The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (2022)

3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide Overview

One of the most widely recognized hot melt brands in the world, 3M has created an amazing selection of hot melt glue sticks for every type of application and bonding need. This article seeks to highlight and simplify the process of choosing the perfect formulation and size of 3M Scotch Weld glue stick.

3M Hot Melt Stick Sizes Simplified

Some of the most confusion with regards to the 3M catalog of glue sticks comes from determining the correct size. In this section, we will break down all of the 3M Scotch Weld stick sizes including which 3M glue guns they work with.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (1)

3M AE Glue Stick Overview

The 3M AE stick size is the only 3M stick size that will work in all standard ½” glue guns. This stick will work with the 3MPolygun AE or any other standard ½” glue gun.

The 3M AE stick size is good for low to mid-volume applications.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (2)

3M TC Stick Size Overview

The 3M TC hot melt stick size is a 5/8” X 2” glue stick meant for use with the 3M Polygun TC or Polygun LT(depending on temperature, but we'll get into that later). The TC stick size is unique to 3M and no other guns besides the two listed will dispense this size.

Because of the popularity of the TC size, other manufacturers have begun creating “knock-off” sticks in the TC size.

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The TC glue stick size is good for low to mid volume applications.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (3)

3M Q Stick Size Overview

The 3M Q hot melt stick is a 5/8” X 8” glue stick with a special ribbed pattern. 3M is currently the only manufacturer to create glue sticks in this size and they will only work with the Polygun TC w/Quadrack, Polygun LT w/Quadrac or the 3M EC glue guns.

The Q glue stick is good for mid to high volume applications.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (4)

3M PG Stick Size Overview

The 3M PG glue stick is a 1” X 3” glue stick and will only run in the Polygun PG II or Polygun PG II LT. This is a specialty stick size but other manufacturers have begun creating PG sticks for use with the Polygun II because of its popularity.

The PG glue stick is good for high volume applications.

3M Glue Sticks: High Temp vs Low Temp

All of the 3M hot melt sticks are either high temperature or low temperature formulations. Below is a guide on the different temperatures and how to match them with the correct 3M hot melt gun.

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The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (5)

3M Low Temperature Hot Melt Stick Overview

Low temperature glue sticks are often used when bonding sensitive substrates that can be damaged with standard temperature hot melt. Some low temp formulations also perform better in refrigerator or freezer applications and they can also be safer to use if burns from hot melt is a concern.

When using 3M low temperature hot melt, look for the LT (Low Temp) in the part number. If your glue stick part number ends in LT, it is a low temp glue stick which means it has a lower melting temp (Example: part number 3764 vs 3764LT). These LT sticks need to be used with LT (Low Temp) 3M glue guns.

How do you know if you have a low temp 3M glue gun? Low temperature 3M glue guns are blue. This indicates a low temp applicator where as orange indicates a high temp applicator.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (6)

3M High Temperature Hot Melt Stick Overview

High temperature (also called standard temperature) hot melt is a more common formulation and can typically be dispensed anywhere between 350-410 Degrees Fahrenheit with most non-adjustable guns running right around 380F. High temperature 3M glue sticks will not have an LT in the part number and are to be used with standard temperature (orange) 3M glue guns.

3M Hot Melt Sticks by Application

Now that we have the size and temperature taken care of, it’s time to talk about choosing the best 3M hot melt for bonding specific materials together.

3M has done an excellent job of creating a wide range of glue stick formulations to cater to almost every application where hot melt can be used. Here we will cover some of the industries where 3M glue sticks are used and highlight some of the best performers in each category.

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The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (7)

3M Hot Melt Sticks for Electronics

This is the industry we believe 3M has truly set themselves apart from other hot melt manufacturers. Although not cheap, the 3M glue sticks for electronics and electrical applications are a step above the rest.

Typical electronics applications include securing wires so they do not bend or break, potting a component on a circuit board, terminating coils or bundling wires for easy handling.Here’s some of the highlights.

  • 3M Scotch Weld3748VO – V0 means this hot melt is self-extinguishing, a rating necessary for many electrical manufacturing applications. This formulation is non-corrosive to copper and offers an excellent bond.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3779 – This hot melt does not come with the V0 rating but does offer high strength and high heat resistance.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3764 – Need clear? This is your go-to for an electronics application when color matters. It also gives an excellent bond to HSE/LSE plastics.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (8)

3M Hot Melt Sticks for POP Display Manufacturing

This industry can be tricky because of all of the laminated and specialty surfaces that need to be bonded, especially because most displays try and eliminate unsightly screws and fasteners. These 3M Scotch Weld hot melt formulations are excellent for a wide range of applications.

