One of the most common questions that we have seen from people is asking what is the best glue for metal. This is a more complicated question that it might seem at first though… Metal can be a trick surface to glue things to. Not every glue is equally effective for all materials, so you will need to look for a glue that is specifically designed to work for your materials.
You also need to make sure that you are following the instructions for the glue you select. Some glue has specific preparation instructions, such as cleaning the surfaces with a degreaser or detergent. Also, there are different cure times that you’ll need to keep in mind as well – don’t make the mistake of not leaving the project to sit long enough to cure correctly! Trust me!
We have compiled a list of the best options out there for glueing various things to metal. If you have any suggestions, or feel like we are missing something, please leave a comment and let us know!
Best Glues For Metals – 2019
Glue for Metal to Metal
The best glue that we recommend for metal to metal is JB Weld’s KwickWeld. This is a two-part epoxy system with a 1:1 mix ratio that ‘cold welds’ metals together for a long lasting and a bond that is stronger than steel! This will work on many other surfaces as well, but is an ideal alternative to torch welding two metals together. The bond is permanent and can be filed, sanded and dripped after it has fully cured in 4-6 hours.
The process to use this glue is simple; squeeze out an equal amount from each tube, mix and apply to the metals being glued together. It will set after 6 minutes, so you have time to make sure the metal pieces are in the correct position before it’s too late to correct. But be aware, once this metal to metal glue has fully cured, this has an unbelievably strong tensile strength rating of 2424 PSI!
Glue for Plastic to Metal
This glue is strong! It offers permanent adhesion and is fast set. Not only is this the best glue for plastic to metal applications, it is also a good option for many other surfaces that you might need to glue together. This is a great option for those projects that require a durable bond that dries clear, which is ideal when a clean and easy finish is to be applied later. One thing to note, this is solvent resistant, so once it is on your surface, it is going to be difficult to get off!
The applicator uses a dual syringe system with resin on one side and the hardener on the other. This is ideal because when the plunger is pressed it will dispense an even amount of both, this ensures that a consistent mix ratio is used every time. And because the resin and the hardener are stored separately, you can be sure that this won’t harden in the tube! This is a great if you only need a little bit for your project and want to use more down the road for something else.
Note: To improve adhesion between metal to metal, make sure to roughen up any smooth surfaces and that everything is clean and dry before gluing them together.
Glue for Glass to Metal
This stuff is perfect for gluing glass to metal. It has construction strength adhesion that allows for load bearing applications. The trick with this stuff is that it does require an extra step to cure fully. Once the glass and metal have been glued together, you will need to use florescent light to speed up the curing process. This sounds like a pain, but it’s really not that difficult. In fact, there are a lot of other options on the market but they require ultraviolet light to cure..most people have florescent lights in their home, not ultraviolet lighting.
Here is a quick video showing this process:
Glue for Metal to Wood
When most people think of gluing wood together, they think of Elmer’s glue. I think we can all agree that at some point, we have all used this brand of glue at some point for something. After all, this brand has been around for over 60 years!
This is the glue to use when you want to glue metal to wood, for both interior and exterior applications. This stuff actually uses REAL wood fibers in it’s formula which helps to absorb stain when you are finishing that woodworking project – the last thing you want after working hard on a piece of furniture is the glue showing through the stain you have selected.
Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue is strong too. The wood that is glued together will typically break before the glue bond will!
Check out this video to see how the company tests the strength if their glue!
Best Glue for Metal Buyers Guide
What Can Metal Be Glued To?
Until recently, gluing metal to just about anything wasn’t reliable enough. Most of the time, metal was either bolted to other materials or it was welded. This limited the number of materials that metal could be used with. Believe it or not, it is now possible to glue metal to the following materials:
- Steel, aluminum, iron, copper, brass and bronze
- Glass, mirrors
- Fabrics, leather, vinyl
Metal Glue Selection
What you are trying to glue together will determine what adhesive you will end up using. Things to consider before selecting a glue:
- What are you trying to glue together?
- How much surface are you covering in glue?
- Does the surface(s) need to be prepared before glue is applied?
- How do you plan to apply the glue to the surfaces?
Also, what you the glued object is going to be used for will also determine what adhesive to use. Consider the following:
- How strong does the bond need to be?
- Will it need to be waterproof?
- Will it experience extreme temperatures?
Metal Glue Chemistries
Make sure that you are selecting a glue that has the correct chemistry for the job. You wouldn’t want to use a crafting glue, such a glue stick or hot glue as your adhesive of choice for gluing metal to anything, they are just not strong enough to withstand any serious usage.
- Cyanoacrylates bond very quickly and can be used on a variety of different materials. These types of glue are easy to clean up any messes before they are cured. You can use Acetone as a solvent to wipe any spills.
- Epoxies are great for more extreme situations. A good epoxy will maintain a hard and durable bond that can be used on many surfaces. Epoxies are typically two-part systems that have the epoxy and a hardener that must be mixed together before it will cure properly. Depending on the brand, it is usually a 1:1 or a 2:1 mixing ratio, so if you get this ratio wrong, you’re going to have a bad time getting it to cure correctly!
- Polyurethane comes in one-part and 2-part systems that is a great multipurpose glue. Usually, clamping is going to be required while the glue is curing to reach maximum strength.
Gluing Metal Tips
Make sure that you follow the manufacturers specifications for the glue you are using. Some glue (such as polyurethane) can cause respiratory issues and skin irritations. If you are concerned about how to use any chemical product safely, refer to the Safety Data Sheet that should be made available.
Metal glue isn’t perfect!
Don’t expect metal glue to be perfect. Sometimes a permanent bond isn’t possible, especially if you haven’t followed the directions correctly!
Make sure you allow the glue joint to cure correctly before handling. Some cure faster than others, so refer to the Technical Data sheet supplied by the manufacturer (if they supply one, some don’t).
Clean and prepare the surface!
Be sure to clean the surfaces of your objects before attempting to glue them together. If you leave any dirt, oils or other imperfections it can negatively affect the final bond result.