Sugru - the practical adhesive putty from Tesa

Once again I have a pick of the week that doesn't actually go with Macs and iPhones at all. But I know there are one or two readers who will be happy about this recommendation because it is simply super practical.

Included in this pack are 3 small packets of Sugru (Photos: Sir Apfelot).
Included in this pack are 3 small packets of Sugru (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

Making and gluing spare parts

I had used Sugru years ago, but at the time it was still a new invention. In the meantime, Tesa has bought the name and probably also the whole product behind it and it is therefore also available in Germany.

In principle, Sugru is a plastic mass that feels like play dough and is easy to deform at first. They are then attached to the desired location and allowed to harden. After a good day it is still flexible, but no longer deformable.

Because Sugru doesn't noticeably lose mass while drying, it's great for replacing missing parts on devices. After 48 hours it can also be sanded or otherwise processed, because then it has reached its full hardness.

My Sugru kit comes with three packets of black Sugru.
My Sugru kit comes with three packets of black Sugru.

Use cases for Sugru

Tesla has one extensive subpage created, on which different types are represented. There – and on other websites – you will find the following tips or use cases:

  • Use Sugru to connect two items (attach coat hook to wall)
  • Attach Sugru to connectors as kink protection
  • Repair cable insulation (only for low voltage!)
  • Sugru as an extra grip on cameras
  • Sugru as a repair part on shoe soles
  • Sugru as a connecting pin between knife handle shells
  • Sugru with paper clip as a handle on zippers
  • as a doorstop or bumper
  • Seal rubber boots again

There are probably 1000 other use cases that I would be happy to add here if you let me know.

Before I use the Sugru, I always knead it and form a ball or a snake, which I then use further.
Before I use the Sugru, I always knead it and form a ball or a snake, which I then use further.

My project: replicate a fountain attachment

I used my Sugru to make a lost attachment for our little solar fountain. There were a few different attachments that you could put on the pipe for the fountain, but when we moved we seem to have managed to screw them all up, while the solar fountain itself has reappeared.

Here you can see the knob I put on top of the pump. The hole from which the water is to spring is then drilled into these.
Here you can see the knob I put on top of the pump. The hole from which the water is to spring is then drilled into these.

I was about to order my new fountain and get rid of the old one when Sugru came to mind. Of course, I can't make a perfect attachment with 20 nozzles with the silicone rubber, but a simple attachment with a hole is quickly done.

To do this, I dried the fountain nicely, then opened a packet of Sugru, kneaded the Sugru and then formed it into a ball. This was then placed on the well outlet and connected to the pipe at the edge so that everything is nice and tight.

After a day of drying time, all I had to do was drill a hole and the attachment was ready. As you can see in the photo, it works fine.

The modeling glue is waterproof and therefore perfect for my fountain project.
The modeling glue is waterproof and therefore perfect for my fountain project.

Specifications for Sugru

I found all sorts of technical information and tips about Sugru, which I would like to summarize here in bullet points:

  • Material: silicone rubber
  • Designations: Adhesive putty, repair putty, putty silicone, malleable all-purpose glue
  • compatible with glass, ceramics, wood, metal and plastics
  • there is an MHD up to which Sugru can be optimally processed
  • the best before date can be extended up to three times when stored in the refrigerator
  • You can't pick up opened Sugru—it hardens quickly, no matter how well you wrap it
  • Freshly delivered Sugru usually has a shelf life of 6 months; 1,5 years in the fridge
  • Once opened, Sugru has 30 minutes to mold and customize
  • you can wipe Sugru nice and smooth with soapy water
  • masking tape can be used to get precise edges
  • Textures in Sugru can be achieved with sandpaper, a toothbrush, a knife, or a thimble
  • cure time:
    • 1,5 mm thickness → 12 h
    • 3 mm thickness → 24 h
    • if Sugru is sandwiched between two surfaces → 48 h
  • at low temperatures the drying time increases
  • to prevent Sugru from detaching from the glued area during the curing process, you can fix it with adhesive tape
  • Objects weighing up to 2 kg can be fixed with Sugru (it is essential to plan for a drying time of 48 hours)
  • once cured, Sugru is resistant to cold and heat between -50°C and +180°C
  • Sugru is waterproof and UV resistant
  • Sugru is electrically insulating
  • it is dishwasher safe
  • one packet of Sugru contains 3,5 g of modeling clay
  • Costs: approx. EUR 2,20 per packet
  • non-toxic, skin-friendly and suitable for children
Sugru is also available in different colors (Photo: Tesa).
Sugru is also available in different colors (Photo: Tesa).

Various colors available

Personally, I mostly use the black Sugru because it suits most of my use cases. However, Sugru is also available in many other colors. For the sets with all colors you have to buy quite a lot of packs, which are expensive and should be used up in 1,5 years so that Sugru doesn't "expire".

But I have put together different sets for you here, although I would personally recommend the 3-piece sets. You usually used them up in time and the large sets are only slightly cheaper than the small ones - based on the price per packet.

