How to use a glue gun

How to use a glue gun

There comes a time when you require a device to help you glue items together. For this purpose, the best hot glue gun comes in handy. It is designed like a gun, and it makes use of power (either direct electricity or can be battery powered) to heat and dispense glue.

Glue sticks are attached at the end of the gun. Once plugged in, it takes a couple of minutes to heat the glue. The heated adhesive remains in the heater within the gun and glue oozes out of a nozzle when you pull a trigger. Some guns have a controller to let you regulate the amount of glue leaking out of the gun. There are guns which give you the option to attach a variety of nozzles for different uses and applications.

When working on DIY projects, art and craft projects, the best hot glue gun comes in handy. It is a versatile device which can be used in nearly all tasks which require glue to be used in the home, office or factory.

The glue can hold together a variety of items such as beads, paper, cards, fabric, metal, plastics, ceramics and more. For home maintenance, it is ideal for sealing cracks and enclosures and for minor home repairs like fixing drawers, loose hinges and more.

Best Hot Glue Guns 2018

We would like to review the following list of products for you to make a decision on which glue gun is best suited for you. We have a list of glue guns available on the market, suited for heavy duty use and home use.

Model Power Source Working power
RAGNAROS Corded-Electric 60W Check Price
Blusmart Corded-Electric 100W Check Price
Ccbetter Corded-Electric 20W Check Price
Surebonder PRO2-100 Corded-Electric 100W Check Price
Black and Decker BDCGG20B Battery-Powered 125W Check Price
Surebonder PRO8000A Corded-Electric 180W Check Price
Surebonder PRO2-220 Corded-Electric 220W Check Price
Surebonder Pro2-60KIT Battery-Powered 60W Check Price

1. Ragnaros 60 Watt – Best Glue Gun for Arts and Crafts

How to use a glue gun

The Ragnaros 60 watt is a hot glue gun ideal for arts and crafts, all your DIY projects and minor home repairs. It is a multipurpose device which can be used in your workshop and home; ideal for card making, DIY projects, holiday decorations, jewelry repair, minor toy repairs and minor household repairs. With its long 59-inch cable, you can make repairs around your home and workshop conveniently.

It has a high-quality copper nozzle. It is sturdy and hardy and can withstand wear and tear. You can expect the Ragnaros 60 watt glue gun to last for years to come. It is convenient; all you need to do is put the glue stick at the end of the gun, plug it in an electrical socket, wait 3-5 minutes, and it is ready for use.

It’s on and off switch makes it easy to start and can be used by just about anyone. With its temperature control feature, it controls and maintains heat at set temperatures. It maintains a high temperature for an extended period, making it easy and efficient to use.

You need not worry about overheating as it has an anti-heating cover which is thermally insulated. It has a LED indicator, and with its internal safety fuse, you can be sure that power is regulated and the gun can handle power surges, keeping you safe.

Upon purchase, you receive 30 gun sticks. With its strong adhesive qualities, the glue also protects your items and makes it easy to clean. It also comes with a manual with a set of instructions for easy use.

When in use, the nozzle and glue can get quite hot. It’s important to avoid touching both to avoid getting hurt. After working, some glue may ooze out which is normal, so place the nozzle on a heat resistant surface which won’t be damaged by the glue. Also note that when using the gun for the first time, it might smoke slightly which is normal and the gun will stop smoking after 10 minutes. Only replace glue sticks when it runs out entirely.

A glue gun is a tool that can be used to apply hot, fast-drying adhesives to various materials. Glue guns are most often used in crafting projects and for fixing household items like broken dishes or torn picture frames. They use an electric heating element to heat up the adhesive until it melts and becomes liquid. This article will provide you with information on how to use a glue gun safely, as well as what precautions you should take when working with one. Let’s get started!

1. Prepare the glue gun

It’s important to make sure your glue gun is in good condition and free from any damage before you start working with it. Check the cord for any fraying or rips, as well as make sure that there isn’t still old glue residue inside of the nozzle when using a previously used device.

2. Load a hot glue stick into the glue gun

Insert the hot glue stick into the heating chamber at an angle and then press it down until secure. Make sure to use the right size hot glue sticks according to package directions.

