5 Best Glue for Wood + Buying Guide – Ultimate Guide

Wood is one of the oldest and most widely used materials in the world. It has some unique properties that make it a material to be reckoned with. Wood can be found in homes, furniture, tools, boats, guitars, and more. That’s why it’s important to have a strong glue that will hold up to moisture as well as any other type of weathering!

Besides power tools like woodworking jigsaws or miter saw, woodworking projects are best when you use high-quality wood glue because not all glues are created equal! There are many types out there but only certain ones will do for different.

In this list, you’ll see some of the best glue for wood on the market.

What is Wood Glue

Wood glue is a type of woodworking adhesive used to join wood to other wood or to other materials. Wood glues are also known as carpenter’s glue, construction adhesive, or just plain old wood glue. The types of wood that are most commonly glued together are plywood and lumber.

The Best Wood Glue

In the following list, you’ll see the best glue for wood.

Gorilla Wood Glue

Many people consider the Gorilla wood glue to be the best wood glue on the market.

The Gorilla Wood Glue is a unique type of adhesive because it has greater strength than normal adhesives and can withstand tension better as well.

This makes it a great choice for projects that would normally require nails or screws.

It is also waterproof, which makes it a great choice for outdoor projects such as building decks or boats. This wood glue comes in both white and yellow, and 2-packs of each. The tubes are 6 oz., so they last quite a while.

Main Features

  • waterproof – Passes ANSI/HPVA Type II water-resistance
  • great for both indoor and outdoor projects
  • economical
  • Faster cure time; only requires 20-30 minutes of clamp time, fully cured in 24 hours
  • Easy-to-use, water-based adhesive.

This type of wood glue is in a gel form, making it easy to apply. It has the ability to bond wet and dry woods such as cedar, redwood, oak, walnut, mahogany, and more. This product is best used with porous woods like oak and redwood. It is not recommended for use on delicate woods like cherry, maple, or other hardwoods.

This wood glue dries clear and sets up within 15 minutes of application. The bond that it makes once dried is extremely strong so that you won’t have to worry about your project breaking apart after drying.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • waterproof
  • great for indoor and outdoor projects
  • economical
  • easy to apply gel form
Cons
  • leaves stain pretty deep in softwoods like cedar, cherry, and maple. You can use it on these woods but you’ll need to thoroughly sand them.
  • Takes some time to dry, about 24 hours for it to set up properly.

Elmer’s Wood Glue

Elmer’s Wood Glue, manufactured by Elmer’s Products Inc., is a common wood glue that has been used for more than 50 years. It is known to be one of the strongest wood glues on the market and was originally marketed as being able to hold weight up to 176 pounds per square inch (psi). But nowadays, the manufacturer has changed its packaging to reflect a lower specified weight capacity of 81 psi.

It only takes about 4-7 minutes for Elmer’s Wood Glue to become tacky. Although, it is suggested that you wait at least 30 minutes after applying it. So that the glue can be stronger and more durable. The glue does require 24 hours for full strength.

Note: Because it contains water, you should only use Elmer’s Wood Glue in temperatures of 50 degrees F or higher.

Main Features and

Benefits of Elmer’s Wood Glue

Elmer’s Wood Glue has some really great features that you should consider when deciding which wood glue to use.

  • It is water-based and made in the USA, so it’s very consistent. There are no solvents or toxic chemicals used in its manufacturing.
  • Made just for furniture repair and general household projects. best for soft & hardwoods, particleboard, and porous materials.
  • It is non-toxic and can be washed with water.

But be careful, always use gloves and a mask while working with any glue to avoid any uncomfortable situation.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Does not require clamping for most small applications.
  • It is waterproof.
  • The glue is strong enough to hold the wood together.
  • It bonds stronger than wood.
Cons
  • This product does not dry clear. It has a yellowish tint
  • Actually, you have to wait 30 minutes before it really adheres to the wood.

Glue Masters Thin Instant Glue

Glue Masters Thin Instant Glue, manufactured by Glue-Master Inc., is basically just what it says on the label. It can be applied directly to wood and wood surfaces without clamping or waiting for drying time of any sort. This glue is known to be very efficient when gluing softwoods and hardwoods quickly. So if you’re in a hurry and need your project done in a timely fashion, its Thin Instant form may just be the best glue for wood that you are looking for!

It dries clear and takes about 60 seconds to become tacky after application. But because this product does go on white, it’s easy to see exactly where you have applied it. The glue will take 24 hours before becoming fully cured like other glues.

Main Features

Following are the main features of the Glue Master thin instant glue.

  1. Recommended for woodworking and general household repairs
  2. Clear drying
  3. High strength glue
  4. Fast grabbing, quick setting cyanoacrylate superglue alternative.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Very efficient when gluing softwoods and hardwoods quickly.
  • Can be used for metal, rubber, and wood.
  • Clear drying.
  • Fast grabbing, quick setting.
Cons
  • Slight fumes, odor, and irritation to eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after using.

