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Published Sep. 9, 2021

Whether it’s reconnecting a broken handle to a favorite coffee mug, reattaching the arm of a broken action figure, or repairing a tread that’s pulling away from a shoe’s sole, super glue is capable of making any number of repairs around the home, preserving the life of housewares, toys, and other items that you might otherwise be forced to replace. 

Super glues range from the cyanoacrylate formulas that offer superior adhesion qualities to more viscous gel varieties that are easier to control. 

While some super glues work with most types of materials, others glues are more specialized to provide superior adhesion to smooth or porous surfaces. We’ll break down what to consider when shopping for a super glue for a variety of different applications while reviewing some of the top glues on the market.

How We Picked the Products

Methodology

While most super glues can hold hundreds if not thousands of pounds, there are many properties beyond raw strength that set them apart. I examined several factors when making my selections.

  • Adhesion: While most people tend to focus on a super glue’s strength when deciding on which one to purchase, the critical factor isn’t really how strong the glue itself is (most super glues can hold far beyond the amount of force the average consumer will apply to it) but how well it adheres to those materials. I chose only super glues that could adhere well to porous or smooth materials as well as general-purpose glues that provided good adhesion to both.
  • Brand: In making my selections, I stuck mainly with glues that have built a reputation for creating quality glues.
  • Ease of use: The ability to apply the glue with a high level of accuracy is key when using super glue to ensure a strong bond and no mess. So I chose super glues with applicators that resist clogging while making it easy to apply glue accurately.
  • Dry time: One of the benefits of super glue is its ability to set quickly, eliminating the need to brace or clamp the connection. With this in mind, I chose super glues that set in a matter of seconds.

Best Overall: Gorilla Super Glue Gel

The All-Around Repairer

This gel-based super glue is compatible with a broad range of materials. Gorilla

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Why It Made The Cut: Gorilla Super Glue Gel’s thicker consistency coupled with a quick dry time and its ability to work with virtually any material makes it ideal for mess-free all-around household use.

Specs:

  • Materials: All-purpose
  • Set time: 10 to 30 seconds
  • Moisture resistance: Water-resistant
Pros:Cons:
  • Short set time
  • Not waterproof
  • Thicker drip-free consistency
  • Strong
  • Easy to work with without requiring a lot of glue, this gel super glue from Gorilla Glue tops the list. Super glues that are thin and runny and require a significant amount to form a bond are difficult and messy to work with without the adhesive running everywhere. A quick set time of just 10 to 30 seconds and a gel consistency means this glue won’t run, eliminating mess or the odds that your fingers will end up stuck to whatever it is you’re gluing.  

    This super glue also doesn’t require a significant amount to create a strong connection. It boasts an impact resistance that’s higher than other super glues, meaning a repaired mug handle is less likely to pop off when roughly set down on the kitchen counter. With this super glue, a little dab’ll do ya. It also works with virtually any material. 

    These qualities make it a great option for repairing decorative items, such as a ceramic pot or figurine where dried excess glue around the joint would be unsightly. It’s also strong enough for general household use, making it a good all-around super glue to have on hand.

    The only thing lacking with this glue is that it is not fully waterproof, which means you won’t be able to use it for outdoor items or dishware that goes through the dishwasher with applying a waterproof coating.

    Best for Crafts: Super Glue by Glue Masters

    Serious Hobbyist’s Assistant

    This super glue is one of the strongest on the market and comes in a variety of consistencies. GLUE MASTERS

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    Why It Made The Cut: Adhesion strength that’s superior to other better-known super glues makes this an excellent choice for those willing to take on the challenges of working with it.  

    Specs:

    • Materials: Wood, plastic, metal, fabric, leather
    • Set time: 45 seconds
    • Moisture resistance: Water-resistant
    Pros:Cons:
  • Superior adhesion
  • Does not fill small gaps well
  • Available in different viscosities
  • Clog-resistant nozzle
  • If you’re looking for the super glue that offers top-notch strength, then look no further than Super Glue by Glue Masters. It offers superior adhesion to a variety of surfaces other super glues struggle to stick to, including leather and smooth plastic, making it suitable for a variety of craft uses. 

    And, since this glue is designed to appeal to the particular demands of hobbyists, it comes in a variety of consistencies to cater to different needs, including thin, medium, and thick viscosities. 

