Is Mighty Putty Worth The Mighty Price?

A few weeks ago, we asked you which infomercial items you would love to see put to the test, and in the comments and e-mails, a number of you mentioned Mighty Putty, the epoxy adhesive hawked by the late Billy Mays. But then we looked through the archive over at sister site ConsumerReports.org and found they’d already put the putty through the paces.

CR compared Mighty Putty to Devcon Plastic Steel, which was top-rated in its household glue ratings. The results:

Moderately mighty but pretty pricey. Mighty Putty was good on plastic and metal and fair on wood; Devcon was excellent on metal and wood and good on plastic. Both excelled at filling gaps. It took more than 350 pounds of force to break Mighty Putty’s hold on metal and wood (for plastic, 270 pounds). But Devcon, Loctite Sumo Glue, and Elmer’s Ultimate are stronger and cost less… Mighty Putty cost $19.99 for six sticks plus $8.95 shipping and handling. And it took three weeks for our order to arrive.

So before you plunk down the nearly $29 for your Mighty Putty sticks, consider that you can get better for cheaper, and without the wait.

Powerful putty? [Consumer Reports]

Comments

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  1. gparlett says:

    I knew Billy Mays would never lie to me.

  2. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    At least the product works.. Most crap advertised on TV doesn’t even do that.

    • Bativac says:

      Yeah, I’m kinda surprised, too.

      Ah, Billy. If not for that pesky cocaine habit, you’d still be with us, hawking all manner of overpriced crap. Godspeed my bearded friend.

  3. Sparkstalker says:
  4. alternety says:

    Or test the appropriately named sham wow. I bought a pack, and tried cleaning a window with a damp sheet. Returned pack.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’m confused. You soaked a sham wow then tried to use it to clean a window?

      • ridbx says:

        The Shamwow TV ads tout them as replacements for paper towels and show them being used to clean bathroom mirrors and windows.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          But he makes it sound like he soaked it BEFORE using it, which makes no sense.

          • ridbx says:

            Maybe he soaked it with Windex.

            Don’t you hose off your car windows before washing them? Scrubbing at them with a dry towel is a sure way to get scratches.

            Anyway, Shamwows are just a sham.

            • Southern says:

              Actually, even according to CR, Shamwows work.. Maybe not as well as they CLAIM they work, but they do work. They are also different than a standard Chamois (for sabre, above).

              I’d have to search the Consumerist archives for the original article (& review).. I’ll see if I can find it.

              • ridbx says:

                I remember reading that review, and yeah, they did say shamwows work. The sham part IMO is, like the Mighty Putty, similar products with the same or better level of efficacy can be easily purchased for much less expense.

            • Sian says:

              scratches?

              you can’t scratch a car window with a towel.

              Newsprint is best for glass BTW.

          • SabreDC says:

            Chamois are supposed to be used damp. I’m not sure Sham-wow qualifies as an actual chamois though.

          • DarthCoven says:

            You’re supposed to use the Sham Wow damp. Run it under water, wring it out, then use it and it actually does a decent job.

    • NaOH says:

      That’s clearly not what they’re for.

    • duxup says:

      If I recall CR did that one already. If I remember right they work but are more expensive than the alternatives.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      And they SMELL AWFUL.

  5. goodpete says:

    I’m a fan of Mighty Putty.

    Unlike glues, it actually has structure to it, making it ideal for some jobs that glue just isn’t meant for. Also, it keeps for much longer than glue. It seems with most glue (especially epoxy-based glue) isn’t really good for more than one use. Once you break the seal, it’s probably going to dry out before you need to use it again. We bought one box of Mighty Putty and have been using it for various needs for a couple years now and it still works just like the day we bought it.

    On the downside, it’s a bit more work than glue (you have to roll it around and mix it manually before use) and the drying period is pretty long (30+ minutes for the best hold). But it still offers benefits that make it worth the price. Also, as another poster mentioned, you can find it in some home stores for less than ordering it direct.

    • tooki says:

      But, um, none of the attributes you praise there are in any way unique to Mighty Putty. You just described any epoxy putty. (And there isn’t any such thing as “epoxy based glue” — it’s either an epoxy adhesive or it’s something else.)

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        V This. I’ve used epoxy putty for years. I couldn’t figure out what the heck was supposed to be so uber about mighty putty. Any plumber’s epoxy putty would do the same, but for uber cheap. Available from your local hardware store.

      • goodfellow_puck says:

        Exactly!

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I got Mighty Putty for $9.99 at my local Tops Grocery. It smells horrible when you mix it, but it works. It’s amazing stuff.

  6. CBenji says:

    Poor Billy, may he RIP.

  7. LightningUsagi says:

    I bought some several years ago when Linens and Things was going out of business. We’ve used it for little things here and there, but the main thing we ended up using it for was to put some hooks on the walls to hang our Rock Band guitars from. One peeled off within a few days. The other stayed up until a few months ago, when it finally broke free. I didn’t pay full price for it, so I don’t feel ripped off. I’m sure I’ll test it out more as time goes by.

  8. Mclick says:

    If I am leaving for vacation and I have the choice to call in a plumber and fix a line, fix it myself with proper tools and equipment or patch it with mighty putty….I’m going definitely going with might putty for peace of mind, who wouldn’t.

    Crap we need to get this roof top hvac unit up on the roof and our chain just broke…mighty putty anyone…I don’t think so.

    • goodfellow_puck says:

      Here’s the thing: “Mighty Putty” is the EXACT same thing as “Plumber’s Putty”, also called “Epoxy Putty, which costs about $5 a tube at any hardware store, and has been around for yeeeeears. Billy Mays and his goons just re-purposed it with a brand and charge you more for it.

