Self-adhesive composites (SACs) are claimed to bond to tooth substrate without a separate adhesive. Bonding effectiveness data are however still limited. OBJECTIVES: In SubProject 1, the hypothesis was tested that the micro-tensile bond strength (μTBS) to dentin of two flowable SACs was alike that of a one-step self-etch adhesive (1-SEa) combined with a flowable composite (flowC). In SubProject 2, the hypothesis was tested that the nature of the smear layer did not affect the μTBS of the SACs to dentin/enamel. METHODS: SubProject 1: The μTBS to bur-cut dentin of two SACs (Fusio Liquid Dentin, Pentron; Vertise Flow, Kerr) was measured and compared to that of four 1-SEa/flowC combinations (AdheSe One/Tetric EvoFlow, Ivoclar Vivadent; Adper Prompt L-Pop/Filtek Supreme XT Flowable, 3M ESPE; iBond/Venus flow, Heraeus Kulzer; Xeno V/X-flow, Dentsply) and of one 3-step etch-and-rinse adhesive (3-E&Ra: OptiBond FL, Kerr) combined with Premise Flowable (Kerr). The effect of pre-etching dentin with phosphoric acid on the μTBS of the SAC Vertise Flow (Kerr) was measured as well. SubProject 2: The μTBS of the two SACs and one 1-SEa/flowC combination (Adper Prompt L-Pop/Filtek Supreme XT Flowable, 3M ESPE) to either bur-cut or SiC-paper ground dentin/enamel was measured. The effect of pre-etching enamel with phosphoric acid on the μTBS of the SAC Vertise Flow (Kerr) was also measured. RESULTS: SubProject 1: The μTBS to dentin of both SACs was significantly lower than that of the 1-SEa/flowC and the 3-E&Ra/flowC combinations, of which the latter performed best. The SAC Fusio Liquid Dentin (Pentron) bonded significantly better to dentin than Vertise Flow (Kerr), except when dentin had additionally been pre-etched with phosphoric acid. SubProject 2: Surface smear did not interfere with bonding of the SACs to dentin/enamel, while their μTBS remained significantly lower than that of the 1-SEa/flowC combination. Prior phosphoric-acid etching of dentin/enamel significantly ameliorated the bonding effectiveness of Vertise Flow (Kerr). SIGNIFICANCE: The bonding effectiveness of flowable SACs underscores that of 1-SEa's and one 'gold-standard' 3-E&Ra when combined with their proprietary flowable composite. Consequently, routine clinical application of SACs should be carefully considered.