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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!