Cheap Epoxy

These days when shopping for epoxy resin, interested consumers are given thousands of options.

In recent years, online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, etc. have enabled numerous unknown sellers to list uncertified resin products for sale, and in turn there has been a big increase of so-called epoxy "budget brands".

Budget-brand listings often share the following traits:

  • A surprisingly low upfront cost
  • An unusual or unfamiliar brand name
  • Sourcing from outside of the USA—or undisclosed sourcing

These low-cost epoxy resins often come with a hidden price: Your health and safety.

We're going to explain how these brands take advantage of potential customers by compromising on quality and by manufacturing their resin in under-regulated countries.

The hidden costs of budget-brand epoxy

The Hidden Cost of Budget Brand Epoxy Resin

Shopping for the right epoxy brand can be tedious. There are so many different brands, and making the right choice often involves scrutinizing product pages, studying user reviews and photos, and researching brand names for credibility.

Because of this, it's easy to get lost in the mess and give up by settling for something unfamiliar because it seems okay.

The truth is that there are several major concerns that most people aren't considering when making these decisions. This results in many epoxy users ending up with subpar epoxy resin from manufacturers that have cut corners on safety standards and quality assurance.

When you're shopping for epoxy, keep in mind the following statements:

  • Low-cost resin often means low-quality resin. You get what you pay for.
  • If an epoxy seller doesn't say where it was made, be wary of using it.
  • Low upfront costs can result in high long-term costs.
  • Your health is important. Don't risk it with uncertified resin products.

Let's go over these in more detail.

#1: Low-cost resin often means low-quality resin.

Low Cost Epoxy Resin

One of the first things you notice when browsing a marketplace is the price of any product.

Epoxy prices cover a wide-range, determined by a variety of factors that are usually indicative of quality.

With the relatively recent surge of unfamiliar epoxy brands, there is now a segment of the epoxy resin industry informally labeled as "budget brands".

These are brands that present an incredibly low upfront cost that seems too good to ignore. Unfortunately, it's often too good to be true.

To offer these low-cost prices, many resin manufacturers will cut corners on the production of their epoxy resin.

Since pure, high-quality epoxy is more expensive to make, they sometimes use cheap fillers or lower quantities of essential ingredients to create something that looks fine in a bottle, but will likely break down at some point upon use.

When it comes to epoxy resins, it's a good idea to avoid using a low-cost brand that hasn't been properly vetted, because you can't know how well it will hold up.

Sadly, many resin users on these marketplaces will leave reviews almost immediately after finishing the project, then never revisit them.

This is a problem because most of the major issues with these resins won't be apparent until months later, when the resin starts to fail or becomes easily damaged.

The Solution: Stick with premium epoxy brands.

You can avoid these pitfalls entirely by choosing a premium epoxy brand with a credible reputation and years of comprehensive post-purchase customer support.

At UltraClear Epoxy, we provide both of these things. Our epoxies are premium-grade resins, and anyone who is interested in our product can contact us at any time for more information, guidance, and project planning advice.

After becoming a customer, you'll have access to our resin specialist support team who can help alleviate any issues that pop up during shipping, delivery, or while working on your project.

You can view our premium epoxy products on the following pages.

  • UltraClear Table Top Epoxy - Our strongest resin finish, perfect for table tops, countertops, and much more.
  • UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy - Our deep pour casting resin, ideal for river tables, silicone casting molds, and object embedments (e.g., art, figurines, etc.)
  • UltraClear Marine Epoxy - Our three marine epoxy resins. These are used on watercrafts, related accessories, and for composite materials.

#2: Be wary of epoxy with an unknown origin.

Overseas Epoxy Resin

Another key factor to consider when shopping for resin is the source of the epoxy resin.

In other words: Where was it made?

Many low-quality epoxy brands are being manufactured overseas and imported to the United States for distribution in warehouses across America. Unsuspecting customers then buy these products without knowing the risks they entail.

The big issue here is that epoxy imported into America doesn't undergo inspection for quality assurance or safety. This means that the only quality standards and safety regulation imported epoxy is subject to is that required of the place from which it was imported.

Because of this, many imported epoxy resins don't meet the regulatory standards for quality and safety set by the USA. Only epoxy resin manufactured in the United States is inspected to ensure these standards.

The Solution: Buy epoxy resin that is made in the USA.

The best way to guarantee that the epoxy resin you receive meets high industry standards is to choose brands that are manufactured here in the United States.

Our UltraClear Epoxy resins are all 100% made in the USA.

When you purchase from us, you can be certain that you're getting what you paid for. We don't cut corners, and we don't compromise on quality.

#3: Low upfront costs can result in high long-term costs.

Epoxy Hardness Rating

The low cost of budget brands is a deceptive element of shopping for epoxy. While it's true that users who purchase these products spend less at the beginning, they often spend much more in the long run—years or even just months later.

The reason for this is that a low-cost epoxy with reduced quality will require more maintenance and upkeep. Because they're more likely to be dented and scratched, to soften, or to simply exhibit "yellowing", they end up requiring additional treatments, premature refresh coatings, and earlier repairs.