How to use a glue gun

3. Turn on the glue gun and wait for it to heat up

There are two basic types of glue guns – one with an adjustable temperature and one without.

  • An adjustable temperature means that you can adjust the heat level on your own, which will help if there are different materials being glued together
  • A non-adjustable temperature means that the heat level cannot be changed, so this type might be better if you’re only gluing two similar materials together like paper or plastic.

Glue guns heat up quickly – usually about six minutes until they’re ready to use again.

How to use a glue gun

4. Test the glue gun

Test the glue on a scrap piece of paper to see if it is hot enough. It’s ready to use when the glue is liquid and visible.

  • When using an adjustable temperature glue gun, you’ll need to adjust the heat level according to what materials are being used – if two similar items like paper or plastic are going into contact with each other, use a low heat setting because overheating can damage certain types of materials.
  • When using a non-adjustable temperature glue gun, you can use a wet cloth to cover the nozzle to lower the heat.

How to use a glue gun

5. Apply the glue with a slow and steady hand

Use one hand to hold the object and use your other hand to apply the adhesive – make sure not to touch anything else with this hand as it will likely be too sticky!

It is important to use slow-motion movements in order to avoid tearing anything up – small pieces should go first as they are easier to use.

If there are any mistakes that need fixing after using a glue gun, use an adhesive remover and allow soaked up excess hot glue to cool down for about two minutes before removing it from surfaces. It should come off easily when cooled enough and without leaving residue behind on anything else in its path.

6. Glue two pieces together

Glue two pieces together by pressing them against each other and pulling back slowly as if you are peeling off a sticker from something else (the slower you pull apart, the less likely that they will come unstuck).

If it doesn’t seem to be drying fast enough, hold it in your hand for about five seconds before releasing pressure on whatever you’re gluing together. Letting go too soon is one of the most common mistakes people make when using this tool!

7. Allow your project to dry before handling or using again

You should let hot glued items cool before handling them so they don’t come undone easily.

Clean spills immediately by wiping gently in one direction only until all residue are gone (otherwise the stain might be permanent!)

8. The best way to store your glue gun when not in use

To avoid overheating or overusing, always turn off your device as soon as you finish using it by unplugging from the power supply – never leave a heated nozzle unattended and near anything flammable like vehicle seats because they could ignite while waiting for cool-down time to end.

Wipe the exterior of your glue gun down with an alcohol-soaked cloth and use adhesive remover to remove any leftover residue on the nozzle – this will help get it ready for next use!

Wait for it cools (usually takes 5-10 minutes) before storing it away.

FAQs about how to use a glue gun

How long does it take glue gun glue to dry?

It takes about 20 minutes. The length of time it will take for glue to dry will depend on the type of glue you are using and how much resin or plasticizer has been added. Therefore, drying times can range from a few seconds to 4 hours or more.

What will hot glue not stick to?

Hot glue is best for fixing and constructing things, but it won’t stick on a really smooth surface, such as glass or metal. Unlike superglue which deters from surfaces that are wet or oily as they are water-based, hot glue loves to cling onto oilier substances because of its own natural oils.
The hot glue requires a rough surface with plenty of microscopic endings for the glue to cling onto and mix with. Common materials that are glued include wood, paper, faux marble, and even fabric.

Is hot glue permanent?

Yes, but it dries out with time. Hot glue is a great adhesive because it acts as both a bond and sealant in one step – the glue hardens into a durable acrylic polymer, which means that it’s not only very strong but also moisture resistant. However, it can lose its strength over time if exposed to too much humidity or heat.

What should I look for when buying a glue gun?

When choosing a glue gun, it’s important to buy one that has easy-to-use safety features. If your interest is primarily for crafts and scrapbooking then you may not care about all the features, but if your intention is to use them for automotive purposes or specialized hobby jobs then it’s best to purchase one with adjustable temperature settings and some prevention against overheating. Additional features include an automatic shutoff after thirty minutes of inactivity and an adjustable trigger release tension dial system. Battery-operated designs are available for those who don’t need their time hogged by a cord while they work on their projects.

How to use Glue Gun: Whether you intend to do glue on timber, metal,wood or plastic, a glue gun can be of great use. Below, you will get to know on How to use Glue Gun on your day to day work:

How to use a glue gun

4 Simple Steps on How to use Glue Gun.

Step 1 : Prepare Your Working Area

Always work in a well-lit area free from any obstructions and clutter so that you can see what it is you are doing and won’t be constantly tripping over or working about objects in the way.