J-B Weld Wood Adhesive

If you are looking for strong wood glue, the J-B Weld Wood Adhesive may be right up your alley. This is a two-part epoxy that goes on like any other wood glue. When it dries, however, J-B Weld has an 1800 psi tensile strength level and can hold up to 400 lbs/in2 in compression!

Glue doesn’t get much stronger than this – it’s almost as hard as nails!

The only problem is that it can be a little difficult to apply. It’s best used with vertical surfaces and needs 1-3 hours to cure. If you need wood glue for an industrial purpose, J-B Weld Wood Adhesive delivers the best strength!

Main Features

  • Two-part epoxy
  • 1800 psi tensile strength in wood joints (and a 400 lbs/in2 compression rating)
  • Compatible with many materials
  • Strongest wood glue available in the World

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Two-part epoxy is very simple to use
  • Can be used in small DIY projects as well as industries
  • Extremely strong holding power with a 400 lbs/in2 compression rating and 1800 psi tensile strength
Cons
  • A bit difficult to remove from surfaces.
  • Require 1-3 hours to stick which is a little more if you are in a hurry.

Titebond Ultimate Wood Glue

Sale Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue, 16 oz.

Titebond is a brand that has been around for ages and is known to be among the best because it will give you wood’s strongest bonds. When it comes to wood, only carpenters offer better protection! The product has been tested several times and all tests conclude that this wood glue is much stronger than almost any other type of adhesive. This makes it your best choice if you are working with very old pieces of furniture or hardwoods such as oak and maple.

Not only does this adhesive hold knots well together, but it can also be used to glue woods without showing any marks or damage afterward. Titebond can also be used with rope, metal, and ceramics. It is non-toxic, water-resistant, and has a very long shelf life of 12 months!

Main Features

  • Long shelf life of 12 months
  • Non-toxic formula.
  • Offer excellent heat resistance and are very easy to sand.
  • Superior bonding strength to wood (especially hardwood).
  • Holds knots together very well without any marks or damage left behind.
  • Water-resistant; can be used outdoors or indoors.
  • No sanding is needed with most projects.

There will be some minor clean-up if need be but this glue dries clear looking for the most part. It is also best to note that it is especially for wood.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Provide strong initial tack and a 30-minute clamp time.
  • Long shelf life of 12 months without any effect on the quality of the product.
  • Close to zero shrinkage or creep when it dries and can be used outdoors or indoors.
Cons
  • Can not be used on other materials.

Why use wood glue

Wood glue is used for a variety of reasons, but mainly joint strength. Joints are made stronger when wood glue and wood are used together. Wood glue is used for a variety of other reasons, however, and is often used as a filler or primer.

There are many different types of wood glue, so it can be a difficult decision about which to use. One should take several things into consideration before choosing the best wood glue such as price, drying time, water resistance, and strength.

To find the best wood glue for your needs and your project make sure you do your research carefully and select one that will work best with what you need it to do.

Types of wood glues

Wood glues are classified as:

  1. Contact cement
  2. Construction adhesives
  3. Instant wood glues
  4. Exterior wood glues
  5. Interior wood glues
  6. Marine wood adhesives.

Contact cement is not ideal for outdoor use and should be used only on unfinished lumber. Construction adhesive is the best choice for plywood and veneered surfaces as well as furniture and musical instruments because they offer the longest drying time. Instant wood glue is typically designed for indoor projects or projects that will be finished with a clear sealant. Exterior wood glues are good choices for outdoor projects that will be exposed to rain, snow, or sun. Interior woods work well in adhesive and filler applications. Marine wood adhesives are designed to be used with wood that will be subject to water, saltwater, or harsh chemicals because they offer the best resistance against mold and mildew.

In terms of overall strength, interior wood glues are typically more flexible than exterior wood glues. If your project is going to be subjected to water, exterior wood glue is your best choice.

How to choose the best wood glue

There are a couple of factors that you have to consider anytime you’re shopping for wood glue. These include:

  1. Price
  2. Drying time
  3. Water resistance
  4. Strength
  5. Durability

Price is an important factor when choosing the best wood glue because, let’s face it, many of us just don’t have that kind of money to spend on wood glue. Some are more expensive than others, so while some may be good for your project you might have to choose another because it is too expensive.

Wood glues also vary in drying time. Instant wood glue dries the fastest and thickest contact cement woods takes the longest to dry. Wood glues that take a long time to dry should be used only on unfinished lumber or outdoor projects.

You also have to consider the water-resistance of your wood glue. Wood glues rated for exterior use are best for projects that will be exposed to rain, snow, and other outside elements. There are some wood glues that contain polymers but they don’t last as long.

When choosing the best wood glue you also need to consider its strength, or how strong it is when it dries. The stronger the glue, the stronger your wood joint will be. Wood glues are typically stronger when they’ve dried for a while so if you’re in a hurry you may want to purchase one that dries quickly.

