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Did you know there 5 types of wood glue you can buy?
Choosing the wrong one may not create the join you need.
But with so many choices on the market, which glue for wood should you choose?
This guide will list the best wood glues for each type.
If you’re unfamiliar with the types of wood glues available, I suggest you jump straight to the buyer’s guide to get started.
On this page:
The Best Glue for Wood 2023
Here is a list of the best wood glues we found:
1. Gorilla Wood Glue - Best PVA Glue
- Gorilla Wood Glue is a PVA water-based adhesive intended for woodworking related projects.
- Only 20 – 30 minutes of clamp time needed for the formula to create superior strength cross-linking bonds
- Fully cures in 24 hours and dries to a natural color leaving behind an invisible bond line.
- Once cured it can be sanded down for a clean finish.
- ANSI/HPVA type II water resistant
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Suitable for softwoods, hardwoods and natural wood composites
- Gorilla Wood Glue is great for anything from carpentry and building to hobby and DIY projects. No matter the environment, you can rest easy in the knowledge that this glue will not fail you and hold strong years to come.
2. Gorilla Original Gorilla Glue - Best Polyurethane Wood Glue
- Polyurethane glue that requires a wet surface to work optimally
- The moisture allows the glue to expand up to 3x while it cures for a rock-solid bond.
- Clamp time of 1 – 2 hours
- Needs 24 hours to cure for best results
- It is 100% waterproof so you can be sure it does not weaken when exposed to harsh weather conditions
- Great for indoor and outdoor wood, Gorilla Original Gorilla Glue is a sustainable polyurethane glue that will bond to wood along with other materials.
- Great all-round wood glue!
3. Starbond EM-02 - Best Cyanoacrylate Super Glue
- Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue (super glue) with a consistency similar to water.
- This water-thin ‘wicking type’ adhesive can infiltrate the smallest of pores and cracks (0.002’’) to ensure the most solid bond possible.
- Fast to set and cure and dries fast to a clear, glossy finish.
- Comes with 2 x applicator caps, a clog-free stopper and a bag of micro-tips for precision gluing (for example, tiny cracks) These accessory’s make the application, no matter the situation, much easier.
- Excellent shelf life of several years when stored under 40°F. It will be ready and waiting for you when you need it the most.
- Starbond EM-02 cyanoacrylate glue can be used in a variety of applications from small delicate wood instrument repairs to furniture restoration and many more.
4. J-B Weld WoodWeld - Best Epoxy Wood Glue
- Quick setting two-part epoxy glue designed especially for permanent wood repairs and bonding.
- Tensile strength rated at 1800 PSI is offers a lasting bond that is stronger than wood!
- Quick setting (6 minutes)
- Cures in 1 – 3 hours to a light tan, once cured (1 – 3 hours) it can be shaped, filed, tapped sanded drilled to your specification.
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use on objects such as windows, decks, trim as well as for rotting wood repair and restoration projects.
- Works on a wide variety of materials
- J-B Weld WoodWeld is a highly dependable wood glue that will stand up to any environment it is put in. Combined with its versatility this is a wood glue you won’t be disappointed with!
5. Franklin Liquid Titebond - Best Hide Glue for Wood
- Franklin International is a liquid hide glue that is ready to use right from the bottle.
- It is slow setting which allows you plenty of time to assemble objects exactly how you want.
- Once fully set it can be sanded for a neater finish.
- Can be used to create a crackling effect on wood
- Although it leaves behind a strong and trustworthy bond, it is reversible with the addition of water and some elbow grease! This is ideal when a mistake is made in the repair process. However, make no mistake, this is not a bond that will give out with everyday use!
- An excellent choice for furniture and instrument repairs, Franklin International liquid hide glue provides great strength and a unique crackling effect on wood. It is often used by professionals for its long assembly time which other glues do not allow.
6. J-B Weld KwikWood -Best Epoxy Putty Stick
- J-B Weld KwikWood is a hand-mixable epoxy putty designed to rebuild and repair wood.
- As an alternative to torch welding, it stands up incredibly well in extreme environments and once set will form to the same density all wood.
