Which is better gorilla glue or wood glue?

Choosing the right adhesive for your project is just as important as choosing the material itself. In the world of fastening and bonding, two contenders often stand out: gorilla glue and woodworking adhesives. Each has its own unique properties, applications and limitations. Understanding these differences is key to ensuring a strong, lasting and appropriate bond to meet your specific needs.

Types of Adhesives

Description of Gorilla Glue

Gorilla Adhesive is known for its industrial holding power and versatility. This polyurethane-based adhesive is known for its incredible strength and ability to bond a wide range of materials, including wood, metal, ceramics, and more. It’s a go-to solution for projects that require a strong, long-lasting bond.

Description of Wood Glue

Wood glue, on the other hand, is specially formulated for woodworking projects. It is usually a PVA (polyvinyl acetate) based adhesive designed to work seamlessly with wood fibers to ensure a strong bond in wood construction and repair. Wood glue is favored in the woodworking and carpentry fields for its ease of use and clean results.

Characteristics of Gorilla Glue

Composition and Chemical Properties

Gorilla Glue is a moisture-activated polyurethane adhesive. When exposed to air, it undergoes a chemical reaction that causes it to swell and foam, allowing it to penetrate deeply into the pores of the surfaces it is bonding. This reaction contributes to its strength and versatility.

Setting time and curing process

Gorilla Glue has a relatively fast setting time. It begins to set in about 10-15 minutes and is fully cured within 24 hours. However, the glue expands as it sets, which can be a factor to consider in applications where precision and aesthetics are important.

Characteristics of Woodworking Adhesives

Composition and Chemical Properties

Wood glue consists primarily of PVA (a thermoplastic polymer). It is designed to bond tightly to the fiber structure of the wood, creating a bond that in many cases is stronger than the wood itself. PVA wood glue is generally non-toxic and easy to clean up with water.

Setting time and curing process

The setting time of woodworking adhesives is usually faster than that of polyurethane adhesives. It can begin to set within minutes, with a clamping time of 20-30 minutes, and is fully cured in about 24 hours. This makes it ideal for fast woodworking jobs where time is a factor.

Compare Standards

Bonding Strength

The bond strength of an adhesive determines its suitability for different projects. Gorilla Glue has high tensile strength for heavy-duty applications. Wood glue is not as strong, but produces an incredibly strong bond in wood-to-wood applications.

Durability and water resistance

Durability and water resistance are critical, especially for outdoor or moisture-prone environments. Gorilla Glue has excellent water resistance, making it a suitable choice for outdoor applications. Wood glues are also available in waterproof varieties, such as Titebond III, which is ideal for outdoor woodworking.

Application Versatility

Versatility is the highlight of Gorilla Glue, with the ability to bond a wide range of materials. While wood glues are limited to wood, they can provide cleaner, more precise bonds for woodworking projects.

Understanding these properties will guide you in choosing the right adhesive for your specific project needs, ensuring durability, strength and effectiveness.

Gorilla Glue in use

Ideal use cases

Gorilla adhesive is prized for its versatility and strength, making it an excellent choice for a variety of applications. It is ideal for tasks that require a strong bond between different materials, such as bonding wood to metal, ceramics, stone, glass and certain plastics. Its waterproof nature also makes it suitable for outdoor projects, such as restoring garden furniture or repairing broken planters.

Advantages and limitations


  • Strong Bond: Gorilla Glue is known for its industrial strength bonding ability.
  • Versatility: it can bond different materials, which is not possible with many other adhesives.
  • WATERPROOF: It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.


  • Swelling: it expands as it cures, which can be messy and may require cleanup or trimming.
  • LONGER CLAMPING TIME: For most applications, need to be clamped for at least one to two hours.
  • Moisture sensitive: it requires moisture to activate, which can be a limitation in dry conditions.

Wood glue in use

Ideal use cases

Wood Glue is designed for woodworking projects. It is ideal for carpentry, joinery, wood furniture making and any other wood-to-wood bonding. It is particularly effective for joinery techniques such as mortising, tenoning, dovetailing and gluing veneers.

