For most people, Liquid Nails and wood glue might seem interchangeable. They are both incredibly versatile construction adhesives and are useful in multiple projects.

However, when you dig deeper, you will realize that these are not, in fact, as alike as they sound. So, when choosing between Liquid Nails or wood glue, which is better?

Construction adhesives like Liquid Nails have a formulation, especially for bonding. Wood glues are used only for wooden materials. Liquid nails are generally used for heave tasks such as bathroom and tile repairs. Wood glues use wood glue.

This article will help you understand which of the two construction adhesives is an ideal choice for your work. Let’s get started!

Liquid Nails vs Wood Glue

Liquid Nails’ bond is stronger for objects with irregular or different surfaces. PVA wood glue, on the other hand, can be used only for bonding two tight-fitting wood pieces. Liquid Nails is the name of an adhesive brand and is better than wood glue since you can use it on multiple objects and surfaces.

An Overview of Construction Adhesives

Construction adhesives are critical elements in both carpentry and woodworking. You can use both wood glue and Liquid Nails for indoor and outdoor applications.

In both cases, buying the formulation especially designated for the purpose is critical. A comprehensive understanding of different construction adhesives will help you choose better.

What is Liquid Nails?

Many people assume that Liquid Nails is the name of a type of glue, but instead, it is the name of a brand of construction adhesives used for heavy-duty construction work.

This adhesive comes in different formulas – 39 for interior and 23 for exterior use. Liquid Nails adhesives are so popular because they are extremely compatible with bonding nonporous materials.

It is also perfect for applications that require fast grab and set-up time. Additionally, this construction adhesive brand helps glue surfaces that may have gaps.

Once you apply this construction adhesive onto a surface, it will create the strongest bond of all adhesives. Also, it leaves a long-lasting hold after it dries up.

Origin of Liquid Nails

Liquid Nails has a long history and began operations in 1964. It all began in 1948 when an Ohio-based company called Macco Adhesives created products for the plastic wall tile market.

Two decades later, in 1964, the company introduced its first construction adhesive called PA-12. To name it better, more precise, and up to the product’s actual function, Macco named it ‘Liquid Nails.’

Pros and Cons of Liquid Nails


  • Liquid Nails glue is super easy to clean up and remove from skin. You will not face any challenge or difficulty with this feature of this heavy-duty adhesive.
  • Another best part about this construction adhesive is that there is no odor when applying the glue. It is beneficial for people who are allergic to the smells or fumes of construction adhesives. 
  • It is made of non-toxic elements and is safe for most construction use. You can easily use the adhesive without worrying about toxic fumes for indoor and outdoor use.
  • It is extremely fast drying and does not leave you waiting for long hours. If you do not like wet glue, you will be impressed by the quick dry time of ‘Liquid Nails.’
  • It is also water-resistant, meaning it will not undergo any damage due to water. Applying coats of this glue will make any surface waterproof. 
  • It comes in various formulas for both indoor and outdoor applications. For indoor ones, the formula available is 39, and for exterior use, it is 23.
  • If you often choose DIY projects, craft, or furniture projects, ‘Liquid Nails’ is a great choice as it is a super construction adhesive and solves all your requirements.


  • Various woods may require different formulas. Hence, you will need to focus on the type of formula that you are using for a particular object.
  • Since it is made up of different formulas, you cannot use exterior grade formulas for indoor use and vice versa.


You can use Liquid Nails in the following ways:

  • Bonding nonporous objects other than wood
  • In bonding gaps in objects
  • For construction needs
  • When the adhesive has up to a week of drying and curing time

The Best Type of Liquid Nails Glue for Work

There are multiple types of Liquid Nails glue for whichever construction purpose you need it for. However, Liquid Nails 56198673380 is the best type to provide you with optimum quality and results.

This Liquid Nails glue is an all-purpose hybrid construction adhesive that is best for indoor and outdoor use. It has a low odor and is suitable for all weather conditions- cold, dry, hot, or humid. You can use it from 0° to 140°.

Additionally, it bonds with almost any material with a five times stronger bond. You can use it for all nonporous surfaces to create a permanent bond.

What is Wood Glue?

The definition of wood glue is exactly what the name suggests- it is used to glue wood and all products made out of wood. The term represents a group of products that effectively bond two wood materials together.

There are many different types of wood glues that have been used over the years. The most popular type of wood glues are:

All the types of wood glues have various characteristics like different drying times, bonding times, and strengths. These characteristics help you decide which glue is best for a specific application or porous surface.

Origin of Wood Glue

The earliest type of wood glue traces its origin from around 2000 BC. The earliest wood glues were animal glues, meaning they were made of animal products.

After hunting the animal, its collagen was used from boiling hides, which had excellent adhesive properties. Animal glues are still used in some objects like woodwork conservation and musical instruments.

