Contact Cement vs Gorilla Glue: Which Is Better?

Fixing plastics and leather are one of the most delicate jobs to do, that is why you need the best glue to get the job done.

For adequate strength and durability when bonding any type of plastic, contact cement is your best shot because it can use used on anything and more specifically leather crafts. On the other hand, the Gorilla glue isn’t so effective on leather.

Contact Cement vs Gorilla Glue

When gluing plastic and leather materials together, they give a messy and weak or temporal bonding.

What is Contact Cement?

Contact Cement is a colorless low fragrant adhesive that when applied on the surface of two mating objects and given say 15-20 minutes to get dried, becomes permanently bonded immediately.

Its content consists of neoprene and synthetic rubber and those make it exceptionally resistive to moisture.

The contact cement adhesive is produced in two forms which are: the flammable and non-flammable forms. The two forms are very effective and are water-based.

This water-based feature makes them a popular general-purpose adhesive and it is applicable to a wide range of materials ranging from plastics, wood, leather, and even metals.

The flammability is highly spontaneous because it emits a vapor that can fare up if exposed to an open flame. The non-flammable on the other hand leaves the edges of the material it’s being applied.

The effectiveness of Contact Cement is influenced by two significant factors. These factors are Temperature and Humidity.

When contact cement is applied at a high temperature, it binds almost instantly while if applied at a low temperature, it bonds slowly.

This is different in the humidity factor because high humidity causes it to have a slower bonding process while in low humidity, it bonds rapidly.

What is Gorilla Glue?

Gorilla glue is an instant waterproof adhesive. Its content is formulated with a thermosetting polyether-type polyurethane resin which gives it a long-lasting effect on surfaces.

Gorilla glue is completely pure and does not contain fillings, plasticizers, or harmful solutions.

When applied, the gorilla glue increases by three times its actual volume and takes between 10-45 seconds to properly dry up.

The same is applicable to a variety of materials like metals, wood, ceramics, stone, and even plastics. Although they can be applied to plastics.

You would not want to use them on plastics made with polyethylene or high oil rubbers they will instantly develop a change in color and an unpleasant residue after drying.

This is because gorilla glue expands as it solidifies.

Gorilla glue requires moisture to be activated. This is to say that if you desire the surface of your material to be neatly bonded, you need to add a little water.

After breaking its seals, the gorilla glue can last up to a year and will last 3 whole years when it is yet in use and its seal is unbroken.

For best performance, the gorilla glue gives a strong and nice bonding under a temperature of 40-130°F. It is resistive to both water and extremely high temperatures.

You can trust gorilla glue for your toughest bonding jobs.

Similarities between gorilla glue and contact cement


Gorilla glue and contact cement share a similar feature and they are formulated using a mixture of water, polymers, and some other additions.

They are excellent for both porous and non-porous materials, this enables them to cover a vast range of applicability.

This means that they are versatile and provide an improved bonding solution to meet up with the high demand from a wide variety of consumers in the market.


Both adhesives are produced with solutions capable of exploding when exposed to open flame or high temperature.

Mind you, they are only flammable when wet and not after drying up. You will find a danger notification talking about its flammable nature on the packaging of both contact cement and Gorilla glue.

You are advised not to use them in heated atmospheres or areas where they smoke.


There is excess availability of amino groups contained in their solutions and this makes them easily absorb moisture from a surface. Water cannot tamper with their bond.

Strong and toxic odor

Gorilla glue and contact cement have toluene as a major ingredient in their solution and this makes them serve as inhalant abuse.

Companies recommend that you employ the use of a good nose mask to help prevent the toxic fume from going into your system. 

Effective on a wide variety of materials

Both adhesives can be used on almost any material and are effective on wood, glass, ceramic, and even metals.

Their bonding strength on these materials is top-notch, on woods, they offer a reliable and durable bond.

Creates a permanent bond

If used in the right way, gorilla glue and contact cement will stick just anything together for just about forever.

All you need to do is apply them and clamp both surfaces together with a little pressure and there you are! You’ll have a nice and permanent bond.

Comparison between Contact cement and Gorilla glue

Removal process

Due to the permanent bond contact cement gives, it cannot be easily removed from surfaces. Also, its removal process cannot be enhanced by water because it is resistant to water.

Contact cement is effectively removed from surfaces by heat application. Applying heat to a contact cement-bonded material helps to loosen up the adhesive and it can be further flattened with knives.

In comparison, gorilla glue cannot be removed by heat application. In order to remove gorilla glue from most materials, acetone is the most effective.

Gorilla glue on wood; It takes a lot of patience to be able to remove the gorilla glue from it this is because it involves chiseling or sandpapering.

