October 4, 2023
Wood fillers have been coming to our collective rescue for many years now. But, sometimes, it may not be enough to simply fill the crack in a wall or furniture. What if there is a need to drill into it? Will the wood filler hold up against the drill? Well, we have some good news for you. You see, while not every wood filler can survive drilling, a select few can, and we’ll tell you all about them!
You’ve probably figured out the hard way that it may be impossible to avoid cracks and chips in the wood around your home. Indeed, even the best quality of wood cannot stand against the effects of time and usage forever. However, when those chips begin to occur and nail heads start showing through, wood fillers may just be the solution you need.
But, here’s the question many DIY enthusiasts are asking today, ‘Can I drill into wood fillers?’ Well, the answer is a resounding yes, you can indeed drill into wood fillers. But, here’s the twist. Not every wood filler can withstand the stress of drilling. Now, you’re probably wondering which wood fillers can. Not to worry, we’ll tell you.
In this article, we’ll share some insight into the best drillable wood fillers on the market today. Not just that, you will also learn the types of wood fillers that can handle the rigors of drilling. Finally, we’ll also give you some tips on drilling into a wood filler the right way.
So, let’s get right into it!
Types of Wood Filler That You Can Drill Into?
Before we present our compilation of the best drillable wood fillers, there are a few things you should know. One of them is the types of wood fillers that can withstand drilling. This way, you can relate better when we arrive at the top options of drillable wood fillers.
That said, here are the types of wood fillers you can drill:
Two-Part Epoxy Wood Fillers
Epoxy wood fillers are a combination of resins and hardeners that mix to create solid and durable fillers. However, that’s not where the ‘two-part’ in its name is from. The ‘two-part’ of epoxy fillers is a result of the process of its application. To use an epoxy filler, you’ll have to first apply a filler undercoat before placing a second coat on them to secure it in the hole.
One distinctive feature of two-part epoxy wood fillers is that they cure very quickly. Also, once they dry, they become very stable. That is, they do not expand or shrink in the hole despite weather changes.
Furthermore, epoxy wood fillers (after curing) have a hard surface on which you can perform several activities, from painting to staining.
Of course, you can also drill into them!
Exterior Wood Fillers
As the name implies, exterior wood fillers are generally more prevalent in outdoor wood-filling projects. They have waterproof properties and can also hold paint, polishes, and other surface applicators. Therefore, if you want to fill a chip or dent on wood outside in the elements, an exterior wood filler should be your go-to.
But, beyond that, exterior wood fillers are also among the types of filler that support drilling. They can also keep nails and screws tightly in place.
Multi-Purpose Wood Fillers
Multi-purpose wood fillers typically combine some of the characteristics of both two-part epoxy fillers and exterior wood fillers. However, a unique property of multi-purpose wood fillers is how quickly they try. Indeed, they dry so fast that you can use them in the winter without any problem. Also, this type of wood filler comes in several colors but also supports painting and polish.
Predictably, multi-purpose wood fillers can withstand the stress of drills and can also hold nails.
The Best Drillable Wood Filler Brands You Can Use
For the purposes of this article, we’ll be examining wood fillers that can undergo re-drilling. In this case, two-part epoxy wood fillers win by a mile. You see, although epoxy filler is not the only wood filler that can withstand drilling, no other filler type quite handles it as well.
After a two-part epoxy wood filler completely dries, it can withstand drilling and even nailing without cracking or failing. Indeed, this type of filler can even undergo sanding and sawing without experiencing any deterioration in its quality.
However, you must install the two-part formula properly to get the best possible results. For most epoxies, you’ll need to mix both components (resin and hardener) in equal proportions to create an optimal filler. On the flip side, some two-part epoxy filler brands have unique mixing ratios.
Whichever the case may be, it is crucial that you leave an epoxy filler to cure for at least 24 hours before working on it. That said, here are our top picks of drillable wood fillers:
1) Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound
To use the Abatron WoodEpox filler, you will have to mix the A and B components (resin and hardener) in equal proportions until you achieve an even color. Then, you may apply the mixture to the hole you want to fill. The filler typically dries within two hours but takes up to a day to cure adequately.
It is also worth mentioning that the Abatron WoodEpox wood filler is resistant to heat changes, water, chemicals, and weather variations. It creates a permanent bond between itself and the surface on which you apply it. You can also use it in any thickness you desire, and it neither shrinks nor expands. Of course, after curing, the Abatron WoodEpox can undergo an impressive amount of drilling and nailing.
2) J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy
The J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood filler is another option that stands up to drilling and re-drilling relatively well. After its curing duration, the filler becomes as dense as actual wood, maybe even stronger. This makes it one of the very best choices if you need to carry out drilling and other related activities after filling.
Interestingly, according to the manufacturers, Kwikwood sets within 20 minutes. Also, it cures and achieves full strength in a record time of under an hour. Also, the filler has a shear strength of approximately 900 PSI. In other words, after one hour, you can drill or machine the filler to your heart’s content.
Furthermore, we should probably mention that the J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood filler does not expand, rot, or shrink. Also, it has an initial color of light tan but receives paint relatively well.
3) Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy
The third and final item on this list is the Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy filler. This filler is truly one of the best out there with its superior adhesive strength and hardness. The filler mix comes in a handy syringe, ensuring each component (resin and hardener) stays separate. This way, it does not harden before you are ready to use it.
The Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy is ideal for DIYers who require a hard surface to carry out some drilling activities after filling. However, we recommend waiting 24 hours with this particular filler to give it time to cure properly before you drill.
We should also mention that the Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy filler has incredible resistance to water and other solvents. However, what really takes the cake is how the filler dries to give a crystal-clear and clean finish!
How to Drill into a Wood Filler
Now that you know the best wood filler options that can tolerate drilling, let us give you some tips on how to do it the right way. But first, here is a list of tools and other items that you should have before you start:
- Drill bits of various sizes (it may be best to start with smaller sizes) bit sizes (you may need to start with smaller ones)
- A drill
- Nails or screws
Once you have the above, you may then proceed to the following steps:
- Ensure that you use the right wood filler type.
- Make sure the filler sets and properly cures before you attempt to drill into it (it is usually best to wait a day).
- Start drilling with a smaller bit to test the filler.
We understand many reasons can create the need to drill into a wood filler. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the type of fillers that can withstand drilling activities. More importantly, we hope our list of the best drillable wood fillers enables you to complete your project successfully. Remember, make sure that you properly apply your wood filler to get the best results when you drill.
Do you have more questions about wood fillers? Please, let us know. We’d be happy to help!
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.