The Best Wood Glue for All Your Woodworking Needs

You can't go wrong with Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue

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Carpenter glues wood

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Whether you’re an avid DIYer or just looking to fix a few pieces of furniture, wood glue is a must-have for your workshop.

We evaluated each product based on its type, recommended applications, and dry time. Then, we spoke with woodworking expert Forrest McCall of Mama Needs A Project for insights on the best wood glues. We determined that one wood glue that works for everything is Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue. It’s strong and dries fast, and you can use it inside and outside. 

Here are the best wood glues for all your home projects.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Titebond III 8 oz. Ultimate Wood Glue

Titebond III 8 oz. Ultimate Wood Glue

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Strong bond

  • Waterproof

  • Longer open assembly time

  • Lower application temperature

  • Approved for indirect food contact

What We Don't Like
  • Thinner consistency

No matter what project you work on, Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is sure to provide unbeatable results. It’s the most comprehensive wood glue offered by the well-regarded brand, offering strong initial tack and a stronger overall bond. It's even waterproof, passing the ANSI/HPVA Type I water-resistance specification, making it ideal for outdoor applications. Plus, you can clean it up with water, unlike other waterproof wood glues.

The Titebond Ultimate Wood Glue offers an open assembly time of up to 10 minutes, and you can apply it in temperatures as low as 47 degrees. It dries down to a light brown color, and wood finishes don't affect it. This wood glue is even FDA approved for indirect food contact, making it safe to use in the kitchen. You can buy it in a variety of container sizes, ranging from 8 ounces up to 1 gallon. But it seems thinner than other wood glues, so be careful when applying it.

Type: Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) | Volume: 8 ounces | Color: Light brown | Clamp Time: 30-60 minutes | Application Temperature: 47+ degrees

Best Budget: Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue

Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Sets quickly

  • Can be painted or stained

What We Don't Like
  • Dries off-white to yellow color

For small projects, Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue is an inexpensive option for furniture repair and general household use. You can use it on soft and hard woods, particleboard, and other porous materials, and it sets quickly, only requiring 20 to 30 minutes of clamping. The glue is non-toxic and gives off no harmful fumes, and you easily can clean it up with water. 

When Elmer’s Wood Glue dries, it turns a yellow color that may displease some, but you can paint or stain it to achieve the look you want. This wood glue is only suitable for indoor projects, but it’s a good inexpensive choice for those who don’t do much woodworking. 

Type: Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) | Volume: 4 ounces | Color: Off-white | Clamp Time: 20-30 minutes | Application Temperature: 55+ degrees

Best for Interior Projects: Titebond 16 oz. Original Wood Glue

Titebond 16 oz. Original Wood Glue

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Excellent sandability

  • Unaffected by finishes

  • Translucent when dry

  • Bonds with a variety of materials

What We Don't Like
  • Short open assembly time

For interior woodworking projects, you can’t go wrong with Titebond Original Wood Glue. While it isn’t waterproof, like Titebond Ultimate, this original formula is ideal for indoor projects, as it is translucent when dry and bonds with a variety of materials. In addition to wood, you can use this glue on hardboard, particleboard, leather, and cloth. However, be aware that is a fairly short open assembly time of four to six minutes.

Titebond Original sands extremely well, and finishes or solvents, such as paint thinner, don't affect it. It cleans up using just water, and it’s also FDA-approved for indirect food contact. You can buy this product in a variety of container sizes, ranging from 8 ounces to 5-gallon pails, and it costs less than other types of Titebond wood glue. 

Type: Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) | Volume: 16 ounces | Color: Translucent | Clamp Time: 30-60 minutes  | Application Temperature: 50+ degrees

Best for Outdoors: Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue

Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Waterproof

  • Short clamp time

  • Withstands elements

  • Longer open assembly time

What We Don't Like
  • Nozzle clogs easily

If you work on an outdoor project requiring strong bonds, select a product such as Gorilla Ultimate Wood Glue, which passes the ANSI/HPVA type 1 water-resistance tests. Once dry, this wood glue can withstand exposure to water, sun, and extreme temperatures, making it a top choice for outdoor applications. It’s incredibly strong and durable, and the glue dries down to a natural color you can sand or paint as needed. 