However, synthetic glues have become a much more popular choice since they are cheaper and have better adhesive properties.

Pros and Cons of Wood Glue


  • Wood glue has one of the best drying times. This allows you to get the work done on time without waiting for it to be fully cured.
  • It is made of synthetic elements that are generally non-toxic and safe for you to use. So, you can use the glue without worrying about harmful fumes.
  • Wood glue has excellent strength for filling gaps, joining materials, or repairing small cracks. It can help you fix small and big objects alike.
  • There are multiple types and varieties available for different purposes and applications. You can select your wood glue type based on your repair or bonding requirements.
  • It is one of the most inexpensive glues, helping you save money. Plus, it is also readily available.


  • Different wood materials may require different formulas of wood glue
  • Exterior grade glues cannot be used for interior projects

The Best Type of Wood Glue for Work

Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue 1414, Perfect for...
  • Provide a much stronger bond than the wood itself
  • Offer excellent heat-resistance and are very easy to sand
  • Are water cleanup while still wet

When it comes to wood glue and its types, there are many available for every type of bonding wood requirement. However, if you want to use the best type, Titebond is a brand that will give the best results.

It is one of the better brands of wood glue that offers products for indoor and outdoor projects. It is a non-toxic and waterproof wood glue. Additionally, it creates a permanent bond that will not dry out once applied.

The different types of wood glues like PVA, polyvinyl acetate, etc., can vary in strength from 3,000 to 4,000 psi under this brand.

Liquid Nails Vs Wood Glue Head to Head

Both wood glue and Liquid Nails are two adhesives that bond other surfaces together, but this is all the similarity between them.

In the case of Liquid Nails, it is the name of the brand, while wood glue is an umbrella term for multiple types of glues and brands that fall under it.

This section will give a comparative analysis of the two adhesives based on certain factors.

Dry Period

The time it takes for the glue to dry is one of the major factors to consider when wanting a strong bond from the adhesives. If you’re in a rush and want a strong bond between two objects, wood glue will help you achieve that in 15 to 30 minutes.

After applying wood glue to the material, you need to hold the pieces together and apply pressure for a minute for the pieces to bond.

On the other hand, Liquid Nails may require a longer time frame for the glue to dry up completely. After applying the glue to the pieces, you need to hold the pieces together for 15 minutes. The glue may take up to 24 hours to dry up.

Cure Time

Cure time is another important factor to consider when choosing your adhesive. The glue needs to achieve its complete strength before it dries up. Wood glue is known for its quick drying time.

However, it takes a day or, in some cases, more for the bond to entirely cure. Until it cures completely, the joints are still prone to cracks.

Liquid Nails glues take even longer for the bond to strengthen and cure. You may have to clamp the pieces together for 24 hours, after which it may take the glue additional six days to cure and strengthen the bond.


When deciding between Liquid Nails and wood glue for their strength, you can easily trust the former to offer you the best results. It is a preferred option for nonporous objects and is great for joining materials.

However, even a construction adhesive as good as Liquid Nails can sometimes weaken over time and cause breakage. Wood glues aren’t the most effective when it comes to strength.

You may have to keep the object together with the help of screws, traditional joints, or nails. However, if you work with wooden objects, expect wood glues to offer a secure bond. Check out our review on the strongest wood glue in the world that offers the best bond.


This is another important factor that you need to consider before choosing the type of glue or adhesive you need. Wood glue is generally considered one of the safest options as it contains non-toxic elements.

If the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels are zero, you do not have to follow serious precautionary measures while using or applying it on surfaces.

Meanwhile, Liquid Nails is not as safe for use as wood glues. Since they are available in different formulas, you may have to ensure adequate ventilation, airflow, etc., when using Liquid Nails in a closed space.

Another safety measure is to use hand gloves and glasses to protect your eyes.

VOC Levels

When dealing with wood glue, you do not have to worry about the toxicity indoors or outdoors. All other wood glues have a similar type of concentration of elements as the school glue.

They contain no harmful or toxic compounds and are safe to use. Liquid Nails glues have high levels of volatile chemicals, which release toxic fumes.

Such harmful fumes can cause headaches, eye, and throat infections, nausea, and serious breathing issues. However, some formulas contain zero VOC levels, making them safe for indoor use.

Shelf Time

All types of glues have a best before date, but they usually last longer. Wood glue lasts longer in comparison to Liquid Nails. Wood glues usually have one to two years of shelf life when unopened. Some glues like Titebond can be used beyond two years.

On the other hand, experts recommend using Liquid Nails within one year of the manufacturing date. Exceeding it beyond the manufacturing date may cause the elements to harden.


The best thing to do when buying any glue is to purchase smaller quantities for a lesser cost. Purchasing gallons will cost you more than purchasing multiple smaller quantities.

