Titebond and Elmers are the two industry leaders in wood glues. Both brands have various products with excellent bonding strengths and some special characteristics that make it hard to choose which way to go for your next project.
Unless you are wallowing in money and months of free time, you might not be in a position to test each product to identify the best option for your needs.
So, this Titebond vs Elmers wood glue comparison should come in handy. It offers you a comprehensive insight into each brand to help you decide from the point of information.
Titebond Vs Elmers Wood Glue – Which is Better?
Some third-party tests put Titebond ahead of Elmer’s Carpenter’s glue in strength, waterproof rating, and eco-friendliness. Other tests also place Elmer’s glue as the better choice.
Overall, both products are tried and true in nearly every aspect, making them close contestants. It is challenging to decide between Titebond and Elmer’s wood glues without comparing specific aspects.
They both boast high resistance to water, versatility, and superior strength. Below, you will learn how the two brands compare in various aspects and see which option may be ideal for your woodworking projects.
But first, here is a look at each of them.
About Titebond Wood Glue
Titebond wood glue is touted as the industry standard for woodworking. This yellow glue creates a strong initial tack and dries and sets pretty fast, reducing its clamp time.
And according to the manufacturer, a Titebond bond is generally stronger than the wood itself, making it ideal for joining pieces of wood together. You can also sand it and apply your preferred wood finish over it.
The Titebond brand offers a wide variety of wood adhesives, perhaps its main differentiator from Elmer’s.
They typically present you with various questions to help you choose the most suitable type for your specific project. Then, they recommend the best product for your project based on your responses.
Pros of Titebond wood glues
While Titebond has numerous products under its name, they all share some key characteristics and strengths. Read along to learn these shared pros of Titebond wood glues.
- It boasts a low application temperature. You can use Titebond glues outdoors, in cold winter weather without a problem. It will dry and set. This can be a huge advantage if you live in a chilly location with no way to control the weather.
- The glues are waterproof. Titebond wood glues boast a special water-resistance rating due to their ability to handle high humidity levels without affecting the quality of the bond formed.
- Titebond is FDA-approved. The glue is entirely non-toxic, earning it the US FDA safety certification. This means Titebond is safe to use for woodworking projects likely to come in contact with food, such as countertops, knife holders, and cutting boards.
- Extreme strength. Titebond glues have superior strength, creating bonds stringer than wood itself after completely setting. This is hands down the most important quality of Titebond glues, making them functional and reliable.
Cons of Titebond wood glues
- Perhaps the main disadvantage of Titebond glues is that they do not dry clean. The glues have a characteristic yellowish tint that remains visible when the adhesive is dry.
- Titebond is slightly more expensive than Elmer’s.
About Elmer’s Wood Glue
- 8 ounce bottle of Carpenter's Wood Glue
- Great for carpentry and home repairs
- Non-toxic, no harmful fumes and easy to clean up with water
- Bonds stronger than wood
- This is an aftermarket of generic part
Elmer’s carpenter’s wood glue is a fast-setting, strong-bonding adhesive formulated to bond stronger than the wood itself.
Elmer’s strong bond’s tried and true quality makes it Titebond’s main competition in every aspect. Professional carpenters and DIYers like it for its reliability and quick-setting quality.
Additionally, you can sand and paint over the glued wood surface as it dries into a solid material. The glue also allows for easy cleaning with water.
The main difference between this glue and Titebond is that the latter is available in a wide variety, while Elmer’s is a one-size-fits-all, so you will not have the option to choose from various adhesive types with Elmer’s.
Pros of Elmer’s wood glue
Here is a look at some of the main reasons to choose Elmer’s for your woodworking projects.
- Extreme Strength. For most people, the main reason for choosing Elmer’s is the quality of its bond. The glue is designed to be stronger than wood after drying fully.
- The glue is affordable. Despite its superior strength, Elmer’s wood glue costs much less than many other options on the market.
- It is non-toxic. Though Elmer’s wood glue does not have the same FDA certification that Titebond enjoys, it is non-toxic and therefore suitable for use without worrying about wearing protective face masks, gloves, or eyewear.
- It dries clear. Perhaps Elmer’s most unique feature over Titebond is how it dries clear. This means you can paint over it without worrying about color bleeding. It also allows you to enjoy your wood’s natural color if you prefer to maintain it.
Elmer’s wood glue cons
- Elmer’s wood glue is not without limitations. For starters, its waterproof rating is lower than Titebond. It may not hold too well against high humidity exposure.
Elmer’s vs Titebond Wood Glue – side by side
Titebond and Elmer’s wood glue have some close similarities. However, this section offers a detail-by-detail look at how the two types of wood glue compare.
Both Titebond and Elmer’s wood types of glue are industry leaders in terms of strength. This is by far the main reason they are the two most popular wood glue brands.
The closeness in strength is mainly because the two have a similar basic formulation, with only minor differences.
The adhesives dry to form solid bonds stronger than the wood itself. Some independent tensile strength tests often place Titebond ahead of Elmer’s, while others find Elmer’s glue to possess greater tensile strength.
So, the two are a close match in tensile strength, and you can go either way if strength is your only consideration. However, in most cases, you will want to look at a few more aspects before making a decision.
Titebond premium wood glue is among the fastest drying, with a setting time of 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the ambient temperatures and wood moisture content.
All Titebond glue types tend to dry pretty quickly. For instance, their polyurethane glue requires clamping for about 45 minutes and is completely cured within 6 hours.
