How To Select the Best Wood Glue: Top 5 Reviews

A lot of people say that woodworking is the most difficult branch amongst all activities which require work with lots of different materials. This is because wood is not man made and it’s a versatile engineering material. Therefore, wood glue mostly contains different adhesive properties in order to be able to withstand the strain of holding such a material.

Wood glue can be used in a range of applications, from household, hobby-like construction to heavy duty cabinet making for commercial purposes. Its possibilities are endless and although the type of wood you’re using is important, knowing the best wood glues around is even more important.

Therefore, we decided to narrow the choice for you and give you some very useful tips on how to both choose the ultimate wood glue and improve your woodworking skills. The market is tough, so that’s another reason to be wary when choosing to purchase your next wood glue.

What Are The Uses Of Wood Glue?

When it comes to wood glue, in most cases you want to use it to strengthen the foundation of the object you’re building. In other words, glue is not used just to connect two cutoffs or planks, but to provide additional stability to a material that is naturally not as strong as some artificial objects.

Usually, when you try to break apart two pieces of wood that were stuck together using wood glue – the wood itself breaks, but the glued surface stays perfectly intact. This is because wood is made of fiber and adhesives like wood glue are the complete opposite of the composition of that fiber. This is a plus because you will have an excellent connection between wood pieces if you use the right wood glue.

  • It is a valuable addition to your workshop because the average brand can be applied to most types of wood and in most types of situations. There are exceptions, but you should only worry about them before the very beginning of the project.
  • Therefore, good-quality wood glue will be able to dry quickly and thoroughly. It will easily make the bond between two pieces of wood unbreakable. Not to mention that they’re very cheap and that a good wood glue will only require one round of applying it and the bond will last for years and decades.
  • The uses span from regular household hobbies to the creation of heavy industrial cabinets. The same basic glue is used in all these cases and can withstand different kinds of strain.
  • Because it’s so strong and resilient, it can also be used with laminated materials and applying them to all kinds of surfaces. This is a big money saver and an improvement in the strength department by a lot.

Now, there are a few more applied and complex uses, but they require specific kinds of wood glue, and they are covered in the following section.

Types Of Wood Glue

When looking to purchase wood glue, you might find yourself perplexed a bit, especially if you’re a beginner. You will always want the best possible level of precision so that you can produce your work in the best way possible. As absolute precision is a must, the way to achieve that level of perfection varies from project to project and in between different kinds of wood.

Therefore, the first and perhaps the most crucial and perhaps the often overlooked part of buying a wood glue is the kind. There are quite a few and we’ve rounded them up, just so you can get a clear view of what’s the offer on the market.

Animal glue and hide glue

We’re starting right from the first glue the humans ever put to use. It’s made out of animal hides and was used all around the world for sticking operations of all kinds. When it comes to its appliance as wood glue, it is still in use today, but in limited form.

It doesn’t stick as hard as some artificial polymers, but it still gets the job done. Replica furniture and musical instruments are being made using this glue because it’s cheap and sticks quickly. If you want to repair a joint that has hide glue on it, just use a lighter to make the glue dissolve due to heat and apply a new layer. Easy as can be!

Urea-formaldehyde

This form of wood glue is one of the most low-budget solutions when you’re searching for the right adhesive. It isn’t all that strong but is very resistant to microorganisms and abrasion. It’s not all that used anymore, mainly because it doesn’t quite hold up like the newer versions

Another argument because of which you shouldn’t use it is because it may cause cancer from repeated exposure. When exposed to high temperatures during the summer, it is known to release formaldehyde – which is a known carcinogen. Moisture is a problem too, so it’s best to avoid it.

Resorcinol

It used to be one of the most popular choices for doing any kind of heavy duty woodwork. Even the military and the Air Force used it as their main choice of wood glue for all kinds of artillery and aircraft work along the years.

With the rise of epoxy resin, it dropped off the charts, but you can still find it useful because of its exceptional strength and durability. It will do excellent for any kind of woodwork because it is resilient to the following – mild and mid grade acids, solvents, mold, fungus, cold and boiling water. You should aim to use this wood glue if you intend to create woodwork that is to last a long time.

