Gorilla Glue vs Wood Glue: Pros & Cons, Pricing and Usage

gorilla glue

Choosing the right wood glue is a must whether you are a professional carpenter/woodworker or a casual person who simply enjoys making DIY crafts as a hobby. On the one hand, we have the standard wood glue (also known as White PVA glue) which is the most used adhesive that you will find in every commercial cabinet.

On the other hand, we have a different and maybe more special option that is the Gorilla Glue (also known as polyurethane glue or PU glue). For simplicity reasons we will call the latter Gorilla Glue even though it is just a brand name. Both are excellent options if you use them correctly and they work on more than just wood. So, let’s get a look into their pros and cons as well as their pricing and usage.

White PVA wood glue

When should white PVA glue be used?

White PVA is the universal type of wood glue that’s been used throughout the world. It has various usages such as gluing wood, cloth, paper and fabrics. It can be used in both interior and exterior designs, although, exterior usage is not ideal since the glue is water and heat resistant but not waterproof.

How much does white PVA glue cost?

You can purchase a white PVA glue for a pretty low price. You can get a 5 ounces bottle for about $3. Considering the strength of the glue, you don’t require too much to be effective, hence, it offers you an exceptional price to performance ratio.

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Pros

  • It’s a strong and non-toxic glue. It’s also kid-friendly.
  • It has interior and exterior usage
  • Excellent option for beginner enthusiasts of DIY and other crafts
  • It’s water, heat and moisture resistant
  • Can be used on multiple surfaces
  • Starts hardening after about an hour of clamping so this can allow you to do some extra glue-ups
  • A pretty cheap adhesive
  • It will fully bond after a day
  • If something goes wrong, you can easily clean it up using water
  • Once opened, it can last a minimum of 6 months and based on the environment some bottles can last for years
  • Its color will turn transparent after it bonds
  • It will generally last for at least a decade before you start seeing signs of delamination
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Cons

  • It cannot be colored which means that if you don’t clean it up completely, you will be able to see it through any used color
  • Poor gap-filling capabilities unless it’s mixed with wood shavings​
  • Not that great for broad areas as it barely expands while curing
  • It’s generally not recommended for exterior designing as it’s not waterproof. It can be used only if it’s stated on the bottle.

Gorilla glue (Polyurethane)

When should gorilla glue be used?

Gorilla glue is very strong and should be used mostly outdoors on wooden, metallic and plastic surfaces since it’s not only resistant to weather but also waterproof. Furthermore, it’s an adhesive that tends to foam and expand as it hardens which makes it the perfect solution to cover wide areas.

Important: You should avoid using polyurethane glue on fabrics that come from natural products such as wool and cotton since this glue has an exothermic reaction to these types of fibers. Expect a similar reaction to those with carbon fiber or fiberglass. There is a chance your fabric will even burst into flames if you use too much adhesive. If the fabric is not in any of the above categories, it might not get destroyed but you will most certainly not go very far with it. in my opinion, you should prefer using an E6000 glue for your fabrics.

How should I use gorilla glue?

Gorilla glue works in a different way compared to a standard wood glue. To use it correctly follow these steps:

  1. Lightly moisturize both mating surfaces since the glue is water-activated.
  2. Apply a thin layer of the adhesive on both surfaces.
  3. Clamp both objects together for 1-2 hours using a heavy weight.

How much does gorilla glue cost?

Gorilla glue is pretty expensive when it’s compared to other wood glues with its starting price being around $1/oz. It’s not a good value for money adhesive and as a result individuals tend to strictly use it when the conditions are perfect for it.

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Pros

  • It’s a strong bonding agent.
  • Perfect for outdoor joinery as it’s not only weather resistant but also waterproof
  • It expands as the bonding process starts which make it an excellent solution for those who want to glue 2 wide surfaces together
  • Good for bonding wood to other materials such as plastic, metal and more
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors.
  • Great at gluing somewhat hidden joints.
  • It can be colored using specific dye products
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Cons

  • Gorilla Glue is expensive. Around $1/oz
  • Polyurethane is very flammable
  • Its foaming capabilities make it one of the worst glues when it comes to gap-filling since it will get out of the glued joint.
  • Can be skin and eye irritant
  • In most cases sanding will be required after the bonding process is complete.
  • It’s a pretty messy adhesive and harder to cleanup.

Conclusion

Both adhesives are exceptionally strong and will most likely outlive the object they’re applied on. However, white PVA glue is superior to polyurethane wood glue in many aspects. It’s easier to use, value for money and non-toxic. On the other hand, gorilla glue is better for exterior usage and covers wide surfaces of objects more effectively. In my opinion, if you want to try gorilla glue, you should purchase a small 1 ounce bottle to see if it works for you. Remember that if you make a mistake with it, it’s way harder to cleanup than the common wood glue. Overall, the white PVA will remain the universal wood glue option for the years to come while polyurethane will be used only when the conditions are perfect for it. Let me know in the comments below if you have any further questions about wood glues. In the near future I plan on comparing more types of glue.

Do you prefer using white PVA wood glue or polyurethane glue?

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