Get to know your tools: Glue Guide

There are many types of adhesives you’ll have in your tool box and the one you probably use the most is good old glue.  Glue has come a long way since it was invented about 200,000 years ago, when our ancestors stuck some stones together with tar made from birch bark. Today we have so many types of glues to choose from and it can sometimes be difficult to decide what to use for different projects. While we won’t cover every type of glue here, we’ll try to hit the most common. We hope this Glue Guide will help you with whatever your next project may be.


Types of Glues

Craft Glue: Known as PVA, it includes common glues like Elmer’s white glue, school glue and glue sticks. They work best on porous materials like cloth, paper and wood. Drying time will be about an hour and will need to be held in place until it sets.

Super Glue: A common brand name of super glue is Krazy Glue. They are fast-drying glues that are similar to epoxy glues.  Super glue works well for glass, ceramics and plastic. It’ll take about 10 minutes to set and will be dry within an hour.

Silicone Glue: Silicone adhesives are strong bonding and a poplar brand is E6000.  They are often used for industrial projects and are used to create flexible bonds on glass, rubber, wood, metal and ceramics. Sets slowly, about 15 minutes and will dry in an hour or so.

Epoxies: Epoxies come in two tubes (one an adhesive resin and one a hardener) that must be mixed before use and an example of an epoxy is Loctite. They are strong glues that work well on non-porous materials like metals, plastics and ceramics. The drying time is long; about 12 hours.

Hot Glue: This is probably the most common glue for crafts. The best thing about hot glue is that is sets quickly, in about 30 seconds; which makes it ideal for many craft projects. Hot glue comes in sticks that must be used with a gun. Its not the strongest glue and is best used for lightweight and temporary bonds.

Spray Glue: Spray glues come in cans like spray paint. They can be permanent or repositionable (like stencil spray). The permanent sprays will stick immediately so you need to work fast with them and they work best on paper or thin fabric.

Expandable Glue: These are very strong glues and are great for heavy duty projects using wood, metal, glass and many more materials.  Gorilla glue is a popular expandable glue and as its name suggests the glue has foaming properties that makes it expand and fill in cracks in the material its bonding to. Drying time varies per brand and it should be 1-2 hours.

We hope you found this guide helpful. Please let us know if you need some information on any adhesives that we didn’t mention. In the meantime check out How to Reduce a Recipe for some more know how tips!

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