Buyer's Guides Wood Glues

Best Glue for Wood for Fine Woodworking Projects: 2020 Buyer’s Guide

wood adhesive

Wood is easily one of the most beautiful building materials, thanks to its natural tones and unique grain patterns. It’s also very easy to build with. The porous, soft material makes it easy to join pieces together using the best glue for wood, screws, or nails. In fact, wood glue is commonly used for a wide range of projects from simple projects you can complete with the kids to fine woodworking pieces. But if you don’t have the right glue, then you’ll find yourself struggling to get the pieces to stick together, making it also impossible to complete a project.

When you choose a poor-quality glue, you’re out of both time and money.

That’s why I’ve put together this buyer’s guide, which delves into how wood glue works, the different types available, and the benefits of using it, to complete many of your fine woodworking projects. I’ve also included four product recommendations featuring the top-selling products, so you’re sure to purchase a glue that’s tough enough to get the job done.

Glue for Wood Comparison Chart

Product Indoor or Outdoor UseType Drying Time Rate
Gorilla Wood Glue

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Both PVA30 Mins
Glue Masters Adhesive

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Indoor Cyanoacrylate
Resin
15 Seconds
Titebond Wood Glue

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Both PVA5-10 Minutes
J-B Weld WoodWeld

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Both Epoxy6 Minutes

Gorilla Wood Glue


Our Rating: (5/5)

This is a water-based glue that offers impressive holding power and is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s perfect for woodworking, hobby projects, and carpentry. It’s also designed to dry significantly faster than competing products, so you’ll only need to apply clamps for thirty minutes. The glue will be fully cured in twenty-four hours. This product is very versatile and can be used on natural wood composites, softwoods, and hardwoods.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Fast drying time
  • Can be used on softwoods and hardwoods

Cons

  • Takes twenty-four hours to fully cure

Conclusion

This product is water-resistant, so it can be used for both indoor and outdoor wood projects, it features a non-drip formula, and it will dry a natural color, so you won’t notice any visible bond lines on your projects. This glue is very easy to use, so it’s also perfect for those new to DIY projects and woodworking.

Glue Masters Shoe & Wood Adhesive


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This versatile glue can be used on wood, rubber, and metal. The glue’s industrial formula makes it one of the toughest products currently on the market. The glue will settle in under fifteen seconds and will fully cure in just an hour. However, users must be careful when applying, since the thin formula tends to run. A little of this product will go a long way.

Pros

  • Fast drying time
  • Industrial formula
  • Works on wood, rubber, and metal
  • Low price

Cons

  • Indoor use only

Conclusion

This glue may not be the best choice for inexperienced users who may accidentally overapply this product. The thin formula can result in a messy application, if the user isn’t careful. However, those who know how to use wood glue will appreciate this product’s versatile, strong bond capability, and faster than average drying time.

Titebond 1415 III Ultimate Wood Glue


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

With Titebond, there’s no need to use a clamp. The included applicator promotes easy application, so there’s less mess, making this product a great choice for beginners. The glue can be used for both indoor or outdoor projects and has a high waterproof rating. This product is also solvent-free and nontoxic. Offering a lower application temperature, superior bond strength, and an easy to use applicator, this glue will come in handy for repairs, DIY projects, fine woodworking projects, carpentry, building, and more.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Works for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Solvent-free
  • Nontoxic

Cons

  • Long curing time

Conclusion

This powerful glue eliminates the need for clamping together materials, comes with an easy to use applicator that will cut down on drips, and offers an impressive bonding strength. This glue will work for both indoor and outdoor projects and is very beginner friendly. Additionally, this large thirty-two-ounce bottle will also give you more bang for your buck. Like many of the leading glues on the market, a little of this product will go a long way.