0,70 EUR
Sugru by tesa - Mouldable All-Purpose Glue, 3-Pack, 3 x 3,5 g, Red, Blue & Yellow - Versatile...
  • The kneadable all-purpose glue that makes your home even more beautiful and individual: decorating, upcycling, gluing and much more...
  • Use the "color factor": For repairing dishes made of porcelain, glass and ceramics, for fixing decorations,...
  • Non-toxic, skin-friendly and suitable for children: The adhesive clay does not contain any substances that are harmful to the skin - the ...
Sugru by tesa - Mouldable All-Purpose Glue, 3-Pack, 3 x 3,5 g, Black - Versatile Adhesive Putty -...
  • The kneadable all-purpose glue that makes your home even more beautiful and individual: decorating, upcycling, gluing and much more...
  • Use the "color factor": For repairing dishes made of porcelain, glass and ceramics, for fixing decorations,...
  • Non-toxic, skin-friendly and suitable for children: The adhesive clay does not contain any substances that are harmful to the skin - the ...
Sugru by tesa - Mouldable All-Purpose Glue, 3-Pack, 3 x 3,5 g, Black - Versatile Adhesive Putty -...
  • The kneadable all-purpose glue that makes your home even more beautiful and individual: decorating, upcycling, gluing and much more...
  • Use the "color factor": For repairing dishes made of porcelain, glass and ceramics, for fixing decorations,...
  • Non-toxic, skin-friendly and suitable for children: The adhesive clay does not contain any substances that are harmful to the skin - the ...
Sugru by tesa - Mouldable All-Purpose Glue, 3-Pack, 3 x 3,5 g, Pink, Orange & Green - Versatile...
  • The kneadable all-purpose glue that makes your home even more beautiful and individual: decorating, upcycling, gluing and much more...
  • Use the "color factor": For repairing dishes made of porcelain, glass and ceramics, for fixing decorations,...
  • Non-toxic, skin-friendly and suitable for children: The adhesive clay does not contain any substances that are harmful to the skin - the ...
0,70 EUR
Sugru by tesa - Mouldable All-Purpose Glue, 3-Pack, 3 x 3,5 g, Red, Blue & Yellow - Versatile...
  • The kneadable all-purpose glue that makes your home even more beautiful and individual: decorating, upcycling, gluing and much more...
  • Use the "color factor": For repairing dishes made of porcelain, glass and ceramics, for fixing decorations,...
  • Non-toxic, skin-friendly and suitable for children: The adhesive clay does not contain any substances that are harmful to the skin - the ...

Sugru alternatives

Admittedly, at just under 2 euros per pack of glue, Sugru is not exactly cheap. So I looked to see if there might be a cheaper alternative. The first thing you need to know is the technical name of this putty and it is "putty silicone".

If you search for it on Amazon, you will find some products that also have a cheaper price per kilogram, but the problem is that they are always in large containers. Once opened, you can no longer use them, which again only makes sense if you know in advance that you need a larger quantity, of course you can get it.

Here for example DIP Tools epoxy resin putty, which directly contains 57 grams (a packet of Sugru has only 3,5 grams):

DIP-Tools waterproof 2k epoxy resin putty - epoxy resin with hardener - 2 component adhesive - 2k...
  • INSIDE, OUTSIDE, UNDER WATER: No matter where. With our 2-component epoxy resin repair kit, you can even...
  • UNIVERSAL USE: Experience the power putty when gluing, filling, modeling or sealing on different ...
  • EXPRESS REPAIR: Quickly achieve the desired result with epoxy adhesive power thanks to quick processing and curing. Easy in...

For me there is no good and cheap alternative to Sugru, since Sugru already contained practical, small containers and is therefore much more practical and durable for everyday use.

Update 18.07.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX: UHU patafix is ​​cheaper and removable again

Today I discovered another Sugru alternative that I haven't tried out myself: UHU patafix. These are small, malleable adhesive pads that can also be used for fastening or sealing. However, there is one major difference with Sugru: it doesn't harden or solidify.

Users write in the reviews that they use it to attach various things and it is especially convenient because they can use it over and over again. A user found an 8-year-old package with him and that was still good to use.

I ordered UHU patafix and think I'll give the product a review. The customer reviews look very promising.

This is what a piece of Sugru looks like when you just pull it out of the sealed pack.
This is what a piece of Sugru looks like when you just pull it out of the sealed pack.

My conclusion

Sugru is definitely a product to keep in mind. I don't have a use for it every day, and I've thrown away packets not knowing they could be kept in the fridge longer, but I do find a use for them every few weeks.

But the fact is that you have to think about where you can use it. It often comes to me more like a spontaneous idea, since I usually think of normal glue when something is broken somewhere. But since Sugru can also fill areas AND glue, I think it fills a niche that other glues don't fill.

In short: I am enthusiastic about the adhesive putty from Tesa - even if it could be a bit cheaper.

If you are interested in Sugru, you will find the different sets here at Amazon.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

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