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Super Glue vs. Epoxy: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 24, 2023
Super glue is a fast-setting adhesive ideal for small repairs, while epoxy is a stronger, two-part adhesive used for a wider range of materials.

Key Differences

Super glue, known chemically as cyanoacrylate, is renowned for its quick bonding time, often setting within seconds. It's ideal for small, quick repairs, especially on non-porous materials like metal and plastic. Epoxy, in contrast, is a two-part adhesive consisting of a resin and a hardener that need to be mixed before use. Its curing time is longer, often taking several hours, but it provides a stronger bond suitable for a broader range of materials, including porous ones.
The strength and durability of super glue are suitable for minor repairs where a thin, invisible bond is desired. Its fast setting time, however, leaves little room for repositioning once the surfaces are joined. Epoxy, with its longer curing time, allows for adjusting the alignment of the bonded items. Once cured, epoxy forms a very strong and durable bond, resistant to heat and chemicals, making it ideal for heavy-duty repairs and projects.
Super glue is highly effective for bonding similar types of materials but can be less effective on materials that are exposed to high temperatures or solvents. It's also not ideal for gap-filling due to its thin consistency. Epoxy, on the other hand, is excellent for filling gaps and can bond a variety of different materials, including wood, metal, glass, and some plastics. Its resistance to heat and chemicals makes it more versatile for different environments.
In terms of ease of use, super glue is generally more user-friendly, often coming in a small, ready-to-use tube. Its quick setting time makes it convenient for fast repairs. Epoxy, while offering a stronger bond, requires more preparation, including mixing the resin and hardener in the correct ratio. This makes it less convenient for quick repairs but more suitable for projects where a stronger, more resilient bond is needed.
Safety and storage are also different between these adhesives. Super glue can bond skin instantly, which calls for careful handling. It also has a shorter shelf life once opened. Epoxy, while not bonding skin instantly, requires careful handling due to its strong fumes and potential skin irritants. It generally has a longer shelf life, but once mixed, it must be used within a limited time frame.

Comparison Chart


Cyanoacrylate, a single component
Two-part system (resin and hardener)

Setting Time

Seconds to minutes
Several hours

Bond Strength

Strong for small items
Very strong, suitable for heavy loads

Suitable Materials

Non-porous like metal, plastic
Diverse, including porous materials

Application Use

Quick, small-scale repairs
Larger, structural projects

Super Glue and Epoxy Definitions

Super Glue

Super glue is a fast-acting adhesive known for quickly bonding surfaces.
I fixed my broken glasses in seconds using super glue.


It's known for its high durability and resistance to heat and chemicals.
For the industrial repair, they chose epoxy because of its resilience.

Super Glue

It's a cyanoacrylate adhesive ideal for small and precise repairs.
She used super glue to reattach the broken piece of her ceramic vase.


Epoxy is suitable for complex repairs and projects, thanks to its robustness.
For the boat repair, epoxy was the go-to choice because of its strength.

Super Glue

Super glue is known for its strong bond and rapid setting time.
He repaired his model airplane with super glue due to its quick drying property.


Epoxy is a strong, two-part adhesive, mixing resin and hardener.
They used epoxy to bond the wooden pieces of the handmade table.

Super Glue

This adhesive is excellent for emergency repairs due to its instant bonding ability.
During the art project, super glue was handy for quick fixes.


This adhesive is ideal for structural projects requiring a strong, long-lasting bond.
Building the model required epoxy for its strong and durable bonding.

Super Glue

Super glue is a convenient, single-component adhesive for household use.
I always keep super glue at home for unexpected repairs.


Epoxy is versatile for bonding a variety of materials, including porous ones.
Epoxy was perfect for fixing the ceramic pot due to its gap-filling properties.


Any of various usually thermosetting resins capable of forming tight cross-linked polymer structures characterized by toughness, strong adhesion, and low shrinkage, used especially in surface coatings and adhesives.


See epoxide.


To fasten together with epoxy.


(chemistry) Derived from an epoxide.


A thermosetting polyepoxide resin used chiefly in strong adhesives, coatings and laminates; epoxy resin.


To glue with epoxy.


A thermosetting resin; used chiefly in strong adhesives and coatings and laminates


Glue with epoxy;
Epoxy the shards


What is epoxy?

Epoxy is a durable, two-part adhesive ideal for heavy-duty bonding and structural projects.

What is the curing time for epoxy?

Epoxy typically takes several hours to cure completely.

How quickly does super glue set?

Super glue sets within seconds to minutes, depending on the brand and conditions.

Can super glue be used on all materials?

Super glue works best on non-porous materials and is less effective on porous surfaces.

What materials is epoxy suitable for?

Epoxy can bond a wide range of materials, including porous and non-porous surfaces.

Can super glue be used for gap filling?

Super glue is not ideal for gap filling due to its thin consistency.

What is super glue?

Super glue is a fast-drying, strong adhesive used for quick, small-scale repairs.

Is super glue waterproof?

Most super glues are water-resistant but not fully waterproof.

Is epoxy resistant to heat and chemicals?

Yes, epoxy is known for its high resistance to heat and chemicals.

What safety precautions are needed with super glue?

Avoid skin contact and inhalation; super glue bonds skin instantly and can be irritating.

How long can super glue be stored?

Once opened, super glue has a limited shelf life, often a few months.

What is the shelf life of epoxy?

Unmixed epoxy can be stored for years, but once mixed, it must be used within a short time.

What safety measures should be taken when using epoxy?

Use in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves, as it can be a skin irritant and produces fumes.

Can super glue be used for outdoor projects?

Super glue is less suitable for outdoor use due to its sensitivity to environmental factors.

Is epoxy suitable for outdoor use?

Epoxy is excellent for outdoor projects due to its durability and resistance to elements.

How good is epoxy for gap filling?

Epoxy is excellent for filling gaps due to its thicker consistency and strong bond.

How is super glue typically packaged?

It's usually sold in small tubes or bottles for convenient, immediate use.

How is epoxy packaged?

Epoxy comes in separate containers for the resin and hardener, which are mixed before use.

Can super glue withstand high temperatures?

Super glue can degrade at high temperatures and is not recommended for heat-intensive applications.

How does temperature affect epoxy?

Epoxy maintains its strength under high temperatures, making it suitable for heat-exposed applications.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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