Tired of the trial and error involved in finding the best super glue? Your search ends here! Today, we’re reviewing the top 7 strongest glue for household repairs.
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Did you know that Dr. Harry Coover accidentally invented super glue while working on plastic gun sights during WWII? What’s more, it took nine whole years for its inventor to rediscover its fast-bonding properties, along with its commercial benefit. Since then, the market has become flooded with strong adhesives capable of bonds which are nigh unbreakable.
Super glue also goes by the name Cyanoacrylate Adhesive (CA), cyanoacrylate glue, or more simply “instant adhesive”. Whatever name you know it by, it has now become a must-have item in every household, office, and workshop.
While instant glue works on many types of surfaces, some work best for specific materials. So to avoid any disappointments, stick with us to learn the best super glue products available. We also include a buying guide nearer the bottom of the page, with tips to effectively use your instant adhesive.
The 7 Best Super Glue Brands for Quick Dry and Strong Hold
Are you trying to glue metal to wood, plastic to glass, fabric to ceramic, or any combination of these and more? You’ll want the world’s strongest super glues in your toolbox to get the job done right. Below, we review the 7 reliably strong adhesive brands–each of which serves a slightly different use-case.
The Loctite Super Glue Gel Control is a versatile formula that bonds to leather, wood, paper, metal, chipboard, ceramic, and even hard plastics such as PVC, polystyrene, acrylic, and polycarbonate. Loctite makes this instant adhesive with a patented additive that creates strong bonds on several porous and non-porous surfaces.
Its gel consistency makes it excellent for precise and low-hassle application, especially for vertical repairs as it does not drip or run. In addition, the patented squeeze grip design on both sides of the bottle gives you excellent control when dispensing the glue. It also dries transparent for a pro finish.
You will not have to hold the pieces for long because this clear gel sets in 15 to 30 seconds. For a stronger bond, leave the mated surfaces undisturbed for at least 10 minutes and overnight for complete curing. You do not have to bother with clamping at all.
For longer shelf life, keep unopened bottles in the refrigerator–the cold does not damage them. While it is not ideal for gap-filling repairs and areas that need high flexibility, Loctite’s is still one of the best super glues for general use and DIY projects.
Gorilla Super Glue Gel is one of the most popular cyanoacrylate super glue brands on the market. It is highly adaptable since it can bond many similar and dissimilar materials–you can even glue hard plastic to metal with ease. And with its thick gel consistency, it is suitable for precision and vertical application because of the no-drip or run qualities.
It only takes 10 to 45 seconds to dry but needs about 24 hours to harden before placing any weight on the surface. This Gorilla instant adhesive can withstand bumps, shocks, and drops leading to long-lasting repairs. But, is Gorilla Glue waterproof? You bet it is–100% watertight in fact.
Each bottle also comes with an air-tight, anti-clog cap fitted with a metal pin that prevents drying up. This enables you to use it over and over again without the fear of clogging. You should keep bottles in a cool, dry area, away from direct sunlight and not refrigerated. The superglue gel dries firm so it is not suitable for high flexibility applications.
3. Krazy Glue
No, it’s not just another genericized catch-all term for strong adhesive; Krazy Glue is a well-known and widely trusted brand. It balances strength, ease of use, quick drying time, and price to create a household product as essential as duct tape and WD-40.
Krazy Glue ships with a user-friendly applicator brush that excels adhering larger surfaces together. The formula itself does a good job of not drying out over the bristles, as well as keeping the tube fluid and unclogged. Thus, you’re more likely to get your full money’s worth, rather than throwing away half a bottle you can’t use. There is also a variant with a precision tip for finer detail work.
The range of materials Krazy Glue can bond is staggering, from metal to wood, plastic, vinyl, and more. But how long does this super glue take to dry? Parts typically set within 10 minutes–with the bond curing after about 24 hours. Overall, it’s easy to see why Krazy Glue is one of America’s most trusted adhesives.
