Wood Glue vs Liquid Nails, Which Is Better?

Carpentry, is a complex art. From the wood itself to finishing products, there are several products required.

Two of these products are liquid nails and wood glue. These two products can often be used alternatingly.

Therefore, one of the most common carpenters’ is; which is the better option between wood glue and liquid nails?

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What are liquid nails?

Anyone who has worked with wood knows that nails are tools used to put together two or more wooden pieces.

A liquid nail is a particular type of nail.

It works like an adhesive that keeps everything locked in place and influences the appearance of the final product.

Liquid nails are primarily applied if you are planning to construct something heavy-duty.

Advantages of liquid nail

• They adjust to the temperature perfectly
• They positively affect the final appearance of your product. This is mainly because they are paintable.
• They are extremely strong
• They last for a long time
• They work great on both wet and dry timber

The drawbacks of liquid nails

• The clean-up process after using liquid nails is pretty hard
• When it gets on your skin, you cannot get it off without oil

What is wood glue?

Wood glue is a versatile adhesive that can be used o wood, metal, porcelain, or plastic.

Therefore, despite its name, this product can be applied to several types of materials. Wood glue is excellent for patching things up.

Advantages of wood glue

• It can be used on a wide range of surfaces, apart from wood
• It dries fast
• It is water-resistant
• It does not produce a harsh odour
• It is not hard to clean off

The drawbacks of wood glue

• It cannot be applied on heavy-duty surfaces
• You might need different types of glue on varying surfaces

Wood Glue vs Liquid Nails: Which is better?

Both products are excellent in their own right. However, if you are looking to choose the best one, it would help if you considered the following elements;

Drying time

If you are looking for a product with the fastest drying time, then wood glue would be a perfect choice.

Depending on the brand and type, wood glue typically takes between thirty minutes to an hour to dry.

On the other hand, liquid nail usually takes up to twenty-four hours or more to dry.

This depends on the humidity and surface porosity.


Wood glue can be applied on a wide range of surfaces.

However, compared to liquid nail, its applications are limited.

You can apply liquid nail on all the surfaces that you can use wood glue on, plus surfaces like panelling, tileboards, and concrete.

The same cannot be said about wood glue. Therefore, when it comes to the applicability, liquid nail takes the win.


Since the two products are not typically used for the same tasks, they each have their strength in their specific areas.

For instance, liquid nails demonstrate strength with products like plywood, fibreglass, and foam boards.

On the other hand, wood glue shows strength in indoor and outdoor furniture.

Ease of application

Both products are easy to apply.

However, it depends on the surface you are working with.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that liquid nails cause such a mess and are hard to clean afterwards. The same cannot be said about wood glue (if you need glue for plexiglass then see it here).

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Liquid Nails vs Wood Glue

There isn’t a superior product between wood glue and liquid nails.

The two have their specific strengths and downsides.

Therefore, the wise thing to do would be to consider the pros and cons of each, plus the particular application, before making a choice.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API