Review: Best Glues
Glue is one of the essentials of any toolbox. When something minor breaks in your home or on the job site, the majority of the time a good adhesive is what you’ll need to repair it. Perhaps you’ll primarily use glue to work in your personal wood shop. What if you want a bottle of adhesive suited to fix your children’s toys? Then again, maybe you just need an all-purpose glue to work on a wide variety of different materials because who knows what you’re going to have to fix next. For more information on what to look at in selecting the best glues in 2021, Read through our glue buyer’s guide below to help you make right purchasing decision.
Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue
Titebond Liquid Hide Glue
Gorilla Wood Glue
Gorilla Glue 50004 Adhesive Glue
Elmer's Glue-All Multi-Purpose Glue
J-B Weld PlasticWeld
Loctite 1363118 Plastic Bonder Epoxy
Gorilla Glue 7800101 Super Glue Tubes
Krazy Glue KG48348MR Maximum Bond With Mini Advanced Precision Tip
Loctite 1363589 4-Gram Bottle Super Glue Ultra Gel Control Adhesive
J-B Weld 8265-S Cold Weld
Permatex 84209 PermaPoxy 4 Minute Multi-Metal Epoxy
Gorilla Glue Epoxy
Aleene's 8 oz. Original Tacky Glue
Elmer's Washable No-Run School Glue
Comparing the Best Glue
The Elmer's E7310 Carpenter's Wood Glue Max, 16 Ounces is the best wood glue you can buy because for one, it is suited for both interior and exterior applications. Most wood glues are only suited for one or the other, so the fact that this does both makes it more valuable. Furthermore, this glue is waterproof. This guarantees that your bond won’t weaken in the rain, which is safer. Also, the glue itself has wood fibers in it so once your bond dries, should you choose to stain your project, you don’t have to worry about it looking strange. This is good if you’re building something for your own home that you’ll see everyday.
The Franklin International 5013 Titebond Liquid Hide Glue, 8-Ounce is another great glue to consider buying because for one, it has a somewhat long set time (the time it takes for the glue to set in place). This makes it great for anyone looking to use the glue to put together furniture, or jobs that take a long time, because it means you aren’t rushed and can move something if you make a mistake. Furthermore, this glue is great for hobbyists because it’s formulated to produce an excellent crackling effect, which gives your projects a cool weathered look. This glue is also unaffected by finishes and great for sanding, which even furthers the fact that it’s a great option for hobbyists by making it an excellent choice for all manner of crafts.
I have included the Gorilla Glue 6205001 Wood Glue Bottle, 18-Ounce on this list because for starters, it is extremely strong. I almost always have a bottle of Gorilla Glue on hand because it’s by far the strongest glue I have ever used. Secondly, this glue dries a natural color. That makes it good to use if you want glue for a project that doesn’t involve sanding or painting. Furthermore, this glue is both mildew and water resistant, which means your bond will hold strong for a long time. My final favorite part about this glue is that it’s FDA approved for indirect food contact. That means you can use it for kitchen repairs such as tabletops or cutting boards, thereby increasing the glue’s value.
Gorilla Glue 50004 Adhesive, 4-Ounces is the best all purpose glue because it’s extremely strong. I personally keep Gorilla Glue around at all times because of how tremendously strong it bonds things. It’s unreal. Another great thing about this glue is that once the bond dries, it is paintable and stainable. This makes it a great glue to choose if you anticipate you’ll be working on a lot of things with great aesthetic qualities. I also love how it’s waterproof. That means that you can use it on stuff outside where exposure to elements is more common. The final thing that makes this glue great is that it doesn’t become brittle with age. That means your bond stays strong as long as possible.
The Elmer's Glue-All Multi-Purpose Glue is a great all purpose glue to buy for one, because it’s extremely safe to use. It’s non-toxic, which means you have nothing to worry about while using it, even for your kids. I also like how fast it dries. This is good because it ensures a stronger bond. Another great thing about this glue is that it’s washable. That makes cleanup easy should you have excess run off or an accidental spill. Finally, I am including this glue on this list because of the brand name. Elmer’s has always had a reputation of excellent glues, and their Glue All is no exception.
The J-B Weld PlasticWeld is the top plastic glue because it bonds instantly and extremely strong. This makes your jobs quick and painless. Furthermore, it doesn't shrink or pull away as it dries. This saves you time in the long run because you don’t have to go back and reapply. I also like the fact that once your bond is hardened, the glue can be sanded, painted, stained or drilled (without cracking). This is good if you’re bonding something for your own home that you need to look as aesthetic as possible. Finally, this glue is great because it can be used indoors or out, and it’s moisture resistant. This helps to protect your bond from the elements.
The Loctite 1363118 0.85-Ounce Plastic Syringe Epoxy Plastic Bonder is a great plastic glue to buy because it’s resistant to both water and almost all common solvents and fluids found in garages. This makes it a great glue to consider if you want it for your job or home. It’s also impact resistant, which means that once it’s dry it won’t crack if you drill it (this means your bond is very strong). Additionally, this also makes the final, hardened bond easy to sand. This glue also doesn’t shrink, which is good for reasons I mentioned above.
