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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.
The key, of course, is to select the right glue gun for your needs, and one that suits your preferences. For more experienced crafters, features like temperature control and higher wattage might be helpful for certain materials, but they aren't a must-have for a beginner. If you're planning lots of precise projects, look for a glue gun with a thinner glue stick for slower flow.
Here, the best hot glue guns available online.
Best Overall: Cobiz Dual Power Glue Gun
Dimensions: 8.9 x 8.9 x 2.2-inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Power Source: AC/DC | Glue Stick Type: Not listed
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 reviewers particularly 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 using the glue gun easy to operate. Reviewers describe 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.
"It dispenses large amounts of glue quickly and efficiently. It also works well on materials that don’t usually adhere easily to one another, such as when I glued a birch bark strip around a glass votive candle holder. It held perfectly on the first try."—Arricca SanSone, Product Tester
Best Cordless: Werktough Cordless Glue Gun
Dimensions: 9.13 x 8.23 x 2.01-inches | Weight: 1.15 pounds | Power Source: Not listed | Glue Stick Type: Not listed
Cordless for easy maneuverability
Heats to high temperatures quickly
Automatic shut-off function
Batteries last only 45 minutes per charge
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 Werktough Cordless Glue Gun: This battery-operated device heats up to a high temperature, quickly. And, after a few minutes without use, it will automatically shut off—not only does that save energy, but it also helps you avoid accidental injuries.
The battery lasts for 45 minutes on a single charge; for some reviewers, that was more than enough time. But if you often have time-consuming projects, consider another option. Many reviewers particularly praised how quickly this glue gun heated up, as well as the glue gun’s size and ease of use.
Best for Woodworking: Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Full Size Glue Gun
Dimensions: 2.75 x 6.5 x 7.5-inches | Weight: 1 pound | Power Source: Battery | Glue Stick Type: Not listed
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. Reviewers 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 reviewers. The cordless battery lasts for more than three hours before requiring a recharge, which is plenty of time for most small projects.
Reviewers appreciate that this glue gun is sturdy, convenient to use, and does not fall over. And, at one pound, they also appreciated that the Ryobi P305 is relatively lightweight. Some reviewers do note that the battery life gets used up quickly, and a few noted that it would be helpful to have a temperature gauge.
Best for Electronics: CCBETTER Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun with 25pcs Glue Sticks
Dimensions: 8.27 x 2.36 x 5.91-inches | Weight: 10.6 ounces | Power Source: 20W | Glue Stick Type: Not listed
Quickly heats to high temperatures
Temperature control function
Easy on/off switch
Inconsistent glue delivery
Lots of glue strands left behind
Using a glue gun with electronics? You’ll want to proceed with care. And, you’ll want something small that allows you to apply glue with great precision. This ccbetter mini glue gun heats up in a few minutes, and has temperature control, allowing you to avoid spikes and dips in the glue’s heat. That can be helpful when working with electronics.
This glue gun is also designed to allow you to control the flow of the glue (no drips or globs). It’s small and lightweight and has a built-in stand so you can easily put it down to adjust your project. Reviewers appreciate that the ccbetter mini glue gun is small and easy to store and love the on/off switch.
"I found that this gun was suitable for detail work, such as making small dots of glue to stick beads on an ornament. The glue adhered well to many surfaces including attaching sequins to a paper mache form, fixing ceramic mosaic tiles to a picture frame, and assembling a wooden box."—Arricca SanSone, Product Tester
Best Small: Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun
Dimensions: 2 x 6 x 7-inches | Weight: 7 ounces | Power Source: Not listed | Glue Stick Type: Not listed
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 5.6 ounces.
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 are designed to 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.
Reviewers appreciate that this Gorilla glue gun doesn’t leak or drip glue and that it reaches extremely high temperatures. They also like that this glue gun heats up in a flash.
Best Budget: Tilswall Hot Glue Gun
Dimensions: 6.61 x 6.49 x 1.57-inches | Weight: 11.6 ounces | Power Source: Corded electric | Glue Stick Type: Not listed
Has an on/off button
Heats up in under five minutes
Silicone around nozzle helps prevent burns
Glue sticks included
Lots of glue strands left behind
For the price, the Tilswall Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun weighs in with a lot of features. It has an on/off button (that may sound like a basic feature, but many plug-in glue guns don’t have a switch, making unplugging them the only way to turn them off).
The heating system maintains a steady temperature of 329°F, and it heats up in under five minutes. The manufacturer notes that the glue gun has an ergonomic handle (so your hands won’t clench up) as well as a silicon around the nozzle to help prevent accidental burns.
Reviewers appreciate that while sturdy, this glue gun also feels lightweight in their hands. Plus, they find the trigger easy to use, and the size ideal for stashing away once projects are completed.
Best Splurge: Surebonder Pro2 Industrial Glue Gun
Dimensions: 2.75 x 10.25 x 11.5-inches | Weight: 43.2 ounces | Power Source: Corded electric | Glue Stick Type: Not listed
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.
Reviewers appreciate its power, the speed with which the glue gun heats up, and its handy storage case.
"The rock-solid feel of this handle, the sturdy stand, and the rubber tip on the metal nozzle made me feel confident and in control. At every temperature setting, I was able to draw a long, razor-straight line of glue without any blobbing or thinning."—Arricca SanSone, Product Tester
Best for Kids: NEX&CO Kids Mini Hot Glue Gun
Dimensions: 6.69 x 5.91 x 1.18-inches | Weight: 15.2 ounces | Power Source: Corded electric | Glue Stick Type: Not listed
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, and 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. Reviewers report that it was a great gift for kids and grandkids and particularly appreciated the color glue option.
The best overall hot glue gun is the Cobiz Dual Power Heavy Duty Glue Gun. It’s comfortable to hold, heats up fast, and comes with a sturdy stand. If you’re specifically looking for a cordless model, though, go with the Werktough Cordless Glue Gun (view at Amazon). This battery-operated device heats up to a high temperature and the battery lasts for 45 minutes on a single 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.