One of the other suggestions for a replacement for the beloved Hold Heet glue pot is to use a coffee mug warmer, such as this one. I chose this particular model because it has two heat settings that are ideal for heating glue (122°F and 140°F), plus it has a timer and an automatic shutoff.
I’ve used it a few times, but the limitation of this kind of glue heater was obvious from the start: It’s too small to heat more than a little bit of glue. If you work on small projects and need only a few ounces of glue at a time, a mug warmer is ideal. But I had trouble heating enough glue for a chair class and had to break out the Hold Heet.
Honestly, it’s a lot to expect from a $20 appliance that is supposed to keep 8 ounces of coffee warm. It just doesn’t put out enough heat to warm a water bath and a plastic glue bottle. (You can’t put the glue bottle directly on the warmer; it will melt.)
One possible option would be to store your glue in a steel container, which could go directly on the appliance. I tried using a large ceramic vessel but couldn’t get the water above 100° F. The thing likes to heat metal.
So the best option was a steel vessel filled with water and a glue bottle inside.
So, bottom line: It’s great for people who need enough glue for a few crackers. But if you need enough for a big piece of casework, look elsewhere.
— Christopher Schwarz