Do you craft with metal or frequently have metal items around the house that need fixing? Whether it’s jewelry, trinkets, handles, knobs, hinges, cutlery, or tools, the thought of using glue for metal must have crossed your mind already.
While welding remains the best method of bonding metals, it is beyond the ordinary at-home DIY crafter and handyman’s grasp. Welding tools are not only expensive but require the necessary skills to execute, same as soldering and riveting. Glue would be a simpler, more convenient, and accessible bonding option for metal at home.
So, what is the best glue for metal? The best glue for metal is designed specifically for metal bonding and has incredible strength. Great choices can include epoxy glue, polyurethane glue, and superglue, depending on the project.
If this is your first metal glue purchasing venture, do not worry. Just sit back and follow through as we go over the 7 best glues for metal. But first, let’s guide you on how to choose the best glue for the job.
Types Of Glue For Metal
There’s a myriad of glue brands out there, and unfortunately, not all of them will meet your expectations. So instead of starting wrong, wasting time and money, and going insane with frustration, it’s better to educate yourself a bit on what’s available before making a purchase.
When it comes to metal glues, you aim for the heavy-duty stuff. Metal is a heavy-duty material. It only fits that the glue you choose for it matches up in strength.
But all glues for metal are not created equal, and given the slippery nature of metal, only a few go over the bar. There are three types of glue that are highly recommended for metal:
1. Epoxy Glue
Epoxy is the strongest glue for metals regardless of whether it is fusing metal to metal or other materials. When you make a purchase, it will come in two separate parts epoxy glue and a hardener.
The two must be mixed in equal 1:1 ratios to react and bond effectively. The mixture later hardens and forms the most rigid bond there can be.
Epoxy glue is also waterproof and is unaltered by fluctuations in temperature. Therefore it is the best glue for metals that will be outdoors.
Its application can make quite a mess around the joining, but that can be improved. You have many options of how to take care of the final finish. Sanding the excess or painting over it are a few.
Another fantastic aspect of epoxy glue is that it acts as a filler. You’ll have no problem bonding two pieces that have their edges jagged or do not fit together perfectly and leave gaps.
It will flow in the voids, fill them and harden like part of the metal. You just have to wait for about 24 hours for a complete cure. If you’re joining metal parts that will be subjected to immense pressure or looking for a practically permanent bond, epoxy glue is your best bet.
2. Polyurethane Glue
Polyurethane glue is a thermosetting polymer glue. It does not have the same level of strength as epoxy glue. Epoxy glue is still unmatched in sheer strength.
Yet, it is seriously strong and will bond metal to metal and metal to other materials as well. It is also waterproof and ideal for outdoor use.
It is one-part glue that comes surface ready. This means no hassle of remembering ratios, mixing, and all that jazz. This glue also retains some flexibility once dry, which is a plus for use on metals, as they tend to contract and expand with temperature shifts.
On the contrary, it is a poor gap filler. Your two pieces need to be tight-fitting or flat for the glue to secure them properly. It also has a limited shelf life.
Superglue, everyone’s go-to for quick fixes, is a cyanoacrylate glue that bonds metals. We all know it as the ever convenient, affordable, and instant results kind of glue.
It’s also easy to dispense and comes in handy bottles with precision tips. But as much as we all love super glue, it is the least strong glue of the three for metals.
Superglue has a low shear strength and will collapse when you try to exert extremely high pressure on the bond. Therefore, if you’re fixing things that will not have to bear any kind of weight, stress, or pull, the superglue is ok.
It also weakens quickly when constantly brought to contact with water, solvents, and heat hence not the best for outdoor use.
Buying Glue For Metal – What To Consider
So which glue should you choose? It is up to you to decide what features are most important to you. You have to consider certain factors when choosing glue to make sure it works for you. Here are the things to look into to help with your decision.
The first consideration is the strength of the glue and whether it meets your needs. Most times, metal items are preferred where pressure will be exerted because it is a sturdy material.
Therefore, you want to use the toughest glue to support such use. Epoxy glue would be the most reliable glue.
However, if the application involves stationary or decorative mini metal objects that will not be subjected to any heavy load, then any of the other two types of glue will do.
2. Drying Speed
When it comes to bonding metals, time is your friend. You might need to wait for a long time to get a long-lasting bond. There are three distinct periods you must take note of when picking glue for metal—setting time, handling time, and full cure time.
Setting time is the time it takes before the glue starts to harden. It is at this stage that you apply the glue and can reposition the pieces before it thickens.
Handling time is when the glue is already dry and hardened. You cannot reposition the pieces at this stage, since they are already locked. You can move the item or remove any clamps or pressure if you wish, but it is not ready for use yet.
At full cure, the bond is completely dry and strongest. The item is ready for action.
Some of the best glues for metal can take up to 24 hours to cure, but the adhesion is practically permanent. Nonetheless, if you do not have the luxury of time, then these would not work for you.