Elmer’s is equally fast drying, with recommended clamp time of 20 to 30 minutes. The glue then achieves full bond within 24 hours.
Drying time is another area where the two glue types rank closely based on these figures. In general, here’s how long wood glue take to dry and cure.
Toxicity and environmental impact
Both Titebond and Elmer’s carpenters wood glue are entirely safe for the environment. As such, they do not require any special disposal methods.
Still, Titebond boasts a greater safety profile than Elmer’s. Its FDA-approved classification means you can use it on woodworking projects likely to come in contact with food, such as a knife holder, kitchen countertop, and cutting board.
The glue is non-toxic and will not cause any health concerns.
Elmer’s wood glue is equally non-toxic but lacks the FDA certification that Titebond has. With its safety profile, you can use it without worrying about wearing protection such as face masks, gloves, and eyewear.
It won’t produce any toxic fumes when in use, so you can use it in a poorly ventilated area without affecting your health.
Titebond Premium adhesive will set you back a few extra dollars compared to Elmer’s carpenters wood glue. The Titebond II, Titebond III, and their cousins tend to have a bit of a higher price tag than their competition.
You will likely often spend $4 to $5 less on Elmer’s than you would on a corresponding Titebond option.
If your choice is based on maximizing your savings, Elmer’s will be your winner. Otherwise, you would have to be happy paying the extra price for the comparative advantages of Titebond.
Since the two glue options have numerous shared benefits, a DIYer should perhaps be happy with the lower price option.
Moisture and weather resistance
Both Titebond and Elmer’s wood glue are waterproof. However, Titebond has the edge over the competition due to its special water-resistance rating that qualifies it to handle high humidity levels.
Elmer’s lacks the high water-resistance rating, which may be a relative disadvantage for outdoor projects.
Titebond has a wide variety of wood adhesive types under its name. This can go a long way in ensuring you find a glue type with the best-suited formula for whatever project you wish to complete.
Often, the company has a list of questions to answer when shopping on its website to help you identify the ideal formula for your project.
Whether your project is a craft or professional one, interior or exterior, exposed to water or not, involves gluing wood-to-wood or wood to another material; the prompt will help you identify the best product for your project.
In contrast, Elmer’s lacks variety, so you may not have much differentiation if you have various projects. You only work with the same product across your entire project portfolio.
While it may appear as a limitation, Elmer’s one-size-fits-all formula is a potential advantage to some people. Elmer’s is your best bet if you do not prefer to determine the best specific glue from a range.
About Other Wood Glues
Titebond and Elmer’s are not the only best wood glue types on the market. Others, such as Gorilla wood glue, Gorilla clear glue, Evo-Stik exterior glue, and other PVA glues have some appealing features, including a 10 minute drying time.
Nonetheless, Titebond and Elmers remain the leading contenders in terms of strength. Since the primary role of wood glue is to attach wood pieces together, you may not want to wander too far from the option promising the strongest bond.
Titebond Glue Types
Titebond offers a complete range of wood glues for practically every application. For instance, there is Titebond I for interior use only, water-resistant Titebond II for humid or moist environments, and waterproof Titebond III for water-prone applications.
More specifically, here is a list of Titebond products you are likely to use:
- Titebond Original I
- Titebond Premium II
- Titebond Ultimate III
- Titebond Quick and Thick
- Titebond Genuine Hide Glue
- Titebond Translucent Wood Glue
- Titebond Extend Wood Glue
- Titebond Polyurethane Liquid Glue
Is Elmer’s glue waterproof
Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue is not resistant to water and is best used indoors. However, the Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max is resistant to both heat and water. Additionally, Elmer’s Glue-All MAX is waterproof, making it suitable for outdoor applications.
Is Elmer’s wood glue toxic?
No. Elmer’s wood glue is entirely non-toxic, so it does not require any special disposal method. Neither do you have to wear any protective gear when handling it—such as hand gloves, eyeglasses, and face mask.
Is Elmer’s glue good for wood?
Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue is touted as America’s favorite wood glue for contractors and homeowners alike. The carpenter’s glue is ideal for use across various wood types and provides a bond that is stronger than the wood itself when dry.
It also dries clear, which is perfect for preserving the wood’s natural color or painting without color bleeding problems.
How strong is Elmer’s glue?
Elmer’s wood glue dries to form a bond believed to be stronger than the wood itself. The glue can produce tensile strengths above 5000 lbs. on average.
Does Elmer’s wood glue dry clear?
Yes, Elmer’s wood glue is among the few wood adhesives that are clear in a liquid state and maintain their clear form when dry.
How much is wood glue
The price of a gallon of Titebond wood glue starts from $25.01. You are likely to spend less by at least $4 per unit when you buy Elmer’s instead. Elmer’s wood glue generally costs less than Titebond and a few other wood glue brands.
Notice that prices will vary depending on how much glue you are buying.
Titebond Vs Elmers Wood Glue Verdict
Both Titebond and Elmer’s are phenomenal glue types for professional and DIY applications. However, you must decide between them if you are going to use them on your woodworking projects.
While deciding between such close contestants is usually challenging, this detailed comparison should help cut out your work for you.
Carefully consider the various glue types’ specific features alongside your intended application to identify the most suitable option.
If your project is outdoors, you will want something with excellent waterproofing qualities, such as Titebond. Otherwise, Elmer’s should help save you money for an indoor project.
Also, learn how to remove glue from wood in case you messed up and want to redo your project.