5 Types Of Wood Glue And Their Uses – How To Choose The Best?

When it comes to binding wood pieces together, you have several other options like using nails/screws. However, when used correctly, the different types of wood glues can provide you with the strongest and the toughest bonds.

This is exactly why adhesives are the most sought-after option for woodworking.

A Quick Glance At The Types Of Wood Glues 

Type Of Wood Glue Utility/Versatility Bond Strength & Durability Curing/Setting Time 
Epoxy Low High 6-24 hours 
PVA glueHigh Average 10-30 minutes 
Hide glueLow Average 20-60 minutes
Cyanoacrylate glueAverage Low 8 to 24 hours
Polyurethane glueAverage Average Upto 30 minutes

Each comes with its own compositions, formulations, and varied utilities. You should definitely keep these in mind when choosing the optimal choice for your woodworking project.

The 5 Types Of Wood Glue – A Detailed Comparison

Epoxy Wood Glue

Loctite Instant Mix Epoxy 5 Minute
Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

Epoxy is a combination of a two-part adhesive.

One part is a hardener, and the other is a resin.

Mostly these two parts must be mixed to activate the gluing properties.

Together, they make a strong adhesive that is mostly used for filling in gaps in the wood and restoring wood surfaces that have been damaged. 

Epoxy glues are also waterproof and can be mixed with dry powders to match the wood color. It is a particular kind of polymer with a higher tensile strength that can range from 5000-10000 PSI. 


  • Waterproof and high corrosion resistance
  • Provides high-strength bonds with numerous surfaces
  • Excellent environmental defiance
  • A good option to fill in voids
  • Strong cohesion properties


  • Longer curing time
  • Handling difficulties.
  • The hardener and resin need to be mixed manually


The best epoxy wood glue is Loctite Instant Mix Epoxy 5 Minute. It creates a tight, powerful binding to wood and a variety of other surfaces. It comes in a handy dual syringe so you can mix it perfectly every time.

PVA Wood Glue

Gorilla Wood Glue
Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

Call it PVA glue, aliphatic resin, carpenters glue, or polyvinyl acetate, this type of wood glue is currently the most widely used wood adhesive.

You probably already have it in your home or workspace because it is so prevalent. 

It sure is a true staple in any woodshop, home, or toolbox.

PVA glue is a synthetic polymer that can be utilized as an adhesive for porous objects.

PVA glue is used to adhere to various materials, including solid wood, paper, and fabric. It is also reasonably priced thus making it an “easy” choice for any undertaking.

It is considered for various applications from bookbinding, intricate woodwork, and laborious art projects to petty crafts. It truly is a “no-brainer” option when it comes to choosing wood glue.


  • Non-toxic
  • Best choice for indoor projects 
  • High-strength bonding with numerous surfaces
  • Very convenient & cost-effective
  • Very easy to clean up post bonding/curing 
  • It is water-soluble


  • Some of the PVA varieties are not waterproof
  • Handling difficulties as some may be too runny. 
  • Not entirely temperature resistant.


Consider Gorilla Wood Glue for its amazing upholding capabilities and strength when choosing a PVA wood glue for your upcoming project.

Hide Glue/Animal Glue

Titebond Genuine Hide Glue
Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

Animal hide connective tissues are used to create hide glue.

It also goes by the name of animal glue, and rawhide glue.

They have an intense bond that can be as strong as 3,000-5,000 PSI.

It is considered as one of the earliest types of glue, it is made of dry flakes or pellets that are melted in double boilers and used while still warm.

Though nowadays there are many synthetic liquid hide glues available in the market, the original hide glue is the strongest traditional wood glue.

When working on repair projects, the glue will loosen up by simply warming the hide glue joint, and you can pull the surfaces apart during repairs.


  • Hide glue joints are reversible and repairable.
  • Best choice for outdoor projects 
  • Highest strength bonds with numerous surfaces
  • Short assembly time 
  • Forms a clear bond


  • The surfaces as well as the glue need to be warm during bonding. 
  • Shorter open time 
  • Not water resistant.


You should definitely consider Titebond Genuine Hide Glue for its best product with abrasion properties. This hide glue is super sturdy and makes durable bonds and is great for filling gaps in the wood.

Cyanoacrylate Glue

Starbond Super Fast Thin CA Glue EM-02
Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5.0

CA glue, short for Cyanoacrylate is a quite popular rapid-drying acrylic resin that forms a tight and rigid bond between surfaces.

It dries up swiftly and does not leave much residue or color behind.

CA glue is a preferred option for many petty woodworks, crafts, and repairs due to its quick bonding abilities and noncompulsory clamping.     

It also goes well by the name Superglue and is great for gluing small pieces of wood together like small facades and fragments. The surface can be polished post-curing to achieve a glossy or finished look. 

They have limited utility in a woodworking shop because they are fragile and have almost little tensile strength.

Excellent for short-term wood-to-wood bonding when using the right amount of glue, such as installing glue blocks during clamp-ups or joining curved pieces of wood. Though it is not meant for large glue-up projects.


  • Dry and cure rapidly at room temperature 
  • Best choice for petty repairs and fixing 
  • Medium tensile strength 
  • Forms a clear bond 
  • Bond strength develops very quickly


  • The bond is brittle in nature. 
  • Poor solvent/temperature resistance
  • Can rapidly bond with the skin.


