Glue gun: which is the best tool to choose
Not so long ago, a new modern tool called a glue gun came to replace various adhesive solutions and mixtures: which one is better to choose for certain purposes, this article will tell you. The publication will familiarize you with its design, principle of operation, advantages and varieties. The device allows not only to reliably glue various surfaces, but also quite convenient in the process of use. This is what will be discussed further.
What is the glue gun for: features and scope of application
There is such a thing as a folk instrument. It is to this category that screwdrivers and omnipotent punchers that have long won the love of consumers belong. Recently, a hot-glue gun can be safely attributed to this list. It does not require special advertising and agitation, as it was evaluated by the users themselves and included the item in their tool arsenal. It is popular both among professional builders and housewives-needlewomen.
The price of the adhesive thermal gun is relatively low. In addition, it has a simple design and is very convenient to use. At the same time, it is not a primary necessity in household use. At the same time, it can be used to solve a large number of different tasks, and in some cases, the tool is simply irreplaceable.
A gun with glue will make it much easier to glue, while its use is not only several times more efficient, but also much more economical. Gluing with its help takes place literally in a matter of seconds, and with almost any surface. The professional scope of application of the glue gun is very wide: it is used by sellers in retail facilities, warehouse movers, builders for repair work, needlewomen and even children, inventing small masterpieces with their own hands.
Such a tool as a hot glue gun is really a necessary thing in many industries and an indispensable assistant in almost any home. At the same time, there are a number of indisputable factors that influence the correct choice of such a universal tool, because each of its subspecies has its own characteristics and properties. Therefore, it is necessary to understand in more detail for what purpose the glue gun is to be used.
What glues the glue gun: where it is used by professionals and amateurs
As mentioned above, the scope of application of the glue gun is very wide, it is able to glue a variety of parts and materials. In particular, with its help, builders connect engineering communications, seal seams, seal joints and glue components. Here, as a rule, a professional glue gun with special nozzles and a thermostat is used.
The tool has become almost indispensable for designers, florists and lovers of such a direction as “hand-made”. With its help, the production of various souvenirs, decorative elements and crafts has become much easier.
Useful advice! A postcard made using the polyurethane drawing technique with the help of an adhesive gun will be an excellent and original gift. Balls and beads made of colored or metallized drops look especially beautiful.
Radio amateurs, home craftsmen and designers also did not ignore such an engineering novelty, since the device allows you to melt even polyurethane. In this regard, the tool is of some decorative value, since artists can use it to create elegant frame structures in a grid or depict various subjects with a hot-glue gun. This technique is often used to create postcards, invitation cards and other festive attributes.
The main advantages of a hot glue gun
The connection created with the help of hot glue is very reliable and is not inferior in strength characteristics to mechanical fastening. It is possible to separate the glued parts only by heating. At the same time, there are practically no traces left on many surfaces after removing the adhesive composition, which is impossible in the case of drilling holes or hammering nails.
For example, the use of a pistol is indispensable in the process of paintless elimination of dents on the car body. The technology involves gluing a fungus (pistol) into a recess on the front surface of the stamped part, then a special device called a minilifter is clung to the pistol and the dent formed on the metal is pulled out. After that, the fungus is removed by heating the surface.
Thanks to the use of a hot gun, it is possible to fill voids perfectly, seal cracks and joints, and impregnate the surface. At the same time, the melt, in comparison with other sealants, even in large quantities perfectly and completely hardens to the full depth within a minimum period – a maximum of 15 minutes. Although a small amount of glue hardens in 3 minutes.
The glue from the thermal gun does not produce toxic substances, and regardless of the condition – cold or hot. The only danger is the possibility of burns and damage to materials that have an increased heat–sensitive surface. The seam on the glued surface perfectly resists the effects of humidity. Hot glue rods for a gun can be stored for a long time without losing their properties.
Thus, the tool is safe, easy to operate and quite ergonomic, so it can be used in children’s applied creativity.
What can be glued with a glue gun: interacting materials
With the help of a hot-glue gun, various parts and objects are glued almost instantly. This is possible due to the fact that after heating, the molten polymer freezes literally after 3 minutes. After hardening, the seam becomes as strong as possible, the need for prolonged hardening, as it happens with “liquid nails” or “Moment” glue, disappears.
