“Super Glue” has become a generic term for any Cyanoacrylate glue, but the original Superglue company is the only true Super Glue.
In an early marketing campaign, they suspended an entire car from a crane with only Super Glue, which they then incorporated into their branding as their distinctive logo.
Super Glue started life in 1942 by scientists trying to create a clear plastic for the military.
It wasn’t until 1951 that Harry Hoover rediscovered the formula, realizing its potential as an adhesive.
The Super Glue brand was born in 1958 and has been serving America and the world ever since.
There are multiple brands in the superglue market nowadays, let’s find out how the Original Super Glue stacks up against the competition.
Pros and Cons:
- Bonds almost instantly
- Extremely Strong
- Dries clear
- Several applicator options
- Resists water and impacts
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Multipack options are great value
- Does not work on some plastics
- Gives off nasty fumes while wet
Original Super Glue has come a long way since 1958.
The product shares the great properties of other CA glues, in that it bonds almost instantly to any surface and is extremely strong once it’s cured.
The Original Superglue company has also attempted to differentiate itself by offering unique bottle and applicator formats, for ultimate consumer choice.
Bonds almost instantly
Original Superglue bonds almost instantly.
As with most CA glues, it will bond in between 10-60 seconds depending on the surface you’re using it on, and the temperature and humidity of your working environment.
If you need a truly instant bond, consider using a CA activator spray.
Extremely strong bond
Once Super Glue has had a chance to cure, it has almost unbelievable strength.
If you notice the logo of Original Superglue, it’s a car being suspended from a crane.
This hearkens back to the original marketing campaign by the Original Super Glue company, where they suspended a car from a crane, using only Super Glue to keep them together.
The company was so proud of this incredible feat of engineering and chemistry that they incorporated the demonstration into their company logo.
Avilable in Liquid or Gel format
In most cases, I prefer to use a gel format for CA glue. It’s more useful for applying to flat surfaces, however liquid glue definitely has its uses too.
Applying to a rougher surface, liquid glue can get more easily into any crevices in the material. Liquid CA is also more useful for porous materials like wood, paper, and terracotta because it can more easily seep into the pores of the material.
Thankfully, The Original Super Glue Company has recognized the usefulness of both formats, and offers their glues in both liquid and gel formulas.
Available with multiple applicator designs
The Original Super Glue is available not only in a regular aluminum tube, but with useful precision applicators, in single-use tubes for no waste, in a larger bottle for bigger projects, in multipacks of 2-gram tubes, with a useful pen applicator, and with a no-mess applicator similar to Loctite glue bottles.
For most household repairs, I would advise just to get the standard multipack bottles.
Once Super Glue is opened, it’s very hard to prevent it from drying out in the container, so it’s better to buy multiple small tubes and only open them as you need them. That way you can keep the rest sealed so they are ready to use when you need them.
How to use Original Super Glue
The Original Super Glue is just like most other CA glues, it’s pretty easy to use, but here are some tips to help your project go as smoothly as possible.
1: Prepare the surface you are going to bond
Make sure the surface is clean, free from any dust or oil, and completely dry. Superglue reacts with water so if your surface is wet, the glue will harden before it gets a chance to seep into the pores of the material, preventing a strong bond.
Counterintuitively, Super Glue forms a stronger bond on smooth surfaces than on rough surfaces.
2: Shake the bottle well before use
This step is only necessary if you’re using the gel formula.
Since the Gel is a bit bit more viscous than the liquid, it can sometimes get clogged up in the inside of the nozzle of the bottle. Give the glue a good shake and tap it on a hard surface with the cap on to loosen it.
3: Remove the cap and apply a small amount of glue
If you are working on a porous material, like Wood, Paper, or Pottery:
Apply the glue to BOTH surfaces. Superglue works best by seeping into the pores of the material it’s bonding with, so applying the glue directly to both surfaces before putting them together will ensure a stronger bond.
If you are working with a non-porous material like Metal, Plastic, or Glass:
Apply the glue to ONE surface. It is not necessary to apply to both surfaces, as the glue will have limited ability to seep in to these materials anyway.
