Although duct tape is considered the fix-all product that can always save the day, we think that epoxies come in a pretty close second place for real-world repairs. Often, epoxies won’t even be visible once they dry, resulting in much cleaner repairs. Let’s face it, the duct tape look isn’t exactly in fashion. Moreover, epoxies can offer an extremely strong and durable bond, and they generally dry very quickly.
The average hardware store has a wide selection of different epoxies that may leave you wondering which one you should choose. To that end, we’ve collected the best products available and put them to the test to see which are really worth using. For your sake, we compiled what we learned into the following eight reviews. Once you read them, you’ll know exactly which product to pick up for repairing almost everything that breaks in your daily life.
|Loctite 1363118||0.85 oz.||4.50/5|
|Devcon 62345||0.8 oz.||4.15/5|
When it comes to small repairs, it’s hard to beat the incredible strength and quick-drying ability of the Permatex 84145 Permapoxy. It sets in just five minutes at room temperature, and it bonds to a strength of up to 3,500 PSI. As if that’s not enough, the Permapoxy can be used to bond all sorts of different materials together, including composites, ceramics, woods, and plastics. The only downside is that it doesn’t bond polyethylene or polypropylene. However, ABS, fiberglass, PVC, glass, acrylic, and more can all be bonded in any combination with this material.
Another impressive trait is that the Permapoxy can fill gaps up to ⅛-inch in size. This was a very useful feature that we appreciated. We thought this product was very easy to use, though it did tend to get a bit messy. Keep some cleanup supplies on hand when you get started. For ease of use, durability, and the fast drying-time, the Permatex Permapoxy earns our pick as best overall epoxy for plastics.
Thanks to the easy-dispense syringe, the Gorilla 2-Part Epoxy makes it simple to get the proper mixture. Once you’ve got what you need, reapply the cap to keep the remaining epoxy from drying out until you need it again. This allows you to get multiple uses from the same epoxy tube. The Gorilla epoxy dries completely clear and sets in just five minutes. The bond is extremely strong, making it the best epoxy for plastic for the money.
The only drawback to the Gorilla epoxy is that it can be a bit difficult to work with. If you want a good, strong hold, you’re going to have to experiment with the mixture a little bit. You’ll need to get the exact right amount of mixing time for the strongest hold. This took a little bit of trial and error, but once we got it, the Gorilla epoxy held strong and made a lasting bond. We think it’s the best value overall, which is why it deserves our number two position.
The Yanyi 13 moldable epoxy glue is a bit different than the products that we’ve reviewed so far. Unlike many of the other products on this list, this one is more of a putty than a liquid. You knead it with your hands before pressing it into whatever you want bonded. Then smooth it down with water and wait for it to harden. While many of the other epoxies set in just five minutes, the Yanyi 13 moldable epoxy glue takes about 40 minutes to dry. However, once it sets, it can be drilled and tapped, unlike many of the other materials.
The Yanyi epoxy also holds form much better than its competitors and can be used to fill much larger gaps. Though it does cost about twice as much as some of the lower-priced alternatives, this epoxy glue creates an extremely durable bond that’s hard for the other products to match. It can be used to bond metal, glass, wood, and plastic. Overall, we think it’s earned the third position on this list as the top premium choice.
Standing firmly on the expensive side of the price range, the Loctite epoxy plastic bonder is a very capable product, though it’s not quite worth the extra cost. The wide range of materials it can bond is noteworthy. Stainless steel, acrylic, ABS, polycarbonate, Mylar, and PVC can all be bonded with this epoxy. However, polyethylene and polypropylene plastics cannot. It’s resistant to solvents, motor oil, gasoline, and diesel fuel, so it’s excellent for any automotive applications.
Despite having decent bond strength, the Loctite wasn’t quite as strong as some of the other products that we tested. We don’t think it quite warrants the high price. Some of Loctite’s competitors are selling for less, though they have a much stronger bond. At the end of the day, we really have to prioritize the bond strength, so this product will be relegated to the fourth position on this list. If the bond were a bit stronger or the price a bit lower, the Loctite epoxy might find itself in a higher position on this list.
