Last updated: August 12, 2021
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Welcome to our big contact adhesive test 2022. Here we present all the contact adhesives we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best contact adhesive for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a contact adhesive.




The most important facts

  • Contact adhesives are the perfect all-purpose adhesives for everyday and household use.
  • The contact adhesives are particularly suitable for bonding materials made of a wide variety of materials such as paper, wood, fabrics, ceramics, etc..
  • They are also strongly adhesive, temperature-resistant, waterproof, inexpensive, flexible and variable in handling and application.

The Best Contact Adhesive: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying contact adhesives

When should you use contact adhesives?

Contact adhesives are particularly suitable when you want to join different materials such as wood, cardboard, fabrics, metal, plastic, etc. together.

Contact adhesives are especially good when you are doing crafts at home, fixing your car or gluing the handle to your favourite cup.

If you want clean and long-lasting results, you should go for the all-purpose adhesives. The correct application is very important and should be observed especially for materials with high resistance such as laminates.

Contact adhesives repair every break in the house. (Image source: pixabay.com / stevepb)

In the do-it-yourself and hobby scene, contact adhesives, which are also known as power adhesives, are particularly popular and help to flawlessly join the desired materials in any difficulty, no matter how small.

This is because contact adhesives are particularly suitable for bonding vertical and horizontal surfaces (such as wood).

What properties should the contact adhesive have?

The properties of the adhesive differ depending on the material you want to bond. But basically there are two different properties of contact adhesives:

  • Solvent-based contact adhesives
  • Water-based contact adhesives
  • Solvent-based contact adhesives

Since these adhesives are solvent-based, they dry faster and drip less than water-based adhesives.

Thus, accurate and precise work with this adhesive is highly recommended.

When drying, make sure that the environment is well ventilated because pollutants are released when the adhesive dries and are therefore harmful to the mucous membranes.

Water-based contact adhesives

Water-based contact adhesives are also known as glues and are also not as harmful to mucous membranes. They do drip more, but are very approved for natural materials such as wood, as they damage the surfaces less.

The difference between the two types is minimal. In addition, both contact adhesives are characterised by their high temperature resistance, which is particularly important indoors.

The versatile application possibilities and the easy handling of the adhesive are further advantages for working with contact adhesives. The durability and consistency of the adhesive are also important.

Advantages
  • Solvent-based adhesives drip less
  • Water-based adhesives are better for natural fabrics
  • Both have high temperature resistance
  • Both are especially good for indoor use
Disadvantages
  • Both adhesives are irreversible
  • Solvent-based adhesives release pollutants

In addition to contact adhesives, there is also superglue, which is only suitable when you need to repair something quickly.

For a clean and long-lasting result, you should take your time and use contact adhesives.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of contact adhesives?

Basically, contact adhesives are suitable for almost any situation where you want to glue something together. They adhere very well to different surfaces, are easy to have on hand and also have a long-term adhesive effect.

Contact adhesives have only a few disadvantages. Once something picks together, it is irreversible. Therefore, you should think carefully before using the adhesive.

Advantages
  • Good adhesion to different bases
  • Easy application and handling
  • Quick and inexpensive implementation
  • Long-term durability
Disadvantages
  • Not reversible
  • Flammable solvents
  • Contains harmful substances (especially dangerous for children)

What do you have to look out for when buying?

The choice of adhesive is just as important as the choice of materials to be bonded. Depending on the material, there are different specific adhesives that are approved for these jobs.

Here you should use specific contact adhesives depending on the elements to be processed.

In addition to the material, you should pay attention to the following characteristics:

  • Temperature-resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Fast drying
  • Solvent or water based
  • Durable
  • Low odour

Which brands are good for my desired result?

There are countless brands that sell contact adhesives. The best-known brands are Pattex and UHU.

Pattex scores with their wide range of adhesives, which not only offers different types of adhesives, but also different application options such as spray and hot glue. The prices are absolutely affordable compared to other brands.

UHU shows an equally large selection of products and the most diverse variations of adhesives. Especially hobbyists and creative minds will find what they are looking for in their range.

