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Top 7 Best Glue for Balsa Wood

The glue that you choose for your Balsa wood models is going to make or break your structure. Your glue choice is equally as important as your wood choice. Weak glue will not make your model function properly, no matter how good its design.

Therefore, we have compiled the best glue for balsa wood reviews and buyer’s guide. It will allow you to make the right choice when choosing glue for your balsa wood projects.

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best glue for balsa wood

Image
Product
Best Overall
Glue Masters Wood Glue – Best overall
  • Easy to use and apply
  • Very thick
  • Dries in less than a minute
Starbond Wood Glue - for filling gaps
  • Thin, runny viscosity
  • Excellent for filling gaps
  • Super-fast drying time
Tamiya 87038 Extra Thin Cement Glue - for Model Airplanes
  • Easily fills cracks
  • Great for sealing
  • Strong bond
Testor Corp Fast Drying Wood Cement - for Wooden Models
  • Fast drying
  • Dries clear
  • Very strong bond
Gorilla Wood Glue
  • Good for filling gaps
  • Good for outdoor applications
  • Simple to use
Elmer’s Wood Glue - non-toxicity
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-toxic
  • High sandability
Titebond Wood Glue - for sandability
  • Simple to use
  • Fast drying
  • Suitable for small areas

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Glue Masters Wood Glue

Glue Masters Wood Glue

Glue Masters wood glue for balsa wood has a long shelf life and is available in 12, 16 and 80-ounce bottles. You can choose any size according to your project’s requirements. This is industrial-scale glue that features cyanoacrylate resin that contributes significantly to it being the strongest hold available on the market.

With this glue, your model will hold its structure for good. It sets within one minute and will make your life very convenient. You will have more control over the fluidity of this glue because it is a thick consistency.

It is suitable for model builders and hobbyists. Additionally, you can use it for various applications, ranging from model building to fixing your shoes. It also comes with a 60-day, money-back guarantee. You can’t ask for more!

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Glue for Balsa Wood – Buying Guide

As there are hundreds and hundreds of these wood glue on the market, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. But if you understand your needs and requirements – and know certain features to focus on – you can’t go wrong with your buying decision.
What do you need to look for when buying glue for balsa wood?
These are a few aspects associated with glue.

Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?

Check out our list below for a summary of our results.

  1. Glue Masters Wood Glue – Best overall
  2. Starbond Wood Glue - for filling gaps
  3. Tamiya 87038 Extra Thin Cement Glue - for Model Airplanes
  4. Testor Corp Fast Drying Wood Cement - for Wooden Models
  5. Gorilla Wood Glue
  6. Elmer’s Wood Glue - non-toxicity
  7. Titebond Wood Glue - for sandability

Types of Glue for Balsa Wood

There are a number of different glues which can be used for Balsa wood, as well as for many other types of wood too. Let’s take a quick look at each type.

Cyanoacrylate

This is fancy word for super glue. Here we are talking about those little bottles of clear glue, ones designed for high bond strength. These are very fast acting adhesives, ones which dry in a matter of minutes or even seconds. They bond strong, they can bear weight, and the bond is virtually unbreakable. Due to its fast drying nature, this type of glue usually does not require prolonged clamping, just a quick squeeze.

Epoxy

Epoxies tend to come in the split glue variety. This means that you get two tubes, one which is the glue itself, and the other which is the curing agent. When it comes to creating a super strong bond, this is one of your best bets. Due to the dual nature of this type of glue and the chemical reaction which the separate components create, you’ll have a hard time creating a better bond than with real epoxy. This is a type of glue that can also be used for heavy weight bearing applications.

Wood Glue

Wood glue is exactly what it sounds like, glue designed to be used specifically for wood. Keep in mind that wood glue really won’t bond anything but wood. Wood glue is also known as PVA or polyvinyl acetate, which also happens to be the main ingredient in normal white school glue. PVA works well for paper, cardboard, lighter pieces of wood, and other such materials. It does form a very strong and flexible bond, but takes a fairly long time to dry.

