It’s never a bad idea to keep epoxy in your home or studio. However, choosing the right epoxy can be complicated. The most common consumer-grade epoxies are two-part epoxies, which keep the resin and hardener separate until it’s time to use them. They range from fast-setting options that dry in minutes, to ultrastrong epoxies that take hours to set, to products that fall somewhere in the middle. Curing time, or how long it takes for the bond to reach full strength, is usually 24 hours, but some newer options boast quicker cure times. Cure time will be affected by temperature, since epoxy cures faster in warmer temperatures, and by how much epoxy is used. Other considerations depend on the materials in play, whether the pieces have to be held together by hand (holding still for six hours may prove difficult), and how the finished piece will be used. Peruse our list below to find good two-part epoxy options for everything from crafts to repairs.
1. Devcon Plastic Steel Epoxy
The strongest epoxies will often have a longer setting time. Devcon’s Plastic Steel Epoxy is one of the best choices for all types of metals; it contains a steel alloy for an impressive final tensile strength of 2,600 PSI. Once the two parts are mixed (the set creates 25 milliliters total), it remains workable for an hour, sets in 4 to 6 hours, and fully cures in 24 hours. Use on everything from iron to stainless steel to aluminum.
2. Gorilla Two-Part Epoxy
For jobs that require you to hold the pieces together, a quick-set epoxy is the best choice. Gorilla’s dispenser is fitted with two syringes and a plunger that dispenses both liquids at once in equal amounts out of separate nozzles. The result is a clear, super-tough epoxy that sets in just five minutes and cures in about a day. When you’re done, simply replace the included cap until you’re ready for your next small project. You get just under an ounce of epoxy.
3. Loctite Epoxy
Like Gorilla’s product, this epoxy comes in a two-compartment syringe that mixes the resin and hardener with the push of a plunger. There is only one nozzle, however, so we recommend this product for one-time use only, particularly when you have many seals to create at once. It’s great for fast fixes, as it sets in about five minutes and cures in less than 24 hours to create a super-strong bond. Because the small tip allows precise application, this is an especially handy epoxy for reaching tight areas.
4. J-B Weld Original Epoxy
JB Weld’s original formula is a super-strong and versatile epoxy that can be used on most surfaces, including metal, plastic, wood, and even concrete. Once fully cured, the steel-reinforced epoxy can withstand heat, acid, petroleum, and chemicals. It is also fully waterproof and is often used in plumbing and boat repairs. It does not need heat to set, but will set at room temperature in 4 to 6 hours and is fully cured in 24 hours. The 2 ounces of epoxy contained in one affordable package make this glue a no-brainer.
5. Bob Smith Slow-Cure Epoxy
This product fills the gap between fast 5-minute epoxy and super-strong but slow-setting epoxy. Once the two parts are mixed together, it remains workable for 30 minutes and cures in 8 hours (though it is still best to leave it overnight). The two separate parts are easy to store, which is good because the 4.5 ounces of epoxy can last for many projects.