The most widely-used building material by far is wood, used in everything from furniture to decoration pieces. For most projects, wood serves as the core foundation of the scheme. You will need to know how to cut, sand, and join several pieces together to be able to produce something wonderful.
The perfect companion to this universal building material is wood glue. Whether you are a builder by profession or just passionate about DIY arts and crafts, wood glue is a must-have in your tool kit. With their superior bonding strength and long shelf life, the best wood glues ensure that your projects will last a long time.
However, with so much variety on the market, deciding what wood glue to buy can be an intimidating task. To help you figure out which wood glue is the best fit for you, we’ve put together a list of the best wood glues available on the market in 2023.
This wood glue is a great option for professionals working on projects which require a bit of extra strength. Manufactured by the most well-known name in the glue world, Elmer’s Wood Glue Max offers both strength and convenience at an affordable price. The wood glue has a 30 minute clamp time, taking 24 hours to bond fully. It is also resistant to heat, mildew, and mold, so you can use it for a variety of projects.
However, one downside to this product is that the glue is quite thick and can be difficult to squeeze out of the 16-ounce bottle. You also need to take care to screw the cap tightly as the glue will dry out easily.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty glue with a long shelf life, Gorilla Wood Glue may be your best bet. It dries quickly and discreetly, leaving no stain on the wood it is applied to. The wood glue is also very strong, taking just 20 minutes to clamp and 24 hours to fully dry on the surface it is used on. The water-based formula makes cleaning up very convenient and easy as well.
However, the applicator of the wood glue is shaped in a way that makes depositing it in smaller spaces quite difficult. It is also more runny than other glues which can make application during a project very messy.
Dries quickly and discreetly, without leaving a stain
Long shelf life
Strangely shaped applicator makes application difficult
With its extremely strong and thick formula, the Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is a great choice for carpenters wanting to keep their furniture looking new and polished for years to come. Moreover, it is ideal for those living in colder climates, as the wood glue sets at a lower temperature. Cleanup is also easy, with just a bit of water required to get rid of excess glue.
Another interesting feature of this wood glue is that it is safe for indirect use with food. This means that it can safely be used to mend cooking utensils, cutting boards, and other tools used in the kitchen. However, one thing to note is that the glue dries in a dark color, which can affect the look of a project once completed.
This product is perfect for builders who are pressed for time on their projects. The MITREAPEL Super Glue comes with an activator spray which, when used together with the glue, reduces the drying time to just a couple of seconds. It is also compatible with a variety of materials, including wood, glass, stone, and metal- so you can use it in virtually any project.
The price for this two pack is also quite affordable. However, the glue bottle is only half full, so you may run out of it before the activator. The applicator on the bottle is also poorly designed, making it difficult to dispense glue on smaller pieces.
Dries very quickly
Compatible with many materials
Not much product in the glue bottle
Poor design of applicator of glue bottle causes some inconvenience
This product is ideal for customers who do a lot of building. The main feature of this super wood glue is that it can be used underwater- perfect for fixing a fish tank or props inside a home aquarium. There is also quite a lot of product inside the bottle, so you can buy it once and use it for a long time. In addition to this, the wood glue dries without leaving a stain, so you won’t have to worry about concealing the areas where you use it.
However, one drawback of this wood glue is that it is not as strong as advertised, taking more time to dry than other super glues on the market. It is also a bit watery which can make both application and cleanup messy.
Can be used underwater
Large quantity of product
Dries without leaving a stain
Not as strong
Watery formula makes application and cleanup messy
Best Wood Glues Buying Guide
No matter what project you are working on, chances are you will need wood glue in some way or another. You can use it to mend broken utensils, upgrade your home furniture, or create something entirely new. Of course, you will need to decide on which wood glue to use based on the task you have planned. Is what you are building going to be placed outside or inside? How much weight will the project need to hold? Will the utensil be used near food?
All of this can make deciding what to look for when buying wood glue become a difficult task. To help you make this decision easily, we have prepared this comprehensive buying guide highlighting the key features of the best wood glues in 2021.
What Is Wood Glue?
Wood glue is a type of adhesive primarily used to bond together slabs of wood. It has extensive uses in woodworking and carpentry, though many people also prefer keeping a bottle handy at home to help in fixing broken items around the house. You just need to apply a thin layer to the surface of one wooden panel before joining it with the other. Once the glue is completely dry, your pieces will be fused together as if they were never separated, to begin with.
There are many types of wood glues, each with different features and bonding properties. Some wood glues can also be used to bond together with other materials, including glass, stone, ceramics, fabric, and metal. You should be aware of how you intend to use your wood glue before making a purchase.
