last updated 14 Jul 2020
Glue, Epoxy, Hot Glue Guns, Adhesives, Tape, Silicone Glue, RTV, Epoxy, Super Glue, Contact Cement.

Currently, there are five basic types of glue.

  1. Solvent glues comprise an adhesive base mixed with a chemical solvent that makes the glue spreadable; the glue dries as the solvent evaporates.
  2. Water-based glues use water as a solvent instead of chemicals.
  3. Two part glues include epoxy and resorcinol, a crystalline phenol that can be synthesized or made from organic resins. One part contains the actual glue; the other part is a catalyst or hardener.
  4. Animal hide glues are useful for woodworking and veneer work. Made from the hides as well as the bones and other portions of animals.
  5. Cyanoacrylate glues (Superglue, Krazy Glue) , usually referred to as C.A.s, typify the newest and strongest of modern glues, which are made from synthetic polymers.
Glue Type Suitability (1 - Poor, 3- Good, 5 - Excellent)
Brand Wood Plas-
tic ‡
Metal * Cer-
Water Resistance Gap Filling Drying Time
Glass Wood
Multipurpose 5 4 2 5   3-4 5 5 1-24 h
Superglues 2-3 5 1-2 5 5 4 5 1 < 5 m
Epoxy 5 3 1-5* 5   5 3-5 4 24 h
Wood Glues 5 - -     - 3-5 5 1-24 h
Silicon     5 4   5      
Rubber adhesive
contact cement
3 3 3   5        
‡ - Plastics - Flexible Plastic - Polyolefins - Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) are difficult to bond.
See Plastic in products > adhesives.

* Metal - Soldering is best. Devcon Plastic Steel High Strength that Consumer Reports recommends. JB Weld is also recommended on some web sites, but it lacks shear strength.
See: How to Glue Metal to Metal |

2019 Consumer Reports
Score Name Wood Plastic Metal Water Resistance glass Water Resistance wood Gap filling Dry timeMisc
99 Elmer's ProBond Interior/Exterior wood 5 n/a n/a n/a 5 5 24
99 Titebond wood 5 n/a n/a n/a 5 5 24
77 Loctite Sumo Glue 5 5 3 4 5 5 3 minflexible
62 Devon Super Glue 4 5 1 4 5 1 <5 min
62 Liquid Nails n/a 4 n/a 5 5 1 <5 min flexible
60 Elmers Super Glue n/a 5 1 4 5 1 <5 min
60 Gorilla Stronger Faster 5 3 2 3 5 5 24 hrs

Best glue OR adjesive for aquariams OR fish tanks
Best Aquarium Safe Glue |
Make sure that the glue you pick is inert in moisture or wet surface.

You can measure its inertness by checking how quickly it polymerizes or changes into a harder substance when in contact with water. It takes an average of 30-45 seconds, so once you see any number within this interval, you’re guaranteed to have a long-lasting adhesive solution.

Super glue may be the most popular type of adhesive for aquarium plants, but aquarium safe silicone sealants are deemed the most reliable fix for both ornaments and tank cracks. Your aquarium is held together by silicone in the first place.


Not all silicon glues are for underwater applications : Marineland 31003 Silicone Squeeze Tube, 2.8-Ounce, 85.05-Gram : Silicone Adhesives $9

Super Glue (Cyanoacrylate gel)
The Best Underwater Super Glue | Super Glue 15185 Gel, 12-Pack, .07oz tubes: $7.50

Epoxy Putty:
Repairs pipe leaks and other equipment issues
Bonds rocks to each other more firmly
Has more general purposes for other aquarium maintenance : Two Little Fishes Marine Reef Coral Live Rock Underwater epoxy putty $15

Devcon H2 Hold Underwater Epoxy | True Value $7
Best used on PVC, fiberglass, wood, metal, acrylic, flexible fabrics, ceramics, masonry, plastic and glass.
Wet or dry bonding Sticks and cures underwater.
Flexible bond, bends without breaking.


Use on wood and plastic; many can handle ceramic and some metals. Polyurethane excels at filling gaps, resists water on wood, and dries in 24 hours or less. Contact cement dries in as little as 16 hours.

Tips Polyurethane expands, requires clamping, and might cause skin and respiratory reactions.

