Review: Kuretake Zig 2 Way Glue Pens

Zig Glue Pens

Review by Tina Koyama

If I have a serious gluing need, such as making a collage, I pull out a gallon jug of acrylic medium. But for casual gluing needs, I want something quick, easy and, above all, not messy. I gave up on glue sticks because no matter how neatly I tried to apply them, I ended up with strings or globs of goo on my hands and on the paper where the glue didn’t belong. I guess it’s difficult for me to aim glue sticks accurately. My go-to for a few years has been the Tombow Mono Adhesive Tape Runner, which I still like, but sometimes I run it across a glossy or other odd paper surface, and the tape won’t adhere to it. It’s a bit finicky that way.

Zig Glue Pen Both TipsFilled with Glue

The Kuretake Zig 2 Way Glue Pens were new to me, so I thought I’d give a couple a try – the chisel point ($3) and the fine point ($3.20).

When you first open a new glue pen, the application tip is white. Before first use, it must be primed the way you would a paint pen: Pump the tip rapidly up and down on scrap paper. Soon the pale blue glue flows to the tip.

Zig Glue Pen Tip Filling with Glue


Zig Glue Pen Tip Still White

What makes the glue pens “2 way”? The “dual action” enables both a permanent and a temporary bond. I like the versatility of that – two types of gluing in one product.

Zig Glue Pen Label

First I tried the permanent bond: Apply the glue and adhere it while the glue still appears blue. You have to be quick – it starts changing from blue to transparent immediately. I waited a few minutes, then tried to pull the papers apart. One paper tore before they would separate, so the bonding is reasonably strong.

Zig Glue Pen Permanent Bond

Then I tried the temporary bond: This time, I waited until the glue turned transparent before adhering the papers, which took only seconds. Again, I waited a few minutes after adhering. The papers pulled apart easily like Post-it notes, leaving a slightly tacky residue. The stickier side could be reapplied, again like a Post-it.

Zig Glue Pen Temporary Adhesive

Finally I tried a real-world gluing task of the type I commonly have: attaching ephemera to a Leuchtturm 1917 journal page. In this case, it was our newspaper’s five-day weather report yet again forecasting variations of rain (ranging from “showers likely” to “scattered rain”) on all five days as it has for several weeks now (it’s getting tiresome even for this Seattle native). Normally I would apply glue to the ephemera, not the journal page, but the glue was not showing up well enough to photograph on the newspaper, so I tried applying it to the journal page instead. I’m sorry that my photo below doesn’t show the glue as blue. It’s very pale blue and changes rapidly to colorless; by the time I picked up my phone for the photo, most had already gone clear.

Glue applied to paper

After waiting a few minutes, I tried to pull the newspaper clipping off the page. Where the glue had been freshly applied, the bond was firm, but in areas where the glue had been exposed for several seconds, the paper peeled off easily – the temporary bonding stage. If you intend a permanent bond, it’s critical that you adhere the papers immediately – even a few seconds is too long to wait.

Gluing complete

I like the neatness and easily directed points on both glue pens. However, the speed at which I must get the adhesion completed is a bit daunting. For a permanent bond, I recommend these glue pens for very small snippets of paper only. If you need to glue something large, one end of the piece will be past the permanent bonding stage before you’ve applied glue to the opposite end. It’s ideal, though, if you want to make your own Post-it notes!

(Editor’s Note: We use these Zig Glue pens at work all the time but we mostly use them for adhering gems, ribbon and other ephemera rather than paper-to-paper gluing.)

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

tina-koyamaTina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’ve used a Zig glue pen for years for various papercrafts. They are the best! They also make a super broad tip that you would probably find much more useful for gluing clippings in a journal. The broad tip is my favorite as it’s much more versatile. Used flat, you can cover a large area quickly, but use it on an edge and you can do even the tiniest of embellishments.

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