Working in a well-Ventilated area is also very important. Under normal operating conditions both cool and hot melt adhesive should not be harmful, but should overheated then toxic vapours can be published.

Also, ensure that Your work surface is level and flat. The service stands that include off the shelf glue guns aren’t that great and can easily topple over if not resting on a flat surface, and you definitely don’t want that happening when it’s turned on as well as temperature.

Step 2:Insert the Glue Stick and Set the Temperature

Now the glue gun is ready, you are ready to add the glue stick. Based on your project, you may need either multipurpose, wood or coloured adhesive. Also, glue guns have different temperature settings. Check if you’ve got the right type of glue stick by speaking to the adhesive stick packaging. And be certain that you never pull a half-used glue stick from the glue gun when it’s still warm, since this may spill hot glue onto your skin or surfaces.

How to use a glue gun

Before you turn it on, first check that there is a glue stick inserted and ready to use. Coloured glue sticks require a lower temperature (105 degrees Celsius) than neutral glue, because then the glue will stay nice and bright

In the case for the gun we are using in this example, the manufacturer states to leave the gun for 5 minutes, but as mentioned, refer to your manufacturer user manual for specific times.

Glue gun plugged in and heating up to temperature. The nozzle will be very hot, so be careful not to lean it against any material or touch it without heat-resistant gloves.

Step 3: Start Glue Application with Glue Gun.

With everything now prepared it is time to apply some glue. Before applying the adhesive directly to any surfaces, it is a good idea to do a test first.

Together with the nozzle pointing downwards, gradually apply pressure to the activate and examine the hot glue onto a piece of scrap cloth, such as cardboard, to see whether it is ready to use. You’ll know when the paste is ready as it turns into liquid and is discharged once you pull the trigger.

Now that you are ready to utilize the Gun, shield any surfaces using a covering such as a cutting mat or, for smaller jobs, a glue pad. Additionally, use the stand of your glue gun to rest it on when you are not working with it. Never put the adhesive gun onto its side since the adhesive could trickle, or the nozzle could create a burn mark.

Whether You’re gluing glass, metal, Plastic, wood or leather, it’s important to have a sterile and grease-free surface as greasy, smooth surfaces don’t bond together.

Step 4: Remove Glue from Your Glue Gun & Allow to Dry

Concerning drying time, you could be asking yourself; How much time does it take hot glue to dry? In answer, allow at least 5 minutes prior to moving anything to guarantee the glue has time to set.

Most glues should have put enough to allow you to move the thing you’re working on, however if it is possible, allow 12 hours for the adhesive to really harden off.

When you’ve finished gluing, always unplug the adhesive gun before cleaning it. To prevent the paste on the nozzle from setting, wipe the glue off immediately with a dry cloth. The nozzle will continue to be warm, so be cautious — always wear heat-resistant gloves. If any extra glue has set in your material and overlaps, you can trim it using a pair of scissors. For strings of glue, briefly heat the glue up with a hair dryer to melt it, and then wipe it away with a cloth.

Whether you’re hoping to carry out involved crafts or minor home repairs, get tips on how to effectively and safely use a glue gun.

How to use a glue gun

A glue gun is a household tool that is both easy to use and extremely versatile. A crafter’s best friend, it can be put to work on a surprising number of projects, from elaborate art endeavors to minor repairs. However, this device can be dangerous and messy if not handled properly due to its internal heat source. These simple tips for how to use a glue gun will help make your project a safe and simple one.

  • Hot glue gun
  • Drip mat
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Aluminum foil


Before starting your project, be sure to read the instruction manual for your particular device, as features can vary among glue guns. To set up a work space, clear clutter and protect your surface with a silicone mat, aluminum foil, or other disposable or cleanable drip covering.

How to use a glue gun

STEP 1: Make sure the glue gun nozzle is free of old glue residue.

It’s not uncommon for excess glue to remain on the nozzle from previous use, so users will want to make sure to remove residue before a new project. Aluminum foil is effective as an abrasive cleaner and will work when your device is hot or cool, but will be more effective when it’s warm. To do this, wrap your gun in the foil and then heat it up either by using a blow dryer or by turning it on for a couple of minutes. Make sure to unplug it and put on protective gloves before rubbing the warmed glue off with the foil.

