Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big leather glue test 2021. Here we present all the leather adhesives that 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 leather glue 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 leather glue.




Summary

  • Leather adhesives are used especially for the sensitive material leather. Since leather has special material properties, it is important to meet these needs with a specially made adhesive.
  • There are different types of leather adhesives. Before buying, it is essential to be clear about the use of the leather glue and thus to purchase the right product.
  • The use of the selected leather glue differs from the use of the usual all-purpose glue! Drawing times and drying times must be sensitively adhered to, as well as meticulous preparation of the materials to be worked on.

The Best Leather Glue: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying leather glue

Is leather glue suitable for repairing shoes?

Absolutely yes. Leather glue or shoe glue is one of the best options for repairing shoes.

You don't necessarily need a professional or a sewing machine to work on leather. Leather glue creates an inexpensive alternative here, even for non-professionals. (Image source: unsplash.com / Devin Edwards)

To glue your sole back on, you need high-quality leather glue. Small tears and holes can also be repaired with leather glue.

Note, however, that your shoes should really be made of leather. If you have synthetic leather shoes, an all-purpose glue or power glue would also be a solution.

Is leather glue suitable for repairing sofas?

Leather glue is a safe option to repair your leather couch yourself at low cost.

Leather glue is specially formulated to meet the needs of stressed leather. Leather glue is also much more suitable for repair than "patching" the sofa.

This is because patching causes the leather to contract unnaturally, whereas leather glue simply fills the area to be repaired.

Please note, however, that this only applies to couches made of genuine and imitation leather. If you want to repair a fabric sofa, you will have to resort to other means.

Is leather glue suitable for repairing cracks?

Unfortunately, tears and holes occur very often, especially in leather. Therefore, leather glue is specially designed to repair these problems.

The edges of the two halves of the tear are solidly bonded together and adhere well even when force is applied.

If the tear is very large or even an obvious hole, liquid leather might be the solution for you.

The gluing technique is a little more complicated and you will need several tools, but you can skilfully rework large blemishes this way.

Can I make leather glue myself?

You can find DIY instructions for almost everything on the internet these days.

But be careful. Leather is high quality and expensive. You can find a recipe for glue on the internet, but only all-purpose glue or craft glue is made here.

Glues that meet the special requirements of leather as a material are hard to find on the internet.

If you do decide to use this type of glue, please follow all safety instructions and work responsibly and conscientiously. You will be working with chemicals and need to take protective measures beforehand.

How much does leather glue cost?

Leather glue is not expensive. Depending on the manufacturer, size and where you buy it, prices vary by a few euros.

Different special properties such as colour, activation by heat or sole compatibility are also reflected in the price. In general, leather glue costs between €4 and €25.

What is the alternative to leather glue?

Leather glue is specially developed for leather. There are good reasons for this, as this material is very demanding.

As an alternative, you can of course always use all-purpose glue or power glue. You do not necessarily need special leather glue, especially for small repairs or simple handicrafts that are not exposed to great forces.

However, if you want to be sure, use leather glue for leather materials. Especially if the repaired item will be used (shoes, sofa, clothes, etc.).

It doesn't have to be every day, but the material will still be exposed to a lot of stress and should be solidly glued.

Decision: What types of leather glue are there and which is the right one for you?

So now you know you need leather glue. But here, too, there are different options and variants with special properties. Among other things, you have the choice between:

  • Heat-activated leather glue
  • Leather glue for shoes or shoe glue
  • Coloured leather glue
  • Leather glue set

A description of the selection of offers is given below.

What distinguishes heat-activated leather glue and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Heat-activated leather glue is a material all-rounder wonder! However, you can only find this adhesive on the internet or in specialised shops.

You have to mix this glue yourself with a hardener before use. Then apply the glue to both sides that you want to glue together. Press both sides together and let it dry for 20 minutes.

Then heat the glued surface to at least 45°. You can use a hair dryer, an iron or even a heat gun. The hotter the better.

This way, the leather glue hardens and remains durable even when exposed to heat later on. But be careful not to damage the material you are working on with the heat!

In this case, the heat-activated leather adhesive guarantees a large combination of different materials (in technical terms, an upholstery material is a mixture of several chemical substances, in this case the adhesive.

Materials are what you work with, i.e. what you want to glue together).

Advantages
  • High temperature resistance
  • Low consumption
  • Extremely high resilience
  • Combination of different cover materials and materials possible
Disadvantages
  • Complicated application and procedure (heat activation)
  • Time-consuming
  • Adhesive must be mixed independently with hardener
  • Expensive

What are the advantages and disadvantages of leather glue or shoe glue for shoes and soles?

The most frequently requested leather glue is used for repairing shoes, especially for re-gluing the sole to the shoe.

In professional circles, this is referred to as shoe glue. Therefore, a subdivision here makes sense.

Just because a shoe is old and broken is no reason to throw it away. Leather glue and shoe glue bring our old-fashioned companions back into shape. (Image source: pixabay.com / pixel2013)

Leather glue for footwear is actually divided into leather glue for repairing leather shoes and extra shoe sole glue. It should be noted here that there is actually a difference and that shoe sole glue is not leather glue.

Shoe sole glue is particularly characterised by these product properties:

If you want to glue your sole back onto your shoes, you should use shoe glue. This applies to leather shoes as well as rubber or fabric shoes.

If you want to repair cracks or holes in your leather shoes, leather glue in colour is generally well suited.

However, make sure that you do not apply too much glue and that you choose the right colour. Read more about coloured leather glue in the next section.