Polyurethane

It’s perhaps the most popular wood glue of them all today. Woodworkers around the globe tend to praise its versatility in different situations. It is known to be able to bond different metals, plastics, rubber, ceramics, and all kinds of wood, no matter the construction, age or state.

What may be the biggest advantage is that they are completely waterproof and water repellent. It is more expensive that your regular woodworking glue, but it can definitely do the trick under any possible circumstances.

Epoxy resin

Although epoxy can cause allergies and irritations from too much exposure, it is still one of the best industrial-grade wood glues around. It is generally resistant to most liquids, so it’s a choice of many woodworkers who do marine work or fix anything around the docks.

Add that to the mold and fungus immunity and you have a high grade, very useful wood glue that can potentially last even decades. Don’t use it for anything less than major blocks being stuck together, because that’s where its power is evident. If you have detail work to do, apply PVA or polyurethane.

Cyanoacrylate (CA)

CA is perhaps the best wood glue to use for detailed repairs that include small fixes and filling up gaps. CA has always proved to be the ultimate finisher. It is best used when combined with epoxy. In that situation, you get the ultimate combination of strength and aesthetic perfection.

It is also loved by all woodworkers because it rarely flows out of the gaps and creates no mess whatsoever. Beware of the fact that it is a strong super-glue that sticks to the skin, so you should by any means wear gloves!

Polyvinyl acetate (PVA)

This is perhaps the most widely used wood glue in the world. It’s cheap, non-toxic and very easy to apply to any type of wood. You can find it for a very reasonable price at any appliance store, in any possible corner of the world.

A downside to it is that you need to pre-measure what you’re doing with it because it’s almost impossible to fix later. This is because other types of glue have a hard time adhering to an already hardened layer of PVA. It still should be your main gun in the arsenal, as it is usable in 99% of the situations you’ll encounter while woodworking.

What To Look For In A Wood Glue?

Now that we’ve covered a few of the chief kinds of wood glue, you only have to choose one after you decide which type of project you will be working on. Now, if you’re just doing a project for fun, you don’t need more than two kids, let’s say – epoxy and PVA.

But, if you’re a serious woodworker in the industry, you should be armed with a versatile arsenal of all kinds of glues for different fixes. You should also add contact cement to your equipment, just as an extra, quick-drying option for sticking sandpaper to other pieces of wood.

There are also some other parameters to look at, such as:

  • Is the glue resistant to cold temperatures?
  • Is the glue prone to dissolving when exposed to summer heat?
  • Do you have to dissolve it with an added dissolvent?
  • How does it perform when you spray on the activators and how does it fare without one?
  • Are there clear instructions?

Now that you are aware of all the factors, kinds of glue and their different applications, you are pretty much set when it comes to buying your next wood glue. Now, onto stickier matters (pun intended).

How To Glue Wood Together? Learn It Here In Easy Steps

With all the detailed information about different kinds of wood glue, the sticking part should be a piece of cake and it can be taken care of just by following these easy steps.

  • First and foremost, assess the magnitude of the area you’re applying wood glue to. If it’s bigger, we advise that you use epoxy, but for small and more detailed areas – use CPA.
  • Now that you know the exact kind of glue that is to use, prepare brushes for additional fixes, if the natural bottle extensions don’t do the job properly.
  • Don’t apply too much glue, because it may turn into an overflow of sticky matter, and you don’t want that. Apply just enough, so that you can effectively fill the gap between the two pieces, or even a crack perhaps.
  • If it’s a big piece and it can be clamped – don’t hesitate to use them. Clamps basically do the job for you and make sure the wood glue does its work.
  • Finally, make sure you know the working time of the glue – how long does it take for it to start stiffening. Use clamps or other devices according to that time limit. Be careful when you handle the newly stuck material and give it a day so that it can settle down.

The 5 Best Wood Glues For You – The Complete Review

After you’ve gained all the necessary knowledge about the different kinds and criteria of wood glue, it’s time to round up the best of the best. These wood glues are the top in a very competitive market and any of them should enhance your workshop. Testing was excruciating and the verdict was a tough one, but we did it. Enjoy!


