The Five Emergency Adhesives Everyone Needs

When you’re a DIYer, you know that accidents happen. We’re not talking the bloody hospital-trip causing accidents, no, we’re talking about those oops moments that inevitably pop up somewhere no matter how careful and planned your process was. So we’ve compiled a list of the five most essential, flexible, and durable adhesives to have in your workshop so you can (hopefully) save your project from complete failure.


1) Duct Tape
The obvious contender for this category, duct tape really can (at least temporarily) fix nearly anything, save for actual duct work. And if you like a little whimsy with your adhesives, many brands of duct tape now come in a myriad of colors and patterns to match nearly every palette.

2) Hot Glue
This isn’t just for craft time anymore. Hot glue is a quick and sturdy fix for any situation that requires quick adhesion — just make sure your materials aren’t meltable before applying.

3) Wood Glue
This heavy-duty stuff doesn’t mess around. Obviously intended for wood products, wood glue actually bonds extremely well to most porous surfaces. It does take a while to set properly and depending on the type you buy might dry a less-than-attractive yellow color, but that bond will withstand a good amount of wear and tear long beyond the time of application.

4) Clear Liquid Nails
This stuff is great for those projects that need a super strong hold with a clean, clear finish. It takes ten minutes to set, so this glue gives you some breathing room to get your project as close to perfect as possible before letting it set for the 16 hour minimum drying time. This one would be our replacement for that old tube of super glue you have rattling around in your junk drawer — far easier to work with, more forgiving, and doesn’t glue itself shut.

5) Gorilla Glue The mack daddy of glues, this stuff boarders on epoxy level adhesion once dry. This stuff isn’t for a casual project though — it expands to three times the application amount (which means it requires clamping while drying) and dries a clear white, so any over-usage will be very visible. It takes 30-60 minutes to dry, but the grip cannot be rivaled.

Bonus Gunk Removers
If you find yourself with any of these materials on your skin or some non-porous surfaces, a dab of mineral spirits or nail polish remover should take care of it. Nail polish remover is also awesome for getting stain or dye off of skin without the oily feeling and stench of mineral spirits.
What are your favorite go-to glues and adhesives for your projects and repairs? Let us know in the comments below!

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