Monday, February 8, 2010

7 Permanent Adhesives Tested and Compared!

Well I have been crafting for about 2 years now and I'm always testing out new adhesives and of course being Asian, I'm always looking for a good deal! After testing out numerous different types of permanent dry adhesive runners, I thought I'd test them out side by side. I first tried it on white card stock and the results were impressive but it didn't photograph well. So I started all over again on black card stock and it turned out great! Now I tested 7 different types of adhesive. All claim to be permanent. I don't remember the costs of them but I put them in order of what I think is least expensive to most expensive. I'll tell you what I think about each one and feel free to tell me if you have any different opinions or have other adhesives that you like better! Please note that I applied a heck of a lot of burnishing to the card stock with my bone folder! 
1. Dollarama glue-a typical dollar store glue. It's cheap. You'll see from the picture that it really didn't glue well at all. I used to buy this all the time but realized that I needed to use a lot of it so in the end I wasn't really saving money. And they did redesign the holder itself so now it runs a lot smoother. The older version (as many of my friends know) would always get stuck and you'd have to crank it with your nail. A big pain in the rear! And I've had the tape on numerous ones rip which means you just gotta throw it out. With the new design, however, I find that I have to pull the tape because the adhesive is stretchy so when I lift off the paper, a piece of it stretches and leaves nothing on the tape to grip on the next piece of card stock I want to glue. You can't refill these so it's a lot of plastic to throw out. It also comes with a new lid each time. It's a little cap that fits over the front end of the runner but it doesn't stay attached so it goes missing very quickly for me. It's probably somewhere in my crafting mess. Definitely won't be buying these anymore. 