Uhu's prices are in the same price range as Pattex and are affordable for everyday consumers.

Besides the two big players, there are other brands, such as Würth, Kövulfix. These are a little more expensive, but are in first place in many product comparisons.

How much does contact adhesive cost?

Prices vary according to type, quantity, material and container. You can find a rough overview in the following table:

Brand Price
Pattex 8,77€ (125g)
UHU 4,49€ (120g)
Kövulfix 8,05€ (90g)

The prices were taken from amazon.de and may vary depending on the product and availability.

What alternatives are there besides contact cement?

Besides contact adhesives, which are mainly suitable for metal, plastic, rubber, etc., there are dozens of other adhesive alternatives. Here you can see an overview of the other adhesive options:

  • All-purpose glue for paper, cardboard, fabric
  • Wood glue
  • Superglue
  • Hot glue or hot glue gun
  • Assembly glue for metal, ceramics, wood or for sealants
  • Special and repair adhesives
  • Two-component adhesives
  • Radiation-curing adhesives

White glue is also suitable in many ways. It can be used in professional life in the field of handicrafts, as a hobby in the garage, for small jobs in your own home or for experiments.

So if you are looking for something special, you will definitely find the glue you need!

Decision: What types of contact adhesives are there and which one is right for you?

Besides the distinction between solvent-based and water-based contact adhesives, the types of power adhesives can be differentiated according to the material that is being bonded or joined.

However, since you can bond anything to anything, we will go into a selection of the most popular types of contact adhesives in the next paragraph.

Which type of contact adhesive is suitable for which material?

Contact adhesives are available in different variations, we have summarised an overview of the respective types for you here:

All-purpose adhesive

This wet glue is often used in the home and office. These materials, such as cardboard, fabric and paper, are ideal for handicrafts.

Styrofoam and materials containing polyethylene (PE) are less suitable for the all-purpose adhesive. In high humidity and high temperatures, it is possible that the glue will give way, so you should only use this glue indoors.

Another version of this is the 100% glue, which can also be used outdoors. You can buy this as money, superglue or with sealing potential.

Wood glue

Since wood contracts when it gets cold, you should use a special wood glue. Wood glue can generally be used on all types of wood.

How quickly the glue dries and how absorbent the wood is depends on the type of wood.

There are also different types: waterproof or fast-drying types. It is also possible that discolouration may occur with some types of wood, such as oak.

Wood glue is one of many alternatives besides contact glue. (Image source: pixabay.com /Counselling)

Assembly adhesive

This adhesive not only bonds, but is also suitable as a sealant. It is particularly good for avoiding drilling in walls and can be used on materials such as metal, ceramics or even wood.

Very practical especially in the kitchen and bathroom. Please note beforehand where you can use this adhesive! This is because many of these adhesives are limited to certain areas such as indoors or outdoors.

Special and repair adhesives

There are special adhesives for certain materials. These have been produced for the respective materials and are specialised for them.

Especially recommended for textile materials, metal, PVC and polystyrene. There are special types of adhesives for elastic materials such as rubber and leather. The special adhesives are particularly recommended for small craft work and repairs.

Some repair adhesives also have a special technique. These are available as glue sticks, for example, and their adhesive hardens when exposed to LED and/or UV light.

Among other things, there are kneaders where you can adapt the adhesive mass to the hole to be filled.

Power adhesive

Here, too, the name says it all. Here, materials are bonded that have a high impermeability, such as ceramics, plastics and glass.

In most cases, these adhesives contain solvents so that the adhesive does not evaporate over the years.

Here it is especially important to apply the adhesive to both surfaces of the material. Only after a few minutes of drying, press the two adhesive sides firmly together.

This creates a particularly high adhesive strength. This adhesive is more suitable for hard materials.

