Best Body Filler (Updated 2021)
Body Fillers are components that are used as a catalyst to harden. The best body filler is an aromatic chemical compound, but it can be rather harmful to a person's health.
Body Filler Buyer's Guide
Before you purchase one of the top rated car body fillers, it's important to assess the damage on your car. Knowing how extensive the damage is, how deep the dents go, and what area is affected will help you choose the right filler for your needs.
Once you've assessed the damage, careful consideration is essential in order to determine what product will do the best job of filling the scratches and dents. To simply the choosing process, here are the factors to pay attention to as you evaluate different body fillers.
Types of Car Body Fillers
There are three types of car body fillers: metal, lightweight, and fiberglass. How easy the filler is to use, how smooth the results are, and how long the filling will last all come down to the type of body filler you use. Below is an explanation of each type of body filler and what it's best for.
Metal Body Fillers
Metal body fillers are made of metal particles, just like car bodyworks are made of metal. This means that this type bonds well with metal bodyworks and doesn't shrink after drying. This saves you the hassle of having to reshape the filling after it dries.
On top of this, metal body filler is one of the longest lasting car body fillers and works well for repairing large and deep damages. Made of fine aluminum particles, it spreads easily and hardens into a smooth, water resistant finish.
-Best body filler for repairing deep dents and dings
-Doesn't shrink after drying or require reshaping
-Creates a moisture resistant barrier that repels water
-Easy to apply on painted surfaces and results in a smooth finish
-Hard when cured and provides long-lasting protection
-Relatively more costly than other types of car body fillers
Lightweight Body Fillers
Lightweight body fillers are a lighter duty version of metal body fillers. The light weight makes them the easiest type of car body filler to apply. It spreads like hot butter, dries in record time, and sands very well so you can achieve a silky smooth surface. It still feels strong once dry andis water resistant.
However, lightweight body fillers are only suitable for light repairs such as scratches, pinholes, chipped paint, and very small dents. It isn't thick enough to fill deep dings and dents properly. Nevertheless, many vehicle owners opt to apply it as the final layer to fill pinholes and achieve an attractive finish.
-Best for small damages such as scratches and pinholes
-Easy to apply and sand to achieve a premium finish
-Results in the prized silky smooth finish
-Water resistant so it doesn't allow moisture to penetrate through
-Not thick enough for deep and extensive damages
Fiberglass body fillers
Fiberglass body fillers are composed of both fiberglass and metal particles. This combination results in an extremely tough and durable filler suitable for a wide range of bodywork surfaces.
Because of this, fiberglass filler is the best type of filler to use for large scale repairs. It's also the most impervious to water and ideal for use on large rusted parts or areas prone to rusting and corrosion.
On the downside, fiberglass filler isn't the easiest filler to apply on a vehicle and sand into a smooth finish. Additionally, it requires heat treatment to cure properly. This is why it's mainly used in pro bodywork shops.
-Best type for large scale repair jobs
-Most water resistant body filler
-Great to use on rusted sections
-Compatible with any type of car paint
-Works with any paint type and color
-Not the easiest to apply and sand
-Requires application of heat to cure properly
Compatibility With Your Car
Since most vehicles have metal bodywork, most car body fillers are designed to bond well on steel, aluminum, and fiberglass surfaces. However, not all body fillers work best on all metal surfaces. This is why it's important to make sure the body filler you're considering is compatible with the surface you intend to use it on.
If your car is made of SMC (Sheet Molding Compound), zinc coated steel, or galvanized steel, make sure the body filler you get is compatible with these materials.
If you plan to apply it on a sanded, painted, or primed surface, make sure the filler you choose will adhere well to the surface. If the plastic parts such as bumper covers and plastic trims are damaged as well, opt for a filler that bonds with both metal and plastic.
The quantity of filler you will end up using comes down to how small or big the repairs you will be making are. If you only have a few scratches and shallow dents to fill, a small quantity of filler will suffice. If you're on a tight budget or only want to get enough filler for the job at hand, you can opt for a small container of body filler.
However, this is not necessarily the best option when it comes to value for your money. Buying a large container is cheaper in the long run than buying multiple small packs. Most body fillers have months-long shelf lives so you don't have to worry about the filler expiring. As long as you store it properly, one large pack can serve you for months to come.
Ease of Use
Even the best formulated body filler is no good if it's difficult to use. If you can't mix it, spread it, and sand it with ease, it will be hard to achieve the results you're after.
When it comes to mixing body filler with hardener, you can get a one-part body filler that comes pre-mixed and ready to use tight out of the container. If you have a two part body filler that requires you to do the mixing on your own, take care to follow the provided instructions and recommended ratio so you can end up with a smooth consistency that spreads smooth and adheres to surfaces easily.
The filler shouldn't take too long to dry, especially when applying it on a vertical surface. Finally, the filler should be easy to sand into a smooth finish. Lightweight filler is the easiest to use followed by metal body fillers. Fiberglass filler takes some elbow grease to apply and requires artificial heat in order to cure properly. However, it gets easier to use with practice.
Stain-Free and Non-Shrinking
A stain-free formula is best as it won't ruin the paint job or finish around the repaired area. It minimizes bleed-through and ensures the finish is consistent. Even with a non-staining filler, you should still allow the filler ample time to dry completely before sanding. This is the best way to fend off stains.
