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Glue Gun Tips For Makers

The humble glue gun used to be a tool just for crafters, but the maker community has learned to embrace this versatile tool as well. Whether you're using a dollar store mini model or my favorite, the Ryobi Cordless Glue Gun, this tool can serve a variety of uses in your shop.

Check out my favorite glue gun tips


Consider a cordless glue gun

If you find yourself doing a lot of projects, you will really appreciate the freedom of a cordless model. My favorite is the Ryobi 18v model, but there are other options you may want to consider. A lot of people like this model, but there are many great choices on the market.

Purchase a variety of glue

Not all glues are created equal. Cheap dollar store glue is great when you need it to simply act as an insulator or as a temporary hold, but I have some favorites for other applications. Gorilla Glue Hot Glue Sticks are ridiculously strong compared to the average glue sticks. They claim 5x stronger. They also make hot glue in a variety of colors to match your project.

Get multiple glue guns

If you find them cheap and have the space to store them, you will appreciate having multiple glue guns for different purposes. This helps you avoid having to waste glue when you're changing from one type to another.

Hot glue makes a great temporary clamp

Due to the fact that it can usually easily be removed without damaging the surface of your items, hot glue can be a great temporary clamp to hold items while you are working on them or just prototyping. I often use hot glue to hold small pieces to my bench when I'm using a router and real clamps would get in the way.

Hot glue can be removed with rubbing alcohol

My favorite tip of the bunch is that putting a little rubbing alcohol on your hot glue joints and letting it sit a minute will break the bond and help with your disassembly.

Glue acts as an insulator in low voltage/amperage maker applications

Simply put, hot glue is a great way to make sure your low voltage wires don't come loose or bump into each other during prototyping. IMPORTANT: This is not intended for high amperage or mains voltage AC applications. Observer all local electrical codes.

A small fan will help the glue cool faster

If you find yourself holding items for a long time waiting for them to dry, consider a low temp glue gun or even a mini fan to help speed up the cooling process. Pro tip: turn the fan off while dispensing to avoid causing the hot glue to spray into thin cotton candy-like strings.


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