If you are a crafter or someone who loves tinkering things on their own, you must have come across the hot glue gun. Over the past decade, this item has boomed in popularity and is used across households every day. Initially popular amongst handymen and workers, it is an essential part of any DIY kit. It has become so popular that it is responsible for taking over the place of instant glue. Before knowing how to use a hot glue gun, let’s take a deep dive into the wondrous world of the glue gun and see what makes it so special.
What is a Hot Glue Gun?
For those unfamiliar with the glue gun, it is a device used to melt adhesives and use them for application. Hot glue guns are hand-held devices and quite portable. The hot glue gun dates back quite a few years. It was first invented in the 1940s with the advent of thermoplastics. They were initially a popular choice to use over water-based adhesives. While industrial hot glue guns might look slightly different, most household applications demand a single stick slot.
The glue stick used in hot glue guns is essentially a plastic material that melts when exposed to heat. Upon cooling, it adheres to the surface and acts as an adhesive. Over the years, these sticks have been manufactured in various colors and finishes as well. One thing to remember is that hot glue is not a permanent adhesive. Upon application of heat, it can melt away.
What to Look for When Buying a Hot Glue Gun?
Follow the below tips and factors to choose the best hot glue gun for your projects,
- Temperature: Most hot glue guns are generally of two types. One allows only for a single temperature range, and the other multiple ones. Some also heat the glue stick at lower temperatures which makes them safer.
- Size of Nozzle: Depending upon your project and type of finish, you can opt for the nozzle size. Bigger nozzles provide a greater application area and high flow while difficult to control. On the other hand, smaller nozzles are best used for projects where precision is needed.
- Wattage Applicable: The more watts your glue gun consumes, the quicker it is bound to heat the glue stick. This will also ensure that the glue gun stays hot for quite a while. This allows less build of the cooled-down glue near the nozzle tip.
- Stick Sizes: Glue guns come in a variety of sizes. This is determined by the length of the glue stick that can be inserted into the barrel. There are ones that are mini and can fit inside pockets easily. On the other hand, the larger ones are quite heavy and bulky.
How to Use a Hot Glue Gun?
- The first step for using a hot glue gun would be to read over the instruction manual and understand the wattage requirements.
- Before plugging in your glue gun, go over it for any signs of damage. This is to prevent any electrical malfunctions or to have hot glue ooze out while working.
- Make sure the nozzle is free of any residue. This may interact with the glue during application and create less effective bonding.
- Take a glue stick and place it into the barrel of the gun. This can be done by inserting it at the tiny hole in the back.
- Now plug in the glue gun to the nearest power outlet. Please wait for it to start heating the glue.
- Now gently squeeze the trigger of the glue gun to release the glue onto the application surface.
- Do not continuously press the trigger to have better control over the glue gun. This will make it difficult to control the amount of glue flowing out.
- Next would be to wait for the glue to dry. Use the glue gun with caution as it can be very hot to the touch.
Things To Do with a Hot Glue Gun
Some crafts that you can do with hot glue gun are as follows,
- Hot glue guns can create a non-slip surface to walk on. These can also be used to keep rugs in place.
- It can make covers for sharp objects.
- A dab of hot glue can fix magnets on walls and objects.
- It will help in fixing stripped screw holes on walls and floors.
- They are also great to cover nail holes or dents and nicks as well
- Hot glue can temporarily fix things in place and then peel off later.
- They can fix shoe soles and other rubber surfaces temporarily.
- Used to create decorative texture on surfaces as well.
- You can also use them to fix wobbly or loose furniture parts.
- They make a wonderful resource for planning sheets of warped plywood.
- Using hot glue to hold up accessories against tiles is also a great way to apply it.
Yes, hot glue works on fabric. But if you choose the regular hot glue you must be careful about the temperature, as high-temp may melt the fabric. Better choose the low-temperature hot glue guns for fabric.
Hot glue might not work well on metal. It might work if only one of the two surfaces is metal and that too light metal.
You can use glue sticks or double-sided tapes or super glue based on the project you are working on.
The hot glue drying time varies based on the surface. However, it usually takes 20 to 30 minutes to dry and on wood it might take up to 1 hour.
If you have never used a hot glue gun before, there is cause to worry. These glue guns are extremely easy to use and very efficient when holding things together. What also sets them aside is their thermoplastic ability. While you get a good stronghold, you can also easily remove them. They are very versatile and can be used across most surfaces. They make for portable options, too, if you are looking for one. The only thing to remember when using a hot glue gun is not to touch the nozzle when it is heating up. Apart from this, it should be pretty straightforward and convenient to use.