Guide to Hot Melt Nozzles: Selection and Maintenance –
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Guide to Hot Melt Nozzles: Selection and Maintenance

Guide to Hot Melt Nozzles: Selection and Maintenance

You're ready to begin your new project and you think you have all your tools ready for the job. You’ve loaded up on hot melt and supplies, but have you considered which nozzle to use? If you are a newbie when it comes to using hot melt adhesives, you may not think the nozzle matters. But the truth is, the nozzle can make or break a hot melt project.

What Makes a Nozzle So Important?

Hot melt is heated and then passed through the hot melt gun for dispensing. At this point, the hot melt travels through the nozzle, which distributes the adhesive onto the product in a designed velocity, quantity and direction. These three factors significantly impact the quality of the glue and outcome of your project, so it's critical you choose the right nozzle for the job.

General Types of Nozzles

There are three general types of possible nozzle dispensing: single bead, multi-bead and sprays — which dispense hot melt at various patterns and positions. Consider how you want the glue to dispense before selecting a nozzle.

Factors to Consider

It's important to consider two other factors regarding your hot melt application: the hot melt itself and how you want it applied

The hot melt material may have specifications for a nozzle that best applies the adhesive. Remember that every project and material is unique, so where there may be a few nozzle options for each adhesive, it may be wise to test each one on your product to determine which is the best fit for your exact needs.

Also, consider how you want the glue applied. Experiment with options or contact a sales consultant here at for advice on the perfect adhesive and nozzle for your materials and specific project.  

 Yellow hot glue gun

Nozzle Selection: What to Look For in Hot Melt Nozzles

Spray nozzles spray the glue, which allows for faster cooling, and therefore enables the application to heat-sensitive surfaces. Pneumatic spray nozzles allow you to apply hot melt to heat-sensitive materials without damage and are ideal for heavy-duty jobs. They also use nozzles that can change their patterns (such as from a narrow to wide pattern).

Consider a spray adhesive if you are working with a large area or a heat-sensitive material.

Hot melt nozzles come in a variety of shapes, sizes and brands. Our guide to glue gun nozzles explains some ideas for nozzle types per project. Some of the most popular styles and their applications are listed here:

 workshop with hot glue gun

Fluted Tips - Fluted tips deliver an angled application of glue to your surface and sometimes a thinner layer of glue.

Spreader Nozzles - Spreader nozzles are designed to distribute glue over a large area. They are engineered with a large opening at the end of a flat tip to spread glue on vast areas with accuracy. T-Type nozzles are another type of spreader nozzle that lays down adhesive in a large area.

Extension Nozzle - Extension nozzles allow you to apply hot melt in difficult to reach places and angled areas.

Multi-Tip Nozzles -  Two and three-tipped nozzles can be found to apply multiple dots, lines or spreads of hot melt at once.

High Volume Nozzles - High volume nozzles spread a thick layer of glue to your material, making them ideal for large projects.

Hot Melt Nozzle Maintenance

Even if you have the right nozzle for your project, if it’s not in good condition, you will not get the correct glue application. Follow these maintenance and cleaning tips to ensure your nozzles are in the best shape possible so that you can get the right application each time.

While it is essential you choose the right glue gun for your project, it is equally important to select the correct nozzle. Nozzles come in an assortment of hole configurations and can be used in a variety of applications from intricate projects to large areas.

Always replace your nozzles when you notice wear, chipping or any other defects. Although nozzles are durable, constant wear can cause an inferior product if damage goes unnoticed.