Each year I spend several hundred dollars on consumable supplies, such as glue, sandpaper, and glue brushes. When I saw the Rocker Silicone Glue Brush, I was skeptical, as it was probably one of those situations where it is too good to be true. However, after throwing away hundreds of disposable glue brushes I figured I should give it a try.
The silicone bristles do spread the glue evenly and lay down a thicker glue layer than the disposable brushes. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your glue applications. For gluing down inlays I find the disposable brushes to work better as I am able to work the glue into all the curves and corners of an inlay and not have a ton of squeeze out. For edge gluing I found the Rockler Silicone brush to work better, the joint had plenty of glue and the brush spread the glue much faster.
I found the spatula on the other end extremely useful for cleaning up squeeze out in the corners and for applying wood putty to holes.
The main downside of the brush was when I was gluing up mortise and tenon joints. The brush was too big to fit into most mortising applications, I found the disposable brushes to work much better for that operation. Rockler does produce a Mini Silicone Brush that might fit into a mortise but I have not tried that one as of yet. If I do ever get around to buying one and trying it out, I will update this post. They also have a 3-piece set that includes the brush, a tray and a large spreader I may try someday as well.
When it came to clean up it exceeded my expectations. All standard wood glue pulled off with ease and cleaned out of the bristles. I even used it with the west systems epoxy and it came off easily as well. I thought about trying it with poly-based glue like gorilla glue, but in my opinion, those types of glues are worthless. They have a short shelf life and after scraping all that retched dried-up foam off the first project I used it on, I swore I would never use it again. If someone wants to send me a bottle of gorilla glue I will test it out, that is if the glue has not hardened in the bottle before it gets here.
Needless to say, clean-up was a breeze. Just a quick tip; let the glue in the bristles completely dry before trying to clean it. The glue pulls right off when dry.
When it came to cleaning off the spatula, it did not fare so well. The spatula and handle is made from your everyday plastic, so it is best to clean that off right away.
As for the durability of the bristles, I must say I am impressed as well. I am building something in my shop every day so it gets tons of use. After using it for over a year, it is still going strong and I have only lost a few of the bristles.
I still use disposable glue brushes for several different types of glue-ups. However, now my main go-to brush for glue ups is the Rockler Silicone Brush. It doesn’t take long for the savings to start adding up over the disposables.
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I love these brushes. I use the Bench Dog version. Exactly the same, just a different color. I’ve had mine for 4 years and only two bristles are missing on each. Great investment. One of the two companies – Rockler or Bench Dog – makes a smaller version that works great too.