When working with Gorilla Ultimate Wood Glue, you’ll have the benefit of an open assembly time of up to 15 minutes, and the glued-up project needs only 20 to 30 minutes of clamp time. You can apply it in temperatures as low as 50 degrees, and it cleans up easily with water. Plus, it can bond materials besides wood, including plastic, metal, ceramic, rubber, leather, and more. The only downside is you have to keep the bottle’s nozzle clean during use; otherwise, it clogs easily.

Type: Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) | Volume: 18 ounces | Color: Natural | Clamp Time: 20-30 minutes | Application Temperature: 50+ degrees

Best for Furniture Repair: Gorilla 8 oz. Wood Glue

Gorilla 8 oz. Wood Glue

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Dries to a natural color

  • Sandable

  • Short clamp time

  • Approved for indirect food contact

What We Don't Like
  • High application temperature

You can patch up indoor or outdoor furniture easily with regular Gorilla Wood Glue. While not quite as heavy-duty as the brand’s Ultimate Wood Glue, this product is ideal for small repairs around the house, as it dries to a natural color and is easy to sand. Use this glue indoors and out, thanks to its ANSI/HPVA type II water resistance. It is even approved for indirect food contact, so you can use it on cutting boards or salad bowls. 

This wood glue is best for use on hardwoods, softwoods, and natural wood composites, and it needs only 20 to 30 minutes of clamp time for the bond to take hold. Clean up any excess glue with water. But note: This product has a fairly high application temperature, functioning best from 55 to 75 degrees.

Type: Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) | Volume: 8 ounces | Color: Natural | Clamp Time: 20-30 minutes | Application Temperature: 55+ degrees

Best Fast-Drying: Elmer’s Krazy Glue Fast Dry Wood Glue

Elmer’s Krazy Glue Fast Dry Wood Glue

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Cures in minutes

  • No clamping required

  • Dries clear

What We Don't Like
  • Small bottle

Elmer’s Krazy Glue Fast Dry Wood Glue is ideal for small applications difficult to clamp. The cyanoacrylate glue sets in as little as six minutes, so you simply hold the pieces in place as it dries—no need to wait overnight. The glue works on a variety of wood types, including maple, pine, birch, red oak, and more, and once dried, it’s easy to sand down. 

This fast-drying wood glue is clear, so it isn't as noticeable on your projects, and you only need to apply a little bit to create a solid bond. Because it dries so quickly, this glue can be hard to clean up. So work carefully, and if you get it somewhere unintended, clean it up with water immediately.

Type: Cyanoacrylate (CA) | Volume: 30 grams | Color: Clear | Clamp Time: Not applicable | Application Temperature: Not listed

Best Hot Glue: Surebonder WS-12 4" Wood Hot Glue Sticks

Surebonder WS-12 Full Size 4" Wood Hot Glue Stick

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Stronger than regular hot glue

  • Sets quickly

  • Works in most glue guns

What We Don't Like
  • Not as strong as traditional wood glue

For craft projects or other applications where you don’t necessarily need a crazy-strong bond, the Surebonder Wood Hot Glue Sticks are a convenient option. These 4-inch hot glue sticks have 7/16-inch diameters, and you can use them in high- or low-temperature glue guns. The sticks come in a pack of 12, and they’re specially formulated for use on wood, providing a better bond than regular hot glue. 

All you have to do to use the hot glue is load them into a hot-glue gun and press the trigger. The gun melts the glue to the perfect temperature for bonding, and you then can apply it right to your project. Work fairly quickly, as the glue sets fast. It dries to a natural tan color that blends in with your project. While the glue isn’t as strong as traditional wood glue, its easy application makes it a useful tool for drafters and DIY enthusiasts.

