Those of you who work with wood know just how important it is to always have a good wood adhesive on hand in times of need. This is because most woodworking projects require some sort of adhesive sooner or later, whether to consolidate it at a structural level or to attach other parts in the process. Back in the day, wood glue used to be of animal origin, mainly the collagen from animal skin and casein from milk. Nowadays, however, wood glue can be of a synthetic origin as well, even though organic-based glues still enjoy quite a bit of popularity.

Having said that, we should point out that the market has quite a lot to offer in regards to wood glue, which is why you want to take in as much information as possible before committing to a purchase. To help you in that regard, we put together a list of the ten best wood glue money can buy.

Best Wood Glue – Reviews

10HELMAR CHPG125Helmar Craft and Hobby PVA Glue

This crafty and reasonably versatile glue from Helmar can bond not only wood but paper, cardboard, and a variety of other materials. It dries clear and is 100% safe to use by pretty much anyone thanks to its non-toxic formula. Thanks to this formula, it also dries clear and provides an easy cleanup that doesn’t require any additional effort on your part. Interestingly enough, this glue is water-based in its formulation, a composition that makes it non-staining and safe for children to use.

9Elmer’s E7330 Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max

With this 128-ounce jug of extra-strength wood adhesive, you can forge bonds that are a lot stronger than the structure of wood itself. Non-toxic by design, it causes no harmful fumes and can be easily cleaned up using nothing but water. Furthermore, this glue resists heat, mold, and mildew, a toughness you want any adhesive to possess. Also interesting is the generously sized recipient it comes in; then again, 1 gallon of adhesive is bound to last you quite some time.

8Aleene’s 15623 Wood Glue

Thanks to a non-toxic, safe formula, this particular wood glue from Aleene’s can be used by pretty much anyone with no restrictions whatsoever. Available in a 4 oz bottle, it employs a safe formula that hardens up in about 24 hours for a perfect bond. What’s more, you can use it at your own will regardless of the restrictions your project may demand due to how easygoing it is and how versatile its formula is known to be.

7Titebond II Premium Water Resistant Wood Glue

As the name suggests, this is a 100% water resistant wood glue, an adhesive that can be used on virtually any wood-related project. In fact, it is one of the few wood adhesives to pass the ANSI Type II water-resistance test. Designed for exterior use, it offers a near-perfect sandability and is unaffected by finishes of any kind. Due to its ingenious formula, it is ideal for radio frequency and hot press gluing systems.

6Starbond EM-40 Heavy Thin Cyanoacrylate Adhesive

This premium ethyl cyanoacrylate super glue from Starbond has been lab tested for optimal performance using a variety of wood-related materials. Given its formula, it is perfect for woodturning finish, inlays, hardening, stabilizing, and virtually any type of bonding between close-fitting parts. What’s interesting is that it can penetrate the finest micro-fractures, pores, and cracks in any type of woold through a process called ‘capillary action’. This allows it to bond wooden structures better than pretty much any other type of glue in its class.

5Titebond 5063 Original Wood Glue

It is important when choosing a wood glue to find one that not only bonds well but one you can also clean with ease when you’re done using it. Such is the case with this particular glue from Titebond, a wood glue that’s known for its fast set, short clamp time, and non-toxic formula. Providing an excellent sandability, it is unaffected by finishes and can be cleaned with nothing but water at any given time.

4Elmer’s E7310 Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max

This non-toxic, perfectly safe carpenter’s wood glue can be used on interior or exterior surfaces with identical results. Part of its effectiveness is owed to its painted formula that delivers a superior bond strength and stainability without causing any harmful fumes whatsoever. What’s more, it can resist heat, mold, and mildew better than pretty much any other wood glue out there. In fact, it is so strong that it provides bonds stronger than the wood itself.

3Titebond Franklin International 5005 II Premium Wood Glue

It needs to be said straight from the start that this ingenious glue from Titebond is among the few to pass ANSI’s Type II water-resistance test. This makes it perfectly safe to use on exterior surfaces, a feature many people look for in a wood glue these days. Interestingly enough, it is also FDA approved for indirect food contact, although you should probably refrain from pouring it all over your breakfast. That said, it does provide an excellent sandability and can be used to bond not just wood but wood derivatives as well.

2Elmer’s E7010 Carpenter’s Wood Glue

Great for carpentry and home repairs, this practical wood glue is one of the strongest yet most affordable adhesives on the market today. Thanks to a non-toxic formula, it produces no harmful fumes to speak of and can be cleaned up using nothing but water. Furthermore, it can be used to bond impressively large components, especially interior pieces. Not just that but it is also one of the most versatile types of wood glue out there, one that is both sandable and paintable by design.

