Caulk tube is more or less useless without a caulk gun, you can’t have that continuity and uniformity any other way. Sometimes the thin barrier between calamity and serenity is by the virtue of these caulk guns. Am I blowing this out of proportions? No, leaks on the window during a stormy winter will bring hell.
Now, let’s simulate someone using a caulk gun with his bare hands. He’ll be creating beads of the caulk, everything will become a mess. Fingers will eventually drown in that caulk. Why go through all this sticky trouble for the sake of a couple of dollars. Keep your caulk tube in the safety of the best caulk gun.
In this post we'll cover:
- Caulk Gun buying guide
- Best Caulk Guns reviewed
- Can you caulk without a gun?
- Do I really need a caulking gun?
- How do you caulk like a pro?
- How do you smooth out caulk?
- How long does caulking last once opened?
- Do you push or pull a caulk gun?
- Can I Recaulk over caulk?
- How does a dripless caulk gun work?
- How do you seal a tube of caulking?
- How do you caulk baseboards?
- What can I use instead of a caulking gun?
- How big a gap can caulk fill?
- What can I use instead of caulk?
- Bottom Line
Caulk Gun buying guide
Wait a second. Do you think choosing the perfect caulking gun is everyone’s piece of cake? No, dear! I’ve gone through those horrible experiences that I invited by choosing the wrong one. But you need not bite nails. I along with some fellow experts have researched this topic ‘n came up with solutions. Here’s a shortlist:
Ratchet or Dripless?
A ratchet-type caulking gun is less efficient than dripless guns as the former requires more energy and provides less control. In the case of ratchets, once you push the handle, the flow of the caulk tends to move on. This flow won’t stop unless you push the rod upside down. This surely depicts the inefficiency as you need to be flawless in stopping the process.
The standard thrust ratio you can have by this type is 5:1. This ratio is exactly half or even less than the dripless ones. But the only good thing about this type is the cost. Simply the ratchet ones are less costly than the dripless ones.
On the other hand, the use of a dripless caulking gun is more effective. They can apply caulk more efficiently because of the design. The mechanical advantage you can get is simply double or even more. Along with some additional features, they have proved more ergonomic. That’s why the dripless caulking guns are thriving currently.
If you encounter a caulking gun that is made of steel, it will be heavier. But if you find a gun, made of composite materials, it will be lighter. The steel ones are better options for heavy-duty caulking for a long period. But the composite material built may face some cracks.
Besides, the build quality will differ by the handle or by the barrel design. Full barrel design neither helps in lowering the weight nor eases caulk application procedure. So always go for half barrel design.
Suppose you need to do caulking at this moment but you don’t have any cutter with you. But the caulking tube is sealed tight. What will you do? The manufacturers have realized this fact and that’s why they have attached a spout cutter with the gun. Now you can cut the tip of the caulk and thus can get rid of the problem.
But there’s a problem. You can’t find this cutter in all guns. Some manufacturers cut off this feature because of cost-saving reasons. But if the budget is not a problem, you should go with a gun which has a spout cutter.
Another cool feature is the tiny attachment which is attached near the caulk-releasing end of the gun. This is basically a hardened wire to break the seal of the foil that is attached to the caulk tube. But, unfortunately, this is an extension that can only be found in high-end caulking guns.
Probably it’s the most important part while you’re applying pressure on the caulking gun. The handle will ensure that the caulking tube attached in the gun gets the proper pressure through the plunger that’s required to eject the right amount of caulks.
To make it comfortable enough the manufacturers choose to provide a soft grip on the handle. Having finger indents on the handle makes it more ergonomic. Besides, the handle itself should be lightweight. It’s preferable to use a handle that is made of using aluminum. Besides, aluminum will ensure further durability by preventing rust on its surface.
Best Caulk Guns reviewed
Buckle up! Now I am going to present before you the list that I have made after some rigorous tests I’ve conducted. As you can guess our combined experience has played the trump card while creating the list. I’ve jotted down the upsides along with the negatives of each product in the list so that you can get a clear conception about it. Let’s check out!