Type: Hot-melt adhesive | Volume: 12 4-inch sticks | Color: Tan | Clamp Time: Not applicable | Application Temperature: N/A

Best Multi-Surface: Titebond Quick & Thick Multi-Surface Glue

Titebond Quick & Thick Multi-Surface Glue

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Works on most surfaces

  • Dries clear

  • Unaffected by finishes

  • Easy to sand

What We Don't Like
  • Short open assembly time

If you need to bond wood to another material, Titebond Quick & Thick Multi-Surface Glue adheres to most porous or semi-porous materials with a bond stronger than wood. Use it when combining wood with pottery, ceramic, stone, glass, fabrics, leather, and most craft supplies. This product is significantly thicker than most traditional wood glues, offering superior initial tack to keep your materials in place. 

This glue is easy to sand, and it dries clear, so you can paint it to match your project. Wood finishes don't affect it, and you can even use it to fill in small gaps and cracks in wood or other materials. You can clean up the non-toxic formula with water. But a downside is its short open-assembly time, just three to five minutes, so you need to work quickly while using it.

Type: Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) | Volume: 8 ounces | Color: Clear | Clamp Time: 15 minutes | Application Temperature:  50+ degrees

Best Hide Glue: Titebond Liquid Hide Wood Glue

Titebond Liquid Hide Glue

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Ready to use

  • Creates a "crackling effect" on wood

  • Superior creep resistance

  • Bond can be dissolved, if needed

What We Don't Like
  • Poor moisture resistance

Traditional hide glue isn't the most convenient to use, as you must mix it and keep it warm during application. To make this process easier, Titebond offers its pre-mixed hide glue, which is ready to use straight out of the bottle—no mixing, heating, or stirring. In particular, this type of wood glue is ideal for fine furniture repair, as its slow setting time allows for precise assembly. The bond can be dissolved with steam or water if needed to correct mistakes. However, that makes this hide glue impractical for objects exposed to moisture.

Another major benefit of Titebond Hide Glue is it offers better "creep resistance" than other wood glues. This means the bond is less likely to stretch, a result that can leave the glue visible. Additionally, we like that you can use this product to create an antique-looking crackling effect on wood when applied over latex paint. The hide glue also offers excellent sandability, and you can apply it at temperatures over 50 degrees.

Type: Hide Glue | Volume: 8 ounces | Color: Clear | Clamp Time: 60 minutes | Application Temperature:  50+ degrees

Best Epoxy: J-B Weld 50151 WoodWeld Epoxy Syringe

J-B Weld 50151 WoodWeld Epoxy Syringe

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • No clamping required

  • Doesn't shrink or foam

  • Cures quickly

  • No-waste cap

What We Don't Like
  • Short open assembly time

J-B WoodWeld is a two-part epoxy system used to bond virtually any type of wood. When using this product, you dispense equal parts from each of two syringes—one containing resin and the other hardener—then mix the liquids and apply them to your project. This fast-setting glue requires no clamping, making it beneficial for awkwardly shaped items, and it sets in just six minutes and fully cures within one to three hours. This quick setting time also means you need to work quickly. Otherwise, the product sets before it's applied.

Epoxy wood glue, such as this product, features numerous benefits. The glue doesn't shrink or foam, as often happens with PVA wood glue, and you can apply it in temperatures as low as 40 degrees. You can sand down squeeze-out or paint it in as little as one hour. We like the J-B WoodWeld tube's resealable cap, which allows you to dispense just a little bit at a time to reduce waste. You can use it on rotted wood, and its waterproof bond is ideal for outdoor applications.

Type: Epoxy | Volume: 0.85 ounces | Color: Light tan | Clamp Time: Not applicable | Application Temperature: 40+ degrees

Best Polyurethane: Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive

LOCTITE PL Premium 10-fl oz Squeeze Tube Polyurethane Construction Adhesive

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Bonds to most construction materials

  • Low VOC

  • Longer open assembly time

  • Applies via caulk gun

What We Don't Like
  • Long clamping time

For construction applications where you need to bond wood to another material, one of your best choices is Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive. This glue bonds to virtually any construction material, including wood, brick, concrete, metal, granite, and more, and it creates a bond three times stronger than traditional adhesives. The polyurethane formula resists water and weather, and it gives off low levels of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which can be harmful.

