Let’s imagine you have several cases that need to be sealed or you are into home decor of floral and crafts, and you need to join two or more materials together. What if your kids are into arts and crafts that require joining pieces or you are into upholstery and other foam applications? These are real-life scenarios where super-adhesive bonds are required, and assuming you already have a hot glue gun,
the next step would be to get a hot glue gun stick.
The invention of hot glue guns and sticks has gone a long way in solving adhesion problems for several projects. For the purpose of this review, we will focus on hot glue gun sticks alone. A hot glue gun stick is a material that is simply loaded into a glue gun and the resulting hot glue produced is used to bond several materials together. It has found a lot of applications in the arts and crafts world, assembling and packaging units of manufacturing companies, the fashion industry, and the automotive industry.
Hot glue gun sticks come in different diameters, lengths, and pack sizes and they can only be melted by a matching hot glue gun. They usually have a long shelf life and do not require a long drying time unlike other solvent-based adhesives. Further, they don’t shrink and most of them are resistant to chemical attacks. The glue produced from the sticks can also be used on product assembly of different materials such as glass, plastic, metal, fiberglass, jewelry, paper, foam, ceramic, and china. These are delicate materials that would require you to put your nail gun and nails down.
So, the next time you’re trying to install a carpet at home or creating crafts and ornaments, remember that a hot gun glue stick can produce an adhesive bond that will keep your materials joined for the longest period of time. For another form of adhesive, you can also check out the gaffer tape. It also has strong adhesive properties and can be used in different applications.
Note that we couldn't fit all the great brands/products we found during our research in the following review. Take, for example, Low Temp Foam Glue
from Woodland Scenics (which is great for bonding foam). Also deserving of honorable mention is the brand, Stanley
- even though none of its products—unfortunately—made it into our top five this is a well known brand in the tools and projects arena.
Now let’s show you the important things to note before you buy your hot glue sticks.
There are different factors that may affect the price of a hot glue gun stick, but from recent observations, a standard hot glue gun stick is very affordable. Most times, the size of a pack of glue sticks usually affects the price. A pack of 25 glue sticks would cost less than a pack of 100 sticks, but economically speaking, per stick, you tend to save more if you purchase a larger pack size.
If you’re buying a hot glue gun stick for small-scale use, you should know that for less than $10, you can get a good pack. But if you're getting it for industrial purposes or for large-scale use, there are several glue sticks that go for around $25 a package. Within the above price range, you should be able to get glue sticks that can produce the quality of adhesive bond you require. Keep in mind that the more glue sticks in a package, the more you will spend as a whole (regardless of type or quality) but with bulk buying you pay less “per stick.”
It is also important to note that the glue sticks we have featured are not low-quality, cheap hot glue gun sticks that aren’t user-friendly or don’t offer much value. We opted for products that are top-notch, even if that means they cost a little more. They’ll be worth every penny you spend on them!
Choosing the right hot glue gun stick largely involves the hot glue gun to be used. It is also largely dependent on the type of material that the adhesive bond produced will be used on. We shall now list the important features to look out for and consider when choosing a hot glue gun stick. These features include:
- Stick Temperature/Melt Application
- Pack Size
- Material Type
Construction and Design
There are three things you need to take into consideration regarding construction and design when purchasing your hot glue sticks: stick temperature, size, and pack size. Let’s take a closer look…
As stated earlier, selecting the right hot glue gun stick depends on the hot glue gun to be used. The temperature of the stick to be used will largely depend on the temperature of the hot glue gun that will be used to melt it. There are 3 different types of glue sticks based on their temperature: the high temperature, low temperature, and dual temperature hot gun glue sticks.
The high temperature glue sticks can only be melted by high temperature hot glue guns, while the low temp glue sticks should be melted by only low temp glue guns as they would be degraded by high temperature. The type you choose will depend upon the type of project you are working on because some materials such as foams and plastics can’t withstand higher temperatures and can become damaged. There are also some sticks that are known as dual temp sticks and this simply means that they can be melted by both high and low temp melt guns.
When we refer to the size of a hot glue gun stick, we actually mean the length and diameter of the stick. There are currently different sizes of sticks available on the market and picking the right one may sometimes be confusing. When it comes to the diameter, the 7/16-inch hot glue gun sticks are the most frequently used sticks, while the 5/8-inch sticks are larger and suitable for large-volume applications.
If you’re purchasing for industrial purposes, the 1 ¾-inch glue sticks are more suitable. The major lengths available are the 4-inch, 10-inch, and 15-inch hot melt sticks. Before selecting a hot glue gun stick size, please ensure that it matches the specification of sticks that your hot glue gun can accept.
Hot melt sticks come in different pack sizes, depending on your melting needs. Some pack sizes available include 25, 50, 100, 125, and so many other sizes, depending on the brand. For those who are purchasing for assembling and packaging purposes, it is advisable to go for large pack sizes. Not only is it economical, it would prevent running out of glue sticks during the gluing process. For home or school arts and crafts, depending on your gluing needs, you can go for either the large or small pack size. Further, most sticks have a long shelf life and do not degrade on storage, so you can buy any quantity for future purposes.
Performance and Ease of Use
To get the very best use from your hot glue sticks, you may want to pay attention to things such as color and applications, while also taking into account safety implications. We go into more detail on each factor below.
Due to the formulation material, glue sticks may sometimes have a clear or white color and can be used for a large variety of applications. There are also amber-colored sticks that are transparent and sticks of different colors. When purchasing colored glue sticks, please consider if the glue formed will be applied on the surface. If the colors don’t match, it could end up destroying the aesthetics of the material being glued. There are also glittering glue sticks that are widely fancied by children for use in their arts and crafts.
It is necessary to outline the applications that the hot melt stick would be used on before purchasing it. This is because some glue sticks may adhere to some materials more than others. The glue sticks that would be used on aluminum and woodwork would definitely differ from those that would be used on paper and foam. This largely has to do with the temperature of the stick and the heating and liquefying time.
Most hot glue gun sticks usually melt between 30-45 seconds and should be applied once melted by the gun. If you're into crafting, look out for sticks that can adhere to difficult-to-bond materials such as steel, glass, and most metals. This is to avoid wasting so many sticks on them and achieving little success in bonding them.
Lastly, keep hot glue guns and sticks away from kids. When heated, the sticks can produce hot glue that can cause severe burns. Ensure that the glue produced has finished seeping out and cooled before touching it. Always discard surplus glue sticks properly as they can become a choking hazard for both kids and pets.
The only way to know for sure that you have picked the right hot glue stick is if it matches the hot glue gun you have, melts on heating, and produces glue that bonds well. If you’ve read this buying guide, picking a hot glue gun stick that can produce a super-adhesive bond without causing damage to the materials to be attached together wouldn’t be that difficult. So, let’s quickly delve into the review…
We know going through all these reviews can be quite exhausting. But you can rest assured that some of the best hot glue sticks are reviewed here and are of top quality from brands you can trust. We are highlighting just one product per brand, but rest assured that these brands have a wide range of offerings beyond the reviewed products and deliver products that give you value for every dollar spent. You can now make an informed choice while brimming with confidence.