What is PVA and How To Buy The Best Wood Glue

Best wood glue

When working on wood projects, you are often met with situations where you need to apply wood glue. There are many types of wood glue available on the market. One of the first and most important factors of applying wood glue is finding the best wood glue for the job.

Product Name

Glue Type

Application Area

Rating

Current Price

1. Titebond II 5006 Wood Glue

PVA Glue

Outdoor

4.8

2. Elmer’s E7050 Wood Glue

PVA Glue

Indoor

4.7

3. Titebond 5013 Liquid Hide Glue

Hide Glue

Indoor

4.4

4. PC 083338 Woody Epoxy Glue

Epoxy

Indoor / Outdoor

4.4

5. Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy

Epoxy

Indoor / Outdoor

4.4

6. J-B Weld 8251 WoodWeld

Epoxy

Indoor / Outdoor

4.4

7. Super Glue Original Pack 15185

Cyanoacrylate

Indoor / Outdoor

4.5

8. GlueMasters Instant Wood Glue

Cyanoacrylate

Indoor / Outdoor

4.5

9. Super Glue Original Multi Pack 15187

Cyanoacrylate

Indoor / Outdoor

4.3

10. Gorilla Wood Glue

Polyurethane

Indoor / Outdoor

4.7

11. Gorilla Original Glue

Polyurethane

Indoor / Outdoor

4.8

- PVA Glue

1. Titebond II 5006 Wood Glue

Editor's Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Titebond II 5006 Wood Glue

Titebond II has a distinctive yellowish tint that signifies it is a PVA glue. It has excellent initial hold strength and sets fairly quickly. It is one of the best wood glue for exterior use, and it is also FDA approved. This means that Titebond II is non-toxic and can safely be used for both personal and commercial furniture.

Titebond II can easily be cleaned in case you made a mistake and the finish work is an even surface that blends in perfectly with the wood material. It offers excellent type II water resistance and has a solid hold that will last for a long time.

If you are looking for an affordable exterior wood glue, Titebond II has proven to be a reliable and strong exterior wood glue for any multi-purpose woodworking projects.

2. Elmer’s E7050 Wood Glue

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Elmer’s E7050 Wood Glue

Elmer is a name everyone is familiar with. Rightfully so, the world’s most popular glue manufacturer also makes its own label of carpentry glue. Another PVA glue, Elmer’s E7050 has a very strong bonding, that is even stronger than wood. It sets in less than 30 minutes when clamped and full bonding strength is achieved in 24 hours. Elmer’s E7050 is sold as a gallon worth of glue which should be last for quite a while. Its affordable price means that it is an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts, home repairs and even professional carpenters.

This glue is suitable for interior purposes only, and while it is a relatively good water resistant glue, you do not want it in direct contact with water for an extended period of time.

 - Hide Glue

3. Titebond Liquid Hide Wood Glue

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Titebond Liquid Hide Wood Glue

Titebond liquid hide is also known as Franklin International 5013. This liquid hide glue is mostly used for repairs and can set very strongly with moderate to no amount of prep work.

Furthermore, the Flanklin International 5013 can be applied directly to the material you want glued without any mixing or heating.

When preparation work is required, it is mostly a rudimentary light sanding; but this is not a requirement but merely a good practice. It delivers a superb antique effect known as “crackling”, given the surface it is applied on a vintage look. It is no wonder than this strong wood glue is a favorite of antique wood restorers.

The original Titebond Liquid Hide is sold in a 7.8-ounce dark brown plastic bottle. This glue is exclusively for interior purposes and should never be in contact with water as it will quickly unbond. It sets fairly quickly, in a few hours and it is not recommended to breath in the fumes of this glue as it is toxic.

If you have some old furniture that requires some gluing, we cannot think of any better glue for the job.

 - Epoxy

4. PC Woody Epoxy Glue

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

PC woody Epoxy Glue

PC Woody is a very strong epoxy glue that is sold as a 2-part paste glue. This glue is also one of the strongest glue when it sets.

PC woody can be used to replace missing wood or rotted wood and it dries up to a solid that is stronger than glue. The working time is fairly short, at around 30 minutes. When it sets, it is non-toxic, extremely durable and has water resistance, even for salt water. It is a perfect glue for repairing a wooden boat, for example.

5. Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound

Another popular wood glue for replacing rotted or missing wood. This 2-part epoxy glue can easily be painted when it dries and is a perfect candidate for an exterior water-resistant wood glue. WoodEpox does not shrink and its pasty form makes it easy to apply and shape into any form you want. This type of glue is much superior to wood putty with superior strength.

6. J-B Weld 8251 WoodWeld

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

WoodWeld Quick Setting Wood Epoxy Adhesive

WoodWeld is a fast setting epoxy wood glue that is ideal for small indoor surfaces. It sets in record time – a mere 6 minutes and the result is a light tan surface harder than wood. The only caveat with this particular product is the very small amount you get, as this 2-part wood glue is only 0.7 oz. This wood glue is made in the USA and is guaranteed to satisfy any small time gluing jobs. 

