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Super glue is a popular and well-known product and can most likely be found in almost every home. The reason being that it is so simple to use and can repair a variety of items from wood to plastic, metal, glass, and even fabric. The glue bonds quickly and strong, providing you with a quick fix. Are you on the lookout for the strongest super glue and not sure what super glue brands are best? Then read on to learn more about this amazing product, the various brands available, and how to choose the best super glue that suits your needs.
Table of Contents
A Closer Look at Super Glue
Super glue acts quickly as an adhesive and also goes by the name of cyanoacrylate glue. What makes super glue different from other glue, is the fact that it forms a rapid bond and creates a strong and tight seal. Many of the super glue products can be used on a variety of surfaces, however, there are different grades of glue specific purposes as well. Whatever super glue you do use, it is always best to read the instructions first. Some products might require certain steps, like a clean surface, to bond properly. In most cases, only a small amount of glue is necessary.
Since super glue bonds so quickly, it is recommended you use gloves just to avoid getting any on the skin or having to separate two fingers stuck together. If this does happen, some acetone applied to the stuck fingers should loosen things up again. Let us now have a look at a few pros and cons of super glue.
Advantages of Using Super Glue
Quick and easy to use, it is no wonder that super glue has become such a popular choice for minor repairs around the house. Some of the main advantages of super glue are as follows.
This is what makes super glue unique, bonding surfaces in only seconds. The different grades of glue will produce varying results in performance and will also depend on the material or surface you are bonding, and the environment you are working in. If you happen to be applying the superglue in a humid and warm environment, it should bond more quickly.
The bond that is formed is extremely strong and again will depend on the grade of super glue you are using and also similar factors like environment and materials used. When measuring up against other types of adhesives like silicones, it by far the strongest bond.
Versatility of Super Glue
Super glue can bond to most surfaces like wood, plastic, metal, glass, and much more. Again, there are different grades of glue that will perform differently on various surfaces. So, it is best when purchasing glue, you look for a product that is compatible with the surface you wish to bond.
Superglue might seem more expensive when compared to other types of general adhesives, but you only use a small amount. Sometimes, only a drop of super glue is needed to make small repairs. You do not want to use too much superglue as this can affect the curing time and may even influence the bonding strength. You should be able to repair many items using only a single small tube of super glue.
Ease of use
Unlike some other adhesive products, super glue involves no mixing of substances before application. You do not have to worry about precise measurements for the best results. You simply apply from the tube and that is it. Even if you have to do a bit of surface preparation, it is still easy to use. It also forms a clear bond that you cannot see once it has cured.
Drawbacks to Using Super Glue
There are, unfortunately, a few disadvantages when it comes to super glue. This is why it is important to know if super glue is the best choice for your repair project. The bottom line is that if you use super glue where you should not, it will not work, and you might land up having to do more work or even spending more money on repairs. Below are a few super glue cons you might want to consider.
- Super glue cannot be used to cover larger areas
- There is an unpleasant smell
- Low tolerance to heat
- Minimal elasticity
- Will not withstand hard impacts
- The glue tends to bloom and be slightly messy if not careful
- You need to handle it with care, as it can stick to the skin
Types of Super Glue and Important Considerations
There have been many advancements in technology over the years and all kinds of products are always improving and providing better results. The same is true for super glue, you can now get superglue in varying viscosities. You get thin and thicker glue that gives you more versatility so you can repair a variety of items.
Thinner glue is perfect in situations where there has not been a complete break and is simply cracked. Thick glue is better to fill in gaps, while the medium glue is great for a variety of applications. There is a large range of super products, however, there are a few differences, especially with the various grades. These differences are also what you should look at when choosing the best super glue for various applications.
Different Based Super Glues
To bond, super glue needs water so it can pretty much glue any surface. Always read the label, if it does not say cyanoacrylate, it is not super glue. In general, all super glues are based Alkoxy based, Ethyl or Methyl based. The Alkoxy Ester-based superglues have less of an odor and also bloom less than others. The Methyl Ester-based super glue is the best option if you want to repair metals. Lastly, the Ethyl Ester-based super glues are the general-purpose glue that is commonly used.
