UHU All Purpose Adhesive Review and Guide

Manufactured in Germany, UHU is not too well known yet in the US, but in Europe and Asia, UHU is a trusted household brand, as well known as Gorilla or Elmer’s are here in North America.

Let’s take a closer look at this German super adhesive and see if it lives up to the hype.

Quick Overview

Known in Germany as “Der Allesklebar” (The Everything Glue), UHU enjoys a strong reputation across Europe and Asia as a dependable, strong, and versatile household glue.

UHU has been trading for over 80 years, their all-purpose glue is extremely versatile, dries completely clear, and bonds with almost any material.

Although UHU is not yet a household name in North America, thanks to the convenience of online shopping, it’s easier than ever to get a hold of some and to try it out for yourself!

Fun Fact:
In German „eine Uhu“ is the translation for “an Eagle Owl“. The logo even looks like an owl’s face (sort of). Visualized here by my incredible photoshop skills for your viewing pleasure:

Glue Review UHU Eagle Owl
UHU

UHU all purpose glue: Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Very strong bond
  • Bonds with almost any material
  • Dries clear
  • Much better value than superglue
  • Metal applicator cap built in to the bottle
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Works on most Plastics

Cons

  • Strong odor while drying
  • Struggles to bond to LDPE / HDPE
  • Doesn’t work on Styrofoam

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Product Features

UHU all-purpose glue is a perfect all-rounder. If you could only keep one glue around the house, you would struggle to find something more versatile than UHU.

Extremely versatile

Probably the biggest selling point of UHU, and what has made it such a respected brand is the versatility of bonding materials.

UHU sticks fast to wood, leather, plastic, glass, stone, ceramic, and metal without any problem.

Check out the suitable applications table for more information on what surfaces the glue works on.

UHU works in almost any condition. It will still cure even at very low temperatures. The manufacturer advises the adhesive is suitable for all weather conditions.

Fast bonding, but still readjustable

UHU has the bonding power of a CA glue, but with a longer readjustment time.

After you apply the glue, you have about 20 seconds to adjust your surfaces to the position you need them before the glue begins to harden. The glue is solid in about 5 or 6 minutes.

According to the manufacturer, the bond will be fully cured after 24 hours, although again this will depend on the volume used, and the temperature and humidity of your working environment.

Precision applicator built in

The tube the glue comes in is made of metal, with a built-in metal applicator tip under the cap.

This is useful for situations where you need only a small amount, but it doesn’t prevent you from using a large volume if you need it for a bigger project.

Dries very clear (almost invisible)

UHU dries completely transparent and colorless, making it perfect for arts and crafts or for projects where you don’t want the glue to be visible.

Important note:
If you’re careless when applying UHU, you can end up with bubbles trapped inside the glue as it hardens, ruining the invisibility. To avoid this, don’t let any air get trapped inside the tube, make sure you roll up the end of the tube-like toothpaste and put the cap back on straight away.

UHU is known across Europe for their creative tv ads:

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UHU Extra vs UHU Original vs UHU solvent free:

UHU all-purpose adhesive comes in three versions:

UHU all-purpose glue (original):
The original UHU glue. Bonds to anything. Acetone solvent based

UHU all-purpose glue EXTRA:
The same as UHU original, but the formula is slightly thicker. Works well if you need to glue something vertically, although the original version is quite thick already.

UHU all-purpose glue (Solvent Free):
This version of UHU is free from any solvents. It, therefore, doesn’t smell so bad when it’s drying, at the expense of not holding up to water and a slightly weaker bond. Useful for schools, younger kids or for working indoors where you don’t have a lot of ventilation.

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How to use UHU all purpose glue:

UHU is very easy to use, even I can figure it out!

1: Prepare your surface:

UHU bonds to almost any material, so of course this step will depend on your project, but there are a few general tips to make sure you get as strong a bond as possible.

  1. Remove any dust, oil, or grease from the surface.
  2. If the surface is very smooth, you will get a stronger bond if you can rough it up a little with sandpaper first.
  3. Make sure the surface is as dry as possible, so that the glue can get in to the pores of the material.

You can use rubbing alcohol to clean the surface if you need to.

2: Apply the glue to one or both surfaces, depending on the material

UHU is not a contact cement, so you only have to apply it to one surface, however for the best possible bond – please see the manufacturer’s instructions below.

If applying to a porous material such as wood, fabric, stone, ceramic, leather, or cardboard:
Apply a thin layer of glue to one side, and press the parts together. You have about 20 seconds until the bond becomes firm, and 5 or 6 minutes until it’s solid.

If applying to a non-porous material such as glass, metal, porcelain, rubber, or plastic:
Apply the glue to both sides, and leave to dry. (Approx 5-6 minutes)
Once both sides are dry, reapply another thin layer of glue and press the parts together. You will have about 20 seconds until the bond is firm, and 5 or 6 minutes until it’s solid.

