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Choosing The Right Adhesive: Part 2

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

CARTRIDGES vs. PELLETS As I discussed in my previous post, I am devoting some space here on the blog to the topic of hot melt adhesives. Which type is most suitable for your project? For your machine? For your business? All these questions and more will be answered here and I hope to help you make a more informed purchasing decision. Let's have a look at: CARTRIDGES

The choice between cartridges and pellets is usually decided by the edge banding machine itself. Most machines are designed for one type of adhesive or the other. In general, it can be assumed that cartridge machines are well-suited for smaller sized projects which do not require the reloading of adhesive during production. The hot melt cartridges themselves are also relatively clean and easy to handle, with no chance of spillage or leakage from torn or damaged packaging. In addition, any cartridge can be trimmed with a sharp utility knife to fit any size chamber for any given machine.They are also easily portable, thanks to their individual packaging and relatively small size.


Hot melt adhesive is also available in the traditional bulk form of pellets. As I mentioned earlier, the choice of pellet vs. cartridge will be dictated by the type of machine being used - pellet machines use a heated glue pot. Hot melt adhesive in the pellet form is available in bags of more than 40 pounds. As every shop needs to consider their cost-per-unit, this especially makes sense for the large-scale manufacturer with a steady stream of clients. Faster feed times are also possible with pellet/glue pot machines and this makes it an attractive choice for the typical high-volume shop.


Each form of hot melt adhesive has its relative pros and cons, as outlined above. However, most manufacturers also see to it that you have a number of commonalities between the two types. For example, you can always find the basic white, black, brown, and natural color choices in either cartridge or pellet form. And the basic chemical composition of the adhesive itself stays consistent across both types. The respective temperature requirements remain the same also; high, medium, and low temp adhesives can be found in both cartridge and pellet form.

Next Up: Temperature Considerations

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