  • 3M Scotch Weld3762LM – This light amber, fast setting hot melt is a low temp formula great for sensitive surfaces like foam and fabric.
  • 3M Scotch Weld3792LM – A go-to low temperature clear hot melt, again for delicate substrates.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3748 – Perfect for bonding tricky substrates like polyolefins and is less expensive than its 3748V0 counterpart.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (9)

3M Hot Melt Sticks for Packaging and Carton Sealing

If electronics is 3M’s strongest application, we would have to say packaging is their weakest. Their products are tried and true but because of the glut of packaging products on the market today, 3M doesn’t offer anything truly unique and their price points tend to be higher than the rest of the industry.

If you do decide to use 3M for your case and carton sealing, here are their top products.

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  • 3M Scotch Weld 3762: 3M’s most economical packaging hot melt, the 3762 is a good fast setting glue stick.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3762LM: The low temp version of the hot melt above, this is good for increased safety from burns or sensitive substrates when packaging.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3738: Offers longer open time for increased workability, good for larger packages where more surface area is required.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3764: Good for cold weather packaging, the 3764 stays flexible even at low temperatures.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (10)

3M Hot Melt Sticks for Furniture and Woodworking

Another strong industry for 3M Scotch weld hot melt, their furniture and woodworking formulations offer good variety and high quality products. Here’s some of the highlights.

  • 3M Scotch Weld 3792: One of 3M’s most popular products, this clear multipurpose hot melt is great for wood, fabric and upholstery.
  • 3M Scotch Weld3792LM: Similar to above but with a low temp version making it good for sensitive substrates.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3747: Offers a more aggressive bond, good for wood, plastics and even lightweight metals.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3789: Make your bonds more durable with this impact resistant hot melt formulation. Good for furniture or products that are going to be moved and used constantly.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (11)

3M Hot Melt Glue Sticks for Product Assembly and General Manufacturing

Here at hotmelt.com, we’ve never loved the term “Product Assembly” because it hits such a broad spectrum of applications, bonding types, substrates, etc. However, there isn’t a great way to sum up “the rest” of 3M’s hot melt products so here’s some of the highlights of their remaining top formulations.

  • 3M 3764 Scotch Weld: The second time we’ve mentioned 3764, this hot melt is clear, bonds well to plastics and is flexible even at low temperatures. Good all around assembly product.
  • 3M Scotch Weld3792LM: This popular 3M hot melt bonds to a huge range of products and the low temp version allows for bonding without damaging heat sensitive substrates.
  • 3M Scotch Weld 3748: Shock resistance and a good plastic bonder, the 3748 is good for product assembly.

The Ultimate 3M Hot Melt Glue Stick Guide (12)

3M Removable Gummy Glue

There is only one product in this category but we think it deserves some special attention. 3M is the only manufacturer to successfully create a gummy glue in stick form. This unique glue stick is a low temp formulation and only comes in the TC stick size. This means it can only be run through the 3M Polygun LT.

3M removable gummy glue is used for creating temporary bonds between two substrates. Think credit card mailers or promotional materials.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You are now one of the foremost 3M Scotch Weld hot melt glue stick experts. Please use your newfound knowledge to go shopping for your favorite 3M hot melt products on hotmelt.com.

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Craving a little more info? Check out our Ultimate 3M Glue Gun Guideto find out more about the 3M applicators that go along with all of these amazing hot melt sticks or visit our blog for all of the newest products, reviews and industry highlights.

FAQs

How do you use a hot melt glue stick? ›

Once you have plugged it in it will start to heat up and it should get to its maximum temperature

Why is my hot glue not holding? ›

What surfaces does hot glue not stick to? Hot glue will not stick to very smooth surfaces, like metal, silicone, vinyl, wax, or greasy and wet surfaces.

Why is hot glue gun not working? ›

Sometimes, the appearance of a worn or dirty nozzle may be due to a jammed glue stick. Check and ensure you are using the correct type of glue stick for the gun. The glue may have jammed and charred, making the nozzle appear as if it has gone bad.

Can I use high temp glue sticks in a low temp glue gun? ›

Unless you are using an adjustable temperature hot melt gun, you must use a high temp glue stick with a high temp gun and a low temp glue stick with a low temp gun.

How do you know when a hot glue gun is done? ›

You'll know when the glue is ready when it turns to liquid and is released when you pull the trigger. Now try practicing with the glue gun until you feel confident – remember to pull the trigger gently to control the flow of glue. A little bit of glue goes a long way!

