Express wood glue from Ponal: The smell makes the difference
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Express wood glue from Ponal: The smell makes the difference

Carolin Teufelberger
Zurich, on 14.12.2021

The Express wood glue from Ponal comes off well in the reviews, but so does the Rapid wood glue from Geistlich. The direct duel shows that both glue, but only one smells good.

The glue consumption is inversely proportional to the school level. The largest amounts of wood glue I have used so far have probably been for primitive papier-mâché works in kindergarten. After that, the curve decreased steadily. In the meantime, it is only used very rarely for repair purposes. My Geistlich Rapid wood glue has been lying untouched in the drawer for months. Finally it is allowed to come out again - for a comparison test. Its competitor is the Ponal Express wood glue, which is probably very good and I should therefore try it out, my colleagues in the product department tell me.

Both glues are synthetic and belong to the type of low-formaldehyde dispersion glues. Colloquially also called simply white glue. They are both ready to use and fast setting. This means that Ponal's glue should change its aggregate state from liquid to solid after five minutes, Geistlich's after five to ten. The Swiss company leaves itself room to manoeuvre.

Five minutes to transparency

I check this information by applying both glues to a piece of beech wood and spreading them. I noticed that the Ponal mixture was easier and more even to spread. For the viscosity I get a bonus point.

Oben Geistlich, unten Ponal in feuchtem Zustand.
Oben Geistlich, unten Ponal in feuchtem Zustand.

While the glue dries for five minutes, there is time for some history. In the Middle Ages, there was the profession of the birdcatcher, who caught small birds with glue rods. To do this, branches were coated with strong glue and placed near berry bushes or decoy birds. If a wild bird settled on the branches, it got caught and could be captured. This gave rise to the expression "to catch someone out".

Five minutes are up. Both glues are dry. Both stains still have some white on their thickest part, but when I run over them, no particle sticks to my finger. Therefore: a draw.

Oben Geistlich, unten Ponal in angetrocknetem Zustand.
Oben Geistlich, unten Ponal in angetrocknetem Zustand.

Ten minutes under chess books

Now both have to show whether they keep their promise. It's time for the glue. I cut four small blocks with my Ryoba saw, which I glue and press for five minutes. The second happens rather unconventionally with chess books instead of screw clamps. Because I don't own any. Now before you publicly pillory me: I know this is bad and relativizing is always bad. But I don't have the space and my parents have a fully equipped workshop where I realize bigger projects.

Garri Kasparow drückt auf die Klötzchen.
Garri Kasparow drückt auf die Klötzchen.

The two blocks sit after elapsed time with both glues firmly on each other. However, with force they can still be pulled apart. It seems to me that I have to use my muscles a little more with Ponal, but that could be placebo, self-fulfilling prophecy or some other effect.

I give the blocks 11 minutes in the second round. After that they sit bombproof. Now Geistlich has the advantage that they allowed themselves more leeway with the time. The glues are still on the same level, but Geistlich has the better self-assessment.

Hält.
Hält.

When it comes to smell, there's finally some real differences. Ponal smells much less strong than Geistlich, which for me as a sniffer speaks rather against, but basically probably for Ponal.

There are also differences in the fasteners. Ponal uses a screw cap, Geistlich uses the typical white glue cap. The screw cap is more difficult to open when the tube is not glued, but easier when it is glued. It's all a matter of perspective.

Which brings me to my last point, the price. Ponal costs 5.58 centimes per gram, Geistlich 4.31 centimes per gram. Now this can be taken as a quality feature of Ponal or a better resource calculation on Geistlich's part. I'm on the side of better economics here, because I can't see any difference in the ingredients.

Conclusion: The smell makes the difference

All of these points are most easily summed up in the words of community member mavs.webmail:

Both glues will reliably glue your Christmas crafts, broken chair legs, and pointless wooden blocks. Both hold, both dry quickly (Ponal's maybe imperceptibly faster), both are solvent-free. If you like the strong smell of glue for a few centimes less, then go for Geistlich. If you're more of a fan of perfect viscosity coupled with near odorlessness, I'd recommend Ponal.

Wood glue Rapid (210 g)
Quantity discount
4.30per piece for 4 units
Geistlich Wood glue Rapid (210 g)
8
Express (120 g)
Quantity discount
3.15per piece for 4 units
Ponal Express (120 g)
2

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My life in a nutshell? On a quest to broaden my horizon. I love discovering and learning new skills and I see a chance to experience something new in everything – be it travelling, reading, cooking, movies or DIY.


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