AIM: This study aimed to compare the shear bond strengths of metal brackets bonded to amalgam surfaces. METHODS: One hundred and fifty amalgam samples were fabricated and either polished, roughened with a diamond bur or sandblasted with 50 mm aluminium oxide. Following thermocycling the shear bond strengths were tested and compared with control samples bonded to etched enamel. RESULTS: Concise resin composite, Metal Primer/Concise resin composite and All-Bond II/Concise resin composite bonded to sandblasted amalgam gave the highest mean shear strengths and were statistically similar to the etched enamel/Concise resin composite controls. CONCLUSION: One would expect sandblasted amalgam surfaces to be associated with higher shear bond strengths than diamond bur roughened or polished amalgam surfaces.