1Titebond 1415 III Ultimate Wood Glue

This is without a doubt, one of the best wood glues the market has to offer. It not only reduces clamp time considerably but once it bonds, it can provide a better hold than most industrial-grade adhesives. For good measure, the glue comes with an applicator designed to reduce waste as much as possible. It also can be used for both interior and exterior applications, a versatility that recommends it for a variety of projects. Last but not least, it delivers a way above standard bond strength, a longer assembly time, and a much lower application temperature than most wood glues out there.

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Wood Glue Buying Guide

Given the nature of woodworking projects, be them professional or DIY-related, one needs a reliable wood adhesive just as much as quality tools. People have been using adhesives for thousands of years, adhesives that were mostly organic or of plant origin. Modern glues are a bit different in their formulation, although they mostly rely on collagen and casein for the most part. To find a good type of glue that bonds wood as efficiently as other materials, you must first understand the very nature of wood glue and its applications. In that regard, we should first take the time to understand what wood glue is all about.

How Does It Work?

For the most part, wood glue works the same way most adhesives work, by bonding materials together through the bonding agents in their formula. In principle, the adhesive fills all the pores and imperfections on the surface of the materials being glued together, filling them with the adhesive in the process. This allows the bonding agent to hold onto the materials as it dries and bonds the two materials into one. What’s interesting about this process is that the glue molecules stick to the molecules of whatever material they come in contact with, better with some materials than others.

Types Of Wood Glue

Even though most wood glue is intended to do the same job, they do tend to differ in their formulation. Some types of wood glue, for example, are better suited for crafting purposes while others are best used for repairs or maintenance. As we said, it usually comes down to how the adhesive bonds to the molecules of the materials they get in contact with, wood being rather peculiar in that regard.

  • PVA Glue – This is one of the most common types of wood glue, one that employs polyvinyl acetate. This uses a water-based formula and is intended to be used on porous surfaces where it can bond not only with wood but wood-based materials as well. What’s interesting about this type of glue is that it is quite slow to harden, giving the user plenty of time to choose how to best make use of it. That said, we should point out that these type of glues aren’t all that great when it comes to structural applications or for bonding particularly heavy parts.
  • Cyanoacrylate Glue – Here, we refer mostly to instant or super glue, which are some of the most popular out there. This type of glue can be used to bond porous and non-porous surfaces alike. At the same time, it is one of the favorites of woodturners and craftsmen everywhere for how well it bonds with wooden surfaces. It also needs to be said that this glue can differ in consistency from one manufacturer to another and that it can also be used for gap or crack filling jobs.
  • Polyurethane Glue – With this type of glue, you get a more versatile, all-purpose glue that you can use to bond almost any materials. With the exception of some types of plastic, you can use this water-resistant glue for both indoor or outdoor projects with almost no limitations whatsoever. Due to its universal formula, this glue is a lot more practical to PVA glue because it foams up and expands when curing.
  • Melamine Glue – This particular glue is generally used to bond non-porous materials like laminate and melamine to porous surfaces like wood or chipboard. Given its consistency and initial tack, you get the benefit of a slow drying period, which should give you plenty of time to prepare the task properly. Interestingly enough, this PVA based glue can be used at room temperature and doesn’t need any heating up or any prior preparation to speak of.
  • Cold Press Veneer Glue – This type of glue is intended for veneering projects, especially the ones that involve bonding wood veneers to porous substrates. Due to its composition, it can be used freely at room temperature with no limitations whatsoever. We should point out that most of these glues are PVA based but that they are rather filling in nature in the sense that they don’t bleed through small pores or cracks in open grained wood surfaces.

What To Consider

  • Open Time – The first thing you need to consider when buying wood glue is exactly how long can you keep it outside the bottle before it begins to dry. Depending on how long it takes before it begins to cure, you can plan not only its application but how to best make of use of the available time. Bear in mind that some of these glues usually point out the exact assembly time and the recommended clamping time.
  • Curing Time – The next thing you want to consider is how long it takes for the glue to harden after you have applied it to whatever surface you are working on. Although external factors like heat and humidity can affect the overall bonding and curing time of the glue, it is also a matter of how the substrates being glued react to the bonding agent. In general, the curing time of a wood glue can vary between a few minutes to several days depending on the type of glue being used.
  • Bond Strength – The last thing you have to consider is how strong the actual bonding is. While PVA and aliphatic resins usually deliver a strong bond overall, polyurethanes usually stand out through their efficiency when gluing joints involving end grains. This is because they soak into the wood without causing it to contract at any point during the curing process. In that regard, you should perhaps use epoxy resin if you’re solely interested in structural strength and long-term bonding.