Best Glue for Metal to Plastic – How to Glue Plastic to Metal

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Gluing similar items and surfaces is fairly simple as you can get specific adhesives to do the job. However, when if you want to glue metal to plastic or two different types of items, things can get a little more complicated. Plastic and metals themselves are tough to bond as they are non-porous, so you will need to find an adhesive that works on both surfaces. Thankfully, today you have access to a few options when bonding plastic to metal.



The Best Types of Adhesive for Bonding Plastic to Metal

There are many types of plastic, from hard plastics to soft plastic, all having their own features and properties. You have different plastics for a variety of applications, from food containers to drainpipes, storage containers, and lots more. Plastics can be found as car parts, in the construction industry, as household items and toys. Scale models are predominantly made out of plastic but can also include metal and other components.

Strongest Glue for Metal to Plastic

There are also a lot of different metals all around us, from aluminum to steel, brass, copper, amongst others. You will need a strong bonding agent to glue metal to plastic. Some glues, like wood glue, are designed to work on porous surfaces like wood and are not a good choice for smooth surfaces like metal or plastic.  So, what are the options available for the best glue for plastic to metal?


Epoxy as the Strongest Glue for Metal to Plastic

Epoxy seems to be the best all-around general adhesive that works on most surfaces, including plastic and metal. The epoxy will create a high-strength bond that is both impact-resistant and resistant to water, chemicals, and heat. Epoxy usually comes in two components, a hardener, and epoxy. Once these two mix, it forms a strong bond material.

You also get an epoxy putty you can use in certain cases. You knead the two-component clay-like putty, and this activates the process. This provides excellent adhesion properties, and you can wrap metal and plastic pieces, unlike liquid glue.

Small projects can be done with a syringe-type product that contains your two components and mixes on application.  Others come in two separate containers, and you have to mix them yourself. This is where following the product directions is important as you need the correct ratios for it to work properly. Remember, the type of adhesive will ultimately depend on the application.



This is simply a fancy word for describing the popular super glue products. Everybody knows that this type of glue bonds in seconds, and you have to work quickly to position your items. Can you super glue plastic to metal? This is where choosing the right super glue is important, as there are various types to choose from. So, check the label to see what surfaces you can use it on before purchasing. Super glue generally does not adhere all that well to smooth surfaces, however, roughening up the plastic and metal surface can help improve the bond.

How to Glue Metal to Plastic Easily


Silicone Adhesives

You can also use a silicone sealant as an adhesive for bonding plastic to metal. The silicone remains flexible and can withstand extreme temperatures. Unlike instant glue, you will have to wait for the silicone to cure. This can be anything from 24 hours up to a few days.

This method would be used for larger repair projects and is not for smaller craft projects.


Hot Glue Gun

You can also use hot glue sticks to glue metal to plastic. Preferably, you should use a glue gun that is used for manufacturing rather than your simple craft glue gun if you are dealing with any type of repairs. Have a look at your local hardware store to see if they stock different glue sticks and check to see what they bond to as some might not bond to plastics or metal. These are also known as hot melt glue sticks and can come as ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), acrylic, or polyamide hot melt sticks.

How to Glue Metal to Plastic


Polyurethane Adhesives

This is a strong type of adhesive that is also known as PU adhesives and can be used on a variety of surfaces. It is especially good at bonding different materials like plastic to metal. Once it cures, it becomes waterproof and can be used indoors as well as outside.

You can also sand and paint the polyurethane once it has cured.


UV Cure Adhesives

These types of adhesives require UV lighting before it cures to form a strong and permanent bond. The UV cure adhesives are usually effective on all kinds of substrates, including metal, plastic, glass, and wood. This adhesive can also be used in a variety of mixed materials.


Summary of the Different Types of Glue

In the table below, you will find a summary of the different types of glue for metal and plastic that we have discussed so far.

Types of Glue Bonding Plastic to Metal Notes
Epoxy The best all-round choice for bonding plastic to metal
Super Glue Always check to see if compatible with metal and plastic
Silicone Sealant (Adhesive) Not really an adhesive and tends to break down quicker than other glues
UV Cure Adhesives Creates a high strength bond but must be visible to the light to cure
Polyurethane Adhesives Durable and water-resistant, best for outdoor applications
Hot Glue Gun Polyamide hot melts from a strong bond for tough to bond surfaces
Craft or Wood Glue Not compatible
Spray Adhesives Not compatible



Purchasing the Strongest Glue for Metal to Plastic

There are a lot of products available, so how do you know which one to choose? This is especially true when it comes to materials like metal, plastics, glass, and other surfaces that are difficult to bond. Consider these few factors if you are wondering what glue to choose.

