We all need to fix things every once in a while, so it’s a good idea to have a multi-purpose glue on hand for emergencies.
In this article, I’m going to talk about one of the best types of glue on the market: UV Glue.
Its qualities and many benefits make it the perfect choice for all applications.
UV glue works differently from other glues. This adhesive is compatible with most materials and surfaces; it forms strong, highly resistant bonds, cures clear for a subtle effect, and has a prolonged shelf life.
But most importantly, you’re in full control over the curing process. You can’t go wrong with such a versatile adhesive in your toolbox!
Recommendation – UV Glue Loctite 34931 Light Cure Adhesive is an acrylic-based UV glue that forms powerful, near-instant bonds on smooth materials like plastic, metal, and glass.
It works best for small and lightweight repairs. This glue dries clear and non-tacky and has high temperature and water resistance, but it’s not waterproof.
Keep reading for more great UV Glue options and some useful tips!
UV Glue Explained
UV glues are great multi-purpose adhesives, and they have flexible curing times. They can instantly bond materials, but only when you want them to.
They also have high strength and resistance to damaging factors. But the unique thing about this type of adhesive is its innovative curing technology.
Unlike other types of glue, UV glue isn’t self-curing. This is a big advantage because you fully control the curing process.
This glue doesn’t begin drying until exposed to direct UV light. When the glue comes into contact with UV wavelengths, an instant photochemical reaction hardens the bond permanently.
UV Glues by Type
The general idea behind all types of UV glues is the same— you need UV light to trigger a chemical reaction.
This reaction causes the base components in the glue to harden, forming a very tough plastic material.
There are two main types of UV glue you should know about. Both of them cure the same way, but each has its perks.
Acrylic UV glues are the most popular due to their many perks.
Not only are they highly resistant to water, heat, and chemicals, but they also have high adherence to smooth surfaces.
It’s hard to work with glass, metal, or plastic, but this glue will deliver your desired results.
This glue also maintains its shape during curing. It doesn’t shrink while drying, so what you apply is what you get.
However, no great thing is without drawbacks, and when it comes to acrylic-based UV glues, there are a few worth mentioning.
This type of UV glue has a longer drying time, up to two minutes. Even after curing completely, you might have to expose the bond to heat to increase its durability.
Last but not least, this adhesive might be a bad choice for visible surfaces. That’s because acrylic UV glue is susceptible to yellowing.
The second most common and popular UV glue is epoxy-based resin. This type of UV glue has high bond strength and overcomes many of the downsides of acrylic glue.
Epoxy resin glue has a short curing time. It’s usually a matter of seconds for the bond to dry fully after UV exposure.
Moreover, this glue usually has additional curing mechanisms, such as moisture or heat.
It properly adheres to non-porous materials like glass, plastic, and metal.
But this UV glue works best on porous surfaces and for gap filling. That’s because it can cure even up to a depth of 15 mm.
Other benefits of this glue include the clear, seamless finish, resistance to yellowing, and a lack of post-cure requirement.
However, this glue isn’t very resistant to solvents or weather factors. Another disadvantage is that this adhesive shrinks up to 15% while curing.
Unsuitable glues for UV include Bondic glue and super glue.
Best 5 UV Glues: Recommendations
Below you can find my list of the best UV glue:
1. UV Glue Loctite 34931 Light Cure Adhesive
- Perfect for gluing glass
- Works on tempered glass
- Great UV activated glue
- Works under direct sunlight
- Is not waterproof
- Does not come with a UV lamp
The UV Glue Loctite 34931 Light Cure Adhesive is perfect for small repairs, crafts, and filling in gaps.
This adhesive bonds many materials, even smooth ones like plastic, glass, and metal.
You can use this glue to bond plastic or glass to metal and glass to glass. However, this glue can’t bond metal to metal.
This Loctite product creates tough, unbreakable bonds with high water, solvent, and temperature resistance.
However, this glue isn’t 100% waterproof and doesn’t adhere well to wet surfaces.
This is a very fast curing glue and dries clear, creating a subtle effect. After about 5-10 seconds of UV exposure, the bond should cure completely.
The product doesn’t come with a UV light, so you’ll have to purchase that separately. Any UV light with a wavelength of 365nm should work.
2. GUGUYeah UV Light Glue Kit
- Very easy to use
- Affordable pricing
- Best glue for UV
- Water resistant
- Not good for small jobs
The GUGUYeah UV Light Glue Kit gives you the entire package for an affordable price.
