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A household name in every sense, super glue is widely used in so many different situations. The reason is that it is so easy to use, especially for repairing metal, wood, plastic, glass, and fabric objects. It allows rapid, high durability bonds for instant fixing. If you are looking for the strongest super glue, but are not quite sure which super glue brands to choose, then keep reading. You’ll find out more about some excellent products and become more familiar with the different brands out there. Then you will know exactly how to find the right super glue for your needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 A Closer Look at Super Glue
- 2 Types of Super Glue and Important Considerations
- 3 Best Super Glue Brands
- 3.1 Best Super Glue for Metal: LOCTITE Gel Control Super Glue
- 3.2 Best Super Glue for Plastic: GORILLA Super Glue Gel
- 3.3 Best Super Glue for Rubber: SCOTCH-WELD Plastic and Rubber Instant Adhesive
- 3.4 Best Super Glue for Glass: LOCTITE Glass Glue
- 3.5 Best Super Glue for Leather: Thick Viscosity Super Glue by GLUE MASTERS
- 3.6 Best Super Glue for Wood: STARBOND Super Fast
- 4 How Can Super Glue Be Removed?
- 5 The Best Super Glue Tips
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6.1 What Is the Best Super Glue?
- 6.2 Are There Super Glue Plastic Products?
- 6.3 Will Super Glue Stick to the Skin?
- 6.4 Does Super Glue Dry Fast?
- 6.5 Does Super Glue Conduct Electricity?
- 6.6 Can Super Glue Be Used Close to Food?
- 6.7 How Should You Apply Super Glue?
- 6.8 Is Super Glue Water- and Heat-Resistant?
- 6.9 How Strong Is Super Glue?
A Closer Look at Super Glue
Otherwise known as a cyanoacrylate, super glue works rapidly once applied. One aspect that sets super glue apart from other types of adhesives is that it bonds rapidly, creating a durable seal. Super glue is well suited for various different surface types, but each purpose requires an adhesive of a particular level. Be sure to read the product guide, no matter what product you are using. Each type of super glue may have specific requirements for optimal adhesion, such as clean surfaces, but it is also common that only the slightest quantity of glue is needed.
As super glue sets almost instantly, using gloves will help you avoid contact with the skin and will also protect your fingers from getting stuck together. Should it occur though, having some acetone handy will help by weakening the join between your fingers. We can now look at the advantages and disadvantages of using super glue products.
Advantages of Using Super Glue
Super glue is so simple and fast to apply, which has made it a go-to product for home repairs. Here are some of the benefits of using it for your projects.
The rapid bonding makes super glue different from other adhesives. Drying times may vary slightly, depending on which grade of superglue, your working environment, and the type of surface used. Warmer or more humid conditions will make the bonding happen even faster.
Super glue forms a high durability bond, the strength of which depends on the type of surface, the environmental conditions, and which grade of super glue is used. Compared to other adhesive types, such as silicone, for instance, super glue is far stronger.
You can use superglue with most surface types, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, and many others. Each grade of super glue produces slightly different results, depending on the surface type used. Therefore, ensure you select a product designed for the surface you have in mind.
Although the price tag may be higher than your average adhesive, only the smallest quantity of super glue is used when bonding or repairing items. Be careful not to over-apply it, as this can change the curing times or the strength of the bond.
Ease of Use
Super glue requires no mixing of components prior to application. As a result, you can achieve great results without the most precise measuring. The application straight from the tube is very simple. You may have to prepare your surfaces in some cases but the application is still very easy. It is transparent once it sets, so it becomes a discrete part of the object.
Drawbacks to Using Super Glue
Using super glue doesn’t have many disadvantages, but it’s essential to know if it is in fact the right adhesive for your needs. If you use super glue for the wrong purpose, you may end up with a bigger job on your hands, or you may cause damage instead of repairing anything. Take note of the following characteristics that may limit the usage of super glue.
