Cheap vs inexpensive bulk hot melt

Inexpensive Hot Melt is Fine, Cheap Hot Melt is Bad.

When you are looking for hot melt adhesives in bulk, price is certainly a consideration, but quality needs to be the top concern. Some bulk hot melt products are cheap, while others are inexpensive. You'll know the difference the first time you fill up your hot melt pot because regardless of price, the cheap one will smell, char and likely ruin your equipment and your day. There are several varieties of hot melt adhesives on the market from many different manufacturers. When purchasing any product in bulk, it is important to understand what you are buying so that you avoid costly mistakes from inferior product. There are several factors that you should consider to ensure that you are purchasing inexpensive bulk hot melt, not a cheap product.

Hot melt adhesives (HMAs) are used in various applications including crafts, precast concrete, packaging, nonwovens, flooring, low pressure molding, product assembly and woodworking. Product assembly covers many uses, such as manufacturers of electronic devices affixing parts like chips and wires to boards or to insulate and protect components. Hot melt adhesives are used for assembly and laminating in woodworking, and for carton sealing and labeling in the packaging industry. With so many applications, different types, or formulations of hot melt have been developed. Some applications may require simple cardboard case closing or peel-able hot melt while others require hot melt that is high tack or non-bleeding.

Quality Matters

Cheap hot melt is often a combination of substandard raw materials and a manufacturing process that cuts corners. This leads to inconsistancies between batches and products that can cause product failure or damage dispensing equipment.

Often these products are melted polyethylene plastic and skimp on the more expensive elements like premium tackifiers and fillers.:

The most common type of bulk hot melt we see trying to be passed off as an inexpensive product when in reality it is just a cheap on is EVA hot melt. Ethylene-vinyl acetate adhesives work particularly well with substrates like paper and cardboard and are often used in product packaging. has spent years developing a line of EVA bulk hot melts that range from inexpensive packaging products for standard applications to high performance glue for difficult surfaces, freezer conditions and more. Our prices will often be the lowest without the fear of receiving an inferior product. We also carry a range of price and performance options on the following types of bulk hot melt products. 

  • Fugitive: This is a gummy glue that is tacky and removable. It is designed to create temporary bonds. It is most commonly used in marketing applications, and can be used to temporarily attach flyers, coupons, credit or gift cards.
  • Metallocene: This hot melt adhesive is commonly used for case & carton closing and tray sealing, it also runs smoothly on high-speed packaging lines used in the food and beverage industry. It offers minimum stringing, and eliminates char build up in the tanks and hoses. It also has low odor and is highly resistant to extreme heat or cold.
  • Polyamide: This type of HMA is made from renewable raw materials like castor or rape seed oil. Polyamide (PA) adhesives create a durable bond. It is resistant to extreme heat and cold, and many chemicals and softeners. Special PA hot melt adhesives are formulated to create a secure bond with temperatures ranging from -35°C to +135°C. PA adhesives are often used in the automotive industry, electronics industry and for coating insulating materials.
  • Pressure Sensitive: This adhesive is thermoplastic rubber-based. The adhesive never fully sets, it remains sticky permanently. The pressure sensitive HMA requires contact pressure to create a bond. This allows for a bond to be made even when the adhesive is cold. There are both permanently tacky and removable types of pressure sensitive adhesives.

Key Terms

You will see a few different terms used for describing the properties of different hot melt adhesives, and often these also provide clues to the quality. For example, the term "hot tack" refers to the adhesive's ability to hold substrates together before it is set. Another term to look for is "open time", which indicates the time which a serviceable bond can be made after application. "Cloud point" indicates the temperature at which a hot melt adhesive becomes cloudy when cooling, this is a good indication of compatibility of the formula components.


We can tailor a product to any application and budget. To get the best performance-to-price ratio it is best to contact us for a specific product recommendation. Our knowledgeable hot melt experts have seen every type of application and will be sure to match you with the right adhesive. 

The bottom line is can save you money and improve your bulk hot melt dispensing process. Be sure to ask about bulk pricing and discounted shipping on volume orders. 

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