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High temp glue sticks to high temp glue guns and low temp glue sticks to low temp glue guns, these designations are crystal clear. But, it’s also fair to ask if maybe you can switch things up a little sometimes, right?
Maybe. We choose what we utilize when it comes to glue guns and glue sticks based on certain applications but it’s understandable that sometimes they may be some confusion. So, is it possible or recommended to use high temp glue sticks in a low temp glue gun?
Let’s have a little bit of discussion.
High temp versus low temp glue guns
All right, let’s start our high temp glue gun vs low temp glue gun comparison by defining exactly what they are and what they are used. Obviously, your choice would then depend on the materials that you are going to be working on.
High temp glue gun
In a nutshell, high temp glue guns are ideal to utilize with materials that need a strong bond and instantaneous grab. Another advantage when utilizing hot temp glue guns is that it just gives you so much range in terms of the material that you can work on.
This includes plastics, polypropylene, ABS, acrylic, metals, wood, certain fabrics, floral, rocks, and even pottery or clay. These are materials mostly for industrial applications and would require or can handle a lot of heat.
These high temp glue guns will operate in 375 to 450 degrees F. A high temp glue gun is also quite versatile in the sense that it can work with many types of glue sticks and they have super strong adhesion for efficient work.
Some of the best industrial hot glue guns in the market today are the AdTech Pro 80® Full Size and 3M Polygun II Pneumatic Glue Gun.
Low temp glue gun
Right off the bat, we can tell you that if you’re working on delicate fabrics or materials then a low temp glue gun should be your weapon of choice. A rule of thumb to remember is to use a low temp glue gun if the material you are working on will distort or melt when it comes in contact with too much heat.
So, how low is low temperature for glue guns? Good question. If high temp glue guns work at 380 degrees F then low temp glue guns work at right around 250 degrees F. That means, that the glue stick that you should be working on will be melting into its liquid form around that temperature.
Around great rule to remember when to decide to use low temp glue guns is when you’re working on thin materials and that high temp glue can seep through it and burn you.
Also, did you know that there is such a thing as ultra-low glue guns? Yep, these glue guns are for the elderly or kids. Especially to be utilized on home and school projects. They operate at a low 75 degrees so they should be safe and won’t burn one’s skin at all.
All right, materials such as foam, thin films, fabric, plastics, some cardboards, or card stocks are only a few of the materials that you may work on using low temp glue guns. They are generally known to be safer and have a faster set time.
Did you know that there are variable temperature glue guns and glue sticks? Yep, there are glue guns that you get to decide which temperature to use. And also, there are glue sticks that will melt no matter the temperature the glue gun is operating in.
I hope we’ve shed some light on the old hot glue gun vs cold glue gun debate. Now, let’s discuss a few more important aspects of this topic.
Should you mix it up?
You probably already know the answer to our topic question. Should you mix things up when it comes to your glue guns and glue sticks? Well, no. And, why would you?
You’ll only endanger yourself from the mess it would result into and most of all, you’ll mess up your project. So, let’s stick to the right settings and if you want to, just get an all-temperature glue stick or adjustable glue gun as mentioned above.
What are the advantages of glue sticks over other adhesives?
- They have longer shelf life compared to most adhesives.
- They have very few environmental restrictions when it comes to disposal.
- They leave minimal waste.
- Does not have any volatile compounds.
- Quick dry and cure.
- Very consistent, it won’t lose any of its thickness in the curing process.
- Simple application as well as very affordable.
- You may add-in some color additives so the glue will match the color of the material or projects that you are working on.
How to use glue guns
Here are some tips to remember when using a glue gun. No matter the temperature, you must sill always observe safety precautions.
- Always read the instructions as well as warnings of the manufacturer of your glue gun or glue stick.
- Inspect the glue gun and make sure its parts are all in good condition.
- Make sure that whenever you are working with a glue gun that it should be out of reach or won’t come in contact with kids or pets.
- Make sure to clear your workplace of any flammable material.
- If you can, ensure that you have ice water near you in case of any burning.
- Wear appropriate protective clothing or garment.
Needless to say, for your project to be successfully executed, you need to utilize the right glue gun and stick for the job. It’s also for your own safety and so that your materials won’t get messed up leading to more loss in time or resources.
Always practice safety precautions when operating a glue gun and be mindful of your workplace too. Observe best practices and most of all, buy only trusted products from trusted brands. Enjoy your projects!