Wood glue and super glue are two popular choices when it comes to crafting and hobbies, but it can be difficult to choose which would be the better option at times.
Understanding the differences between wood glue and super glue will help you better know which to use for your specific purpose.
So, what are the differences between wood glue and super glue? The main differences between wood glue and super glue include the consistency of the glues, the purpose, the strength, and the surface that they work best on. For example, wood glue is obviously best for wood, whereas super glue is better suited for non-porous surfaces.
Sometimes, the stronger glue isn’t always the best, and the glue you need to use is more dependent on the surface it is being applied to, and the use of the item. Keep reading to find out more about wood glue and super glue, and which would be the better option for you.
Is Wood Glue Or Super Glue Better?
You can’t really ask whether wood glue or super glue is generally better. That’s like comparing apples to oranges, as they were both created for separate purposes, and when used as intended, will work better than the other. They have their own benefits, and therefore their own downfalls too.
First, we will have a look at wood glue. Wood glue most often dries waterproof, which makes it a great option for different crafts and outdoor uses. You can use wood glue both indoors and outdoors.
As the name suggests, wood glue is best suited for wood and porous surfaces, where it is able to soak in and create a strong adhesive bond. Wood glue does not work well on plastics, glass, or non-porous surfaces.
Wood glue is viscous and thicker than super glue, and you have to give a wood glue bottle quite a squeeze to get the glue out.
Super glue, on the other hand, is a lot thinner in consistency than wood glue, and it is clear, whereas wood glue is white or tan. Super glue is best used on non-porous surfaces.
Super glue dries and cures quicker than wood glue as well, and in some cases, this can be quite important in finishing a project on time.
Are Wood Glue And Super Glue Interchangeable?
You might not have both wood glue and super glue waiting at home to be used, and if you find yourself needing one but not having it, you would be left wondering whether or not they are interchangeable with each other.
Luckily, super glue can be used in place of wood glue, but it is best used in its place in smaller projects. Super glue is almost always sold in smaller quantities compared to wood glue, so it would not be very cost-effective to use super glue to cover large areas of wood.
Using wood glue in place of super glue is a little more tricky, as it is best suited for porous surfaces, where it can soak down into the surface and create a strong bond this way. For non-porous items such as metal or glass, wood glue might not create a strong enough bond.
How Long Does Super Glue Take To Dry?
Super glue is known to dry really quickly, which is one of the best benefits of using it (along with the strong bond that it forms). It is important to remember that just because super glue feels hard and looks dry, this does not mean that it has finished curing completely.
How long super glue takes to dry depends on the surface that you have applied it to. When applied to wood, super glue can dry in just a few seconds. On other items, it can take up to several hours for the glue to cure.
The general rule is to leave super glue to cure for up to 24 hours before using the item that you have glued, just to be sure that the bond has formed fully and that you will not be damaging the bond by using the item.
You should also remember to have everything in place as you apply the glue, as super glue dries very quickly to the point where you cannot move it. It might not be fully cured yet, but it will not be easy to remove.
How Long Does Wood Glue Take To Dry?
Wood glue takes quite a bit longer to dry compared to super glue. It works by seeping into porous materials to create a tight and secure bond. How long the wood glue will take to dry depends on the surface you are applying it to, as well as temperature and humidity.
When using wood glue on wood, the wood should be clamped down for at least an hour. The clamp can then be removed after this, once it has been left to create a tight bond, but it should then be left to cure for at least 24 hours.
The drying time of wood glue on wood can take even longer if it has not been clamped first, so clamping the wood in place for an hour or so is definitely worth it.
Generally, wood glue will cure in 24 hours, but it also depends on how much wood glue you have applied to the wood, as well as the environment in which you are drying the wood. Higher temperatures with lower humidity levels always work best.
What Surfaces Can You Use Wood Glue On?
Wood glue was designed to be used on wood, to seep into the porous surface to create a tight bond. However, it works well on other porous surfaces too.
Wood glue is suitable to be used on wood, stone, metal, ceramics, and certain plastics. As long as there is some porous texture to the surface, the wood glue will be able to create a tight bond.
What Surfaces Can You Use Super Glue On?
Super glue is able to work on quite a few different surfaces, but it is not suited to all. It can be used on smooth surfaces, but in some cases, you might have to sand the surface down ever so slightly to give the super glue some grit to adhere to.
Super glue is best used on materials such as metal, vinyl, ceramic, rubber, and leather.
Is Super Glue Stronger Than Wood Glue?
Technically, super glue is stronger than wood glue, but it really does depend on how you are using the glue and the surface you are bonding it to.
Wood glue will create a much stronger, longer-lasting bond on wood than what super glue would be able to, but on other surfaces, super glue would create a superior bond.
It all depends on what you are using the glue for, and to be safe, it is best to actually keep both types of glue on hand in case you need either!
The Best Super Glue And Wood Glue
If you are wanting to keep some wood glue and super glue in your craft box to be prepared, here are the best options for either (take a look at our other article for a comparison of Loctite vs. Gorilla Glue):
Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue
The Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue is as good as it gets. It is incredibly strong, 100% waterproof, and can be cleaned up easily with some water.
You can use this glue indoors and outdoors, and be sure that it will remain weatherproof. Only 30 minutes of clamp time is required, and the glue will cure in 24 hours.
The strong bond formed by the Gorilla Glue Wood Glue is one of the best out there and is as reliable as you need it to be.
Here’s a handy tutorial for using Gorilla wood glue if you decide on giving it a try from The Gorilla Glue Company’s channel on YouTube.
Loctite Super Glue Gel
The Loctite Super Glue Gel has a high strength bond that is great for repairing figurines and toys, but which can also be used on paper, wood, fabric, metal, rubber, leather, and hard plastics.
The no-drip application means the glue is only applied where it needs to be, and you aren’t left with a huge mess.
The glue sets in seconds and dries completely transparent, and with the strength of the glue, only a small amount is needed to create a lasting bond!
Below is a great tutorial for using Loctite to bind plastic as an example of what this glue is capable of from Loctite North America on YouTube.
Wood Glue Vs Super Glue
Both wood glue and super glue do great at creating strong adhesive bonds, but which is the better option will depend on the surface you are applying the glue to.
Wood glue is best for wood and porous materials, where it can seep into the wood and create a tight, secure bond. Super glue on the other hand can be used for smoother surfaces, and it dries really quickly to form a firm adhesion.
Both are great options for different applications, so take a read through the above to see which is the better option for you!
Which is the strongest wood glue?
Polyurethane glue is the strongest wood glue to use, and it can be used on many different surfaces.
Is a wood glue bond stronger than screws?
The right wood glue can create a bond that is stronger than a screw bond, as more of the surface area of the wood is bonded together than with screws.