Titebond 2 vs 3: Differences Between Titebond Glues

An essential part of every woodworker’s toolkit is Titebond Original Glue. Titebond Original was great for indoors, but now Titebond has come out with other products for outdoor use as well. In this post, we’ll take a look at the differences between Titebond 2 vs 3 to see which glue is ideal for outdoor use.

Titebond 3 fills gaps better and has superior water resistance to Titebond 2. Titebond 3 is more expensive, too. So if you need better bonding or weatherproofing, spend the extra money and get Titebond 3. Otherwise, Titebond 2 will do the job just fine.

Many beginners make the mistake of assuming that any wood glue is suitable for any use, but that’s not the case. If you choose the right glue, it will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

Differences between Titebond 2 vs 3

Price

Here’s a quick comparison of the current prices for Titebond 2 and 3, pulled life from Amazon’s servers:

Titebond II: $18.77

Titebond III: $21.29

Water Resistance

As you read above, one of the most important differentiating factors between Titebond glues is the water resistance.

Titebond original is not water resistant at all.

Titebond II is water resistant to a certain degree.

Titebond III is almost waterproof(IE more water resistant).

How should you decide between Titebond II and Titebond III?

For projects that will be exposed to a little moisture(a bit of rain here and there, a rinse under the tap), go for Titebond II.

For projects that may be exposed to constant moisture or be submerged, use Titebond III.

Open Time

Titebond III can stay open longer than Titebond II. If you need to apply a lot of glue in many different places, Titebond III will work better before prematurely hardening or become difficult to work with.

Strength

Finally, Titebond III is a little bit stronger than Titebond II, but not enough to warrant spending the extra money just for the extra strength. The real difference is in the water resistance.

Titebond II Premium Overview

Titebond II is an amazing PVA wood glue and is almost the gold standard. There are lots of variations in the Titebond II line as well, such as Titebond II Fluorescent wood glue and Titebond II Extend Wood Glue, which can stay open for longer.

There are small differences between the variations.

Titebond II is good for outdoor projects that don’t get excessively wet. Remember, if you need to glue something that will be constantly exposed to moisture, go for Titebond III, which we talk about further in the article.

Titebond II Features:

  • 3,750 PSI bond strength
  • Cleans away with water before glue is dry
  • FDA certified for indirect food contact
  • 3.0g/L of VOC
  • Can be used with wood finishes
  • ANSI Type-2 water resistance
  • Bonds in 15 minutes

What’s Titebond II made of?

Titebond II is a polyvinyl acetate glue. It’s made of a water based emulsion that makes it easy to apply, and the water evaporates, leaving the glue behind.

The main compound in Titebond II is responsible for its water resistance. Some rain is ok, but if you plan on submerging it underwater, the bond will start to become weaker.

You can also use this glue for any projects for the kitchen or bathroom. A little bit of water exposure is fine! However, if you decide to make a cutting board, remember to wash it by hand instead of in the dishwasher.

Titebond II can also be used in moderate applications like fences, sheds, animal houses, and the like. Just don’t use it for things that wear bear heavy loads like a chair or a workbench.

How strong is Titebond II?

The strength of wood glue normally falls in the range of 3,600 to 4,000 PSI. This denotes the strength of the connection between the two pieces of wood.

Titebond II Premium is rated at 3,750 PSI, making it a moderately strong glue. It’s important to remember that you need to clamp the two pieces of wood together in order for the glue to work properly.

For softwoods, you’ll need 100-150 PSI.

For medium woods, you’ll need 125 to 175 PSI.

For hardwoods, you’ll need 175 to 250 PSI.

Join the two pieces of wood together and apply a clamp for at least 15 minutes. This is the bare minimum. For best results, keep the parts clamped for 24 hours.

The two pieces of wood will stick in about 5 minutes(that’s the typical open time), but you must let the glue fully cure for maximum strength.

Also, don’t use this glue at temperatures lower than 55 degrees F.

For best results, test the strength and effectiveness of the bond on two pieces of scrap wood before you use it on your final product.

So is it worth it?

It’s hard to make a blanket statement about the reliability of glue before considering what you’re using it for.

Remember, the key factor here is water resistance, so if you’re looking for something that is only exposed to small bits of moisture here and there and don’t want to spend the extra money on Titebond III, go for it.

Franklin International 5005 Titebond II Premium Wood Glue, 32-Ounce Bottle
  • First one-part wood glue to pass ANSI type II water resistance
  • Excellent sandability
  • Unaffected by finishes
  • Easy cleanup with water
  • Cross-linking polyvinyl acetate

Titebond III Ultimate

The strongest Titebond glue currently available on the market is the Titebond III Ultimate. Titebond III is great for both indoor and outdoor applications, and if you’re looking for a blanket choice that just works, you don’t have to look any further.

Titebond III is water resistant to ANSI/HPVA Type 1 standards, so you can use it for things that will be in constant contact with moisture without needing to worry about whether the glue will fail.

All-in-all, Titebond III Ultimate is an upgraded version of Titebond II Premium.

Titebond III Features:

  • 4000 PSI strength
  • 9.0g/L of volatile organic compounds
  • 25 minutes set time
  • Works with nearly all woods
  • FDA certified for indirect food contact
  • Very water-resistant

What’s Titebond III made of?

It may be tempting to assume that Titebond II and III are almost the same, since they’re both PVA glues. Titebond III Ultimate actually contains some more chemicals which makes it much stronger than Titebond II.

One thing you may have noticed from the feature list is that Titebond III contains a lot more volatile organic compounds than Titebond II. That’s also why it takes longer to set, since it takes longer for them to evaporate, leaving the bond intact.

Titebond III is much more water-resistant than Titebond II, making it an ideal choice for professional woodworkers.

How strong is Titebond III?

Titebond III Ultimate is rated to withstand 4000 PSI. It’s possibly the strongest wood glue currently on the market.

You need about 250 PSI to get the bond to work, so remember to have some good clamps on hand when you use this glue.

Due to the higher VOC count, you’ll need to leave the two parts clamped together for at least half an hour to get the glue to set. Ideally, you should keep it for up to 24 hours for the most strength.

The added VOCs give this glue a longer open time of nearly 10 minutes.

You can’t use Titebond III at temperatures lower than 47 degrees F. You also need to keep this in mind when you leave the parts to set.

Before the glue sets, you can just wipe it away with a wet cloth. Once the glue sets, you should be able to sand it down fairly easily.

So is it worth it?

Titebond III may be considered overkill for the average DIYer, but it definitely produces the strongest bond possible. It’s definitely worth picking it up if you’re building outdoor projects in rainy areas like Florida!

As we mentioned with Titebond II, it’s always best to test the glue on scrap pieces of wood before using it on the final product.

Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue, Quart
  • Waterproof formula that cleans up with water
  • Superior strength
  • Designed for interior and exterior applications
  • Unaffected by finishes
  • Approved for indirect food contact

What about Titebond Original?

Titebond Original is quite similar to Titebond II. It’s a solid product that holds its own and can be used for both indoor and outdoor projects. The one key difference is that it is a little bit weaker than Titebond II.

All in all, it’s a solid performer.

Related: Types of wood glue

Conclusion: Titebond II vs Titebond III

Titebond II Premium and Titebond III Ultimate are both really high-quality PVA glues for woodworking and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

They both produce a very strong bond, but Titebond III makes a slightly stronger bond than Titebond II. It also works better with exposure to moisture.

Titebond II has an edge because it is slightly more economical. $5 does not seem like much, but when you scale it up, the numbers will add up.