How can you tell if a glue gun is high or low temp? ›

TIP: If you have some old glue laying around your house and you don't know whether it is low or hi-temp, the color typically signals which it is. Low-temp is typically a milky color, whereas hi-temp tends to be a clearer color.

Why is glue coming out the back of my glue gun? ›

Melt backs happen when you leave your glue gun on for a long time without using it. The glue stick inside the gun softens up so much that by the time you pull the trigger, it pushes itself back out instead of being pushed out the nozzle.

Will hot glue stick to concrete? ›

Does hot glue work on concrete? It does, and this adhesive is often used on cement walls and surfaces. It's also called hot melt and is a thermoplastic adhesive. The great aspect of hot glue is that it won't leave ugly holes and scars, like bolts and screws.

What are the disadvantages of hot glue? ›

The main disadvantages of hot melts are limited strength and heat resistance. Unlike other adhesives, the set-up process is reversible and, at about 77°C most hot melts begin to lose strength.

How long does it take for a glue gun to warm up? ›

Set your glue gun at the right temperature

It takes about five minutes for your glue to fully warm up. The nozzle will be very hot, so be careful not to lean it against any material or touch it without heat-resistant gloves.

What is the normal working time of a hot glue gun? ›

The normal working time of the hot-melt is thirty (30) seconds. After the adhesive has been extruded onto the bonding surface, the part should be pressed together within fifteen to twenty (15-20) seconds. The bond will have about 90% of its bond strength in one minute.

How do you harden hot glue? ›

When you're in a hurry, it can be incredibly frustrating to wait for hot glue to dry. To cool it instantly, take a can of compressed air, turn it upside-down, and spray the freshly glued area. The spray that comes out of the can chills the glue, solidifying it in seconds.

Can you burn yourself on a low temp glue gun? ›

The best thing about low temp glue guns is the lesser risk of burning yourself due to their low temperature. This feature is why it is usually used in bonding heat-sensitive materials, arts and crafts, and some projects in schools.

What is the strongest hot glue stick? ›

1. Gorilla Hot Glue Sticks. These are for an extra-strong, durable hold that works well on hard-to-bond surfaces such as metal and glass.

What materials does hot melt glue bond well with? ›

Glue Sticks

Hot melts are thermoplastic (can re-melt when heated) adhesives which offer a fast cure and easy dispensing using a hot melt stick gun. They excel at bonding porous materials such as paper, cardboard, wood, as well as some plastics.

Why does my hot glue dry so fast? ›

If your glue is setting too quickly it may be because you are not applying enough glue to your substrates. Most of our animal glues run best at 2 mils on the roller (you can measure this with a mil depth gauge). In some plant conditions, 3 mils may work better for you.

How do you use a hot glue gun without making a mess? ›

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Why is my hot glue gun smoking? ›

Temperature: The temperature of your hot melt gun or nozzle is critical. Too low and your adhesive doesn't melt and flow properly. Too hot and your adhesive becomes too runny and can release annoying and irritating smoke.

How strong is hot melt glue? ›

They provide sufficient strength between 30 and 50 °C but are limited to use below 60–80 °C and have low creep resistance under load. The vinyl acetate monomer content is about 18–29 percent by weight of the polymer.

How do you adjust the temperature on a glue gun? ›

120W Hot Melt Glue Gun - Bestorx (Adjustable Temperature ... - YouTube

What temp do hot glue sticks melt? ›

At what temperature does hot glue melt? High temperature hot glue melts at temperatures a bit under 195 °C / 380 °F. Low temperature hot melts for delicate materials and crafting do not need such high temperatures. Instead, they melt at a bit under 130 °C / 260 °F.

How do you stop a hot glue gun from leaking? ›

The fix for this is to remove the nozzle while the tool is hot, purge a half stick or so through the tool, and install a new nozzle. Nozzles do wear over time, so changing out the nozzle is often the easiest solution to fixing a dripping glue gun.

Why did my hot glue gun exploded? ›

While the current runs, the element gets hotter and hotter making it reduce its resistance allowing for even more current to flow. At some point, the current is so high that it starts to arc across the plates and causes the explosion that trips the breaker.

How do you clean a hot melt glue gun? ›

How to Clean a Hot Glue Gun & DIY Glue Gun Stand - YouTube

Is hot glue permanent? ›

When cooled to a temperature below its melting point, hot melt glue results in a strong bond that is guaranteed to last. In fact, hot glue is as permanent as epoxy glue and it is suitable in applications where epoxy is not.

