Service And Advice

Glue Gun Service

We are the adhesive experts!

What’s the difference between Hot Melt and Low Melt Glue Guns

It seems obvious, we know, but it’s a common question people are asking via Internet search engines. And it’s a question we are asked by customers when they are looking for a glue gun from our range.

THERE ARE TWO GLUE GUN OPTIONS

Hot Melt – for use with all Tecbond Glues, except Low Melt Glues

Low Melt – for use with Tecbond LM44 Low (Cool) Melt Adhesive and Multi-Temperature adhesives

These guns are often referred to as High Temp and Low Temp glue guns. They have fixed settings 195°C for high temp guns and 130°C for low temp. In some cases (for example the Tec 820-12 and Tec 820-15), these glue guns have adjustable temperatures, from low to high melt.

Low Melt Glue Guns
Low melt glue guns are safe and easy to use. They carry a reduced risk of burns due to a lower temperature and are commonly used for bonding heat sensitive materials, arts and crafts and schools. We have even seen a customer apply a low melt adhesive (Tecbond LM44/12) directly to an inflated balloon without the balloon popping! Down side: restricted glue formulations.

 

IFK

Hot melt adhesives can damage heat sensitive materials like polystyrene

Covering large areas of heat sensitive materials (like polystyrene) use a Tecbond spray grade applied via a Tec spray glue gun Watch our Tecbond spray adhesive video

Hot Melt Glue Guns 
High melt glue guns have a wider selection of adhesive formulations to choose from. Covering off the bonding of more challenging materials like polypropylene, plastics, ABS, acrylics and even metals. Try our Glue Selector

All of our glue guns are available in both hot melt and low melt versions. (except Gas-Tec 600)

There are Glue Sticks called Multi-Temperature Glue Sticks that work in either Hot or Low melt glue guns. Clear glue sticks, coloured glue sticks and glitter glue sticks are available with the range. These glue sticks are based on the Tecbond 240 glue formulation and offer a greater range of adhesion to substrates such as wood, ceramics, light gauge metals and many plastics, such as rigid PVC, polystyrene, ABS and acrylic.

All Glue Sticks_04

Choosing between Hot Melt and Low Melt glue guns

You should always choose your Tec glue gun according to the kind of glue being used, the dispensing rate you need and the nature of your project. Hot Melt glue guns cover the majority of Tecbond glue stick formulations, which offer a wider range of options for bonding. Low Melt glue sticks operate at a lower temperature and are therefore safer to use, as risk of burns are reduced. However, Low Melt glue sticks only come in a selected range and are usually used for bonding heat sensitive materials like polystyrene and foam.

You should never use Tecbond Low Melt glue sticks in a hot melt glue gun (or hot melt glue sticks in a low melt glue gun) unless specifically directed by a member of the GlueGunsDirect team.

Why select a low melt glue gun?

Low melt glue guns are safe and easy to use. Low melt glue guns reduced risk of burns due to the adhesive being applied at a lower temperature and are commonly used for bonding heat-sensitive materials like polystyrene which a hot melt adhesive would melt! Also used extensively in arts and crafts and schools. 

Downside: restricted glue formulations, fast setting properties, lack of materials that can be bonded and only available in 12mm glue sticks

I need to cover a large area of polystyrene?

Hot melt adhesives can damage heat-sensitive materials like bonding polystyrene to chipboard. Covering large areas of heat-sensitive materials (like polystyrene) use a Tecbond spray grade such as Tecbond 420 with a 3-minute open time or Tecbond 430 with a 6-minute open time applied via a Tec spray 6300 or 7300 glue gun. Although these adhesives are classed as hot melt when sprayed the adhesive temperature is greatly reduced protecting sensitive materials from damage. Watch our Tecbond spray adhesive video. Applications: Insulation, Foam Bonding, Packaging and Protective Packaging

Why use a hot melt glue guns 

You can use a wider selection of adhesive formulations with a hot melt glue gun. Bonding of more challenging materials like polypropylene, plastics, ABS, acrylics and even metals. More gluing options, more gluing power with Tecbond hot melt adhesives. Try our Glue Selector. Tecbond glue sticks and adhesives are made in Britain!

What are Multi-Temperature Glue Sticks?

These glue sticks work in either Hot or Low melt glue guns. Available in clear glue sticks, coloured glue sticks and glitter glue sticks are used mainly within crafts and schools, however, they do have better adhesion than low melt adhesives. If you have difficult to bond materials try using Tecbond 240 which can be used as a multi-temperature adhesive and offers a greater range of adhesion to substrates such as wood, ceramics, light gauge metals and many plastics, such as rigid PVC, polystyrene, ABS and acrylic.

Choosing between Hot Melt and Low Melt glue guns

You should always choose your Tec glue gun according to the kind of glue being used, the dispensing rate you need and the nature of your project. Hot Melt glue guns cover the majority of Tecbond glue stick formulations, which offer a wider range of options for bonding. Low Melt glue sticks operate at a lower temperature and are therefore safer to use, as the risk of burns is reduced. However, Low Melt glue sticks only come in a selected range and are usually used for bonding heat-sensitive materials like polystyrene and foam.

Can I use standard hot melt Tecbond glue sticks at temperatures above 195c?

No, standard hot melt glue sticks should be applied at the hot melt glue gun factory setting (195c). If applied at a high temperature the adhesive viscosity will lower making the adhesive flow difficult to control and also you run the risk of melt back if the tool is left on and not being used. If in doubt, or if you want to know more about Hot Melt, Low Melt products and applications, call our sales office 0161 627 1001

What’s melt back?

Glue Melt-Back occurs when the glue has been over-softened and is forced back along the barrel of the applicator by trigger pressure. If your glue gun is left on for more than 30 minutes without being used either turn the tool off or dispense a small amount of adhesive, this will help prevent melt-back. Melt-back can cause serious burns! Other issues can be the charring of the glue in the nozzle causing the nozzle to block or the tool to drip constantly.

Why buy from gluegunsdirect.com?

With over 40 years of gluing knowledge and experience we are challenged on a daily basis to find the answer to various adhesive problems and new applications. You will be amazed at what we have been asked to bond and the majority of the time we have surprised ourselves by providing the answer to some very difficult adhesive problems. Gluegunsdirect.com offer a comprehensive range of market-leading adhesives technologies, technical support and training, UK stock holding across three warehouses and delivery when the customer needs it. We are the complete adhesive package!

If ever in doubt, or if you want to know more about Hot Melt and Low Melt products, please call a member of our expert sales team for assistance on 0161 627 1001 or email sales@gluegunsdirect.com

Related pages:

Try our Glue Selector

Watch our 12mm glue gun range video

How to use a Tec glue gun video

What can we GLUE for you ?

Posted in: Glue Gun Service