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Your old hot glue gun is a tacky, encrusted, unreliable mess, and you’re looking for another to stick with for the long haul. We sympathize; we’ve been there too. These devices can be finicky—it’s challenging to find a fast-acting, safety-forward model that really works, so you can finally use up all those replacement glue sticks rolling around in your crafting drawer. But a good one is well worth some research, and we’re here to help. Say farewell to goo where you don’t want it and hello to our favorite models.
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SureBonder Professional Dual Temperature Glue Gun
This glue gun is an all-around whopper. Boasting 80 watts of power, this gun doles out glue faster than its 40- or 60-watt competitors after a negligible heat-up time. It comes with two temperature settings: a cooler option for delicate fabrics and foam, and a higher temperature for binding heavy-duty materials like wood and metal. You know how some guns require vise grips, as though you’re squeezing the glue out of the nozzle yourself? Not so with SureBonder’s sculpted, easy-squeeze trigger handle. We also like that all SureBonder glue guns come with a safety switch that automatically turns off the machine when it overheats. You’ll save time, money, and headaches with this superb tool. Just grab a pack of SureBonder’s 7/16-inch-diameter glue sticks (sold separately) and get gluing.
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Chandler Tool Hot Glue Gun
If you want to spend a little less on a hot glue gun, Chandler Tool’s 60-watt model is a stand-up choice—literally. This hot glue gun’s calling card is its flat base, making it easy to pick up and set aside; no need to tip the gun onto a wire stand or lay it flat on your table. It comes in two colors (blue and pink), and its insulated, no-drip nozzle keeps the glue hot and your fingers unscathed. It’s made in the good ol’ U.S. of A, and each gun comes with a dozen 7/16-inch glue sticks.
Buy: Chandler Tool Hot Glue Gun $23.97
ANOTHER GOOD CHOICE
Westcott Glue Gun
Looking for a more deluxe 60-watter? We raise up this solid glue gun by Westcott. A built-in LED at the tip glows blue when cool, then turns red when it’s all heated up and ready to go. The flatness of the gun’s handle allows it to rest completely level on its flip-out wire stand when not in use. Not that you’ll need to rest it much: With a padded, super-comfy silicone grip, this gun will take you through marathon gluing jobs. Throw in two standard-size glue sticks (included in your purchase), and you’ve got everything you need to get crafting.
AdTech 0453 2-Temp Hot Glue Gun
Think of this 40-watt glue gun as the David in a lineup of Goliaths. Yes, it’s roughly one-fourth the price of our top pick; and yes, it has a plasticky, bare-bones aesthetic. But trust us when we say that this is without a doubt the best budget glue gun on the market. This unassuming yet mighty gadget has two temperature settings—a rarity in this price range—and it is Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certified, meaning it meets flammability and shock-hazard standards for home use. At this price, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that no glue sticks are included, but it should be compatible with any standard 7/16-inch stick on the market. Our only legitimate quibbles with this gun are its heat-up time (between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on temperature setting) and somewhat short cord (5 feet).
Buy: AdTech 0453 2-Temp Hot Glue Gun $8.97
Arrow GT300 Pro High Temp Glue Gun
This ain’t your grandma’s hot glue gun. Go Super Saiyan with this high-powered and versatile tool by a company known for another muscular fastener, the staple gun. When we say high-powered, we really mean high-powered: This hot glue gun runs at an astonishing 300 watts, meaning the glue in this gun heats up in no time—and heats up hot. The frame itself is heavy duty but lightweight, with a drip-resistant, heat-resistant safety nozzle and removable flat stand. You can even adjust the gun’s glue flow with a knob. For all intents and purposes, this is a professional-grade glue gun at a hobbyist price.
Buy: Arrow GT300 Pro High Temp Glue Gun $49.97