Woman using a hot glue gun for a craft project

The Best Hot Glue Guns

Hot glue guns are the ultimate tool for crafters and DIYers. From gluing intricate craft materials to adhering fabrics and wood, a hot glue gun is versatile and a must-have in any crafter’s cabinet, whether you’re making DIY wind chimes, pebble art, or just like to have a useful adhesive tool handy in case you need it when doing fun activities with your kids

Our crafting expert, Amy Boyington, selected the Cobiz Hot Glue Gun as her top pick after reviewing dozens of hot glue guns for different applications. This full-size hot glue gun is fit for just about any craft project with two temperature options, quick heating, and safety features to prevent overheating. 

Best Overall

Cobiz Hot Glue Gun

The Cobiz Hot Glue Gun provides versatile adhesion for almost any craft or around-the-home project.

In addition to a hot glue gun, a pair of craft scissors is another essential tool to add to your crafting toolkit. 

Our Crafting Expert’s Top 5 Hot Glue Guns

Here are the top picks from our crafting expert. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Top Picks Model Rating Safety Stand Dual-Temp Rapid Heating
Best Overall Cobiz Hot Glue Gun 4.7
Best Budget Buy AdTech Dual Temperature Hot Glue Gun 4.6
Best Mini CCBETTER Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun 4.6
Best for Fabric Surebonder Dual Temperature Glue Gun 4.4
Best for Woodworking Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun 4.7

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and scored by our expert

Research Tips (from a Crafting Expert)

As a crafter, I get a lot of questions about hot glue guns because it’s such a common tool for craft projects. Below are some tips and best practices to consider when looking for a hot glue gun to buy. Be sure to research and compare glue guns, as many of them have different features that could make them ideal for some projects and materials but not others. 

  1. Consider temperature – Generally, high-temperature glue guns melt glue more efficiently than low-temperature glue guns. This allows them to bond heavy, dense materials, like wood and thick fabric, with ease. A low-temperature hot glue gun is usually the better choice for more delicate materials, like fabrics.1 Choose a dual-temperature glue gun if you plan to use it with a variety of projects.
  2. Look for safety features – Hot glue guns can reach extremely high temperatures of 400 degrees or higher, making it necessary to use caution around them, especially if you’re crafting with kids.2 Some hot glue guns come with safety features, like a timed automatic shut-off, silicone tips, and overheating prevention.
  3. Size makes a difference – A mini hot glue gun is best for people with small hands, like children, who may have a difficult time manipulating a larger glue gun. Full-size glue guns are ideal for longer projects that require more glue, as they typically hold wider and longer glue sticks.
  4. Compare feed types – Most hot glue guns are trigger-feed style, meaning that each time you pull the trigger, the internal mechanism feeds the glue through the gun. This style creates a more automated gluing process. In contrast, a manual-feed glue gun requires you to push the glue through as needed. This can be a good option for people with low hand strength who don’t prefer glue guns with triggers.3
  5. A stand can come in handy – Consider choosing a hot glue gun with a metal or plastic stand that you can flip into place to prop up the glue gun when it’s not in use. The stand will keep the hot tip from coming into contact with your surface when you’re not holding it.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $10 and $30

For most hot glue guns, you can expect to pay between $10 and $30, depending on the size, temperature range, and other features. Some hot glue guns come in kits with glue sticks and different nozzles included, and you might pay a few more dollars for these bundles. You can usually find plenty of off-brand models with similar features and functionality to branded models at more affordable prices, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking to save money. 

Our Methodology: Why Trust Moon and Back

As someone who’s crafted since childhood, I’ve spoken with many other casual and expert crafters about the best hot glue gun options. In addition to considering what’s important to them, I’ve also used my own experience to choose the products on this list. I put several hot glue guns to the test to compare their features, with usability, safety, and versatility being the most important factors. The final five picks are those I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys crafting. – Amy Boyington

The Best Hot Glue Guns: Full Reviews

Best Overall

Cobiz Hot Glue Gun

The Cobiz Hot Glue Gun provides versatile adhesion for almost any craft or around-the-home project.

The Cobiz Hot Glue Gun is a full-size glue fun fit for most craft projects, thanks to its dual-temperature function and large glue stick capacity. Switch between 60W and 100W power, giving you the right heat for low-temp and high-temp projects. Its quick-heating ability ensures that it’s ready to work when you are, warming up fully in about 1-3 minutes, depending on what heat setting you choose.

Cobiz Hot Glue Gun

This hot glue gun is heavy-duty, and you can feel its quality throughout. The trigger pulls easily and has an ergonomic design to promote hand comfort. I appreciate the copper tip on this model, too, which is durable and resistant to heat.4 The metal stand is simple to flip open when you need it and back when you don’t, and it props the glue gun well above your surface for safety.

Pros
  • Quick-heating at both temperatures
  • Holds large capacity glue sticks ideal for longer projects
  • Easy-to-use trigger 
Cons
  • Included glue doesn’t melt efficiently and can get stringy easily
  • No on/off switch
Best Budget Buy

AdTech Dual Temperature Hot Glue Gun

For its low price and reliable function, it’s tough to beat the AdTech Dual Temperature Hot Glue Gun.

At just under $9, you’d be hard-pressed to find a full-size hot glue gun, like the AdTech Dual Temperature Hot Glue Gun. To be fair, a full-size hot glue gun at this price point isn’t going to feel as high-quality or as durable as higher-priced options. But, despite its somewhat flimsy feel and longer-than-average heat-up time, this glue gun surprised me with its capabilities.