Best Loctite Sumo, Elmers Untimate

Super Glues are cyanoacrylate (CA) adhesives.
Use on plastic or wood; most also intended for ceramic. A dab will do it. Fast setting makes clamping unnecessary.

Tips Don't use for filling gaps. Don't assume water resistance. Good fit needed for strongest bond.

Best: Krazy GLue Advanced Formula, Loctite Super GLue, Devcon Super GLue, Liquid Nails Perfect Glue2

Wood Glue

Best: Elmer's ProBond, Titebond III, DAP Weldwood

Epoxies (two part)
For all around high strength work, not many adhesives will beat a good epoxy and there are many kinds designed for specific tasks. 5 minute epoxies may be handy, but they are generally not strong enough to be practical.

Plastic Welder Epoxy There is a another Devcon epoxy called Plastic Welder. It has a solvent in it as well as the epoxy resin so that it partially dissolves a plastic surface. The epoxy welds itself into the surface. This epoxy will work well with styrene or other plastics that respond to solvents. It works especially well in places where gap filling is desirable.

Use on wood and rigid materials where you want fast results; most are also intended for ceramics. Very good at filling gaps and generally water resistant.

* Best: Devcon Plastic Steel High Strength (The only one Consumer Reports recommends for metal in their 2007 report.)

Rubber Cement
Three main categories, conventional rubber cement, contact cement and Walther's Goo.

Contact cement is considerably stronger. Walther's Goo is similar to rubber cement but it is much stronger

Silicone rubber Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV) are based on polydiorganosiloxanes.
Silicone adhesives are one class of highly engineered products. The first and most common of this class is commonly called Silicone Sealer and is manufactured by many companies. The major advantage of silicon sealers is that they adhere well to non porous surfaces and they are absolutely waterproof and somewhat flexible. The downside is that the material is not very strong and virtually nothing will stick to cured sealer. It won't accept other adhesives, paint or even more sealer.

Goop is a polypropylene/solvent adhesive This stuff is magic, it sets fast, sticks to almost anything, and is very strong. It comes in several formulations which vary mostly in viscosity. Crafters GOOP works very well on wood. Marine GOOP is essentially the same stuff but it has a UV inhibitor in it. Use whatever kind you can find, it'll work fine. GOOP can tend to degrade after a few years in outdoors applications. GOOP will dissolve in solvent based paints and stains which has an upside and a downside. You have to be careful while staining GOOPed structures as they might fall apart on you until the solvent evaporates back out of the material. The upside is that you can slop this stuff all over and it will absorb the stain and not show up as an unstained spot.
Shoe Goo is a type of GOOP.
See more on types of GOOP below.

Latex Based Adhesives
Latex is used as a base for some types of adhesives. These are usually fairly strong and reasonably waterproof. Liquid Nails falls in this class. This adhesive is not the strongest of the bunch, but it is usually strong enough and will adhere to wood, metal, glass and masonry and it takes paint very well.

A better combination latex and silicone based adhesive is Lexel. Lexel also comes in squeeze tubes and caulking gun tubes but it costs about 3 times as much as Liquid Nails. However, it is stronger, more flexible and has better adhesive strength than Liquid Nails.

Hot glue
Hot glue is a special thermal plastic that can be melted from its stick form and then applied to a surface with an electrically heated glue gun. This adhesive works especially well on paper and cardboard. It doesn't adhere very well to wood, probably because of the wood oils. use hot glue to secure wiring on the undersides of cars and engines as it sticks well to hold the wires in place but it is also completely removable when desired.

Thread lockers
Thread lockers are adhesives especially designed to hold in shear so that they are useful in preventing the movement of a threaded fastener. LocTite brand type 222 Purple Thread Locker can be very useful in particular situations. Most stores carry Blue (type 242) thread locker which is too strong. It'll cause bolts much less than 1/4" to break before the locker will let go.

Airplane glue
So-called airplane glue is a plastic dissolved in a fast-evaporating solvent. It works well as a hobby cement and for non-critical joining. But the evaporation of the solvent leaves a spongc-like medium that is not nearly as strong as an epoxy, for example, which is 100 percent solids. A variation of airplane glue is the cement that is used to coment PVC (poly-vinyl-chloride) pipe rod and sheet materials together. This

cement can be used to hold certain other plastics, and the advantage over airplane glue is that solvent for thinning and cleanup is readily available. Again, use this cement only if the joint filling cements aren't as good. It's great on pipes; onlu fair to good on PVC sheet material.

