When you are working with wood, the cracks and dents that may occur on the wood are inevitable. If you don’t have a solution to these, most of the wood will be rendered useless.
This is where wood fillers come in handy. With a good quality wood filler, you can repair cracks on wood before they render the wood useless. You can cover holes that would otherwise damage your woodworking project. Even rotting wood can be effectively treated with a good wood filler.
There are numerous brands offering wood fillers on the market and to get a good quality and functional filler, you need to know what to look for in one.
Best Wood Filler Reviews
In this article, we will be telling you about the six best wood fillers on the market, and all you need to know.
It is easy to clean off the excess filler with a damp cloth before it dries, and you can sand off any excess filler that may be left on the wood to dry.
When looking for wood fillers, you want to get one that almost becomes part of the wood in the sense that you can treat it like you do wood. This is what you get with wood filler. It can be sanded to smooth it up, planned for decorative details, and can also be drilled.
It dries quickly so you don’t have to stall your project waiting for it to dry. After 15 minutes, you are good to proceed.
It’s solvent-free, which means it’s not affected by any kind of finish you might want to use on your project. It has a low odor and is paintable too.
Unlike other wood fillers that will shrink after they dry, this one does not shrink or crack as it dries.
It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor projects.
- Suitable for both indoors and outdoors use
- Does not shrink or crack when it dries
- Takes 15 minutes to dry
- Can be drilled, planed, sanded
- Solvent resistant
- Cleans easily
- Can be relatively hard to work with
It is suitable for all your hardware wood filling purposes, and can also be used as an adhesive to join pieces of wood together.
You can continue with your project in no time after application. It sets quickly, usually in 15 minutes, and is stainable in 30.
When you use the Minwax wood filler, it becomes one with the wood, and you can work it just like you would wood. This means you can sand, drill, plane, or even screw into it. It does not shrink with time or crack.
You can easily sand off any extra filler that is left on the wood too.
It is very resilient against weather elements like heat and water, and this makes it suitable for use on outdoor projects like decks and picnic tables.
- Takes a short time to set, usually 15 minutes
- Does not shrink
- Can be used as an adhesive in case you have no wood glue
- Does not stain very well
It is very strong as the bond between the filler and wood can be up to three times stronger than the wood itself. This makes it very durable. DAP latex wood filler is ideal for repairing cracks, holes, and gouges in wood if you are looking for something that sticks.
It does not shrink or crack when it dries after application, as some wood fillers do. Its fast-acting formula means that this filler sets fast, which does not stall your projects as you wait for it to dry.
The wood filler is also very affordable in comparison with other wood fillers, which saves you money.
- Very affordable
- Fast-acting formula
- Does not shrink or crack when it dries up
- Can be sanded, drilled or chiseled just like you would a piece of wood.
- Does not do very well on outdoor woodworking
It is perfect for repairing wood defects such as holes, cracks, rot, as well as scratches. It’s solvent resistant, which makes it perfect if you want to finish or paint your project afterward. It’s not prone to mildew or mold damage either.
It is only suitable for interior projects, so if you are looking for an external wood filler, this is not ideal. It cleans easily with a damp rag, and if you still have any remaining when the wood dries, you will be glad to know that it sands beautifully and easily.
When Elmer’s wood filler sets in, you can treat it just like you would a piece of wood. This means you can sand, drill, or plane it. It does not shrink or crack when it dries.
- Cleans easily
- Does not shrink or crack after drying
- You can drill, sand, and even chisel when it sets in
- Not ideal for exterior projects
Dap plastic wood filler is among the best brands of wood fillers you will find on the market. It has some unique features that make it stand out. It is a solvent-based wood filler that results in a strong bond when it dries.
It is very easy to use, but make sure you clean the wood and get rid of any oil or grease that may be on the wood before application. Once it dries you can treat it just like you would any wood. This means you can sand, drill, or even plane the filler.
It hardens fast, which means you don’t have to delay your project while waiting for it to set for hours. It is suitable for both indoor woodworking as well as outdoor woodworking.
