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|Amdai 20W Electric Glue Gun|
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|Stanley Heavy-Duty Glue Gun|
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We approach each review independently as we know all are looking at very different items, but some you approach wondering what you can possibly write about the subject! This one, on the subject of best glue guns, is one of those that we didn’t look forward to, but in fact, these very clever and useful tools are more interesting than we thought they would be. In fact, glue itself is an interesting subject, which is something we never thought we would say!
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For example, there are references to forms of adhesive as long ago as 2000BC, and the Greek and Roman civilisations are known to have developed adhesives. Many such were made from animal substances – unlike today where most are synthetically produced – and while glues were used in some forms in Europe from 1500AD onwards, it wasn’t until the 20th century that adhesives for commercial use began to be developed in the form that we know today.
Glue is used for many applications: commercially, it is used for bonding everything from furniture to parts of vehicles, and it can be bought in a range of strengths and types suitable for every possible type of use. The type we are talking about today – that you use with an electric glue gun – can be for either home or industrial use, and is a very popular type. So, now that we’ve told you all that you could possibly want to know about glue, let’s have a look at what makes the best hot glue gun is, how it works, and why it is one of the most popular forms of glue application.
Best Hot Glue Guns
The glue gun is a fundamentally simple device; with most of these you will see they follow the same format of a plastic gun with an electric heating element, a mains chord and trigger, plus a cavity into which a solid stick of glue is placed. The element melts the glue – it has a very low melting point – which is applied by pressing the trigger, and you can direct it accurately wherever you want. That’s the trick with this one, from Amdai, which sets the scene for those to come quite nicely.
It’s a compact device with a 20W heating element, it can be used to glue wood, plastic and more, and heats the glue very quickly for almost instant use. As with all of these, it uses standard clear glue sticks for discrete application, and you get a full pack of 60 sticks in the pack, which is more than enough to keep you going. It is safe and made to the relevant safety standards – but beware of heat so children must be supervised – and at around £10 is good value.
The design of this one already looks familiar, and we’ve only reviewed one so far! That’s no bad thing, however, because it is a tried and tested style – the gun that is – that works, and there is no need to mess with something that already works. The 20W element aids fast heating – the gun will be ready to use within a few minutes – and it uses the standard clear glue sticks that are inserted in the back of the gun and pressed through by the trigger.
This model has a high-quality aluminium tip that allows for superbly accurate application and long-life, and is well-designed and complies to all the safety requirements. It comes with a power switch and LED indicator light for safety purposes, yet we advise that children should be supervised at all times as parts of the gun will get hot – as will the glue! In short, this is a nicely made design that offers everything a glue gun should, and at a price of around £10 is very good value indeed.
There’s not much difference between each of these so far, as the concept remains the same. That’s to be expected though, as it works. This one is designed for craft use rather than industrial, and comes with a handy stand at the front that is intended to keep the gun steady and keep your finger away from the heat. It’s accurate, simple to use, light and compact and comes with a pack of the standard clear glue sticks, so you are ready to go right way.
This one feels OK in the hand and heats up in a couple of minutes so you can get working quickly, and can be used with a variety of materials. The result is confident and strong adhesion, and ease of use. Beware that, as with all of these, the glue will be hot when it is dispensed, so you need to take care not to touch it until it has dried and hardened. There’s no special features here – and none are needed – so what you see is what you get, and at a fraction more than a tenner, it’s not bad value.
One thing we have learned with all of our product reviews is that brand names do count for something. They usually mean better quality and a sensible warranty, so we always look for names that we know when we are reviewing tools such as these. This glue gun comes from Stanley, a household name in DIY and tools, and it shows. It’s a quality design and is neat and ergonomic to hold in the hand, and with a 25Watt heating element is more powerful than those we have seen.
Easy to use trigger action means accurate application of adhesive, and it takes that standard clear glue sticks so you can use it for many different materials. It also has a handy stand for storage between applications – so the hot tip will not damage the surface it is resting on – and is a genuine quality item. At less than ten pounds it is good value for a brand name, but bear in mind it does not come with glue sticks, as all of those above do.
This very compact design is a neat and tidy one, designed mainly for hobby use in the home. It is easy to handle, light and will get into the smallest spaces, so is perfect for model kits and even dolls house applications. The trigger controls the glue flow for accurate application of the hot glue – it heats up quickly into an easy to apply liquid form that dries very quickly, and can be used to stick plastics, wood, ceramics and many more materials. It works well, and comes with the plug and cable attached.
There is a clever and very flexible attached support that is designed for safety and accuracy, and you get the benefit of a powerful element that heats the glue fast so you can get gluing in no time at all. If we have one concern it is that it is a very small device indeed, but it does come with a sufficient pack of glue sticks and it is sensibly priced at around £7.
We mentioned earlier how known brands are always worth paying attention to; this one is from Loctite, one of the leading names in glue and adhesive development, and it is a very neat glue gun from one of the best of the best. It differs little from those we have reviewed so far, but comes with the added cache of the name, and it is designed for home and DIY use.
Suitable for a wide range of materials – including wood, plastic and ceramics – this one is easy to use and comes complete with all the usual safety features, yet we recommend you supervise youngsters who are using it as it does get hot in places and the glue remains hot until it dries. One downside is that it comes with free glue sticks, but only two of them, which is far fewer than some of the above. It’s not expensive at around £12, however, so worth considering for the quality alone.
There are some brands that have a very strong reputation when it comes to quality tools and DIY equipment; Bosch is one of them, and this glue gun is most certainly the best one we have reviewed so far. It’s finished in the standard Bosch green so is easily recognisable, and majors in the fields of accuracy and application. The quality is immediately apparent in the details that this very neat and easy to use model presents.