The Gorilla Glue 7800101 Super Glue Tubes, 2-Piece, 3 Gram is the number one, best super glue for one because Gorilla Glue is insanely strong. I touched briefly on how good Gorilla Super Glue is in other reviews on this site before. It’s ridiculous how well the stuff works. Moreover, the glue is toughened with rubber. This makes the bond impact resistant, which is good if you plan on using it on something that might take a beating after you repair it (i.e. a kid’s toy). Furthermore, this super glue has an anti-clog tip. This is good if you plan on getting a glue that you can store briefly between uses (super glue likes to dry quickly, clogging nozzle tips). I also love that this glue is a bit thicker than average, which makes it easier to control (runny super glue is a nightmare because it’s really hard to get it to stay where your pour it before applying the bond). Finally, this is a great deal because you get two tubes, thereby increasing your value.
The Krazy Glue KG48348MR Instant Krazy Glue Mini Advanced Precision Tip 0.18-Ounce is one of the best super glues on the market, for one, because it has a precision, extended tip. This makes it a lot easier to apply the glue, which is good if you want a super glue to fix things like broken plates, where a finer and accurate glue flow is more desirable. Furthermore, this glue’s bond is shock resistant once the bond is set. Like the Gorilla Glue, this makes it great for repairs on kid’s toys because of the beating they can potentially take. Finally, I love that this glue dries clear. This makes it great for repairs on items that have more of an aesthetic value because the bond will be less visible.
The Loctite 1363589 4-Gram Bottle Super Glue Ultra Gel Control Adhesive is one of the best super glues I have ever used because for one, it has these cool little ribbed sides that give you a lot more control over how much glue comes out of the bottle when you squeeze them. This makes your application more accurate, which makes forming your bond a lot easier. Furthermore, the glue is resistant to moisture, chemicals and cold temperatures. That makes this a great super glue to use for outdoor applications, such as a broken lawn chair leg. Like several of the other glues on this list, this glue is also impact and shock resistant. This is a great feature to have for reasons I touched on above.
The J-B Weld 8265S Weld Compound - Epoxy Twin Pack is the best metal glue available because for one, it’s waterproof. In addition to that, once the bond is cured it’s petroleum, chemical and acid resistant. That makes it a great adhesive for outdoor and garage applications. Furthermore, once the glue is dry it can be drilled, tapped, machined, filed, sanded or painted. This also makes it a great adhesive to consider if you wish to work on metal that has an aesthetic value. I also love that after the glue is set, it’s non-toxic. That makes it safer to use. My final reason for listing this glue as the top is that it has a tensile strength (the stress that something can withstand while being pulled before breaking) of 3960 pounds per square inch. That’s huge and it ensures your bond will more than likely never break.
The Permatex 84209 PermaPoxy 4 Minute Multi-Metal Epoxy, Two 1 oz. Tubes is a metal glue worth buying because it sets in four minutes. I explained above with the Super Glue epoxy why quick setting metal glues are great. Additionally, this adhesive is resistant to both water and solvents, which is good because it means you can use the glue outside. This glue also has a crazy high tensile strength of 4500 PSI. I touched on above why high tensile strengths are desirable. Like some of the other glues on this list, it can also be drilled, sanded, threaded and filed once dry. As I said above, this is great if you want to do any of these things but don’t want to risk potentially destroying your hardened bond.
The Gorilla Glue 4200101 Epoxy 25 ml Syringe is the final metal glue on this list because it comes in a quick application syringe. This prevents you from having to mix the two components together yourself and save you time in the long run, which I mentioned above. The final glue bond is also impact resistant, which is good if your want to repair a metal that might get banged up (such as a bike frame). Furthermore, this glue is water and solvent resistant, which is great for various reasons I talked about above. My final favorite part about this glue is that it’s non-toxic once the glue dries. This makes it safer to use.
The Aleene's Original Tacky Glue has earned a spot on this list because for starters, it dries clear. This is great because it makes the glue great to use on things you don’t wish for the final bond to be visible in. Furthermore, this glue is flexible once dry. This is very useful because that means it can be used to help repair or bond things like fabric, which is not very rigid. Additionally, this glue cleans up easily with water. As I touched on above with the Loctite glue, this makes it a good option if you have kids, because accidental spills will clean up rather effortlessly.
The Elmer's Washable No-Run School Glue is great because it also dries clear. Furthermore, it’s a no-run glue. This means that the glue stays in place as you apply it, which means you don’t have to go back and do another layer. That being said, this glue is also great because it can still be adjusted before fully setting in place. This makes it a great glue for kids because a mistake is very easily fixable before the glue dries. The final best thing about this glue is that it’s washable. This obviously means that it’s easy to clean up should an accidental spill happen, which again, makes this a great glue for the kids.
There are many different types of adhesive on the market because they’re all used for different materials. For example, glass adhesive is primarily used to bond glass together, metal glue is used to bond different metals together, plastic for plastic, etc.
Before buying an adhesive, you should take a second to decide what you’re going to use it for. For example, if you want strong wood glue for use with building cabinets, you shouldn’t buy a tube of super glue. Or, if you want glass adhesive to join beads together for a necklace, you should avoid all-purpose glue.