How to Glue Plastic to Metal


Multi-Purpose Adhesives

Materials like plastic, metals, and glass are all difficult to bond because they are non-porous. You need to look for glue that produces a high-strength bond, especially if you want to form a bond between two surfaces like metal and plastic. Looking for a glue that can be applied to multiple surfaces should be effective and more versatile.


Drying Times

Some adhesives like super glue dry within seconds, while others may take several hours to a few days to fully cure or dry. So, it all depends on what you are doing and how long you need the drying to be. Even though super glue dries faster, an epoxy, which takes longer to cure does form a stronger and more durable bond.

All adhesive products should state the drying times on their labels.


Adhesive Properties

Again, depending on your needs, you will want to look for an adhesive that can hold up to certain conditions. Is the item you are repairing going to be outside? For example, many adhesives are resistant to temperature changes and water. Can the adhesive withstand pressure and resistance? You will need to look for an adhesive that is durable and that forms a high-strength bond.


Easy to use

Most of us want a product that is easy to use and some adhesives you can simply apply and leave, while others require a bit more preparation. For example, many epoxy products need to be mixed before applying and you need to have the correct ratios or run the risk of creating a poor bond.

Epoxy for Bonding Plastic to Metal

One more factor to take into consideration is the application, for smaller more detailed jobs, you need a special precision nozzle. Other adhesives may require brushes, sponges, or another tool to spread the glue. Some adhesives are also more toxic than others and require safety gear when using, which can make things a little more complicated and expensive.


Types of Adhesive

Most of the glue products come in tubes, but there are also products like epoxy putty. Some adhesives have a runny consistency, while others come in the form of a gel. Again, it all depends on your needs. Are you simply using the glue for crafting purposes, or are you looking for something that is going to help with repairs around the house? Some adhesives, like hot glue sticks, require a hot glue gun. So, looking at costs and the type of adhesives can help with your decision as well.

Also, the appearance of the glue once dry could play a role in your decision. Some adhesives dry clear and are a good choice for model building. Other products may dry gray or opaque, however, these might offer more durable and heavy-duty bonds.



Best Glue for Plastic to Metal

Let us have a look at some of the strongest glue for metal to plastic products. There are a few brands that offer similar products and the most common include the Gorilla, J-B Weld, and Loctite brands. These offer a variety of super glues and epoxy adhesives that offer amazing results. Let us have a look at some of the recommended best glue for plastic to metal products from these companies.

Super Glue Plastic to Metal


Popular Super Glue for Plastic to Metal: LOCTITE

The Loctite Superglue offers a high-strength bond that is resistant to cold temperatures, moisture, and a majority of chemicals. The adhesive is easy to apply with a precision nozzle, which helps to prevent drips and messes. You can use the glue on heavy-duty projects and repair items like car parts, jewelry, toys, models, and more. Once applied, the glue will dry clear, and you do not have to clamp the items for it to set.

LOCTITE Professional Liquid Super Glue
  • Professional-strength ingredients work fast and hold strong
  • Fast-setting formula resists moisture, most chemicals, and the cold
  • Pinpoint nozzle allows precise application without dripping or oozing
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  • Bonds multiple surfaces including hard plastics, metal, fabric, rubber, and more
  • Provides high strength bond for heavy-duty applications
  • No clamping required
  • Dries clear in seconds


  • You might need to roughen plastic and metal surfaces for a better bond
  • Might take longer than indicated to set


Best Two-Part Epoxy for Bonding Plastic to Metal: GORILLA

The Gorilla two-part epoxy is an extremely popular product and can be used on numerous surfaces. Many agree that it is the best overall adhesive for surfaces like plastic to metal or wood. The product is easy to use and comes in syringe packaging, all you have to do is mix and apply. The two components, hardener, and epoxy are kept separate and are dispensed in the amounts needed to create a perfect bond. You have a small window of time before the epoxy begins to cure, after five minutes it will begin to set. To fully cure, you will need to leave for 24 hours. The epoxy dries clear and, if necessary, it can be sanded.

GORILLA 2-Part Epoxy
  • Strong, permanent, fast, and gap-filling epoxy glue
  • Cures quickly, dries, clear, and is great for multi-surface application
  • For tough repairs requiring a durable bond and solvent resistance
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  • Easy to use
  • Chemical and solvent resistant
  • Ideal for craft projects as well as household repairs
  • Will dry clear
  • Can be used on a variety of materials


  • Cannot withstand extreme temperatures
  • Water-resistant not waterproof
  • You will need to clamp or leave the surfaces for 30 minutes before handling


Best Waterproof Adhesive for Plastic to Metal: J-B WELD

The J-B Weld Marine Epoxy is the best waterproof adhesive and is great for repairing boats. Not only is it waterproof but it is also heat resistant and has tremendous tensile strength. Epoxy can be used on many surfaces including plastic, metal, fiberglass, wood, and more. You will need to wait for about 4 to 6 hours for it to set, and 24 hours before it fully cures. Then you can sand, file or drill if needed.

