Different Types Of Wood Glue And Their Uses

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Woodworking and carpentry are both hobbies that require a lot of tools. When you need to glue some wood together, you can use several types of glues, but not all will work the best for your project. This article will review the different types of glue and when each is most commonly used.

Different wood glue types have been used since the Chinese first discovered their adhesive nature. Native types of wood glue are typically made from materials that grow in an area, such as tannin obtained from tree bark or sap, and hide glue is one type of this. Hide glue has a long history as it was used by the ancient Greeks to make watertight seams on their ships before being taken up by other European cultures for furniture gluing.

Types of wood glue can also be classified according to their drying time and cure type: water-resistant types, moisture curing types, heat-cured types, and solvent-based types. The latter contain strong solvents which evaporate within hours after application

1. Polyvinyl acetate (PVA)

Titebond 3703 Cross-Linking Polyvinyl Acetate Dark Wood Glue, 8 Oz, Bottle, Light, Liquid, 8 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), Brown

Polyvinyl acetate is a synthetic glue that was invented in 1920 to replace hide glue for assembling plywood panels. PVA has been adopted as one of the best options available for gluing types of wood since it does not have any odor, dries quickly, and doesn’t leave behind an adhesive residue upon drying, which makes it ideal when working with types of wood such as veneers or bamboo. It has great water resistance properties and is less susceptible to water damage than other types of woods.

Also Read: Best Glue for Cutting Boards

2. Polyurethane

Gorilla 5002801 Original Waterproof Polyurethane Glue, 8 Ounce Bottle, Brown, (Pack of 1)

Polyurethane types of wood glue are typically used for types of woods such as hardwoods and plywood, which are not water-resistant and can expand if soaked with water. Many types of this type of wood glue have been formulated to make adhesive applications easier through the use of special types of polymers, resins, additives, etc.; however, it is still quite expensive compared to other types of wood glue.

3. Cyanoacrylate

Starbond EM-150 Medium, Premium CA - Cyanoacrylate Adhesive Super Glue (for Woodturning, Pen Turning, Hobby, Lapidary, Acrylic Nails) (2 Ounce)

Cyanoacrylate types of wood glue are effective when a fast setting time is required, as they set in about 10 seconds. These types of glues for wood typically only work on porous types of wood and not types that contain resin or oils such as teak, which would make them ineffective. To prevent damage to the materials being glued, applying a barrier like tape first before using cyanoacrylate types of wood glue is recommended.

Also Read: Best Glue for MDF

4. Animal or Hide 

Titebond Liquid Hide Glue, 8-Ounces #5013

Although types of wood glue have become more advanced to accommodate the needs of modern types of woodwork, the use of animal hide glue continues to thrive. This type of wood glue is stronger and harder than PVA types and can be used with oil or resin such as teak. It also has excellent water resistance properties, which makes it a good option for outdoor projects that deal with moisture and dampness like deck building.

5. Epoxy

Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy, 5 Minute Set, .85 Ounce Syringe, Clear, (Pack of 2) - 4200130

Epoxy types of wood glue are typically used on types made from materials that contain oils, such as types of woods with resin content. It is also commonly found in boat-building projects due to its water resistance and hardening properties, making it highly durable even in harsh conditions. However, this type of wood glue has poor gap-filling abilities, so it is not ideal for applications that require fine gaps to be filled, such as crafts.

What Is The Difference Between A Water-based Adhesive And An Oil-based Adhesive Wood Glue?

Gold Leaf Adhesive Glue, Epoxy Resin Water Based Metal Leaf Gilding Adhesive for Gold Leaf, Craft, Glass, Wood Use(90 ml + Brush + Gloves)
Loctite 2292244 Construction Adhesive, Gray, 9 oz

Glues for types of wood come in water-based and oil types. Water types are made from synthetic resins like polyvinyl acetate or modified cellulose-based binders like methylcellulose, while the latter is made from modified phenolic and oleoresin types of compounds.

These types of wood glues have different characteristics. For instance, water types are stronger when wet but weaker when dry compared to these types, which work opposite where they are more durable on dried surfaces than wet ones.

Water types of wood glue are also better suited for plywood and particle board since they can expand if soaked with water.

Also Read: Best Glue for Particle Board

Oil types are not as strong but are easier to work with, making them ideal for wood types that are difficult to glue-like with grainy surfaces or uneven edges. They also have better adhesion and contain resin content, making them an excellent choice when gluing teak. Oil types also dry faster than water types. This is why many think oil-based is stronger despite its weaker properties. In actuality, the reason behind this is that water types must first mix well with the surface being glued before adhering. At the same time, these do not need any mixing, and they also contain resin (such as certain types of teak), which can cause the oil types to degrade or even burn.

Oil types of wood glue also have longer shelf lives and do not require adding a surface-active agent as water types do to prevent separation.

As with anything, you will experience different results when dealing with these two types, but both have their purpose in making things easier when working with types of wood, depending on your needs. Knowing what kind you need beforehand is important, so you don’t make an unnecessary mistake during your project.

How To Choose The Right Type Of Glue For Your Wood Project? 

Elmer's E7310 Carpenter's Wood Glue Max, Interior/Exterior, 16 Ounces

When choosing which type you will use, you must consider the wood types and the finish required, like oil or water resistance. It would not make sense to choose a type of wood glue that does not meet your needs and expectations.

To get the best types of glue for your types of wood, it is advisable to look into types that have proven effective in cases like yours. Review from forum posts and online articles where other recommendations have worked well to avoid wasting time and money on types to use that will not produce the desired results.

Common Mistakes With Using Certain Types Of Wood Glues

Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue, 8 ounce, Natural, (Pack of 1)

It is easy to make wood glue mistakes when choosing, so here are some common types you should be wary of:

Picking the correct types of wood that will require surface treatments with lacquers or finishes. In this case, oil types may not give the best results since it takes days before hardening, leaving them vulnerable to water damage. Water types also have poor gap-filling abilities making it difficult if you need to blend seamlessly.

One of the most common mistakes in buying glues is considering them all as one type and not others like pine needles or yellow ones. You can’t just look at the name and expect they are the same types of glue.

Different types have their characteristics, and you can never expect them to work the same way regardless of what they are called. An example would be something like clear finishes, which are used mostly with knots, but these types are created explicitly for oily types. This finish will not work well since it will not harden even if exposed to such conditions. So always look into a glue’s properties when choosing one so you don’t end up using wood glues that didn’t meet your expectations in the first place.

Make sure you know the types of materials you will be working on before buying them. You wouldn’t know if the glue is suitable for types of metals or types with clear finishes just by looking at its brand name and label alone – they are made in many ways, and each manufacturer has its type of chemicals they use. 


Several types of glue are available on the market, so it can be challenging to know which one is best for your project. In this blog post, we’ve highlighted some key differences between wood glues and how they work with certain types of woods to help you choose the right type for your next DIY woodworking project.

Have you tried any of these methods? If not, let us know if there’s anything else that you want to learn more about! We’re happy to share our expertise with others who are interested in making their furniture or other wooden projects from scratch.

Let us know what type of glue you plan on using by leaving a comment below!

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