Cement

If you are looking to form an extremely tight and permanent bond that cannot be undone, cement or rubber cement glue is a great option to go with. It’s great because it tends to be quite thick and mess free, it dries clear, and is very easy to apply. It’s ideal for soft materials and hard materials alike.

Polyurethane

The only issue with polyurethane glue is that it takes a long time to dry. Other than that, it’s a great multi-purpose type of glue to consider. It can be used for a wide variety of materials, it bonds very well, it can handle a good deal of weight and impact, and is usually quite easy to work with as well.

Weight

Another important aspect of buying wood glue is weight. Of course, if you’re building a structure, it is going to have some weight – especially at the bottom, where the weight of the entire structure is.
Your glue needs to have a very strong hold if it is going to keep a large structure intact. So, this is a key area to focus on depending on your project.

Price

Glues come at different prices. Usually, the superglue and PVAs are expensive compared to the others. The type of glue you use will depend on the project at hand.

Hold strength and ease of use

The glue that are thicker, like the white glue, are the easiest to use because they are not runny and don’t create a mess. However, if you need something to fill those gaps and crevices, you need to go for the thinner and runnier glue.

How to glue balsa wood together?

To join the balsa wood sheets together, you need to use CA glue. Tape two beams or sheets together, and run a thin bead of glue slowly down one sheet’s end and then lay them down. The tape will hold them together. Within a few minutes, it will dry and you will have a tight and strong joint.

Safety Precautions

Let’s quickly go over a few important tips to help keep you safe when using balsa wood glue.

  1. Always use glue in a very well ventilated area. Some glues have some odors and fumes which can lead to headaches and nausea.
  2. Some glues even require you to wear a facemask or respirator due to the fumes, so always read instructions carefully.
  3. It is always a good idea to use glue that is non-toxic, especially if you have pets and kids.
  4. Wearing gloves when using certain glues is strongly recommended, especially very fast bonding options like super glue.

The Best Glue for Balsa Wood

Here is a short comparison chart in case if you don’t have time to read through till the end.

Product Type Best for
Glue Masters Wood Glue CA glue Overall
Starbond Wood Glue CA glue Filling gaps
Gorilla Wood Glue Epoxy glue Outdoor applications
Elmer’s Wood Glue PU glue Non-toxicity
Titebond Wood Glue PU glue Sandability

The top best product [hide]

Glue Masters Wood Glue – Best overall


Glue Masters Wood Glue – Best overall
Glue Masters Cyanoacrylate is the best glue for balsa wood because it has thick viscosity and its drying time is pretty fast. Because it is thick, it can easily be applied wherever you want and it will quickly dry, allowing you to work on your project swiftly. This industrial grade glue is suitable for most DIY modeling projects.
Technical Specifications:
  • Super quick to dry
  • Highly viscosity
  • Easy to apply
Pros
Easy to use and apply
Very thick
Dries in less than a minute
Best for DIY projects
Cons
Not for filling gaps or crevices

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Starbond Wood Glue - for filling gaps


Starbond Wood Glue - for filling gaps
This super glue has thin viscosity. Therefore, it is suitable for filling gaps and crevices; its drying time is very quick as well. It will allow you to go through your projects very quickly. With purchase, you will also get extra tips and caps for various applications.
Technical Specifications:
  • Thin viscosity
  • Quick drying time
  • Fills gaps
Pros
Thin, runny viscosity
Excellent for filling gaps
Super-fast drying time
Cons
Controlling the fluid is a bit difficult

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Tamiya 87038 Extra Thin Cement Glue - for Model Airplanes