Important! Speaking about the advantages of the glue gun, it should be noted that it is economical, since the price of hot glue, which is sold in the form of silicone rods, is relatively low. It costs about two to three times cheaper than a reliable liquid glue of the same volume. At the same time, it is possible to dose the adhesive mass as accurately as possible, and the minimum amount of waste is obtained.
Glue for the glue gun perfectly interacts with a wide range of materials, the list of which includes:
- PVC materials;
- glass details;
- ceramic parts;
Thermal glue has poor adhesion to certain minerals, such as concrete and plaster. And also, such glue is not always suitable for polyethylene parts. To get the maximum effect when connecting, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned of dirt, dust, oil stains and thoroughly dried.
The temperature factor should be taken into account – this is a kind of limitation, since it is not recommended to use a gun in the production of parts that deform under the influence of high temperatures. Metal elements, on the contrary, must be heated initially, using even an ordinary hair dryer, since due to the high thermal conductivity of the base, the composition will cool down quickly and immediately harden.
Structure and material for the manufacture of a hot glue gun
Externally, the thermal gun looks like a hand tool resembling the famous weapon of the same name, into which not cartridges are inserted, but a polyurethane rod. During the heating process, the glue turns into a fluid state. The most common diameter of cylindrical rods for a glue gun is 7 mm, but there are also thicker ones – up to 11 mm inclusive. The tool is charged from the back side.
The charge is inserted into the pusher sleeve, then a tubular receiver made of rubber passes, after that the rod is driven into the chamber, where it heats up and melts, transforming into an adhesive with penetrating ability. From 3 to 5 minutes is enough for starting heating. When you pull the trigger of the spare tire, which acts as a piston, pressure is created on the heating tank, as a result of which the melt flows out through the nozzle onto the glued surface.
The body of the thermal gun is made of rigid plastic, which makes it possible to lower the heat transfer from the heating chamber and ensure the lightness of the product. The average weight of the tool is approximately 300 g. Quite often, the handle is equipped with special anti-slip inserts. It is hollow in the middle, wires are placed here, a carousel trigger is located. The main components of the instrument are located in the barrel.
On the Internet, you can find a large number of videos on how to use the glue gun, which, in addition to describing the process of work, contains detailed instructions on the structure of the unit and the location of its key parts.
The principle of operation of the heating unit, the feeding mechanism and the coupling of the electric glue gun
The heating chamber (heat node) is located in the trunk, which is a metal tank. Next to it, usually from below, there is a heating element, the so-called TEN. In certain models, there may be several heating chambers, which makes it possible to create a more uniform and stepped heating. Thus, the thermal unit is considered the main element, since the service life of the tool depends on it.
Important! The performance of the tool depends on the dimensions of the heating unit and the power of the heating element, which is manifested in the melting rate and the amount of mass ready for operation.
The feeding mechanism is an annular pusher. It can be additionally equipped with a gearing tooth, triggered by a lever that is combined with a trigger of a carousel or slider type. The design is quite capricious, so breakdowns are not excluded, especially if you try to get a large amount of glue during work. In most cases, the feeding mechanism is precisely matched to a certain size of the rod. Therefore, even minor deviations in diameter can lead to malfunctions.
Considering the device of a silicone gun, it is necessary to mention the thrust guide coupling, which is a tubular receiver, which is located directly in front of the thermal chamber. Its function is to seal the “reverse direction”, which prevents the melt from getting inside the gun. This part is the weakest link, since rubber ages and cracks over time, and during overheating it can leak material, while locking the moving parts. This leads to damage to the insulation of the wires, which can eventually cause a short circuit.
Features of the structure and functioning of the nozzle of the adhesive gun
The coupling may be damaged during attempts to twist the charged rod or remove it. In such cases, it is better to simply cut off part of the rod and pass the remains through the nozzle. This part, which is often called a nozzle or nozzle, is designed to give a certain shape to the mass of glue, the dosage of the flow and the overlap of the channel at the outlet. There is also a shut-off valve (also known as a spring-loaded ball or nipple) in the nozzle, which prevents excessive leakage of the melt.
