For some time now, I have been gamely trying to make the tube stuff--Elmer's ProBond Wood Filler--work. In theory, it seems like such a good idea to put wood filler into plastic tubes. In practice, it doesn't work very well at all.
Wood filler, at least this particular kind, doesn't lend itself to a tube delivery system. It's too thick and grainy and it just doesn't push out of the tube. I have even cut the nozzles all the way down to the tube and still could barely squeeze out the filler. Warm weather helps a bit. Or you can put the tube in your back pocket for an hour before using it.
In some cases, I have resorted to slicing open the entire tube and scooping the filler out. That kind of negates the whole idea of putting the stuff in tubes.
By contrast, the tub-based Elmer's Wood Filler Max is a joy to use. Someone at the company must have noticed that putty knives are straight, not curved, and therefore do not lend themselves to the traditional round metal wood fill cans.
Let's make square tubs! decided someone, and thus the skies opened up for countless DIYers.
Not just that but Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler Max is creamy and easy to use. It scoops out easily and it applies nice and flat to the wood--not bumpy and grainy. Likewise, it sands down with little trouble.
Since Elmer's does offer both products in reverse order as well (ProBond in tub, Max in tube), I would be interested to switch them around and see if all of this is attributable to the quality of the filler or the container.
But for now: avoid the tubes, buy the tubs!