Ungluable Materials <DD>There are some materials that just resist adhesives. The one that is most common is polyethylene. Nothing sticks to this plastic and solvents don't work. Another is Teflon. LGB and Aristo tie strips fall into this category well. I've had marginal success using GOOP adhesives on tie strips. Some engineered plastics like Luran-S and Delrin also resist adhesives. In cases like these, it may be necessary to drill holes on the piece to be bonded and force a filled epoxy into the holes to allow the epoxy to mechanically capture the parts to be attached.

From bejane 101
Polyurethane or Multipurpose Glue
Polyurethane glue is used for woodworking, since it fills gaps as it cures (dries). It can foam during application, joints require clamping, it can take up to 24 hours to set, but the result is a strong, waterproof bond. The excess can be sanded off and then painted or stained. The most recognizable brand on the market is Gorilla Glue, which, while reliable, can get expensive and has been known to foam excessively. Best uses: filling cracks in indoor wooden objects, making wooden toys or repairing indoor or outdoor wooden furniture--it's completely waterproof and very strong.

All-Purpose Glue
"All-purpose" is a funny category because each all-purpose glue has different components and different things at which it excels. Elmer's Ultimate Glue, a popular name on the market, will actually bond anything to anything, according to the manufacturer, and provides a permanent and waterproof bond. It can be sanded, painted or stained. Before it cures, it can be dissolved with acetone. After curing, it can be sanded off if necessary.

Rhino Glue is another adhesive that claims to be all-purpose. Its base is cyanoacrylate, the same adhesive in super glue, but it has been distilled and modified for use on porous and non-porous surfaces, and in extreme weather and humidity. According to the manufacturer, Rhino Glue is dishwasher, microwave and food safe. It can be kept in the refrigerator to extend the life of the glue but should be used at room temperature for best results. Best uses for all-purpose glue: broken china or porcelain, indoor or outdoor wooden or plastic furniture and other household uses.

Rubber Cement
Remember this stuff from grade school? Rubber cement is great for artwork, photos and school work, it sticks paper together quickly without wrinkling. Paper can be pulled apart and repositioned for added precision. Another bonus for the kid in all of us is that dried excess rubber cement can be peel off and it's fun to bounce, stretch and play with. Best uses: art projects involving paper and cardboard, scrap booking, and mounting framed pictures.

White Glue
Alternately known as Poly Vinyl Acetate, PVA, or plain old Elmer's Glue, white glue is what you used as a kid for art projects. It adheres to porous materials and is great for filling wood joints, adhering thin wooden boards or slats, or entertaining your favorite crafty preschooler. White glue is water soluble, which has its good and bad points. You can wet and re-bond improperly placed parts, but the end result isn't waterproof. Best uses: filling cracks in wood where it won't be exposed to the elements, gluing wooden paneling in place, creating wooden game boards or making collages and school projects.

Contact Cement
Contact cement creates a strong, instant, permanent and water-resistant bond on many surfaces. It is effective in all weather, stands up to household chemicals such as solvents and cleaning supplies, and the bonds become stronger as they age. The downside is that most contact cement is extremely flammable and toxic, and must be used in a well-ventilated, spark- and flame-free area. Store contact cement in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Best uses: Bonding plastic laminates, wood and plastic veneers, paneling, carpet, leather, fabrics, rubber, paper, polyurethane foam and many other surfacing materials to wood, particle board, metal and similar surfaces. Contact Cement is also great for flooring, Formica counters and fixing small tears in upholstery.

Adhesives Tips
101 Guide: All About Adhesives

GOOP - Shoe GOO:
MR of Hampton, VA. wrote to Eclectic Products and received this response:


Loctite Stick-With-It OUTDOOR GLUE
Outdoor Goop - Stronger than glue!

Devcon Permatex GE Sealants and Adhesives
Loctite Products and Loctite at
Elmers Glue

See Also:
Washing Machine gasket repair
Glue/Adhesives in Products.
Adhesives Tips
101 Guide: All About Adhesives

Old House Journal
WHICH ADHESIVE by Jack Lander at the Nevada Inventors Newsletter

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