Wood glue often may cost more than other construction adhesives available in the market. It can cost you anywhere between $3.38 to $20.

The cost of Liquid Nails is between $2 to $40, depending on the type of formula and use you purchase it for.


Since Liquid Nails come in various formulas, you can use them on various materials and surfaces. You can use this glue on materials like leather, ceramics, foam, plywood, metal, and glass.

Wood glue is specifically used for repairs or bonds related to wood. However, you can still use this glue to bond materials such as plastic, porcelain, or metal. It has many uses for DIY, outdoor, and indoor projects.

However, for wooden materials like teak, redwood, or cedar, you may have to sand them before applying the glue to them. Or you can also use acetone to wipe before applying the glue. And in case you want to break your wood glue joints, here’s how to unglue wood.


This process varies significantly between wood glues and Liquid Nails. The latter is very difficult to remove, whether from your skin on unintended surfaces. If it’s still wet in the early stages of staining, you can rinse it with soap and water.

You can use soap and water to remove it if it’s a latex-based formula. However, if it is a solvent-based formula, you can try using petroleum jelly to remove it. 

Wood glue can be peeled off and removed from your skin if you stain it. You can also rinse the area with water and soap to remove dried glue. This will also remove any remaining stickiness left behind by the glue.

See: Can you use e6000 on wood?


How strong is Liquid Nails?

Liquid Nails come in various formulas and variations for different purposes. It has a strength of 336 lbs to 1178 lbs. Liquid Nails glue has a strong bond with materials such as plywood, fiberglass, and foam.

What is the amount of weight that Liquid Nails can hold?

The weight that Liquid Nails can hold varies by product. One of the strongest formulas available is LN-3000 Fuze It Max. Its strength is around 1,700 psi after curing. The remaining formulas have lower shear strength than this one. Various products are based on the type of purpose or project, like paneling, molding, deck, subfloor, and drywall. Hence, the psi of various lines will be based on the material’s strength and weight.

What is the amount of weight that wood glue can hold?

The strength of wood glue is around 3,600 to 4,000 psi. That means the firmness of the bonding of wood glues can handle substantial force with no damage. When it comes to strength, wood glues are better in comparison with Liquid Nails.

Which glue is stronger?

The answer to this depends entirely on your use and the purpose of the glues. Liquid Nails glues are ideal for construction purposes and nonporous surfaces since they do not require soaking into surfaces for the pieces to form a bond. Wood glue, conversely, cures fully to porous wood or any other porous surface and creates a permanent hold. The strength of wood glue depends on the type of brand that you use.

How long does it take Liquid Nails to dry?

After the usual drying period of 15 to 60 minutes, it may take Liquid Nails up to seven days to reach its maximum strength with wood. During this period, it is essential to keep your material intact. Moving it frequently may cause it to break further. Liquid Nails glue takes a while to create strength and cure with any material. Hence, you need to leave it aside for a few days.

Is it possible to remove Liquid Nails from wood after application?

You can remove Liquid Nails with the help of a few things. You can apply heat with the help of a hair dryer directly to the glue. Once it softens, you can chip it off from the material. You can also use petroleum jelly to get rid of the residue glue. Apply the jelly and leave it for 24 hours to soften. If it has not softened after 24 hours, then leave it for 2-3 three days before trying to remove it.

Related read: How to take nails out of wood.

Is Liquid Nails a permanent solution?

Liquid Nails offers a strong bond to materials and may also be used for permanent solutions. There are chances that the material may break from another spot but probably not from where you applied the glue at. It will last you for a good while. Hence, you don’t have to doubt the quality of the glue.

Gorilla Glue vs. Liquid Glue – which is better?

Liquid Nails glue has multiple purposes and uses and comes with a shear strength of 336 lbs to 1178 pounds. Gorilla Glue has a firmness of 846 lbs, twice that of Liquid Nails glue. So, Gorilla Glue adhesive can offer you more strength for your projects.

When can you not use wood glue?

An ideal time to apply wood glue is when the temperature is not too hot. Hot temperatures can weaken their structural integrity.

How long does it take for glue to dry?

It takes Liquid Nails about 15 to 60 minutes to dry, and wood glue takes about 15 minutes to dry. During the drying period, it is essential to clamp the pieces together for a better and stronger bond between the pieces.

Liquid Nails Vs Wood Glue – Final Verdict

When choosing the best glue, the answer depends on your project type or requirement. When working with raw wood, it is better to use wood glue every time.

Several types available for indoor and outdoor projects offer good durability and strength. However, if you are working with treated wood or non-porous wood, Liquid Nails would be an ideal choice for the project.

It provides excellent bonding and strength, provided that the material does not undergo any stress.

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