It would be tiresome to list all the different things that can be done with wood glue. No matter what woodworking project you are doing, good glue is essential.
Of course, some products are better than others, so your choice is not as simple as it might seem. We have to think about drying time, waterproofing, overall strength, and all kinds of other things. In this article, we will examine different types of wood glue and attempt to determine which is the best wood glue.
Best Wood Glues in September, 2019
|#||Wood Glue||Set time (minutes)||Bond time (hours)||Waterproof|
|1||Titebond III Ultimate |
|2||Elmer’s Carpenters Tan||20-30||24||No|
|3||Titebond II Premium||60||24||Yes|
|4||Gorilla Wood Glue||20-30||24||Yes|
|5||Glue Masters||30 secs||12||Yes|
This is old and trusted brand, although this particular version of it is somewhat newer. Most people seem to like this incarnation of Titebond, though there are some dissenting opinions that we shall also examine.
This glue is meant to be completely waterproof, which gives it a serious advantage over some of the competition. You can use this for indoor or outdoor projects, and it should work equally well for each. In terms of strength, most users seem to agree that this provides a very strong bond. It’s also nice and thick, which makes it easy to apply to rounded surfaces, uneven surfaces, and vertical surfaces.
Pros And Cons Of The Applicator
I also like the built-in applicator tip. Like a bottle of superglue, this bottle makes it easy to get precise placement and makes it easier to reach those little crevices. However, there is one little problem with this design. Like a bottle of superglue, this thing has a tendency to get its tip clogged with dried glue. The only way to avoid this is by unscrewing the lid and washing out the tip after each use.
Long Dry Time
This one has a fairly long dry time. It takes a minimum of two hours before it begins to set up. Thus, you will need to bust out the clamps when you use this glue. After drying, it needs an additional 24 hours to cure and harden. There is one upside to this long dry time, and that is the fact that you have much more time to correct your work. If one of those pieces is misaligned, you will have a lot more time to notice and correct the issue.
Slow And Expensive, But Effective
This is one of the more expensive products on my list, but it offers something of value. What we have here is a strong glue that is also non-toxic. It’s easy to sand and paint and can be trusted to last for years under optimal conditions. As long as you aren’t in a big hurry to finish the job, this glue is a good choice. Still, I wouldn’t recommend it for big jobs because of its relatively high cost.
Just about everyone has used this type of glue at one time or another, as it is the go-to wood glue for many people. There are reasons for its popularity, most of which comes down to a combination of low price and ease of use. When we compare prices, we see that Elmer’s glue is by far one of the cheapest products on my list.
This product is really easy to clean up. Until it cures, it can be dissolved with water, so you don’t need to be very precise when using this stuff. When it dries and cures, it is still softer than many other types of glue, which makes it easy to sand and paint.
This type of glue is commonly given to children because of its non-toxic nature. There are no toxic fumes to burn your nose, and the formula is gentle enough that you could eat it (although no one with any sense would do so). Drying time is pretty good, as it dries within 30 minutes and cures fully within 24 hours.
Not The Most Durable
Sometimes, this glue is not the best choice because of its thin, watery consistency. When gluing a rounded surface, this glue has a tendency to run. Also, this glue is not very good for outdoor use. Over time, water and the elements will cause it to dissolve. Also, this glue is not the hardest in the world. Therefore, it is a great choice for low-stress applications. If you need maximum strength, however, this isn’t the one to grab.
This is another Titebond product, and this one is the earlier version. As you might expect, Titebond II isn’t that different from Titebond III. However, there are still a few significant differences to be considered.
The biggest difference is in the drying time. Although the total dry time of 24 hours has not changed, the initial drying time is reduced substantially. Titebond II has a much stronger initial tack, meaning that it sticks much better when first applied. In the third incarnation, they reduced this initial tack in an attempt to provide a longer dry time, but we find that this product already gave sufficient work time. Thus, they improved something that was not broken.