You get a sleek, easy-to-use glue pen, a compact UV light with batteries, and a small refill pack containing 8g of adhesive.
The product design makes for a very simple, precise, mess-free application.
Thanks to the thin pen tip, you can apply this glue to the smallest and narrowest surfaces without creating a mess. This product is perfect when you need to be hyper-precise.
In seconds, you can use this adhesive to bond, fix, fill, and seal almost anything. You can even build up layers of product to complete missing chips and wide cracks.
This glue is also compatible with almost any material, including glass, metal, plastic, ABS, PVC, stainless steel, acrylic, rubber, fabric, ceramic, wood, and many more.
This product is non-toxic, dries clear, has a 5-second curing time, and it’s 100% waterproof and heat resistant.
You can rely on this glue to offer strong, durable bonds and to fix anything that other glues can’t.
3. Solarez UV Dual Cure
- Cures very fast
- High heat resistance
- Great for craft projects
- Not good for outdoor projects
Solarez UV Dual Cure is exactly what you need for big projects such as woodworking, flooring, auto, or marine applications.
This clear, low-odor, eco-friendly polyester resin works on most materials and forms intense, long-lasting bonds.
This product is ideal for professional, home use, and all wide-surface applications.
The resin also has a very short curing time, as it hardens in 3 minutes under UV exposure.
What’s even better about this product is its dual curing system. Besides UV light, you can also activate the curing process by adding an MEKP catalyst.
Once cured, the adhesive stays clear, remains UV stable, and is extremely dry and non-tacky.
4. Limino Store UV Resin
- Great for phone repair
- Works under direct sunlight
- Dries in just a minute
- Only recommended for phone repairs
The Limino Store UV Resin is ideal for small art and craft projects such as encasing, creating molds, or making jewelry.
Check out my guide on the best glues for jewelry for more info.
This resin is easy to work with as it is both self-degassing and self-leveling. It cures very quickly under direct UV exposure and has excellent heat and yellowing resistance.
This resin is crystal clear and has a smooth, glossy finish once fully cured. Thanks to its hard and non-porous texture, it’s also anti-stain and easily cleanable.
However, it’s worth noting that this product isn’t very moisture resistant, so you should keep your creations away from high humidity areas or direct water contact.
5. RapidFix UV Liquid Plastic Adhesive
- Heat and moisture resistant
- Can be painted on
- Cures very fast
- Not good for large scale use
The RapidFix UV Liquid Plastic Adhesive can be a great choice for small repairs or arts and crafts.
This adhesive works on smooth surfaces and materials like plastic, glass, and metal and forms very powerful and durable bonds.
If you are interested in reading more about the above then check out my guide on glues for plastic.
You can also use this glue to fill in gaps and cracks and build small missing chips.
Once exposed to direct UV light, the glue cures within seconds. It dries into a very tough texture and can also be filed, sanded, drilled, or painted.
Even better is that this product package also contains a UV light, so you won’t have to purchase one separately.
You should know that this glue isn’t highly resistant to weather factors, and it’s best kept for indoor use only.
Tips For Using UV Glue
UV glue is easy enough to use. UV glue is applied and clamped similarly to the more straightforward regular glue.
The only additional step you need to remember is manual curing. However, here are some tips for the best results and for maintaining your safety while working.
Clean the surfaces thoroughly before applying any glue. Ensure that the materials are perfectly dry.
This will give you the highest adherence and the tightest bond possible.
Check the curing time on the packaging. Some UV glues take seconds, while others take a few minutes to cure.
Remember to clamp the objects before initiating the curing process if you’re trying to bond two surfaces together.
Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing some sunglasses with a high UV rating, preferably UV 400 or higher.
Work in a well-ventilated area or wear a mask. Most UV glues have a strong odor, and some might even cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to irritants.
Be careful not to get the product on your skin, especially working in a sunny room. UV glue cures almost instantly once under direct UV exposure.
There’s a very specific method to using UV glue: exposing it to UV light.
It works even if you have an indoor project to work on, but you’ll need to get the materials outside after you glue them. Or use a UV lantern to let the adhesive harden.
In any case, I recommend UV Glue Loctite 34931 Light Cure Adhesive is the best adhesive for these types of jobs.
A UV Glue is very handy for most applications, having a great bonding strength, though not a lot of flexibility.