Because glue adhesives are fairly cheap and people usually have a tube or two already lying around the house, the small details such as toxicity, tube size, whether you can use it indoors, etc., are often overlooked. The following buyer’s guide includes these and other important considerations when purchasing an adhesive for your household tool kit.
Interior vs. Exterior Use
Some adhesives are made to be used indoors, some outdoors, and some both. This is because some glues give off fumes while they’re drying that wouldn’t be safe to breath in inside of a house.
Generally, wood glues and some super glues are safe to use indoors. Plastic and metal glues, on the other hand, usually emit highly toxic fumes and cannot be used indoors without ventilation. You should always check your adhesive’s label before usage to see where it’s safest to use.
Common Glue Types
Wood adhesives usually have a thick consistency, low in toxicity or non-toxic, and can generally be cleaned up with water. They’re also usually sandable and paintable, since wood workers usually need to paint their finished products.
Glass adhesives are extremely popular with jewelry makers. They are generally very strong because glass is non-porous and difficult to bond completely. They also usually come in small tubes because they dry out quickly.
Plastic adhesives are great for fixing broken toys, kitchen utensils, and other common household items like fans or storage totes. They’re generally toxic and must be used in a ventilated area. Like glass glue, plastic glue creates a strong bond since plastic is non-porous.
All-purpose glue is designed to work with various materials, usually wood, ceramic, foam, paper, and more. These affordable glues generally come in medium and large containers because they don’t dry out as quickly.
Super glue is an adhesive designed to hold things tight and strong. It has a very short shelf life, and as such, usually comes in a tiny tube. It’s also designed to be used in thin layers because of the quick cure time. These products are highly toxic and must be used with care as it’s very easy to accidentally bond skin to objects.
Metal glue is very strong as well as very toxic. Like wood glue, it is usually sandable and paintable but must be used in ventilated areas, usually requiring some kind of solvent to be cleaned up.
Non-toxic glue is safe to the touch which makes it great if you have kids or pets around the house. Because it doesn’t emit fumes it can used safely indoors and can be cleaned up with water.
One of the most important things you should keep in mind when looking to buy glue is whether or not it’s toxic. Always keep in mind who or what will touch your bond after it’s dry. If you have a lot of pets or small children running around your home, it’s probably a good idea to only purchase non-toxic adhesives. As mentioned above, always check your glue’s label first to see how toxic it is.
All glues have a set time, or the time it takes for the adhesive to set in place after you apply it and join two or more materials together. With most glue, set time is fairly quick at around 10 to 20 minutes. If you’ve ever curious as to how long your glue’s set time is, just check the label. Most glue will list specific set times on the label or with the included instructions.
The cure time is how long it takes for glue to entirely dry and the bond to complete. This can take as little as a few hours, or as long as a day. It is also dependent on things like weather and humidity. Wetter conditions will mean longer cure times.
All adhesives dry differently. Some types expand while others such as white craft glue dry flexible so the materials you bond together can move freely. Wood glues aren’t visible after drying so that they can be sanded and painted over. Metal glue, which is usually clear before applying, changes color to metallic grey once dried.
You should always keep in mind what you want the final bond to look like when purchasing adhesive. Consider researching particular brands you’re interested in online for examples, or even ask someone at your local hardware store for a small sample prior to purchase.
Glues come in a wide variety of different tube sizes, depending on the type of glue you’re buying. Glues that dry out very quickly, such as super glue, generally come in very small tubes because if you don’t use the glue in one or two applications, it dries up. All-purpose glues or wood glues can often be bought in large, budget-friendly containers because they take a lot longer to dry up.
If you want to buy an adhesive you’re only going to use every once in awhile, it’s a lot better to buy as small a tube as possible and not open it until right before you’re ready to use it. This is so the glue doesn’t dry up before you actually have a chance to bond something. If you plan on using the adhesive you purchase frequently, then it’s a lot better to buy a bigger size. This way, you avoid going back to the store multiple times for several containers.
Accidents sometimes happen and spilled glue can be difficult to clean up. Sometimes you may even need to get rid of a previously cured bond. Most adhesives on the market can generally be cleaned up with oil, water, or solvents such as turpentine or thinner.
When wood glue is wet, it’s easy to remove with a wet towel. You can also wait until the glue reaches a rubber consistency during its cure and scrape it off with a putty knife. Once it’s dried, however, a solvent or adhesive remover is your best bet.
Plastic glue is most easily removed with a strong solvent. These are toxic, so make sure you put on a pair of gloves first and then clean in a well-ventilated area.
All-purpose glue, such as white craft glue, is the easiest type of adhesive to clean, and can be wiped up with warm water while it’s wet and dry.
Super glue is very stubborn to clean, but both acetone and rubbing alcohol work with a bit of elbow grease. As mentioned with plastic glue, take all necessary precautions when using toxic cleaners.
Like plastic and super glue, acetone or thinner are the best options for cleaning up metal glue. You can also scrape dried metal glue with a stiff wire brush after softening with your remover of choice to aid clean up.