Choosing the right glue from the many adhesive options at the hardware store can be overwhelming. Since various types of glue perform differently, and some are better suited for some applications than others, it can be tough to know which to pick.

    But you don’t need to store numerous types of glue at home, especially since it can dry out before you use it.

    Instead, plan to keep select glues on hand to perform routine repair and maintenance jobs without frequent trips to the hardware store. These are the ones you should buy.

    1. Instant Glue: It Fixes Things Quickly

    Instant glue (cyanoacrylate) is a versatile glue for home repairs. Use it to reattach a soap dish, fix a broken vase, or tighten a wobbly chair leg. This handy glue bonds most materials (wood, metal, plastic, fiberglass, and chrome) in seconds, drying to a barely visible line.

    Although there are various instant glue brands at the hardware store, I recommend Titebond Instant Bond. It works on oily woods like teak and many other household materials. One of its greatest advantages is its two-year life after the seal is broken, which means it lasts longer than other instant glues. These are some benefits of Titebond Instant Bond glue:

    • Quickly bonds in seconds
    • Works on common materials like wood, plastic, and metal
    • Lasts two years after opening
    • Good for minor repairs

    Key Highlight

    Instant glue is great for quick, minor repairs around the house. While great for small household repairs, instant glue isn’t ideal for heavy-duty or porous materials. I suggest keeping a tube handy to fix broken items in seconds. 

    2. Construction Adhesive: Best for Heavy Duty Repairs

    If you need something stronger than instant glue, construction adhesive is ideal for major repair projects or renovations involving structural components. Construction adhesive comes in caulking tubes and is used to securely bond heavy building materials like concrete, drywall, and tile. 

    This particular type of glue comes in solvent-based and water-based types. Solvent-based works faster, grabbing and bonding items quicker. Just make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area, as it emits harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a gas with varying adverse effects.

    Water-based construction adhesive is more environmentally friendly, but it doesn’t bond as well. However, it’s cheaper than solvent-based glue, making it ideal for short-term use. Either is a reliable option, depending on the project. 

    Titebond makes a low-VOC solvent-based adhesive with a fast grab. We like their Greenchoice Projects Construction Adhesive because it suits most tasks. When applying, place a cartridge into a caulk gun and squeeze the handle to evenly administer the adhesive. It can take up to 24 hours for the glue to fully dry.

    Features of construction adhesive:

    • Strong initial bond
    • Handles heavy materials like concrete, stone, and drywall
    • Low-VOC options
    • Dispenses evenly from caulking gun
    • Long open time before drying

    Key Highlight

    Construction adhesive excels at major repairs with structural materials. It also works for heavy items like tile backsplashes or securing trim. However, I recommend avoiding this type of glue when making small repairs that require precision, as it can be messy and doesn’t instantly dry.

    3. Yellow Glue: A Top Choice for Woodworking

    For wood repairs like furniture or fencing, I suggest keeping polyvinyl acetate (PVA) wood glue, also called yellow glue, on hand. It’s water-based and non-toxic, and you can clean it up with water. Some versions repel water for both indoor and outdoor use. Products like Titebond II Premium meet specifications for water resistance.

    Yellow glue creates strong, lasting bonds between wood pieces. The slow drying time means you can precisely align sections before the glue sets. It’s great for furniture repair and detailed woodworking projects. Spreading yellow glue on wood is also a seamless process.

    Benefits of yellow wood glue:

    • Made specifically for wood
    • Water-based and non-toxic
    • Available in waterproof types for outdoor wood projects
    • Allows repositioning after applying
    • Creates strong, long-lasting wood bonds

    Key Highlight

    This glue excels at furniture, cabinets, and woodworking. Its slow set lets you align pieces precisely; just avoid using it on porous materials.

    So, Which Glues Are Best For Repairing Household Items?

    You can tackle almost any basic repair with either instant, construction, or wood glue. 

    Instant glue quickly mends household items, construction adhesive handles major fixes requiring strength, and yellow wood glue creates durable bonds for wood projects.

    I suggest always having this adhesive trio on hand for any home glue repairs. It’ll prevent unnecessary trips for specialty glues you rarely need and allow you to choose the right glue for each task. 

    FAQs About Glue

    What glue works on glass?

    Instant glues repair minor glass breaks. For structural glass bonding, use a specialty glass epoxy or UV adhesive.

    Can I use wood glue on plywood?

    Yes, standard wood glues like PVA yellow glue effectively bond plywood as they do solid wood. I recommend cleaning surfaces before gluing.

    What’s the best glue for plastic?

    Cyanoacrylate instant glues are best for plastic and work well in most cases. Choose one like Super Glue that says it bonds plastic. For certain plastics, a plastic welding adhesive may work better.

    Is super glue the same as instant glue?

    Yes, super glue and instant glue refer to the same cyanoacrylate adhesive. Super glue is simply a common brand name.

    Can I use wood glue on different materials?

    Wood glue won’t bond wood to metal or plastic well. Use epoxy or multi-purpose glue for better adhesion between different materials.

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    Lauren Greene

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