A non-shrinking formula means that the putty won't shrink after drying. This eliminates the hassle of having to reshape the finish and also ensures the filling will last long.
Top 4 Body Filler Reviews
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The Bondo 261 Lightweight Filler Pint Can easily and quickly fill in dents, chips, splits, scratches and rust holes. As it is designed to be non-shrinking and permanently durable, this body filler is ideal for a multitude of automatic, hobby and home projects.
Where Can You Use It?
It is the original formula for quickly and easily restoring vehicle exteriors and other metal surfaces, as well as timber, tangible, fiberglass and more in addition to wax. Bondo Body Filler forms in minutes and can accept as many applications as necessary to fill up holes and deep scrapes or nicks
What Repairs Can You Do?
It is a two-part putty mix used to repair holes, dents, dings, rusted scratches and areas in vehicle exteriors. This filler cures quickly, shapes in a few minutes, and is formulated to be durable and permanently non-shrinking.
In addition to the uses in the maintenance of typical automobile areas, the filler is ideal for repairing other surfaces including wood, steel, fiberglass, aluminum and concrete.
What Are The Pros?
- Trouble-free mix ratios help to make it suitable to measure
- Spreads very easily and sands in only 20 minutes
- Compatible using paint devices
- Comes with Red Cream Hardener
- Includes cream hardener
- Great for use on solid wood, metal, fiberglass, concrete, aluminum and masonry and appropriate for all paint systems
What Are The Cons?
- It is not as durable as expected
How Does It Work?
3M 262 Lightweight Filler is perfect for repairing metal, wood, steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. It sets fast and shapes in minutes. It is made from long lasting materials.
Fill unattractive holes and deep scratches, and protect the appearance of your bodywork. The body filler goes on and dries quicker than other brands. It is an excellent compound to have readily available around the house.
What Repairs Can It Make?
This best body filler can be described as a two-part putty substance that can be utilized to repair dents, holes, dings, rusted areas plus scrapes in a vehicle outside. It sets fast and shapes in minutes.
As well as automobile exteriors and other steel areas, you can also use it on hardwood, fiberglass and concrete. It is designed to be non-shrinking and durable.
What Are The Pros?
- Cures fast and designs in minutes
- Non-shrinking and permanently long lasting material
- Can repair metal, metal, aluminum, wood, fiberglass doors and concrete
- Lightweight plus sands easily
- Formulated to become a nonreactive, non-shrinking and permanently long-lasting material
What Are The Cons?
- No downsides are seen
How Does It Work?
Evercoat 105 is premium lightweight body filler formulated with the best possible resin. Stain and Tack-free resistant, RAGE increases the life of sandpaper and reduces the chance of staining. Superior sanding and spreading properties remove the need for cheese-grating or even sanding with coarse paper.
What Makes It Different?
Evercoat 105 Body Filler is track free and stain resistant. Its advanced formulation with ZNX-7 generates excellent adhesion to galvanized metal, aluminum, SMC along with sanded OEM coatings
What Are The Pros?
- Provides the first-class approbation to zinc-coated metal, corrosion proof, and keeps the OEM corrosion guarantee
- Formulated with the best possible top quality resin obtainable, like the polyester material glazing putties
- Extra easy method for increased spreadability and decreased pinholes
- Tack-free, easy-sanding formula reduces sandpaper and labor costs and stops sandpaper clogging
- Stain- free formula decreases the probability of discoloration
What Are The Cons?
- Does not include hardener
The Best Body Fillers on the Market!
Body Fillers are actually thermal-set plastic materials. So they will cure with heat and become hard within a couple of minutes. Too much hardener will cause the cured material to be brittle and crack. It is easy to use and comes at an affordable price.
The above Body Filler reviews will hopefully help you make the right choice.
Body Filler FAQ
What Is Body Filler Made Of?
Body filler is a resin-based substance made of polyester resin. It's mixed with a cream hardener to form a smooth putty that's used for filling the scratches, dings, and dents on a car in preparation for a new coat of paint.
What is The Difference Between Body Filler and Putty?
Both body filler and putty are substances used to fill in damages on the exterior of a car. Most people actually use the terms to refer to the same thing. However, putty is usually softer than body filler. Thus, putty works best on small damages, while filler is suitable for filling large cracks and holes.
Are Body Fillers Bad?
Body fillers are not bad. On the contrary, they provide a very convenient way to fix damages and restore vehicle exteriors without spending a fortune or compromising the strength of the bodywork.
However, body fillers can crack if they are not mixed properly or if applied too thick. Some products are also prone to shrinking after drying. But as long as you follow the instructions and apply the filler in thin layers, the results are good.
Are Body Fillers Harmful?
Body fillers are composed of harsh chemicals that can not only degrade the environment but also harm your skin and health. This is why it's crucial to read the safety data sheet of the product you get and observe the necessary precautions. Namely, you should wear safety gloves, and apply the filler in a well-ventilated area or put on a mask or respirator.
Is Bondo A Good Body Filler?
Bondo body filler is among the very best fillers on the market. It spreads easily, cures fast, is easy to shape, and is non-shrinking and durable. Besides metal vehicle surfaces, it also works well on fiberglass, concrete, wood, and other surfaces. It's no surprise that Bondo has been around for decades.
Does Bondo Have A Shelf Life?
Bondo has a shelf life, it can last about 16 months on the shelf. You can even extend this shelf life by keeping the container sealed and storing it in a cool dry place.