Wiping the nozzle with acetone should also do the trick. To do this, simply pour a bit of the liquid onto a paper towel and rub off the build-up on your cooled-down device. Use a needle or pin to clean out the hole.

STEP 2: Load the glue gun with a hot glue stick.

Before plugging in your glue gun, you’ll want to insert a glue stick. Make sure you have purchased the correct size stick for your device, as width and length will vary depending on your model. Your gun will have a chamber where the stick can be loaded. Insert the glue and then push it towards the tip. Holding down the trigger will cause the stick to move further towards the heat source. Once your glue stick has worn down, insert a new one behind it to continually push the old one forward.

How to use a glue gun

STEP 3: Plug in the glue gun and allow it to warm up.

After inserting the glue, it’s time to plug in your gun. You’ll want to let your device’s internal heating element fully warm up before beginning your project. This should take about two to four minutes for smaller glue guns and five to eight minutes for larger models. Take caution during use, as the tip can be extremely hot, especially on high-temp models. Refrain from putting your gun directly down on your surface and make sure to use the device’s stand, which may come attached or separate.

How to use a glue gun

STEP 4: Begin working.

To start your project, simply hold the gun close to the item and pull the trigger. Having it too far away will produce excess stringy pieces. To further avoid a mess, make sure to use the smallest amount of glue necessary. Once your adhesive is dispensed, lay off the trigger and pull the tip sideways to cut off the flow. Make sure to let it dry fully before moving on, which should take less than 30 seconds.

STEP 5: Allow the glue gun to cool, and store it safely.

Once you have finished your project, turn off and unplug your glue gun. Make sure it is left to cool upright on its stand to avoid messes and safety hazards. The time it takes to cool will vary depending on your device. After it has cooled a bit but is still warm, you can use safety gloves and aluminum foil to wipe off excess glue.

Never try to remove your part-melted glue stick, as it will damage the device. You can extrude melted glue out the nozzle, but leave the remaining intact glue stick in place for its next use. Make sure your glue gun is fully cooled before storing it away in a spot that is out of reach of children.


The function of your glue gun will vary slightly depending on your model. Low-temp options will work best with delicate materials such as lace and fabrics, and higher temp versions will suit work with wood, metal, and plastics. Cordless versions will need to be charged before use. However, these tried-and-true tips on how to use a glue gun will be effective for any model. Always remember to take caution while handling your glue gun, use as little glue as needed, and unplug your device once your project is complete or before leaving the room.

Whether you’re gluing wood together or being creative, a glue gun has many uses for small repairs, home improvements or creative projects. You can even create jewellery out of glue! Learn how to use a glue gun with this simple tutorial. We’ve broken down each stage to make the process as easy as possible for you. Enjoy!

Prepare your glue gun

Before you use your glue gun, always check that it is free from damage such as cracks or chips. Check the electrical cord for fraying or rips. If the glue gun has been used before, make sure the device is unplugged and clear the nozzle of any old glue residue. (Always clean your glue gun right after using it; see tip 10.) This will provide a clear pathway for the newly melted glue. You can do this with a dry cloth (never use water on a glue gun).

Choose the right glue stick

Now that the glue gun is prepared, you’re ready to insert the glue stick. Depending on your project, you will need either multi-purpose, coloured or wood glue. See our Comparative Fact Sheet to compare them. Also, glue guns have different temperature settings (see next tip). Check if you have the right type of glue stick by referring to the glue stick packaging or the product page on And make sure to never pull out a half-used glue stick from the glue gun when it’s still hot, as this can spill hot glue onto your skin or surfaces.

Set your glue gun at the right temperature

Coloured glue sticks require a lower temperature (105 degrees Celsius) than neutral glue, because then the glue will stay nice and bright. When working with coloured glue, it’s best to use the Dremel Glue Gun 930, which has two temperature settings. To find out the right temperature setting for your type of glue stick, it’s best to refer to the packaging of the glue sticks or see our Comparative Fact Sheet . It takes about five minutes for your glue to fully warm up. The nozzle will be very hot, so be careful not to lean it against any material or touch it without heat-resistant gloves.

