Best Wood Glues (2024 Guide)

Best Wood Glues Featured
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Picking the right wood glue can literally make or break your woodworking project. But what’s the best wood glue for your woodworking project? Many types of wood glue are available, and our detailed wood glue buying guide will help you find the right option for indoor furniture, cabinets, outdoor furniture, complex glue-ups, and more.

Best wood glues:

Wood glue comparison

Wood glueWater ResistantWaterproofDried color
Titebond OriginalNoNoOrange
Titebond 2 PremiumYesNoOrange
Gorilla Wood GlueYesNoLight tan
Titebond 3 UltimateYesYesLight brown
Mitreapel CA GlueYesNoClear
J-B WoodWeldYesYesLight tan
Titebond PolyurethaneYesYesLight tan
Titebond Quick and ThickNoNoClear
Best for indoor projects
Titebond Original
Pros:
  • Versatility for indoor projects
  • Easy cleanup with water
  • Non-toxic fumes
Cons:
  • Not waterproof nor water resistant
  • Not food safe
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  • Best uses: Indoor projects, DIY repair projects
  • Setup and drying time: 10-15 minute assembly time, 24-hour dry time
  • Dried color: Orange
  • Food safe: No

Titebond is synonymous with wood glue, so it’s no surprise that many of its offerings are top picks, including Titebond Original. Titebond Original is an interior-specific, PVA wood glue with a bond that is stronger than the wood it’s glued to – it has a strength of 3,600 PSI. It can be easily cleaned with a wet towel during glue-ups or scraped off with a chisel or sanded after drying. Its assembly time should also be long enough for most woodworking glue-ups, making it a highly versatile option.

Best for indoor and outdoor versatility
Titebond Two Premuim
Pros:
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor projects
  • Easy cleanup with water
  • Water resistant
Cons:
  • Not waterproof
  • Short open time during glue ups
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  • Best uses: Indoor wood projects, DIY repair projects, outdoor wood projects
  • Setup and drying time: 10-15 minute assembly time, 24-hour dry time
  • Dried color: Orange
  • Food safe: Yes, for indirect food contact

This is the right Titebond wood glue for most people and most uses. Titebond Two Premium amps up the versatility of Titebond Original with its water-resistant formula, greater bond strength of 3,750 PSI, and the fact that it’s FDA-approved for indirect food contact. Yes, that means it’s safe to use for cutting boards and wood-turned bowls. Titebond Two Premium is also a good choice for outdoor uses, including those using pressure-treated lumber.

Best for water resistance
Gorilla Wood Glue
Pros:
  • Great versatility for indoor and outdoor projects
  • Easy cleanup with water
  • Water resistant
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  • Not waterproof
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  • Best uses: Indoor wood projects, DIY repair projects, outdoor wood projects
  • Setup and drying time: 20-30 minute clamp time, 24-hour dry time
  • Dried color: Light tan
  • Food safe: Yes, for indirect food contact

Gorilla Wood Glue is the best water-resistant wood glue, closely resembling Titebond Two Premium’s characteristics. It’s essentially the same glue but from a different brand and cheaper. The main difference is that Gorilla Wood Glue dries more transparently to a natural tan color. Otherwise, Gorilla Wood Glue has many similarities to Titebond Two Premium, including water resistance, setup and drying times, versatile uses, and availability online and at home stores.

Best for outdoor projects
Titebond Three Ultimate
Pros:
  • Waterproof
  • Long open and assembly time
  • Easy cleanup with water
  • Bonding strength
Cons:
  • Light brown dried color isn’t transparent on some woods
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  • Best uses: Indoor wood projects, DIY repair projects, outdoor wood projects, low temperature, long glue-ups
  • Setup and drying time: 20-25 minute assembly time, 24-hour dry time
  • Dried color: Light brown
  • Food safe: Yes, for indirect food contact

Titebond Three Premium is one of the best wood glues for outdoor furniture due to its waterproof rating. Titebond Three Premium is one of the strongest wood glues available with a bonding strength at 4,000 PSI. Its chemical makeup is slightly different from other Titebond products on this list. It contains water, like Titebond Original and Titebond Two Premium, but has additional polymers that chemically bond to wood. These polymers create a high bonding strength ideal for outdoor projects. The longer-than-average setup time and lower temperature threshold are two other differentiating factors. But these standout features come at a higher price than most wood glues.

