Best Wood Fillers 2019 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

a wood filler

Wood filler isn’t exactly an exciting item to shop for, but if you need it, you really do need it. Used mostly for woodworking and general home repairs, this product will be perfectly suited to repair imperfections in your wood oriented workpieces.

But because this is a quality control piece of equipment, you want it to be of high-quality in its own right. For as handy as a good wood filler is, a bad one is virtually useless.

The problem is that you really don’t know how good a product is until you’ve tried it out yourself. Which for most people means rolling the dice and paying for something they might not like.

We don’t want you to have to do that. That is precisely why we’ve taken an in-depth look at lots of different wood filler products on the market. In doing our research we identified a handful of standout options worthy of your consideration. All you have to do is sit back, relax and learn about these products in this handy guide.

So, let’s get to that, shall we? Read on for some wood filler reviews!

HealthyHandyman’s Favorite Picks Compared

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
FamoWood 40022126 Interior & Exterior Wood Filler
FamoWood 40022126 Interior & Exterior Wood Filler(Top Pick)

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2 lbs4.4/5
Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler
Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler

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1 lb3.9/5
Elmer's E855 Carpenter's Wood Filler
Elmer's E855 Carpenter's Wood Filler(Best for the Money)

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1 lb4.2/5
3M Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler
3M Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler

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2 lbs4.1/5
Elmer's E842L Carpenter's Interior Wood Filler
Elmer's E842L Carpenter's Interior Wood Filler

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1 lb3.9/5

5 Best Wood Fillers 2019 – Our Reviews

1. FamoWood 40022126 Interior & Exterior Wood Filler – Top Pick

FamoWood 40022126 Interior & Exterior Wood Filler

First up we have a latex filler. The FamoWood is a reliable solution optimized for both indoor and outdoor use making it a great all-purpose option for buyers with a variety of different workpieces to treat.

It can also be sanded, drilled, planed, and it dries in fifteen minutes so that your workpiece will be ready for use again very quickly.

Last but not least, it also does not emit the stiflingly potent odor that is often associated with wood filler.

The one thing that buyers may want to keep in mind is that it is a little bit conspicuous. Once dried the product has an almost pink look to it. You can try to sand it out or stain over it but the bottom line is that it may require a little bit of work on your end to conceal the repair.

This is a pretty common concern with wood filler, but this also never a fun one to contend with.

Pros
  • Can be drilled, planed, etc
  • Dries in fifteen minutes
  • Low odor
Cons
  • Conspicuous when dried

2. Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler – The Runner-Up

Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler

Next up we have the Minwax. This stainable product is fit to be used both indoors and out. It dries quickly, it can be sanded readily, and it’s very durable.

That said, there are a couple of problems that keep it out of the top spot.

For one thing, it may dry a little bit too quickly. Once the product is applied, this is a great thing. It’s not such a great thing as your doing the applying. Essentially, you have to mix only what you intend to use in about a minute’s time. Otherwise ,the filler will quickly become too hard to use, and you will need to start all over.

As a result, it can be a little bit challenging to use on bigger projects. It’s also worth mentioning that this is a little bit pricier than the first product we saw.

Otherwise, it’s a great indoor/outdoor option.

Pros
  • Indoor/outdoor
  • Stainable
  • Easy to sand
Cons
  • Dries a little too quickly

3. Elmer’s E855 Carpenter’s Wood Filler – Best for the Money

Elmer's E855 Carpenter's Wood Filler

Hey if there’s one company that knows how to repair something, it’s Elmer’s, right? Our best for the money pick, the E855 is easy to use, it can be sanded, and it is resistant to shrinks and cracks.

If you are looking for a quick, easy to use product, the E855 would be hard to beat. It even comes in the classic user-friendly Elmer’s tube for easy access.

One problem, however, is that the tube you get is really pretty small. It’s about a fourth the size as the other options we’ve looked at today, which decreases the value somewhat.

It also features an unnatural color that looks a little like pink Playdough when it’s done.

Still, if you are looking to save money on a simple, easy to use product, this one will get the job done.

Pros
  • Best for the Money
  • Easy to use
  • Resistant to shrinks and cracks
Cons
  • Small tube decreases value
  • Conspicuous appearance

4. 3M Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler

3M Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler

The Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler comes in a sizable quart container and produces a durable coating that can be sanded, planed, sawed, etc once dried.

Once you get the product applied it really is a tough material that should stand the test of time for either indoor or outdoor application. One major issue though, is that it is very challenging to work with.

Usually, wood filler is thick but this product has the consistency of a hearty paint. Because it is drippy and runny, the Bondo Home Solutions wood filler is very challenging to apply skillfully. The result is that your finished product might not look as good as you’re hoping for.

