As the old saying goes, for every task there is a tool. But what if there are two different variations of something that do a similar thing, but slightly differently?
Whether you are a professional construction worker, carpenter, DIY enthusiast, or anything in between, chances are good that you’ve at least heard of gorilla glue and super glue. They’re two of the strongest and most well-regarded glues in the world. But which is best?
The short answer is that neither is – because they both are good at what they do, depending on what you want to achieve. The longer answer is, well, what we’re going to look at in this head to head comparison of gorilla glue and super glue.
Gorilla Glue vs Super Glue – Which to choose
Super glue belongs to a family of chemical compounds known as cyanoacrylates. The chemical makeup of super glue allows it to stick to a wide range of surfaces with varying degrees of efficacy. One of the defining characteristics of super glue is that it sticks extremely strongly and extremely quickly. There are a few different brands of super glue worth considering that I’ve written about if you’re looking for the most effective one.
On the one hand, that allows users to stick things together quickly, thus making it a favorite of those who’re looking for adhesives that are strong and fast acting enough to keep up with their construction projects. On the other hand, that also leaves little margin for error, as it’s extremely difficult to unstick pieces that have been stuck together with super glue.
What about Gorilla Glue?
The same may be said of gorilla glue. It, too, is an incredibly potent adhesive that isn’t easily undone. Where super glue is a cyanoacrylate, gorilla glue is made from Polyurethane, an incredibly versatile polymer that’s responsible for everything from the foam you see in dentists’ seats to flexible plastics such as watch straps.
Gorilla glue can sometimes expand while drying. There are several variations of gorilla glue, some of which are stronger or dry faster than others, so you’ll want to do some research to make sure that you’re using the type that best matches your particular needs.
Now of course, there are many different variations of gorilla glue that I’ve written about on this website, including their own version of super glue. But for this purpose, we’re generally looking at the standard Gorilla glue, which can be found here on Amazon.
Head to Head Adhesives
But before you do that, let’s get back to the head to head matchup between gorilla glue and super glue. Which is the superior glue?
Well, that depends greatly on what you’re looking to adhere. For example, specialist wood glue is obviously going to be the best choice for wood glue, right? Well, both super glue and gorilla glue can adhere to a wide range of surfaces. That being said, just because they can both be used on all of these surfaces doesn’t mean that they can be used with equal amount of efficacy.
For example, while you can use both super glue and gorilla glue on plastics, the latter has a clear advantage. While super glue is able to adhere to the surface quickly, it doesn’t have the same degree of staying power here as does your average tube of gorilla glue. What’s more, super glue isn’t designed to adhere to smooth surfaces such as glass, whereas gorilla glue does. On the other hand, gorilla glue can be slower to dry, and, as we’ll see below, there are some safety concerns.
Head to Head Safety vs. Hazards
As with any product, there are drawbacks to both gorilla glue and super glue, with safety hazards being among the most eye-catching. When dealing with something so powerful, the last thing you want is to use it incorrectly and wind up with a body part immovably adhered to another surface, or to get sick from breathing in noxious fumes.
Both of these are genuine concerns with gorilla glue and super glue, and while the former is mostly due to user negligence, the latter is another area in which we can fairly compare these two options.
So, how do these two glue options stack up when it comes to toxicity vs. safety?
Of the two, super glue is often seen as the slightly safer product. As long as you use the glue in a well-ventilated area, are careful to keep it away from your eyes, and don’t allow the glue to touch your skin or any other part of your body, it should be safe.
Gorilla glue, by contrast, can be a little dicier. As with super glue, as long as you use it with care, you should be fine. Even so, gorilla glue poses a greater health risk given the fact that inhalation of the fumes can lead to damage done to your respiratory system. There are also reports of gorilla glue being potentially toxic for pets, though needless to say you shouldn’t be putting your pets in a position where they could accidentally ingest super glue or gorilla glue anyway.
As stated, that depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re looking for a product that glues faster and is a bit more established, super glue is a good bet. If you’re looking to glue something smooth like glass or plastic and protect against the potential safety hazards, gorilla glue can be a great option.