When determining how to choose the right adhesive, you will find that there are adhesives designed for nearly every kind of application and material. There are some general classifications that we will cover and that will give you an idea of where to begin. Chances are that you already have used some of these with most of them being available from your favorite home-improvement store. If you really get stuck (get it!) on what glue to use, all you have to do is read the packaging of the adhesives to find the one that lists what you are trying to do.
This is a non-waterproof adhesive that doesn’t have any extreme holding strength. You might use it on indoor carpentry jobs to hold something in place temporally that you will then permanently fasten together later. My kids and wife use this type of glue for crafts and school projects all the time. It’s great because it only needs water to clean up.
As the name implies, this glue is made for wood. Carpenter’s glue is available in both waterproof and regular formulas and can be sanded, stained, and painted in much the same way as wood. These types of glues are available in a variety of levels of holding power so make sure to check the bottle to find out if you’ll need additional fastening for your particular project.
This is an instant setting adhesive with the strength to withstand most shock and strain. It comes in a liquid and gel form and is suitable for a wide variety of jobs. Use this with caution and follow the directions. Superglue is a good example of less is more in most cases since only a small amount is needed to provide incredible holding power.
This is among the strongest adhesives that we have. It is basically an industrial-strength adhesive and comes in two parts that are mixed together before it is applied. It can withstand shock, chemicals, and can be even used underwater.
Comes in one part, so you don’t have to worry about mixing it, but it offers a comparable strength to epoxy. Gorilla glue is a good example of this type of adhesive that is great for repairing broken furniture.
The instant adhesion on contact offered by this adhesive is a benefit and a drawback. This type of adhesive is often used for applying laminate countertop material to the base wood. What makes this type of adhesive difficult is that if you are not used to working with it, it can be tricky to get your workpieces to line up correctly and you really only have one shot at it before it all sticks together.
Silicone Rubber Adhesive
This is an excellent adhesive for awkward joints. It offers a number of characteristics that simply aren’t matched by most other adhesives. It is waterproof, sticks to most surfaces, and is chemical resistant and remains flexible.
Plastic Resin Glue
This is a highly-water proof adhesive that is also non-toxic but may require a long curing period.
This adhesive is used in construction as the name implies. It can effectively reduce the need for screws and other fastening devices. This type of adhesive is usually polyurethane-based but there are other types that are safe to use with foams and plastics.
Keep in mind that the most important aspects of how to choose the right adhesive are where they are intended to be used and what they are intended to be used for. Some of the characteristics advisable to keep an eye out for are the toxicity of the product, especially if you are repairing or improving anything that is involved in food prep or consumption and the waterproof quality. Also, some adhesives are flammable or the vapors are flammable so try to keep that in mind as well.