What Are the Different Types of Wood Glues?
Before you go out to buy wood glue for your project, you should know about the different types. Each kind of wood glue offers its own advantages for the builder using it.
PVA wood glue
Also known as white glue, PVA wood glue is the most common type of wood glue available in most hardware stores. The name “white glue” comes from the color of the glue before curing. Once the glue dries, however, it becomes transparent, making it perfect for mending broken items. The cure time for PVA wood glues is usually quite low, with the glue drying the fastest at room temperature. However, most are not food-safe and not ideal for hardwoods and tropical woods as they contain a lot of oil which hinders the glue’s bonding ability.
Commonly known in the trade as “gorilla glue”, polyurethane glue is your best choice when building projects where durability is a priority. Once dry, the glue is hard and waterproof, so it can be used extensively for outdoor furniture and decoration pieces that need protection from rain and snow. It also works quite well on different materials such as metal, stone, ceramics, and fabric. However, compared to other wood glues, Polyurethane glue takes a long time to cure, requiring at least 24 hours for complete adhesion.
CA wood glue
Cyanoacrylate wood glue is the most popular choice for mending and fixing, as it works best on a small area. Also known as super glue or crazy glue, CA glue dries almost instantly, making it perfect for quick repair jobs. However, you should keep in mind that this glue requires some moisture to bond, so it may not be suitable to use in humid conditions. You can use CA glue on most materials, though it does not work well on plastic.
Animal or hide glue
The oldest form of wood glue is hidden glue. As the name suggests, hide glue is a form of glue derived from the hide of animals. It usually comes in the form of granules or flakes, which are heated in boiling water and then applied to the surface of the wood while still warm. They are moderately strong and used almost exclusively in woodworking. It is also non-toxic and easy to remove, making it an ideal choice for furniture repairs.
Epoxy wood glue
Epoxy wood glue comes in two parts, a hardener and a resin, which are then combined together before applying. It is known for being very strong, maintaining a bond on most materials including wood and plastic. It is also resistant to ultraviolet rays, water, as well as heat. However, most epoxy wood glues are quite expensive and can take a long time to cure.
Why Should I Use Wood Glue Instead of Normal Glue?
Wood glue has many advantages over regular glue. The water content in wood glue is much lower as compared to white glue, which means it will not break down when in contact with water. This allows your projects to remain glued together for longer. It also sets thinner making it less noticeable when dried. Wood glue is also much stronger and can be used to join together many different kinds of materials.
What To Look for When Buying Wood Glue?
Wood glues have a relatively simple purpose but can come in tons of variations. This can make it even more difficult for a beginner, in particular, to decide what aspects to keep in mind when shopping.
Below is a list of the most important aspects to look for in wood glue to avoid a disappointing purchase.
There are many different types of wood glues, with each one offering different advantages and disadvantages. The 5 most common types of wood glue are PVA glue, Polyurethane glue, CA or super glue, Hide glue and Epoxy Wood Glue. Make sure you are aware of the different surfaces each is compatible with before deciding which one to buy.
The most important feature to look for when buying wood glue is its bonding strength. You may prefer using lightweight glue for DIY projects that can be easily removed. However, if you are building furniture, a much stronger glue would be required to withstand a large amount of weight.
Some wood glues, like CA super glue, dry instantly in just a matter of seconds. Others can take several hours before they are completely dry. The latter will require you to arrange the pieces so they are clamped together for a long period of time. However, slower drying wood glues usually have a stronger bond, so you need to think about what kind of project you are building before deciding on the ideal drying time.
Glue color and thickness
Thick glues can be more difficult to apply, while those who are runnier make an application on smaller surfaces very messy. The color of the wood glue you are using is also something to keep in mind, especially if you want to keep the glue line as inconspicuous as possible.
People Also Asked
Q: Do you need clamps for wood glue?
A: Some types of wood glue have slow drying times, so the pieces you are gluing may need to be clamped together for several hours. However, you should make sure not to clamp your pieces for too long or too tight so the wood does not become deformed.
Q: How can I tell if my wood glue has gone bad?
A: Wood glues typically have a long shelf life, though in some cases you may come across expired wood glue. The easiest way to check if your wood glue has gone bad is to check its consistency. If it is very stringy and pasty when applying, you should most likely discard it and buy a new bottle.
Q: How can I apply wood glue without making a mess?
A: Using a knife, spread out a thin layer of wood glue on both of the wood pieces you are attaching together. Once the glue is dry, you can use a sharp blade to scrape off the excess glue.
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