The nipple does not completely block the nozzle in order to relieve excess pressure in case of overheating of the mass. Therefore, it is always necessary to put a cardboard under the spout. Ramjet nozzles are also installed, but in this case more raw materials are lost.
The nozzles are made of metal covered with a rubber or silicone casing on top to prevent burns.
Many products are equipped with nozzles of different shapes and lengths. They are equipped with a thread for connection to the heating unit and slots for a horn wrench. It should be noted that it is possible to replace them only in a state of heating, since everything is firmly fixed with a frozen adhesive solution.
An important part of the housing is the viewing window, which allows you to control the size of the remaining rod or the presence of leakage from the coupling side. Almost all products are equipped with a folding stand in the front of the case. The price of a glue gun often depends on the presence of a window. The end of the handle is equipped with a special nickel for this purpose. In between work, it is not recommended to put the device on its side, since the case in this position may overheat, which means that the surface on which the tool is installed will be damaged.
Useful advice! Upon completion of the work, the nozzle must be thoroughly cleaned of glue. To do this, you should hold them several times on a piece of cardboard.
Glue gun: which one is better to choose according to the technical characteristics
The power of the hot glue gun is determined by the power consumption of the heating unit. The higher it is, the faster the glue melts, although this is not the main thing in terms of performance. In addition, you need to take into account the capacity of the tank. If the heating element provides the temperature necessary for operation, and the required amount of glue is in the chamber, then the power is selected correctly. A professional glue gun consumes 300 or more watts, and for an amateur tool, there is enough power from 30 to 150 watts.
There are manufacturers that offer products with automatic power control. For example, 200 watts of power is needed to warm up, 40 watts is enough for operation, and a maximum of 16 watts in standby mode.
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The melting point of the hot glue is also important when choosing a gun. To work with paper, textile parts and certain polymers, you should choose rods that melt at a temperature of 105 ° C – it is under such conditions that almost all rods begin to melt. At the same time, the main number of pistols are capable of heating up to 170-200 ° C. Therefore, if there is no need for regular use of a pistol, then there is no point in buying an expensive copy. The best option is an aggregate designed for the melting point of the hot melt adhesive 160-170 ° C.
There is another concept, such as the speed of the gun, although it is more correct to talk about performance, indicating the mass of the melt that comes from the nozzle for a certain unit of time. Such information is contained in the product passport and can have an indicator from 5 to 30 grams per minute. For example, it will take a lot of glue to work on a construction site, so it is better to take rods with a diameter of 11 mm, and a gun with high performance.
We choose a glue gun according to additional criteria
In deciding which is the best glue gun to choose, you should be guided not only by its technical characteristics, but also take into account additional options that will help greatly facilitate the work, making it much more comfortable and productive.
It is worth paying attention to the temperature controller, which indicates the possibility of using the tool to work with special materials, in particular heat-sensitive ones. If more than three modes are set, then this is a universal tool.
If the gun is equipped with electronic temperature control in the “automatic” mode, you should not be afraid of overheating of the unit and significant loss of adhesive material. In this case, the tool itself changes the mode and you need to get used to working with it. At the same time, the “smart” device independently disconnects from the network, thereby preventing overheating, which significantly prolongs the service life of the gun.
Useful advice! During the use of the hot-glue gun, it is necessary to adhere to the safety rules when working with electricity and adhesive compounds.
The ready status indicator in the form of an LED indicates that the device has reached the desired temperature and is ready for use. At the same time, there is no need to fear for the integrity of the mechanism, including the receiving coupling on the glue gun. Customer reviews indicate that this feature is very useful.
The switch in the form of a button is an additional convenience, especially in cases when it is necessary to turn off the power during prolonged operation. This option is especially relevant on devices that are not equipped with regulating electronics.
Do I need additional options on the glue gun: user reviews
There are many models that have, in addition to the above set of basic and additional options, also a number of so-called “bells and whistles” that are needed in certain areas of work with a glue gun. In particular, the correct choice of the glue gun is to some extent influenced by the presence of illumination of the working area, which is carried out using a built-in flashlight. This function is very necessary for working in hard-to-reach places.