Test the glue gun

Now for the exciting bit! With the nozzle pointing downwards, gradually apply pressure to the trigger and test the hot glue on a piece of scrap material, such as cardboard, to see if it’s ready to use. You'll know when the glue is ready when it turns to liquid and is released when you pull the trigger. Now try practicing with the glue gun until you feel confident – remember to pull the trigger gently to control the flow of glue. A little bit of glue goes a long way! Always keep the nozzle at a safe distance from any material as it is very hot and could leave burn marks on your material.

Protect your work surface

Now that you are ready to use the glue gun, protect any surfaces with a covering such as a cutting mat or, for smaller projects, a glue pad. That way you are protected from any spills and – with the Glue Pad – the glue simply wipes off the silicone surface. Also, use the stand of your glue gun to rest it on when you are not working with it. Never put the glue gun on its side as the glue could drip, or the nozzle could create a burn mark.

How to glue glass, plastic, metal, leather, wood and other materials

Whether you are gluing glass, metal, plastic, leather or wood, it’s important to have a dry and grease-free surface as oily, smooth surfaces don’t bond together as easily. If you’re working with glass, rub it with alcohol or glass cleaner. Otherwise, use water and soap. Or if you’re working with wood, lightly sand the area to be glued, and clean it. Then, apply the glue and press the surfaces together until the glue sets hard. For larger materials, this may require a clamp, for smaller ones a rubber band should be sufficient. Leave for 24 hours to allow the glue to harden properly.

How to use a glue gun

Have you ever wondered about all the things you can do with a hot glue gun?

You may have noticed a lot of my beginner projects use a glue gun, maybe you’ve never used a glue gun or don’t really know what a glue gun is! You might feel they are for bulky wood or paper DIY projects and can’t possibly be used for soft, delicate photo props using fabrics or wool! By the end of this blog, you will realise how amazing these hot tools can be!

This article tells you all about what a glue gun is and what they do, the best glue gun to buy, why I love using a glue gun and then I’ve put together some mini projects which will help you practise using a glue gun for precise and detailed work. I will then show you a series of tips to help you use a glue gun successfully to achieve a professional result!

How to use a glue gun

In essence, a glue gun is an electrical device that uses a heating element to heat up and melt specially made solid hot glue sticks.

If you want it a bit more technical!!… The gun uses a continuous-duty heating element to melt the plastic glue, which you push through the gun either with a mechanical trigger mechanism on the gun, or with direct finger pressure. … The glue is tacky when hot, and solidifies in a few seconds to one minute.

Plug them into the wall or buy a cordless chargable glue gun. Some have on/off switches, which are really handy, so look out for this feature!

…use a glue gun?

For arts and crafts and quick, easy patch-ups, nothing beats a hot glue gun. Unlike other adhesives, hot glue goes on smoothly, dries fast and holds firm when applied to all sorts of different surfaces. While its hold is not the strongest, it can be used to bond a greater diversity of materials than almost any other glue. Using a hot glue gun is a breeze as long as you follow a few basic steps and keep safety guidelines in mind.

I love a glue gun because it creates a strong bond between 2 elements quickly and easily. You don’t have to wait for it to dry or stand there holding your 2 bits together for ages. It glues anything… yarn, fabric, jute, wool, buttons, beads, ribbon, lace and more!

It’s better for larger variety of surfaces, goes on cleaner and won’t cause paper to wrinkle and colors to bleed the way some craft glues do. A small dab of hot glue will help your DIY creations hold up longer.

…to use a glue gun?

Wait for the glue to heat up. Give the glue gun a couple minutes to soften the glue. Once it’s been sufficiently melted, the glue will ooze out when you pull the trigger. For most glue guns, the heating process will take around two minutes. Larger and industrial-grade glue guns may require up to five minutes to heat the glue enough to make it easily dispensable.

  • Some glue guns will have on/off switches, while others won’t. If your model does, it will need to be placed in the “on” position before it will begin heating up the glue. Otherwise, it will start warming as soon as it is plugged in.
  • Rest the glue gun on the wire support stand at its base when it’s not in use. Never lay an active glue gun on its side.
Lightly squeeze the trigger to release the melted glue.

