Without making this a manifesto for the “fixer movement,” I wanted to share one of my favorite materials with you: moldable rubber. More so, I wanted to show you the best moldable rubber for fixing stuff. Why would anyone want moldable rubber, and how does it help me fix anything? Personally, I’ve found endless uses for this putty-like material including reinforcing charger cables, mounting USB ports in a truck console, custom-fitting a screwdriver, repairing headphones, etc. I keep a bunch of this stuff around at all times; I never know when I’m going to need it. Now that I have it regularly available, I’m constantly fixing annoying problems that previously went unaddressed. Fixing stuff is empowering, so let’s talk about the best moldable rubber for fixers.
The best moldable rubber
There are several materials within the moldable rubber category, but we found our recommendation does exactly what we needed with the least amount of work. Sugru is the best moldable rubber that bonds to all types of surfaces, sets within 24 hours, and requires no extras like heat or chemicals. Some products want you to melt the material and mold it while it’s warm. Other products make great production molds for candles or other pourable solids, but offer no bonding capabilities. Sugru does something completely different: it acts as an adhesive and cures to almost any surface.
To use Sugru, open the packet and mold it into any shape or onto whatever item you’re trying to fix. It doesn’t cure right away, so you have plenty of time to get it exactly as you want it (approximately 30 minutes). If you want to smooth your fingerprints out of the rubber, wet your fingers and lightly rub the surface until it looks pretty. After you’re satisfied with the shape, let it cure overnight and check it in the morning. I’ve never had to wait the full 24 hours for any of my fixes to cure, but it depends entirely on how thick you spread the material. As it sets, it creates a tight bond between materials while still maintaining some flexibility. It is possible to remove Sugru with some effort, but it’s best to measure twice and mold once. We also have to mention its shelf life. If stored in a refrigerator, it lasts up to 18 months. I ran out of Sugru way before the 18-month mark; you will too with some inspiration. You can read more about the specific material here.
It’s difficult to explain the various possibilities in words, but I’ll share some of my previous Sugru projects:
- iPhone charger cable – If you have an iPhone, you’ve probably had a cable start to fray and fall apart. Sugru prevents that by reinforcing the cable to the plastic connectors.
- Headphone cables – I accidentally pulled one of my headphone cables out of the plastic casing, so I re-soldered the cable and used Sugru to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.
- Car stereo modifications – I installed a CarPlay head unit in my truck and used Sugru to flush-mount the HDMI and USB inputs into the center console.
- Vibrating vehicle plastic – Squeaks and rattles drive me nuts. I tracked down a few noisy spots in my truck and eliminated them with the use of Sugru.
It’s such a unique product that we weren’t able to do a head-to-head comparison for this recommendation. This is the best moldable rubber, but it’s also the only rubber so essential to the fixer lifestyle. We found DIY instructions for Sugru-like materials, but they didn’t look as good. In their own words, Sugru is better because:
- It doesn’t stink when used indoors.
- It cures to a harder rubber.
- It has a longer molding time.
- It’s already mixed and colored.
- It’s easier to smooth.
Sounds like the DIY solution can’t keep up with our best moldable rubber recommendation. That said, we’re sticking to our recommendation of Sugru. It’s truly amazing. If you’d like to learn more about what you can do with Sugru, check out the videos on their website.
As with all our product reviews and recommendations, we will revisit this category from time to time and test new products. If something wins the top spot over our previous recommendation, we will update the post. If you’d like us to try an alternative, please leave us a comment and we’ll check it out.