The Original Super Glue creates extra strong bonds with clean non-porous surfaces, making it among the best glue for glass, plastic, and rubber. It is especially suitable for tight joints between smooth surfaces.
The glue also comes with a precision applicator that ensures there is no drip. It is fast drying, taking between 10 and 30 seconds to set. And unlike many other strongest super glue types, you can easily paint over it, giving you room to design your final finish as you desire.
Starbond EM-02 Super Fast Thin Super Glue has a water-like consistency making it suitable for close-fitting parts. It can deeply penetrate micro-cracks, fractures, and pores through capillary action, making it the ideal super glue for wood. It is an excellent adhesive for powdered inlays as it covers the area well, making sure you do not have unglued powder.
The Starbond EM-02 is the go-to product for a high gloss finish. We suggest you apply multiple thin layers of the glue to cut the chances of trapping air bubbles, therefore, giving you a smooth finish.
Dual interchangeable application caps, along with a bag of extension micro-tips help you tailor your glue to the task–allowing you to dispense with precision even into micro-cracks. The 2 oz bottle ships with an anti-clog nozzle, as well as an in-built needle to ensure hassle-free usage for a long time to come.
This adhesive has a long shelf life lasting for several years while stored in the refrigerator. Starbond even offers a 30-month shelf warranty!
If you value your skin, please wear gloves when using this thin and fast drying glue.
The Bob Smith Maxi Cure/ Insta-Set Combo Pack is a cut above the rest because of the super-short duration it takes to set. And Maxi Cure is an extra thick CA that gives you plenty of control when applying the super glue.
Typically, thicker instant glues take slightly longer to dry than thin ones. The Insta-Set accelerator spray, however, speeds up the drying process bringing it to no more than 8 seconds and also boosts joint strength in the process.
For difficult to bond surfaces, apply the CA on one side and the accelerator on the opposite side and join them. This creates an instant bond that will last for years to come. The Maxi Cure/Insta-Set combo is outstanding for bonding most plastics, ceramics, and hardwoods. It is also foam safe.
You can use the Insta-Set accelerator with other cyanoacrylate adhesives because it is compatible with many instant adhesives. Say goodbye to nose-burning odors because this accelerator has a strawberry scent.
The Loctite Ultra Gel Control Super Glue is similar to their Super Gel Control in more ways than one, but also has key differences.
Namely, the Ultra Gel Control creates more durable bonds that can withstand high impact shocks, extreme temperatures, and bumps. We have a rubber-toughened formula to thank for this. The patented formula also gives you time to reposition pieces before the glue sets. It’s one of the most versatile and strongest Loctite glues out there.
Repairs done with the Ultra Gel Control Super Glue can withstand the occasional soak in water because the adhesive is water-resistant. This CA develops highly flexible bonds making it one of the best super glues to fix leather pieces such as your belt and other flexible applications.
How to Pick the Best Super Glue for Your Project
There are many brands and grades of instant glue out there that will promise excellent results, however not all of them will be the best for your specific use-case. So here is a list of factors you should consider when looking for the best super glue.
As mentioned earlier, some cyanoacrylate super glues are best suited for certain surfaces. Before buying one, find out what surfaces you are likely to work with to get the best results possible.
Super glue can cause burns or spark fires when it comes into contact with cotton, wool, or foam materials. So, take care! Unless stated as safe to use, in the manufacturer’s guide, keep away from these materials.
Drying and Curing Time
Another important question to ask is “how long does super glue take to dry?”
Some super adhesives definitely take longer than others to set and fully cure. Partial curing may take anything between a few seconds to a minute while complete curing may take 24 to 48 hours based on the grade of adhesive used. For best results, leave the joints undisturbed for the entire period up to full curing time. Check the back of the pack for more details.
Find out how easy it is to use a particular grade of glue. You can get this information from verified customer reviews. Some tubes come with handy supplies to improve usability. For example, one may have the precision or a pen applicator that makes it easier to fix small chips and micro-fractures.