You’d be better off with superglue, which dries instantaneously. It also enables you to finish your crafts fast and put them to use immediately. For the patient metal crafter, the drying time really doesn’t matter. It is the ultimate bond permanence that counts.
3. Weather And Chemical Resistance
Depending on where you intend to use the metal, the bond may come into contact with many elements that could affect its grabbing power.
Metals that will be stationed outdoors, for example, will encounter moisture from rain or snow. Similarly, water will be a frequent phenomenon for the glue if you are mending cracks in pots, water pipes, and tanks.
If repairing engine parts, machinery, automotive parts, or bikes, there are oil, fuel, grease, and other petroleum products that may also access the bond.
In addition, temperatures may also go extreme at some point, nose-diving during winter and sizzling in summer. Every possible condition must be taken into consideration because the said elements may make the glue bond melt, dissolve, peel, or disintegrate, separating the once fused parts.
Knowing how glue holds up in diverse situations determines its suitability for outdoors or specific uses in harsh environments, even indoors.
4. Ease Of Use
Glue is a relatively easy adhesive to use compared to driving in rivets or welding to bond metal. But some glues like epoxy have a preparation step prior to application.
You need a keen eye to measure and mix properly. Luckily, brands are switching up their packaging game to make it easier to combine the two epoxy parts.
For a hassle-free time, opt for epoxy glue contained in simple dispensing tools like syringes, plungers, and nozzles. The easiest metal glues to use are good to go on the metal straight out of the bottle.
Also, check that the bottle has a convenient tip or pout for precision or other application tools that make laying it down a breeze. The consistency is equally critical. A runny adhesive is harder to control and literally gets everywhere.
Lastly, consider any finish that can be done on the glue. We always expect a flawless application, but it is not uncommon for the glue to stick out of the edges in excess.
It would be best if it is clear after drying. Clear glue is less obvious. Alternatively, it could be sandable or paintable to improve the aesthetic of the overflow.
But to avoid such unsightly bonds altogether, always use the right amount of glue as recommended by the manufacturer. Most of the time, less is more.
The 7 Best Glues For Metal
Ready to explore what the market has to offer in glues for metal? Well, there is a myriad of products out there, but going through each one of them is a nerve-wracking exercise.
Don’t worry though; we already did the groundwork for you. Without wasting any more time, here is a quick rundown of the seven best glues for metal.
|1.||J-B Weld Original Cold-Weld Epoxy||5020 PSI, heat-resistant, sandable|
|2.||Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy||2 pack, quick-dry, self-mixing tube, dries clear|
|3.||Permatex PermaPoxy Multi-Metal Epoxy||4500 PSI, quick-dry, sandable and drillable|
|4.||Loctite Epoxy Five Minute Instant Mix||3200 PSI, quick-dry, dries clear|
|5.||Aleene's Jewelry & Metal Instant Adhesive||For jewelry, non-drip, dries clear|
|6.||Gorilla Waterproof Polyurethane Glue||Waterproof, little goes a long way|
|7.||Gorilla Super Glue Gel||Industrial-grade, 1500 PSI, anti-clog cap|
1. J-B Weld Original Cold-Weld Epoxy
The JB weld cold weld steel enforced glue is a two-part epoxy glue that comes in two separate tubes of epoxy and hardener. As the name suggests, this glue is as tough as steel and boasts of incredible tensile strength.
It bonds metal to other metal parts and works when joining metal to other materials such as rubber, plastic, and ceramic as well.
Its tensile strength is measured at 5020 PSI, one of the highest you can come across in the glue market. You can dish out force, heavy loads, and all kinds of impact; the bond will take it.
The formula is made to be resistant to water fuel and petroleum products as well as heat and can withstand temperatures of up to 550°F. This not only guarantees the durability of the board but also broadens the amount and area of use it can be put to.
The setting time for JB weld epoxy glue is 4-6 hours, but a complete cure takes 24 hours. Clamping the pieces together is necessary until then.
Although the glue dries a dark grey, which isn’t bad considering that’s the color of most metals, you can sand and paint it if you wish. It is the most reliable metal bonding adhesive in its class and the closest strength replica you can get of a welded bond.
2. Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy
Gorilla has a long list of elite performing glues, but this particular one is the best Gorilla glue for metal.
The first thing you’ll notice is that it comes in a syringe that plunges the separated epoxy and hardener, simultaneously enhancing the 1:1 ratio accuracy.
Because the epoxy and hardener are in separate barrels, you can actually leave some in a tight cap and store it without either hardening and becoming useless.
This is a fast-drying formula that starts to harden in 3-6 minutes. Therefore, you have to work on it quickly.
It is typically ready in 30 minutes, but if you intend to add any weight or pressure, you have to wait longer, ideally 24 hours to strengthen the bond further.