This type of glue is often used when installing sub-floors and construction joints, and the 10-ounce jars are designed to be used via a caulking gun, making it easy to apply. The glue has a fairly long open assembly time, up to 20 minutes, but it does need to be clamped for 24 hours for best results.

Type: Polyurethane | Volume: 10 ounces | Color: White | Clamp Time: 24 hours | Application Temperature: 40+ degrees

Final Verdict

No matter what type of project you work on, Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue offers unbeatable results. This wood glue is waterproof, approved for indirect food contact, and extremely strong, making it ideal for indoor and outdoor applications. For small projects around the house, Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue is an inexpensive option—it sets quickly, and you can paint or stain it as needed. 

What to Look for in Wood Glue

Type

You can choose among several types of wood glue, all of which offer different benefits. “The most common types of wood glue are polyurethane, PVA, and cyanoacrylate,” explains woodworking expert Forrest McCall of Mama Needs A Project. “Polyurethane is extremely strong and can be used for many applications because it doesn't cause swelling. PVA is another great option—it's not quite as strong as other options, but it's available at most retailers. Cyanoacrylate is a more general-purpose glue that doesn't have the strength of the others, but it is completely clear, making it a good option for some furniture or trim pieces.”

Dry Time

If you look on the label of any wood glue, you likely find a clamp time and a cure time. Clamp time refers to how long the pieces need strong pressure to hold them together; this helps the glue set properly. Cure time refers to how long the glue takes to fully dry. If your project is difficult to clamp, look for a fast-curing wood glue that requires no clamping. 

Application Temperature

Most wood glues have specific temperature ranges for optimum effectiveness—typically 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to check the temperature range listed on the product, especially if you work in extremely hot or cold conditions. If you use wood glue outside the recommended temperature range, it may take longer to set, or it may form a weaker bond.

Moisture Resistance

Certain wood glues form water-resistant bonds, making them ideal for outdoor applications; others shouldn't be exposed to moisture. Often, you see products labeled Type I or Type II, which refers to how they're tested by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association (HPVA). Type I products are considered waterproof; Type II products are only water-resistant.

FAQ
  • What's the difference between kinds of wood glue?

    The several types of wood glues include polyurethane, PVA, cyanoacrylate, and more. These products are formulated using different chemical compounds, and while they all bond wood together, each type features unique benefits. For example, cyanoacrylate glues dry extremely quickly; structural epoxy can withstand being submerged.

  • How long does wood glue take to dry?

    Most wood glues cure within 24 hours, but only when used within the recommended temperature range. If you apply wood glue in an environment that’s too hot or cold, it may take longer for the glue to set properly. 

  • How strong is wood glue?

    “Wood glue is relatively strong in nature, although it can be removed when using the right steps,” McCall says. “Some glues are stronger than others, so you'll need to decide what your project requires to pick the right glue.” Many wood glues claim to form a bond that’s as strong—if not stronger—than wood itself. 

  • How do you remove wood glue?

    “To remove wood glue, your best option is to try sanding it off with sandpaper,” McCall says. “Depending on the amount of wood glue and where it's located, you might need an ultra-fine sandpaper to get the grit capable of removing it. Another option is to use a heat gun to heat the glue and scrape it off with a putty knife.”

  • What is the difference between wood glue and wood filler?

    “The main difference between wood glue and wood filler," McCall says, "is wood glue can be used to connect and seal pieces of wood together, while wood filler is used to fill gaps and holes in wood."

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. While researching wood glues, she spoke with woodworking expert Forrest McCall of Mama Needs A Project for insights on the different types of glue available, and she also got tips from her partner, who has worked for nearly a decade as a finish carpenter.

Using their guidance, she researched and evaluated different wood glues on factors such as their recommended uses, clamp time, open assembly time, application temperature, and more. She prioritized glues that could be used for a variety of applications, looking for non-toxic formulas that are easy to clean up.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. "Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet," New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Volatile organic compounds’ impact on indoor air quality,

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