Titebond strikes again with a superb solution to multiple adhesive problems when it comes to woodworking. They’re deservingly a staple in the woodworking industry, and they prove it yet again.

Features:

  • Extreme resistance to water, even larger quantities and during prolonged periods of time
  • Compared to older models, it can stay open for even a few days without any consequences
  • Also, it can be scraped off even during the working phase, which is a big plus
  • You can work with details and larger scale projects

Pros:

  • All in one solution
  • Can stay in the same state for years
  • Needs only little to stick big pieces of wood
  • Performs equally good under all circumstances and kinds of wood

Cons:

  • Customer service is questionable
  • The bottle design allows spillage at times

When you take a glance at all the yearly lists about best wood glues and adhesive in general, seeing Titebond dominating every single one of them is no surprise. They are yet to release a wood glue that doesn’t receive rave reviews.

Features:

  • In comparison to other models on this list, it has the fastest set and the fastest working time
  • It’s not water resistant and you can easily clean it with a regular sponge
  • Proves very resistant when exposed to solvents, which is great for long-lasting furniture
  • It may even be used with metal and stone in extreme cases, which can be valuable in extreme situations

Pros:

  • Very versatile
  • Can withstand cold very easily
  • Doesn’t require clamps at all
  • May even be used for other materials

Cons:

  • Bottles tend to be weak and can break if not careful
  • Tends to underperform when it comes to details

Gorilla is another giant in the adhesive industry and they have a very deserved, multi-decade long reputation of putting out an extensive line of quality sealers and adhesives. This latest model reinforces the point... and you woodwork, too.

Features:

  • Non-toxic and water-based, which means it can easily be cleaned and doesn’t cause skin irritation
  • Out of all the featured wood glues on our list, it performed the best on hardwoods
  • It requires clamp time, but only for 20 minutes or so, which saves a lot of time
  • Performs equally well outdoors and indoors

Pros:

  • Very versatile
  • Can repel most liquids and withstand severe weather conditions
  • Ideal for hobbies and small-scale projects
  • Virtually unbreakable

Cons:

  • Not great for larger-scale projects
  • Tends to leak a little bit

Behlen may be seen as the underdog in the battle for the best wood glue, but they mean business. This model is one of the best hide glues to come out in recent years and it’s really not hard to see why.

Features:

  • It’s excellent for restoration purposes and replica work
  • Doesn’t budge when tested, even when it was applied recently
  • Requires mixing with hot water, which may prove difficult for those short on time, as well as beginners
  • A favorite of many musical instrument repairmen and woodworkers

Pros:

  • Allows you to alter the mix and choose how strong you want it to be
  • Very quick working time
  • Can work excellently on both small and big pieces

Cons:

  • Prone to spillage
  • Smells unpleasant

Many didn’t expect this glue to perform this well, but it kind of blew everyone away once the test results settled down. Glue Masters are an up and coming company and there a lot to be excited about them in the following years.

Features:

  • This super glue comes in many different sizes and containers, which allows for different appliances
  • It simply doesn’t have a weak spot, it works extremely well with both industrial projects and hobby-like woodworking
  • It has a 10-year long shelf-life and the company regularly sells batches with less than two years to go at a big discount
  • Compared to other wood glues, it has amazing adhesiveness and performs well under all conditions

Pros:

  • Can withstand more than a thousand kilograms of force
  • A large choice of container sizes
  • Works even with metals
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Somewhat faulty applicator
  • Sticks to skin very fast

The Verdict – Which Wood Glue Is The Best

As the woodworking world advances with each day, we see an influx of wood glues that are both easy to use and don’t require much hassle. The market is also very tough, which increases the offer and reduces the prices by a large margin – this is awesome for woodworkers all around the world.

Out of all the contenders of our list, the ones we would recommend the most are the Glue Masters one and the Franklin International Titebond-3 super glues. Basically, you get an established brand of excelled wood glue for a reasonable price. They are the absolute standard in the woodworking industry and also open up many new options for further woodworking projects.

What’s really important is that lack of limits. They are so efficient that you can do both small-scale and industrial work whenever you please. All in all, cracking the top five in this category is no small deal, so you won’t go wrong with either of the top 5. Good luck and we wish you many more successful projects!

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