Sometimes they just fail completely, making the entire project unsalvageable and essentially worthless.

The Solution: Use long-lasting premium epoxy that requires less maintenance.

It's normal (and wise) to try and save money on any venture. But sometimes, the obvious solution is the wrong one.

For epoxy resin, spending more on a premium epoxy brand upfront will save you time, money, and probably a major headache later on.

Because epoxy is expected to last for years, you don't want to skimp on the quality at the beginning. Buy premium, and you'll be thanking yourself later—in more ways than one.

Our premium UltraClear Epoxy resins are all intended to last a minimum of 7 years with proper handling during the resin process. If you take good care of them, this can be further extended.

What's more: When those years have come and gone, and your finish is finally showing its age, you can simply refresh it with a light sanding and a new coat of our UltraClear Epoxy resin.

Save time and money in the long-term by choosing UltraClear Epoxy from the start.

#4: Your health is important. Don't risk it with uncertified epoxy.

Epoxy Health

Our final point on this topic concerns personal health risks.

Under current U.S. regulation, two-part epoxy resin—the most common type and the type we offer at UltraClear Epoxy—is considered a relatively safe product.

Two-part epoxy is epoxy that is stored as two separate liquid components: resin and hardener.

When combined in the right proportions, a chemical reaction occurs that causes the components to slowly harden. This is what leads to the rock-solid surface that epoxy resin is known for.

Once cured, a good-quality epoxy resin will be inert, containing no VOCs and being food safe.

During the process, however, any epoxy can release mild fumes which may affect people with sensitive lungs or respiratory illnesses. Additionally, epoxy resin is considered a mild skin irritant, and can cause redness and mild rashes (rarely) upon skin contact.

With high-quality epoxies, these issues are easily mitigated. For fumes, you can wear an N95 respirator, and for skin contact, you can wear nitrile gloves. It's also easy to wash away when it does get on your skin.

However, with low-quality unknown resins, these concerns are much greater.

As mentioned earlier, many low-cost epoxy brands cut corners on quality by using impure chemicals and adding filler ingredients. Because these are unknown additives, the health concerns become more adamant.

Without knowing what any particular budget-brand epoxy is made from, there's no way to know how safe it is. For instance, what if the non-standard chemicals are strong enough to cause more severe allergic reactions, even in people who otherwise wouldn't be bothered by resin?

It's for this reason that we strongly recommend avoiding budget-brand epoxy resins. If you can't be sure of what's in it, using it becomes a high-risk venture, all just to save a small amount of money upfront.

The Solution: Choose epoxy from a reputable company that's been around.

Using high-quality epoxy from a reputable company will ensure that the product you get isn't contaminated or unsafe.

Of course, it's always a good idea to wear gloves and a respirator when working with any epoxy, but a quality epoxy will exhibit very mild health risks at most.

Because our UltraClear Epoxy resins are premium epoxies, they have only a mild risk of any skin irritation. After curing, they become inert and are VOC-free.

Final Remarks

We hope by reading this article that you feel better informed and more capable of choosing an epoxy resin that is right for your needs.

Whether you're a resin enthusiast or a newcomer to the epoxy space, we'd love for you to consider UltraClear Epoxy for your next epoxy project.

Our UltraClear Epoxy resins meet the high standards proposed in this article:

  • High-quality: Our epoxies may cost a little more than budget brands, but you get a lot better from them.
  • 100% Made in the USA: Our epoxies are made here at home in the United States.
  • Premium quality for a long lifespan: Our epoxies will last for many years with proper care and are easily refreshed.
  • Low risk and food safe after curing: Working with our epoxy resins is low risk, and once cured, they become inert, are free of VOCs, and are food safe.

Each of these features is an important factor in choosing a safe, quality resin that will last for years without fail.

You can find each of our epoxy resins on the following pages:

  • UltraClear Table Top Epoxy - Our strongest resin finish, perfect for table tops, countertops, and much more.
  • UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy - Our deep pour casting resin, ideal for river tables, silicone casting molds, and object embedments (e.g., art, figurines, etc.)
  • UltraClear Art and Craft Epoxy - Our middleground casting resin, designed for arts and crafts. It's thicker than Deep Pour to allow for topcoating.
  • UltraClear Marine Epoxy - Our three marine epoxy resins. These are used on watercrafts, related accessories, and composite materials.

For a more in-depth analysis of everything we discussed, take a look at our ebook, The Ugly Truth About Epoxy Resin: What Companies Don’t Want You to Know, where we explain each issue in more detail and provide additional tips on how to navigate the world of epoxy vendors.

 

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Have questions? Want advice? Contact us!

If you have any questions about epoxy resin or related topics, or if you'd like assistance in planning an epoxy project, please reach out to us at UltraClear Epoxy.

You can contact us via phone or email here. During business hours, you can also text chat online with an epoxy specialist by clicking the Help button at the bottom right of your screen.

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