Titebond 2 vs 3: Which Glue is Better for Your Project?

Titebond 2 vs 3: Which Glue is Better for Your Project?

Titebond Original Glue has been an indispensable part of woodworking equipment for decades, but its range of applications was always limited to indoor projects. Now, the brand also offers the choice between the Titebond 2 vs 3 to all DIYers in need of wood glue for outdoor projects.

Despite offering more cohesive power than wood glues, screws, nails, and fasteners can be difficult to hide and sometimes they spoil the visual appearance of a wooden object. Go through this wood filler vs wood putty if you’re unsure which substance to use to repair wooden items.

PVA glues like the Titebond II Premium or the TiteBond III Ultimate offer an excellent solution to this problem, as they provide an impressive amount of holding power.

Affordable and Versatile
Titebond II Premium Wood Glue
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Stronger and More Resistant
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue
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In this Titebond 2 vs 3 comparison, we’re going to walk you through their most important features and suggest the best applications for these PVA glues.

Main Differences Between Titebond 2 vs 3 Wood Glues

The main differences between the Titebond II Premium vs the Titebond III Ultimate wood glues are:

  • Titebond 2 offers 3,750psi of bond strength, whereas the Titebond 3 provides 4,000psi of bond strength
  • Titebond 2 is waterproof, whereas Titebond 3 is water-resistant
  • Titebond 2 has a blue label, whereas the label on the Titebond 3 is green
  • Titebond’s dried film is orange, whereas the color of the Titebond 3’s dried film is light brown
  • Titebond 2’s minimum application temperature is 55F, whereas Titebond 3 can be applied to a material at 47F or higher temperatures

Key specifications

Titebond II Premium  Titebond III Ultimate 
Glue type Cross-linking PVA Proprietary polymer
Strength 3,750psi 4,000psi
Open time 3 to 5 minutes 8 to 10 minutes
Total assembly time 10 to 15 minutes 20 to 25 minutes
Minimum temperature during application 55F 47F
Shelf life 2 years 2 years
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Examining the features of Titebond 2 and 3 wood glues

Titebond Glue

Titebond II Premium

Arguably, one of the best PVA wood glues on the market, the Titebond II Premium is both affordable and incredibly strong. However, it is not the only glue from the Titebond series, since the brand manufactures the following models:

The properties of these models are slightly different, so for instance the optimum application temperature for Titebond II Extend is 60F, while the application temperature for Titebond II Premium is 55F or higher.

Also, the contexts in which these wood glues perform the best aren’t the same, so the Titebond II Extend is a better choice for you if you need glue that takes up to 15 minutes to harden.

You can use either of Titebond II glues for outdoor projects because their performance isn’t affected by wet weather conditions.

In this article, we are going to focus on the properties of the Titebond II Premium wood glue, but keep in mind that other models from this series can be better suited for your project.

Key features

Titebond II Premium

  • Cross-linking PVA glue
  • The Titebond II Premium has the ANSI Type 2 water-resistance certification
  • Provides 3,750 of bond strength
  • It takes around 15 minutes for adhesive to join two pieces of wood
  • This wood glue contains 3.0g/L of VOC
  • The Titebond II Premium can be cleaned up with water
  • Wood finishes don’t affect the glue’s performance
  • FDA certification for indirect food contact

Glue composition

Like all PVA or Polyvinyl Acetate glues, the Titebond II Premium contains a water-based emulsion that evaporates after it is applied to a material. Also, this Titebond’s wood glue contains 3.0g/L of volatile organic compound that helps the glue harden in a relatively short time.

The composition of the Titebond II Premium makes it partially resistant to water exposure, so a moderate amount of rain can’t affect its performance. However, if the adhesive is submerged and left underwater for some time the strength of the bond will start to weaken.

Besides outdoor projects, this wood glue can be utilized on kitchen renovation or bathroom improvement ideas because of its ability to keep wooden elements together despite moderate water exposure.

The wood glue also performs well when it’s used to create birdhouses, fences, or sheds but it isn’t strong enough to be utilized for heavy load-bearing applications.

Bond strength and gluing process

Wood glue strength is usually between 3,600 and 4,000 pounds per square inch, which means that the wood-to-wood connection made by the glue can withstand the amount of pressure in this range.

The bond strength provided by the Titebond II Premium is 3,750psi, so it is neither the strongest nor the weakest wood glue you can find on the market. The adhesive needs between 100psi and 150psi of pressure to take hold when it is applied onto softwoods.

To join medium woods with Titebond II Premium you have to apply between 125psi and 175psi, while to glue hardwoods you’ll need from 175psi to 250psi of pressure.

The pressure must be applied for at least 10 to 15 minutes to connect two pieces of wood, but in some cases, you’ll have to keep applying pressure for up to 24 hours to ensure that wooden elements are properly bonded. The recommended minimum required spread is 250 square feet per gallon.

