Hot glue guns can be a useful tool in the shop. You can use hot glue to build temporary jigs, or to hold a template in place. It can act as a clamp to hold pieces together while another stronger and more permanent glue dries, or if you have high quality glue sticks and a high temperature glue gun, you can even use it as the primary adhesive.
Hot glue guns do take a while to get up to temperature, so you either need to leave them plugged in the whole time you’re in the shop and working, or plan well ahead when you know you’ll need one in advance. It’s also one more cord to drag all over the shop and trip over. One interesting solution that at least partially addresses these problems is the Surebonder 120 Hybrid-120 Hot Glue Gun.
Weighing in at 1.5 lbs without the battery, this glue gun can either be plugged, in via a removable cord, or powered by Ryobi 18V batteries. Surebonder claims you can get approximately 1 hour of runtime with a Ryobi 18V compact Lithium+ battery (P102), or 4 hours with one of Ryobi’s high capacity Lithuim+ battery packs (P108).
The Hybrid-120 uses regular 0.43″ (7/16″) glue sticks and is considered a high temperature glue gun because it heats the glue to 380°F (or 193°C). The stock nozzle is insulated, but this isn’t a toy – you can still really burn yourself if you’re not careful. Surebonder also does sell a variety of specialty nozzles that are compatible with this hot glue gun.
If you already have Ryobi 18V batteries, you can purchase just the glue gun alone for $127 from Home Depot. You can’t actually buy this at a Home Depot retail location though – this is an online-only item. If you’re going to buy it online anyway, you could also try Amazon, who has it for the same price with free Prime shipping.
If you want to buy a kit complete with the Ryobi P-128 Ryobi compact battery and charger, you’ll pay $255 at either Home Depot online or Amazon. If you ask me, this price seems a little excessive considering you can buy the same battery and charger for $60 at any Home Depot.
I found this glue gun while I was researching cordless glue guns. I also learned that you really need to be careful when you buy a “cordless” glue gun, as there are some glue guns that are advertised as cordless, but they’re really no more than corded glue guns with a removable cord. (Remember the “cordless” Snap-on worklight? Same thing.)
These “cordless” glue guns rely on the built-up heat in the tip, and only last 2 or 3 minutes. One discontinued Black & Decker model can be used “with no cord” for up to 6 minutes. Using this logic, just about any corded glue gun can be used “cordlessly” for a short time.
I’m also very curious why the Surebonder only lists the P102 and P108, the Ryobi Lithium+ batteries, as compatible. It seems that, with a runtime of 1 hour even when paired with the lower capacity battery, the hot glue gun isn’t drawing too much current. It might be compatible with Ryobi’s older batteries, and even their NiCad batteries might be able to handle this load. I’m not sure what to make of this.
Surebonder seems to have solid reviews, and their products range from entry-level blue guns at under $10, to this cordless model and another high-powered (corded) glue gun that’s priced at $80.
Are there any cordless glue guns that you would recommend? Bosch came out with a cordless glue pen, but it’s not available in North America, and we’ve also seen a Bosch 7.2V pistol-grip model, also not available here.