Tamiya 87038 Extra Thin Cement Glue - for Model Airplanes
If you need the best glue for model airplanes, this is definitely a great choice to keep in mind. One of the best aspects of this glue is that it has a very thin formula. This may not be great for certain applications, but it is more than ideal for building small wooden models. The runny formula of this glue has the ability to really sink into small cracks and crevices, something thicker glue cannot due. To make it easier to apply, this cement glue also comes with a precision applicator tip. It allows for mess-free application. This is cement glue, which means that it does form an extremely strong bond. What’s also nice here is that this particular glue dries very quickly. The only thing to beware of is that it’s not overly resistant to extreme temperatures.
Pros
Easily fills cracks
Great for sealing
Strong bond
Easy to apply
Dries fast
Cons
Not very resistant to extreme temperatures

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Testor Corp Fast Drying Wood Cement - for Wooden Models


Testor Corp Fast Drying Wood Cement - for Wooden Models
This is another type of glue that is great for tasks such as assembling wooden models. As the name of it implies, one of the best aspects of it is that it is very quick drying. You may still need a small clamp for a couple of minutes, but it does dry much faster than most other wood glues. What also stands out about this glue is that it comes with a very fine precision applicator tip. The formula itself is quite thin, but this is necessary for wood gluing, especially for small wooden models. The precision applicator allows for mess free application in spite of this thin consistency. Tester Corp Fast Drying Wood Cement does form a very tight bond, although it may come off if exposed to extreme heat for prolonged periods of time. Keep in mind that this glue dries clear, a big bonus for model making.
Pros
Fast drying
Dries clear
Very strong bond
Easy to apply
Cons
Doesn’t handle heat too well

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Gorilla Wood Glue


Gorilla Wood Glue
Best suited for outdoor applications, this epoxy glue can take a bit of time to fully dry, but this water-based adhesive really sticks well. You can also change the viscosity according to your needs and requirements. With more thickness, it will take more time to fully dry.
Technical Specifications:
  • Easy to apply
  • Excellent for outdoor applications
  • Works well in small gaps
Pros
Good for filling gaps
Good for outdoor applications
Simple to use
Cons
Drying time is almost 24 hours

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Elmer’s Wood Glue - non-toxicity


Elmer’s Wood Glue - non-toxicity
This is good quality glue without any toxins. It holds well in water, so if you are looking for water-resistant glue, then you should not look any further. It has thin viscosity and its drying time is pretty decent as well.
Technical Specifications:
  • Water-resistant
  • High sandability
  • Thin viscosity
Pros
Easy to clean
Non-toxic
High sandability
Easy to apply
Cons
A bit too runny

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Titebond Wood Glue - for sandability


Titebond Wood Glue - for sandability
If you are in search of wood glue that has excellent sandability, Titebond should be your choice. It is water-resistant as well and holds up nicely against any finish. It also has a very quick drying time and is good for filling purposes.
Technical Specifications:
  • Easy to apply
  • Fast drying
  • Thin viscosity
Pros
Simple to use
Fast drying
Suitable for small areas
Cons
Slightly slimy

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Glue for Balsa Wood - FAQ

Can you use super glue on balsa wood?

As we have mentioned, Cyanoacrylate based glue or superglue are best for balsa. They provide strong joints and they are tough to sand as well.

Can you use hot glue on balsa wood?

Yes, but with too much pressure or weight on the wood, your structure, over time, will collapse. This is especially the case if you are modeling bridges.

Does hot glue damage wood?

No, but your joints will be very weak and they won’t be able to take much pressure or weight.

Glue Masters Wood Glue

Glue Masters Wood Glue as our top choice because it has a superb drying time. Moreover, you get to apply it as you need because of its thick viscosity. It can hold pretty well for a long period of time and has a great shelf life, too. You truly get the bang for your buck with this one.

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Conclusion

Building a structure with balsa wood is fun but finding the type of glue to use can be an irksome task. Picking the right glue can make a lot of difference in the end. Therefore, we urge you to focus on different aspects of your project and carefully assess which type of glue is most suitable.
Have you used any of these glues in the past? What was your experience? Share your thoughts by leaving your comments in the section below!
Enjoy the hold!

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