Super Glue Consistency
The viscosity or thickness of the glue is a factor in the different grades of super glue available. The more viscous or thick the glue, and less viscous or thinner the glue will affect the type of application. You will need to decide what will work best for your particular repair project. In many cases but not all, the thicker, the longer it will take the glue to bond completely. Also, thicker glues are easier to use on vertical surfaces, as will not run down the surfaces that easily.
Depends on Application
All super glues are not compatible with all materials, because not all glues are of the same grade, there are differences in thickness, and what they are based on. So, if you need a super glue for some type of repair job, for the best choice, make sure to choose a glue that will work the best for your needs. Gap coverage is also an important factor, even though super glue is applied to small areas, some super glues can cover more than others.
The Strength of the Bond
All super glues do not have the same bond strength; however, they all do create a strong bond. There are varying degrees of strength and you will need to check on this if you need something that requires a stronger bond. The strongest super glue products also have additives included that increase the strength of the bond. Some super glues are specially created to bond to specific surfaces. For example, the gel-like consistency that is perfect to use on wood and requires a slightly longer time to bond. Metal surfaces require more of a liquid consistency to form a strong bond.
Super Glue Curing Time
Different types of super glue will have varying degrees of curing time. The curing time is also dependent on the material you are bonding, how much glue you will be using, and even the environment you are working in. As mentioned, thicker grade superglues tend to take longer to cure and the thinner grades cure more quickly. However, most cure within seconds and should form a strong bond within minutes and be fully cured in 24 hours.
Effects of Temperature
The different grades of super glue will have varying resistance to different temperatures. Most products should have information concerning this on their labels. So, make sure to check them and read the product labels.
You need to consider the type of super glue when mending outdoor items, kitchen items, and other items that are going to be exposed to temperatures and moisture. Your regular super glue maybe a little water resistant but is not waterproof and can only withstand certain temperatures. You will need to look at products with additives that make them more resistant to these types of exposure.
Different Super Glue Colors
Most super glue products are clear and are nearly invisible once repairs have been done. However, some glues are tinted to match the repair job. For example, black for various rubber repairs. Also, blooming can affect the clarity of the glue once it has cured. The best option, in this case, is to use the Alkoxy Ethyl-based glues.
Super Glue Packaging
Many times, super glue comes in a small individual tube, however, you can also purchase a set of these small tubes. The smaller tubes help prevent wastage, as super glue has a short shelf life. Once opened, the super glue will be affected by the moisture in the air. Many times, the nozzle itself can be a problem. Super dries so quickly and can clog the nozzle, today you can get products that come with a resealable and clog-resistant nozzle.
Applying Super Glue
Depending on what you want to glue, you should be able to get products that have specific application designs. For example, a small job like fixing a chip out of a mug, a small tube with precision, or a pen applicator will do the job.
When it comes to a slightly bigger job, you might need a broad or brush applicator to get things done easier and faster. Even if the superglue comes with a specialized applicator, messes are always likely. Do not worry, simply have a little acetone nearby that can help to remove any excess.
|Super Glue Type||Brand Name||Viscosity||Curing Time||Bond Strength||Gap Coverage||Temperature Resistance||Used on other surfaces|
|Super Glue Metal||Loctite Super Glue Gel Control||Medium||15 to 30 seconds complete in 24 hours||Varies from 1450-2900 psi||No gap cover||176 – 300.2 F||Wood, Plastic, ceramics, leather, and fabrics|
|Super Glue for Plastic||Gorilla Super Glue Gel||Low||10 to 30 seconds||Not available||No gap cover||-65 to 220 F||Paper. Leather, rubber, ceramics, wood, metal|
|Super Glue for Rubber||3M Scotch-Weld Plastic and Rubber Instant Adhesive||Low||45 seconds complete in 24 hours||3100 psi||No gap cover||-65 to 180 F||Plastics|
|Super Glue for Glass||Loctite Glass Glue||High||15 to 60 seconds, complete in 24 hours||Varies from 218 – 363 psi||No gap cover||Flashpoint 176 F to 199.4 F||Plastics and metals|
|Super Glue for Leather||Glue Masters Professional Grade Super Glue||Low, Super Thick||One minute and complete in 24 hours||2100 psi||Can seal small gaps||-60 to 195 F||Shoes, fabric, wood, and models|
|Super Glue for Wood||Starbond EM 02 Super-fast thin CA glue||Low||5 seconds||Not available||No gap cover||-22 to 132.8 F||Ceramics, bones, rocks, jewelry|
Best Super Glue Brands
There are many glue brands available and choosing one that best suits your needs can sometimes be a difficult choice to make. So, below are a few of the best super glue products that we recommend.