Gorilla epoxy glue dries clear, which looks less messy than tinted glues if it oozes. It can be drilled, sanded, and painted too. The two-part epoxy glue creates a powerful, long-lasting bond that is water, heat, and solvent resistant.
3. Permatex PermaPoxy Multi-Metal Epoxy
Permapoxy is a special epoxy glue designed for use with all metals, including steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, brass, copper, and chrome.
Whether you would like to mount one part to another, seal holes and cracks in metal, or assemble components, this adhesive is super reliable. With a tensile strength rating of 4500 PSI, you can expect an unbreakable bond.
The glue sets in 5 minutes and does not need any clamping or support after 10 minutes. However, the full cure time is 24 hours.
It dries into a dark grey solid that can be sanded, drilled, and painted. You can subject the bond to water, solvents, heat, and other elements, and it won’t budge.
That’s because Permatex epoxy glue is made to be water and solvent-resistant. It can also stand up to temperatures of between -60°F to 300°F.
It comes conveniently packed in a twin-barrel syringe with a plunger for easy dispensing of the glue.
4. Loctite Epoxy Five Minute Instant Mix
If striking the perfect balance between epoxy and hardener has always intimidated you, this is the glue you need.
Loctite epoxy is a self-mixing glue, so you do nothing with regard to measuring ratios. Using it is as easy as plunging the syringe, and the different products are dispelled equally and mixed in the next chamber.
They even included a nozzle and an extra one for precise application.
Performance-wise, this glue is excellent. It has a high stress tolerance and is rated at 3200 PSI. You can use it to fill gaps as well as bond metals together or on other materials.
The glue sets in just 5 minutes are fast compared to other epoxies and can be handled within 2-4 hours.
It is barely noticeable, as it dries clear. It becomes waterproof once dry and solvent resistant too. It holds up well to the heat but should not exceed 300°F.
5. Aleene’s Jewelry & Metal Instant Adhesive
If you’re looking for glue for your metal jewelry and parts, whether crafting them for sale or just repairing a couple of broken personal pieces, we suggest going with Aleene’s.
It bonds stones and crystals to metal rings or necklaces, and fixes pendants to chains and earring posts as well. If you have metal, glass, or ceramic parts, it bonds them to the metal too.
It has a gel, non-drip consistency and comes in a convenient tube for controlled and precise application. The glue dries relatively fast and transparently.
Unfortunately, it may leave a white haze on your stones’ visible top surface. You have to be very careful not to get it there. You can also wipe the surface with a varnish to get it clear again.
This glue works wonders, and the majority of complaints have nothing to do with its performance but rather the messy nature of the tube. It oozes out a lot, and when you try to reopen it a second time, the cap seems to get stuck. Using excess force punctures it.
Here’s a pro tip. Put aside the conical plastic and just use a pin to puncture a small hole. You won’t have any overflow. Also, allow some glue to dry on the hole, then clean around it well before replacing the cap.
6. Gorilla Waterproof Polyurethane Glue
If the thought of a flexible bond has got you stoked, then you should be looking at polyurethane glue. This particular one from Gorilla is a cut above the rest.
It is a solid, durable, and versatile glue. Gorilla polyurethane glue will fuse any type of material.
The glue sets in 2 hours, and clamping or duct tape are recommended during this period. Complete cure is 24 hours, after which nothing is going anywhere.
The 100% waterproof glue can be used outdoors. It holds up to elements pretty well regardless of the weather or season.
It expands as it cures, so you need a tiny amount in between there, or else you’ll have some serious trimming up of excesses to do.
The glue needs no preparation. You use it straight out of the pack. It comes in a convenient easy to use bottle and is brown.
7. Gorilla Super Glue Gel
This gorilla super glue is not your ordinary dollar store super glue. It is an industrial-grade superglue.
It grabs metal tightly and provides a superior hold to new or broken metal fixtures. You can use it to bond stones, plastic, and other materials to the metal as well.
This fast-setting formula dries in under a minute, which is a delight for anyone looking for fast bonding results. Still, it is recommended to wait 24 hours before subjecting the bonded pieces to any use.
The strength of gorilla super glue gel is rated at 1500 PSI, which is sufficient for most home applications. It serves at a maximum temperature of 200°F.
A little of this superglue goes a long way, and putting too much could actually compromise adhesion. Thankfully, its gel-like consistency enhances control.
Its innovative anti-clog cap also ensures you can store and use any leftover glue in the future. For optimum results, use only a small amount applied evenly, preferably on a large surface or miniatures that don’t flex and keep it indoors since it is not waterproof.
And that’s the 7 best glues for metal! Remember, preparation of the surface is always vital for optimal results. Even with the best glue for metal, you won’t achieve any success with a non-prepped metal surface. Take enough time to ensure it is properly cleaned of oil and dirt, dried, and roughed up a bit to give the glue something to hold onto.