3m 4000 vs. 4200 vs. 5200 expert opinions 2023

To seal two surfaces that are used either above or below the water, a sealant is the most useful product. 3m has so far manufactured three mainstream sealants that work on the preference of the users.

3m 5200 offers the strongest adhesive, and it forms a permanents seal. However, you can remove the seal and apart from the two parts when you have used 3m 4200. On the other hand, 3m 4000 is more likely used for the UV resistance.

Each of these sealants has capacities to serve several users. However, many users want to know which one of these is best or the differences between these three sealants. If you are one of them, then you are at the right place.

3m 4000 vs. 4200 vs. 5200

Which is better: 3m 4000 or 4200 or 5200

What do you think, which one of these three sealants from 3m is better? To be honest, it is tough to give any definite answer to the question because all of them have some distinguishing features that make them better.

For example, 3m 4000 has UV resistance that helps to maintain the original color of the applied object. On the other hand, it doesn't provide a fast-paced sealing like 3m 4200 sealant does. Again, 3m 5200 sealant forms a permanent and strongest bond.

Now, look at the comparison chart below to know where and how these three marine sealants differ.

3m 4000

3m 4200

3m 5200







15 to 20 minutes tack-free

1 hours tack free

1 to 2 hours tack free

The adhesive cures after 24 hours

The adhesive cures after 24 hours

The adhesive cures after 48 hours

Removable bond

Removable bond

Permanent bond

Applicable on wood, plastic, metal & fiberglass

Applicable on metal, wood, fiberglass, plastic & Gelcoat

Applicable on wood, fiberglass & Gelcoat

Color stable sealing



The object is paintable after applying



Although these three sealants have a lot of dissimilarities, there are few common things available as well. Here are some of their similarities.

  • They are usable below and above water.
  • They offer proper flexibility.
  • They make the seal resistant to shrink, shock, vibration, and swelling.

After the comparison chart and the discussion of similarities, you may have fallen into confusion and thinking, which one of these is worth choosing. It entirely depends on the user's preference and what the user wants from the sealant.

If one is going to take off or remove the sealant after a long-term usage or certain period, he should go for 3m 4000 or 3m 4200. Both these sealant provides non-removable sealing with the medium strength.

On the other hand, you should move on to 3m 5200 sealant if permanent sealing is what you need. The polyurethane polymer gives high-strength and permanent sealing. However, there is another thing you need to think about while choosing between 4000 and 4200.

Both these medium-strength sealants have the most common features, but the first one has a UV-resistant design. It will maintain the color for a long time even with medium-strength sealing. It also allows you to paint the application after applying the sealant.

On the contrary, the user will have a fast-paced service in 4200 sealants. It is ready to use after 24 hours, whereas 5200 sealant takes 48 hours.

3m 4000 sealant review

3m 4000 sealant review

The most useful side of the 3m 4000 sealant is the UV resistance. With the high UV-resistant feature, it ensures a durable and long-lasting service. It is used both above and below water. Several marine joints are formed by this sealant.

Before moving on to the detailed side of this sealant, let's check out the main features.

  • It is a medium-strength marine sealant.
  • It has superb UV resistance.
  • It is suitable for below and above water applications.
  • It works on non-yellowing and paintable formulas.
  • It offers enough flexibility.
  • The sealant is used in wood, fibreglass, plastic, and metal.

With the paintable and non-yellowing formula, the sealant allows you to use it on any marine part that will remain either below or above water. Throughout the whole servicing time, it will maintain the original color and won’t become prone to color damage.

The UV-resistant design keeps the harmful UV-ray away from the seal, which increases the product's longevity. Moreover, you can also apply color to the seal after sealing two parts. As it offers medium strength, the user can easily remove it whenever he wants.

Although it offers medium strength, it has enough flexibility to make the application sustainable. Moreover, the flexibility allows the application to stand against the shock, swelling, shrinking, and vibration. It only takes less time to make the sealing stable and ready to go.

However, the user can apply the sealant on several applications to seal the joint. The list includes metal, plastic, wood, and fiberglass.

3m 4200 sealant review

3m 4200 review

For a removable watertight and weatherproof design, it is one of the suggested sealants from 3m. The only downside of this sealant is the lack of UV resistance. It offers almost the same features as 3m 4000, but the sealing process is a bit quicker here.

You need to know the distinguishing features of this sealant, and here are they.

  • It is a flexible sealant.
  • It offers medium-strength and removable adhesive.
  • It is applicable in marine parts above and below water.
  • It is ready to use after 24 hours.
  • It ensures watertight and weather-resistant sealing.
  • It is usable in wood, plastic, metal, fiberglass, and gel-coat.

Well, you might be thinking why I should move on to this sealant keeping 3m 4000 aside? And actually, you are right, because there are very few reasons to move on this sealant. The main reason is the quicker and flexible process.

After applying the seal, it becomes tack-free after one hour. Again, it becomes fully ready to use soon after 24 hours passes. Even though it offers quick sealing, it doesn't offer poor results. It has medium sealing strength that is similar to 3m 4000.

However, you can also remove the seal when you need to repair the parts or take them apart. This removing process is also convenient here. The weather-resistant design makes it usable underwater in any weather condition without any degradation in the sealing.