Does hot glue work on wood? ›

Yes, hot glue work on wood to make durable joints for crafting, installing windows, doors, and floorings. Hot glue can make a versatile bond with wood that hardens quickly. But hot glue is not suitable for large construction projects because it won't create a strong bond with certain things to the wood.

What is the best glue to use on concrete? ›

Our Top Picks
  • Best Overall. Quikrete 1 Gal. Concrete Bonding Adhesive. ...
  • Best Bang For the Buck. Quikrete 1 Qt. Acrylic Fortifier. ...
  • Best For Cold Temperatures. SikaLatex 1 Gal. ...
  • Best For Concrete Blocks. Liquid Nails - LN-905 Landscape Block Adhesive. ...
  • Best Polyurethane. Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive.
31 Dec 2020

Is hot melt glue waterproof? ›

Is hot glue waterproof? The precise answer is yes, hot glue is waterproof. Hot glue is extremely water-resistant and has the capability of dealing with other solvents too. Not only just water, but hot glue can also endure varying temperatures, chemicals, or eroding.

Are all hot glue sticks the same? ›

Not all hot glue is the same. There are two ways to discover that hot glue sticks come in a variety of sizes and types.

Can you use hot glue on glass? ›

Yes – but there are a few things to consider before you do so. Firstly, you must ensure that the area of glass you are using the glue on is clean. Secondly, roughing the area of glass you are using with an abrasive material such as wet & dry paper will help the glue stick.

Does hot glue yellow over time? ›

Due to its nature it is necessary to take caution when working with hot glue as the glue and the metal bits on the gun it can cause nasty burns. Both a pro and a con, this glue quickly adheres as it cools down requiring quick work.It can yellow or become brittle with time.

How long do hot glue sticks last? ›

Also, remember that glue sticks have a one-year minimum shelf life. If you plan to store them for a while, consider putting a label on the storage container with the date. Glue sticks are pretty hardy however, over prolonged periods of time, they can become brittle.

How do you activate a glue gun? ›

How to Use a Glue Gun | Hobbycraft - YouTube

What is the difference between a glue gun and a hot glue gun? ›

Low melt glue guns use lower temperatures, around 250 degrees Fahrenheit, to melt and apply the glue. While hot melt guns use higher temperatures around 385 degrees. Low melt glue guns are utilized for delicate materials like sensitive upholstery while the bulk of industrial glue guns deal with hot melt glue sticks.

What is the fastest way to heal a hot glue gun? ›

Immerse in cool water for 10 or 15 minutes. Use compresses if running water isn't available. Don't apply ice. It can lower body temperature and cause further pain and damage.

Can I use hot glue to hang a mirror? ›

DIY Hot Glue Decorative Framed Mirror - Shabby Chic - YouTube

How long does hot melt glue take to dry? ›

Step 5: So how long does it take for the hot glue to dry? Allow 10 minutes to ensure the glue has adequate time to set before moving the object you are working on. But if you're not pressed for time, best allow 12 hours for the glue to harden.

Does glue dry faster with heat or cold? ›

Glue cures the fastest when the temperature is high and the amount of moisture in the air is low. If you can pick a day to work with glue, try to choose a warm, sunny day with low humidity. A cooler temperature or higher humidity will slow down the drying time of all types of glue.

Does rubbing alcohol remove hot glue? ›

Rubbing alcohol is a simple solution for removing your adhesive, as it will effectively break down the bonds of the hot glue. The higher the percentage of alcohol in the liquid, the more effective it will be for removing residue, but 70 percent will work well with most items.

Should you pop a hot glue gun blister? ›

If your skin has blistered after a burn, you should not pop it. Popping the blister could lead to infection.

Is Gorilla hot glue better than regular hot glue? ›

Consider any extra features the hot glue stick may have to offer. The Gorilla Hot Glue Sticks, Pack of 45, for example, can be sanded and painted. It's also five times more durable than other brands. That makes it a better choice for important home repairs.

Do glue sticks come in different strengths? ›

Because of the thermoplastic nature of Glue Sticks, the strength of a bond will vary with both the amount and rate of load at different temperatures. Bond strength will vary with the amount of adhesive applied. Larger amounts of adhesive cover a larger area and so increase overall strength.

Will hot glue melt plastic? ›

Hot melt glue works well with several types of plastic, and gives a durable bond. It can be used to fasten plastic to, for example, plastic, tiles and wood, with the advantage that you avoid drilling or nailing, and thereby damaging surfaces.