Best Super Glue for Metal: LOCTITE Super Glue
The Loctite Ultra Gel Control is very versatile and extremely strong, and best of all it is reasonably priced. It has been designed with a special rubberized formulation that gives it a durable and powerful bond. It is also resistant to shock, wear, impact, and vibration even if your product is used extensively daily.
This super glue metal product is effective under harsh weather conditions as well as extreme temperatures. The Loctite super glue is also resistant to most chemicals, moisture, and freezing temperatures. Not only is it versatile to work on several different surfaces but can also be used for vertical applications. The Loctite super glue is a very versatile glue that can be used to fix virtually anything in your home from wood, plastic, fabric, metal, leather as well as ceramics.
It is supplied with a pinpoint nozzle type that enables you to apply it with great precision. Take care when you use it because it takes one minute to set but is only completely cured within 24 hours and is clear when dry. It is supplied in an easy-to-use side-squeeze, a no-drip bottle that makes it easy to use and requires no clamping. Many of the super glue reviews say how easy the glue is to use and how it is the best super glue.
Best Super Glue for Plastic: GORILLA Glue Super Gel
The Gorilla Super Glue Gel has been designed with a handy non-running gel formulation, which gives it a super-strong bond. The modified formulation includes rubber particles that increase the impact resistance that makes it ideal for repairing children’s toys and ceramic handles and many more applications around the home.
Gorilla glue super glue can adhere to surfaces like wood, ceramics, and plastic and only takes 10 to 30 seconds to dry, and is regarded by many users as the best super glue plastics. One disadvantage with this glue is that it is not waterproof, so if you are repairing areas where water is present, we suggest you first apply a waterproof coating. Gorilla glue super glue is not recommended to be used on cotton or wool as it reacts to the fibers producing heat with irritating fumes. It is also a high-velocity gel glue that will not drip or run all over the show.
Best Super Glue for Rubber: 3M SCOTCH-WELD Adhesive
The 3M Scotch-Weld product is an instant adhesive with a medium viscosity, and its formulation makes it ideal for use on difficult surfaces such as EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) Rubber, plastics, and nylon.
It will create a durable and strong bond with a shear strength of more than 2000 psi (pounds per square inch). The glue has a fast curing time and can actually be handled within 45 seconds but will only fully cure within 24 hours. The 3M Scotch-Weld is supplied in a pinch container that allows you to control the amount of glue dispensed to a drop.
Best Super Glue for Glass: LOCTITE Glass Glue
The Loctite Glass Glue, with its special formulation, is the only super glue that has been patented for bonding glass. Loctite glass glue will give you a professional and reliable bond with all types of glass as well as bonding to certain plastics and metals. It will create durable and fast joints which are water-resistant and can endure everyday usage. It will give you crystal clear repairs once dry and does not require any clamping and is also dishwasher safe as well as heat resistant.
It also has a fast drying time but is not recommended for use on any outdoor surfaces. It is a very versatile glue as it can bond well with brown, clear, opaque, tinted as well as stained glass. You can safely use Loctite glass glue for those special repairs to crystals and glasses. The super glue reviews are good and most say that the glue does what it says.
Best Super Glue for Leather: GLUE MASTERS Super Glue
This Glue Master Super Glue is one of the strongest super glues on the market and works well on surfaces like porcelain, metal, glass, and leather. This glue has won a special award as one of the best glues to use for shoe repairs. The glue comes in a container that has an anti-clogging nozzle, which makes it easy to use with no mess.
The glue offers top quality industrial-strength, cures fast within one minute, has a strong bond and a long shelf life. The glue has a thick viscosity giving you control with an even flow and without any hassle or mess, but the manufactures also supply the glue in different viscosities to suit your required drying times.