Advantages and limitations


  • Strong wood-to-wood bond: the resulting bond is usually stronger than the wood itself.
  • Dries clear: leaves a clean finish without affecting the natural appearance of the wood.
  • Easy to use: easy to apply and clean with water.


  • Wood only: not effective for bonding non-wood materials.
  • Not waterproof: standard wood glues are not suitable for outdoor use (although waterproof varieties are available).
  • CLAMPING REQUIRED: Clamping is required for proper set-up, which can be very time-consuming.

Safety and Precautions

Handling and storage

  • Proper Storage: Store adhesives in a cool, dry place and seal containers after use.
  • Avoid Skin Contact: Wear gloves to prevent skin contact, especially when using Gorilla Adhesive as it is difficult to remove.

Health and Environmental Considerations

  • Ventilation: Use adhesives in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Disposal: Follow local regulations regarding the disposal of chemical products.
  • SAFETY DATA SHEET: Refer to the product’s safety data sheet for specific health and environmental information.

Expert Opinion and Comments

What the pros say

Carpenters and DIY enthusiasts often praise the effectiveness of woodworking adhesives in woodworking, emphasizing their strong bond and ease of use. Professionals in construction and maintenance work often recommend Gorilla Glue for its strength and versatility for a wide range of materials.

Consumer Feedback and Ratings

Online reviews generally reflect a high level of satisfaction with both adhesives. Users frequently cite Gorilla Glue’s reliability in tough, multi-material repairs, while Wood Glue is praised for its performance in furniture-making and woodworking projects. However, some reviews point to challenges with the expansion of gorilla glue and the need for precision in the use of wood glue to avoid over-extrusion.

Cost and Availability

Price Comparison

The cost of gorilla glue and wood glue varies depending on the size and type of product. In general, gorilla glue tends to be slightly more expensive than traditional wood glue. This price difference is due to Gorilla Glue’s polyurethane formula, which offers a wider range of applications and stronger bonds to a variety of materials.

Available in stores and online

Gorilla Glue and woodworking glues are widely available in hardware stores, home improvement centers and online marketplaces. Gorilla glue has a wide range of uses and is often available in a variety of formulations to meet specific needs, such as waterproof or fast-setting versions. Wood glue, while slightly more specialized, is readily available in woodworking and carpentry stores.

  • Gorilla Glue offers excellent versatility and strength for a wide range of materials and conditions, including outdoor use.
  • Wood glue excels in wood-to-wood applications, providing a strong, seamless bond that is ideal for woodworking projects.
  • The two differ in safety and ease of use, with wood glue being easier to handle and clean up.

For general and multi-material applications, especially in mixed media or outdoor environments, Gorilla Glue is the better choice. However, for specialized woodworking projects, especially those involving intricate joinery or where clean surfaces are required, woodworking adhesives are unbeatable. When making your choice, consider the specific requirements of your project, including the type of material, environmental conditions, and the durability of the bond required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gorilla Glue more versatile than traditional wood glues?

Yes, Gorilla Glue is more versatile than traditional wood glues because it can effectively bond a wider range of materials, including non-wood surfaces.

Can wood glue be effectively used for outdoor projects?

Regular wood glue is not suitable for outdoor use due to its lack of water resistance. However, there are specialized wood glues available, such as Titebond III, which is water-resistant and suitable for outdoor woodworking projects.

How do the drying times of Gorilla Glue and woodworking glues compare?

Gorilla Glue typically requires a longer clamping and drying time, often taking up to 24 hours to fully cure. In contrast, wood glues set faster and can usually be clamped in less time, and many types of glues can be fully cured in less than 24 hours.

Are there any specific safety precautions to consider when using these adhesives?

Yes, safety precautions are necessary. Use both adhesives in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves to avoid skin contact. Gorilla Glue expands and is very difficult to remove once cured, so extra care needs to be taken during application.

Can Gorilla Glue replace wood glue in all woodworking applications?

While Gorilla Glue can be used in a variety of woodworking applications, it may not be the best choice for all woodworking projects. Wood glues are specifically formulated for wood-to-wood bonding and typically produce stronger, more aesthetically pleasing finishes in pure woodworking tasks.