2. Ad-tech- I bought this when I first started card making at Wal-Mart. I think I went out and bought this after my first card workshop. I was waiting for my SNAIL to arrive and I needed something quick. I ended up buying a whole bunch because I thought it was a good deal for about $2/refill. The rolling is very smooth and because it's little dots instead of a continuous long piece of adhesive, you don't get the stretching like with the long piece of adhesive glue runners. Again, doesn't stick well at all and I still have all those refill packs I purchased 2 years ago sitting and collecting dust. One bonus to this is that if you're in a pinch, Wal-Marts are open late and you can pick it up while doing some late-night crafting and the dots are apparently repositionable before you push down on it. But as my photo shows, even a good bone folder squishing doesn't make it stick. Refilling is easy. Just push on the tabs on top and it pops out the old cartridge. The blue cartridge doesn't get thrown out so there's very little waste. It also comes with a little cap cover that doesn't stay attached and is lost easily. But it doesn't come with every refill so a bit less plastic waste in that aspect. 
3. SNAIL- Stampin' Up's famous adhesive made by Tombow Adhesive. It has been tried time and time again. When I first used it at a workshop, I never knew adhesive came in this form! I just knew of white glue and glue sticks. So I ordered it without hesitation. Now after I started using it, I was a little disappointed as were a number of my stamping buddies because we found our cards often fell apart! It was as though it didn't even stick at all! That's why I moved over to using the dollar store ones because I felt it was the same amount of stickiness for a cheaper cost. Well I've learned a lot about this little SNAIL. First off, I've been told that if you're in a cold area, it doesn't stick as well so breathing on it a bit will help it adhere better. Second, you really need to do some good squishing and burnishing on the card stock like I did with the bone folder. It does gum up sometimes on the edges with glue snot but just pick it off! I haven't had one rip on me ever and it's application is always super smooth. Runs like a fine-tuned machine! It also comes with a little plastic cap that can close and protect your adhesive when travelling with it in your bag. With the SNAIL, I don't need to run it along the entire back-side of my card stock like I do with some of the other adhesives so although it costs more, you use much less of it. Refilling is again easy. Just push on the tabs on the top and bottom and it pops out. It's still more waste than the Ad-tech because the clear side of the glue holder gets thrown out each time you refill. 
4. Scotch Permanent- Jamie bought this from Michael's I think when he was trying to make me a card. Typical guy goes out and buys stuff instead of just using what I have in my craft room! He bought it with a refill too and I just never felt inclined to use it. I love how it's purple and easy to spot on a craft table but I find it difficult to use in that when I apply it to card stock, I almost can't feel it go down. Then I have to look down on the paper to see if any adhesive actually came out! It's quite transparent so perhaps good for vellum. I don't know about you, but I like feeling the "clicking" when I'm rolling glue along. It lets me know that adhesive is coming out and this isn't clicky enough for me. Refilling is also easy. You just hold the two tabs at the back of the holder and it slides out. Now the solid colored plastic at the back gets thrown out with every adhesive refill so there's a fair amount of waste. The new one just slides in smoothly, kinda like parking a car into a garage! Sorry I couldn't find a better picture! 
5. Creative Memories- This little fancy gadget was given to me by a dear friend Robyn. She's a CM consultant and up until she became one, only used SNAIL. She loves how the adhesive comes out in little rectangle strips so it starts and stops with ease. There is never any "stretching" with this adhesive. It is comfortable to use and even has a little slider you can close to prevent your adhesive from being stuck to something in your bag. It even has a tension controller that a lot of people love. I personally haven't adjusted the tension so I have no idea if it's good or bad. I have no idea how to refill it or if it's even refillable. I do hope it's refillable because it's a LOT of plastic to throw away if it's not. I opened up the cover and can't seem to pull out the adhesive to see if I can change it. I also don't want to muck it up because there's still a lot of adhesive on the roll. Now when I first tried the adhesives on white card stock, this adhesive didn't stick very well. It didn't rip the white card stock like it did the black. I'm not sure if it was the card stock was different or what because I still did a lot of smooshing the first time around. The downside from what Robyn has told me is that it comes in packs of 6 for her! So you better really like it if you're going to order it. 
6. Scrapbook Adhesives EZ Runner- This product has probably been around for ages but I just recently bought this at Christmas time. I was at Treasured Memories on boxing day and they had a nice big sale. I think it was 30% off everything in the store. Jamie was in line for me while I shopped (a sweetheart I know) and the lady in front of us had about 5 packages of the EZ Runner. It comes in single and double packs and available at craft stores all over. I decided to give it a try since she was buying so many! It was about $10 for 2 but I got it for 30% off. It has the same concept as the Creative Memories adhesive where it comes out in little rectangles. It sticks quite well if you really smoosh it down. The biggest problem I have with this is that I always go to use it upside down! I don't know if it's the shape or what but I always try to use it the wrong way and have to turn it around. This happens almost EVERY time I pick it up. These aren't refillable so it's probably the most plastic to throw away (a close tie to the CM one if you can't actually refill it). 
7. Scotch ATG 714- I finally made the big leap and bought this huge sucker after reading many good reviews on it. It's almost the size of a packing gun but surprisingly easy to use. The gun itself is a pricey investment but the glue refills are cheap. I bought mine on Ebay and with 4 rolls of the ATG Gold acid-free tape it came out to $95 USD and I had to pay around $5 duty on top of that. I have no idea where else I could buy glue refills other than from online stores or ebay. The biggest challenge with using it is that the glue is VERY stretchy. If you pull use it on card stock and try to pull away, it'll stretch and then shoot back like an elastic, leaving you with a wad of adhesive. It has a trigger that you have to hold when you are using the glue and after a few tries, I figured out how to prevent that wad of glue. Once you want to stop the adhesive, I let go of the trigger and almost do this extra final push onto the card stock. So I am basically "smearing" the adhesive in order to end it off without stretching. It comes with directions on how to refill the glue and although seems scary to do, is actually quite easy. It has the glue on the left side so as a righty, I can see where my adhesive is going down. Would probably be awkward for a lefty. It's big size takes up space on my crafting desk but I never lose it! It's also bright red which some may or may not love. There are people that go to Michael's and pick up some plastic paint and bling out theirs. It is VERY sticky so I often find it's VERY VERY difficult to reposition things once it goes down. If I just lay it down I can sometimes get away with trying to pull it back up but if you do any squishing, it's over. It's stuck for good unless you want to rip apart your card stock. This is the adhesive I use most often. It is a bit tricky with smaller pieces of card stock and for those, I just use SNAIL or my Tombow Multi Liquid glue from Stampin' Up.

So those are my thoughts on a few different adhesives. I might do another one on various liquid type glues =) 

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