3: If necessary, hold the piece in place for 5-6 minutes until the bond is hardened

After 20 seconds or so, the glue becomes tacky and will hold most small projects in place. If you have a project where there is some stress on the repair (like repairing a chair leg) you may need to hold the piece in place for a few minutes until it becomes strong enough to bear the weight.

According to the manufacturer, after 24 hours the bond will be at 70-80% of its maximum bond strength, so please be careful applying any stress to the repair before then.

4: Make sure to clean the nozzle before putting the cap back on

The nozzle is smooth, with a thread at the bottom to screw the cap back on.

While the glue is wet, you can clean it easily with a damp rag.

Clean any excess glue from the applicator nozzle and the metal threads, so that the cap doesn’t get stuck on.

Tip:
The tube is like a tube of toothpaste. Make sure to squeeze any air out of the tube before replacing the cap, to keep the glue wet and to help avoid any bubbles when you use it next time.

5: Make sure to store the glue correctly for next time

Keep the glue in a cool, dry place away from any moisture or direct heat sources.

UHU all-purpose glue contains solvents (Acetone & Alcohol) that are flammable, so make sure to store the glue somewhere safe. 

What Materials does UHU All Purpose Glue work on?

UHU all-purpose glue really is “All Purpose”.

Almost any household material you could think of, UHU will bond to it, with very few exceptions.

UHU will bond to any porous material like Wood, Stone, or Leather with only one application.

Even for non-porous materials like Glass, Metal, or Plastic – you can achieve a strong bond with UHU by first applying a thin layer and letting it dry. See the usage instructions for more info.

There are a few materials that UHU will struggle to bond strongly with, mainly certain types of plastic which are notoriously hard to bond.

If your project involves one of these plastics, you may be better off with a plastic cement.

If you’re not sure, check out some of the customer reviews on Amazon for more information.

UHU works on:

  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Rubber
  • Fabric
  • Ceramic
  • PVC Plastics
  • Polystyrene
  • PET Plastic
  • Glass
  • Leather
  • Felt
  • Porcelain

UHU won’t work on:

  • HDPE and LDPE (Polyethylene)
  • Styrofoam
  • Polypropylene / PTFE

Click here to read customer reviews on Amazon

FAQs

Is UHU All Purpose Glue Toxic?

According to the manufacturer, the fumes given off by the glue as it dries may cause dizziness.

There are harmful solvents in the original version (acetone and methyl acetate) that are toxic if ingested.

In addition, the substance is classed as “slightly harmful” to aquatic life.

Is UHU glue Waterproof?

UHU all-purpose glue is solvent-based, so it is waterproof once it’s dry. It won’t degrade when exposed to water/dampness.

Is UHU all glue strong?

UHU is a very strong glue, especially when used on porous materials like wood, or fabric.

If UHU is not strong enough for you (what are you doing!) then you would need to consider a two-part epoxy instead.

Is UHU glue flammable?

While the glue is still wet, the fumes from the solvents as they evaporate may be flammable, so keep away from any naked flame.

However, once the glue is dry, it has a flashpoint of 425°C (almost 800°F).

Is UHU All Purpose glue good for shoes?

The answer to this depends on which part of your shoes that’s broken.

UHU will definitely bond to rubber and leather, making it a viable solution for shoe repairs, however, it is not the best glue for all situations.

UHU is excellent for repairing broken heels, or for small repairs, however for larger shoe repairs that require some flexibility, try Amazing Goop or Shoe Goo instead, which are both equally strong, but crucially retain some level of flexibility so that the glue won’t crack or split when your shoe is flexing.

Is UHU glue water based?

UHU all-purpose glue comes in two versions.

The original version is solvent-based (acetone), and the solvent-free version is water-based.

Is UHU glue conductive?

UHU all-purpose glue does not conduct electricity, it is an electrical insulator.

Does UHU work on Plastic?

UHU all-purpose glue bonds most types of plastic, but there are a few exceptions.

UHU will bond hard and soft PVC, PET, Polystyrene, Acrylic/Plexiglass, and high-pressure laminate plastics no problem.

The exceptions are expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) which will degrade when exposed to the acetone in the glue, and HDPE/LDPE type Polyethylene and Polypropylene which is notoriously hard to bond. 

Consider using a plastic cement if you need to bond plastics together.

Safety Data Sheet

Here’s the SDS for UHU all-purpose glue:
UHU all-purpose glue – Safety Data Sheet

UHU also provide a separate technical data document, which you can find below:

UHU all-purpose glue – Technical Specs

How long does UHU glue take to dry?

According to the manufacturer, the glue remains repositionable for around 20 seconds after application.

After that, the glue takes about 5 or 6 minutes to become solid and will have cured to around 80% strength after 24 hours.

The dry time depends on your working environment (temperature and humidity) and how much glue you used.

How to remove UHU all purpose glue?

UHU can be safely removed from surfaces and clothes with acetone.

You can find acetone in most nail polish removers, or pick some up online.

It’s easier to remove while it’s still wet, so if you spill any wipe it up with a damp rag straight away.

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