Aim the nozzle of the glue gun downwards and place it close the item you’ll be gluing. Gently squeeze the trigger of the gun until melted glue begins to emerge from the nozzle. Glue directly onto the item’s surface, leaving the nozzle in contact. Apply the glue smoothly in dots, swirls or straight lines.

  • Place a piece of scrap cardboard or foil beneath the object you’re gluing to catch stray strands of glue.
  • Try gluing a few pieces of throwaway material to get a feel for your glue gun before using it for projects that require precision.
  • If possible, wear a pair of gloves while working with hot glue to protect your hands from the heat and mess.
Only use as much glue as you need.

Start with a modest amount of glue and then determine whether you need more. A little glue goes a long way. The melted glue will flow fairly quickly once the trigger is pulled, and it can be easy to use too much if you’re not careful. Avoid saturating the item you’re gluing or applying the glue in messy globs. Glue can set up rather quickly, so only use as much as you need as you go.

Because of its thick, gel-like consistency, hot glue works better for sticking thin, easily damaged surfaces together than more liquid adhesives like paste and even superglue. Watery glues can be difficult to apply, require longer to take effect and have a higher chance of damaging sensitive materials than hot glue. Hot glue is also versatile, and will often hold together temperamental objects that don’t take well to other types of adhesives.


In order to get the best out of your glue gun for making photo props, there are a few tips you can try, watch this video below and have a go!

How to use a glue gun

Best Practices for Using Hot Glue Sticks with Fabric

We are often asked, “Can glue guns be used on fabric?” The simple answer is yes but you will need to know a few things first about the type of glue gun and glue stick you are using. Once you find the right glue gun and glue stick, hot melt is excellent at bonding fabric and other porous materials.

Glue Guns and Fabric

There are three major types of hot glue guns, standard temperature (also called high temp), low temperature, and adjustable temperature. When bonding fabric or other sensitive materials, low temperature or adjustable temperature glue guns are highly recommended. Standard temperature glue guns dispense at around 380 Degrees Fahrenheit while low-temperature glue guns have a working temperature around 260 Degrees Fahrenheit. That 120-degree difference can be the difference between the perfect bond to fabric or burning right through your material. Now that you know which type of glue gun to use, it’s time to match up the right glue stick

Glue Sticks and Fabric

We know that low-temperature glue guns can help from burning a hole in fabric and sensitive material, but now we need to make sure we are using the correct glue stick. Low-temperature glue guns must be used with low-temperature glue sticks. These types of glue sticks are specifically formulated for melting at lower temperatures making them fabric safe. There are even all-temperature glue sticks that can be used in both high and low-temperature glue guns. We think these are great for adjustable temperature glue guns so you don’t have to own two separate glue guns.

Spray Hot Melt for Fabric Applications

Hot melt is traditionally dispensed in bead form, which works well for some fabric applications but spray dispensing offers many unique benefits. Spray hot melt is great for fabric that is heat-sensitive because it disperses the hot melt over a wider surface area. You can also change the width of the spray application to spray in a narrow or wide pattern depending on your application needs. A great glue gun for spray applications is the Surebonder Spray 500. It comes with two nozzles that are interchangeable, for both bead and spray dispensing. You can also purchase a replacement nozzle, so you’re never unable to use your glue gun because of a misplaced nozzle.

The SprayMelt 70 APAO Hot Melt is a staple for spray applications and fabric. The low viscosity formula and long open time make it ideal for a variety of applications, including fabric. It works well with the Surebonder 500 in both spray and bead applications. The SprayMelt 90 Acrylic Hot Melt is another great option for fabric and it is a high-performance formula optimized for difficult to bond substrates.

Additional Tips when Working with Fabric

You must always be careful when using hot glue and fabric. Here are some additional tips to help make your project a success.

  • Try gluing a test piece of fabric before jumping into your project.
  • Be careful not to touch the glue gun nozzle to your material as this is often hotter than the glue and can cause burns.
  • If you are bonding fabric to a sturdier, more temperature resistant material, apply the hot melt to the other substrate first and then let it cool slightly before applying your fabric. Don’t wait too long though, the hot melt may set, and then you will not get a strong bond.

Additional Recommended Products

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about what hot melt will work best for your fabric application, contact us. A member of our team will be able to assist you in choosing the right system for your application.