Though it’s intended primarily for bonding all types of metals, the Devcon plastic steel epoxy can be used on a variety of different materials. It contains a non-rusting steel alloy for maximum rust-free bond strength. We expected the bond to be one of the strongest because of this, but the 2,500-PSI max strength the Devcon epoxy offers is not enough to move it into one of the top three spots on this list. That said, it is one of the few products that can be drilled, threaded, or machined once it’s fully cured.
The biggest drawback to this epoxy is how long it takes to fully dry. The 6-hour set time sounds pretty bad to begin with. The full curing time though is 16-24 hours, which is the longest of any of the products that we tested. While this may not be a deal-breaker for every application, we’re not that patient with our repairs! We prefer the near-instant usability that many of the other products we tested were able to provide.
J-B Weld is the original cold weld epoxy. Once set, it creates a bond that’s stronger than steel and is completely permanent. Though it’s touted as being extremely strong, the 350-PSI rating is underwhelming, to say the least. Once dry though, this product can be sanded, sawed, carved, drilled, and painted, making it very versatile for a diverse range of applications.
The 25-minute work life of the J-B Weld epoxy gives you plenty of time to work with the product before it sets, but it’s not so long that it seems to take forever to cure. This epoxy is great for use on a variety of materials such as plastics, PVC, fiberglass, vinyl, and more, though not as wide of a selection as some of our top picks. While this is a great epoxy putty overall, the superior strength offered by the products that earned our higher recommendations makes them our preferences instead.
Right off the bat, we were impressed by the incredible 4,000-PSI holding power of the Super Glue plastic fusion epoxy. Despite the noteworthy bond strength, this epoxy falls short in a few key areas. For instance, it doesn’t dry clear, instead curing to an opaque light-yellow color. For us, this was less than ideal. The 15-minute set time also isn’t very impressive compared to the very short 5-minute set times offered by many of Super Glue’s competitors.
With most epoxies, we do expect some sort of odor. Most of them produce a moderate chemical smell, though not generally too harsh. This product emitted very harsh chemical fumes though, which filled the room pretty quickly. We weren’t really concerned, but you may be if you have small children around. In all, the high-strength bond that the Super Glue plastic fusion epoxy forms isn’t enough to pull it up into the higher rankings of the top spots on this list.
The Pratley quickset epoxy glue rounds out our list in the final position. It’s still a very useful material; it just doesn’t perform quite as well as some of the higher-ranked products. Thankfully, this one dries clear so your repairs should be invisible. That said, it’s going to take quite a while for it to dry at all. Expect to wait 48 hours for your repair to be cured.
Plastic, ceramic, glass, metal, stone, and porcelain can all be repaired effectively with this product. The bond it forms is adequate, though not nearly as durable as some of the others we tested. Altogether, the Pratley epoxy glue is still a great product, but it’s outshined by some of its closest competitors.
For most basic repairs, epoxy will provide a durable and invisible bond that should last for a long time. After reading the reviews of our favorites, you should have a pretty good idea of which product to reach for next time you need to fix something. For us, the Permatex Permapoxy was the best performer overall. Its bond sets in just five minutes on many different materials to a strength of up to 3,500 PSI.
The Gorilla 2-Part Epoxy is our pick for the best value. Equipped with a cap to keep it fresh for multiple uses, the Gorilla epoxy comes in an easy-dispense syringe that makes it simple to get the right mixture. It only takes five minutes to dry clear and the bond it creates is very durable. For the best of the best, our premium choice is the Yanyi 13 moldable epoxy glue. More of a putty than a liquid like the others, this product creates an extremely durable bond in a variety of materials. Once hard, it can be drilled and tapped. Better yet, it’s heat, water, and corrosion-resistant so it will hold up through many conditions for a long time.
Featured Image Credit By: Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy, amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!