- Only appropriate for smaller areas and spot repairs
- Produces a toxic odor
- Low heat resistance
- Very low elasticity
- Not impact- or shock-resistant
- Application can easily get messy
- Avoid all contact with skin
Types of Super Glue and Important Considerations
As time goes on, the advancement of technology means adhesives of all kinds are being refined constantly to produce better results. This is also true in the case of superglue, as it is now available in a range of viscosity levels. A more or less fluid product can make it more versatile for a range of uses.
Adhesive with high fluidity is ideal for repairs where an item has cracked rather than broken completely. High-viscosity glue is better suited for joining surfaces. The range of products available is vast, but it’s important to take note of the differences between them, particularly in terms of glue grade. These characteristics will also help you in selecting the best super glue for a range of purposes.
Super glue reacts with the presence of water molecules, which allows it to work on so many types of surfaces. If the product does not specify that it is cyanoacrylate, it is not super glue. These adhesives are most commonly found in an alkoxy, methyl, or ethyl-based form. Alkoxy ester-based super glue emits lower odor levels with less bloom than other types. For metal repair, methyl ester-based super glue types are best suited. The most common household super glue you will find is ethyl ester-based.
The various grades of super glue products available may have different viscosity levels. The viscosity will affect what type of application it is best suited for, so select the one that works for your needs. Usually, higher viscosity adhesive takes longer to cure properly but it also suits vertical surfaces better as it won’t run easily.
Super glue cannot simply be used with any material, each type is specific and they have various grades and chemical compounds they are formulated from, as well as viscosity levels. So consider all these factors carefully when selecting a super glue product for a specific purpose. Super glue may generally be used in small applications, but coverage is also a factor to consider as some may be better than others.
Often you will find superglue available separately in a small tube, but there are also kits of various tubes available. Smaller tubes avoid wasting glue, as the shelf life is short. As soon as you open it, the super glue reacts to the moisture within the air. The rapid drying of superglue means in many cases the nozzle design can even pose a problem, as it can become clogged. Luckily, you can now get products in a resealable tube with a nozzle resistant to clogging.
Each type of super glue will have a slightly different curing time. Curing time is also affected by the surrounding environmental conditions, the quantity of glue used, and the type of material you are working with. A higher viscosity adhesive usually takes longer to cure, whereas a more fluid grade of glue will cure faster. The majority of super glues will form a bond within seconds and be completely cured within 24 hours.
The various grades of super glue have different levels of resistance to extreme temperatures. Usually, you can find this information on the product labels. So be sure to look and read through the product guide.
When the object you’re repairing may be exposed to the elements or other harsh conditions, you should select the type of super glue suited for this. The average superglue might offer limited water resistance and won’t withstand extreme temperatures either. Consider products with additional components that increase their strengths in these areas.
Usually, super glue is transparent and dries to a very discrete clear state. There are also products that are tinted to blend with the color of the surface you are working with, like black for rubber repairs. Once fully cured, the bloom of the glue can reduce the clarity. Alkoxy ethyl-based glue is the ideal choice in this case.
Although each produces a strong bond, not every type of super glue has the same level of durability. Depending on your purpose, you may need highly durable adhesion so have a look at the different grades of strength available. The strongest super glue has additional components that can increase adhesive quality. Some super glue products are designed for use with particular materials. For instance, glue that has a gel-like viscosity works extremely well with wood but takes slightly longer to set. Metallic surfaces need a more fluid consistency for effective bonding.
You will find products that are produced for specific purposes and will suit your needs, no matter what they are. For instance, when repairing a chipped mug, a small tube or pen applicator is well suited for this.
When taking on a larger area, a broader type of applicator like a brush can be more effective. The application can be messy with super glue even if it comes with a special tool, but just keep some acetone handy to take care of any residue.
