Whether working on furniture repairs, home decorations, or just simple arts and crafts projects, you may have to combine leather and metal.
This is quite a common combination of materials, thanks to the fresh and modern look it creates.
If you’re looking for an adhesive to help with this application, this article is just for you!
Watches, jewelry, bags, other accessories, and furniture can all be made from leather and metal.
You may need to bond porous leather and smooth metal in many possible applications.
While the process is straightforward, you’ll need a versatile glue compatible with both materials.
Recommendation – B-7000 Glue, Multipurpose High Grade Industrial Adhesive is perfect for bonding all sorts of materials, including porous leather and smooth metal.
It has a near-instant cure and forms unbreakable bonds without any clamping required.
Moreover, the cured glue remains clear and is heat resistant, 100% waterproof, and washer safe.
Keep reading for more powerful glues and useful tips for leather-to-metal applications!
Suitable Glues for Bonding Leather to Metal
Bonding porous and non-porous materials like leather and metal together can be challenging.
You’re going to need an adhesive that’s compatible with different types of surfaces and materials.
Luckily, there are a few great options worth considering.
Super glue is among the best options for leather-to-metal applications. Not only is this glue compatible with both of these materials, but it’s also very easy to use.
You don’t have to improvise to keep the materials clamped together because superglue cures in less than one minute.
It has a strong initial tack and has decent weight-bearing capabilities once cured.
Moreover, most superglues are also waterproof and heat resistant. They are also usually dry clear, producing seamless results even on the darkest colored materials.
Where superglue falls short is on shock and impact resistance.
Superglue also dries quite rigid, so it’s best used for static components and not on anything that needs to remain flexible.
However, a lot of manufacturers have managed to get around this issue.
Many new superglue formulations are reinforced with rubber or similar materials that increase flexibility, tensile strength, and impact resistance.
Super glue can also be used to glue rhinestones on fabric and shoes.
Two-part epoxy won’t let you down.
It’s ideal for heavy-duty applications and serious projects. While this adhesive is more difficult to use and has an extremely long curing time, sometimes up to 30 or 40 hours, its performance makes the drawbacks well worth it.
Two-part epoxy comes in two separate packs. On the one hand, you have the resin, and on the other, you have the hardener.
You’ll have to mix these two components in a 1:1 ratio for the best performance.
Then, you must transfer the mixture to the surfaces you want to bond. This is where things can get a little messy.
You’ll also have to use clamps to keep the materials pressed tightly during the curing process.
This adhesive is not ideal for small applications or quick fixes.
However, if you want a permanent and highly resistant bond, you’d be hard-pressed to find better alternatives than epoxy.
This type of glue can bond to virtually any material and surface.
It forms incredible bonds even on smooth materials like in metal-to-metal applications.
It has incredible tensile strength and can bear a lot of weight.
Besides that, epoxy is highly resistant to most damaging factors, including moisture, water, UV light, extreme temperatures, shock, impact, and more.
Hot glue is among the most popular adhesives for arts and crafts and small repairs. And it’s very suitable for these applications.
This glue is economical, super easy to use, and highly versatile. It can adhere to virtually any textured surface.
It works extremely well for leather and other textiles, and you can also make it work on metal with some prepping.
You do need some additional equipment to use hot glue.
However, you can find glue guns in all price ranges, and the glue sticks themselves are very cheap and long-lasting.
Compared to other application methods, you can control the flow of the glue with the simple press of a button.
Your hands are also nowhere near the glue while you work, so you’re less likely to get any of the product on yourself.
Hot glue bonds and dries super quick, so you won’t have to worry about clamping. Once cured, the glue is waterproof and non-toxic.
But remember that hot glue has low heat, tension, or impact resistance. It’s not the best for weight-bearing or extended applications.
But hot glue is fine for small fixes and DIY projects where you don’t need a lot of power.
I should also mention that hot glue dries clear so that you can use it on visible surfaces.
However, you can also find tinted hot glue for arts and crafts projects.
Hot glue is ideal as glue for felt.
Last but not least, you got cement glue, which is great for large or heavyweight applications.
This adhesive works best on porous materials like stone, concrete, wood, and leather.
It can also work on metal, which makes it suitable for leather-to-metal applications.
Most construction adhesives contain rubber and plastic monomers, which help these glues dry somewhat flexibly.
This is important because a flexible bond is highly resistant to shock, impact, and tension.
Due to its formulation, cement glue is also resistant to temperature, water, and moisture.
The bond it creates is permanent and very difficult to break apart.
The high flexibility makes this glue great for malleable materials like leather, as well as for moving components and weight-bearing applications.