Action on plastic

Contact cement proves to be very durable on plastics it gives a permanent and neat bonding and can be used in a wide variety of plastic industries.

The contact cement adhesive is not restricted to working on any type of plastic including polyethylene and polypropylene, they have been formulated to bond the materials of leather and are also flexible and water-resistant.

Let’s look at gorilla glue gives good bonding and plastics gorilla glue but is limited as it gives a very rough result after bonding.

When used to glue plastics, expands and will result in gaps in between the joined surfaces.

Foaming properties

Contact cement does not foam after application, it gives a colorless and smooth surface which does not leave proof that there was bonding in that material.

Unlike contact cement, gorilla glue on the other hand is a water-based adhesive that has a forming property because it is made from Polyurethane.

Its forming feature is activated when exposed to moisture, which in turn, produces a foaming action that fills up the bonding surface.

This can ruin your project by making them look messy, the moister you add or the more humid your environment, the foaming action you get.


All that contact cement adhesive needs in order to get activated is to be applied on the surface and left for a little while to dry before the surfaces are clamped together.

Meanwhile, gorilla glue requires moisture before it can be activated and this is because it is formulated with polyurethane and any adhesive that has polyurethane in its solution requires moisture to cure.

Gorilla glue reacts with water and needs a certain amount of humidity in the atmosphere before it can work.

When should you use contact cement?

You may feel I am giving an overstatement if I say you can use it for just anything, but contact cement are powerful adhesive suitable for so many bonding jobs.

In as much as they can be useful to a variety of materials, you need to try using them on non-porous materials because they are ultimately effective on non-porous materials.

So many adhesives are not formulated to bond glass, rubber, plastic, stone, wood, and leather at the same time.

But you can use contact cement when you need to stick any of these materials together, they are reliable and durable.

When it comes to permanent adhesive, Contact cement is your best choice. This glue is not just formulated to fix anything but to fix them permanently.

So, when next you want to fix that glass, ceramic, or what have you, you will be needing contact cement for a permanent fix.

If you also need a quite flexible but strong glue, then contact cement will do the job. They can be used in jobs or repairs which require curving a part as they provide flexibility to the joints in need of it.

When should I use gorilla glue?

Gorilla glue delivers an incredibly strong versatile adhesive. It is completely waterproof and can be used for general projects and repairs.

It is also the ideal solution for bonding glass and other transparent materials whether you are building, creating, or repairing.

It is a reliable solution for bonding wood, stone, metal, ceramics, foam, glass, and many other materials.

The gorilla glue is specifically designed with a non-foaming formula which makes it easy to use and hard to see.

In order to prove the incredible bonding power of the gorilla glue, you can use them when you have hard repairs that require a long-lasting bond, gap filler, and solvent resistance.

Some of these repairs may include your windows, doors, kitchen sink, bath, plumbing,  gutters, tubs and showers, countertops, light fixtures, cables, gaps, and cracks.

This water-resistant glue forms an incredibly strong bond and has the ability to hold thoroughly in hot and cold temperatures. Its water-resistant feature makes it uneasy to break down when exposed to outdoor elements.

If you need glue that can give you a rigid instead of a flexible bond, you may want to consider gorilla glue.

When applied and allowed to dry for a few minutes, gorilla glue gives you a rigid bond that is almost impossible to pull off. 

Contact Cement or Gorilla Glue?

Definitely Contact Cement! Although gorilla glue can be used in some repairs which involve bonding, it doesn’t beat the effectiveness of the contact cement adhesive.

A single tube of contact cement can be used on different types of materials like wood, cement, leather, metal, plastic, and stones.

Its ability to give the leather a strong and neat bond is top-notch. No doubt, Gorilla glue can work nicely on some of these materials but this can’t be achieved with a single tube.

The Gorilla glue Company produces a variety of the Gorilla glues which perform different functions, their products include Glue & Adhesive, Gorilla Tack, Gorilla Glue, Super Glue, Wood Glue, Epoxy, Contact Adhesive, Grab Adhesive Tape Gorilla Tape,  Mounting Tape, Specialist Tapes, Sealing Tape and Sealant.

You will agree with me that it is tedious to identify the specific glue for your work.

Do you know that among the variety of gorilla glue products, there is none that firmly bonds leather together? Be expectant of a messy result when you use any of the gorilla glue adhesives for your leather works.

Here is another reason you would want to consider contact cement over gorilla glue adhesives. Contact cement lets the material retain its flexibility after bonding and makes it hard to notice if it was ever glued or not.

Gorilla glue doesn’t give you this luxury. Although it holds the materials together, you’ll get a stiff result, and trust me, it won’t take so long before you look for an alternative because it is plastic, it will break.

What if it is a material? I believe you wouldn’t want to see how messy it will look.


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