Advantages
  • Waterproof
  • Very adhesive even under high mechanical stress
  • Elastic / flexible
  • Can be used for any material
Disadvantages
  • Drawing time of 15-20 minutes
  • Drying time of at least one night

What are the characteristics of coloured leather glue and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Coloured leather glue is also called liquid leather. This glue is used to glue cracks or holes in leather or also artificial leather.

Liquid leather is sold in many standard colours. There are also a large number of special colours or transparent colourless leather glue.

Liquid leather is mainly used for repairs. Unfortunately, there are frequent reports on the net of dark after-colouring of the treated area, so a meticulous selection of the colour shade is of particular importance.

Liquid leather is also available for suede articles. However, it should be mentioned that an imitation of this material is difficult to achieve and requires particularly great effort.

Unfortunately, even DIY stores often do not have all available colours in stock. Therefore, inform yourself in advance at your DIY shop or go to an online department stores' that has your desired colour in stock.

Advantages
  • Large colour selection
  • Professional result
Disadvantages
  • Multi-step process
  • Not available everywhere
  • Expensive

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a leather glue set?

A leather glue set is especially valuable for hobbyists, craftsmen and repair novices.

The standard set consists of the leather glue, a very fine brush and detailed instructions for use.

Different sets are complemented by leather dye and a small sponge for applying the dye or stretching material for gluing behind cracks. Coloured leather glue is also supplied in some cases.

Advantages
  • Instructions for use with useful tips that are hard to find on the internet
  • Complete scope of delivery for repair
Disadvantages
  • Only useful for repairs
  • colour shade only selectable to a limited extent

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate leather adhesives

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible leather adhesives.

The criteria you can use to compare leather adhesives include:

  • Availability
  • Universal application
  • Adhesive strength
  • Water resistance
  • Drying time

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Availability

Leather glue is a special glue with quite demanding and special characteristics. For this reason, you will not be able to buy it everywhere at any time.

The internet offers a safe online haven. Wholesalers such as Amazon or Ebay offer a wide range of standard leather adhesives.

In fact, if you need something more specialised, you can visit special leather websites such as Lederhaus.de, Lederzentrum.de or websites specifically dedicated to adhesives.

DIY stores, supermarkets and drugstores as well as handicraft shops offer a smaller selection, but score points with the possibility of immediate purchase. In addition, DIY and hobby shops in particular offer helpful advice and tips on application from trained staff.

So if you are very unsure, the option is to go to a DIY store and get advice.

If they don't have the product you need in stock, you can have it delivered or still order it on the internet - with the valuable knowledge that you are ordering the right thing.

Universal applicability

Leather glue is a special sub-type of adhesive. It is tailored to the special properties of leather.

In general, you can use all-purpose glue to glue leather. However, the result depends on your goal and the method you choose.

If you want to glue your sole back to your shoes, choose extra shoe glue. If you want to repair your leather jacket or sofa, choose coloured leather glue.

For small, partial repairs in which you have little experience yourself, a leather glue set is the right thing for you.

To achieve the best result, leather glue is not universally applicable. Please inform yourself in advance about the specific needs of your project.

Furthermore, you can use leather glue for other materials, but you must be aware of the properties of leather glue, such as its flexibility.

Adhesiveness

As mentioned in the last paragraph, different types of leather glue have different adhesive strengths.

Reliable adhesive strength is always desired. But flexibility and water resistance are also important criteria. (Image source. pixabay.com / RyanMcGuire)

Heat-activated leather glue is certainly the option with the highest adhesive strength among the leather glues mentioned.

Pressure and heat fuse the bonded elements together and the hardener polymerises (solidifies) and can no longer react even when heat is applied later.

Leather glue for shoes or shoe glue has quite an intensive adhesive power, as an adhesive function must be given even under high mechanical stress.

This form of adhesive strength is particularly exceptional, however, as the bonded area remains quite flexible.

Coloured leather glue, on the other hand, is known to lose its adhesive properties with heavy wear. However, it should be mentioned here that this adhesive is only used on one side.

This means that it is only applied to one side and is at the mercy of contact and friction, as it is not bonded to any other material.

Removability

The removability of the leather adhesive is largely related to the adhesive strength.

For one thing, leather is not in itself a hard or strong material. Scratches quickly become visible, as do stretches or abrasions. One should be aware of this before attempting to remove leather glue from a leather surface.

As already mentioned in the topic "Adhesive strength", adhesives for leather products are easier to remove if they have a lower adhesive strength.

In general, it is advisable to remove the leather glue as soon as possible after application, should the glue be undesirable at this point.

However, all sub-categories of leather glue such as heat-activated leather glue, coloured leather glue, leather glue for shoes or, in particular, leather glue sets, refer to whether they can be removed afterwards.

Water resistance

Leather glue has a high water resistance in many of the products offered. No matter in which subcategory one examines the product properties of glues for leather, this aspect is fulfilled in most cases.

However, water resistance in this sense means, and this must be clearly stated, that a certain amount of water cannot loosen the bonded joint.

General moisture over a longer period of time or use in water over a certain period of time are neither beneficial for leather nor for the described adhesives and their compounds.

Many manufacturers make explicit reference to water resistance on their product packaging, but at the latest you will find explicit references to the suitability or otherwise of the adhesive for water on their website.

Drying time

A drying time is annoying, holds up the whole process and yet must be adhered to for a perfect result. But who likes to wait?

Unfortunately, leather adhesives generally have a somewhat longer drying time than conventional adhesives. This is mainly because the adhesive needs a certain amount of time to "dry" or "set".

Especially with shoe glue or heat-activated leather glue, a long drying time is to be expected. This means not only the time between application and the actual gluing process but also the curing time before actual use.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 39381559

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