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If you’ve often got a DIY project—or love crafting or making repairs—a glue gun can be a tremendous help. These tools are easy to use and highly effective at forming a strong, lasting adhesive seal quickly.
To help you select the right glue gun for your needs, we researched and tested the best options on the market, considering the size, temperature controls, and heater wattage of each. Our favorite pick, the Surebonder Cordless Hot Glue Gun, heats to high temperatures quickly and bonds well to multiple different surfaces.
Here, the best hot glue guns available now.
Best Overall: Surebonder Cordless Hot Glue Gun
Cordless for easy maneuverability
Heats to high temperatures quickly
Includes heating base and glue pad
Can leak when not in use
A cord can be a hassle, particularly if there isn’t a plug near your project location, or if the cord gets all twisted up. Enter the Surebonder Cordless Glue Gun: This battery-operated device heats up to a high temperature, quickly.
Safety features include a safety fuse, insulated nozzle, and side fins that prevent glue from flowing backing up when the gun is laid down. When placed down, the warming base ensures your glue stays hot in between uses, and the glue pad catches any glue that may leak out to prevent a mess. The 60-watt capacity ensures a continuous stream of glue, and the 380 degree heat ceiling create optimal bonding for non-porous surfaces. User report success with plastic, brick, metal, wood, and more.
The battery only lasts for three minutes when not plugged in, but many users reported success long past this time mark. One thing to note, this pick can leak when not in use for a few minutes, but the low price point and staying power earns this option our top spot.
Best for Woodworking: Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Full Size Glue Gun
Works with all wood types
Cordless battery has long life
Lack of temperature gauge
If you're looking for a reliable option that can be used on all different kinds of woodworking projects, you can't go wrong with this option. Users report that unlike other glue guns, wooden items glued together with this cordless Ryobi really stay put. This glue quickly reaches a high heat—within under a minute, according to some. The cordless battery lasts for more than three hours before requiring a recharge, which is plenty of time for most small projects.
Users also appreciate that this glue gun is sturdy, convenient to use, and does not fall over. Also, at one pound, the Ryobi P305 is relatively lightweight. However, the battery life gets used up quickly, and a few noted that it would be helpful to have a temperature gauge.
Best Small: Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun
Lightweight and good for small hands
Multiple heat settings
Doesn't leak or drip glue
For small or delicate projects, or if you have small-sized hands, it’s helpful to have a lightweight and petite option. The Gorilla Dual Temp Hot Glue Gun is a perfect choice, weighing just under half a pound.
It offers a high-heat setting (374°F) as well as a lower heat setting (311°F) so that you can easily choose the temperature that makes the most sense for your project. The nozzle and trigger make the glue gun easy to work with—you can easily direct the glue to precisely where you want it to go, and only a delicate touch is needed on the trigger. Plus, it has a sturdy stand.
Users appreciate that this Gorilla glue gun doesn’t leak or drip glue and that it reaches extremely high temperatures in a flash.
Best Splurge: Surebonder Pro2 Industrial Glue Gun
Adjustable temperature from 220 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Various specialty nozzles available
Great for heavy-duty projects
On/off switch with power light
Must use manufacturer glue sticks for best results
Nozzles must be replaced periodically
If you use your glue gun rarely, or mainly for small paper projects, the Surebonder Pro2-220 is likely not for you. But if you’re looking for a glue gun that can help you seal the bottoms of shipping boxes, perform simple carpentry tasks, or make repairs around the house, you’ll appreciate the features on this powerful tool.
The glue comes out smoothly, sans any drips, and with great precision. This Surebonder glue gun offers an ergonomic trigger, so you can comfortably use it for hours, as well as an on-off switch, power light, and detachable stand.
Our home tester appreciates its power, the speed with which the glue gun heats up, and its handy storage case.
Best for Kids: NEX&CO Kids Mini Hot Glue Gun
Silicone finger protectors
Comes with colored glue sticks
LED on/off indicator
Best for projects that don't need high temperatures
Of course, you’ll want to be careful if you allow your kids to use a glue gun: Supervise the project from start to finish, and explain best practices and rules for working with a glue gun so that no injuries or mishaps occur. Then, you’ll want to select a glue gun that’s kid-friendly, like this NEX&CO Kids Mini Hot Glue Gun, which comes with silicone finger protectors to help keep kids’ digits safe. We love that it also has a no-drip nozzle.
Because it’s lightweight, kids will be able to hold it easily. There’s an LED indicator so kids can easily see when the glue gun is on, as well as a handy on-off switch. Along with the finger protectors, the glue gun also comes with colored glue sticks, for extra crafting fun, and a creative guide. Users report that it was a great gift for kids and grandkids and particularly appreciated the color glue option.
Best for Crafting : Cobiz Dual Power Glue Gun
Sturdy stand to keep tool upright
Smooth dispensing at all heat levels
Glue sticks advance with trigger pull
Not suited for delicate materials
Glue flow excessive for attaching small items
The Cobiz Full Size glue gun offers a lot of options: You can choose between 60 watts (which is ideal for small, detail-heavy projects) or 100 watts (perfect for when the strength of the adhesion is a big priority). The ability to choose between settings, depending on the project at hand, is a feature that our home tester, and other serious crafters, can really enjoy.
This glue gun preheats in one to three minutes and contains a smart temperature control function, which helps to prevent the gun from overheating. Useful features, like a stand and controlled three-finger trigger, make the glue gun easy to operate. Our tester describes the Cobiz Full Size as heavy-duty and sturdy, but note that it’s lightweight enough that even people with smaller hands can use it with ease.
The Surebonder Cordless Glue Gun earned our best overall spot for its convenience, easy maneuvering, strong bonding ability, and high heater wattage. For woodworkers, we recommend the Ryobi 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Hot Glue Gun. The lightweight pick heats up quickly, works with any type of wood, and lasts for hours on one charge.
What to Look for in a Hot Glue Gun
To determine a glue gun's heating power, pay attention to its watttage. Entry-level glue guns typically have about 20-watt heaters, which may be enough for basic projects, but probably won’t be enough for home improvement projects or heavy-duty materials. More versatile glue guns will operate with anywhere between 60 to 220 watts or more.
How fast your glue gun produces adhesive depends on how hot it is. Some glue guns don’t offer any temperature control—just an on-off switch—while other models let you turn the temperature up or down to produce glue at a faster or slower rate. This is important if you need more adhesive quickly or want to slow down the flow for intricate projects.
Glue Stick Size
Each glue gun is designed to operate with a specific size of glue stick, ranging from smaller, thinner 7mm glue sticks up to larger 15mm glue sticks. For any glue gun you’re considering, pay attention to its compatible glue stick size to make sure you don't end up with mismatched materials!
Why Trust The Spruce Crafts?
This round-up was researched and written by Madeleine Burry, a lifestyle writer whose work has been published in Women's Health, Livestrong.com, Good Housekeeping, and more. For this article, she consulted dozens of customer and third-party reviews to find the best picks for your needs.
Additional reporting was done by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce brands covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays. She's also covered similar topics in other roles, including toy reviews, product round-ups, interviews with experts, and more.