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Top 5 Best Glue for MDF

Most glues will bond to MDF (medium-density fiberboard), but only the best glue for MDF will ensure a tight bond with speed and convenience and without any abrasion. In this guide, we are recommending the top 5 MDF glues on the market. We hope you can use these reviews to make an informed choice and select the best glue for your woodworking project.

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best glue for mdf

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Product
Best Overall
Titebond III Ultimate Waterproof Interior/Exterior Wood Glue
  • Sets quickly without wasting time
  • Cleans quickly with water or damp cloth
Gorilla Wood Glue for the Toughest Wood Jobs on Earth
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Highly water resistant with ANSI/HPVA Type-2 water resistance
Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue Non-Toxic Heat-Resistant Easy-to-Clean
  • Easy to use
  • Superior adhesion
  • Easy to clean
Franklin International 5005 Versatile Wood Glue
  • Trustworthy and reliable glue
  • Strong adhesion
  • The glue is easy to clean and the dispensing tip does not get clogged with dried glue
DAP 00157 Rapid Fuse Fast Ready to Plane Sand and Stain Woodwork Glue
  • Strong adhesion
  • Makes woodworking easy and fast
  • Allows repositioning when done within a few minutes
FastCap 80070 2P-10 All-Purpose Jel Adhesive
  • No runny mess
  • Fast curing action
  • All-purpose application

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Titebond Glue

Titebond Glue

Titebond 5004 II Premium wood glue is the best-selling glue for woodwork. It is water-resistant and mainly designed for exterior uses. The best part about this glue is that it is stronger than wood, sets and cures quickly, and you can easily clean up spills and messes using water. The FDA has approved this glue for indirect food contact.

Benefits
This wood glue sets quickly within an hour for working and within 24 hours to put under stress.

  • The premium wood glue creates a sturdy, transparent bond
  • It does not need extra pressure or heat for setting
  • This glue is resistant to water and heat; it is the first 1-part glue to pass the ANSI test for water-resistance
  • It is non-toxic and approved for non-direct contact food use
  • It can be easily sanded for flush applications
  • Titebond 5004 II Premium wood glue has outstanding bond strength

Technical Specifications

  • Titebond is a cross-linking PVA or polyvinyl acetate type of glue. It has a honey-cream color
  • It is ideal for woodwork, furniture making, radio-frequency, and hot-press gluing systems
  • It conforms to ASTM-D 4236 standards
  • Required clamping pressure: 100 to 150 psi for softwood and 175-250 psi for hardwood

Pros

  • Dries quickly but also gives you time to reposition if needed
  • Strong adhesive properties
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Water resistant

Pros

  • Dries yellow instead of clear

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What is MDF Glue

MDF glue is an adhesive for MDF consisting of long molecule chains called polymers. These polymer molecules give the glue the property of ‘cohesion,’ which is the ability to bind to itself. The bond between glue and wood is a different type of bond called ‘adhesion.’ It is based on the molecular attraction between the molecules of glue and wood.

In order for this bond to be sturdy and strong, the joint should be clear, snug, and gap-free. Some MDF glues also form mechanical bonding between the glue and wood fibers. However, the molecular attraction contributes more to the strength of the bond.

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

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

  1. Titebond III Ultimate Waterproof Interior/Exterior Wood Glue (Our Overall #1 Pick)
  2. Gorilla Wood Glue for the Toughest Wood Jobs on Earth
  3. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue Non-Toxic Heat-Resistant Easy-to-Clean
  4. Franklin International 5005 Versatile Wood Glue
  5. DAP 00157 Rapid Fuse Fast Ready to Plane Sand and Stain Woodwork Glue
  6. FastCap 80070 2P-10 All-Purpose Jel Adhesive

How Do MDF Glue Work

All woodworking glues work in four different ways:

  • White and yellow PVA or polyvinyl acetate glues cure when the solvent evaporates, leaving behind a solid glue line
  • Two-part glues like plastic resin and epoxy-based glues need a chemical reaction to cure; the glue polymerizes or forms new polymers
  • Third: some glues like hot-melt glue are thermoplastic in nature. This means they flow when hot and solidify when cooled
  • Hybrid glues work through evaporation and a chemical reaction like the two-part glues

Different Types of MDF Glue

You’ve probably moved up and down in the aisle of a hardware store looking for the perfect woodworking glue. You may have had the following options at your disposal: white, yellow, plastic, resin, epoxy, etc. So, which glue is right for you? Here are some basic MDF glue types and their characteristics:

PVA or Polyvinyl Acetate

The white and yellow varieties of glues are PVA or polyvinyl acetate. Both are great for most indoor/exterior woodworking jobs. They are safe, easy to use, dry quickly, are non-messy, and also inexpensive.

