Adhesives Buying Guide


Getting Started

Adhesives are a category of liquids and semi-liquids that have a huge list of residential and commercial applications. They range from complex epoxies with multiple components to simple wood glue. They often have the same properties, but some of them are more advanced than others. Some adhesives are more flexible while others are stronger. There are hundreds of types of each on the market, so it's easy to pick the wrong model for the wrong material. It's a mistake to think, for example, that wood adhesive is suitable for driveway cracks.

What to Consider


Choosing the Right Adhesive

When you're in the market for an adhesive, you need to think what job you're going to use it for. However, there are also several things that are worth taking into consideration.

What Types of Materials Are You Going to Glue Together?

The adhesive you use should be suitable for both materials you're going to glue together. It's especially important if two elements are made of different materials. This can be a bit tricky if you want to glue plastic to something, because there are so many types of plastic out there and it's hard to find out which type you're dealing with.

How Strong Do You Want the Hold to Be?

Let's take wood glue as an example. The bond wood glue creates is usually the same as the strength of the wood. However, metal glue or plastic glue are often weaker. If strength means a lot to your project, you may think whether there is something you can do to reinforce the materials.

What is the Size of the Gap?

In most cases, when you glue two objects together, you need to fill a gap with glue. The size of the gap is another thing to consider as different adhesive work best with different gap sizes. Contact adhesive, for example, works well with medium-sized gaps. Cyanoacrylate, however, works only with very tiny gaps. Epoxy glue works great with wide gaps, but it also suitable for smaller gaps.

Will there be Major Temperature Changes?

Sometimes you can find the word "thermoplastics" on an adhesive, meaning it can melt and lose its properties if the temperature rises. If you know this could happen, you should go for the thermosetting glue instead as it can withstand hot temperatures much better.