J-B Weld 8251 WoodWeld


Our Rating: (4/5)

This is an epoxy glue that is designed for wood repairs and bonding, providing lasting bonds that are permanent. It can also be used for both indoor and outdoor projects. In terms of setting time, the glue will dry in six minutes, with a full cure time of one to three hours. When the glue has fully cured it can be drilled, molded, sanded, filled, tapped, and painted. When it dries it will turn a light tan color, so you’ll need to be careful not to overapply otherwise the dried glue will be very noticeable on darker wood.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Permanent bond
  • Dries in six minutes
  • Can be used for indoor and outdoor wood projects

Cons

  • Dries a light yellow color

Conclusion

This is a heavy-duty epoxy that will allow you to repair or complete any type of wood project. The permanent bond means the glue will remain strong year after year, unlike some competing products. Bottom line, this glue is very versatile and durable, although it may not be the best choice when you’re working with darker woods since the dried glue will be very noticeable.

Glue for Wood Buyer’s Guide

Not all wood glue is the same. The right type of glue for your project will help to preserve the sheen of the wood’s finish, and the integrity of the wood itself. It will also help to create a strong bond, ensuring your finished project lasts for years.

When you’re shopping for the right glue for your project, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will the glue be used as a temporary fix, or should the bond last?
  • Are you filling a gap or two surfaces?
  • Will the filled or bonded surfaces remain inside?
  • Does the glue need to be water and weatherproof in order to survive the elements?

The answers to these questions can help you determine your needs, so you can narrow down your choices and choose the right glue for each project you take on.

If you’ve never considered using glue to make repairs or complete a project, then you may not be familiar with the different benefits wood glue has to offer, which I’ll go over below, before diving into the different options available and what to look for in a glue that’s designed to form a bond that lasts.

Benefits of Wood Glue

sticking wood together

  • Many new products are nontoxic, unless consumed
  • Leading products are easy to clean off of your work spaces and projects, with the right cleaning product
  • These glues will dry much faster than wood glues of the past, so you won’t need to leave pieces clamped together for several days at a time
  • The glue dries quickly, but not so quickly that you have to work too fast when using it
  • When used in colder temperatures, you can reposition the parts for up to sixty minutes or more
  • This type of glue will dry clear
  • Is affordable
  • Beginner-friendly
  • The glue is also stable enough to handle different environments when it’s cured.
  • There’s no risk of gluing your skin together, like other types of glues, such as super glue
  • There are many kinds of wood glue that are very versatile and can be used as a primer or sealer for certain types of finishes.

Types of Glue for Wood

When you’re shopping for glue, you’ll quickly notice that there isn’t just a single type to choose from. Instead, you’ll come across five different types. Most glues are resins or synthetic polymers that are much stronger than the wood itself. These glues provide different levels of waterproofness, toxicity, flexibility, and durability.

PVA

PVA, or polyvinyl acetate is a type of synthetic polymer that’s very rubbery and flexible. It’s designed to create a permanent bond. This type of glue is water soluble, nontoxic, and perfect for a variety of projects. White PVA is designed for indoor use, while yellow PVA is meant for outdoor use. Make sure you doublecheck the label and look for the word “waterproof” to ensure the product you choose is designed to handle the elements. Unfortunately, this glue is known to leave behind a residue that can affect the finish of the wood. It also doesn’t accept wood stain well, so if you try to stain the glue itself, it will leave behind a patchy look that can be a real eyesore.

Because of this, it’s important that you remove any excess glue using a sponge or damp cloth, before it has time to dry. To improve the glue’s bonding capability, you should also clamp the two pieces of wood together and allow it to dry for several hours. Once dry, this glue is permanent and cannot be removed or reversed for repairs.

Polyurethane

This is a synthetic plastic resin that, like PVA, is designed to create a lasting bond. It’s often used for a variety of projects and it’s a major ingredient you’ll find in most glues. This type is perfect for joining wood grain, giving a project a seamless look. It’s also moisture-activated, which means it will rely on moisture in the air to set. Because of this, it’s able to bond well in humid environments, unlike other types. Additionally, it also will not dry out wood fibers. Because it’s toxic, it must be handled carefully and should only be used in a well-ventilated room.

