A novel poly [2,5-(1,3,4-thiadiazole)-benzalimine] abbreviated as TDPI adsorbent was synthesized using simple polycondensation technique. The synthetic route involves the preparation of 2,5-diamino-1,3, 4-thiadiazole from 2,5-dithiourea and subsequent condensation with terephthalaldehyde. The resin was chemically characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), 1H-NMR, and 13C-NMR spectroscopic analysis. Surface morphology and thermal stability were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA). The effect of the pH value of solution, contact time, adsorbent dose, and initial metal ion concentration were investigated by batch equilibrium adsorption experiments. Kinetic studies show that the adsorption of metal ions onto the resin proceeds according to the pseudo-second-order model and the equilibrium data were best interpreted by the Redlich–Peterson isotherm. The experimental values of the adsorption capacities of Pb2+, Cu2+, Ni2+, and Cd2+ on to TDPI could reach up to 437.2, 491.6, 493.7, and 481.9 mg.g−1 respectively. The exothermic nature of the process, the affinity of the adsorbent towards the metal ions and the feasibility of the process are explained in the thermodynamic parameters. The resin stability and re-usability studies suggest that the resin is chemically stable (0.3 N HCl and H2SO4) and could be regenerated without any serious decline in performance.