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Updated: 5 Apr 2022

Best super glue

We compared nine of the UK’s leading super glue brands to see which dries the fastest and is the strongest glue to use with plastic, wood and metal
Joey Willoughby-Rainsford

Super glue is an excellent tool for mending broken items when accidents happen and helping us all to live more sustainably by repairing rather than replacing them.

We tested nine super glues from the biggest brands, including Loctite, UHU, Gorilla Glue and more, ranging in price from under £2 up to £9.

We compared their drying speeds, how easy they were to use and how strong they were when used with wood, plastic or metal.

Find out which impressed in our tests, what super glue can be used with, how to clean super glue spills on fingers or surfaces, as well as how it compares to plastic glue.

Pricing and availability was last checked on 7 March 2022.


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The best super glue

Best Buy: Gorilla Glue Super Glue Gel

Cheapest price: £4.10 available from Amazon. Also available from Toolstation, Wickes, Wilko

Size: 15g

Tested drying time: Five seconds

Our verdict: Gorilla Glue's Super Glue Gel wowed us with its rapid drying time and incredible strength.

Whether you are sticking together plastic, wood or metal, this glue creates a bond that is very difficult to break. 

While other glues we tested worked well on certain materials, this glue was one of the few which did a great job across the board.

The design of the bottle and nozzle combined with the glue gel makes it easy to apply a controlled amount, so you don't waste any or make a mess.

How the rest of the super glues we tested fared

Here are our verdicts on the other super glues we tested, in alphabetical order.

Bostik Super Glue Easy Flow

Cheapest price: £4 available from Hobbycraft. Also available from Amazon

Size: 20ml

Tested drying time: Five seconds

Our verdict: This glue from Bostik dries super fast and is very strong, especially when used with plastic or metal.

But we found the glue bonds didn't hold as well as when used with wood compared with other glues in our tests.

It lives up to its name and is easy to apply, but you do need to be a little careful not to let too much come out at once and soak the object you are working on.

Everbuild Stick 2 Industrial Grade General Purpose Superglue

 

Cheapest price: £3.49 available from Toolstation. Also available from Amazon

Size: 20g

Tested drying time: Five seconds

Our verdict: It dries very quickly and its quite strong, but unfortunately this super glue from Everbuild isn't the easiest to apply.

This glue fused very strong bonds for plastic, however we found mixed results on wood and metal.

It isn't as easy to use as other glues in our test because of how easily the glue comes out, which can make a mess if you're not quick on the draw with the lid.

J-B Weld Original Cold-Weld Formula Steel Reinforced Epoxy

Cheapest price: £6.57 available from Amazon

Size: 56g

Tested drying time: Sets in six hours and fully dry in 24 hours

Our verdict: This reinforced epoxy from J-B Weld takes a very long time to dry fully. And while it does warn you of this, we also found it to be nowhere near as strong as some of the other glues in our test.

During our strength tests, we found it wasn't too difficult to pull off the items we had glued together, especially the metal handles and plastic models.

It also wasn't too easy to get ready and apply. You need to mix a bit from each of the two tubes together. It's best to use something disposable for this as it is very difficult to clean up afterwards.

Although not really a super glue, we included this product due to the promises it makes, but it left us disappointed.

Loctite Super Glue Power Flex Control

Cheapest price: £3 available from Amazon. Also available from Sainsbury's, Wilko

Size: 4g

Tested drying time: 20 seconds

Our verdict: This glue from Loctite works well when joining wood and plastic, creating a strong bond, but it wasn't as great with metal.

Although it wasn't the slowest glue to dry, it's four times slower than a number of glues in our test.

The bottle is well designed, which makes it easy to apply as well as avoid any wastage or stuck fingers.

Pattex Superglue Liquid Mini Trio

Cheapest price: £7.81 available from Amazon

Size: 3x 1g tubes

Tested drying time: 20 seconds

Our verdict: This pack of three small Pattex glues created some strong bonds, but they're a little fiddly to use and didn't have the fastest drying time.

While this glue works really well when sticking wood to wood and plastic to plastic, the bonds are somewhat brittle when used to adhere metal to metal.

The glue dried quicker than stated on the packaging, but it still wasn't particularly fast.

The tubes are also a little tricky to handle due to their small size and were used up very quickly in our test.

The Army Painter Super Glue

Cheapest price: £4.03 available from Wayland Games. Also available from Amazon

Size: 20ml

Tested drying time: Five seconds

Our verdict: We were impressed with the fast drying time of the Army Painter super glue and found it stuck wood and plastic well, but the bonds were less strong with metal.

For the most part, the glue was easy to apply without much risk of making a mess. 