 - Cyanoacrylate Glue

7. Super Glue Original Pack 15185

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Super Glue 15185 Gel

This product is sold in a 12 super glue tubes pack. The beauty of this Cyanoacrylate glue is that it can bond everything, from wood to metal in less than 10 minutes. Maximum bonding strength is reached after 24 hours. This pack is extremely affordable and the only caveat is that despite is being one of the strongest glue in the world, it sets with a white haze that may require some painting. Sadly, varnish does not set in quite well with this glue. This product is definitely one of the best glue for wood if you are mostly gluing small areas.

8. GlueMasters Instant Wood Glue

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

 Glue Masters Instant Wood Glue

Gluemasters with their Instant Glue offers a choice of viscosity that few other brands do. Indeed, you can choose from a thin, medium to thick viscosity glue. All offered in different amounts, ranging from 2 oz to 16 oz. Very versatile in application and has a record cure speed of only 25 seconds while having the official title and recognition as being one of the world’s strongest wood glue.

9. Super Glue Original Multi Pack 15187

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Super Glue The Original Super Wood Glue

Almost similar to the 15185 Super Glue original pack reviewed above, the 15187 has a red cap that bonds instantly. It can bond any type of material and not restricted to wood. The precision applicator makes gluing small areas with precision a cinch!

- Polyurethane Glue

10. Gorilla Wood Glue

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Gorilla Wood Glue

The strongest wood glue known to man. This Polyurethane glue will bond any type of wood and becomes harder than wood when fully cured. When clamped, it can set in less than 2 hours. Once it does, it can withstand the elements and a perfect glue for both interior and exterior use. This glue will expand while it sets, up to 3 times the application amount.

You will need it take this into account when applying Gorilla Wood Glue as it can expand the wood surface. This is definitely not for precision work, but rather brute strength. It is perfectly safe and non-toxic, including being FDA food standards approved. When it sets, it has a natural coloration that requires minimal work, as long as you are using it on wood.

11. Gorilla Original Glue

Editor's Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Possibly the strongest glue for everything. Indeed, Gorilla Original Glue does not need any introduction. It is ideal for both interior and exterior use and has a very wide range of applications, all limited only by your imagination.

It dries in a natural color and can even be sanded when set. To fully cure, allow up to 24 hours for this Polyurethane glue to bond. Once it does, it’s impossible to remove or break. Apply this glue with absolute caution and do prevent skin contact. It is a perfectly safe non-toxic glue when it sets.

Types of Wood Glue [ Infographic ]

As we have seen, there is a multitude of wood glue that is suitable for various applications. From precision work to brute bonding strength, there is a glue available. Here is a more detailed rundown of the most popular type of wood glues reviewed so far.

#1. PVA Glue

PVA based wood glue is perhaps the most commercially available and best woodworking glue for carpenters. It has a distinct “yellowish” tint, but can also be found under different darker tones like dark brown. PVA glue is a family friendly glue, which means that it is non-toxic and can easily be cleaned with cold water (when glue is not set). It is semi-viscous and can easily fill-in crevasses in wood material.

Once set, PVA glue becomes waterproof and has a relatively strong hold. It is certainly not the strongest, but it is adequate for almost any type of wood gluing, either for personal or commercial use. There are different types of PVA glue available, at the prerogative of glue manufacturers. Some glue has a strong initial hold and sets quickly, while others can take hours to dry. Tite-bond and Elmer’s Carpenter’s Glue are two of the most popular ones. Of course, there are many others.

One thing to be wary of when using a PVA wood glue is that it does not absorb stain. This means that everywhere you applied PVA glue, it will become conspicuous once it sets. You will need to sand the glue then apply a layer of paint on the glue. Sadly, varnish does not fare well with PVA glue.

Another caveat is that PVA wood glue is permanent and cannot be removed for repairs. PVA glue also generally sets harder than wood so you will have to literally saw trough a glued surface. The main advantage of this glue is that it can easily be cleaned with cold water before it sets. But once it does, it becomes almost weather-proof. PVA glue is usually one of the best glue for wood because of its versatility.

#2. Cyanoacrylate Glue

Cyanoacrylate glue is a popular type of glue that is known to glue any type of surface, not necessarily wood. It is commonly known as super glue, crazy glue, and its other variants. Cyanoacrylate glue is not usually available commercially in big bottles or gallons, but is rather sold in small one part tubes ranging from 0.78 oz to 10 oz. The reason being Cyanoacrylate glue is quite expensive and a gallon worth will cost many hundreds of dollars, far too expensive for any practical use or price justification.

Cyanoacrylate glue dries up pretty quickly, usually within minutes and fully sets in 24 hours. It dries with a distinctive white haze and not the perfect glue for surfaces that cannot be treated cosmetically. Cyanoacrylate glue is mostly available in liquid form, but there are variants that are sold as a gel. This glue is one of the strongest wood glue available and regarded by many as one of the strongest glue in the world for general purpose gluing.