It meets TT-F-340C federal specifications.
- For use on both interior and exterior projects
- Can be sanded, planed, drilled, or chiseled
- Meets TT-F340C federal specification
- May not accept paints as well as non-solvent based fillers
It is solvent-based and made with real wood particles, which gives it a very natural look that conceals easily. It’s been on the market for over 50 years, and this is how you know it works great.
When it dries, this wood filler can be treated just like you would any piece of wood, meaning you can sand it, drill, chisel, or plane. It is stainable and paintable, something other wood fillers don’t take to very well.
Unlike other wood fillers, you can easily spread this wood filler as thin as you need. It’s suitable for both interior and external uses.
- Stainable and paintable
- Made from natural wood fiber which makes it very compatible with wood
- You can sand, drill, chisel, or sand it easily
- Does not shrink or crack after drying.
- A bit lighter than most woods
Considerations for the Best Wood Filler
Woodworking products like wood fillers are plenty in the market and deciding the best can be a bit challenging, especially if you are new to woodworking. If this is you, I’ve got you. I’m going to tell you what makes a wood filler great. Here are important factors you should look for when shopping for one.
Most woodworkers want to apply some kind of finishing to their woodworking pieces when they are done working on them. If the wood filler you chose to go with does not take finishing well, this is going to be a problem.
Check and ensure that the filler you choose goes with the kind of finishing you are choosing to go with beforehand. You don’t want patches of wood filler standing out on your project after you are done with it.
How Well Does it Hold Up?
Some wood filler types will shrink and crack when they finally set in. this is very disappointing when it happens. Make sure you buy a wood filler that stays rigid after application.
Just to be safe, always overfill the holes or cracks you are repairing so that when the filler finally settles and shrinks you still have enough filling. Sand the excess.
How Long Does it Take the Wood Filler to Dry?
You don’t want a wood filler that takes forever to dry, always look at the setting time indicated on the package for drying times. Ideally, you want to buy a wood filler that takes long enough for you to apply it but does not take so long to dry that you have to wait forever before the wood is ready for you to continue working on it.
What Color Does the Wood Filler Dry?
Ideally, you want to buy a wood filler that dries as an earthy, natural wood color. This way, when it finally dries, it won’t stand out on the wood too much.
Some wood fillers bond so well with wood that the bond created is stronger than the wood itself. This is what you want to buy. Such wood fillers will also come in handy when you need a wood adhesive.
If you buy wood filler that does not hold strongly to wood then the risk of coming undone is a threat to your woodwork project.
How Easy Is it to Work the Filler?
When you buy wood filler, get one that you can work like you would a piece of wood when it dries. This way, you don’t risk the filler coming off when you drill or chisel the wood.
Frequently Asked Questions on Wood Fillers
Water-based Wood Fillers vs. Solvent-based Wood Fillers: Which Are the Best?
Well, deciding which one of these to use depends largely on the woodwork project you are working on. Generally, here are the differences.
Water-based wood fillers can dissolve in water, and this makes them easy to clean. A damp cloth will do just fine. Solvent-based wood fillers, on the other hand, do not dissolve in water. This makes them better suited to outdoor projects as they can stand harsh weather conditions.
Solvent-based fillers have a strong odor while water-based ones have a subtle odor.
Do Wood Fillers Stain?
Some wood fillers take stains while others don’t stain very well. When you are buying a wood filler, check whether they have indicated whether the wood filler can stain or not, otherwise, you will end up with contrasting patches on your wood project.
Wood fillers are handy when it comes to wood repair. Without them, a lot of wood would be rendered useless by small rots, cracks, or holes. While the many brands available on the market can be confusing when you have to choose one, it gets considerably easier when you know what you are looking for.
While all the ones listed here are great, look at Elmer’s E842L interior wood filler for your interior projects. It cleans easily, can be sanded, drilled, and chiseled and does not shrink or crack when it dries.