- Leaves behind a bond stronger than steel
- It is super easy to use, simply piece off the amount of putty you need and kneed it to a moldable state, usually 2 minutes or less. Next, place over the desired area and leave once it is in place.
- Set time of 15 – 25 minutes and fully cures in 60 minutes to a light tan color
- Once cured the area can be machined, sanded, tapped, drilled, painted and shaped to your liking.
- It doesn’t matter how big or small your DIY job is, from fixing a whole chair to filling a small crack in your decking, J-B Weld 8257 is a wood glue you can rely upon to get the job done.
Choosing the right wood glue
Wood glues don’t follow a one size fits all rule. There are 5 distinct types of wood glue, each with different bonding methods and chemical variants that you need to know about if you want to purchase the correct one. So, what are they?
PVA glue or ‘polyvinyl acetate’ is a non-toxic and inexpensive go-to glue for woodworking projects, but can also be used for a broad range of wood applications. Being a water-soluble emulsion, it makes for a great glue to use on porous materials – such as wood.
You can find a white variety that is suited for indoor bonding while a yellow variety, sometimes referred to as carpenter or woodworking glue, is designed for outdoor use. PVA glue can leave behind a residue on your wood if too much is applied. For a clean finish limit how much glue you apply and wipe away any excess before it dries.
Epoxy glues feature a two-part bonding system that involves the mixing of a resin and a hardener. Unlike other glues that are liquid in texture, epoxy glues thicken into a putty once both resin and hardener are combined.
Before applying this glue, the wooden surfaces must be wiped down to remove any dirt and residue. The wooden pieces must then be given a slight buff and allowed to fully air dry. Lastly, give them a quick sand and you’re ready to go.
These glues are frequently used in the boating industry to join wood in sailing vessels and boats due to its ability to stand up to harsh environments.
Cyanoacrylate (CA) Glue
As known as super glue, CA glue is a quick-drying resin that has a water-like texture. This the go-to glue for quick wood repairs when bonding two pieces together due to its quick set and cure times at room temperature. Once fully cured it forms a rigid, plastic-like bond.
Before you apply it, the wood surface must be slightly damp before making the join. CA glue will not bond to dry wood surfaces.
Due to the water like consistency of CA glue, care must be taken to avoid it coming in contact with your skin or damaging the finish on your wood.
Tip: Have some cracks that need filling? Simply mix the glue with sawdust and apply.
Also remember: CA glue has a relatively short shelf life of about a year unopened and just a month once opened.
Polyurethane-based glues are one of the most reliable and toughest glues for wood. There is a good reason why they are used with many other materials such as plastic, metal, glass, ceramic and more.
Polyurethane is a synthetic plastic resin that forms long-lasting bonds and features a high level of water resistance, making it a great choice for outdoor use.
To apply to wood, you must wet the surface before you apply the glue. This allows the glue to expand as it cures for an even stronger bond.
Due to its toxicity, it must be carefully handled while wearing a face mask and always used in a well-ventilated environment.
Hide glue is made from the boiling of animal collagen found in their bones, tendons, skin and other tissues. The result is the adhesive known as hide glue.
Fun fact; the Egyptians used hide glue 3,000 years ago!
Hide glue is available in two forms, liquid and solid crystal. The former maintains its liquid consistency through the use of urea crystal additives. As a result, the user has more time to work with it. The solid crystal variety is melted in hot water then applied with a brush, once applied and cooled it will set.
Hide glue creates an excellent clear bond that while strong maintains joint flexibility. It also does not harm the finish on wood. As a result, it is commonly used in antique furniture restoration and during the construction of stringed instruments.
Wrapping it up
After reviewing a wide selection of different woodworking glues, we have come to the conclusion that these 6 are the best in their respective categories.
A good wood glue must create a long-lasting bond that can stand up to both indoor and outdoor environments. It should also be effective on a variety of wooden surfaces and not ruin the aesthetic of the object you are trying to repair.
It is for these reasons that the Gorilla Wood Glue, 18-ounce Bottle takes our top spot. It’s all round woodworking glue with a high waterproof rating, superb versatility, natural cure color and superior strength bonding, this is a glue that is sure to stand the test of time!