Hot glue guns are a school staple. You always knew that it would be a good day in class when you saw them all laid out, plugged in and beginning to warm. Although many of us associate them with schools or churches, the fact is that a glue applicator is a very important item to be added to your business tool box and it has just as many, or more, uses than you would have thought possible for one small tool.

What is a Hot Glue Gun?

Also know as a Jet Melt Applicator, a hot glue gun is a simple tool. It has a stick of solid plastic placed in the back and when electrically heated by the heating unit, it melts the stick and excretes it out the nozzle. The now melted glue can be applied to any surface you wish to bond but do not touch the glue or the nozzle! The glue is heated hot enough to blister skin so always be careful when operating one of these tools.

How to use a Hot Glue Gun

Like with any tool, there are tips and tricks to its use that both improve its performance and increase its longevity. One of the mistakes that many people make is trying to force the glue gun to work faster than intended. A glue gun is not plug and play; it is plug, wait, and play. Since the gun is actually melting a solid, it takes time to get it up to the melting point. If you try and force the solid adhesive through before the gun has reached the proper temperature, not only will it not go faster but you can also damage the gun as well. So letting the gun reach the melting point is very important to smooth operation.

Now that your gun is up to temperature, there are a few additional tips on its use. One of the simplest that still bears repeating is do not touch the nozzle or the molten glue! The gun itself is hot; it just melted plastic and it will burn skin. However, even the best of us make mistakes, and that’s why it’s important as a safety feature to keep a cup or bowl of cold water handy when working with a glue gun.

If you happen to burn yourself, placing your hand in the water can help to avoid blistering and cool the wound. Another safety tip right in keeping with don’t touch the tip is to keep hot glue guns out of children’s reach. A child may not know the glue gun is on and try to pick it up from the front or play with it in a harmful manner so proper safety is: if you have children in the house, do not leave the glue gun alone!

Another good thought to keep in mind is there are many kinds, shapes, and sizes of glue guns so be sure to get one that fits you well if you intend to use it a lot. Some glue guns even have removable nozzles so that you can do a wider variety of work with them.

Here’s a fun glue tip: the glue need not just be for sticking things together. You can use the clear glue to add patterns or textures that you can paint over later or just add some depth so your project.

Glue tips

We’ve talked about some tips when using a hot glue applicator, but the other, and very important, part is the glue itself.

Remember that the glue is sticky when it comes out the nozzle. The problem is that the glue can begin to form a coating on the nozzle tip, reducing the amount getting through as well as causing an annoying problem of glue strings.

Glue strings are when the glue in place of coming out as a solid thick glob gets strung out as it cools, becoming elastic and leaving thin glue hairs all over the place. These can become a problem as the more glue that is threaded out like this, the less that is actually being applied to your surface.

The other problem is reduced glue flow excreted from the nozzle and the glue that does come out is harder to use. The more that builds up, the less glue that comes out. So keeping the nozzle tip clean is essential to good operation.

To avoid bonding trouble, one thing you can do is to clean the surfaces you plan to affix. Water will work but rubbing alcohol is better. Once you have a nice clean surface, the glue will fix much better to the surface you are bonding it with.

Here is a glue safety tip: wear protective trousers, Hot Glue Guns can drip when in use and getting a hot glue drop on bare skin would be unpleasant at the least and could even lead to a potentially painful burn, so wearing protective pants and closed shirts can be helpful. Ideally your pants should be cloth-based like jeans and not plastic-based as the glue, if it is hot enough, could melt polyester-based clothing.

The last tool tip is this: the hotter the glue is, the less time you will have to bond things together. The glue is at its most sticky right after being shot out of the glue gun and you have only a few moments before it cools too much and you will not be able to bond anymore. So have the items ready you intend to apply.

Where to get glue guns?

Hot Glue Guns can be found in many places but few offer the quality and price that can be found at First Stop Packaging. Their glue gun is mainly for commercial use, and helps to ensure your safety as well as coming with a non-drip valve to help protect against unwanted dripping. So when you are looking to get the best glue and the best applicator,  First Stop Packaging is your last stop, too.