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A Complete Guide to Hot Glue Gun Stick Sizes

A Complete Guide to Hot Glue Gun Stick Sizes

A Complete Guide to Hot Glue Gun Stick Sizes

We get the question a lot, “What's the difference between hot glue gun sizes?” so we’ve put together a cheat sheet on the different hot glue gun sizes as a reference breaking down every hot glue gun stick size.

5/18 Mini Hot Glue Guns

​This is a typical craft store glue gun size. It is uses a 5/16" X 4" mini glue stick. With 'mini' glue sticks, options are usually limited to low quality (weak bonding) adhesives and other very specialized products like funky colors or glow in the dark. 

The Bottom Line

We recommend spending a little more for a 1/2" glue gun if you can afford it. With a 1/2" glue gun you’ll get way more adhesive options, a gun that will likely perform a lot better and last a lot longer.

​1/2" (12mm) Glue Guns​

This is the most common sized glue gun and gives you the most glue stick options. A great glue gun size for applications ranging from crafting to light industrial and packaging applications.

The Bottom Line

A great option for most application giving the most adhesive options as well as the most competitively priced glue sticks.

​5/8" (15mm) Glue Guns

​Similar to the 1/2" glue guns, the 5/8" size gives you higher output for more demanding applications and still offers a lot of glue stick options. The ⅝” glue sticks are also larger so you get more adhesive dispensed with each trigger pull and have to ‘reload’ the glue gun less often.

Bottom Line

⅝” glue guns are a great option for people who need a little more output than a standard ½” gun offers or for those who just want to reload their gun less often.

1.75” (43mm) Glue Guns

There are only a couple of manufacturers who make glue guns in this size but they are a darling of industrial users everywhere. The large 1.75” X 1.75” glue slugs that these guns use make them great options for high volume and industrial applications. These guns are available in all electric and pneumatic versions. That means they can be used like a traditional glue gun with just a cord or connected to an air compressor for effortless dispensing.

These are also some of the only glue guns that offer sprayable versions that can dispense long open time glue slugs in spray form. The downside to these guns guns is that they are typically pretty expensive and are a little bulkier than smaller stick sized guns.

The Bottom Line

If you have an industrial application or just want a gun that is going to hold up in the long run, this is a great glue gun size. They also offer a lot of options (like spray) that no other glue gun can match.

​3M TC ⅝” X 2” Glue Guns

​This is a 3M only size glue gun that takes 5/8" X 2" glue sticks and is fed by the users thumb, not a trigger. It is a popular gun and there are a lot of manufacturers who now make sticks in this size so there are quite a few adhesive options.

The Bottom Line

If the lack of trigger is an issue, this may not be the best glue gun for you.

3M TC ⅝” X 8” Quadrack Glue Guns

The 3M TC glue guns with Quadrack converter are similar to the standard 3M TC glue guns above but include a trigger mechanism and take a ⅝” X 8” ‘Quadrack’ glue stick made by 3M. This is a good gun with decent output but because of the unique stick size, you are pretty much locked in to 3M glue sticks. Although they have a good line of products, 3M glue sticks tend to be priced quite a bit higher than similar formulations.

Bottom Line

Offers good output and a durable design but the higher price of adhesive and limited adhesive options makes it worth looking at other glue gun sizes.

3M PG 1” X 3” Glue Guns

The 3M PG II and PG II LT are pneumatic glue guns (LT is the low temp version) that have been around forever. These glue guns are industrial powerhouses and great for high volume applications or if you want to mount a glue gun and attach accessories like a foot pedal. They are the only manufacturer who makes guns in this size but a number of people now make adhesives in the PG glue stick size. This means there are a lot of adhesive options and they are reasonably priced.

Bottom Line

Great for high volume industrial use but probably overkill for the average user.