It also means that you go through a lot more filler than you would with other products. While it may be a quart container, it performs more like 1/3rd of a quart would.

Basically, it works, but there are better options available to you.

Pros
  • Large Container
  • Can be sawed, drilled, etc
Cons
  • Hard to apply
  • Requires lots of filler to perform small tasks

5. Elmer’s E842L Carpenter’s Interior Wood Filler

 

Elmer's E842L Carpenter's Interior Wood Filler

In our final slot we have one last product by Elmer’s. This quart-sized container will get the job done for a small, indoor task, but there are some problems that keep it stuck in our last spot.

One of the problems is that it has a remarkably slow dry time. Some of the fillers that we saw take minutes to dry. This product takes hours.

Another major problem is the container. The lid doesn’t really close back up so you need to use the entire quart in one sitting (most projects will not require that) or run the risk of having it become useless after the first day of use.

Pros
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Flawed container
  • Slow Dry time

Buyer’s Guide

Now you know what your options are, but you might not be quite ready to determine which option is best. Understandable. If you’re still undecided we can be of assistance. Read on for a few buying considerations that will hopefully make the decision a little bit easier for you.

Price

One of the nice things about wood filler is that even at the highest end, it’s not overwhelmingly expensive. Most people will be able to go top of the line for this product if they really want to. But do you want to?

After all, why pay more if you don’t need to, right? You definitely don’t need to go overboard on this purchase, but there is also lots of merit to buying for quality over budget. The job of this tool is simple but important. Since wood filler won’t cost all that much even at its most expensive, why not scrape together a little bit more to get something that will treat your wooden workpieces with the respect they deserve.

Of course, if you can’t afford to go all out, there is still decent stuff available. Our best for the money pick is a good example.

Dry Time

How long a product takes to dry can have a big impact on its overall quality. The quicker the dry time, the better off most buyers are going to be.

There are some products out there that can be dry in as little as fifteen minutes. Others harden over hours.

Smell

Wood fillers from days gone by were notorious for releasing a noxious odor. And to be fair, wood fillers of today can sometimes have that problem as well, but to a much lesser extent.

Still, some products are actually virtually odor free, which is an optimal feature if you can get it. How do you know that option you buy actually is odor free? Most packages will advertise it, but if you want to be really sure you can always consult a review or two. Customers and professionals alike won’t hesitate to mention a gnarly smell.

What Can You Do With It

Some fillers are for cosmetic purposes only. They will fill an unsightly nick or imperfection, but that is all they will do.

Other options are extremely sturdy, and can be treated the same way as any other wood product. This includes sanding, drilling, nailing, etc.

If this is a wood product you might need to use tools on in the future, it’s a good idea to get something that can stand up to them.

Type of Filler

There are multiple different filler types to consider when making this purchase. Gypsum-based, vinyl-based, cellulose-based, and epoxies.

They all do more or less the same thing but do differ slightly in preparation and overall results.

Gypsum:

Gypsum wood filler usually comes in powder form and is mixed with water to easily apply to the workpiece. Because it doesn’t have any cosmetic value, its usually only used on surfaces that will be painted later.

Vinyl

Vinyl filler is known for being quick and efficient. The solution dries very quickly, and only requires very small quantities to take effect.

Cellulose

Cellulose is usually used for outdoor woods, furniture, fencing, etc. It can be purchased both as a dry powder, or as a pre-mixed solution. It’s valued for being affordable, easy to use, and long-lasting.

Epoxies

Last but not least, epoxies. This substance is also good for outdoor use because it dries quickly and is highly resistant to moisture. It can even be nailed, sawed or altered without cracking, making it a reliable option for situations that might be exposed to excessive wear and tear.

Your Purposes

Deciding on a filler is mostly just a matter of being aware of your intentions. What you will be using the filler on will have the biggest impact. If the product is to be applied to something that encounters a lot of wear and tear, you’ll want something sturdy. If the workpiece is to spend a lot of time outside, you will want something that is moisture resistant.

The good news is that these features will usually be clearly advertised so it shouldn’t be too hard finding the right one for you.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve read all of our wood filler reviews, you are about at the finish line. Hopefully the products and buying considerations that are listed above have helped you get ready to make an ultimate decision.

However, if you are still on the fence about a few products, we can help with that. In fact, we have two different recommendations that you might appreciate.

For buyers that want the best product they can get, the Famowood would be hard to beat. However, if your goal is to stick to a tighter budget, our best for the money pick will be your friend. The Elmers E855 is affordable, and high-performing making it great for buyers that don’t have a lot of money to spend.

But hey. You’ve done your homework. Now you’re ready to decide for yourself.