How to use a glue gun

Everything You Need to Know About Using a Hot Glue Gun Safely

When using a hot glue gun during your next craft project or home improvement task, make sure you and your children stay safe with these glue gun safety tips. There are different safety measures to be taken depending on what kind of glue gun you will be using, but the goal is always to prevent electric shock, skin burns and eye injuries.

Before you begin

The first and most important step to safely using your glue gun is to read the instructions and warnings provided by your glue gun’s manufacturer in or on the original packaging.

A careful inspection of the glue gun should be your next step. Before plugging it in, check to make sure the gun isn’t broken, or too worn. Look for frayed electrical cord or any cracks in the gun or nozzle. If you find these signs of excessive wear, do not use the glue gun. Plug the gun in and check to see if the on/off button (if your gun has one) is working correctly.

Remember that glue guns called “warm” or “low melt” guns can still be dangerous and result in burns or electrical shocks.

Carefully choose the kind of gun you need for your project – if you don’t need a high heat gun, opt for one of the “warm” or “low melt” options to reduce (but not eliminate) your chances of injury.

Prepping your workspace

Keep in mind the people (or pets!) who may be coming in contact with your workspace while you’re working. Make sure your glue gun is placed a safe distance from the reach of children, animals or the inadvertent reach of other adults. Be sure that you don’t use an extension cord with your glue gun and that you don’t leave the power cord hanging where it could be snagged or pulled by children or passers-by. Choose a work area near a power outlet so that you don’t need an extension cord. It’s also important to choose a workspace that’s indoors (never outdoors) and far from sinks, faucets or any kind of water source.

All surfaces in your workspace should be made of, or covered with, non-flammable material. A good option for this is ceramic tile. Place a square of tile, or aluminum foil in the place where you will set down your glue gun when not using, to catch any unintentional drips.

Clear away any loose papers or other materials that could catch fire.

Place a bowl of ice water near your workspace – but NOT near your glue gun – while your working. If you accidentally get glue on your skin, dip the burned area in the cold water.


Some of the most common injuries people experience with glue guns are skin burns, electrical shock and eye injuries. Wearing protection can help eliminate these injuries. Wear safety goggles/glasses to protect against eye injuries. Wear a surgical or dust mask over your nose and mouth if you’re using a type of glue (usually industrial) that gives off fumes. Gloves can be worn to protect against burns, but make sure you use the right kind of gloves. Rubber or plastic gloves can melt, which can potentially lead to an even more serious injury if hot glue comes in contact with them. Leather and canvas are better options. Long sleeve shirts, closed-toe shoes and long pants if you’re sitting down working. Finally, tie back any long hair while working with hot glue guns.

While you’re working

Most importantly, do not touch the hot nozzle or hot glue when working with your glue gun.

Never point the gun in the direction of another person.

Do not leave your glue gun plugged in and unattended – this can be a fire hazard and be dangerous for pets, children or other people who may come in contact with the hot appliance.

When not using the gun, make sure to set it down upright on its metal rack, instead of lying on its side.

If you’re using a dual-temp glue gun, you can change the temperature of the glue depending on what materials you’re using. If you need a stronger bond with materials like ceramics, leather, metal or wood, use a higher heat, but if you’re using more fragile materials like paper, flimsy fabric or lace, leave it on a lower heat setting.

Only use glue sticks that are recommended for your particular glue gun.

Keep your glue gun out of direct sunlight or any moist conditions to reduce the risk of electrical shock or fire.

Don’t pull glue sticks out from the glue gun once the gun is plugged in and glue has begun to melt. Always keep feeding glue through the gun before inserting a new stick in behind it.

Children and glue guns

Keep glue guns out of the reach of children and read safety precautions provided by the glue gun manufacturer. Some low temperature guns are suitable for older children, but only with adult supervision.

When you’re finished

Always unplug the gun when you’re finished with your project or when you need to change the nozzle on your glue gun. With most glue guns, the gun is on and hot whenever it is plugged in, so never leave it plugged in and unattended.

In case of a burn

If you get hot glue on your skin, hold the burned area in ice water. If there is a serious burn, contact a medical professional immediately. Medical attention should also be sought if glue makes contact with eyes.