CA

CA or cyanoacrylate is an acrylic resin that dries impressive fast. Once it has cured, the bonds are very rigid and hard. This can be helpful if you need to create a bond that’s temporary. This glue can be used to apply short strips of wood or glue blocks designed for reinforcement for furniture projects. It can also be mixed with sawdust and used to fill in cracks and gaps.

Unfortunately, this type of glue will not bond to the surface of dry wood, like other wood glues, so the surface must be slightly damp. At room temperatures, it will bond almost instantly, so it should be handled with care. It can easily bond to the skin, which is why gloves are recommended. If any glue comes into contact with your skin, you can remove it using acetone. Acetone can also be used to remove any excess glue off your workpiece. Just keep in mind that acetone can also potentially ruin the wood’s surface, so it should be applied with care.

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This glue consists of boiled animal collagen and is available in two forms; solid crystal and liquid. The crystals are melted in hot water and should be applied using a brush. The liquid form also utilizes crystal additives which will give you more time to work before the glue sets and dries. When heated, the glue will cure as it cools down after application. Woodworkers commonly use both forms of this glue because it’s so flexible. It also contains natural lubricating properties, which can enrich the appearance of the wood.

The liquid form will give users more time to fit two pieces of wood together perfectly, before it dries. When dry, this glue makes a great choice for furniture projects and offers a lasting, tight bond. Both liquid and crystal glue are used in many types of wooden instruments. Best of all, the glue will not damage a wood’s finish.

Epoxy

This type is best used for filling in cracks and gaps. Epoxy features a more putty-like consistency and is made up of a two-part formula that consists of a hardener and a resin that interact at the time of application. Once the glue has had time to cure, it offers impressive waterproofness and durability. It will work the best on sanded, dry, and clean surfaces. Before use, you’ll need to wipe down the wood to remove waxy build-up, dust, and debris. The wood should gently be buffed and allowed to air dry. Last of all, the wood should be sanded and prepared to join. The next step is making the two-part epoxy, then applying the glue based on the included instructions. If you’re joining two surfaces you may need to use a wood clamp. This type of glue is considered less toxic than others, but it can still be very irritating to the skin. When applying, make sure you wear gloves and avoid touching your eyes and face.

Price

Wood glues are relatively inexpensive, unless you buy a larger volume. In most cases, you should be able to find a high-quality, affordable glue for a price ranging from ten to thirty dollars, depending on container size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gluing wooden board

Is Wood Glue Stronger Than Super Glue?

Yes. While super glue is best used to glue together plastics and metals, wood glue obviously is meant for wood only. But while super glue can be seen as more versatile, wood glue is able to form a permanent bond, whereas super glue can only provide a temporary bond, or quick fix, that will need to be addressed later on.

How Long Should Wood Glue Dry Before Removing Clamps?

For most wood glues, you should leave the clamps on unstressed joints for a period of thirty to sixty minutes. For stressed joints, it should be clamped for a period of twenty-four hours.

Can You Use Too Much Wood Glue?

Yes. If you use too much wood glue it can cause problems when you’re trying to finish up a project. It can also cause the glue to run and drip, which can be complicated and time-consuming to fix. Using the right amount of clamp pressure can compensate for any issues between two joined surfaces, if you’ve applied too much glue, since it can take much longer to dry.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve used poor quality wood glue in the past, then you know how frustrating it can be to see a project you’ve worked so hard on just fall apart, even if you’ve used the right type of glue and followed the instructions closely. You may think that the best glue for wood is too expensive, but there are plenty of options available at different price points. The wood glues I’ve recommended in this guide are priced affordably and earned top marks for their sticking power, ease of use, and overall quality, so you should have no trouble finding the perfect product for your next project.