Are All Hot Glue Sticks The Same? [Types of Glue Sticks]

Glue guns are an inseparable part of the crafting world. And to run guns, you need to feed them with hot melt sticks. But are all hot glue sticks the same?

That’s a frequent inquiry I wish to answer here. There’s no mystery behind different sizes of glue sticks.

are all hot glue sticks the same

But if you are new in crafting, it’s easy to get puzzled over glue stick sizes. When I started personal home decoration projects, I had to look over many places to decide on the right glue sticks. Hopefully, you won’t have to do so. And this article is meant to help you with that.

What Is Hot Melt Glue?

Hot melt adhesive formulation uses thermoplastic with no solvents in it, which is turned into the fluid state using a hot glue gun. The glue comes out through mechanical trigger or finger presses of the glue gun. 

What Is Hot Melt Glue

Most glue gun sticks come in cylindrical shapes of varying diameters. The application of hot glue sticks is versatile; and cannot be limited to a single one or two areas. But the benefits justify their extensive uses.

Hot glue sticks are fast-adhesive and come with a long shelf-life. They are safe and eco-friendly. Other than fastening, they can help close the gaps between objects.

Types of Glue Sticks

The broad application of glue sticks makes segregation crucial. Depending on the application, you will require different types of hot glue sticks. That is why they are largely categorized based on their application rather than the size or composting materials.

Followings are the three common types of glue sticks, set by their application.

  1. Glue Sticks for Crafting
  2. Glue Sticks for Repairing
  3. Glue Sticks for Installation

Glue Sticks for Crafting

These are perfect for personal projects. You will find two kinds of glues for crafting. One is universal glue, which does the work of simple fastening. And the other one is colored glue, which is mostly used for decoration, and my favorite one for crafting.

Glue Sticks for Crafting

For crafting, you can use two different sizes of glue sticks based on the subtlety of your work.

  • 7mm Glue Sticks: These mini sticks come out of the gun in low flow that will allow you to work on delicate projects. For ultra-fine bonding, like merging miniature items or copying models, that will provide minute precision to your projects.
  • Oval Glue Sticks: These are low-temperature glue sticks that work fine on heat-sensitive things. For example, in glass painting or balloon decoration, you will need something less scalding. And these glue sticks are the best options in such cases. They can have as low a temperature as 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Glue Sticks for Repairing

These work great for small at-home repairing jobs. Like fixing ceramics or wall frames. These glue sticks prevalently come in 12mm size with short and long variance. Besides, you will get white, black and transparent, three colors of glues and a special one.

Glue Sticks for Repairing

The special adhesive helps bond materials that require powerful adhering components. Such as wood, cable, fabrics, etc.

Glue Sticks for Installation

These glue sticks are for high adhesive works. They also come in 12mm size and white and transparent in two standard forms. For firmer union, you will get a special variation of extra strong hot glue sticks under this category as well.

Glue Sticks for Installation

These glue sticks are perfect for substantial projects like installing, paneling, sealing, and so on. That calls for the use of glues in higher quantities. This is why they demand bulk purchases.

Sizes of Glue Sticks

Hot glue sticks come in multiple sizes to match with distinct gun size and temperature requirements. To avoid future confusion, it’s better to pick the right kind of glue sticks you need for your projects first. Based on that, select the glue gun later. Let’s look at some widely noticeable sizes found in the market.

Sizes of Glue Sticks
  • 12mm Glue Sticks: These 1/2 inches glue sticks are the most applied as well as the most available size in the industry. Due to their wide application and various formulations, you can say these are the best hot glue sticks currently running in the market.

To use 12mm glue sticks, make sure your glue gun’s temperature is compatible with the glue sticks’.

  • 15mm Glue Sticks: These glue sticks made large projects like installation work easy. They come in handy for major works where more glues are needed for bonding materials. Besides, the 5/8 inches size means you need to spend less time reloading the gun with glue sticks.
  • 43mm Glue Sticks: These glue sticks are for commercial use. Unless you are undertaking a heavy project, you will not require 1 and ¾ inches of glue sticks at home. Moreover, to use them, you will have to buy a 1 and ¾ inches glue gun.

Besides these three sizes, you will find some other glue sticks, like 3/4 inches glue sticks and 1×3 inches glue sticks. But they are rare and have limited use in terms of application and formulation.

What Glue Gun You Need for Your Glue Sticks?

Now, as you got the answer to your question, “are all hot glue sticks the same?“; you might have started thinking about the glue gun you should buy. Don’t work your brain too much on that.

Glue guns come in all sizes and forms. You will get battery-powered glue guns, as well as electric glue guns. But the things that call for more attention are the temperature and operating design. So let’s look at them here.

What Glue Gun You Need for Your Glue Sticks

Gun Temperature: How strong is hot glue gun? The melting temperature of glue guns determines that. But all adhesive jobs don’t require a high-temperature glue gun.

While working on subtle projects, you will need a glue gun that liquefies glue sticks using low temperatures. But for heavy-duty work, you will need high-temperature glue guns for creating strong bonds between materials.

Perhaps the best approach is to buy an adjustable temperature glue gun. That will let you attend to both types of works using a single glue gun.

Operating Design: Glue guns can be trigger-driven or finger press. But to me, a finger press glue gun seems more convenient than a mechanical one.

Uses of Hot Glue Sticks

Hot glue sticks have great appeal on account of their strong adhesive and fast solidifying formulas. That extends the boundary of hot glue uses from delicate to industrial projects.

It is not possible to list down, even categorically, the application of hot glue sticks. However, you can group them into the following sects based on their use in personal projects.

  • Decoration Jobs: Glass, wood, metal, ceramic, stone, pottery, etc.
  • Renovation Works: Change frame structure, repairing old stuff like that.
  • Aesthetic Crafts: Silk, dried flower, artificial pearl strings, etc.
  • Fabric Design: Costume design for a special occasion, or embellishing personal clothes with beads, stones, or pearls.
  • Shifting Work: Fixing panels, frames, and other mending works at the new home.
  • Electronic Appliance: Fixing broken cord, case, and hardware.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use glue sticks on watery substances?

No, glue sticks are not water-resistant. It requires special curing when used in materials exposed to water.

How long does it take hot glue to solidify?

It takes about 10 to 20 minutes for the glue to settle, depending on the substances.

What is the waiting period for a hot glue gun to warm up?

It takes about 5 minutes to melt glue sticks inside the gun.

Final Notes

We all love decorating our surroundings. For some, it’s a hobby; and for some, it’s a passion.

Glue gun sticks will let you decorate, mend and renovate all your personal stuff, from china pot to wood panel. When the variety in sizes and diameter may taunt you with the gnawing question, “Are all hot glue sticks the same?”

In reality, picking the right glue sticks is not that complex. First, make up your mind on the hot glue sticks you need for your projects. Then, buy the glue gun that fits with the temperature and size of glue sticks. That will make the job a lot easier.

Last Updated on April 20, 2021 by Timika Sandra

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