AdTech Dual Temperature Hot Glue Gun

First, I love its tip. It’s narrow, which allowed me to make really precise lines and small dots. It’s also a dual-temp gun, which is an excellent feature to have at this price. And, once it starts flowing, it does so at a steady pace, avoiding the stringy messes you can sometimes get with other glue guns.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Precision tip to glue smaller, more delicate items
  • Holds full-size glue sticks
Cons
  • Takes several minutes to heat up fully
  • Power cord is somewhat short
Best Mini

CCBETTER Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun

The CCBETTER Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun is perfectly sized for smaller hands and projects.

I love a mini hot glue gun when I’m working on crafts with my kids or need to use it for just a quick project. They’re small enough to fit in a drawer to pull out when needed, but they do the job almost as well as full-size guns. The CCBETTER Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun is one I’m happy to have in my stash, as it’s small enough to fit snugly in my son’s hand (as you can see from the photo below) but powerful enough to get the job done.

CCBETTER Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun

It also has a silicone cap covering the nozzle, which makes me feel better about my kids using it while I supervise. It’s lightweight and has an easy-to-pull trigger, so there’s no unsafe wobbling when trying to use it. The fact that it has an on/off button just adds to the list of reasons why this glue gun is a go-to for kids’ projects.

Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to hold
  • Quick heat-up
  • Safety tip
  • Precision nozzle
Cons
  • Stand could use some tweaking to keep the gun upright
  • Short power cord
Best for Fabric

Surebonder Dual Temperature Glue Gun

The Surebonder Dual Temperature Glue Gun has both 250 and 380-degree settings for multiple uses.

The Surebonder Dual Temperature Glue Gun is best for a variety of uses, from delicate fabrics to materials that need strong adhesion. With the flick of a switch, you can transition between the 250-degree and 380-degree settings. If you don’t use the glue gun for 30 minutes, it’ll automatically shut off for safety.

Surebonder Dual Temperature Glue Gun

One of the best features of this glue gun is its stand. It’s unique in that it attaches to the bottom, giving the gun a firm base to keep the tip far above your work surface. And, you can detach it by simply pulling it out if you don’t want it there. Unlike other hot glue guns, you don’t need to keep flipping it up and down when it’s in and out of use.

Pros
  • Removable, sturdy stand
  • Smooth glue lines
  • Plastic covering on tip for safety
  • Lightweight and comfortable to hold
Cons
  • Slow to heat
  • Included glue sticks are very short
Best for Woodworking

Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun

The Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun is a powerful tool wrapped up in a miniature body.

The Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun might be small in stature, but this dual-temperature glue gun can handle some big projects. What I appreciate most is its ability to strongly bond delicate wood pieces, like the wood tile letters I glued to their base in the photo below. A precision tip like this works wonders for small materials.

Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun

This particular mini glue gun has a unique trigger. It’s thin and long, unlike most that are short and stubbier, and I preferred this style. The trigger is easy to grip with your whole hand rather than just a couple of fingers, giving you a lot of control while using the glue gun.

Pros
  • Insulated nozzle
  • Nozzle is sized perfectly for intricate wood crafts
  • Dual-temperature
  • Easy-squeeze trigger
  • Steady stand
Cons
  • No on-off switch
  • Short power cord

What should I look for when buying a hot glue gun?

Most importantly, a hot glue gun should be safe. Look for built-in safety features, like an automatic shut-off and overheating prevention, to keep yourself and your work area safe. You can also look for convenient features, like low and high-temperature modes, a stand, and an easy-pull trigger, to make the glue gun easy to work with.

What will hot glue not stick to?

Hot glue has a tough time sticking to smooth surfaces because it doesn’t have anything to adhere to. Hot glue relies on ridges and rough surfaces to create the bond it needs for a solid adhesion.5 Therefore, you may not have luck gluing something to metal, plastic, or other smooth or slippery surfaces, with your hot glue gun.

Which is better, a high or low temp glue gun?

The temperature you need your hot glue gun to reach depends on the materials you’re working with. Delicate materials, like plastics or fabric that can melt, require a low-temperature glue gun. Heavy-duty materials that need strong bonds, like wood and thick fabrics, work best with a high temp glue gun.

How do you use a glue gun without making a mess?

Not all hot glue is created equal. Unfortunately, some forms string more easily than others.6 This usually happens when a glue gun doesn’t fully melt the glue or wasn’t warmed up enough prior to using it. To avoid the stringy mess, be sure to let your glue gun heat up fully. It usually takes 1-3 minutes, depending on the model. If you do have stringy glue, there’s a trick you can use when you’re gluing to avoid messes. Wait a few seconds to allow the glue to solidify a bit before pulling the tip away from the surface. This allows the glue to harden up just enough to not create the string as you pull the hot glue gun away.

Article Sources

Moon and Back uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Hotmelt.com. High Temp Hot Melt vs. Low Temp Hot Melt. Hotmelt.com. Accessed April 19, 2021.
  2. Thomas Publishing Company. What Are Hot Glue Guns? Thomasnet.com. Accessed April 19, 2021.
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. Give grip strength a hand. Health.harvard.edu. Published November 2016. Accessed April 19, 2021.
  4. Copper Development Association Inc. Copper Facts. Copper.org. Accessed April 19, 2021.
  5. Williams K. What Does Hot Glue NOT Stick To? Favecrafts.com. Accessed April 19, 2021.
  6. Adhesives.org. Types of Glue & Glue Tips. Adhesives.org. Accessed April 19, 2021.
Amy Boyington
Amy Boyington is a mom of two and content creator for family-focused businesses. As a lifelong crafting enthusiast, one of her favorite things to do with her kids is to get imaginative with arts and crafts. Whether it’s putting together crafts from subscription boxes or making something new with materials around her home, Amy’s usually tinkering on creative projects in her spare time. When she’s not looking for inspiration for new crafting ideas, Amy enjoys getting active outdoors, cooking and baking, and taking an obsessive amount of pictures of her dog.