But when you first open the glue you need to break the nozzle seal with a pin, which can be a bit fiddly.

UHU All Purpose Super Glue Ultra Fast

Cheapest price: £2.50 available from Amazon

Size: 2x 3g tubes

Tested drying time: Over 30 seconds

Our verdict: Despite the name 'Ultra Fast', this was one of the slowest super glues to dry in our test.

This glue wasn't that strong with wooden handles, but it was very strong when bonding together metal and plastic.

This glue flows very quickly, so you need to watch out otherwise you may use too much. 

XPRO All Purpose Super Glue Gel

Cheapest price: £1.50 available from U Electrical. Also available from Amazon, OnBuy

Size: 20g

Tested drying time: 10 seconds

Our verdict: This super glue is fast to dry and great for sticking together plastic and wood, but it's not as effective with metal.

It's easy to break the seal in the nozzle, and it's pretty straightforward to use. 

What super glue can and can't be used with

Squezzed tube of superglue

From a shattered vase to a broken toy, super glue can be used to repair and mend a lot of items. 

However, there are some things super glue isn't the best choice for. 

For example, it's best to not use super glue on wool or cotton as the chemicals in the glue can react with the materials to generate heat, which in some circumstances can lead to the material smoking.

If you need to glue together bits of cotton or wool, you are better off using fabric glue (available at Amazon, HobbyCraft and John Lewis) or a hot glue gun (also sold by retailers such as Amazon, HobbyCraft and John Lewis). 

Also, if you find yourself needing to glue items destined to go into a microwave, oven or dishwasher, super glue is not your best choice.

This is because super glue can be eroded over time. However, brands such as Loctite and Mod Podge make some specialised glues for this purpose.

How can you remove super glue?

Glue remover

If you don't know how to remove it, spilt super glue can be very frustrating.

Whether it's on your fingers or on your table, you'll want to get it off. 

How to remove super glue from skin

  1. As soon as possible, soak the super-glue-covered skin in warm, soapy water for a few minutes to soften the glue.
  2. Then dip the affected area in an acetone-based nail polish remover and let the area dry.
  3. Finally, use a nail emery board to remove the glue.

How to remove super glue from surfaces

  1. First test the acetone-based nail polish remover on the surface to make sure it won't damage it. Apply a small amount somewhere you won't easily notice and wait 10 minutes to see if the acetone has any effect on it. 
  2. If its too harsh for the surface you can't use this method, but if it's caused no damage, then apply nail polish remover to a cloth and dab the liquid onto the dried super glue. 
  3. Gently scrub at the residue with a soft-bristle toothbrush, adding more nail polish remover as needed. 
  4. Once the super glue stain and residue are removed, use a damp cloth to clean the area and remove any traces of remaining nail polish remover.
  5. Finally dry the surface with a fresh tea towel or cloth.

Super glue vs plastic glue

While super glue does work with plastic, it can be difficult for it to bond plastics together because of the smooth texture and low porosity.

However, plastic glue (also known as plastic cement) is a type of glue that can get around this. 

Technically a solvent, instead of an adhesive such as super glue, plastic glue works by slightly dissolving the two bits of plastic as they are pressed together so that they meld.

A product of choice for many miniature and wargaming hobbyists, plastic glue is made by a variety of manufacturers and is available at retailers including Amazon, Games Workshop and HobbyCraft.

How we tested super glue

Super glue strength test

To bring you these results our researchers developed the following series of tests. 

Drying speed

To test the drying speed of each glue we applied a small amount of glue to the feet of a plastic miniature model and then stuck it to a plastic base. 

We used a stopwatch to time the drying and tried to pull the model off the base at different intervals.

The faster the glue dried the better it did in this test.

Strength

To test the strength of the super glues we glued different items together and left them for 24 hours before attempting to pull them apart. 

For this test, we glued wooden doorknobs to wooden boards, metal door handles to a sheet of metal and plastic model goblins to a plastic base.

Our researchers nominated one member of the team to attempt to pull apart each item. The researcher was timed and only allowed 10 seconds for each attempt.

Each type of glue was tested three times on each material.

The glues that held firm did better in this test.

Ease of use

To find the easiest to use super glue we considered how each glue bottle was designed, how you got it ready to use and how you applied it. 

We kept notes and comments from using the glue in the previous tests.

The best glues were easy to control during application and prevented you from using too much. 

The worst glues flooded the areas we were working on or were very difficult to get out of the bottle. 

How we chose the super glues we tested

When deciding which glues to include in our test, we scrutinised super glues that could be applied by hand and were sold in major UK high street or online retailers. We also chose to only include one glue per brand.

We purchased all the products we tested.