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I use a lot of glue in stick form, both for my own personal use in organising scrapbooks and folders that act as a "what to do when" for my gardening job, and for craft projects with the children I baby sit. I have always found Pritt Stick to be the most reliable, but that's all changed as I have found a cheaper and better alternative - the UHU stick glue. I paid a pound for 21g in Poundland, which isn't a price I can buy the same size Pritt for.
The UHU stick is great for using with children as the glue is obviously in a solid form so there is no risk of messy spills, and little cleaning up is needed afterwards. It's easy for the children to use as this size stick is simple to manipulate and the formula makes it harder for them to apply too much. It's not going to wrinkle the paper or squish out between the pieces to be stuck. It is also solvent free which is an added reassurance, although the kids are never unattended when doing craft. The glue is colourless and winds up and down easily by turning the base which the children can manage by themselves.
The glue is intended for use on paper and card so it doesn't cover all craft use but importantly it does work on the materials it's intended for. I find the adhesion to be better than Pritt when using the same amount, and actually better if you are sticking thicker card. You apply it to one or both surfaces to be stuck and then press firmly and wait a few seconds, and voila, you have a good bond. What I especially like is the fact any paper remains stuck and doesn't peel off after a few months, which can happen with cheaper glues. I also think it seems less vulnerable to drying out than Pritt. Maybe it's due to the screw on cap which makes a securer closure - providing you put it on properly of course.
I would definitely recommended this easy to use glue, as it is great value and really effective. It is low odour and as mess free as a glue can be. I have seen the distinctive yellow sticks in most poundshops although you can also buy it elsewhere.
UHU adhesive in a twist up stick applicator. These come in different sizes but I like the 8 g size. The glue comes in a plastic tube and is used rather like a lipstick - remove the lid, twist the base and the solid glue moves up the central shaft. Around £1 a tube.
I teach lots of arts and crafts and hold workshops for adults and children. I have used this glue for years with all ages and abilities. The yellow and black branding is clear to understand and bright to add an element of fun to projects.
This is an ideal glue for use with paper and card. Many people think the white liquid pva is commonly used for paper but it is not the best. PVA will 'buckle' your paper whereas UHU solid glue in this stick form will not.
I also find this is a cleaner way to glue paper and card, especially when working with children or adults with disabilities. There is less mess to clean up but do be aware of the size of the caps (choking hazard) and do not leave young or vulnerable people without supervision.
The trick is to not use too much! Say for example you wish to glue a piece of paper over an old poster, make sure you use a clean, dry surface and remove the lid of the UHU stick, twist up no more that 3 mm of glue and place it flat down on one corner of the back of the paper you wish to glue. Run the stick along the edge and repeat until each edge has a thin coating of glue. You only need to do it once. If it is a large piece of paper (you may need to twist up again) create an 'x' across the middle for extra sticking power. Place your paper carefully over where it needs to go and smooth from the centre, out, eliminating any air bubbles. Allow to dry.
The trick is to not twist too much glue up at a time and also to keep the lid on securely when not in use.
===A Personal History With Glue===
I was thinking the other day about how far glue products had come since my schooldays, when I remember using a strange white paste that tasted almondy - yes, I was that strange child who tasted it and, even worse, I quite liked it!
Moving swiftly on! I think glue sticks have made a significant contribution to our modern lives. There have been some craft activities that we've undertaken with the small children in preschool that have been a whole lot simpler through the use of glue sticks. Children aren't experimenting with the ability of PVA glue to drop from your brush or spreader, or trying to paint with it, when they are supposed to be doing a collage! And that's just one scenario. The quality of the glue stick is all important, though. Small children seem to take great delight in banging the sticks on the table top, which seriously shortens their lifespan!
===A Crafty Use===
So it would be fair to say that I've tried out a few different types. In my theoretical spare time I am keen on crafts, especially in card making. There's nothing worse than a poorly-sticking glue when you're trying to stick a pretty layer of paper to the front of a special card. It's even worse if you make the card, write on it and so on - only to watch the whole thing fall apart. That has happened to me with some poorer quality glue sticks and led me to the decision that I would not compromise on quality any longer.
===Suitability and Availability===
To be honest I've used a few makes over the years. Some crafting companies make their own. Unfortunately the craft shop that used to be in our market town closed down, so if I need one in an emergency I have to rely on local stationers. I have had mixed experiences with the popular Pritt stick, finding it just a bit too soft for this purpose. I eventually settled on this UHU stick as my go-to and it's this I'm reviewing.
===Getting A Bit Of Stic===
My current Stic comes in a pretty unremarkable casing, with a white lid and a bright yellow body. That colouring is actually more helpful to me than you might realise; I have so much craft equipment that it helps me distinguish the glue stick from everything else, I'm slightly ashamed to say! It's about 11cm in length. I like working with this 40g size because it fits my hand grasp well and just 'feels right'. Like most glue sticks, this one works on a twist-up-from-the-bottom basis. The glue part is contained inside the hollow top section. This one is probably a couple of years old now, and the glue stick is still probably about 5 cm in length. That's partly because I haven't had time to do so many crafts lately, but even so I think it has lasted very well. If I have accidentally got the glue on my clothing - most often on a sleeve if crafting - I have found it washes out easily in cold water.
===Dried-Out Sticks Don't Stick!===
Some glue sticks seem to dry out after a while; if it's just the top they can sometimes be saved, but if they dry out completely they have to be thrown away. I'm pretty careful about replacing the lid, and there's been no sign of this one drying out at all. I think it's because this stick has a well-fitting screw-on cap that it stays in good condition. Many other sticks have push-down caps and I don't think they are as effective at protecting the glue.
===As The Maker Intended?===
I think it's fair to say that no glue stick is the answer to every situation where glue is needed. Generally they're best used for sticking paper and thin card in my experience. It was good to have one around when our cat took to shredding our wallpaper on the stairs though! I bet the makers never envisaged that as a use! The website says it sticks Styrofoam, too, but I've had no occasion to try that.
UHU glue sticks are made in Germany. The tube itself tells little about contents, other than that the glue is solvent-free. The web site didn't say much, either. There's little in the way of odour, although curiously I thought I caught a whiff of that almondy aroma from my childhood; I only sniff glue sticks for the purpose of review writing, you understand!
I don't recall how much I paid for the 40g stick, and there are none that size currently on sale in town. This makes me wonder how widely available they are; I did see UHU in smaller sizes. [You can get them in sizes of 8.2g and 21g, too] I noticed that on websites like Staples, the Office supplier, they retail at £3.78, although there are reductions on bulk buys.
I recommend this glue stick to anyone looking for a long-lasting product to use on paper and card in particular.
Thank you for reading my review, which may be posted on other sites.
©Verbena March 2013