The versatility of wood glue is not to be underestimated. You can use it on any kind of wood and for a variety of different tasks. It’s important in choosing the best wood glue that you choose one that will stand up to whatever you throw at it whether it’s furniture, your boat, or your deck.

How to apply the best wood glue

To apply the best wood glue you will need some sort of clamping device and a brush. The type of device you use will depend on the shape and size of your joint and what you’ll be gluing it with. For joints that are less than 1 inch in width, a spring clamp will suffice. For larger, uneven joints, you may want to apply pressure with a bar clamp.

If you have an odd-shaped joint or if you are gluing multiple pieces of wood together, you should nail or screw the joint together and fasten it to a bench or work table. If you have a small piece of wood that needs to be glued back on, simply place it where you want it to go then apply glue liberally. When using wood glue on an uneven surface always make sure that the glue is thickest in the middle because this is typically where failures occur. Wipe any excess glue off with a damp cloth.

With regard to wood glues and their suitability for outdoor use, some polyurethane glues can be considered safe around water but it’s important to remember that surface preparation is just as important an aspect of waterproofing wood as the actual wood product itself.

Tips on how to get the best results with your new adhesive

Now that you’ve chosen the best wood glue for your project, there are a few tips that will help you get the best results.

  1. Make sure the surface is clean before applying any adhesive. This ensures that the adhesive attaches to more of the wood fibers rather than just the dirt or dust on top of it
  2. Apply smoothly and evenly onto both sides of the joint using a brush. Pay special attention to any cracks or seams in your wood products because this is where joints tend to fail
  3. Always apply enough glue–you can always add more but you can’t take what’s not there
  4. Apply the glue to both surfaces evenly, but don’t overdo it. If any drips or excess glue gets onto your project just wipe them off with a damp cloth
  5. Always apply wood glue in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours. To ensure that all of the adhesives have dried, tap the wood and listen for a hollow sound
  6. If you hear any cracking or popping sounds when your project dries the adhesive has not fully dried. To prevent this set your joint in a warm place to dry
  7. Once every 24 hours open one side of the joint slightly so that air can get in. This will help the wood expand and will prevent the adhesive from cracking. This will also help to ensure that your project dries evenly
  8. Remember, glue is a composite of chemicals so any glue you use should be refrigerated for at least 2 weeks after opening.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some FAQs people ask for wood glue:

Does wood glue need to cure before working with it?

It varies depending on the type of wood glue you use and the project that you’re working on.

Will wood glue work where you’ve used water-based stains?

Yes, wood glue will work as well in these circumstances.

What surfaces is wood glue appropriate for?

Wood glue works best on porous surfaces such as wood or wood products. That includes pine, fir, and basswood.

How well does wood glue work on cross-grain joints?

Wood glue works very well on cross-grain joints. It’s best to reinforce the joint with brad nails or screws before applying glue to the joint for best results. It’s not normally a good idea to apply wood glue directly on the cross-grain joint.

What surfaces can’t you use wood glue on?

Some surfaces that won’t allow wood glue to work properly include:
– Vinyl, rubber, and plastics.
– Cedar or other softwoods, or Tightly grained veneers (unless you use water-based or heat-resistant wood glue).
– Kitchen countertops and other non-porous surfaces

Can you sand the wood after using wood glue?

Yes, you can sand wood that has wood glue applied to it. Before you sand the wood though the best thing to do is wait for the wood glue to completely dry.

For sanding, it’s important that you use a fine grit of sandpaper. Do not use something too coarse.

What type of screws should I use when assembling furniture with wood glue?

When assembling furniture with wood glue, you can use almost any type of screw. If you’re using wood screws it’s best to go with #6 x 1-1/2 inch or #8 x 2-inch wood screws

How do you know if your furniture was assembled properly with wood glue?

The first easy and most obvious way is to look at the joints of the furniture. If there’s no slippage or movement inside the joints, then it was put together properly.

Another way is to put some pressure on the joints. If there’s any resistance, then it means the wood glue was used properly.

You can also hold a candle up to where two pieces of wood are joined if you’re using yellow glue. It should be dry and will not soak in the wood at all.

Why is wood glue more expensive than other types of glue?

The main reason wood glue costs more than other types of glue is that it’s the most durable. It’s not that different at all, but wood glue costs more because of the durability and quality of what you’re getting for your money.

Conclusion

Wood glue is best for bonding wood to other surfaces, sealing porous materials, and creating a strong bond. It provides excellent adhesion in humid environments and can be sanded after it dries.

If you’re looking for something that’s more durable than other types of glues then consider using gorilla wood glue as your go-to adhesive! Gorilla wood glue is incredibly strong and can be cleaned up with water. It dries in 30 minutes or less, and is great for a variety of woodworking projects!

OR if your project is a little bigger, you should consider buying Elmer's Wood Glue.

If you think there is something missing, or saying just hi, please let us know in the comment below.

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Last update on 2021-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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