All PVA glue types are an emulsion of polyvinyl acetate particles in water glues (chemical formula (C4H602)n). The tiny particles of PVA coalesce into a rubber-like solid to form a semi-transparent glue line. The clamping time for this type of glue is short, but it still needs at least 24 hours for the glue to reach its full strength.
White PVA glue is the original PVA glue. It is somewhat runny compared to yellow PVA glue. Yellow PVA glue is aliphatic resin glue. It is also a type of PVA glue, but it has been modified to give slightly different working characteristics compared to white glue. Yellow glue, as compared to white glue, is thicker, sands more easily, and is also more heat resistant.

Both yellow and white glue are equally likely to fail under wet conditions.

Plastic Resin Glue

These are also called urea-formaldehyde glues. Plastic resin glues are highly water-resistant, and experts recommend them for cabinetmaking, laminated countertops, cutting boards, etc. with plastic resin glues, you have to mix a powder with a catalyst like water or resin. The resulting glue forms a rigid plastic-like polymer bond, which is very strong and impervious to water. The powder in plastic resin glues comes in various shades of brown, so you can customize it to your wood’s color.

A downside to using this type of wood glue is the exposure to formaldehyde, which although negligible, could lead to skin irritation.

Epoxies

Epoxies are two-part glues that can be of the slow set or quick-set varieties. The quick-set epoxies can set anywhere between 1-10 minutes, and they also cure in a few hours. Slow-set epoxies could take 24 hours to harden and up to a week to cure.

The Best Glue for MDF

The top best product [hide]

Titebond III Ultimate Waterproof Interior/Exterior Wood Glue


Titebond III Ultimate Waterproof Interior/Exterior Wood Glue
Technical Specifications:
  • Titebond III bonds stronger than wood and eliminates clamping.
  • It has an easy applicator tip that reduces wastage.
  • The versatile glue is ideal for interior and exterior jobs.
  • It is non-toxic glue that also easily cleans up with water.
  • Rated No. 1 by the professionals, this glue features superior bond strength, sets and cures quickly, and also sands easily.
  • It is FDA-approved glue which is completely safe to use around pets and humans, and is non-toxic and eco-friendly.
  • Titebond III is the first ever one-part, water cleanup glue to be offered.
  • It has superior adhesion power, is completely water-resistant, and is very easy to clean.
Pros
Sets quickly without wasting time
Cleans quickly with water or damp cloth
Cons
Applicator tip clogs up if not kept clean.

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Gorilla Wood Glue for the Toughest Wood Jobs on Earth


Gorilla Wood Glue for the Toughest Wood Jobs on Earth
Technical Specifications:
  • Gorilla Wood Glue clamps in 20-30 minutes and cures in one day.
  • The versatile glue is useful for gluing hardwood, softwood, natural wood composites, and all indoor/outdoor woodwork projects.
  • Made in the USA and compliant with FDA standards.
  • Dries to a natural color, forming a natural bond line.
  • Gorilla woodwork glue is the glue trusted by carpenters, professionals, and hobbyists.
  • It is easy-to-use, water-based glue that is perfect for outdoor/indoor projects.
  • The PVA glue is water-resistant, forms a natural bond line and is ideal for exterior work.
  • Gorilla Wood Glue is available in 4 oz, 8 oz, and 1 gallon bottles.
Pros
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Highly water resistant with ANSI/HPVA Type-2 water resistance
Strong adhesion
Cons
Nozzle is hard-to-open
Thin and runny compared to other glues

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Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue Non-Toxic Heat-Resistant Easy-to-Clean


Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue Non-Toxic Heat-Resistant Easy-to-Clean
Technical Specifications:
  • Elmer’s E7310 carpenter’s wood glue resists mildew, mold, and heat.
  • It is sandable and paintable.
  • It bonds stronger than wood.
  • It is waterproof and stainable.
  • This wood glue can be used for exterior and interior jobs.
  • Elmer’s E7310 is the only waterproof and stainable wood glue available.
  • It comes in different size bottles from 8 oz to 1 gallon.
  • This non-toxic glue is safe for use around pets.
Pros
Easy to use
Superior adhesion
Easy to clean
Durable
Water resistant
Cons
Thick glue is hard to come out of the nozzle.