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Titebond II Premium Wood Glue
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Other noteworthy features

Titebond II Premium needs approximately 5 minutes to make a wood-to-wood connection, but you shouldn’t use this glue at temperatures lower than 55F as it may affect its performance.

In addition, freezing temperatures don’t necessarily lower the glue’s performance capabilities, although the glue thickens at low temperatures.

Even though the manufacturer claims that the glue’s open time (the time it takes for the glue to set) is between 3 and 5 minutes, it may take much longer until the adhesive joins two elements firmly depending on the room temperature and moisture of the material.

Also, the Titebond II Premium doesn’t perform equally well with all types of wood, and you must test its adhesion capabilities with a particular material before applying this adhesive and leaving it to set.

Reliability

The reliability of the Titebond II Premium wood glue varies depending on the application for which the adhesive was utilized. This Titebond’s model performs exceptionally in indoor conditions as the bond it generates can withstand huge amounts of pressure.

According to the manufacturer, this glue was designed for outdoor use and it is safe to use it to put together the furniture you keep in your garden or your mailbox. However, the Titebond II Premium can provide enough holding power required by structural wood joints.

This glue is affordable, and you can purchase a 16oz bottle for less than $20, while a 1-gallon bottle costs less than $30.

Titebond III Ultimate

There is just one version of the Titebond 3 that is labeled Titebond III Ultimate and it is the strongest version of the Titebond wood glue. The Titebond III Ultimate comes in a white bottle that has the brand’s recognizable green label.

It performs equally well in indoor and outdoor conditions which makes it an attractive option for woodworkers who often work on different types of projects.

The glue’s water resistance properties meet the ANSI/HPVA Type 1 standards and you can use them to join objects that are going to be exposed to water frequently. Also, the holding power it provides isn’t affected by the wood finish or temperatures higher than 47F.

The Titebond II Ultimate wood glue is essentially an upgrade of the Titebond II Premium glue that creates stronger connections and handles water exposure better.

Key features

Titebond III Ultimate

  • Delivers 4000PSI of bond strength
  • Suitable for most types of wood
  • The glue contains 9.0g/L of VOC
  • It takes around 25 minutes for the glue to set
  • Titebond III Ultimate isn’t affected by humid weather conditions
  • FDA certified for indirect food contact
  • Sanding this wood glue is easy
  • The Titebond III Ultimate’s shelf life is 2 years

Glue composition

Even though Titebond 2 and 3 are PVA glues, they aren’t made from the same materials, since the Titebond III Ultimate contains proprietary polymers developed by the manufacturer that have more holding power than the Polyvinyl Acetate found in Titebond 2 glues.

Besides, the Titebond 3 contains more VOC than any other Titebond wood glue, which is the reason why it requires more time to form a wood-to-wood connection. This Titebond’s model is nearly waterproof, as frequent contact with water can’t lower its cohesive capabilities.

Even so, the Titebond III Ultimate isn’t designed for applications that involve placing the joined wooden elements below the waterline. Professional and DIY woodworkers can utilize this glue for different purposes since it can hold large hardwood planks together or connect different pieces of furniture.

Bond strength and gluing process

The maximum pressure a connection made by a Titebond III Ultimate can withstand is 4000PSI, which makes it one of the strongest glues on the market.

The amount of pressure you need to apply in order to join softwoods, medium woods, or hardwoods with Titebond 2 and 3 is the same and it doesn’t take more than 250psi to connect two pieces of hardwood.

However, the higher VOC amount indicates that the Titebond III needs more time to set, so you’ll have to keep applying pressure for nearly half an hour to make a stable connection. According to the manufacturer, the glue’s open time is between 8 and 10 minutes, while the total assembly time is around 20 to 25 minutes.

How long the Titebond III Ultimate will need to set also depends on the type of wood you’re working with and the wood’s moisture level.

Stronger and More Resistant
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue
$39.00
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Other noteworthy features

This Titebond’s model can’t be used at temperatures lower than 47F, and you have to ensure that the materials and room temperature are warm enough to achieve the glue’s optimum performance.

It is important to store the Titebond III Ultimate wood glue at temperatures lower than 75F since higher temperatures can cause thickening and reduce its shelf life.

The glue’s low pH levels can speed up the corrosion process of metal surfaces and you must check how metal behaves when it gets in contact with the Titebond III Ultimate glue to avoid potential damage.

You just need a wet cloth to remove this wood glue from a surface, while sanding the glue after it hardens shouldn’t be too difficult.

Reliability

The Titebond III Ultimate might be too strong for most DIY projects, but it will make sure that each item you create is held together tightly. You can also use this wood glue to connect objects aimed for outdoor use since its high water resistance level ensures that rain or humidity are not going to damage them.

You should keep in mind that the lumber’s properties affect the glue’s performance capabilities, so you should test how the adhesive works with the material you’re using before attempting to join wooden elements.