The following table gives you a brief overview of the different types of contact adhesives:

Type Description
All-purpose glue This is ideal for cardboard, fabric, paper.
Wood glue As the name suggests, only suitable for wood.
Assembly glue Particularly good for sealing and materials such as metal, ceramics or even wood.
Special and repair glue Specialised for certain basic materials such as textiles, metal, PVC and polystyrene.
Power adhesives For glass, ceramics and plastics, you should use particularly strong contact adhesives.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate contact adhesives

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate contact adhesives. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular contact adhesive is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Volume/quantity
  • Suitability for which material
  • Heat resistance
  • Water resistance
  • Type of application
  • Strength/Durability

Volume/quantity

Before you buy a bucket of glue, you should consider how much you will actually need for your project.

A standard tube varies from 70g to 120g, which is completely sufficient for everyday use. For larger quantities, cans or buckets are suitable, which are already available in kilogram sizes.

Before you open the product, you should check the expiry date. In most cases, the expiry date is between six months and two years. The longer you leave the tube or can open, the drier the adhesive will become.

Suitability for which material

As mentioned in the previous sections, you should buy the specific contact adhesive for the material. Most products have this information printed on them, indicating which materials the adhesive is suitable for.

In the best case, use an all-purpose adhesive, which will work in almost all cases. For more robust materials such as metal, plastic and textiles, you should use the special adhesives.

Heat resistance

It is extremely important that the glue should stick at any temperature. If the temperature is too warm, the adhesive could soften and release harmful substances. If the temperature is too low, the adhesive could become brittle.

Therefore, you should pay attention to the properties of the adhesive, which are indicated on the packaging. In most cases, contact adhesives are very heat-resistant and can withstand temperatures between -40 degrees and +110 degrees.

Pattex and Uhu products show these product properties on their packaging. It is best to store adhesives at room temperature.

Water resistance

This criterion is very important, especially at home in the bathroom or kitchen.

The adhesive should not come off at the slightest contact with water. Contact adhesive is particularly effective in sealing liquids and gases. Special contact adhesives already have this property.

Type of application (gel, spray, liquid)

There are a variety of ways to use contact adhesives. Besides the classic tube, there are also sprays, sticks and hot glue guns.

Depending on the project, you can choose the right product. Spray adhesives are mainly used for large-area materials, while glue sticks are mainly used for handicrafts, decorating and DIY.

The classic gel from the tube and the liquid from the bottle are ideal for every purpose.

Strength/Durability

Contact adhesives are particularly efficient and reliable for bonding various materials. They are characterised by their strong strength and their flexible application possibilities.

Therefore, you can rarely make a wrong choice with contact adhesives.

Facts worth knowing about contact adhesives

What do you have to look out for when using contact adhesives?

Before you apply the materials with the adhesive, you should clean the surfaces. This is necessary to achieve a clean result.

It is important that no dust, oil, grease or other liquids were on the surface. Special cleaning agents are available for this purpose, but cleaning with household products is also sufficient.

How to apply contact adhesive correctly?

Once the surfaces have been cleaned, you can apply the adhesive. It is best to spread the adhesive evenly over the surfaces and then press these surfaces together.

High and evenly distributed pressure is important to ensure a strong bond. Application methods vary depending on the product, so be sure to follow the instructions for use.

Alternatively, you can coat the surfaces with adhesive, let them air dry for a few minutes and then press the materials together.

This way they need less pressure and clamps or other aids are no longer needed.
With the so-called "finger test" you can test whether the adhesive film is already dry.

You press very lightly on the adhesive film with your index finger. If threads appear when you pull your finger away, the adhesive is not yet completely dry.

As soon as only small threads appear, you can press the surfaces to be glued together.

How can I remove contact adhesive?

If you have used too much contact adhesive, it is best to wait until the adhesive has dried completely and then simply rub off the excess.

If the adhesive has landed on your clothes, they can be washed in the washing machine at normal washing temperature.

Adhesive can be removed from textiles by simply washing them. (Image source: pixabay.com / stevepb)

Can contact adhesives be glued wet?

Yes and no. Basically, the surfaces to be bonded should be clean and dry.

Wet bonding is suitable for stickers or labels.

Can I thin contact adhesive?

Yes, you can. You should not experiment with household products, but buy special thinners. Manufacturers such as Pattex also offer thinners for their products.

Image source: 123rf.com / 47527917

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