Unsuitable leather glue for metal includes gorilla glue, gorilla super glue, regular metal glue, wood glue, gorilla super glue gel, tacky glue, craft glue, fabric glue, Krazy glue, Mod Podge, wood glue, PVA glue, contact cement, and epoxy adhesive.
Best 5 Glues for Leather to Metal
These are my recommendations for the best glue for leather to metal.
1. Loctite All Purpose Super Glue
- Perfect to glue leather to metal
- Great leather adhesive
- Can bond metal
- Works on any leather products
- Bad smell
Loctite’s All Purpose Super Glue is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a quick fix and precise application.
This cyanoacrylate glue sets and cures almost instantly. You’ve got a sturdy, long-lasting bond in just a few seconds.
There’s also little to no clamping required.
Overall, this brand superglue has all the benefits of any regular cyanoacrylate adhesive and some extra perks! It’s fast-acting, powerful, and highly versatile.
You can use it on wood, rubber, metal, plastics, ceramic, leather, and more.
Thanks to its formulation, the bond remains highly resistant to solvents, water, temperature, and shock, which can’t be said about all superglue adhesives.
It also dries clear, offering an invisible finish even on very dark leather material.
However, it should be noted that this adhesive doesn’t adhere well to very smooth surfaces.
For bonding leather to metal, you might consider surface prepping first. You need to roughen up the metallic surface for the best bond.
This glue is very easy to control regarding the application itself. The compact tube design and the thin dispenser top aid you in even the most precise applications.
You can squeeze a larger quantity of glue for wider surfaces or dab a very small amount for minor repairs.
Another great thing about this product is the anti-clog cap design, which ensures high reusability long after opening the packaging.
You won’t have to worry about glue drying out and clogging the cap anymore.
2. MITREAPEL Super CA Glue
- Works also as a jewelry adhesive
- Works on real leather
- Perfect for gluing metal to leather
- Good for bonding metal and leather gluing
- Bad smell
The MITREAPEL Super CA Glue is a bit different than other cyanoacrylate-based adhesives.
For starters, this is a two-part adhesive. The product comes with a bottle of glue and a spray activator which speeds up the curing process.
But that’s not all! There are a lot of great things that make this glue a very close tie to the top pick.
This glue has insane strength. With just 2 drops of glue per square inch of surface area, you’ll get a solid, permanent bond that’s resistant enough even for outdoor applications.
Then, this glue cuts the curing time of an average superglue down to less than half.
While most superglues cure in around 45 seconds, the adhesive activator spray helps you finish the job in as little as 5-12 seconds.
Talk about instant bonds! And if you ever run out of adhesive activators, don’t worry!
The glue can also cure by itself, although that would require around 2 extra minutes.
Another great thing about this adhesive is its high versatility. Besides non-stick surfaces and very smooth plastics, this glue can adhere to and bond virtually anything.
You can use it to bond leather to metal or any other combination of materials, including wood, rubber, ceramic, glass, most plastics, fiberglass, and many more.
Whether you need it for crafting, building, repairs, renovations, model making, or any DIY project, this glue won’t disappoint.
You can even use it for industrial-grade applications requiring a strong and durable bond.
I should also mention this glue dries clear. However, if you find it shiny and want to go the extra mile, you can also sand and paint it.
Finally, when it comes to the application, this adhesive is both easy to use a non-messy.
The application nozzle is thin enough for high-precision applications, and the glue has a high viscosity.
That makes it easy to control and less likely to drip everywhere.
3. RH S-18 Neoprene Cement Adhesive
- Can fix a leather jacket
- Perfect to glue leather to metal
- Creates a strong bond
- Not optimal for smaller applications
The RH S-18 Neoprene Cement Adhesive is best suited for heavy-duty tasks and industrial use.
This glue has an incredible hold and amazing tensile strength but has a longer curing time and isn’t compatible with as many materials as other glues.
While this is an all-purpose glue, it’s also not recommended for bonding plastics such as polystyrene or vinyl.
It’s also not suitable for pure gum rubber. Some of the solvents in this formula might be too strong and damage soft plastics.
However, this adhesive works well for both porous and non-porous surfaces. It’s excellent for bonding neoprene and SBR rubber to metal.
It also works on leather, wood, glass, and other types of plastics and could be a good option for polyester-based faux leather.
The bond you can obtain using this glue is nothing to scoff at. This adhesive has a tight hold, and the glue remains highly flexible once cured.
This glue is also temperature and water-resistant, albeit not completely waterproof.
Also, unlike other glues on the list, this one doesn’t dry clear, although it does keep a natural color that blends in with most types of leather.