Best CA glue for woodworking
Mitreapel CA glue and activator
Pros:
  • Instant adhesion
  • Versatile viscosity
  • Super glue and activator included
Cons:
  • Cap may be prone to drying out the super glue when stored for a long time
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  • Best uses: Quick wood repairs (including chip outs and split wood grains), temporary wood bonding, strengthening weak spots, filling tight spaces
  • Setup and drying time: 5-12 second bond time when using the instant accelerator
  • Dried color: Clear
  • Food safe: No

Every DIYer and woodworker should have a good CA glue and activator on hand. Mitreapel CA Glue with accelerator is a solid option. Most CA glues and accelerators are sold separately, but this combo includes both at a competitive price. CA glue (known as super glue to most people) is versatile on its own as a go-to adhesive for woodworking quick fixes and cleaning up mistakes. Many woodworkers have accidentally broken off a chunk of the wood grain. CA glue is a better choice for a fast repair than standard PVA wood glue since you can quickly get back to work within minutes of repairing the mistake with a mist of accelerator and a couple of dabs of CA glue. CA glue can also be helpful for temporarily bonding wood together for complex mitered glue-ups. Just knock the blocks off with a mallet after the project is complete.

Best epoxy for woodworking
J-B Weld WoodWeld Epoxy
Pros:
  • Quick set and cure times
  • Versatility beyond woodworking
  • Good for indoor and outdoor projects
Cons:
  • High cost per ounce
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  • Best uses: Filling voids and cracks in wood, DIY repairs
  • Setup and drying time: 6 minutes to set, 1-3 hour cure time
  • Dried color: Light tan

J-B WoodWeld is a quick-setting, two-part epoxy that is suitable for quickly repairing occasional woodworking mistakes, like split wood grain. Its light tan drying color also blends into many kinds of wood when filling in voids and cracks. J-B WoodWeld is an epoxy, allowing it to fill in all the nooks and crannies of a void that other wood adhesives can’t reach with their thicker viscosities. Just sand the cured epoxy and most cracks will simply disappear. J-B WoodWeld also doesn’t require clamps to get a solid bond.

Best for long and tight-fitting glue ups
Titebond Polyurethane
Pros:
  • Long setup time
  • Does not swell wood like other wood glues
  • Waterproof
Cons:
  • Difficult clean up
  • Expensive
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  • Best uses: Complex glue-ups, tight-fitting joinery, oily woods, finished woods
  • Setup and drying time: 30-minute assembly time, 24-hour dry time
  • Dried color: Light tan

While Titebond Polyurethane is waterproof and works for outdoor projects, it shines in other areas that PVA glues don’t. Its long 30-minute assembly time should accommodate the most complex glue-ups. Titebond Polyurethane’s chemical makeup is a synthetic plastic resin that also makes it a fit for tight joineries, such as dovetails, finger joints, and dados. Because it isn’t a water-based wood glue, it doesn’t swell wood on contact. But remember that polyurethane glues foam during drying and the squeeze-out can’t be readily cleaned with a wet rag. Acetone can be used to remove the wood glue when wet, but many woodworkers simply chip or sand the cured glue away from the wood surface. Oily woods that don’t bond well with water-based PVA wood glues will have a more secure bond with polyurethane glue. Unlike other wood glues, Titebond Polyurethane Glue can bond finished woods.