|Super Glue Type||Brand Name||Viscosity||Curing Time||Bond Strength||Gap Coverage||Temperature Resistance||Used on other surfaces|
|Super Glue for Metal||Loctite Gel Control||Medium||15-30 seconds, complete in 24 hours||1450-2900 psi||None||80 – 149℃ (176 – 300.2℉)||Plastic, leather, wood, fabrics, and ceramics|
|Super Glue Plastic||Gorilla Super Glue Gel||Low||10-30 seconds||Not available||None||-53.88 – 104.44℃ (-65 – 220℉)||Leather, metal, rubber, ceramics,|
|Super Glue for Rubber||3M Scotch-Weld||Low||45 seconds, complete in 24 hours||3100 psi||None||-53.88 – 82.22℃ (-65 – 180℉)||Plastics|
|Super Glue for Glass||Loctite Glass Glue||High||15-60 seconds, complete in 24 hours||218-363 psi||None||Flashpoint 80 – 93℃ (176 – 199.4℉)||Metals and plastics|
|Super Glue for Leather||Glue Masters Industrial Strength||Thick, Low||One minute and complete in 24 hours||2100 psi||Can seal small gaps||-51.11 – 90.55℃ (-60 – 195℉)||Fabric, models, wood, and shoes|
|Super Glue for Wood||Starbond EM-02 Super-fast thin||Low||5 seconds||Not available||None||-30 – 56℃ (-22 – 132.8℉)||Ceramics, jewelry, bones, rocks,|
Best Super Glue Brands
With the numerous super glue brands available, it can be a challenge to find the ideal product for your project. The super glue reviews that follow should help you with your choice, so take note of what each product is best at.
Best Super Glue for Metal: LOCTITE Gel Control Super Glue
Gel Control from Loctite is one of the strongest super glue products available. It provides a high versatility solution at an affordable price. Created with a special rubberized formula that offers a high durability bond. It also provides resistance against extensive daily wear and tear as well as vibrations, impacts, and shock.
As a super glue metal product, it has protection from extreme environmental conditions and temperatures. Loctite super glue also provides resistance to freezing, moisture, and chemicals too. It is a versatile solution for various surface types and even excels in vertical situations. It offers a myriad of uses for the repairs of plastic, metal, wood, fabric, leather, and ceramics.
The pinpoint nozzle on the tube increases the accuracy of the application. Keep in mind that it only takes 60 seconds to set, but will need up to 24 hours to cure completely. The glue dries transparent and comes in a foolproof drip-free side-squeeze tube that won’t need clamps during application. Endless positive super glue reviews praise Loctite for a great and simple-to-use product.
Best Super Glue for Plastic: GORILLA Super Glue Gel
This Gorilla glue super glue is created with a non-drip gel formula, which provides extremely strong adhesion. The hybrid formula contains rubber that makes it more resistant to impact, which is perfect for repairing toys, ceramic handles, and plenty of other household items.
If you need to super glue plastic, then Gorilla glue super glue is one of the best options available. It bonds plastic, wood, and ceramics and only takes between 10 and 30 seconds to dry. However, if the object or surface you are working with will be exposed to water, you will require additional precoating as this super glue is not waterproof. Gorilla glue super glue is not suggested for use with wool or cotton, as the fibers produce a nasty reaction. The formula is also non-drip which helps for a hassle-free application.
Best Super Glue for Rubber: SCOTCH-WELD Plastic and Rubber Instant Adhesive
Scotch-Weld instant adhesive has a medium viscosity, which makes it perfect for challenging surfaces like nylon, rubber, plastic, and EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). The viscosity level allows for easy application from the bottle. This brand of super glue is specifically formulated for use on rubber and plastic surfaces. If you are wanting a brand of super glue for making Jewelry, assembling small joints, attaching gaskets, or fixing footwear and orthopedics.
It creates a bond with lasting durability and a strength of more than 2000 psi (pounds per square inch). Once applied this super glue will set within 45 seconds and cure fully in 24 hours. The quick curing process allows you to keep your projects going and complete them quickly. Some super glue bottles are poorly designed, resulting in pooling or spills. Fortunately, the bottle of the Scotch-Weld is designed with a pinch. This pinch container allows you to squeeze out a single drop or a controlled bead.
Best Super Glue for Glass: LOCTITE Glass Glue
This specially formulated Glass Glue from Loctite carries a unique patent for glass bonding. It will provide a durable bond for various kinds of glass and also some metals and plastics too. The instant bonding will also allow day-to-day use and provide water resistance. It dries completely transparent without requiring clamps, and provides heat resistance as well as being dishwasher safe.
