What is the fastest setting glue


It happened so quickly: your favorite vase breaks, the teacup gets a flaw, a corner of the children's toys breaks off. Happy if you can quickly glue the broken pieces back on. Depending on the material, different types of glue are used, but the principle of gluing remains the same: The connection of parts by means of glue, which works through surface adhesion and internal strength (cohesion). The advantage of gluing: You can combine different materials, such as metal with plastic, wood with leather, porcelain with glass. With other connection techniques such as riveting, welding, dowelling or sewing, this is either impossible or only very limited.

Good to know: Adhesion refers to the sticking of the adhesive to the surface of a material. Cohesion, on the other hand, defines the final strength of an adhesive after curing.

Find the right adhesive

When gluing, it is easy to lose track of the many different adhesives and terms such as "universal", "all-purpose adhesive", "special adhesive" or "assembly adhesive". Which is the right glue for the broken glass vase or the broken sail of the children's wooden boat? In fact, in most cases different adhesives solve the problem, but some are better than others. In the following table we offer you an overview. The adhesives in parentheses work too, but not as well as the rest of them.

What is broken?

The right glue for it


Tile adhesive, flexible adhesive, fluid bed adhesive


Glass glue or UV-curing glue (also: silicone glue,
Hot glue, high-temperature silicone for oven glass or fireplace glass)


Wood on wood: wood glue, superglue;
Wood on other materials: two-component glue


hot glue


Leather glue, power or contact glue


Metal on metal: two-component epoxy adhesive;
Metal on another material: polyurethane glue
(also: superglue)


Hot glue, double-sided tape, paper glue, all-purpose glue

Porcelain or ceramics

Porcelain glue or acrylate two-component glue (also:
Super glue, epoxy two-component glue, power glue)


All Purpose Adhesive




Carpet glue, double-sided tape

What are the different types of glue?

Basically, adhesive types are divided into physically setting adhesives and chemically setting adhesives based on their setting mechanism. Another distinguishing criterion is the number of components - that is, one- or two-component adhesive. The one-component adhesive contains all the components that are necessary for gluing - it is ready for immediate use and no further components are touched or added. It hardens and develops its adhesive effect when the contained solvent evaporates. With two-component adhesives, the two components must be mixed with one another in the correct ratio before use and harden through the chemical reaction with one another - such adhesives usually have to be processed very quickly.

Physically setting adhesives

These adhesives harden by changing their physical state: hot glue solidifies when it cools, wet glue evaporates the solvent, wood glue evaporates water. Examples are also:

  • Epoxy (sealing adhesive)
    This 2K adhesive consists of resin and hardener. During the hardening process, heat is usually given off, which liquefies the mixture. The higher the temperature, the faster the curing process and the final strength. Epoxies are widely used to bond metal. But it is also possible to glue wood, ceramics or glass with it. Epoxy adhesives remain flexible and stretchable even after curing.
  • Polyurethane adhesive (power or assembly adhesive)
    The two components polyl (adhesive) and isocyanate (hardener) cure at room temperature. This type of adhesive is suitable for surface and joint bonding, as the final state is very flexible and elastic. In addition, the adhesive adheres very well to numerous surfaces and is resistant to heat. It is therefore often part of thermal insulation composite systems.

Chemically curing adhesives or reaction adhesives

Reaction adhesives solidify through the chemical reaction of their components or the adhesive with the substrate. Example:

  • Cyanoacrylate adhesive (superglue)
    The hardening process of this 1K adhesive takes place within seconds through a chemical reaction with the ambient air. It is important that the humidity is above 30 percent. Dryer or electrically charged air can slow down the curing process. The adhesive is solvent-free and an all-purpose adhesive with flexible application.

Which glue for which material?



All Purpose Adhesive

Wood, cardboard, paper, fabric

Flexible adhesive, tile adhesive

Tiles or porcelain stoneware on cement screed, plaster, concrete

hot glue

Glass, wood, plastic

Wood glue


Power glue

Glass, ceramics, plastic


Paper, cardboard, wallpaper

Installation glue

Wood, ceramics, metal

Repair glue

Wood, ceramics, metal, PVC, stone, styrofoam, textiles


Glass, ceramics, metal

How to glue properly

1st step: clean the surface before gluing

A dry and clean surface is an important prerequisite for gluing. Therefore, you should remove paint residue, rust and other foreign matter in advance. Acetone or alcohol dissolve fat. Avoid touching the cleaned surface, because skin oil will also worsen the result when gluing - it is best to wear household gloves.
In addition, roughened surfaces stick better. Therefore, if possible, sand the surfaces with emery paper - this physically enlarges the surface and thus the strength of the adhesive connection. You can pretreat plastics with a primer. If you glue textiles or leather, you should wash them beforehand and let them dry. When gluing wall tiles, it is important to properly prepare the substrate and to comb the adhesive vertically with the notched trowel so that there is sufficient rough compound.

2nd step: applying the glue

An adhesive should always be applied evenly and thinly. Usually one-sided too, unless it is a contact adhesive, in which case you have to treat the surfaces of both parts. Work carefully and only use as much adhesive as necessary, as subsequent cleaning is difficult.

Tip for gluing wood and metal: A butt joint can withstand relatively little stress, whereas an inclined shaft or one or two tabs connect two workpieces more securely. So that wood can be glued better, you can bevel the break edge, this increases the glue area. The same goes for metal. By roughening you reduce the shear effect, by drilling in the leverage effect.

3rd step: Fix workpieces correctly after gluing

To glue two surfaces, you have to apply a certain amount of pressure when pressing them. This contact pressure is crucial for contact adhesives, for example when bonding metal. This is not the case with two-component adhesives: Here the pressing time plays a bigger role - some even have to be pressed together for hours, as is the case with porcelain. Then a screw clamp comes into play (with porcelain wrapped in fabric and carefully tensioned). Objects that do not fit well in a clamp are best weighed down with a board that is itself weighted evenly, or with a stack of books.

4th step: Note the curing and drying times

The curing time varies depending on the adhesive. A look at the manufacturer's information helps here. With the exception of the superglue, however, all adhesives have to cure for a few hours, so it is advisable to let the workpieces bonded to one another rest in the fixed state overnight.