Thanks to intensive research in the field of polymer adhesives in the last few years, there is a possibility of using a glued joint with a real load bearing role. The reliability of adhesive in the connection during the lifetime of a structure is affected by many factors, but the initial choice of a proper adhesive material is the most crucial one. The article deals with the experimental analysis focused on the determination of material characteristics of adhesives in planar connections, it describes the effect of various factors on the behavior of an adhesive joint under increasing loads, its ultimate bearing capacity and its failure modes. The main investigated factors are the type of adhesive, the type of connected materials (material of substrate), surface treatment and the thickness of the adhesive layer. A special part of the article describes numerical models of a glued joint with respect to different types of adhesive.