For the last half century or so the conventional wisdom for gluing something together when you really needed it glued now was to go out and buy a small tube of superglue.
Super glue or Krazy glue have been used for repairing a thousand different things – From broken toys, to fingernails, to skin.
But it has had its problems. I’ve heard just about every complaint out there about superglue or krazy glue. Often, it just doesn’t work or, the biggest complaint seems to be that when you are ready to use it there is nothing to use – it has dried up. My unsubstantiated theory is that is why the containers have gotten smaller over the years. One never gets more than one use out of a tube of super glue because the cap glues shut and you can’t get at the rest of it. So, the manufacturers have now made the tubes a one shot deal.
Approximately ten years ago another product hit the market on this side of the Atlantic – an industrial version of this type of glue that has been marketed mainly through trade shows and events. The main ones available are Miracle Glue, The Last Glue, Pasco Fix and Lighting Bond. You can invariably find these glues being demonstrated at Home Shows and Boat Shows around the country. Most can now be found more easily on the internet.
Technically, the difference is this: The base of all of these adhesives is something called cyanoacrylate. If you move in the hobby circles, it is commonly referred to as CA. The latter, newer glues are far superior. The main difference is in the distillation process – the number of times the product is distilled. Super Glue and Krazy Glue can be considered your raw form. They are your “crude oil”. The newer products: Miracle Glue, The Last Glue and the others are the “refined oil”. They are distilled several times. The solvents are distilled out. Solvents make super glue dry out too quickly and get brittle and discolor once cured.
In application here are some of the differences. The newer glues come in larger bottles which generally last much longer – a year or two if kept refrigerated or in the freezer. You can get literally hundreds of uses if you take care of a bottle. Because there are no solvents, they will not dry out quickly when exposed to the air. If you forget to put the lid back on for even a couple of hours it isn’t a problem – as long as you don’t knock it over. They bond extremely quickly depending on the material being adhered. And for the most part once glued the item will stay glued. The better ones dry both clear and flexible. For all the fishermen out there – you can mend your waders with these types of glue as well. Because there are no solvents, you won’t melt the neoprene. Super glue or krazy glue will eat a nasty hole right through your waders or wetsuit.
So, the next time your are visiting a Home Show, Boat Show and sometimes the state fair, have a look for the person demonstrating the “miracle glue”. Quite a show! You will be impressed, I’m sure.