It’s best to choose this adhesive for larger applications because it comes in 16 fl oz cans.
4. E6000 230010 Craft Adhesive
- Can glue plastic as well
- Dries clear
- Creates a strong bond
- Not waterproof
E6000’s 230010 Craft Adhesive is a quick-acting, high-resistance, industrial-strength glue that you can use on virtually any material.
Need to bond leather to metal or any other combination of materials, including fabric, wood, ceramic, glass, plastic, and cardboard?
This glue can do all that and more!
Apart from that, this adhesive also dries clear and is paintable. You can easily make it blend in to disguise any repairs.
This adhesive has great durability. Once cured, the bond can resist exposure to UV, extreme heat, sock a, and impact.
Because it dries flexible, it’s also a good choice for pieces where you need to maintain some movement.
This is crucial for textiles and leather, where you need the material to remain malleable.
The bond you get with this adhesive is permanent, but remember this glue isn’t waterproof.
Prolonged exposure to water could compromise the bond’s strength and durability.
5. Gorilla 7700104 Super Glue
- extremely versatile
- Short working time
- Creates a strong bond
- Sets near instantly
- Bottle is a bit hard to squeeze
The Gorilla 7700104 Super Glue is another great option for a broad list of applications.
You can use this adhesive on leather, metal, rubber, wood, ceramic, paper, cardboard, and most plastics.
However, you should know that for best results, you should stick to using this glue on porous surfaces.
You can also sand metal surfaces to create texture and better adherence. This glue is very strong. It has a tight hold and an almost instant tack.
With just 1 dab per square inch, you get the best possible results in as little as 10-45 seconds.
The very short working time could make this glue tricky to use if you make any mistakes, so triple-check that everything’s right before applying.
On the plus side, the near-instant setting means you won’t have to spend too much time clamping the materials.
The improved gel formula also takes this glue’s performance up a notch.
This product has incredible resistance to shock and impact compared to many other superglues.
The no-run gel formula makes this glue easy to control and apply to vertical surfaces without creating a mess.
It dries crystal clear, too, so you can use it on all shades of leather, from light tan to pure black. Nobody will be able to tell!
The product comes in a safe bottle with an anti-clog cap. Because a little bit of this glue goes a long way, you’ll store it for a long time.
But thanks to this design, you won’t have to deal with the glue drying out shortly after opening the bottle.
You’ll be able to use it with the same results repeatedly.
Tips for Gluing Leather to Metal
Gluing leather to metal isn’t as easy as it seems. Because we’re working with porous and non-porous surfaces, getting the two to stick together can be challenging.
While the right glue will help a lot, you can also do some extra things to improve the bond strength even further.
First, always clean the materials thoroughly. Most glues won’t adhere well to greasy surfaces.
In addition, dust or debris can also weaken the bond because they form a thin layer between the adhesive and the material.
If you have a smooth, polished metal piece, you can also try to create some texture for the glue to stick to.
Using coarse-grit sandpaper or some steel wool, scrub the metal surface for a few seconds until you can feel the texture becoming rougher.
Make sure you choose a suitable glue for the application at hand.
A brittle glue with low tension resistance won’t adhere well on heavyweight materials, even if you went through all the extra prepping required.
Apply small quantities of glue to both surfaces and clamp the materials together.
Using more glue won’t necessarily make the bond stronger and might increase the curing time.
Make sure to read product instructions and respect curing and clamping times.
For a tight and stable bond, you must keep the clamps on for the full period specified on the label.
Using glue for leather to metal applications is pretty straightforward. However, most adhesives emit dangerous organic volatile compounds during the curing process.
There are also other potential dangers worth considering. Safety comes first, so you should be prepared to take all necessary precautions.
- Wear protective gloves when working with any type of quick-drying adhesive. Superglue is especially dangerous because it can bond skin instantly. Since cyanoacrylate-based glues are resistant to water and most solvents, you won’t be able to weaken the bond for easy removal. Hot glue is another potential danger for direct skin contact. Touching hot glue straight out of the gun is painful and could lead to skin burns.
- Always check label instructions. Certain glues might cause serious breathing irritations. If using toxic glue or any glue with a strong odor, always work in a well-ventilated area. You should also wear a mask for the best protection possible.
- Don’t forget eye protection. Toxic glue vapors can also cause painful eye irritation and tearing.
There you have it! Leather and metal are some of the most common but difficult materials to bond together.
However, with Loctite All Purpose Super Glue or any other products included in this article, you’ll be able to get the job done with minimal effort.
Always read label instructions for the best results, whichever adhesive you choose.
The tips in this article should also come in handy if you still have trouble making the leather adhere to the metal surface.