In both cases, apply the glue sparingly, roughly one drop per square inch.
Using too much glue will actually weaken the bond.
4: Press your surfaces together and hold for about 30 seconds
Super Glue bonds almost instantly. After 10 seconds, your bond should be starting to solidify, however depending on the surfaces and your working environment, it may take a little longer.
After 30 seconds the bond will be strong enough to handle, however, CA glue does keep strengthening for up to 24 hours after bonding.
For best results, leave your repair to sit for a few minutes without handling it or putting any stress on it, even after the bond feels solid. This is especially important for non-porous surfaces like Glass or Metal, where the bond will be inherently weaker.
5: Clean and store correctly for reuse.
If you bought the large bottle, you may have some Super Glue left over.
If you want to store the glue for later use, make sure to clean the cap and reseal it as quickly as possible.
If you bought the multipack, you probably used most of the tube anyway. You can dispose of the tube in your regular trash (not recyclable) and store the rest of the sealed tubes for when you need them next.
Store the glue somewhere cool, dark, and dry, free from any exposure to sunlight, any heat sources, and especially from any moisture or humidity. A sealed tube will last for years no problem, but once the cap has been opened it is very difficult to prevent it from drying out.
Check out the Single-Use Tubes available on Amazon. These are small tubes designed to be used once and discarded with no waste, allowing you to keep the rest sealed for storage.
What Materials does Original Super Glue work on?
CA glue works on just about any surface, with the only notable exception being a few types of plastic and PTFE (Also known as Teflon) which are notoriously hard to bond to.
It’s worth noting that different surfaces will end up with different bond strengths, for example, Super Glue on Glass or Metal won’t be as strong as Super Glue used on Wood, since the wood is more porous allowing the glue to sink into the surface easier.
If you’re not sure if it will work on your material, read some of the customer reviews on Amazon.
Super Glue is extremely versatile, and although it’s a great all-rounder, for some situations there may be a better option than Superglue.
For example, if you’re gluing wood to wood, you would almost certainly be better with a PVA wood glue like Titebond, and if you’re gluing paper you may be better off with a decoupage glue like Mod Podge.
Super Glue works on:
- PVC Plastics
- Polystyrene & Styrofoam
Super Glue isn’t good for:
- HDPE/LDPE Plastic
- Polypropylene Plastic
- PTFE (Teflon)
What are the ingredients?
Original Super Glue is just like any other CA superglue. The company may add some proprietary ingredients, however, the main ingredient is Ethyl Cyanoacrylate.
Original Super Glue Drying Time / Curing Time
Original Super Glue dries extremely quickly.
In as little as 10-60 seconds, the bond will be completely solid and strong enough to handle.
As with all CA glues, for the best possible bond, it is recommended to leave your project to settle for 5 minutes after the repair, to allow the glue to form the strongest possible bond.
Depending on your working environment, it may take up to 24 hours for the glue to completely cure, however, it will be perfectly strong enough to work with after only a couple of minutes.
What was the original purpose of Super Glue?
Super Glue was first discovered by the US military, who were looking for a way to create a clear plastic for use in their scopes and sights.
It was first researched in 1942 for this purpose but was discarded because it was too sticky to be useful. It wasn’t until 1951 that this incredible material was rediscovered and used as glue, and it was 1958 before the brand “Super Glue” was born.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS/MSDS)
I’ve included a link to the Safety Data Sheets for both Original Super Glue and Original Super Glue Gel below.
Is The Original Super Glue Waterproof?
CA glue is water-resistant once it’s cured, however continuous exposure to water may degrade the bond over time.
Original Super Glue vs Krazy Glue
Both Krazy Glue and the Original Super Glue are CA glues.
The main difference between them is the containers they come in, the branding, and the price!
How to Remove Original Super Glue?
Super Glue is messy stuff. It’s easy to get a little where you don’t want it to be.
Thankfully, although it forms a permanent bond, it’s possible to remove it with the right tools.
You can remove Super Glue from your skin with warm soapy water and a little patience.
If you need to remove Super Glue from a hard surface, you may need to use a little acetone to weaken the bond before it can be removed.
You can find Acetone in most common nail polish removers.