though suited to simple crafting tasks only, the AdTech glue gun will make an excellent addition to a school, camp, or other location where young crafters can safely use it with supervision.

Product Specs

  • Type: Low temp
  • Power: 10W
  • Size: Mini

Pros

  • Well-insulated and cool to the touch
  • Perfect for delicate tasks
  • Safe for young kids to use

Cons

  • Only good for delicate crafts

Get the AdTech glue gun on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Glue Gun Option: Surebonder PRO2-220 220 Watt Adjustable Hot Glue Gun
Photo: amazon.com

The Surebonder Pro2 is designed for high volume and heavy-duty applications. It boasts 220 watts of power and an adjustable temperature knob that ranges from 220 to 420 degrees Fahrenheit. The tool heats up in less than 5 minutes and features a toggle switch near the handle base that lights up bright red to indicate when it is on. The Surebonder Pro2 also has a rubber tip that reduces the risk of burns and automatically shuts off after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Definitely not for casual crafting, this robust glue gun is best for serious DIY projects and repairs, such as fixing the siding on a home and installing ceramic tile or baseboards. We liked being able to adjust the temperature, and we appreciated the removable stand that keeps the tool sturdy (there’s also an optional kickstand that can be installed near the nozzle if desired). It comes with a durable storage case and an extra nozzle.

Although any full-size glue stick can be used in the tool, Surebonder makes industrial-strength glue sticks designed to provide heavy- duty adhesion, and the manufacturer recommends only using its glue sticks or a similar heavy-duty formula for best results. Overall, we were impressed with the Surebonder Pro2, but it’s pricey and best suited for professional or heavy-duty use.

Product Specs

  • Type: High temp
  • Power: 220W
  • Size: Full

Pros

  • Adjustable temperature control
  • Extra nozzle included
  • Sturdy storage case
  • Glue flow adjustment screw

Cons

  • Glue sticks made by Surebonder recommended for best results
  • Expensive

Get the Surebonder glue gun at Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

Best for Woodworking

The Best Hot Glue Gun Option: Ryobi Glue Gun
Photo: amazon.com

Woodworking projects such as baseboard installation or building a custom frame that require adhering wood pieces together may go smoother and faster with the Ryobi Glue Gun. This full-size, high-temperature glue gun features an 18-volt lithium-ion battery that will produce as much heat as a 100-watt corded glue gun, which is enough to melt several types of glue sticks for effective use in the wood workshop as well as the craft room. It’s designed to stand upright on its own base, and a battery charger is included.

In testing, we found the Ryobi to be a powerful tool that heats up in seconds, but the battery makes it rather bulky and heavy to use. While this model is expensive as glue guns go, those who already own any Ryobi ONE+ cordless tools may wish to purchase the Ryobi One+ glue gun separately for a lower price and use the interchangeable 18V batteries from the other tools.

Product Specs

  • Type: High temp
  • Power: 18V
  • Size: Full

Pros

  • LED indicator shows when it’s ready to use
  • 3 to 4 hours of runtime
  • Great for woodworking projects

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy with battery attached

Get the Ryobi glue gun at Amazon, Walmart, and The Home Depot.

Our Verdict

We recommend the Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun Kit or the Chandler Tool Hot Glue Gun Kit to cover most of your glue gun needs. The Gorilla Dual Temp mini glue gun’s ability to operate in high- and low-temp modes make it well suited to both heavy-duty and delicate craft or repair tasks. Crafters who like the flexibility of working without a cord should consider the WORKPRO Cordless Hot Glue Gun.

How We Tested the Best Glue Guns

We evaluated glue guns based on their safety features, heating time, and ergonomics. We checked to ensure that the heating time matches what is indicated in the user manual. Then we
used all the guns for various tasks to determine how comfortable and easy they are to operate.

We examined all the safety features and noted how long devices took to cool down once turned off. Note that while a glue’s adhesive properties can vary by brand, adhesives themselves were not taken into consideration for the testing.

FAQs

If you still want more information about choosing and using hot glue guns, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about these handy tools for crafting and making DIY repairs.

Q: What is the strongest hot glue?

If you need to bond hardy substrates such as wood, metal, and heavy cardboard, use a high-temperature glue gun and hot-melt glue sticks.

Q: How many watts is best for a glue gun?

A wattage of 10 or above will take care of most of your crafting or repairing adhesive needs.

Q: What is the recommended temperature for a hot glue gun?

A glue gun should be set to the right temperature to melt the adhesive sticks it is designed to use. High-temperature glue sticks melt between 375 and 450 Fahrenheit, and low-temperature glue sticks melt between 200 and 250 Fahrenheit. The glue gun’s wattage will determine how quickly the tool gets to melting temperature.