Why is Wood Glue So Strong: An Experimental Guide

Wood glue is usually stronger than the wood itself. Probably you have been using all types of wood glues for your woodworking projects but don’t know what the things used to make wood glue are. It won’t be usual if the question has never been raised in your mind why is wood glue so strong? Let’s get into the discussion about the glue types, ingredients, and the reasons why wood glue is so strong.     

What are the Types of Wood Glue? 

There are types of wood glues available in the market. They are- Yellow Wood Glue, Epoxy, and Polyurethane Construction Adhesive. 

Cyanoacrylate Wood Glue 

This is a powerful regular super glue. You might like it for its fast-drying quality. It will give you the best result if you use it to bond long-grain to long-grain wood. You can have thick, medium, and thin varieties of this glue. It gives an excellent performance to glue the pieces of oily wood or wood and metal surfaces together. For quick fixes for smaller projects, choose this glue over others and save money. 

Yellow Wood Glue 

The yellow-colored PVA glue is widely used for woodworking. It is trendy in North America as it creates a powerful bond. PVA glues are more potent than the wood itself. It is absorbed into the fiber of the wood very nicely and increases the bond’s strength. This glue is not only used for woodworking but also used on paper, leather, metal, and ceramic. Many carpenters use gorilla glue for interior and exterior projects because they are 100% waterproof. 


Many of you will like using epoxy that forms a bond to wood in any orientation. It has its strength and becomes stronger after it has fully set. It doesn’t shrink while setting. Unlike much other glue, this glue type doesn’t have to be clamped with pressure. Unlike PVA glue, it doesn’t contain water. However, there are some drawbacks to this glue. It is comparatively more expensive, and its shelf life is limited. This waterproof glue dries depending on the product. Sometimes, the glue dries very quickly and sometimes takes a few minutes to dry. You can choose it for outdoor woodworking projects. This glue is a popular choice for many carpenters because it can be sanded quickly once dried.  

Polyurethane Construction Adhesive 

This powerful adhesive has features similar to epoxy. This glue makes a similar type of bond to the wood in any orientation. It has its strength and doesn’t need to be clamped. It doesn’t contain water and shrinks. However, it is from epoxy in a way that is not as hard as epoxy. In addition, this glue is more durable and resilient. Many like to use it because it is inexpensive and has a longer shelf life. So, the strength you will get from this glue will be much more durable. You can use this glue where a weather-proof bond is needed. It has become prevalent as it fills joints effectively and makes them long-lasting.  

Hide Glue

Hide glue creates a durable bond and a unique crackle effect on the wood surface. It performs excellently in tight-fitting joints. A benefit of using hide glue is, that hide glue is apparent and unseen after use on any woodworking project. 

What are Wood Glues Made of?

Three ingredients are widely used to make wood glues which are purely effective in making them more potent than the wood itself. Each of them has its quality, strength, and usage. All of them can form an excellent glue joint. 

  1. Polyvinyl Acetate: This rubbery polymer is a very effective adhesive. The ingredient is the main constituent of Elmer’s Glue. People also know it as white glue, school glue, or carpenter’s glue. It is very popularly used for wood and paper works. 
  1. Polyurethane: This is a robust and durable ingredient. The versatility of this ingredient is good to use with wood, plastic, glass, metals, or any concrete products. Gorilla glue is a type of glue that is polyurethane-based glue. 
  1. Aliphatic Resin: It is a kind of synthetic adhesive that is basically of yellow color and has a creamy consistency. The strength of this adhesive is like PVA glue. This adhesive adds more strength to the glue and makes it waterproof. 

Has Wood Glue More Strength than the Wood? 

No one has any debate about the strength of wood because they are difficult to cut, bend, and break. Since the wood glues give a durable bond to the wood pieces, it leads to a question- is wood glue stronger than the wood it joints? Indeed, the answer would be yes because wood glue has its strength. 

Wood glue is absorbed into the wood after applying it, and it seems they both have become one. The glue’s strength and the wood’s strength both collaboratively make the strength more incredible than the strength of the wood. This is a straightforward equation you both have to understand. 

The result of wood glue on the project will always leave you satisfied. Make sure you give reasonable effort and time to allow the wood joint to be strong enough because the time and effort are both worth it for the quality of your project. It doesn’t matter what type of wood pieces you are bonding, whether it’s a desk, table, chair, or any other piece of furniture. 

Wood glues are also used to join many other materials because they are versatile and firmly hold the bond. Each wood glue’s inherent strength doesn’t matter whether it is white or yellow; both do the same job. 

How Strong are Wood Adhesives?

The adhesive strength of wood glues ranges from 3,600 to 4,000 psi which indicates the glues can withstand pressures ranging from 3,600 to 4,000 pounds per square inch. The wood glues are formulated so the joint can’t be broken easily. 

How can you Enhance the Strength of Wood Glue?

Two crucial measures help a lot to maximize the strength of wood glue- they are pressure and time. Without using these two measures, you can’t expect the wood bond to be highly durable and robust. 

  1. Pressure: After applying the glue to join the wood pieces, you must use clamps to press the wood pieces together. The clamps ensure that the strength is stronger than before and the bond is sufficiently durable. To tighten the bond, you should use a damp cloth to remove the excess glue after you have clamped the pieces. If the glue is hardened, use sandpaper or a chisel to remove the excess glue
  1. Time: You must leave the glue to dry for a sufficient time to be soaked into the glue properly during the drying process. Each glue has different criteria; they need different times to dry enough to make the bond sufficiently strong. So, you should check the glue type you are using and read the manufacturers’ instructions properly. When the glue is perfectly absorbed into the wood, you will see the strength of the bond


Are wood glues stronger than nails?

The answer is obviously yes. Wood glues are even stronger than wood, and nails are not stronger than wood. So, wood glues are stronger than nails. 

Is wood glue stronger than superglue? 

Comparing super glue and wood glue is not a good idea. Though technically, super glue is stronger than wood glue, there are many works that you can’t do with super glue. However, carpenters collect both types of glue for their projects. 

Is it possible to use superglue instead of wood glue?

Yes, it is possible. Gorilla super glue gives the best and most durable bond among the super glues. So, you can use gorilla super glue to give your project a strong and permanent adhesion. 

What is the strongest wood glue? 

There are many strong wood types of glue available on the market, but PVA glue is the strongest and water-resistant. It is not acidic like many other pollers, so carpenters like to use PVA very much. 

Final Thoughts

Most of you are probably unaware that wood glue can withstand a hold of about 3500 psi (pounds per square inch). After applying wood glue to a project and spreading it on the joined surfaces, the bond created is stronger than the wood.

The above details about wood glue might clear your confusion as to why is wood glue so strong. The main idea is elementary and straightforward to understand that wood glue has its inherent strength. 

Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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