For example, the nozzle is of a very detailed design with accurate application that will impress those needing the very neatest of gluing. The delivery of the glue stick through the device is smooth and easy with a neat and soft to use trigger action. This is a very light and easy to handle device, and one that is clearly designed with long life in mind, but it comes only with the one standard clear glue stick, so more will be needed. At around £20 it’s also more expensive than some, but if you want quality, it might be the one.
Dremel might not be as familiar as some of the brands we have mentioned, but it is a manufacturer of high-quality tools for both home and commercial use. This is a typical glue gun, but it is one that comes with some interesting features, and is most definitely one of the best on this list. For a start, the quality is obvious and it has some very neat design elements, plus it is easy to use with a smooth trigger action controlling the delivery.
The handle is designed to feel comfortable in the hand – and it works – while the nozzle is a precision delivery item that is very accurate and efficient. There is no wastage here, and you also get a stand that keeps the hot tip away from the surface. Of course, we continue to advise supervision if youngsters are using one of these, and it does come with a selection of glue sticks, some of the – unusually – coloured. At a little less than £20 it’s not the cheapest here, but it’s still worth a look.
And now for something completely different! This is Bosch at its best: innovative and original. If you don’t want messy cables when you’re glueing – whatever it is you may be glueing – then this has to be the one for you. It’s entirely cordless and is powered by a rechargeable battery, so you get versatility with ease of use. It is easy to use, too and is simple to handle and operate. Make no mistake, this is a high-quality item as expected from this brand.
The amazing 15-second heat up time is unbeatable, the tip a precision one with superb levels of accuracy available, and it is designed with the trigger on the top so it is in the easiest place to operate. There’s not a lot more to be said about what is a very handy, quality and well-designed device, except that you only get the one glue stick, and it does cost more than £25. For what it is, however, it is well worth a second look and the few extra pounds.
Back to basics with this one, which is not from a name brand but is a nice model anyhow. It offers a massive 60Watts of heating power – that’s a lot more than most of these – and comes with a pack of glue sticks. It is easy to use and offers the standard gun-style design. It is light in weight, has a safety stand for added versatility, and heats up very quickly, and is perfect for hobbyist or DIY enthusiast.
This one comes with all the safety elements you would expect – we advise again that caution needs to be taken when using a glue gun as the metal precision tip will become hot, as will the glue – and it is a great choice among this list. There is nothing to make it stand out – bar the power – but it’s good, and at not much over £20 is also sensibly priced.
That’s ten of the best glue guns you can buy today, and we were surprised at the variety of styles available, as well as the packages on offer. Before we go on to sum up, let’s have a look at what you need to consider when buying one of these.
How It Works
One of the problems with glue is that – and it is a paradox – it is sticky, and it gets everywhere: on your fingers, on your clothes, on your furniture, in fact everywhere but the place it is meant to go! This is why finding the ideal application for glue has been the subject of intense research and development for decades. You probably applied glue on your Airfix kits using a small bottle, which always went all over the place. Or, you might have used glue in a pot at school or home, and applied it with a wooden lolly stick, an equally messy method.
In industrial usage – think packaging, for example – it is inefficient to use the traditional methods of application, so a new way of putting glue exactly where it is meant to be, with as little waste as possible, is needed. Enter the glue gun, one of the most welcome inventions of all for those who don’t want sticky fingers, and who need an accurate and waste-free application of the adhesive.
Glue guns usually use a solid stick of glue, which is heated and becomes soft and sticky liquid. It is applied using a gun-shaped device that allows for accurate dispensing, and hence is low-waste and highly efficient. They are not expensive and are used widely in factories where hand-finishing of products is necessary, as well as in the home by a wide variety of hobbyists and for DIY projects.
In fact, these things are so affordable it is worth buying one just to have in a cupboard at home, as you never known when you might need to glue something back together! So, now that we have all that sorted, let’s have a look at glue guns, and check out the top ten models on the market right not.
Important Factors to Consider
Glue guns are pretty straightforward devices, so you might think there’s not much to consider. However, there are some factors that come into play when buying one of these, so here’s out round up of the important factors to look for.
Power – you need a gun with power that is adequate to heat the solid glue quickly, so look for one with at least 20W and preferably more.
Quality – as with any tool, no matter how affordable, you need one that is going to last a long time, so check our reviews for comments on the quality of the device in question, and look for name brands.
Size – there are different sizes of glue sticks on the market, but we strongly recommend you look for a machine that uses the standard size which is the most readily available.
Power Source – to be fair, only one of these is not mains powered, and we reckon it’s probably the best of the lot. However, it’s also the most expensive, so if you don’t mind a cable and don’t want to pay more, look for a mains model.
Package – does it come with glue sticks? Some do, some don’t, so you might save money by choosing a package that includes a sensible number of sticks.
That’s about it – all the things you need to think about when buying a glue gun – so all that remains now is for us to wrap things up!
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Let’s Wrap It Up!
This has been one of the most uniform reviews of all, since the basic concept of a glue gun is always going to be the same, but there is one that breaks the mould: the Bosch cordless model is an excellent device, well designed and superbly easy to use, and takes the glue gun to another level. If, however, you’re happy with a cable, go for one of the models that comes with a pack of glue sticks, perhaps number one where you get 60 for an excellent price.
We hope this review has helped you to decide which of the ten glue guns is for you, so have another look, choose carefully, and invest a few pounds in a device that you will find very useful to have around the home.