You’ve got a one-component adhesive/sealant in a foil pack. You’ve decided that you need the performance and versatility of an electric applicator gun over a pneumatic gun. But now you’re stuck. You’re probably struggling to know where to start.
That’s why we want to help you. Here at Forgeway, we manufacture and supply over 3000 tonnes of adhesives every year. Because we have so much experience with adhesives, we know the different factors that make a good electric applicator.
This article is going to discuss the three key characteristics you want to consider when choosing an electric applicator. Then, we will go over our top 5 choices you can choose from. By the end of the article, you will be able to choose the right electric applicator for you.
What makes a good electric applicator?
Before we dive into the top 5 electric applicators, we should establish what qualities you might want to look out for. The right electric applicator for you depends entirely on your application.
Higher viscosity adhesives or sealants will need a powerful applicator
When you are using a highly viscous adhesive or sealant, you will need a powerful gun. If the adhesive or sealant isn’t viscous, power shouldn’t be an issue for you. Now you’re probably wondering what a highly viscous adhesive or sealant is.
Adhesive or sealant manufacturers typically measure viscosity in pascal per second or Pa.s. A rating of 3000 Pa.s and above would be highly viscous. You would need a powerful applicator. A rating between 2000Pa.s and 3000 Pa.s wouldn’t need such a powerful applicator.
Glass bonding adhesives tend to be highly viscous. This is because they need to have a high grab to help hold the glass in place while the glue cures.
You also need to bear in mind that temperature plays a role in the viscosity of adhesives and sealants. In colder temperatures, the adhesive or sealant will firm up. This makes it more viscous. So, if you are using the product in a colder climate, you will need a more powerful gun.
The power of the gun is rated in newtons of force. We call it the ‘max push force’. So the higher the max push force, the more powerful it will be.
A heavy applicator can be more difficult to work with
Whilst all electric applicators will be around the same weight, some are heavier than others. When you are applying adhesive or sealant for an extended period, a heavy applicator can get tiring.
The other reason people prefer a lighter applicator is that they offer more versatility. You will find it easier to manoeuvre the applicator into tight spaces if it is lighter.
Nonetheless, if you aren’t using the applicator for extended periods or in tight spaces, weight shouldn’t be an issue for you.
Poor packaging can make life difficult
Not all applicators will come with packaging. This can make it difficult when you want to transport the applicator. Some applicators come in a hard shell carry case. This means you can easily transport the applicator and the accessories (like the battery and charger) without worrying about losing parts.
If you don’t need to transport the applicator around much, a carry case isn’t necessary.
What are the top 5 electric applicators?
Now that you know what you should be looking out for, we will go through our top five electric applicators. We will give you the details about the product so you can decide which one is right for you.
Metabo KPA 18 LTX 600
- Push force: 7259 Newtons
- Weight: 3Kg
- Cost: £300
- Packaging: Cardboard box
Why you should choose the Metabo KPA 18 LTX 600
- It is very powerful – This gun will be able to apply even high viscosity products in cold conditions. It is the most powerful electric applicator you can buy.
- It is reliable – This applicator is known for being high-quality and reliable despite its high price.
Why you shouldn’t choose the Metabo KPA 18 LTX 600
- It is heavy – It is the heaviest applicator on this list. The extra power does mean more weight.
It doesn’t have good packaging – This means it will be difficult to transport, parts are more likely to go missing, and it can get damaged easily.
- Push force: 5000 Newtons
- Weight: 2.9 Kg
- Cost: £290
- Packaging: Hard shell carry case
Why you should choose the Makita DCG180ZBK
- It has a hard shell carry case – The hard shell carry case will protect the applicator and will ensure no parts go missing.
- It is a popular brand – If you already have Makita tools, you can interchange batteries and chargers.
Why you shouldn’t choose the Makita DCG180ZBK
- It may struggle to apply some adhesives – The Makita gun is the second most powerful electric applicator you can buy. But it may not be powerful enough to apply highly viscous adhesives in the winter months.
- Push force: 4500 Newtons
- Weight: 2.3 Kg
- Cost: £220
- Packaging: Softshell carry case.
Why you should choose the Milwaukee C18PCG600A-201B
- It is low cost – This is the cheapest applicator you can buy. It is still powerful enough to apply most adhesives and sealants.
- It is lightweight – The lightweight makes it easier to use and will be more comfortable to use over long periods.
Why you shouldn’t choose the Milwaukee C18PCG600A-201B
- It may struggle to apply some adhesives – The Milwaukee gun may not be powerful enough to apply highly viscous adhesives in the winter months.
- It has a soft shell carry case – Whilst it keeps all the pieces in one place, the soft shell bag may not protect the gun from damage.
- Push force: 4410 Newtons
- Weight: 2.8 Kg
- Cost: £310
- Packaging: Hard-shell carry case
Why you should choose the Panasonic EY3640LS1S31
- It has a hard-shell carry case – This will ensure the product doesn’t get damaged or parts won’t go missing.
- It is compact and powerful – Whilst it isn’t the lightest option, the Panasonic gun is one of the smallest. This means it is more manoeuvrable.
Why you shouldn’t choose the Panasonic EY3640LS1S31
- It isn’t a common brand – This means you probably won’t have any spare batteries or chargers. You will need to buy at least one spare battery.
- It doesn’t have any standout features – Whilst it is a fantastic gun, it doesn’t have any standout features. It isn’t the most powerful, the lightest, or the cheapest.
- Push force: 2500 Newtons
- Weight: 2.8 Kg
- Cost: £270
- Packaging: None included
Why you should choose the DeWalt DCE580N
- It is a DeWalt product – If you already have DeWalt systems in place, this product means you can use batteries and chargers from other products.
Why you shouldn’t choose the DeWalt DCE580N
- It is low power – You can only apply low-viscosity products with this gun.
- It doesn’t have any packaging – This makes it difficult to transport. Parts may get missing, or the gun may get damaged.
Which battery-powered applicator is best for you?
Now you know the top 5 electric applicators, it’s time to make a decision about which one is best for you. We have given you the main details about each option to help you decide. But maybe you’re still unsure.
Here at Forgeway, we are industrial adhesive manufacturers. We know that the applicator is an important part of the bonding process. Choosing the right one for you is difficult though.
If are looking for a high-power gun, the Metabo is the best option for you. It is by far the most powerful electric applicator you can buy.
If you don’t need the highest power but still want a competent gun, the Milwaukee is the best option as it is lighter and cheaper than the other applicators in its range.
If you need the applicator to come with a hard shell carry case, the Makita or the Panasonic options are best for you.
Or, if you already have DeWalt products and you are using a low viscosity product, the DeWalt is the best option for you.
Out of all of these options, we would always recommend using the Metabo or the Milwaukee applicators. But if you are still stuck on which product to choose, a member of our team would be happy to help you choose the right applicator for your situation.