Plastic is just one of those things, isn’t it? On the one hand, it’s super-convenient and durable and all those wonderful things. But on the other, it’s such a large contributor to our landfills and oceans…and it’s so hard to find a glue that bonds to it.
In this article, you’ll learn all about glue for plastic and how to choose the best one for your upcoming gluing project. At the end, we’ll also introduce you to some of the best plastic glues and adhesives on the market today.
Our Top Picks
Best For: Fast and easy indoor object repairs
This Gorilla Super Glue is perfect for making last-minute repairs, especially when you can’t afford to skimp on quality or longevity.
Best For: Reliable outdoor object repairs
Loctite’s Epoxy Instant Mix has the strength, longevity, and resistance to get a variety of outdoor repair jobs done—and done well.
Best For: Tough reparation jobs other glues can’t handle
This Epoxy Super Glue from PASCOFIX has quite the resume—from fixing broken dishes to car reparation (you read that right), this glue can do it all.
Best For: High-strength bonds for various projects
The Industrial CA Adhesive from HG POWERGLUE is a powerhouse, using a two-part formula to provide incredible strength for any project.
Best For: An affordable but high-strength super glue
This heavy-duty Rhino Glue stands neck-to-neck with its competitors while remaining crazy-affordable.
Best For: Ease of use
The 3M Scotch-Weld Plastic & Rubber Instant Adhesive is formulated to make application easy, and its container is designed for precise gluing.
Best For: Basic everyday gluing tasks
If you don’t require as much manpower as the other glues offer, the Krazy Glue Home and Office Brush-On Glue is an affordable, effective option for everyday use.
How to Choose the Right Glue for the Job
When it comes to choosing the best glue for a given project, there are two key components you need to consider: your target material and the scale of your project.
Before shopping for a glue, you should first ask yourself which materials you need to bond. In this case, you need to bond plastic. With this in mind, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I bonding plastic with plastic, or plastic with something else?
- Which type of plastic am I using?
The type of glue you’ll need depends on whether you will be bonding plastic with plastic, or plastic with a different material. This is because the surfaces of plastic and other materials vary greatly, with plastic being nonporous and other materials having varying levels of porosity. To bond different materials, you would need to purchase a specialized glue that could chemically bond to each material.
It’s important to know the type of plastic you’re using because not all glues are effective on all plastics. PP and PE plastics are known for being difficult to bond, due to their hard and smooth surface; these will require a specially formulated plastic glue to bond properly. Two other popular plastic types are:
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – frequently used in pipes
- PS (Polystyrene) – frequently used in common day-to-day objects like plastic bowls or food packaging
- PMMA (Acrylic) – frequently used in place of glass in screens and windows
Remember: Any type of plastic is much easier to bond when it’s clean and has been sanded.
Scale of Project
As with most tools and work materials, your intended use should influence which one buy. In this case, you need to determine:
- How important is the project I’m working on?
- What is the quality of the materials I’m using?
- How often will I be using this glue?
Your answer to each of these questions will help determine which glue is best for you and your project.
If your project is important to you and consists of quality materials, you should opt for a higher-quality—albeit pricier—glue. You should also ensure that whichever glue you pick will serve its intended purpose well; in this case, it should be specially formulated to work well on the type of plastic you’re using.
The same applies to the final question. If you plan on using this glue or adhesive very often, it’s crucial that you get a high-quality glue that you can rely on over the long haul.
Types of Glue for Plastic
Not all glue types work well with plastic, but there are three in particular that can be used for this purpose:
Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue)
Super glue is everyone’s favorite glue, and for good reasons. It’s highly effective at bonding to a huge range of surfaces and materials, from wood to metal. But it does have its Achilles’ heel: plastic. The vast majority of super glues on the market do a poor job when used with plastic, though you can find a few that are designed with plastic use in mind.
Epoxies tend to be favored over super glue when it comes to bonding plastic. This is because they use a two-part formula (resin and hardener) that creates a much stronger bond on most materials—even for some types of plastic.
Model cement is the go-to adhesive for plastic—plastic is kind of what it does. This type of adhesive also uses a two-part formula (solvents and filler), and the two parts work together to melt and then bond the plastic. The only downside is that it cannot be used with any other material, so only purchase this type if you have a lot of plastic bonding to do or a particularly important project coming up.
Safety When Gluing Plastic
I know, I know. We’re talking about glue here—not table saws, nail guns, or hammer drills. But super glues and epoxies can be equally dangerous if not handled properly.
There are a few things to remember and put into practice before using your plastic glue:
- Wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as thick gloves and goggles.
- Make sure not to inhale any of the fumes from the glue, as they can be dangerous. Wearing a mask is recommended.
- If the glue makes contact with your skin, wash it off right away using soap and warm water.
- If the glue makes contact with your eyes, flush your eyes right away and call a doctor or emergency hotline number.
- Do not let children near the glue while in use and keep the glue in a place they cannot reach it.
The Best Glue for Plastic
Now that you’re better acquainted with super glue, understand the different types of glue for plastic, and know how to safely use it yourself, you’re all ready to see our top picks! Feel free to bookmark any of these products for future references as you continue to shop around.
Your five-year-old comes to you with tears in their eyes, lips pouting, holding their favorite toy out in front of them—broken. The waterworks have already started…what can you do to stop the complete meltdown?
By telling them it’s okay, grabbing your handy bottle of Gorilla Super Glue, and fixing the problem then and there!
Odds are, you’re already familiar with the Gorilla Glue brand. But have you tried its super glue? If not, now’s the time. You can use this glue to bind a number of materials (including plastic) with a high degree of strength. The formula makes use of rubber particles which lend the bond an extra dose of resilience and strength. It dries in as little as fifteen seconds and fully cures in about a day—so you can hand your little one their like-new toy in hardly any time at all.
For the repair of smaller indoor objects, you can’t get much better than Gorilla Super Glue!
Most epoxy adhesives require you to mix the two parts by hand—but not the Epoxy Instant Mix from Loctite! The formula mixes automatically while still in the syringe dispenser, and this stuff is strong with a PSI rating of 3200. It can be applied to numerous materials for bonding purposes, and can serve double-duty as a filler in certain projects.
Everything about this epoxy adhesive is convenient and user-friendly, from its included precision applicator tips to its fast set time (five minutes) and curing time (one hour). This mix can also be sanded, painted, tinted, and drilled, so you can feel comfortable using it for a range of projects.
Superglue? The strength of this adhesive from PASCOFIX more closely resembles Superman! It boasts the ability to practically weld various types of surfaces together, and it’s resistant to water, heat, and cold. Whether you have a car repair in your future or need to repair a broken dish (and really repair it, so it doesn’t break again in the dishwasher), this Epoxy Super Glue is more than up to the task. In addition, the application process is easy and the glue dries within seconds.
Do you need the superhuman strength of the previous glue we mentioned, but with even greater versatility? Then look no further. The Industrial CA Adhesive from HG POWER GLUE has similar “welding” capabilities as its competitor and can bond to all of the same materials—but it’s also specially formulated for use in a variety of applications: it can be used to bond, model, fill, or strengthen. It sets in a matter of seconds and is resistant to water, heat, cold, and the weather. In short, you can use this stuff for just about any repair or project that comes your way—indoors or outdoors!
When it’s got a name like “Rhino Glue,” you know it’s gotta be tough. Its strength and longevity are due in part to its triple-distilled adhesive formula—but its resistance to impacts, shock, vibration, moisture, and heat definitely help too. You can apply this commercial-grade glue to a number of different materials, and it will bond in seconds with an iron grip you can rely on.
Glue should not be hard to use, guys. Especially when we’re talking about the high-strength, glue-your-eyelids-shut type. 3M gets this, and thus formulated an adhesive that’s easy to apply—and created a pinch bottle that keeps the application process running smoothly the entire time. The adhesive itself features low viscosity, a PSI rating of 2000, and quick hardening and curing times (15 seconds and 24 hours, respectively). This stuff is great for binding a variety of materials, and can even bind to PP (polypropylene) and PE (polyethene) when used with a primer. Strength, versatility, ease of use…all things you should absolutely look for in a good plastic glue!
Maybe you don’t need a glue with the strength of a gorilla or rhinoceros, extreme resistance to weather, or the other bells and whistles the other adhesives on this list boast. And that’s okay. What you need is the Home and Office Brush-On Glue from Krazy Glue!
This glue is ideal for basic everyday repairs and other simple gluing tasks (such as arts and crafts with the kiddos). Housed in a no-clog bottle, this glue is strong and versatile enough to bond a variety of materials around the house—plastic, paper, wood, you name it. Another one of its selling points is the included brush-on applicator, which makes the entire application process so much easier and more precise. Craft-lovers, DIYers, and anyone who needs a simple yet effective super glue, rejoice!
Frequently Asked Questions
Super glue can be a difficult world to navigate. To help get you on your way, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about super glue.
Is Gorilla Glue good for plastic?
Yes…sort of. This really depends on the type of Gorilla Glue you’re using, with the original formula being less effective than its Super Glue formula (featured on our list) or Epoxy formula. The Super Glue and Epoxy formulas both do a great job of bonding the majority of plastics, but are incapable of bonding PP (polypropylene) or PE (polyethene).
Can you use super glue on plastic?
You can, but it’s crucial to make sure the super glue you’re using is designed for use on plastic. Unless stated on the packaging or website, most super glues do not bond plastic very well. Each of the glues on our list works well with a variety of materials, including most plastics (with the exceptions of PP and PE).
What is the best glue to fix plastic toys?
The two best types of glue for fixing plastic toys are super glues designed for use on plastic and epoxy adhesives. Both adhesive types do a great job of bonding plastic, though epoxy adhesives provide a stronger bond than super glues do. The tradeoff is that super glues dry and cure faster. The type of adhesive you use really just boils down to your needs and preferences.
You now have a quite a bit of glue-related knowledge up your sleeve, so choosing the best plastic glue for your project should be a breeze! Each of the products we listed is of high quality and is sure to work well with any number of projects you have coming up. Remember: the most important thing is finding a glue suited to your needs, preferences, and budget—that means no settling. Until next time, happy shopping and good luck!
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