The 10 Best Glue For Glass
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in January of 2018. Broken glass is always a cause for drama. Most of the time, the damage is too catastrophic to do anything but sweep up the shards, toss them in a paper bag, and throw them away. But for those occasions when a break is relatively clean, a repair might be worth a shot. These glues will do the trick just fine, and can also be used for crafting, DIY projects, and on many other materials, as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 03, 2020:
We kept the diversity this list had between extremely strong options ideal for load-bearing or automotive applications, like TroySys Nano470 and Permatex 80050 RTV, to selections best for craft purposes and small repairs such as Beacon Premium Permanent. You'll also find all-purpose choices like Amazing Goop All Purpose, Loctite Liquid Professional, and Gorilla Clear, which are great for keeping in a toolbox or miscellaneous drawer for mishaps that can occur around the house.
We decided to remove Bison Transparent, as it is not as user-friendly as many need it to be and can be a little finicky. We added Glue Masters General Home in its place, a versatile solution that's great for art projects, building scale models, fixing figurines, and other small repairs. Its thin viscosity makes it easy to work with and manipulate before it sets, and there are thicker versions available for other projects as well. If you're mainly looking for adhesives to help with crafting, we'd recommend checking out our list of craft glues.
Also joining the group today is Uhu Max Extreme, a resilient choice ideal for outdoor use. Unlike Gorilla Clear, it's suitable for both porous and non-porous materials. It can safely go in a dishwasher, can be overpainted, and is good for gap filling, too. You get about five minutes of working time, but after that, it needs about a day to reach maximum strength.
Don't forget that these adhesives are extremely strong and will adhere to skin. Be sure to have gloves and protective clothing on, and be aware that many glues will stain fabric even if they're clear. Before application, it's smart to have tools set aside to help you manipulate the solution and wipe it up if it gets in the wrong place. If you're planning on glueing something that you'll eat or drink from, ensure the adhesive is waterproof and food-safe.
May 04, 2019:
From automotive repairs to restoring a broken family heirloom, there is something on this list for every need. We chose strong adhesives with a variety of properties (marine-grade, UV-resistant, flexible, quick-curing, industrial strength, etc) so that you'll be sure to find the solution best for your specific project. Many come with precision tips or in syringes for simple application and easy maneuvering.
Despite its brand recognition and long-standing reputation in the category, we decided to remove Super Glue 15171 due to repeated complaints that it wasn't effective on crystal, which is paramount. Instead, we added the high-end Bison Transparent, which is not only particularly good with crystal, but is also great for filling in cracks and working with myriad other types of glass, excluding aquariums and tinted varieties. It also sets and cures extremely fast.
Gorilla Clear and Loctite Liquid Professional are especially versatile and can adhere to tons of surfaces, so they're a solid option to have around the house for odd jobs. Permatex 80050 RTV, TroySys Nano470 and E6800 Industrial Strength are ideal for the toughest jobs, while Beacon Premium Permanent is great for crafts and jewelry repairs.
Dymax Glass Bonding For commercial projects that include applications like headlamp or bulletproof glass assembly, fountain and furniture repair, glass-to-metal bracket work, or structural or architectural needs, consider Dymax. They offer light-curable adhesives that form high-strength bonds in seconds for glass, metal, and plastic substrates. They're effective on soft glass, borosilicate, lead crystal, steel, plated metals, and even thermoset plastics. dymax.com
Permabond Engineering Adhesives If you require industrial-grade adhesive for furniture, shelving, mirrors, doors, display cabinets, and more, Permabond's UV-curable adhesives are suitable for a variety of applications on decorative and structural glass. They can bond glass to glass or glass to metal and provide enough strength for load-bearing joints. They dry extremely clear and resist yellowing and moisture. permabond.com
Choosing The Best Glue For You
As long as your selection is appropriate for all types of glass and crystal, including tinted, clear, opaque, and stained, you'll be fine.
Due to its fragile nature, glass is a material that can be both wonderful and frustrating to work with. Before you choose an adhesive for such a tricky substance, there are a few points you’ll need to consider. The difficulty of your project, the curing time and bonding strength of the glue, and any other materials you’ll be working with are key components you'll need to think about before selecting a product.