#3. Epoxy Glue

Originally available for industrial purposes only, epoxy glue is becoming quite popular as a general purpose commercial glue. Epoxy glue is sold as a two-part glue, one containing the resin and the other a hardener. When it mixes and sets, it becomes an extremely hard transparent material (epoxy) that has a very strong bonding strength.

When gluing wood, Epoxy glue is sometimes used as a rotted or missing material glue. When it dries, it replaces the missing wood surface and becomes a solid uniform surface. This glue most of the time requires painting as it is not the most aesthetically pleasing finish. It sets very hard though and is impervious to water and other elements, making it excellent for both interior as well as exterior use.

#4. Polyurethane Glue

Polyurethane Glue is commonly known as Gorilla Glue. Regarded as the strongest glue in the world, Gorilla Glue can bond anything solidly with a record cure time of minutes. It is recommended to wet the surface to be glued first as this glue cures with water (moisture). One distinct characteristic of Polyurethane Glue is that it expands while it sets. This means that precision work is usually out of the door with this glue. It is mostly about strength.

#5. Hot Melt Glue

Not the strongest of glue, hot meal glue or more commonly known as hot glue is mostly for temporary fixes. It has one of the weakest bonding strength and is usually applied with the help of a glue gun. The material used for this glue is resin, but unlike epoxy glue that equally uses resin (along with a hardener), resin by itself is pretty weak. The main use of hot glue in woodworking is simply to hold wood material together temporarily while a stronger glue is applied.

#6. Hide Glue

Hide glue is the oldest glue known to man. It is made from animal collagen and has a relatively strong bonding strength that is pretty much on par with many modern glues like PVA glue. One of the major advantage of hide glue is that it is non-toxic, can easily be stained and available in a wide array of colors.

The other is that collagen glue (hide glue) can be re-used if heated. It will melt and solidify again. It is a perfect glue for introducing children or beginners to wood glue. It does not fare well to the elements and is, therefore, ideal for interior purposes only.

Types of Wood Glue

Source: Fix.com Blog

Tips on Using Wood Glue

Applying wood glue is not as self-evident as one would think. There are some preliminary steps and tips that need to be taken into account to get good results. Here are a few noteworthy ones:

#1. Clean Surface

Before applying the first drop of wood glue, make sure that the bond surface is clean and free of any past glue residue. Fresh wood glue does not stick well on untreated surfaces. You can gently sand the surface with a medium grit sandpaper then clean the surface with a wet cloth.

#2. Know your Glue

It is important to know the glue type you are using. Some glue like hide glue or Polyurethane requires a moist surface to cure. Others like Cyanoacrylate or epoxy requires a totally dry surface. You can check the user’s manual or instructions for the proper use of the glue.

#3. Use Wax Paper

When using clamps to apply glue, use wax paper to protect the metal clamp from the glue. Not only does wood glue damages metal, the moisture in the glue will cause the clamp to leave an undesired dark skid on the material.

#4. Use a Notched Trowel

When applying glue, it is a good practice to use a notched trowel to do so. It will help spread the glue evenly and prevent bumps when it cures. It also helps the glue to dry uniformly and gain a little bit extra in bonding strength.

You do not necessarily have to buy a trowel. You can use a D.I.Y trowel or even a flat piece of wood to help spread the glue. Whatever you use, the point is to spread the glue evenly throughout.

#5. Remove with Water

The best wood glue is also one that is easily removed and corrected right after application. Fresh PVA glue is regarded as one of the best wood glue because it can easily be removed and mistakes corrected by simply wiping with a wet cloth.

#6. Chisel Off

About 30 minutes after gluing the wood, it is a good idea to chisel off the extra "squeeze-out" glue. Doing so when the glue is at the brink of hardening makes it easier to remove and correct any mistakes. It is not hard enough that it will damage the surface when removed and soft enough to be removed easily with little effort. Remember to use a sharp chisel as a jagged edge chisel might damage the wood.

You will need to decide on the best time to chisel off because not all glue dries up at the same time.

#7. Secure the Wood

Wood glue is very slippery, especially when used generously. Furthermore, it may take up to 3 hours for some glue to dry. Meanwhile, the glued surface may slip and ruin your project. A good way to prevent this situation, even when clamping is done, is to temporarily nail the surfaces together. A brad nailer is perfect for this situation. It offers good holding force and can easily be removed without damaging the material.

#8. Be Safe

It is important to observe security measures when working with wood glue. Some Polyurethane, Cyanoacrylate, and Epoxy glue are the strongest glue for wood but may require surgical intervention if they dry on your skin. Wash your hands thoroughly with water after every use and avoid any contact with your eyes.

Reference:

Last Updated on

Tom Bradly
 

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise.