What is Glue Used For? Top 10 Common Uses of Adhesive

As we go about our daily lives, it’s easy to forget about the many ways that adhesive helps us in ways both big and small. Glue, in its various forms, serves as an important tool in a wide range of activities. From crafting to construction, woodworking to automotive repair, glue is everywhere.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of glue and explore the 10 most common uses of adhesive. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just curious about the many applications of glue, you’re sure to learn something new. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how glue is used in everyday life.


Woodworking is a timeless craft that involves working with wood to create beautiful and functional pieces of furniture, cabinetry, and decorative pieces. Glue is an essential component of many woodworking projects, as it helps to join pieces of wood together and create a durable and sturdy final product. From carpentry to furniture repair and cabinet making, there are numerous uses for glue in woodworking. To learn more about how to keep your wood glue from drying out and other helpful tips, check out our guide on how to keep wood glue from drying out.


One of the primary uses of glue in carpentry is to join pieces of wood together. Wood glue is specifically designed for this purpose and creates a strong, durable bond. When using wood glue, it’s important to apply an even layer to both surfaces being joined and to clamp them together until the glue dries completely.

In addition to wood glue, super glue can also be useful in carpentry for small repairs like filling gaps or cracks in wood. However, it’s important to note that super glue is not as strong as wood glue and should not be used for bigger projects.

For more specialized woodworking projects, like creating turned wood pieces, cyanoacrylate glue (also known as CA glue or “instant glue”) can join wood quickly and securely. This type of glue dries very quickly, so it’s important to use it cautiously to avoid accidentally adhering your fingers to the project.

Epoxy glue is another versatile option for carpentry, especially for projects that require durability and water resistance. Epoxy glue is particularly useful for repairing exterior woodwork and marine applications.

Cyanoacrylate glue and epoxy glue can also be used to attach non-wood materials to wood, such as plastic or metal hardware.

It’s worth mentioning that some types of carpentry, like joinery or cabinetry, rely heavily on more traditional joinery methods like nails and screws. However, even in these cases, glue can be used in combination with mechanical fasteners for added strength and stability.

Glue can even be used for pet grooming, like gluing Sheltie ears!

Furniture Repair

Furniture Repair:
One of the most common uses of glue is in the repair of furniture. Furniture can be expensive to replace, but using glue to repair it can save both money and sentimental value. There are several types of glue that can be used in furniture repair, depending on the type of material being repaired.

Type of Material Recommended Glue
Wood Wood glue
Leather or Upholstery Adhesive specifically designed for leather or upholstery
Glass Super glue
Metal Epoxy

Note: When using glue on furniture, it’s important to clamp the pieces together to ensure a proper bond. This will help prevent the pieces from shifting while the glue dries, which can result in a weaker bond. Also, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and allow the glue to fully dry before using the furniture again.

Cabinet Making

Cabinet making is an art that requires precision and expertise. Glue plays an essential role in this craft by holding wooden pieces together and creating sturdy structures. Here are some of the common uses of glue in cabinet making:

– **Edge Banding:** When creating cabinets, it is essential to cover the exposed edges of the plywood or particleboard with veneer or solid wood. This process is called edge banding, and glue is used to attach the banding to the edges. Yellow glue is a popular choice for this application because it dries clear and holds well.

– **Joinery:** Joinery refers to the process of connecting two pieces of wood to create a solid structure. Glue is often used in combination with nails, screws, or dovetails to create a strong joint. In some cases, glue can even replace other fasteners. For example, a biscuit joiner can create a strong joint by cutting a slot in two pieces of wood and inserting a wooden biscuit coated in glue.

– **Assembling:** Glue is also used to assemble cabinet parts such as drawers, frames, and doors. A bead of glue is applied to the mating surfaces, and the pieces are clamped together until the glue dries. This creates a strong bond that can withstand the stresses of everyday use.

– **Filling:** Sometimes, gaps or holes in the wood need to be filled to create a smooth surface. Woodworkers use wood filler mixed with glue to fill these imperfections. This mixture is applied to the surface and sanded down until it is flush with the surrounding wood.

– **Finishing:** Finally, glue is also used to attach the veneer or laminates that create the finished look of the cabinets. This process is similar to edge banding but is used on larger surfaces. Contact cement is often used for this application because it dries quickly and creates a permanent bond.

As you can see, glue plays an integral role in cabinet making. It is essential to choose the right type of glue for each application to ensure a strong and durable bond. If you’re interested in learning more about the uses of glue, check out our article on how to make glue in the wild.


As we dive into the many uses of adhesives, it’s impossible to ignore the impact of glue in the automotive industry. From repairing automobile interiors, bumpers, and engines, glue proves to be a reliable adhesive for various automotive applications. Let’s explore the different ways in which glue is used to enhance and repair automobiles.

If you’re interested in making your own adhesive projects at home, check out our article on how to make slime without glue or face mask, how to harden paper with glue, how to glue vellum paper to glass, how to thin super glue, or how to fix a rubber bracelet without glue.

Interior Repair

When it comes to repairing the interior of a car, glue can be an incredibly useful tool. Here are three common uses for adhesive in interior repair:

Use Description
Dashboard Repair Over time, the dashboard of a car may start to crack or warp due to exposure to heat and sunlight. Using adhesive, the dashboard can be fixed in place, preventing it from further damage.
Headliner Repair If the headliner of a car starts to sag or come apart, adhesive can be used to reattach it to the roof of the car.
Upholstery Repair If a seat or other upholstery in the car becomes torn or damaged, adhesive can be used to patch up the damage and keep it from getting worse. However, for larger tears, a professional repair may be necessary.

Using adhesive can be a cost-effective way to repair the interior of a car, but it’s important to use the right type of adhesive for the job at hand. For example, different types of glue will work better on different types of materials. Always read the instructions carefully and be sure to apply the adhesive in a well-ventilated area.

Bumper Repair

When it comes to car accidents, the bumper is often the first thing to take the hit. A damaged bumper not only looks unsightly, but it can also be a safety hazard. Glue comes in handy when it comes to repairing your car’s bumper. Here are some of the ways in which glue is used in bumper repair:

1. Filling in Cracks

Minor dents and cracks on your bumper can easily be filled in with glue. Glue sticks make for a quick and easy solution to this problem. They can be heated with a glue gun and then applied to the crack in your bumper. Glue sticks work very well on plastic and vinyl bumpers.

2. Reattaching Loose Parts

A damaged bumper can often lead to parts of it coming loose. Glue can be used to reattach these parts. An epoxy adhesive can be used to bond plastic and metal parts of the bumper. It is important to ensure that the surface is clean and dry before applying the adhesive.

3. Smoothing Out the Bumper

After filling in the cracks and reattaching loose parts, there may be some rough spots on the bumper. Sanding the bumper can help to smooth out these spots, but you don’t want to sand too much or you’ll create a depression. Using a plastic filler along with automotive glue can help to even out the bumper surface.

4. Repainting the Bumper

Once the bumper has been repaired and smoothed out, it’s time to repaint it. Automotive paint may be needed, depending on the extent of the damage. After the paint is dry, use a clear coat to protect it from further damage.

As you can see, glue is an important part of bumper repair. It can be used to fill in cracks, reattach loose parts, smooth out the bumper, and even repaint it. With a little patience and the right tools, you can make your bumper look as good as new.

Engine Repair

Engine repair is a critical aspect of automotive maintenance, where glue or adhesive plays a significant role in ensuring the functionality of various engine components. Piston slap repair, fixing engine oil leaks, and repairing engine gaskets are some of the crucial applications of glue or adhesive in engine repair.

Glue or adhesive is used to attach gaskets in place, seal engine oil leaks, and repair cracks in engine components. Here’s a brief overview of how adhesive is used in engine repair:

Application Adhesive Type Benefits
Piston Slap Repair Epoxy or Silicone Adhesive Prevents metal-on-metal contact, reduces vibration, and noise
Engine Gasket Repair Gasket Adhesive Reduces the risk of gasket failure and related engine damages
Engine Oil Leak Repair Silicone Adhesive or Sealant Forms a tight and durable seal, prevents engine oil leakage

It’s worth noting that using the right type of adhesive is crucial in achieving successful engine repair. Using the wrong adhesive can result in weak bonds, reduced durability, and partial functionality of engine components.

Therefore, engine repair professionals and automotive enthusiasts must follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the adhesive type and application method for a specific repair job.

Glue or adhesive greatly contributes to engine repair by providing strong and durable bonds between various engine components. Its appropriate application can help prevent costly and time-consuming engine repairs and extend the lifespan of an engine.


When it comes to construction, the importance of a strong and reliable adhesive cannot be overstated. From tiling to concrete repair to roofing, each project requires a specialized adhesive to ensure the job is done right. In this section, we will explore the various uses of glue in construction and the specific projects in which it is utilized. So, let’s dive into the world of construction and see how adhesive helps to lay the foundation for sturdy structures.


When it comes to tiling, adhesive is an essential component for securing tiles in place. The type of adhesive used will depend on the size and weight of the tiles, as well as the surface they will be applied to.

The following are some common uses of adhesive in tiling:

Use Case Adhesive Type
Backsplash Thinset Mortar
Flooring Thinset Mortar or Epoxy Adhesive
Bathroom Walls & Floors Waterproof Adhesive

Thinset mortar is a popular choice for tiling backsplashes and floors because it is easy to work with and provides a strong hold. Epoxy adhesive is ideal for areas with heavy foot traffic because it is extremely durable and resistant to wear and tear.

When tiling bathroom walls and floors, waterproof adhesive is the best option to prevent water damage. This specialized adhesive prevents moisture from penetrating the surface and causing mold or mildew to grow. It also ensures that the tiles will stay securely in place, even in damp environments.

It’s important to note that before applying any adhesive, the surface must be clean and free of debris. This will ensure that the adhesive bonds properly and creates a strong hold. Additionally, following the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying the adhesive is crucial for successful tiling.

Concrete Repair

Concrete repair is a common use of adhesive, as it can effectively bond and repair various types of concrete structures. Concrete adhesive can be used to repair cracks, chips, and other damages in concrete floors, walls, and surfaces. It can also be used to attach new concrete to old concrete, creating a strong and durable bond.

To give you a better understanding, here are some common concrete repair applications and the types of adhesive that are best suited for them:

Concrete Repair Application Recommended Adhesive
Repairing cracks in concrete floors or walls Epoxy concrete adhesive
Fixing chips in concrete surfaces Instant concrete adhesive
Attaching new concrete to old concrete Polyurethane concrete adhesive

Epoxy concrete adhesive is one of the best types of adhesive for repairing cracks in concrete floors and walls. It is a two-part adhesive that consists of an epoxy resin and a hardener. When these two parts are mixed together, they form a strong, durable adhesive that can effectively fill in cracks and bond to the concrete surface.

Instant concrete adhesive, on the other hand, is ideal for fixing chips and other small damages in concrete surfaces. As the name suggests, it sets quickly and provides an almost instant bond. This type of adhesive is particularly useful for repairing concrete surfaces that are subject to high traffic, as it can withstand heavy use and wear and tear.

Polyurethane concrete adhesive is an excellent choice for attaching new concrete to old concrete. It creates a strong and durable bond and can fill in any gaps between the two surfaces. Additionally, polyurethane adhesive is resistant to moisture and chemicals, making it ideal for outdoor applications.

If you need to repair concrete, adhesive can be a useful tool. By selecting the right adhesive for your specific repair needs, you can effectively bond and repair concrete structures, extending their lifespan and durability.


Roofing is another area in which glue is commonly used. It is an important aspect of construction and repairing roofs. There are various types of adhesives that are used for roofing, such as solvent-based, water-based, and polyurethane-based adhesives. Here are some common uses of adhesive in roofing:

  • Flat roofing: Adhesives are used for bonding various layers of roofing materials together, such as the application of a base sheet onto the roof deck.
  • Shingle installation: Glue is necessary for sealing shingles and preventing them from being lifted by strong winds. It is also used to seal flashing and counter flashing.
  • Vapor barriers: Adhesives are used to bond vapor barriers to the roof deck for protection against water damage caused by condensation.
  • Insulation: Glue is used to bond insulation boards to the roof deck and to each other. It is also used to bond insulation in place, preventing it from moving around and creating gaps.
  • Waterproofing: Adhesive is used to bond waterproof membranes to the roof deck, creating a water-resistant barrier and protecting the roof from leaks.

It is important to note that not all adhesives are suitable for all roofing applications. It is necessary to choose the right kind of adhesive that can withstand extreme weather conditions and can provide long-term durability. Always consult with a roofing professional to determine the right adhesive for your roofing needs.


Crafts are a wonderful way to express your creativity and bring your ideas to life. Whether you enjoy paper crafts, jewelry making, or model building, there is always an opportunity to use adhesive in your projects. Glue is a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of ways in the world of crafts. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common uses of adhesive in crafting.

Paper Crafts

Paper crafts are a delightful way to spend time and create beautiful and unique objects. Adhesive is an essential element in paper crafts as it allows different parts of the project to attach and hold together. Let’s explore some of the most common uses of glue in paper crafts:

Technique Description Recommended Glue
Collage Assembling a composition by layering different kinds of paper. Can be used in scrapbooking and card-making. Acid-free glue sticks or gel medium to avoid damage to the paper over time.
Quilling Creating decorative pieces with thin strips of paper rolled, coiled, and shaped into unique designs. PVA glue or glue pens with fine tips that allow precise application and fast drying time.
Papier-mache Building 3D objects by layering paper and glue over a mold or balloon. Can create a variety of objects such as decorations and piñatas. A mixture of PVA glue and water (usually 50/50 ratio) to create a paste for layering the paper.
Origami Creating intricate paper figures by folding a single sheet of paper. Washi tape or liquid glue with precision tips to avoid tearing the paper while creating the folds.

These are just a few examples of how adhesive is commonly used in paper crafts, but the possibilities are truly endless. Always remember to choose the appropriate glue for your project to ensure a strong and lasting bond without damaging the paper. With a little creativity and some quality glue, the sky’s the limit in the world of paper crafts!

Jewelry Making

Jewelry making can be an intricate process that requires precision and attention to detail. Using glue in the process can be extremely beneficial in creating beautiful and unique jewelry pieces. Here are some of the ways glue is used in jewelry making:

Technique Description
Stone Setting Glueing stones onto jewelry pieces allows for a more secure and seamless setting. This technique is often used for smaller stones in order to enhance their appearance and prevent them from loosening or falling out.
Beading Attaching beads onto jewelry pieces can be made easier with glue. Gluing beads onto a surface allows for more precise placement and can be especially helpful for intricate or delicate designs.
Chain Repair In jewelry making, chains can often become broken or tangled. Gluing broken chain links together can provide a simple solution for repairs.
Metal Adhesion Glue can be used to attach metal pieces together in a jewelry design. This can be especially helpful when creating mixed-media jewelry pieces.

It is important to choose the right type of glue for each jewelry making technique. For stone setting, a jewelry-specific adhesive such as E6000 is recommended. For beading, a clear-drying glue like Aleene’s Tacky Glue is a popular choice. And for metal adhesion, a strong glue like Gorilla Super Glue Gel is suggested. With the right glue and techniques, jewelry makers can create stunning pieces that will last for years to come.

Model Building

Model building is a fascinating hobby that requires patience, attention to detail, and a steady hand. Glue is an essential tool for creating models, as it allows you to securely attach various parts and pieces together. There are several types of glue that are commonly used in model building, with each offering different benefits and drawbacks depending on the project.

Table 1: Types of glue for model building

Type of Glue Usage Pros Cons
Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue For bonding small or delicate parts together such as plastic models Quick-drying, strong bond, good for small parts Can be brittle, dries too fast for large parts
Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) glue For bonding larger parts together such as wood models Dries clear, water-soluble, affordable Not as strong as CA glue, can take longer to dry
Epoxy resin For bonding metal, plastic, or wood models together Strong bond, heat and water-resistant Can be messy, requires mixing before use

When working with CA glue, it’s essential to be careful as it can bond skin and fingers together. It’s very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any type of glue to avoid accidents.

In model building, glue is not only used to attach parts together, but it can also be used to create small details. For example, thin wire that has been dipped in CA glue can be used to create small loops and handles, and a small amount of glue can be used to add details to surfaces.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that glue is not just used in model building, but it can also be used in other types of crafts such as scrapbooking, card-making, and more. Having a good-quality, versatile glue on hand can prove handy for a variety of projects. Using glue in model building opens up a world of creative possibilities.


If you think glues are only useful in professional settings, think again! There are many ways you can use glue in your household. From repairing your favorite pair of shoes to fixing your children’s broken toys, glues can come in handy in a variety of situations. In this section, we will explore some common household uses of adhesive that you may not have thought of before. So, let’s get started!

Shoe Repair

Cobbler’s glue, commonly known as shoe glue, is a strong adhesive used to repair shoes. This type of glue is ideal for repairing soles, heels, and other parts of the shoe.

Here are some common uses of glue in shoe repair:

  • Resoling Shoes: Shoe repair shops use cobblers’ glue to attach new soles to shoes. The adhesive bond created by this glue is so strong that it can last for years.
  • Fixing Loose Soles: If you have a pair of shoes where the sole has started to come off, cobbler’s glue can be used to fix the problem. Simply apply a small amount of glue to the area where the sole has come loose and press it back in place. Let the glue dry and your shoes should be good as new.
  • Sticking Soft Materials: If you have a pair of shoes that have fabric or other soft material on them, cobbler’s glue can be used to attach the material to the shoe. This is particularly useful for shoes that have leather uppers and fabric details.
  • Repairing Straps: If the straps on your shoes have come loose, you can use cobbler’s glue to repair them. Simply apply a small amount of glue to the area where the strap has come loose and press it back in place. Let the glue dry and your shoes will be as good as new.

It’s important to note that cobbler’s glue is not suitable for all types of shoes. Sneakers, for example, often have rubber soles that require a different type of adhesive. It’s also important to use the right amount of glue – too much glue can cause the shoe to become stiff and uncomfortable, while too little glue may not provide a strong enough bond.

Toy Repair

When it comes to fixing broken toys, glue is often a go-to solution for many parents. Toys can break easily, especially when they are made of plastic, and finding replacement parts can be a challenge. Glue can be used to fix everything from small cracks to major breaks.

Here are some common types of toys that can be repaired with glue:

  • Dolls: Dolls are a popular toy for children, but they can be fragile. Glue can be used to fix a broken arm or leg, reattach hair, or fix a broken body part.
  • Wooden toys: Many wooden toys, such as blocks, cars, and trains, can be repaired with glue. If a toy has a small crack or is missing a piece, glue can be used to hold it together.
  • Remote control cars: Remote control cars can be expensive to replace, but they often have small plastic parts that can easily break. Glue can be used to fix these parts without having to replace the entire car.
  • Building sets: Building sets, such as Lego and K’NEX, are popular with children of all ages. Over time, pieces can become worn or damaged, but glue can be used to reattach them or fill in small cracks.

When repairing toys with glue, it’s important to choose the right type of adhesive. For plastic toys, cyanoacrylate glue, also known as super glue, is a good option. For wooden toys, carpenter’s glue or wood glue is a better choice.

It’s also important to let the glue dry completely before giving the toy back to your child. This can take several hours or even overnight, depending on the type of glue used and the size of the repair.