You should also pay attention to replaceable nozzles. They decently expand the functionality of the device, as they make it possible to obtain different amounts of adhesive mass, and oblong nozzles help to get into blind spots.
The nipple in the nozzle, used as an additional part, allows to significantly reduce the amount of glue released from the gun in standby mode, and the viewing window helps to monitor the size of the charged rod and monitor the integrity of the receiving coupling.
Choosing a gun with a stand-leg, you should pay attention to its stability and practicality, which is manifested in the reliability of its fixation in the assembled state. Reliable and high-quality models of glue guns have a fairly wide support area, including a hoof on the handle, and sometimes a trigger.
Actually, the design of the trigger should also be paid attention to. The most convenient is a mechanism with a rotary trigger, thanks to which it is much easier to monitor the dosage of the melt without putting extra effort.
The possibility of disconnecting the cord can significantly improve the ergonomics of the tool, as it allows you to work offline for up to 20 minutes. The availability of additional options affects the price of the thermal gun.
Features and characteristics of Glue gun rods
Glue rods, which are also called spare parts and stickers, vary in diameter. The most popular options are 7 and 11 mm. They are also classified by shape, length, color and melting point. Before deciding which glue gun to choose, you should decide on the type of glue that you will have to work with.
Useful advice! For work, it is best to use the “native rods” that come with the glue gun.
It should be noted that basically all the rods have a round shape, but a separate category consists of pistols that operate on oval spare parts. As for the length of the rods, it can vary in the range of 4-20 cm. It is worth considering that this criterion does not affect the final result, just in the process of work you do not have to change long stickers often. The price of hot gun glue does not depend on this factor either.
There are colored glue rods that serve to mask the seams. The most common colors, besides the classic transparent, are blue, yellow, red, white and black. In addition, manufacturers use color labeling to determine the purpose of stickers, where transparent is universal, black is intended for sealing, and yellow is for gluing glass products.
Rods are also distinguished by melting temperature, although this factor does not affect the choice of the gun itself. A sticker with a low temperature indicator will simply melt faster in a gun that heats up to 200 ° C. At the same time, high-temperature rods melting at a temperature of 150 ° C and above are not suitable for pistols with low heating. Such rods are more expensive, respectively, the price of a hot-glue gun is higher.
Chemical composition of gun glue and its features
One of the main differences of thermal glue, in addition to color, size and melting point, is its chemical composition. Half of the rods consist of thermoplastic polymers, the remaining share is accounted for by resins and plasticizers. It is worth noting that the composition of the hot-melt adhesive is practically harmless, since it does not contain harmful chemicals and organic solvents. The most common mixtures are based on ethylene vinyl acetate and polyamide. Types of glue for the gun by composition:
How much does the glue gun cost: model rating
The range of hot-glue guns is very wide. Having studied the characteristics described above, it remains only to choose the desired model. The tool itself has a simple design, so the price of a simple glue gun is quite democratic – from 7 to $ 10. For such money, you can buy a functional device, but devoid of additional options. If desired and with minimal engineering skills, you can build such a glue gun with your own hands.
A professional tool from a branded manufacturer costs much more – from 40 to $ 50, but it will open up wide opportunities for gluing a wide variety of materials to its owner.
Many companies specialize in the manufacture of glue guns. One of the most popular models is the glue gun “Zubr 06850-60-12”. This is a compact unit with a valve that protects against leakage. Eleven-millimeter rods with a length of 30 cm are suitable for it . Power consumption – 60 watts. The device is equipped with a special valve that prevents drops from falling on the workpiece, and a silicone pad protects the user’s hands from burns.
There is quite a big difference in cost between professional tools and glue guns for needlework. The price of an inexpensive device suitable for performing these tasks can start from 50 rubles. A striking example of this is the Fix Price glue gun.
It weighs less than 100 g, being perhaps the smallest tool of this class. The device has only 2 advantages – it is a low price and a compact size that is suitable for women and children. The disadvantages of this unit are much more, the main ones are the low quality of components and short service life.
Thus, choosing a glue gun, you should be guided by various functional and technical characteristics of the product, and not just personal preferences. Feedback from consumers and specialists will also be useful.