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.
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 3M Polygun AE or any other standard ½” glue gun.
The 3M AE stick size is good for low to mid-volume applications.
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.
The TC glue stick size is good for low to mid volume applications.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Weld 3748VO – 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.
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 Weld 3762LM – This light amber, fast setting hot melt is a low temp formula great for sensitive surfaces like foam and fabric.
- 3M Scotch Weld 3792LM – 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.
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.
- 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.
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 Weld 3792LM: 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.
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 Weld 3792LM: 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.
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.
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.
Craving a little more info? Check out our Ultimate 3M Glue Gun Guide to 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.