    It’s important to keep in mind that although this super glue may offer stronger adhesion than other glues, it’s also tougher to work with. Part of the reason it’s stronger is that the formula isn’t diluted with rubber additives that make other super glues more flexible and therefore easier to apply.

    This thinner consistency formula can make it difficult to work with as it will run and drip more easily than thicker glues. That said, if you’re looking for a super glue with superior strength and don’t mind the challenges of working with it, then this option is for you.

    Best Value: The Original Super Glue

    Trust the Original

    The brand that started it all is still one of the best all-around super glues on the market. Super Glue

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    Why It Made The Cut: This super glue’s affordable price, coupled with single-use packaging, make it one of the easiest and most economical adhesives on the market.

    Specs:

    • Materials: Wood, ceramics, plastic, metal
    • Set time: 10 to 30 seconds
    • Moisture resistance: Waterproof
    Pros:Cons:
  • Numerous tubes mean fewer clogs
  • Watery consistency can make it hard to work with
  • Short set time
  • The outer packaging can be difficult to open
  • Precise applicator
  • It’s tough to beat the original formula, especially when it’s so darned affordable. The makers of the Original Super Glue give you 12 tubes at a rock-bottom price, making this a no-brainer for household repairs. 

    With its minute .07-ounce single-use tubes, you don’t need to worry about the Original Super Glue clogging or drying out in between uses. Though not the strongest option on the market, the Original Super Glue creates bonds that are more than adequate for repairing ceramic dishes, metal jewelry, and glass. 

    Though thinner than gel super glues, it features a small applicator that makes it possible to apply small amounts of glue thereby preventing drips and runs. And, while its short set time of just 10 to 30 seconds can make it unforgiving to work with if you don’t make a precise connection on the first or second try, it also means there’s little time for runs or drips to form.

    Best Weather Resistant: Loctite Ultra GelControl Super Glue

    The All-Weather Adhesive

    Loctite Ultra Gel Control Super Glue is the best weather resistant. Loctite

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    Why It Made The Cut: This gel’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures, paired with its superior water resistance and ability to work with porous materials, sets it apart in the field. 

    Specs: 

    • Materials: Wood, ceramic, fabric, leather, masonry
    • Set time: 30 to 50 seconds
    • Moisture resistance: Water-resistant
    Pros:Cons:
  • Can endure extreme temperatures
  • Does not adhere well to glass and other smooth surfaces
  • Gel consistency prevents drips and runs
  • Ideal for porous surfaces
  • While many super glues create a strong bond between various types of materials, not all can maintain that bond in extreme temperatures or wet conditions. Loctite Ultra Gel Super Control is one of a select group that can. 

    This rubberized gel may take a little longer to make its connection with a set time of between 30 and 50 seconds, but once it does, it can withstand extreme heat as well as subfreezing temperature without compromising its adhesion properties. It’s also more water-resistant than other super glues and will hold up through a dishwasher cycle. 

    That same rubber additive also creates a flexible vibration-resistant bond that makes this super glue highly resistant to impacts. 

    And, while its rubberized formula does negatively impact its adhesion properties with smooth material, such as glass and hard plastic, it will fill porous surfaces nicely, making it ideal for brick, clay, wood and fabric.

    Best Fast Drying: BAZIC Super Glue

    Dries in an Instant

    Its near-instantaneous set time makes this super glue ideal for repairs that one must hold together manually. B BAZIC PRODUCTS

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    Why It Made The Cut: A dry time of fewer than 10 seconds and the ability to work on smooth surfaces makes this super glue a worthy choice for awkward repairs.  

    Specs: 

    • Materials: Wood, ceramic, fabric, leather, masonry
    • Set time: 10 seconds or less
    • Moisture resistance: Water-resistant
    Pros:Cons:
  • Dries almost instantly
  • Doesn’t work well with porous materials
  • Adheres well to smooth surfaces
  • Individually packaged single-use tubes
  • More often than not a repair involving super glue is too small or awkward in shape to work with a set of clamps or any other tool designed to hold two pieces together, leaving the user to hold it together manually. Not only is this inconvenient, but it’s also difficult to create a secure bond given that even small shifts in movement during that crucial setting time can ruin a bond. With its near-instantaneous set time of fewer than 10 seconds, Bazic’s Super Glue is ideal for those more delicate repairs that you must hold together with your fingers. And, since it lacks the rubber additives that make other super glues more flexible, Bazic has superior adhesion abilities that make it ideal for smooth surfaces such as hard plastic, glass, and metal. 