Compared to 3m 4000, you can apply this sealant on a Gelcoat. However, wood, metal, fiberglass, and plastic are common applications.

3m 5200 sealant review

3m 5200 review

3m 5200 is entirely different from the above two sealants because it forms a permanent bond or sealing on the applications. Moreover, the permanent bond is worth usable above and below water that makes it perfect for marine.

The polyurethane polymer construction of the sealant provides this durable bonding. Now check out the main features of this sealant before moving further.

  • The sealant comes with polyurethane polymer construction.
  • It forms a permanent, non-removable bonding.
  • The sealing becomes ready to use after 48 hours.
  • It is applicable on wood, fiberglass, and gel-coat.
  • The flexibility offers both above and below water usage.
  • It resists vibration, shrinking, swelling, and shock.

If you are looking for an adhesive to apply on wood, fiberglass, or Gelcoat for permanent sealing, go for this sealant without thinking twice. It is the strongest non-removable sealant you will get now in the market.

However, the downside of this sealant is that you can apply this on plastic or metal. Moreover, if anyhow you change your mind to remove the joined parts, you can’t do so because of the strength it offers.

This permanent sealant offers high-end flexibility. Due to the flexibility, it allows proper structural movement. It means the application will easily become resistant to shock, shrink, swell, and vibration. It is usable in both below and above water in the marine.

However, you need to keep patience to let it get entirely seal the object. It takes around one to two hours to become tack-free. Moreover, it becomes ready to use after 48 hours that is higher than the previous two sealant models.

How to remove 3m sealants

Before you move on to the removing steps of 3m sealants, you need to know which one of these three sealants is removable and which one is not.

  • Medium-strength sealants are removable.
  • High-strength sealants provide permanent sealing.
  • The strength doesn’t offer flexibility.
  • 3m 4000 and 3m 4200 are removable sealants.
  • 3m 5200 is a permanent or non-removable sealant.

If you have used 4000 or 4200 sealants, you can remove them whenever you want to. However, you must think twice before applying 5200 sealants as it is a permanent one. Here are the simplest steps to remove 3m sealants.

  • You need a sealant remover, some water, and a soft cloth for the process.
  • First, try tugging the sealant, and it might come out if it's removable.
  • If it doesn’t, apply the remover on the edge of the sealing.
  • You can also apply remover on the back of the application.
  • Now dampen the soft cloth in the water.
  • Lastly, use the soft cloth on the surface after removing the water by squeezing it.

Benefits of 3m 4000

After reading all about 3m 4000 sealant, you are almost there to take it as the most useful sealant in marine water. Indeed, it is a useful sealant to seal the parts and also keep them long-time usable without damaging the color.

Here are some benefits of this sealant that make it entirely distinguishable from the other two sealants.

  • The UV-resistant design keeps the harmful UV-ray away.
  • It allows painting the applied object after sealing.
  • The medium-strength bonding offers easy disassembly.
  • It provides color-stable sealing.
  • It is ready for the job after 15 to 20 minutes.

Benefits of 3m 4200

Before making the final decision, don't you want to check out the good sides of the close competitor of 3m 4000 sealant? The reason for saying it is the closest competitor is that both these sealants have medium strength.

However, 4200 sealant doesn't have any UV-resistant feature that makes it downgrade than 4000 sealants. Now, here are some of its benefits.

  • It offers a fast-paced sealing process making it usable after 24 hours.
  • The flexibility and adhesion withstand the stress.
  • It offers quick repair by simply removing the seal.
  • It is applicable both below and above water.

How 3m 5200 is beneficial

Though it is the last sealant we are talking about, it provides the strongest adhesion compared to the others. With the polyurethane polymer construction, it ensures top-grade sealing. You can use it where a permanent seal is necessary for long-time usage.

However, the problem is that it takes more time to get ready for the job. Unlike the two other sealants, it takes 48 hours to impose the strongest sealing. Here are some of the benefits of this sealant.

  • The sealant forms a flexible and strong bond.
  • The permanent bonding makes it usable below and above water.
  • It resists shrinking, swelling, shock and vibration.


How long does it take to cure 3m 5200 sealant?

A 3m 5200 sealant takes around 48 hours or two days to fully cure and become ready to use.

What reduces the curing speed of 3m sealants?

Damp or cold weather reduces the speed of 3m sealants as they require moderate temperature for quick curing.

Will 3m 4200 sealant cure underwater? 

Yes, 3m 4200 sealant will cure underwater, but the curing time will increase up to two or three weeks.

What is the strongest marine sealant? 

3m 5200 marine sealant is the strongest sealant because it provides a tough and permanent bond.

Is 3m 5200 marine sealant flexible? 

Yes, 3m 5200 marine sealant is flexible and resists shock, shrink, and swelling.

Final verdict

You may choose 3m 4000 or 4200 or 5200 depending on your need. But here is something you got to learn from the above discussion.

  • 3m 4000 and 4200 forms temporary sealing.
  • 3m 5200 forms strong and permanent sealing.
  • All these sealants are flexible.
  • They are usable under and above marine water.

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