How to Choose the Right Super Glue for the Job at Hand
For all your adhesive needs.
Cyanoacrylate adhesives—AKA super glue—work because the molecules form super strong chains tightly linking two surfaces in the presence of (even a little) water. The product is actually a happy accident. Its inventor, Harry Coover, was trying to design a better gun sight during World War 2. It turned out that one of his failed attempts—a wicked strong adhesive—would solve a major problem in another war. Vietnam War medics used super glue to quickly close up wounds in the field so injured soldiers could make it to the hospital. For that innovation (and his hundreds of other patents), Coover eventually received the National Medical of Technology and Innovation.
When it comes to selecting the right super glue for the job, always check out the listed surfaces. Some formulas work for both porous and non-porous surfaces, making the glue ideal for repairing the widest possible range of materials. Since the major benefit of super glue is its durability, look for a product that’s also resistant to stresses like vibration, impact and water.
For more challenging repairs, pick a gel formula that makes it possible to use the glue in tough spots like vertical surfaces. Make sure the application tip looks easy to use and has an anti-clog cap. This cap includes a metal pin so that the bottle seals tightly, ensuring squeezable glue over multiple uses.
Super glue isn’t super unless it works very quickly. Fast-drying formulas set in under a minute—and sometimes as quickly as 10 to 30 seconds. This makes it possible to move on to the next step of a project immediately. For multi-step projects, look for a clear adhesive that’s suitable for sanding and painting.