    Super glues with short dry times are more susceptible to drying or clogging, so Bazic wisely packages its super glue in six individually packaged one-time-use tubes. Just keep in mind that since it lacks rubber additives that make other super glues thicker, it does not fill gaps well and therefore isn’t ideal for porous materials such as fabric, masonry, and bare wood. If you need to make repairs on smooth irregularly shaped objects, this super glue is an excellent pick.

    Things to Consider Before Buying Super Glue

    Drying Time

    One of the biggest selling points of super glue is its quick dry time. Unlike other glues that can take minutes or even hours to dry, super glue sets in seconds. The advantage of this quick dry time is that it means you can manually hold small pieces together that would not remain in contact on their own or that would be difficult or impossible to clamp together. A fast dry time also means there’s less time for the glue to run or drip, ensuring a clean joint. 

    Super glue also appeals to our desire for instant gratification by allowing you to get that repaired object back into service quickly. That said, fast dry times can also be a curse. Quick-drying glues afford less time for repositioning the joint before it’s locked into position. Plus, there’s the increased risk of accidentally gluing one’s fingers together.

    Super glue dry times range from near-instantaneous up to 50 seconds. Choose one that balances the need to make a quick repair with ease of use.

    Liquid or Gel

    When super glue was initially invented, it was a very watery formula that had to be applied in drops to prevent drips and spills. This thin consistency made it very difficult to control and apply and rarely worked on porous surfaces, which would soak up the super glue, preventing it from creating a strong joint. 

    Super glue manufacturers later made innovations by adding rubber additives to super glue, giving it a thicker gel-like consistency. These thicker gels are easier to work with and fill gaps better, making them ideal for vertical joints and porous surfaces such as brick and bare wood. Gels also create a more flexible bond that better withstands impacts than does standard super glue. On the flip side, the rubber additives tend to dilute the adhesive that creates the bond, resulting in properties that don’t stick as well to smooth surfaces such as metal, hard plastic, and glass.

    Compatible Materials

    Super glues include those that work with smooth materials, those that adhere well to porous materials, and general-purpose glues that do a pretty good job of sticking to both. Generally speaking, thinner super glues with fewer thickening additives have superior bonding power and therefore adhere better to smooth surfaces that can be difficult to get a hold of, such as glass, metal, and hard plastic. Thicker gels do a better job of remaining on the surface of porous materials and therefore create better bonds with brick, unpainted wood, and ceramics. 

    The best way to know which materials the glue works with is to check the packaging. If you have a specific material you plan on gluing, go with the best glue for the job. Otherwise choose a good general purpose glue that can handle most super glue duties.

    FAQs

    Q: What’s the strongest Super Glue you can buy?

    According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Loctite Ultra Gel Control Super Glue holds the record for being the strongest super glue. The glue claimed the title when it successfully supported the weight of a car sitting in the bed of a truck, a total weight of 5.02 tons. While that is one heck of a selling point, it’s doubtful anyone will be using super glue to suspend trucks in the air. Most super glues are strong enough to hold hundreds if not thousands of pounds, far exceeding any applications the average user can throw at it.

    Q: How long does it take super glue to fully cure?

    Although super glues have a fast set time that ranges from as little as a few seconds to 50 seconds, it actually takes significantly longer for super glue to reach its full strength, which is commonly referred to as cure time. Most super glue takes about 24 hours to fully cure.

    Q: What is the clearest super glue?

    Gorilla Super Glue Gel dries to a clear finish in less than 50 seconds. This makes it ideal for repairing dishes, mugs, and other objects in which a visibly cloudy glue would sully their appearance.

    Final Thoughts

    Whether you’re repairing a broken dinner plate or reattaching an arm to an action figure, choosing the right super glue is key to achieving a long-lasting repair. For smooth hard surfaces, select a standard super glue that has superior adhesion qualities. If working with porous materials or a vertical repair that can cause traditional super glues to run or drip, use a thicker gel super glue. If you’re searching for a super glue to handle a wide variety of repairs, go with a good general-purpose glue that works with a wide range of materials. Regardless of what you plan to glue together, we hope this guide has helped you narrow the field.

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