Cyanoacrylate Adhesive Choices

Woodworkers have noticed differences in performance among different brands of CA adhesive. September 19, 2009

I am in the furniture repair and refinishing business and find myself using CA glues more and more often. So far, I almost use the gel type exclusively. As I shop around for "CA Glue Deals", I was wondering if there are any real differences among the many brands. I don't mean the different viscosities, but rather, the strength of the glue itself. Have some of you had extensive experience with different brands especially working with wood repair? Occasionally, I've seen small tubes of gel in "dollar stores" as opposed to say Lowes. What do you think? Is the basic chemical make-up the same? CA is CA? So far, my experience has been "no difference."

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From Jeff Pitcher, forum technical advisor:
In general, you're right. There is little, if any, real performance difference between the major brands of competing CA. There are "high performance" CAís designed for more "high-tech" applications such as the aerospace industry but for your purposes one brand isn't necessarily better than another. I would be a bit cautious about buying bargain brands at the Dollar store however because you could be dealing with product that has been cheapened or is old.

From contributor C:
I've found a difference. I tried Starbond who sells larger amounts, like 16 oz bottles. Their KEG 2000 was very good, but the EM 2000 was poor. Both were high viscosity but the seller indicated the KEG was 4x stronger (and 2x as expensive). Clearly, they can weaken it if they wish. I was very disappointed with the EM and not sure why they offer an inferior product within their own product line. I also used Flash, which I buy in 8 oz bottles. It was as good as the KEG 2000, at the price of the EM 2000. I think it pays to try different things. Let me know if you have a favorite that I should try.

From contributor D:
We have seen a huge difference in the quality of CA glue. Some cure white when using the activator other stay clear. The bond strength can really very as well. The test is an endgrain to engrain joint placed under pressure with a gauge to test breaking point. I think there can be as much as 4x the shear and tensile strength from one product to the next. The best value we have found for quality product that cures clear and with a strong bond is FastCaps 2p10. It is available from most cabinet supply companies.

From contributor V:
I have currently gone to using the FatCap brand due to its larger sizes. As to strength I donít really find it any different than any of the rest I have used. I have always been a little disappointed in CA's anyway. I use them mostly in mesquite work, for filling smaller cracks and voids that epoxy will not work on.