Although the Glue Master does not have the rubber additives like many other types of superglue, it still bonds easily to smooth surfaces. However, it can be challenging to work with because it does not fill up small gaps, which you find when repairing broken ceramics.
Glue Master is very versatile and able to repair shoes, wood, and much more, leaving you with one glue bottle for all those household repairs. Its 2-ounce container makes sure you will have enough glue for any repair job you tackle. Not recommended for use on clothing or fabrics, and make sure you wear protective eyewear when using it and do the work in a well-ventilated area.
Best Super Glue for Wood: STARBOND Super-Fast Glue
The Starbond Super-Fast Glue contains cyanoacrylate, which makes it super glue. Its viscosity is very thin almost like water and it adheres instantly. This is why it is used for repairs on hairline fractures and fine cracks, as it can penetrate all those narrow gaps. Therefore, Starbond super glue can strengthen fragile and porous material such as ceramics, soft balsa wood, fossil bones, and unpolished minerals and rocks, and is also effective on leather items.
When metal powder and turquoise inlays are applied, then this thin super glue can stabilize and penetrate the powder via capillary action. It is also often used as a finishing coat after several other coats have been applied and sanded, this then leaves you with a highly polished and gloss finish.
The Starbond super-fast glue also comes with clog-free stoppers, applicator caps, and micro-tips for more precision work. The extra applicator caps are there in case the original ones clog up and are blocked, and a small pin is also supplied to help release the caps that clog up. The Starbond super-fast glue is also used in the following applications:
- Jewelry manufacture and repairs
- Repairs to antique furniture
- Installing bindings on the back of guitars or other stringed instruments
- Repairing knots and cracks in the wood
- Repairing ceramic, marble, and granite items
- Bonding balsa wood to fiberglass
How Can Super Glue Be Removed?
When working with superglue, it is most likely that you will accidentally drip some onto your skin or the surrounding surface. You do not have to worry, and you will not have to take a trip to the emergency room to get your fingers unstuck. Thankfully, there are ways for you to remove super glue from most surfaces without too much fuss.
Super Glue on the Skin
The first thing you should try is quite simple, soak and wash the area in some warm soapy water. This might take a while, so be patient. If this does not work, your next step is to try some acetone which should dissolve the glue. Once the glue has been removed, wash with soapy water and apply some moisturizer as the acetone dries the skin out.
If you want to try and peel off the glue, make sure it has dried first, however, if it is too painful you should rather try soaking the area or apply the acetone instead. If you have not stuck your fingers together and you simply leave the glue, over a few days it should come off by itself. To avoid any super glue from getting on your hands, the best option is to wear gloves. There are also a few other ideas you can try to remove super glue by soaking in or applying:
- Mineral Spirits
- Lemon juice
- Margarine or olive oil
- Salt and water paste scrub
Smooth Hard or Wooden Surfaces
The simplest method, in this case, is to try and peel it off. If this does not work, then applying some acetone once again might do the trick. Since acetone is abrasive, first do a test area on a small section of the surface. You can also try lemon juice or mineral oil in place of acetone for less abrasive options. If this still does not work on a wooden surface, you might have to consider sanding the area and re-oil, varnish, or paint the area.
First, if you can, soak the fabric in some warm water and try to rub the glue off. Avoid rubbing if it is a delicate fabric. You can also include some laundry detergent for added benefit. Again, you can also use acetone, take an old toothbrush, and apply the acetone. You can then try and lift the glue using a blunt knife and once done you can wash as you normally would. If you are not sure what kind of fabric you are dealing with, test out a small section first using the acetone to make sure there is no reaction.
Note: Remember, acetone does give off toxic fumes, so it is a good idea to work with it in a well-ventilated space. Also, if you are dealing with an expensive piece of clothing, it might be best to send it off to the dry cleaners.
The Best Super Glue Tips
When it comes to using any type of product, the best thing to do is always read and follow the instructions. Super glue is quick and easy to use, however, there might be a few things you need to consider before opening that bottle or tube. Sometimes, doing a little preparation is what makes a project or job successful.
Preparing the Surface
Any surface you are working on should be clean and dry, as super glue will adhere to almost anything like dust or dirt. If you do have an exceptionally smooth surface, it might be a good idea to roughen it a bit by lightly sanding it. This helps to improve the surface area onto which the glue bonds, thereby, increasing the bond strength.
