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Liquid Nails vs Wood Glue

Liquid Nails vs Wood Glue

If you are planning on engaging in any type of construction, renovation or even in woodworking and carpentry, then something that you are definitely going to need is a good type of adhesive. Now, when it comes to woodworking, carpentry and general construction, two of the most popular adhesive types that you can use are liquid nails and wood glue.

Now, both are fairly versatile types of adhesives that can be used for a fairly wide variety of tasks, but with that being said, liquid nails and wood glue are not at all the same things. Let’s find out exactly what liquid nails is and what wood glue is, and then what the differences between them are. Our main goal for today is to help you figure out which of these two products is better for specific tasks. So let’s get to it.

Liquid Nails J-B Weld KwikWood Wood Repair
Liquid Nails J-B Weld KwikWood

Main Component: PU, Silicone, or Latex

Application Scale: All sorts of construction

Materials: Everything but smooth plastic

Curing Time: 12 to 48 hours

Toxicity: Minimal

Main Component: PVA

Application Scale: Woodworking

Materials: Wood, paper, fabric

Curing Time: 12 to 48 hours

Toxicity: Very

Liquid Nails Review

Liquid Nails Review

The first product that we are here to look at is liquid nails. Now, to be clear, this is actually a brand name, not a product in itself, but with that being said, they do have one flagship product that people usually purchase over all others. This flagship product is liquid nails all purpose construction adhesive and this is the product that we are here to look at today.

What is Liquid Nails?

In this case, liquid nails all purpose construction and he sieve, as the name implies, is an adhesive design for construction related purposes. To be clear, this is actually a brand of construction adhesives, most of which are designed for extremely heavy duty construction work. What is interesting to note, generally speaking, is that liquid nails all purpose heavy duty construction. Adhesive usually comes in a tube such as a caulking tube, not in a regular little bottle such as most other adhesives come in.

Purchase link: Buy Liquid Nails at Amazon

What is Liquid Nails Made of?

What is Liquid Nails Made of

OK, so if we are talking about liquid nails construction adhesive, these are generally made out of either polyurethane or silicone. Exactly what the glue in question is made out of depends on the exact product that you get. With that being said, personally if you are going for construction and repair purposes, we recommend going for the acrylic latex type. As you can tell, liquid nails construction with pieces can be made out of polyurethane, silicone, or acrylic latex. Of course, what the adhesive in question is made out of depends on the specific product you get.

What is Liquid Nails Used for?

Of course, exactly what liquid nails is used for does depend on the exact product that you purchase. However, with that being said, as you can probably guess, it is generally used as an all purpose construction adhesive, or as an all purpose extreme heavy duty construction adhesive.

Purchase link: Buy Liquid Nails at Amazon

How Liquid Nails Works

How Liquid Nails Works

Once again, exactly how liquid nails adhesive works depends on the exact type you get, because exactly how it works will depend on the main component contained inside of the adhesive.

  • If we are talking about liquid nails polyurethane glue, then it works by coming into contact with moisture. Once the glue comes into contact with moisture, a chemical reaction occurs that will cause it to harden and cure.
  • If we are talking about silicone sealants or silicone glues, then these cure simply by drying or in other words, by allowing the moisture to evaporate out of them.
  • We are talking about latex sealants and glues. These dry and cure in the same way as those made out of silicone or in other words they dry.

Drying Time

Of course, how long liquid nails takes to dry and cure depends on the exact product you get. But with that said, for all three of the main different types, which are latex, silicone, and polyurethane, you can expect them to take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours to achieve a full cure. Now beware that in terms of drying and curing time, when it comes to both latex and silicone, it is essential that the air is fairly dry, whereas for polyurethane glues it is essential that there is a good bit of moisture in the air.

Purchase link: Buy Liquid Nails at Amazon

Is Liquid Nails Toxic?

While liquid nails may cause some upset stomachs and digestive issues if ingested, generally speaking, once the product is totally cured, it is no longer toxic. With that being said, while the product is still wet, it can release some noxious fumes that can also be irritating to your respiratory system.

Different Types of Liquid Nails

There are a few different products for you to choose from here including small repairs and projects, heavy duty construction adhesive, silicone sealant, Fuze it, and more.

Wood Glue Review

Now that we know exactly what liquid nails is, let’s take a look at the other product that we want to examine today, wood glue. As you can probably tell, although it can do more than just glue wood, wood glue does have a very specific purposes.

What is Wood Glue?

Wood Glue Review

What glue, as you can probably tell, is a specific type of glue designed especially for gluing wood. Now for those of you who don’t know. Wood glue is also referred to as white glue, school glue, or carpenters glue. Do keep in mind that besides the white wood glue, there is also yellow wood glue out there, but they’re both made out of the same compounds.

If we’re being scientific about it, it is known as PVA or polyvinyl acetate glue. Now if you get high quality wood glue, it is a product that you can use for wood and some other surfaces, and moreover if it’s a good product it may also be used outdoors for wet conditions.

Purchase link: Buy J-B Weld KwikWood at Amazon

What is Wood Glue Made of?

The most common type of wood glue out there is Poly vinyl acetate or PVA glue. PVA is a widely available adhesive that is used for porous materials such as paper, wood, and cloth. To be clear, Poly vinyl acetate as an aliphatic rubbery synthetic polymer that belongs to the polyvinyl Ester family. Polyvinyl acetate is prepared through the polymerization of the vinyl acetate monomer. To put it in simplest terms, it is a synthetic resident.