Best for quick glue ups
Titebond Quick and Thick
Pros:
  • Fast assembly time
  • Easy water clean up
  • Dries clear
Cons:
  • Not waterproof
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  • Best uses: Interior uses only, simple glue-ups, DIY projects such as molding and trim
  • Setup and drying time: 3-5 minute open assembly time, 24-hour dry time
  • Dried color: Clear

Titebond Quick and Thick’s special formula makes it a great fit for interior molding and trim. Its strong initial tack is perfect for glue-ups that can’t use clamps, and its thick viscosity shines vertically applying glue without drips. The rapid set time is also among the fastest wood glues we’ve seen.

Dried colors for the picks

To better understand the actual dried glue colors for our picks, check out these fully dried samples.

Wood Glue Dried Colors
From left to right, top to bottom: Titebond Original, Titebond Two Premium, Gorilla Wood Glue, Titebond Three Ultimate, Titebond Polyurethane. Credit: Nathan Hamilton

How to pick the best wood glue for your project

Choosing the correct type of wood glue for your project comes down to a few key factors.

First, determine if you’ll use wood glue for indoor or outdoor woodworking projects. You have several options if your projects are outdoors. If that is your primary need, then scratch Titebond Original – it’s not waterproof nor water resistant.

Secondly, consider the array of projects you’ll be working on. Titebond 2 Premium, Gorilla Wood Glue, and Titebond 3 Ultimate are the most versatile wood glues for indoor and outdoor projects. Many people exclusively use Titebond 3 Ultimate because it’s waterproof and does everything the other PVA wood glues do either equally or better. But that versatility comes at a higher cost.

Picking a food-safe wood glue is also important for cutting boards, wood bowls, and other wood kitchen products. Titebond 2 Premium, Gorilla Wood Glue, and Titebond 3 Ultimate all pass FDA standards for indirect food contact and are commonly used in these scenarios.

Lastly, if you need wood glue for special needs, it makes sense to consider epoxies for filling voids and cracks, polyurethane glues for long glue-ups, tight joinery, and oily woods, or CA glue where shear strength isn’t important.

Wood glue tips and tricks

Picking the best wood glue won’t make a difference if you’re not taking the proper steps during your glue-up. The following tips and tricks will help you save time and get the best results.

Bust out the clamps

Except for epoxies and CA glues, all wood glues will require some clamping pressure of some sort. Be sure to have a good number of clamps on hand in various sizes and types so that you have the right clamp at the right time.

Gluing end grain to end grain

The end grain is porous and will suck up most wood glues before they have time to set. This is most commonly a problem when joining miters on picture frames. One solution is to put some wood glue on the end grain, then press the liquid into the pores with your finger. It’s surprising how much glue will be sucked up. The glue will begin to harden and block the wood pores in a few minutes. You can then slather up the end grain again and clamp the miters together.

Don’t glue up your project in the cold

Wood glues generally don’t bond well at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you attempt a cold-weather woodworking glue-up, the drying time will be extended by a good measure. For the best results, be sure the temperature is right to get the best adhesion possible.

Use a glue brush and glue dispenser to save time

Spreading wood glue on surfaces with your finger is easy, but a silicone wood glue brush combined with a wood glue dispenser will make the job much easier. Silicone glue brushes evenly spread wood glues and can reach into cramped spaces. Wood glue dispensers also help with awkward angles when applying glue because many can dispense glue whether held upside down or right side up.

Methodology

We first reviewed online shopping sites and read reviews for many of the most popular wood glues. For the purposes of this guide, we narrowed down the picks to find wood glues that work for most uses. The specialty wood glues narrow in their uses were not reviewed for this guide. We then purchased and tested 10 wood types of glue in-house from an array of brands, including Titebond, Gorilla Glue, Mitreapel, JB Weld, Krazy Glue, and Loctite. Each glue is reviewed across various factors, including bonding and shear strength, dried color, food safety, water resistance, assembly time, clamp time, total drying time, and price.

What's new?

1/15/24: Reviewed current picks, minor editorial update
11/20/23: New page design, no editorial updates
10/19/23: Updated images

Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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