For example, if you’re looking to reattach the stem of your favorite red wine glass or fill a crack in a cake stand, you'll only need something that can bond glass, so don’t worry about products that work on every material under the sun. As long as your selection is appropriate for all types of glass and crystal, including tinted, clear, opaque, and stained, you'll be fine. When trying to repair simple household items like decanters, punch bowls, figurines, and goblets, it's important to look for translucent, fast-drying, low-viscosity solutions that are dishwasher safe.
Don't forget that working with small, delicate pieces requires a steady hand, so you’d do well to get an adhesive that comes packed in an ergonomic bottle with a fine tip for quick and clean application. Some formulas may require UV light to cure, so be sure to have an area set aside where you can ensure the item will sit undisturbed beneath an appropriate light source.
When dealing with heavy-duty applications, look for something with a high viscosity that requires minimal pressure to set. You'll likely be working with surfaces other than glass, so look for a glue with industrial-grade strength that can be applied to a range of materials. Many products on the market can be used with ceramics, wood, plastic, rubber, metal, and more. Just double-check what color the adhesive turns once it dries so that you can be sure it won’t ruin the aesthetic of your project.
Also, try to keep the method of application in mind. Thicker glues tend to come packaged in capped tubes or syringes, while runnier ones use slim bottles with special nozzles that facilitate a steady flow. If you’re working with a thinner solution, start slow and don’t use too much pressure, and for thicker ones, have a tool nearby that can help you spread and direct it.
After that, look for formulas with UV, water, and heat resistance to ensure the longevity of your project, and if you’re sensitive to strong smells, watch out for pungent, odorous solutions.
Stick With It
When you work with adhesives, having a little foresight can help ensure a smooth application process. To start, make sure your workspace is well-ventilated and free of dirt and debris. Before doing anything, you should thoroughly wash and dry the materials you're working with, as pieces tend to bond better when they're clean and free of dust and oils. Keep in mind that your fingers can easily transfer oil to glass surfaces, so consider having a pair of latex gloves on hand.
If you happen to slip and put adhesive in the wrong area during application, a timely swipe with a cotton swab should help you fix the issue before it gets serious. Certain glues need constant pressure while they set, so consider investing in a clamp instead of relying on your hands to hold things together when the time comes.
Once the solution has set, check to see if any excess has oozed out from the joints. If so, you can carefully shave it away with a razor blade. Be gentle and go slow, and wipe the surface down once you're done.
Depending on the type of adhesive you use, it may need to cure for anywhere from an hour to an entire day, so leave the finished project alone and don't apply significant force to it while the required amount of time passes. As long as you don't deviate from the manufacturer's instructions, everything should go well.
A Brief History Of Glue
The simple idea of sticking things together via a bonding agent stretches all the way back to prehistoric times, when neanderthals burnt birch bark and used the resulting tar to make stone tools. After some experimentation, humans eventually realized that plant-based glues were vulnerable to environmental conditions. This discovery spurred our Stone Age ancestors to innovate compound adhesives composed of ingredients like plant gum and red ochre, a naturally occurring iron oxide. This new, strengthened solution resisted degradation in wet conditions and led to the development of more formidable tools, giving our forebears a leg up in a competitive world.
Use of adhesives was common throughout many civilizations, with the Greeks applying them to carpentry while the Romans employed them as caulk and sealant for the wood planks of their ships. Genghis Khan's armies bonded lemonwood and bullhorn to make powerful bows, which helped contribute to the meteoric growth of the Mongol Empire in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Primeval glues contained everything from egg whites, animal hides, and beeswax to blood, milk, cheese, lime, sand, and volcanic ash. These types of organic formulas persisted for centuries, even up to the early 1750s, when Britain issued the first adhesive patent for a solution made from fish. Shortly thereafter, multiple governments granted a dizzying number of patents for concoctions using natural rubber, milk protein, starch, bones, and fish parts. Inventors didn't start working on synthetic options until after the Industrial Revolution hit. The ensuing decades would see rapid technological advances that helped pave the way for super glue, thermosetting resins like Bakelite, and thermoplastic polymers like the glue sticks we use for crafting.
Today, it's difficult to imagine a world without adhesives, which play a vital role in a huge number of production processes. If you look around the room, you'd be hard put to find a product that doesn't contain at least one. Whether it's the label on your water bottle, the backing of a stamp, or the protective coating on your car in the driveway, glue is everywhere, and you can thank our pioneering ancestors for it.