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Mighty Putty: Does it Work?

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Mighty Putty: Does it Work?
By: Lauren Keith

Each day since mid-December, I've received emails or phone calls from Heartland News viewers requesting I try Mighty Putty on Does it Work Wednesday.  I'm guessing it's because of the outlandish claims made in the commercial.  Billy Mays is seen using Mighty Putty to pull an 80,000 lb. tractor trailer!  That's aside from the everyday repairs to leaks, scratches and tears to hoses, furniture and bricks.

All the guys at S & L Builders in Scott City, and I, doubt this putty is really that strong.  Scott Sander and his crew mixed up lots of Mighty Putty for me and applied it to some items ahead of time so it could fully cure for 24 hours, just as the directions say.  However, for quick fixes the directions also say you can start to use this tack after about 20 minutes of drying.

"It's a really stiff product," says Scott using all of his "might" to get the Mighty Putty to adhere.  First, we start off easy and use it to repair a tear in dry wall.  Things aren't going so smooth, literally.

"If I was repairing this in my house, I think my wife would shoot me--she'd rather have the hole!" laughs Scott.

Yeah, that's not sanding down hardly at all, and regular drywall mud would be cheaper and better than this.  Plus, we used Mighty Putty to repair a broken chair leg.  It, too, didn't sand down very well.  The guys and I agree wood glue would be much cheaper and easier to use than Mighty Putty.

However, when we hang a water hose reel, both the 24-hour cured Mighty Putty and the 20-minute job...hold the hose!  (But..not for long!)

"I'm just gonna try something...no!  You saw that!  I just tapped it and it fell to the ground!  What if that was the neighbor kids' basketball?  It'd go tumbling down in no time!" laughs Scott as we see the hose reel fall to the ground after the slightest pressure applied!

We're not holding out much hope for Mighty Putty, until the S and L crew uses it to form a chain link, just like the commercial.

"We've let this dry for 24 hours," notes Scott.

He lets go....and the chain link with Mighty Putty holds a 30-lb. concrete brick in mid-air!

"I don't know if I want to put my hand underneath it!" laughs Mitch Sander, a crew member.

Me neither, but we do want to add two more blocks!

"Oh my!"

Yup, that link held up to 90 pounds of bricks!  I gotta admit---Mighty Putty seems to have the strength, but can it repair a simple leak?

Jamie Essner, crew member, applied it to a leak in a copper tube, just like the commercial, one day before I got here.  It appears the putty that dried for a full day holds the water leak in a copper tube, but not so much for the putty that quick-dried.

"Turn it on---uh oh! Here we go! Turn it off!" shouts Jamie as he gets a little wet!

Good grief---so, there's no doubt, to get Mighty Putty to work, you really need to let it dry for a full day.  That's not very handy for leaks like this.  Still, we'll leave the hose running and the 90-pound bricks hanging just to see how long Mighty Putty can keep up its strength.

It's time to move outside for the ultimate part of this test.  Just like the commercial, the S & L crew adhered Mighty Putty to some metal plates.  We have a safety chain on.  The red Dodge pick-up should pull the red Ford truck and the crew's trailer...that's 13,000 pounds!  Here's our test on the putty that dried for 24 hours..

"No!"  Yup, that putty pulled the truck, and we are shocked!

"That was surprising!"  says Scott.

But don't get your hopes up, Garrett Sander, a crew member gives the truck a small jerk and..

"There we go!"  Yup, instantly, it breaks in half.  Do not use Mighty Putty to haul anything!  It could be dangerous!

Just for kicks---here's what the putty did after drying---this time for 45 minutes.

"Ok, a little bit more!"  Garrett didn't even get started, and the smallest tug pulled apart the quick-dry Mighty Putty.

Perhaps no surprise, when we go back inside, the concrete bricks fell to the ground.

"It's not practical.  It's hard to knead, hard to apply and stick, hard to sand, it's just not a product I'd recommend," said Scott.

Still, the guys are impressed with the strength of this putty, and I get some mixed reviews overall.

Scott: "F"

Mitch:  "D plus"

Jamie:  "C Minus"

Garrett:  "D"

I average all that out; it equals this, Mihgty Putty is certainly mighty, but it's not mighty handy.  It's got the strength, but the $20 price tag and long-drying time have this putty holding up a failing D minus on this Does it Work test.

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