What is Wood Glue Used for?

What is Wood Glue Used for

Well, as we have covered several times and as you can probably assume based on the name of it, wood glue is used for gluing wood. So, it is mainly used for carpentry purposes and for repairs. With that being said, wood glue also has the ability to stick to other very porous surfaces, such as paper, cardboard, and various types of cloth and fabrics. When it comes down to it, the number one use of wood glue is of course for carpentry. It’s often used in conjunction with nails or screws in order to create a much secure bond.

Purchase link: Buy Elmer’s Wood Glue Max at Amazon

How Wood Glue Works

In terms of how it works, wood glue is indeed one of the simplest types of glues out there. PVA glue keyboards. By drying or in other words, it needs the water inside of it to evaporate when the water inside of it evaporates, the rest of the compound becomes solid. Keep in mind that this type of glue dries fastest at room temperature and when there is good air circulation going on.

Drying Time

The unfortunate reality here is that what glue does not dry or cure very quickly, you will most likely need to clamp the two materials together for about an hour. Moreover, if the joint is stressed, it will need to be clamped for at least 24 hours. For wood glue to properly dry and cure, it is going to take between 24 and 48 hours depending on the temperature and moisture levels in the air.

Purchase link: Buy Gorilla Wood Glue at Amazon

Is Wood Glue Toxic?

Is Wood Glue Toxic

What is somewhat surprising to note is the fact that wood glue is actually quite toxic, and the reason for this is because it usually contains formaldehyde and extremely toxic material that can cause extreme health side effects as well as even death in some cases. Therefore, when working with Poly, vinyl acetate wood glue that contains formaldehyde, you want to wear a respiratory mask, especially if you are working with large quantities of it. It is also recommended that you wear gloves as well as eye protection.

What Brand of Wood Glue is Best?

There are a few really good brands of wood glue that you can go for, including Elmer’s, Gorilla, Glue Masters, Titebond, and J-B Weld.

Purchase link: Buy Titebond II Premium Wood Glue at Amazon

Comparing Liquid Nails vs Wood Glue

Now that we know what both wood glue and liquid nails are, let’s do a side by side comparison of the two to figure out exactly which one you need for your next job.


All right, so if you are doing carpentry, whether you are building a new cabinet or repairing an old chair, what you probably want to use is wood glue. Wood glue is generally cheaper than liquid nails construction adhesive, and if you are just joining two pieces of wood together, then it will work just fine. With that being said, your regular PVA wood glue is not overly water resistant, at least not if you don’t get a special outdoor variety.

Moreover, regular PVA wood glue is also not overly heat resistant and it can melt if it reaches very high temperatures. On that same note, PVA wood glue is also not overly resistant to solvents. If you need an extremely durable bond, one that won’t be undone by water, moisture, or most solvents than it is liquid nails that you want to go for. Liquid nails also has the ability to stick to more materials than normal wood glue doves.


What glue is designed specifically to work with wood and other porous materials such as paper, cardboard, felt, textiles and other fabrics. The reason why liquid nails is so much more versatile than what glue is due to the fact that it has the ability to stick to many more surface is then what glue does. Generally speaking, the only thing that liquid nails construction adhesive won’t stick to are extremely smooth plastics and other extremely smooth surfaces such as glass. For this reason it is an adhesive of choice when it comes to construction, because you can bond wood to wood, metal to metal, metal to porous plastics, rocks to wood, and so on and so forth.


OK, so while wood glue does have a decent amount of strength, the simple reality is that it is usually used in conjunction with nails and screws because the glue alone is generally not strong enough to bear much weight. On the other hand, liquid nails, heavy duty construction adhesive that has the ability to bear a whole lot of weight, and it has a lot of impact resistance to liquid nails is definitely the much stronger of the two, but of course at the cost.


In order to clean up liquid nails, you are going to need acetone to dissolve it, but for normal word glue, if you don’t get a very high quality option, some water might be enough to do the trick. The bottom line here is that normal wood glue is definitely way easier to clean up, than liquid nails construction adhesive.

Health Warnings

Although you definitely do not want to ingest liquid nails construction at lease if once it is fully cured it is not overly toxic. On the other hand, what glues usually contains formaldehyde, which is very toxic and even calls for the use of a respirator, gloves, and goggles.

Differences Between

The main difference between the two here is really that would glue can only be used for wood and other very similar materials, whereas liquid nails heavy duty construction adhesive can be used for everything except for extremely smooth plastic. Moreover, liquid nails just forms a much stronger bond that is way more resistant to moisture, solvents, and heat.


Is Liquid Nails Stronger than Wood Glue?

Yes, it is much stronger than wood glue and also more resistant to heat and moisture.

What is the Shelf Life of Liquid Nails?

The shelf life of this product is 2 years.

What is the Shelf Life of Wood Glue?

Shelf life of PVA wood glue is between one and two years.

Is Wood Glue Waterproof?

Unless you get a special outdoor variety, then no, wood glue is not waterproof.

Is Liquid Nails Waterproof?

Liquid nails construction adhesive is waterproof.

Is Liquid Nails Worth the Money?

Most people would agree that spending a little bit extra on liquid nails is well worth it, considering the fact that it is extremely strong and long lasting.
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