Best Glue Sitcks

Sam Brookler


Glue sticks are widely used in offices and especially schools. They are not harmful to human health: solvent free, non-toxic, and acid-free. Usually, sticks used for glue card and paper together and are not as strong as expensive liquid ones. But some have great strength (Elmer’s Glue Stick eXtreme). You can choose permanent (Permanent UHU Glue Stick) or clear washable (All Purpose School Elmer’s Glue Stick). The sticks are compact, easy to use, and they don’t get children’s hands dirty.  Washable glue is easy to clean out of clothes and hands, it dries quickly. Stick glue is perfect for crafts, arts, and school projects. The great popularity of sticks in schools caused the appearance of cool fun projects for kids such as starburst glue stick, glue stick slimes, DIY sticks coloring, etc.

Hot glue sticks or melt adhesive is commonly sold to be applied with a hot glue gun. It heats stick to melt and then the glue squeezed through a nozzle and solidifies in a few seconds. Hot glue doesn’t have the solvent, so drying stage is eliminated and glue doesn’t lose thickness during solidifying.

1. Elmer’s glue stick

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Since the 1940’s Elmer’s products offers a full line of adhesives for children and offices. Extra strength Elmer’s glue sticks are known to everyone. Elmer’s has proven its commitment to product’s quality.

Elmer's Glue Stick, Clear, Washable, 0.24-ounce

School Elmer’s Glue Stick
The stick glides purple color so you can see if the adhesive is applied fairly. Elmer’s Glue Stick purple disappearing formula is great for kids, it is easy to see when applying, and dries clear. Washes easily off hands and clothes, it is safe and non-toxic.

Easy gluing for kids, dries clear, colorless, and fast. Stick size – 0.21 oz (6g). Elmer’s glue sticks don’t clump when running the tip across a piece of paper. You can use it for paper, mount pictures, and fabric. Great for decoupage

Extra Strength Office Elmer’s Glue Stick

Office glue is stronger and dries up to 2 times faster than Elmer’s regular glue stick. Photo safe, washable, and non-toxic. Works on foam board and cardboard, computer paper, etc. Office sticks are not colored, stick a little better than colored ones. They both dry fast, sometimes too fast, sometimes you have to go back and add some extra glue to stick down paper sheets. Coverage layer is smooth, has few wrinkles, the sticks are well-priced.

CraftBond is often used in paper crafting. Provide a strong bond between fabric, paper, and photos. The stick’s formula allows moving attachments without damaging. As usual, the sticks are safe, non-toxic, Acid-free.CraftBond Repositionable Elmer’s Glue Sticks, Clear

Great for auditioning fabrics. You can print the layout and stick down fabric patches. You can move it around several times before it loses its stick. Works well for making full-size sticky notes.

2. UHU glue stick

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UHU glue stick
3D model glued to glass with UHU glue stick

UHU glue sticks are great for all types of paper, including acrylic art paper, cardstock, photos, scrapbooking paper – anything. You just put the glue on the paper and attach it to the cardstock or other material. Then turn it face down and hold it for a few seconds. Turn it over and press it down with for a few seconds again. Toss it aside and wait some time to dry. You do not really need to press it under books or anything. The only issue with the glue stick is when using it to adhere to “The Glitter Stack”, but it works fine if you lightly sand the paper.

UHU glue sticks are the best choice for gluing aircraft and other models. It worked out to be the absolute easiest way to cover models. But keep in mind that any glue covering job requires some experience and skill. UHU non-water soluble glues are preferred for modeling, but sometimes hard to get in the US.

UHU sticks are widely used in 3D printing for gluing the first print layer of PLA to the print bed. With it, you can print even the big models without problem to remove and Stick very hard to bed both for heated and nonheated beds. For heated bed glue at about 120°F. For a nonheated bed, you need to wait until UHU dry. Removing is very easy – pour some water on the bed, it becomes very slippery because of UHU glue layer. With this method, there’s less scratch on the bed.

Usually, with UHU glue sticks you don’t have problems with the sticks drying out, but sometimes drying is too fast after being applied, especially when they are halfway dried out when new. But you can re-humidify them by putting in the cap with a wet piece of wadded-up paper towel. Keep the UHU sticks in an empty jar with a screw top lid when not in use.

3. Fabric glue stick

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Bostik Blu Tack Glue Sticks Adhesive

There are many brands of fabric glue sticks: Uhu glue stick, Lapel and Fabric Gluestick, Dritz Fabric Glue Stick, etc. They all work well enough, but some of the sticks, are gummier than the others (Fabric Gluestick), others are waxier (Lapel stick) but less gummy.

For particularly important cases better to use liquid glues: Roxanne’s and Elmer’s Purple, etc. Roxanne’s is good for bindings on placemats and quilt bindings and have convenient applicator tip that is really excellent for controlling glue line. Some people use PVA, it works OK but will soak through the fabric if you apply too much. And it isn’t washable.

Fabric glue sticks are commonly used by quilters, who need to place standards exact where pieces need to be. Usually, they don’t need for special fabric glue, washable glue sticks work fine since the glue is just for assembly. Colored (but clear when dry) are easier to see where you put the glue.

Usually, better to use general glue sticks, like the Bostik Blu. You need to wait for the glue to dry (or if in a hurry, iron it dry). With it, you will never have the gumming up needle problem.

Really well works for English paper piecing, keeps the paper in place and when you need, pull off the fabric easily. Nice for basting in a seam pockets prior to sewing, seems to make the bond more secure. You can use the stick to hold any type of fabric together, it helps to fold over and then sew much easier. Great for added security when attaching a zipper. This glue dries clear but better to don’t get it on the surface of the project. The stick is great for applique, but Good specialized glue stick is Dritz Fabric. It is a water-soluble basting adhesive with an apple scent. Contains acid-free and nontoxic acid free glue, that washes out of most fabrics. Needs to be stored in a refrigerator to keep from drying out and spreading too thickly. The stick is not intended to bond fabric permanently and keeps it together without a mess, like a spray adhesive.

This glue dries clear but better to don’t get it on the surface of the project. The stick is great for applique, but the applicator is a little big for using on small pieces of fabric. Use a toothpick if you need to apply it to small areas.

The stick is great for applique, but the applicator is a little big for using on small pieces of fabric. Use a toothpick if you need to apply it to small areas.

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