Check also on the dispensing mechanisms available. Some brands have easy to squeeze sides that help you control how much glue will come out.
Look for products that will make your work easier and not leave you with glue all over your fingers and other surfaces.
Intended Use of the Item
Determine in what conditions you will use the object to find the best super glue to buy. For example, you should repair chipped dishes washed in a dishwasher with glue that is dishwasher friendly and water-resistant.
The same applies to outdoor surfaces. Is the adhesive you want to use able to withstand the outdoor elements for a long time?
Viscosity is the thickness of a substance. In simple terms, cyanoacrylate adhesives come in thin, medium, and thick consistencies. A substance that has high viscosity is thick and less runny; one with low viscosity is thin.
Highly viscous adhesives take longer to dry than less viscous ones, though this may not always be the case. Thicker glues are also less messy than thin ones making them ideal for model building and vertical applications. Choose the grade of CA wisely, depending on your application.
Most brands of instant adhesives are colorless. However, some used for rubber surfaces come in black for a blended finish.
It is also necessary to know whether your preferred instant glue changes color after fully curing. Some glues go through blooming which results in a chalky appearance after hardening, making repairs more noticeable.
Finally, look for glues which advertise their ability to be painted over–as this will make hiding the blemishes that much easier.
Tips to Use Glue Products Effectively
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These are a few tips to help you get the most out of your best-loved instant glue.
Protect Your Work Area
Cover your work area before and during gluing to prevent damage to surfaces in case of any spillage.
It is crucial to wear gloves to protect your skin because you are working with a chemical. Trust us, you do not want to deal with removing super glue off your fingers!
Placement of Pieces
Most instant adhesives set pretty quickly leaving you with little to no time to make adjustments. Seeing how the pieces fit beforehand will cut the chances of you having to reposition the parts thus improving the strength of the bond. It will also make sure that you have an outstanding finish.
Prepare Contact Surfaces
Clean each surface before applying the instant adhesive to remove dust, oil, wax, and paint. This helps ensure the bond is strong and able to withstand external conditions. Sand smooth surfaces to develop stronger bonds between the joints.
Ensure you use these cyanoacrylate adhesives in well-ventilated environments because they release a strong odor or vapor that will irritate your throat.
Use Less Glue
Less is more for the best super glues. They are powerful and only need a drop or two depending on the size of the surface to grip firmly. Avoid using excessive amounts. It may lead to a delay or even failure in forming a long-lasting bond.
Don’t Make Too Many Adjustments After Glueing
The fixture time is the duration within which a partial bond forms. It is typically a few seconds to a minute. Adjusting joints at this point may interfere with the strength of the bond and lead to failed repairs.
The hardening or curing time is the duration required to form a bond of the greatest strength. It can take between 5 minutes and 24 hours, based on the grade of instant adhesive. Read product guides to find out the recommended curing times.
Super glues react with moisture to create strong bonds. Therefore, it is necessary to clean nozzles and return the screwable cap immediately after applying the glue to avoid clogging. Do this for even the best super glue that comes with anti-clog nozzles.
You may wipe down unwanted cured instant glue with acetone, boiling water, or cut away using a sharp blade. Of course, take all precautions when doing this.
Keep unopened super glue tubes in the refrigerator unless advised otherwise. Consult the user guide for further instruction.
Keep opened ones in air-tight conditions, preferably not refrigerated. Frozen moisture may cause contamination, reducing the effectiveness of your super glue. You may also store the used glue in silica-dry packs that soak up any water droplets in the environment.
Also, keep opened containers upright, and in dark areas far from heat or direct sunlight to prevent clogging, and chances of catching fire.
Best Super Glue: Final Thoughts
Quick repairs or joining two surfaces has never been easier with the use of cyanoacrylate super glue, making it a necessity in every home and office. While having a few tubes on hand is necessary, take care when choosing the best super glue grade based on the surface and other conditions that may change the effectiveness of the adhesive.
Which of these super glue brands have you found the most effective in your own use? Let us know why in the comments section below.