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Franklin International 5005 Versatile Wood Glue


Franklin International 5005 Versatile Wood Glue
Technical Specifications:
  • Franklin International 5005 Titebond II premium wood glue is versatile glue ideal for all kinds of woodwork.
  • It provides a strong initial tack and is excellent for sanding.
  • The water-resistant glue is ideal for interior and exterior work and sets quickly.
  • The number 1 selling formula is easy to clean with water.
  • Franklin International 5005 Titebond II premium wood glue has strong adhesion.
  • It is water-resistant.
  • It’s available in a 32oz-sized bottle.
  • You can use this glue to clean vinyl records. Apply a thin layer, let it dry and peel it off. The dust comes off from the grooves.
Pros
Trustworthy and reliable glue
Strong adhesion
The glue is easy to clean and the dispensing tip does not get clogged with dried glue
Cons
Expensive

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DAP 00157 Rapid Fuse Fast Ready to Plane Sand and Stain Woodwork Glue


DAP 00157 Rapid Fuse Fast Ready to Plane Sand and Stain Woodwork Glue
Technical Specifications:
  • Rapid fuse wood glue also works on metal, glass, and rubber.
  • It allows repositioning for up to three minutes.
  • This wood glue forms a clear bond: no foam, no dripping, no mess.
  • DAP 00157 sets in 30 seconds and cures in 30 minutes.
  • Apart from gluing wood, you can also use it for particle boards, metal, glass, ABS, stone, steel, and melamine.
Pros
Strong adhesion
Makes woodworking easy and fast
Allows repositioning when done within a few minutes
Cons
The glue tends to harden in the bottle.

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FastCap 80070 2P-10 All-Purpose Jel Adhesive


FastCap 80070 2P-10 All-Purpose Jel Adhesive
Technical Specifications:
  • 2P-10 Jel formula is great for trim carpentry.
  • The glue does not run and that means less mess.
  • It sets in 10 seconds and cures in 30 seconds.
  • FastCap 80070 2P-10 has a two-year shelf-life.
  • When used without the activator, it gives you a little time to reposition your pieces
Pros
No runny mess
Fast curing action
All-purpose application
Cons
Needs an activator separately

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Glue for MDF: FAQs

Does PVA Glue Stick to MDF?

MDF is made by pressing together wood pieces and wood chips in hot hydraulic presses. PVA-based glues are ideal for MDF because they set quickly, are inexpensive, and also have the lowest toxicity. However, the only downside to gluing MDF sheets together with PVA glue is that it may not be very water-resistant. In case the woodwork is going to be exposed to water, other kinds of adhesives may be a better choice.

How Do You Seal MDF with PVA Glue?

PVA is perfect for sealing and locking down wood grain, stiffening and strengthening the fibers and making them easier to sand. You can make your own PVA glue size for sealing MDF sheets by mixing 1 part PVA glue (commercially available white or yellow varieties) with 10 parts water. Here is a video showing the process of gluing MDF with PVA glue in detail.

Is PVA Glue the Same as Elmer’s Glue?

Yes, school glue or Elmer’s glue is PVA glue. PVA glue is known by many different names, including wood glue, white glue, yellow glue, carpenter’s glue, etc. However, there is also a category of Elmer’s glue that specifically says it is used for woodwork.

Conclusion

Selecting the best glue for MDF or woodworking need not be a sticky proposition. The fact is that there is no one all-purpose glue for woodworking, but there are an awful lot of glues out there that can create a bond stronger than wood.

For general woodworking jobs and for sealing MDF sheets, we recommend the Titebond 5004 II Premium wood glue because it is non-toxic, easy to work with, and also great for furniture making as well as general indoor woodworking applications. We hope the above reviews help you make an informed choice when selecting the best MDF glue for your project.

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