      • Quixiotic... Yea it's a typo (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ says:

        Billy Mays was just the pitchman, man. They even made a show on Discovery about it. He just promotes, no development

        • MrEvil says:

          The show pitchmen was really enlightening as to the creative process for those ads. And at least for the products shown on the program they were all invented by every day folks.

  9. shepd says:

    Depends on if JB Weld is cheaper where you are (the same product).

    • zzyzzx says:

      I was wondering when someone was going to bring up JB Weld, which I love, but I think the Epoxy Putty might be a slightly different type of thing.

  10. maestrosteve says:

    I bought the 3 pack for $9 and tax locally. For almost $30 it’s not worth it, but I’ve bought this same kind of epoxy sticks made by another company for a similar price with similar results.

    When mixing 2 parts of epoxy, the slightest variation can have an effect on the holding power, so while it would be hard to impossible to claim an exact number like 350 pound holding power, I doubt there’s any other glue that comes consistently close to anywhere near that, or that I would really need 350 pound holding power instead of, say 400 pound.

    After mixing both parts, it feels like a piece of gum that was just chewed, and that’s easier to handle than a liquid glue for many situations.

    Everything has a price/value point, and at $30 it’s WAY overpriced, but at less than $10 where you CAN find it locally (Walgreens, for example), it’s a solid buy.

  11. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    eh, i prefer this stuff
    http://www.avesstudio.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=30&category_id=7&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=4
    haven’t tried mighty putty but i like being able to keep a larger tub of the stuff on hand instead of trying to get it out of a little tube.

  12. Anne Boleyn says:

    I wish you guys would test the shake weight…

  13. MartinFeardie says:

    I do a lot of wood working and restoration and mighty putty works great for those small holes that need to be filled. In fact, last week I accidentally cut into a door jamb with my tiger saw and puttied a 2″ x 4″ section with putty. It hardens quickly and can be sanded, then painted. It’s gotten me out of a jam (pun intended) many times. I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $10 for a 3 stick pack at the store, either. People are idiots for buying crap from TV commercials anyway.

  14. Gravitational Eddy says:

    Dont forget, these are the same spokEsmen who sold us on Krazy Glue….at three times the price it is in Walmart (plus S&H).

    By the way, what is it with shipping and handling?
    How come EVERYTHING you see advertised on TV (the ones with an 800 number anyways)
    is priced that way?
    You know what I mean…. the price for those magical whatnots that eliminate all that extra work is a low low $9.99, but the shipping and handling adds another +$19.85 to the credit card bill.
    How come?
    I’m trying to figure it out now, and it just wont add up…

    Separate companies trying to keep the tax bite to a minimum?

    • SabreDC says:

      Because “handling” is where they make their money. They sell their products at low prices because people will pay thinking it costs a low, low $9.99, not realizing that the handling is paying for the people in the warehouse picking and packing and the other post-manufacturing overhead.

      It adds up because people look at S&H as a side fee, like tax. To them, it’s not actually part of the price; the item only costs $9.99! It’s marketing more than anything.

  15. Justinh6 says:

    JB Weld has a product called Water Weld. I have used it to repair a hairline crack in a cast iron plumbing stack that is over 80 years old.

    Replacing that stack would have been several thousands of dollars.

    The Water Weld has been on there for 5 years now, not a drip :cross my fingers:

    Waterweld is at walmart for 4 dollars a tube..

  16. matt314159 says:

    Can’t you just get some epoxy-putty from Harbor Freight for pennies on the dollar compared to this stuff?

  17. NumberSix says:

    Of course if you are using putty to seal a p-trap, you just suck at plumbing.

  18. framitz says:

    Epoxy putty has been available for many years and it works great. No need to order mighty putty.
    Most auto part stores carry two or three types for a lower price.

  19. goodfellow_puck says:

    As others have said, “Mighty Putty” is just Plumber’s Putty ie Epoxy Putty, which has been available at hardware and plumber stores for yeeeeeeeears. When those commercials came out I was livid. You can buy big tubes of the stuff for $5 or so! I always laugh at the “You can even plug holes with water coming through!!!” part since that’s the primary use of Plumber’s Putty!

    Just a note for anyone who hasn’t tried epoxy putty (“mighty” or otherwise), do yourself a favor and use gloves when mixing and applying. The stuff smells like ASS and gets in your fingernails and fingerprints where it hangs out and smells like ass for even longer. Bleh.

  20. thaJack says:

    I have five sticks of Mighty Putty that I bought at Target a couple of years ago for $9.99.

  21. barcodetattoo says:

    So, OK.

  22. Adam says:

    I got a similar putty from Oatey at Lowe’s for about 8 bucks I think. I’ve used it a couple of times and have been impressed both times. It repaired a plastic screw/nail parts organizer that had a broken handle. To replace the case it would have cost about 20 dollars, but the putty has held it and I’ve tried to break it out of curiosity but it has held.

  23. anduin says:

    8.95 for S&H??? Damn…

  24. CorvetteJoe says:

    Harbor Freight – Atomic Putty 3 pack – $10
    I currently have two different vehicles’s radiators being held together by this stuff for many years now along with lots of other random parts. Great stuff.

    This stuff has been around for YEARS at various hardware and auto parts stores. It’s nothing special, just a 2 part epoxy mix in a solid form. Billy Mays just put a fun name to it and made it popular.

  25. flip says:

    29.00 bucks? I bought several of those at the kiosk at the mall for 15 bucks.

    I’ve used mighty putty for the following with postitive results

    1. Patch up my oil pan from bottoming out and cracking it.
    2. able to patch up my high pressure A/C lines in my vehicle.

    3. Even after that dumb bitch rant he red light and totaled my car, the mighty putty was still intact.