It has a rapid drying time but we would not recommend using it outdoors. A high versatility solution, as it bonds with all types of glass including stained, clear, tinted, brown, and opaque glass. Loctite glass glue is safe for use with fine crystals and glasses. The super glue reviews of this product are positive, saying that it delivers every time.
Best Super Glue for Leather: Thick Viscosity Super Glue by GLUE MASTERS
This one of the strongest super glue products available and is well suited for use with metal, leather, porcelain, and glass. Glue Masters super glue has also won an award for its use with shoe repairs. The bottle has a clog-free nozzle, making the application clean and straightforward.
This thick viscosity super glue provides exceptionally strong bonding with rapid curing time and great shelf life. Glue Masters also offers the glue in various viscosities to suit your purposes. High viscosity means smooth, easy application with no drips.
Glue Master superglue might not contain rubber, but it certainly bonds well to smooth surface types. It might be challenging to work with for some applications, as it doesn’t seep into small cracks that you might find when repairing ceramics.
Glue Master is a great household name for shoe repairs, wood, and plenty of other situations. The 2 oz (59ml) size container means you’ll be reaching for one bottle for many repair jobs. We don’t recommend use with clothing or fabric and ensure you use safety goggles and your workspace has good airflow.
Best Super Glue for Wood: STARBOND Super Fast
The Starbond Super Fast is a high-strength cyanoacrylate-based adhesive, which is highly fluid and sets almost instantly. This makes it useful for repairs on the slightest of cracks, as it seeps in and penetrates the narrow gaps. This allows you to take on the repairs of delicate and porous materials like balsa wood, fossilized bones, ceramics, unpolished rocks and minerals, and even leather.
If you are using metal powder for applying turquoise inlays, this super glue will seep through the powder and create stability. The glossy sheen makes it useful as a final coating layer, once a few coats are applied and then sanded first.
Starbond Super Fast also includes a set of nozzles in various sizes for more precise application and stoppers to prevent any waste. The additional applicator caps will come in handy should the original one get clogged. There’s also a pin to clear the caps of residue. You can use Super Fast for many purposes, including antique furniture repairs, taxidermy, manufacturing and repairing jewelry, joining fiberglass and balsa wood, repair cracks and knots in wood, decorating guitars and other string instruments and repairing ceramic, granite, and marble objects.
How Can Super Glue Be Removed?
The risk of contact with your skin or spills in the area around where you are working is high when using super glue, However, don’t worry, you won’t need paramedics or surgery to remove the glue from your fingers. Luckily, there are techniques for easily removing super glue from most types of surfaces.
Super Glue on the Skin
Firstly, soak the area and wash with soap and warm water. It may take some time. If this fails, you can try using acetone to dissolve the glue. Wash the area and moisturize once you’ve removed the glue, as acetone can dry out your skin.
You can try to peel the glue off, but ensure that it is completely dry first. If this doesn’t work, try soaking the area or dab some acetone on it. If your fingers aren’t stuck together, the area of glue will slowly fall away on its own in a few days. Wearing gloves is a good idea to protect your hands from contact with the glue. Here are some additional methods to try for removing superglue:
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil or margarine
- Saltwater paste scrub
- Mineral spirits
Smooth Hard or Wooden Surfaces
In this situation, often the easiest solution is attempting to peel it from the surface. If that fails, try dabbing some acetone onto the affected area. Before you do, make sure you test on a small part of the surface as acetone is abrasive. It can also be replaced with mineral oil or lemon juice, which aren’t as abrasive. When dealing with wood surfaces, you may need to sand the surface and recoat it with varnish, oil, or paint as a final option.
Start by soaking the fabric in warm water and try rubbing the glue to remove it. You should avoid rubbing on fine fabrics. Laundry detergent may also help to remove it or you can apply acetone using an old toothbrush. Once this is applied, you can use a blunt knife to loosen the glue and then wash the item as normal. If you are unsure if the fabric is safe to use with acetone, test it first to ensure there is no reaction.