Remember: While glue can be a quick and easy fix for broken toys, it’s important to consider safety as well. Be sure to use non-toxic glue that is safe for children, and keep small parts away from young children who may choke on them.

Electronic Repair

When it comes to repairing electronic devices, glue has been proven to be a useful tool. It can help hold components in place and protect them from further damage. Here are some common uses of glue in electronic repair:

  • Circuit board repair: Glue can be used to repair broken traces or connections on circuit boards. By carefully applying a small amount of glue, you can reattach a broken trace and restore the connection.
  • Battery replacement: Glue can also be used to hold batteries in place and protect them from damage. This is especially useful when replacing batteries in small electronic devices.
  • Screen repair: For devices with cracked screens, a small amount of glue can be used to hold the screen in place while it’s being repaired or replaced.
  • Component repair: In some cases, components on a circuit board may become loose or fall off. Glue can be used to hold them in place and prevent further damage.
  • Water damage repair: When electronic devices are exposed to water, the glue can help seal any gaps and protect the components from further damage.
  • Speaker repair: Glue can be used to repair damaged speaker cones or to hold speakers in place.

As with any electronic repair, it’s important to use caution when using glue. Make sure to use the right type of glue for the job, and avoid getting glue on any important components. With the right care and attention to detail, glue can be a valuable tool in electronic repair.


In conclusion, it is evident that the uses of glue or adhesive are not limited to just one industry or field. In fact, the versatility of glue in different applications is what makes it a popular choice for everyone, whether it is a hobbyist or a professional.

From woodworking to automotive, construction to household repairs, glue has proven to be an indispensable tool in achieving seamless, lasting results. It is important to note that the right adhesive should be chosen for the specific application to ensure the best possible results.

Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional tradesman, adding adhesive to your toolkit is a worthwhile investment that will undoubtedly make your work easier and more efficient.

So, whether you need to repair your furniture, fix a broken toy, or even create a piece of jewelry, don’t hesitate to explore the different types of glue available and find the one which suits your need the best. With the right glue, anything is possible!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is glue made of?

There is no one answer as what glue is made of can vary depending on the type of glue. Many glues are made from synthetic polymers like polyvinyl acetate (PVA), while others may be made from natural sources like animal hide or sap from plants.

How long does it take for glue to dry?

The drying time of glue can vary based on several factors, such as the type of glue, the materials being bonded, and the environmental conditions. Some types of glue can dry in as little as a few minutes, while others may take several hours or even a full day to dry completely.

What is the strongest type of glue?

There are several types of glue that are known for their strength, including epoxy, polyurethane, cyanoacrylate (super glue), and PVA. The strongest type of glue may depend on the materials being bonded and the specific application.

What should I do if I get glue on my skin?

If you get glue on your skin, you should try to remove it as quickly as possible before it dries. You can use acetone or nail polish remover to dissolve some types of glue, but be sure to wash the area thoroughly with soap and water once the glue is removed.

Can glue be used to fix broken ceramics?

Yes, glue can be used to repair broken ceramics. However, it is important to use the right type of glue for the job and to allow the glue to dry completely before using the item again.

Is it safe to use glue on food contact surfaces?

Not all types of glue are safe for use on food contact surfaces. However, there are food-safe adhesive options available that are specifically designed for use on surfaces that come into contact with food.

What is the best way to store glue?

The best way to store glue is in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Most types of glue are best kept in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out or becoming contaminated.

Can glue be used to bond metal?

Yes, many types of glue can be used to bond metal, including epoxy, cyanoacrylate (super glue), and polyurethane. However, it is important to choose a glue that is specifically designed for metal bonding and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Can glue be used to bond plastic?

Yes, glue can be used to bond plastic. However, not all types of glue are suitable for all types of plastic. It is important to choose a glue that is specifically designed for plastic bonding and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Can glue be used to bond wood to concrete?

Yes, glue can be used to bond wood to concrete. However, it is important to choose a glue that is specifically designed for the task and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. It may also be necessary to prepare the surfaces to ensure a strong bond.


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