Very Tough Glue
This glue is apparently a little tougher than most others. First of all, it’s totally waterproof. That means it is a good choice for that wooden deck furniture or that shed repair or any other outdoor project. Not only does it resist water, but this glue also does not degrade as a result of normal temperature changes. It would take a great deal of heat to make this glue break down. Titebond II also does a good job of resisting chemicals, which is good for those who prefer harsh furniture cleaners.
It’s Foodsafe…Kind of
This glue is more or less non-toxic, so there’s no real danger when working with this one. I say “more or less” because the FDA has approved it for “indirect food use.” This somewhat confusing term tells us that this glue would be safe to use in food packaging, but not on utensils or preparation surfaces.
A Few Issues
When we look for problems, we see that this one has a few. Like its sister product, it has an applicator tip which is prone to clogging. The lid and tip must be removed after each use and cleaned, which is a slight inconvenience. Like its sister product, this one is also expensive. What’s more, several customers have complained of receiving dried-out glue. Thus, we can deduce that this product doesn’t have a particularly long shelf life.
As you might expect from this company, they have produced a glue that is extremely strong. Once dry, this glue will probably be harder and tougher than the wood itself. Thankfully, this isn’t the brown and foamy mixture that most people think of when you mention “gorilla glue”. Instead, this is a clear glue that provides a nearly invisible repair. This makes it a great choice for fine furniture.
We like the convenient applicator tip, although it is not a unique feature by any means. With such a strong and long-lasting glue, precision is very important. Of course, this tip will need to be cleaned in order to avoid clogging. If this tip gets clogged, you might as well cut it off because that’s the only way it’s coming loose. This tip is a little more difficult to clean than the tips on our two Titebond products.
That brings us to a small problem with this glue. It is probably the most difficult to use out of all our choices. First of all, it’s a really thick mixture. It isn’t nearly as thick as standard gorilla glue, but it’s still thicker than most wood glues.
On top of that, this glue begins to set up very quickly. Once the glue is in place, you can only count on about five minutes of working time. Thus, you had better make sure that you know what you are doing before you use this stuff. After 30 minutes, there is no moving this stuff. After 24 hours, it becomes like a rock. If you happen to make a serious mistake with this glue, it can be very difficult to reverse course.
This is one of the products on my list that isn’t labeled as a wood glue. However, it was deserving of inclusion in this list because it bonds well to wood…and pretty much everything else. This makes it a great choice for wooden objects with nonmetal fittings. Whether it’s a bronze finial or a wooden table with a stone top, this stuff is definitely up to the task.
Yes, It’s Superglue
If you are wondering what “cyanoacrylate” means, it’s just a fancy way of describing superglue. This product could accurately be described as high-end superglue. As such, it comes with the same benefits and drawbacks as standard superglue. First, it has a tendency to get stuck to your fingers, and it isn’t easy to remove. Many people find that it’s easy to glue their fingers together, and you can actually lose flesh in trying to get them apart. Now imagine how bad it would be to get this stuff in your eye. For this reason, you should wear goggles when using this glue.
A Little Dab Will Do It
This stuff is expensive, but there is a reason for that. The high-strength nature of this glue makes it so that you don’t need to use much. Thus, its high cost is somewhat mitigated by the fact that a little goes a long way. We also like the money-back guarantee offered by the company, which also makes us feel better about the cost.
Fast Dry Time
The fast dry time is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you can definitely get the job done quickly. This glue bonds almost instantly, and requires only a couple of hours to cure fully. This is great from a time-management perspective, but you will have very little time to align the pieces before the glue hardens. This is a product to be used sparingly and carefully. Another good reason to be careful is the toxic and slightly hazardous nature of this glue.
The selection of wood glue has probably turned out to be more complex than you thought. Glue has come a long way from its primitive beginnings, and there is a lot of chemistry that goes into the design of such products.
But which one is the best? In most cases, this will depend on your project. Still, I would recommend Titebond III Ultimate glue for general purposes. In general, this type of glue had the strongest advantages with the fewest disadvantages, making it the best all-around choice. We thank you for reading to the end, and we hope you will join us again.