The best Cyanoacrylate glue to consider in the CA glue category is Starbond Super Fast Thin CA Glue EM-02 as it is a high-performance industrial-grade adhesive.

Polyurethane Glue

Titebond Polyurethane Glue
Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5.0

Various materials, including ceramics, cloth, stone, metal, and wood can be joined together with polyurethane because it creates a highly strong connection.

When used correctly, it helps form a pretty sturdy bond between the surfaces. 

Because they have a shorter clamp time, they can also be used to create fixtures and tools for woodworking.

It is better to exercise caution when using it on the final assembly in different projects as it expands when set and may get a little messy.

The surfaces can be sanded down or polished once the bond is cured and gives a good professional and glossy look. 


  • Non-flammable
  • Waterproof 
  • Stronger than yellow glue 
  • Ideal option to fill gaps and crevices  
  • Great for outdoor projects.


  • 1-year shelf life after the bottle is opened. 
  • Short working time
  • Clamping required 


Consider Titebond Polyurethane Glue for your next outdoor project when choosing a Polyurethane glue. This glue is well-known for its strong connection and bond to multiple surfaces once the glue cures.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Wood Glue

No adhesive is a one-size-fits-all for different projects and tasks at hand. Deciding on the right wood glue for the job can make all the difference and influence your finished project. 

Thus, selecting the proper wood glue might therefore be simple or fairly complex, depending on the project you’re working on, the type of wood you’re employing, and the type of junction you’re forming.

Consider the following factors before you decide on the wood glue to use for your project.

Strength And Bonding Capabilities

One of the most crucial aspects to take into account before selecting an adhesive is the strength of the bond formed once the glue has dried. This can be the most important deciding factor as the strength and bonding capabilities of the wood glue are different for different surfaces.

For instance, PVA’s bonding capabilities are rubbery but it creates a more permanent and long-lasting bond between wooden surfaces.

Drying/Curing Time

While curing time refers to how long it takes for the wet glue to reach its full bonding power, drying time AKA “open time” refers to the time it takes for the wet glue to lose its wetness, become hard/dry up and gain some strength or hold and at the stage where the clamps come off.

The various types of wood glue that we are going to discuss today, all have different drying and curing times as per their formulations and viscosity.

Need For Clamping

Not all wood glues need the use of clamps post-application. Keeping the boards in place while the glue dries is a particularly good reason to use clamps to hold together a glue-up. 

There is little to no need for clamping when you use the instant-hold liquid wood glue as it has an instantaneous bond/dry time. On the other hand, wood glues like Gorilla Wood Glue need some clamp time before curing completely.

Glue Viscosity

This factor is an important consideration according to the project at hand. For petty home projects and repairs, wood glue with a lower or runny viscosity performs well as it does not need too much dry time or clamping. 

PVA glues come next in viscosity and have a higher viscosity than super glue, and are more reliable for outdoor applications. Epoxy and Hide glues have the highest viscosity within wood glue types and are the best choice for carpentry projects or undertakings. 

Stain Resistant

Not all glues are clear, some do have a wood stain to them and when dry they appear the same color as the wood surface. Thus you need to consider this factor when choosing the wood glue for your woodworking.

Clear wood glue is a great option for junctures and joints, whereas stained wood glue is a great option for outdoor projects where the stain matches the wooden surface. 

Shelf-Life And Longevity

The term “shelf-life” describes how long an adhesive may be kept in storage without being utilized and still function as a good and working bonding agent.

Depending on how much of that glue is needed or utilized on a daily basis, this will influence how much of it you can purchase.

FAQs – Types Of Wood Glue

wood glue

What kind of wood glue is most frequently used?

The most popular type of wood glue is polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue. This category consists of the traditional white and yellow glues, also known as “carpenter’s glue.”

Epoxy or wood glue, which is more durable?

Overall, two-part epoxy, which has a strength of between 3000-4000 PSI, is the strongest glue for wood. PVA glue typically has a strength limit of 3800 PSI, while polyurethane glue has a limit of 3900 PSI.

What is wood glue also called?

Vinyl acetate polymer or Polyvinyl acetate. It is part of a commonly used glue type that is also known as wood glue,  Elmer’s glue, PVA glue, carpenter’s glue, white glue, and school glue.

What is the lifespan of wood glue on wood?

Wood glue has a long lifespan. If applied properly, it is supposed to last for at least a year or two before needing to be reapplied. As it dries quickly, you can add preservatives like paraffin wax/shellac if you wish to lengthen its lifespan.

Without screws, can wood glue support itself?

Wood glue has the potential to replace screws in some situations. The wood glue must attach two pieces of wood with a sizable amount of surface area together, like that of a box joint.

Choosing The Right Wood Glue Type

When choosing from the available types of wood glue, consider the discussed parameters to make an informed decision. The adhesive you select should largely depend on the materials or surfaces you are attempting to bond. 

We’ve compared the most common types of wood glue used in woodworking so you can pick the one that’s ideal for your project.

Go for PVA/Cyanoacrylate glue for those quick fixes and hide glue or Polyurethane glue for those outdoor projects. An epoxy is a great option for filling up large cracks and loose joints.

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