4 Safety Tips to Remember when Using a Hot Glue Gun

A hot glue gun is a must for any serious crafter or do it yourselfer but there are some safety tips you should keep in mind when using your glue gun. They can inflict serious burns if handled improperly or even start a fire.

Choose the Correct Gun

There are several different types of hot glue guns you will find when you visit a large craft store, discount store or home improvement store. Generally craft type glue guns are smaller and less expensive than the type used for home improvement, and, while they reach high temperatures, they don't reach the extreme temperatures a carpenters type gun will reach.

 Don't be fooled by the name, a warm or low melt gun can still inflict a burn if not used properly. Also, different size guns use different size glue sticks, so keep your project in mind. The higher melt glues set up more quickly so keep that in mind also when you choose your gun and glue type.

Another type of glue gun is the type used for construction work. They heat up faster and usually come with different tips so you get different sized outputs of glue. Usually construction glue sticks are a different type of material and bond strongly and are for use in this type of gun only.

Prepare Ahead

Choose a flat surface to work on. Make sure the surface is large enough to hold the entire project, well lit and situated so you can sit with your knees and lap under the surface or table. Dripping hot glue can burn you very quickly and can drip and you won't know it until you are burned. Have all of your craft or project items ready to use before you plug in the gun and turn it on. It takes most guns 6 to 8 minutes to heat up and if the gun is new, the first glue stick you insert may melt entirely to fill up the chamber, so you may need another stick to insert in your gun right away.

Protect Yourself

If possible, wear long sleeves so if the glue drips it will be caught on the fabric and not your skin. Also, place the hot gun on an old cookie sheet or on aluminum foil so any drips will be caught on it and not your work surface. If you have to step away from your project, turn the gun off. Work quickly and when you move your gun from the project to the holder, try not to leave a glue string.

If you are using a construction style glue gun, you will want to consider wearing gloves and goggles for protection since you may be gluing overhead or in other awkward angles.

With both types of glue guns always remember that this glue is very hot and can burn you very deeply and severely if you are careless.

Use the Correct Glue

Always think ahead to what you are creating and choose the correct glue stick and size of gun. The smaller guns will produce a smaller stream of glue, which is more manageable. This type of stream is also good for floral design work. Most projects will be easily completed with the lower melt types of glue also.