The Titebond 3 is more expensive than the Titebond 2, as the 16oz bottle costs around $30, while you have to spend a bit more than $40 to get a 1-gallon bottle of the Titebond III Ultimate.

Titebond II Premium – Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great bond strength
  • Works with most types of woods
  • The glue dries quickly
  • Long shelf life

Cons

  • Prolonged exposure to water may weaken the bond
  • Can’t be used at temperatures lower than 55F

Titebond II Ultimate – Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Suitable for outdoor and indoor projects
  • Creates high-strength bonds
  • Nearly waterproof
  • Usable at temperatures higher than 47F

Cons

  • More expensive than Titebond 2
  • Long total assembly time

The best alternatives to Titebond 2 and 3 PVA glues

Finding a good wood glue that performs equally well in outdoor and indoor conditions isn’t a difficult task since there are countless options to choose from.

Even so, some models might not be able to create a high-strength bond with the type of wood you’re using on your project, while others are not designed specifically for lumber. We’ve shortlisted some of the best alternatives to Titebond 2 and 3 wood glues so let’s take a closer look at their features.

Gorilla Clear Glue

Gorilla Clear Glue

As one of the strongest adhesives on the market, the Gorilla Clear Glue is an excellent choice for DIY projects that require you to work with different types of materials. This glue is water-resistant, and you can use it to fix or make objects that are going to be exposed to water.

The glue is also transparent, so you won’t have too much trouble concealing the connection points between two elements. For the best results, you should moisturize the surfaces and keep them clamped between 2 and 24 hours.

You can use Gorilla Clear glue at both high and low temperatures, although you’ll achieve the best results if you apply it at room temperature.

Mod Podge CS11302

Mod Podge CS11302

Versatility is one of the greatest advantages the Mod Podge CS11302 has to offer. This Mod Podge model works as a glue, sealant, and finish so that you don’t have to spend too much time concealing it.

The water-based glue is non-toxic and is applied to a surface with a sponge. It will dry within 20 minutes after you apply it, which makes it a great choice for quick repairs.

The adhesive can be used to join wood, plastic, rubber, and numerous other materials, but keep in mind that the bonds you make with this glue cannot withstand high amounts of pressure.

Elmer’s E7310 Wood Glue Max

Elmer’s E7310 Wood Glue Max

Probably the most popular wood glue among carpenters, the Elmer’s E7310 Wood Glue Max creates strong bonds. This adhesive contains wood particles that help produce a stronger connection, which is the reason why you can even utilize this glue for load-bearing applications.

Besides, the ANSI Type 1 certification vouches for the glue’s performance in humid conditions, but you shouldn’t use it to connect items you want to submerge in water. Like all industry-leading wood glues, Elmer’s E7310 achieves the full bond after 24 hours of clamp time.

Frequently asked questions about Titebond 2 and 3 PVA glues

Question: Is the Titebond II Premium toxic?

Answer: This wood glue is made from non-toxic materials that aren’t dangerous if they’re inhaled.

Question: Can I remove hardened Titebond II Premium glue from the wood’s surface?

Answer: Yes, you can. Sanding Titebond II Premium after it sets will remove all remains of the glue from the material’s surface

Question: What is the Titebond III Ultimate’s clamp time?

Answer: Although the manufacturer claims that this wood glue makes the bond after half an hour, keeping the surfaces clamped for 24 hours will ensure that pieces of wood are glued properly.

Question: How much Titebond III Ultimate do I have to apply?

Answer: The manufacturer recommends applying a 6 mils layer of the glue onto a surface, but the exact amount of glue you have to apply depends on the material and the size of the surface.

Our Verdict: When to use Titebond 2 and 3 PVA Glues

Affordable and Versatile
Titebond II Premium Wood Glue
Check Price
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Stronger and More Resistant
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue
$39.00
Check Price
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
07/06/2021 02:45 pm GMT

All wood glues produced by the Titebond brand can create high-strength connections between softwood and hardwood materials. Unlike the Titebond Original Glue, the Titebond II Premium and Titebond III Ultimate are designed for indoor and outdoor use.

Both of these wood glues can maintain a firm connection between materials even if they are exposed to water. However, Titebond III Ultimate performs better in humid conditions, and it offers 4000psi of bond strength.

The connections made by the Titebond 3 wood glue are stronger and more resistant to water than those created by Titebond 2. We recommend getting the Titebond III Ultimate if you need strong glue you can use for most outdoor projects.

The Titebond II Premium is a more affordable option that works well with most types of lumber. Which Titebond glue are you going to choose? Let us know in the comments or continue our guide to the best deck ideas.

David Borgogni

David is passionate about sharing his insights on top trending and mainstay products for the home. As an avid renovator, he has become well accustomed to the tools used to build houses, which in turn allows him to help others make better purchasing decisions when choosing which tools and equipment to use to renovate their homes.

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