What Temperature Does Hot Glue Melt: An Accurate Guide

There are different types of hot glue or hot melt adhesives in the market. It is sometimes difficult for the users to decide whether a high-temperature hot melt suits their business or a low-temperature hot melt. The melting points of those adhesives are different based on the criteria and characteristics.

Now, it is a fundamental question an artisan would ask at what temperature does hot glue melt? This write-up will discuss how to handle this painful situation of deciding on what temperature hot melt should be used for your business. So, let’s find the accurate answer.

How to Define Hot Glue? 

Hot melt or thermoplastic adhesive is a kind that gets melted in a glue gun and solidified after cooling down. When you give heat to it, it comes out of the nozzle in a slightly sticky form. It dries very fast compared to the other types of adhesives. A great benefit of using a hot melt glue is its long shelf life and high viscosity. You can store the glue for a long time if you keep its place clean and dry and keep it outside of sunlight. The hot melt glues are affordable. This uncomplicated device comprises a few simple components that work together to give you a slow supply of melted glue. 

Melting Ranges of Hot Glue

Hot-melt glues melt mainly at about 74°-77°C and are applied at extensively high temperatures, likely from 149°-288 °C. There are two types of hot glue- high-temperature and low-temperature hot glue. They require different melting temperatures and vary in the application process and projects to which they can be applied. 

The high-temperature glue needs a temperature of 195°- 380°F to melt. The high-temperature glue is the way to go if you want to create better bonds and get a longer working time. You can use these for wood, cardboard, acrylics, plastics, etc. 

The low-temperature hot glue can operate at around 130°-260°F. It has a short working time because it solidifies fast. You don’t need to wait longer for the glue to dry. The bonds created with low-temperature melt glues are relatively lower than those created with high-temperature glues. These are not disadvantaged. Both the glue types have different working criteria and demands. 

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The hot glue melts at a higher temperature of about 100° C on average. Some hot glues have a short melting range. The average melting point of the hot glue adhesives typically ranges from 50° C to 160° C. The ring and ball method determines the melting point of the adhesives. In this method, a steel ball falls through the hot glue adhesive film into the oil bath with increasing temperature. The hot glues with a short melting range can drop slightly at 100° C and entirely at 101° C.  

Choosing a suitable adhesive for a specific application is needed. Without knowing the glue type and the temperature it needs to melt, you can’t start your business with that adhesive. 

High-temperature Hot Melts for Industrial Applications

For industrial applications, you should choose an adhesive capable of bonding hardy substrates. Wood, metal, or heavy cardboard are designed in a way that can handle too much heat and need high-temperature hot melt. For these materials, you can use 357-450° F, high-temperature hot melts. If you use low-temperature hot melts for these metals, you might not be able to get the same result. 

Cautions While Using Hot Glue

Hot glue melts are used for more challenging materials like plastics, ABS, acrylics, polypropylene, and many other metals. Compared to the low melt glues are safer than hot melt glues. Alongside, the low melt glues are also easier to use as they carry a reduced risk of burns. Due to the lower temperature, the low melt glues can be used to bond the heat-sensitive materials. You can use these glues for arts, and crafts, paper, in school, etc. 

Some glue options for you, too, can be used as both low-melt and hot-melt glue. For some specific tasks, you can choose multi-temperature adhesives with adjustable temperatures, from low to high melt. Tacbond glues have fixed settings of 195° for high-temperature guns and 130° for low-temperature guns. 

Note that the low melt glues have restricted glue formulations. Whereas hot glue melts have many selections of adhesive formulations to pick from. The glue formulation of hot glue melt works to bond many plastics like PVC, acrylic, or ABS. 

Why Use Hot Melt Glues

There is a scope to use a wide selection of adhesive formulations with hot melt glues. For more bond-challenging materials, it is always good to use hot melt glues. Many metals are created in a way that can be bonded without hot melt glue sticks. Hot-melt glues have more gluing power and should be used for low-sensitive materials. Hot melts are an essential tool for professionals and hobbyists. You can bind almost all the materials with hot melt glues. 

Why Not Use Hot Melt Glues

On the other hand, you can’t use hot melt glues for sensitive materials; otherwise, they will damage the materials. If you don’t want to damage the heat-sensitive materials, use the low melt glues and protect your materials. These low-melt glues are also safe to use because the adhesive is applied at a low temperature. 

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Hot Melt or Low Melt Glues Which One is Better?

From the benefits and drawbacks of both low melt and hot melt glues, you get an idea about which one to use for what type of purposes. If you haven’t decided yet which one will be good for you, you can use multi-temperature glue sticks, which work in either hot or low-melt glue guns. The high-temperature glues have better adhesion than the low-melt glues. Tecbond 240 is an excellent multi-temperature adhesive that offers a wide range of adhesion to materials like wood, light gauge metals, ceramics, rigid plastics, etc. 


How much time does it take for a glue gun to heat up?

It depends on the type of glue gun you are using. Low-temperature cool melt gun might take 2-4 minutes to melt, but a high-temperature gun might take 5-7 minutes. 

What are the materials used in hot glue? 

There are three ingredients used to make hot glue. They are- polymers, resins, and plasticizers. These three ingredients help the glue be strong, flexible, and thick. 

How much time does it take for the hot glue to dry?

The hot glue’s drying time depends on the glue used, the materials on it, and the amount. It can take 1 minute and 10 minutes. However, you might need to wait 24 hours for the glue to sit on the material. 

Read: How To Use Wood Glue With Screws In A Proper Way

Final Verdicts:

You can get the best result from the glues if you know what temperature at which hot glue melts. Whatever you choose for your project, make sure you know at what temperature the glue will work perfectly. This written guide has given an in-depth idea about the glue formations and their working criteria on the materials. You must follow some essential steps and maintain safety measures while using hot melt glue. 

Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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