Note: Keep in mind that acetone emits harmful fumes, so always use a respiratory mask and a workspace with decent airflow. When handling expensive garments, dry cleaning could be your best option.
The Best Super Glue Tips
If you use any product at home, reading its accompanying manual or guide is always recommended. Although the application of superglue may be simple, there are a few precautions before you get started. Getting the best results often means doing some prep work first.
Preparing the Surface
Before working with any object or surface, you should ensure it is properly cleaned and dry. This is important, as the superglue will even bond with any remaining dirt or dust. With particularly smooth surfaces, it helps to texturize by giving them a light sand. This will increase the adhesive capability of the super glue.
For more challenging repairs with superglue, it may help to mask the areas around where you are working. Even some old pieces of cloth can avoid spills from causing any damage.
Super Glue Container Shapes
The shape of the superglue tube is familiar, and this helps in the process. However, when making more precise repairs, the container’s shape can affect the way you work. For this reason, a few super glue products come in the shape of a pen for more precise control. There are different tools that make the application process more effective, so take a look at what is available.
Superglue does offer a hassle-free application, but it is always better to be on the safe side. So, protect your hands from the superglue by wearing gloves. If the job is more involved, you may need a protective mask or even goggles.
Storing Super Glue
Repairs generally require only the slightest quantity of super glue. So you won’t use up the entire tube at once. To ensure you can save the rest for later use, clean the residue from the nozzle.
Squeeze the tube slightly to ensure there is no air inside and put the lid on safely. Super glue reacts to moisture, so ensure that the cap is tightly fitted. It can then be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. If you live in a warmer climate zone, storing superglue in the fridge is also an option, provided there is no risk to anyone especially children.
Cleaning Up Super Glue
Each of the super glue brands you will find usually include detailed information about the solubility within the product guide. You can remove super glue with chemicals or by scraping it away with the right tool.
When you apply super glue, there is no need to coat both adhesive surfaces. Doing this may result in bleeding when they are joined, so use the glue very sparingly and only on one of the adhesion surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Super Glue?
Otherwise known as cyanoacrylate, super glue bonds almost instantly with any surface type. There are also types specifically made for use with metal, wood, and various plastics. There are various super glue brands available, offering versatility for different applications, which makes it a widely used product.
Are There Super Glue Plastic Products?
There are types of super glue specifically designed for bonding plastics. You can even find types that work on polystyrene, polycarbonate, and more. However, a very smooth, dense plastic surface might require light sanding to increase the adhesion before application.
Will Super Glue Stick to the Skin?
Superglue will bond with your skin like any surface but do not panic if this happens. The bond will loosen in a few days from the oil your skin produces. Otherwise adding acetone may help to remove it.
Does Super Glue Dry Fast?
Instantaneous bonding is what super glue is famous for. So try not to let your fingers come into contact with it ever. Super glue dries rapidly, but each grade may have a slightly different drying time. Generally, allowing the item to set for 10 minutes will produce a strong bond, but it should take at least 24 hours to cure properly.
Does Super Glue Conduct Electricity?
When it sets, super glue hardens like most plastics, which will not allow electric current through.
Can Super Glue Be Used Close to Food?
Super glue is not generally a safe option for use around food. Instead, select an adhesive specifically formulated for this purpose.
How Should You Apply Super Glue?
Certain tools and specific kinds of super glue products can make them easier to apply. When bonding two surfaces, however, it will only require applying super glue to one of them. Just a light application is required, if you use too much glue it may bleed into unwanted areas.
Is Super Glue Water- and Heat-Resistant?
It withstands temperatures of up to 90℃ (194°F) and is also water-resistant too. When used on paper though, intense heat or cold, or boiling water can weaken the bond.
How Strong Is Super Glue?
Superglue forms an almost indestructible bond in most situations. Loctite even holds the Guinness World Record, as lifting a car was made possible with just nine drops of their super glue.
Using superglue offers you versatility and convenience. With the numerous super glue brands available, it’s important to select the best one for your needs. It should be a little easier with the help of this guide, so good luck with your next project!.