You may think that this is needed and maybe you will get away with not messing or having problems. However, it is always best to be safe. So, wearing gloves can help to prevent any glue from getting onto your skin. You may also want to consider a mask or goggles if the repair job is more than simply gluing a cup handle back onto a mug.
When a repair job is a little more difficult, masking off surrounding areas might help when using the super glue. Even a few old rags can do the trick in some cases, to prevent any spills from becoming problems.
Super Glue Container Shapes
We are all familiar with the tube shape for superglue and this works fine. But when it comes to more precision repairs, the shape of the super glue container can make a difference. This is why some super glue products come in a pen shape for comfort and ease of use. There also other types of applicators that can make the job a little easier and it is good to be aware that these products are available.
Storing Super Glue
You usually only need an extremely small amount of super glue to do a basic repair job. So, you will not use an entire tube at one time. You want to make sure you can use the rest of the glue later. Once you have finished applying the superglue, clean any excess away around the nozzle opening.
Gently squeeze to get rid of any air in the tube and place the cap on securely. Superglue works by reacting to any moisture, so tightening the cap properly is important. You can then store the superglue in a dry, dark, and cool place. If you live in a hot climate, you might consider keeping it in the fridge, as long as nobody else can get hold of it by accident.
Cleaning Up Super Glue
We have dealt with the various ways you can remove super glue that involves either chemical removal with a solvent or physically scraping it off. Most super glue brands have a technical data sheet that should give information on the solubility of the super glue.
When it comes to applying super glue, some say placing a little on both the surfaces you want to bond. However, this might produce excess superglue, so placing only a small amount on one of the surfaces and then placing them together seems a more logical approach.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Super Glue?
Superglue, also known as cyanoacrylate, is an adhesive that dries quickly and forms a strong bond, and can be used on almost any surface. You get super glue for metal, super glue for wood as well as super glue plastic options. An extremely versatile and popular glue that comes in a variety of super glue brands.
Are There Super Glue Plastic Products?
Yes, super glue that is designed for most plastics works well. You should be able to find a super glue that repairs polycarbonate, and polystyrene amongst others. Hard and smooth plastics may not work well with super glue. You might need to sand the surface slightly to create better bonding capabilities before you apply the super glue.
Will Super Glue Stick to the Skin?
Like most any other surface, it will stick onto the skin. However, you should not panic, as it will not damage the skin and if left to dry, and after a few days you should be able to peel it off. You can also try dabbing a little acetone onto the glue.
Does Super Glue Dry Fast?
Yes, this is one of its main features that makes it so popular. Once applied, the super glue takes only a few seconds to dry which is why you should not get your fingers in the way. The various grades of super glue do have varying dry times, but all are fast drying. To achieve a strong bond, leave the glued item for about ten minutes and it should fully cure in 24 hours.
Does Super Glue Conduct Electricity?
Superglue dries and forms something similar to hard plastic, so it will not be able to conduct electricity.
Can Super Glue Be Used Close to Food?
Mostly, super glue is not food-safe and should not be used on items that come into close contact with food. Rather opt for a product that is specifically made for this type of repair work.
How Should You Apply Super Glue?
There are various applicators and types of super glue products that make application easier. However, when applying the superglue, it is best to do this onto one surface and not both. You only need a thin layer to be effective, and thick layers will just create excess glue that might bleed onto the surrounding areas.
Is Super Glue Water and Heat Resistant?
Super glue can withstand temperatures as much as 90 degrees Centigrade and has good resistance to water. However, if it is exposed to extreme temperatures and hot water the paper bonding can weaken.
How Strong is Super Glue?
Super glue forms an extremely strong bond and, inmost, cases, becomes almost unbreakable. For example, the Loctite brand adhesive super glue broke the Guinness World Record. The super glue was able to lift a car with a mere nine drops of the product.
Will Super Glue Stick to Silicone?
Superglue does not normally adhere to silicone. Silicone has a smooth and repellent surface that makes it difficult for adhesives to adhere.
Super glue is one of the most versatile and convenient adhesives available. Choosing the best super glue for your project is essential, as there are so many different types out there. We hope our guide has helped you to find the right product for your application!