Can I use high temp glue sticks in a low temp glue gun? ›

Unless you are using an adjustable temperature hot melt gun, you must use a high temp glue stick with a high temp gun and a low temp glue stick with a low temp gun.

Do glue sticks work on plastic? ›

Plastic is one of the hardest surfaces to bond to but we have found a hot melt glue stick that will bond polyethylene, PVC and PET. This hot melt is commonly used for PE boxes and display units.

What is hot melt glue used for? ›

Some common examples of industries where Hot Melt is used include: Closing the flaps of corrugated boxes and paperboard cartons in the packaging industry. Spine gluing in the bookbinding industry. Profile-wrapping, product assembly and laminating applications in the woodworking industry.

Can you put hot glue sticks in the microwave? ›

Safety Precautions When Microwaving Hot Glue Sticks

Inspect the glue stick and make sure there are no plastics or wrappings inside or around the stick. If there is, remove them all before microwaving. Be sure to put the glue stick fully inside the container to avoid the glue melting out.

What is hot melt glue good for? ›

Hot melt industrial hot glue and industrial glue guns can be used in furniture assembly to adhere small joints, mounting and trim. Large surface lamination on furniture and cabinetry is another application. In furniture assembly and woodworking, the nearly instant bonding strength of hot melt speeds up production.

What does hot melt glue bond well with? ›

Glue Sticks

Hot melts are thermoplastic (can re-melt when heated) adhesives which offer a fast cure and easy dispensing using a hot melt stick gun. They excel at bonding porous materials such as paper, cardboard, wood, as well as some plastics.

What is the strongest hot glue? ›

1. Gorilla Hot Glue Sticks. These are for an extra-strong, durable hold that works well on hard-to-bond surfaces such as metal and glass.

Is hot glue permanent? ›

When cooled to a temperature below its melting point, hot melt glue results in a strong bond that is guaranteed to last. In fact, hot glue is as permanent as epoxy glue and it is suitable in applications where epoxy is not.

How do you make hot glue stronger? ›

Like almost every glue I write about in my adhesive tutorials, you can help strengthen an adhesive bond by giving your bonding surfaces some 'tooth'. For hot glue bonds, you are going to want to rough up any smooth surfaces with sandpaper, giving the glue something on the bonding surface to grab on to.

What temperature do hot glue sticks melt? ›

At what temperature does hot glue melt? High temperature hot glue melts at temperatures a bit under 195 °C / 380 °F. Low temperature hot melts for delicate materials and crafting do not need such high temperatures. Instead, they melt at a bit under 130 °C / 260 °F.

Can you melt hot glue sticks on the stove? ›

You can melt hot glue in a pan, but it tends to turn yellow and eventually brown if it gets too hot. whether the mold survives the pouring depends on the material. The real problem is that hot glue shrinks quite a lot while cooling down.

How do you make dry glue sticky again? ›

How to Rehydrate Your Glue Sticks - YouTube

How strong is hot melt glue? ›

They provide sufficient strength between 30 and 50 °C but are limited to use below 60–80 °C and have low creep resistance under load. The vinyl acetate monomer content is about 18–29 percent by weight of the polymer.

How long do hot glue sticks last? ›

Also, remember that glue sticks have a one-year minimum shelf life. If you plan to store them for a while, consider putting a label on the storage container with the date. Glue sticks are pretty hardy however, over prolonged periods of time, they can become brittle.

Why does my hot glue dry so fast? ›

If your glue is setting too quickly it may be because you are not applying enough glue to your substrates. Most of our animal glues run best at 2 mils on the roller (you can measure this with a mil depth gauge). In some plant conditions, 3 mils may work better for you.

Is hot glue as strong as wood glue? ›

Ultimately even though hot glue work on wood it will not create a strong wood-to-wood bond for structural purposes. Hot glue bonds are strong enough for crafting projects but not for large construction projects. A hot glue gun can help in keeping workpieces together as the wood glue sets up.

Will hot glue stick to concrete? ›

Does hot glue work on concrete? It does, and this adhesive is often used on cement walls and surfaces. It's also called hot melt and is a thermoplastic adhesive. The great aspect of hot glue is that it won't leave ugly holes and scars, like bolts and screws.

Will hot glue melt plastic? ›

Hot melt glue works well with several types of plastic, and gives a durable bond. It can be used to fasten plastic to, for example, plastic, tiles and wood, with the advantage that you avoid drilling or nailing, and thereby damaging surfaces.

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