J-B WELD Marine Weld Marine Epoxy
  • A two-part epoxy cold weld that provides strong, lasting repairs 
  • The epoxy takes 4-6 hours to set and 16-24 hours to cure fully
  • The epoxy is steel-reinforced with a tensile strength of 5020 PSI
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  • Once cured it is waterproof
  • Heat, chemical, and acid resistant
  • Multiple surface applications
  • Forms a high strength bond
  • Straightforward to use a 1:1 ratio mix


  • You will need to use protective gear
  • Difficult to remove from your skin



How to Glue Plastic to Metal

Whenever you are dealing with adhesives, to achieve the best bond, you will need to have a clean surface. So, you will need to clean all surfaces before you begin. Make sure to remove any dust, grime, and oily residue. Metal and plastic are generally smooth materials, so to provide a better surface for adhesion, it is recommended you roughen up the surface with some steel wool or sandpaper.

Bonding Plastic to Metal

To get the best out of your adhesive product, you should adhere to all instructions. Some products need to be clamped, while others do not. You will experience glue failures if you do not adhere to the proper instructions provided. You should have already made up your mind about what type of glue you need for your project.

  • Do you need a high-strength adhesive?
  • Must it be waterproof?
  • Do you need a more precise application, for example, models?
  • Is the adhesive going to be exposed to extreme temperatures and other difficulties?

Once you understand what your project involves and your needs, you can then select an appropriate adhesive. The process of applying the adhesive can vary for every product. Applying super glue plastic to metal should be the easiest, as you only have to squeeze the glue out of the bottle onto the surface.

The two-part epoxy requires a little more work on your part. You will have to mix the two components accurately before applying and wait for the epoxy to fully cure. In some cases, you will need to clamp the two surfaces or apply a heavy weight onto the surfaces for the bond to form properly.



Safety Guidelines When Working With Adhesives

Many of the adhesive products have solvents and high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In these cases, you will need to wear items that protect you from the toxic fumes and from getting the adhesive on your skin or breathing it in. So, goggles, gloves as well as a mask are recommended. Some other precautions include the following.

  • To protect your airways, it is important to work in an area that has enough air circulation.
  • If you are working with a particularly potent glue, a respirator mask may be needed.
  • For the safety of your children and pets, remember to keep the glue products in a safe place.
  • If you add too much glue, simply wipe it off before it dries.

Glue for Bonding Plastic to Metal

  • For the best results, always use the proper tools needed to spread the glue.
  • To save you money and get the best result, only use the required amount and avoid excessive application.
  • To prevent your glue from drying out, keep the glue lid on securely if not in use.
  • If inhaled or ingested seek medical advice.


Tips for Bonding Plastic to Metal

When purchasing and working with glue, thankfully, others have gone before and there is quite a lot of information and advice you can get online. There are always forums you can visit to pose your questions; however, you can also test the glue products out yourself before applying them to your project. Consider the guidelines below.

  • Always make sure that your plastic item will work with the glue you choose. Different plastic might not work with all the adhesive options, especially the tough to bond plastics
  • Silicone provides a strong bond but is likely to lose its grip over time
  • Understand your needs, some glues can dry hard and strong but are brittle, while others are more flexible
  • A small measure of glue will usually cover a fair amount
  • In many cases, you will need to clamp your items, always check the product directions


Whether you are repairing a pair of eyeglasses or creating an entirely new construction, you need the best glue to adhere plastic to metal. With the information in this guide, you should be equipped with everything you need to choose and use the best glue for plastic and metal.



Frequently Asked Questions


How to Glue Plastic to Metal Successfully?

The best option would be to use epoxy, which is the strongest glue for metal to plastic. Unlike superglue, the epoxy does take some time to fully cure and sometimes the two surfaces need to be clamped to form a better bond.


Is Surface Preparation Needed for Bonding Plastic to Metal?

An adhesive requires a clean and appropriate surface to bond with. So, yes you will need some preparation. First, remove any grime and dust and then use sandpaper to make the surface rough. Follow the product directions for application and press or clamp items together. Following basic preparation will help to prevent you from having to reglue the item later.


Can you use Craft Glue for Plastic to Metal?

Craft or wood glue is best to use on porous materials like paper and wood. This type of glue will not work on no-porous surfaces like plastic, metal, and glass. To glue metal to plastic, you should get glue that is more multi-purpose and states its use on these surfaces.


Does Super Glue Work on Smooth Surfaces Like Plastic and Metal?

Yes, you can use superglue for bonding plastic to metal. However, the product label should say that it can be used on plastic, metal, and other surfaces. Super glue is also not the best choice for permanent bonds between dissimilar surfaces, as there are better options, for example, epoxy.