1. Newborn 930-GTD Caulking Gun
To begin with, we’ve chosen a tool that can blow your mind. It’s a dripless caulking gun from the renowned manufacturer newborn. With sturdy construction and high build quality, it’s ready for the heavy push to pay under the tube of the caulk.
If you’re a hobbyist, or simply want a caulk gun for your next DIY project, you can go for the single pack. But if you own a shop or a heavy workstation, meant for industrial-grade operation, you can go for three or four packs. Good for your pocket!
You know, the standard cartridges of caulk are of 1/10-gallon. So, the manufacturer has made the gun fit to handle the standard options. This gun features a half-barrel construction (also known as a cradle). This part of the gun is made of steel for enduring excessive load and also for enhanced durability.
You got a thrust ratio of 10:1. That means whatever pressure you render as input, the output pressure will be 10 times higher. This construction is good for dealing with low viscosity material.
The pressure rod is also designed to work with less force and that’s why it is quieter than ratchet ones. Most importantly, the handle and trigger are covered with soft padding to ensure comfort.
What we didn’t like
- The rod doesn’t rotate along the axis.
- That’s why you may face difficulties to ensure a proper clean of the tool.
2. Dripless Inc. ETS2000 Ergo Caulk Gun
At first, the sturdy construction of the mighty tool comes to play. The primary build material is composite materials. As you know, the manufacturers use plastic, nylon or even fiberglass to create a composite. That’s why the structure is so strong and can endure much pressure.
No difference for this caulking gun. You get a longer service life even if the tool has to face heavy loads.
This time the manufacturer has introduced its renowned and reverted grip in this caulk gun. They’ve put a great effort to make the grip more sophisticated to the user. That’s why you can see a superb grip on the handle. While applying the caulk into position, you’ll find it handy to have better control over the caulking gun.
The rotating barrel is introduced to put the caulk into the exact place. Another benefit of the feature is you can access hard-to-reach areas of the tool while cleaning it.
And who doesn’t know proper cleaning is the basis of the longevity of any tool? With the sharp precision cutter, you can open the caulk in moments. Above all, the caulking gun is 40 percent lighter than metal models. That’s why comfortable use is guaranteed.
What we didn’t like
- If you need to hang the gun with the caulk tube loaded in a vertical position, you may experience that the caulk tube doesn’t stand still, rather slips.
- Besides, the tip cutter is not perfect to render a flawless cut.
3. Dripless 10oz Caulk Gun
Another great tool by Dripless, back to back! The manufacturer has made a wide range of caulking guns for different purposes. If you’re up to a heavy paint job, plumbing or anything like that, you can check out this sturdy tool.
This time the manufacturer has given the option for 2’s, 3’s or 5’s pack. Of course, if you purchase more than one, it’ll be more convenient for you to maintain a shop or industry level work as you can still have the same quality in different tools.
This tool is also constructed from composite material like the previous one. It means the manufacturer has chosen the same material made from nylon, plastic, and fiberglass to build the primary structure of the tool’s body. Lightweight with durability is ensured!
You can have an 18:1 thrust ratio. It means you get a massive force on the caulk tube for heavy-duty caulking. To handle this massive load, it has redesigned the rod and also the drive dog.
For this model, they have used metal powder reinforcement. That’s why increased durability is guaranteed. Besides, the handle is covered with a soft grip to ensure superior comfort.
What we didn’t like
- The body is constructed with a so-called composite material. But the problem is this construction has a tendency to crack and that’s why you may experience minor cracks if you drop it from a certain height.
4. SolidWork professional Caulk Gun
If you are a pro and need to do heavy-duty caulking regularly, this tool is going to serve your purpose with delight. With its massive 24:1 lever ratio and the trusted quality by SolidWorks, this tool is here to draw attention!
Comfortable and an effortless operation is ensured by the easily accessible syringes. This part is made of silicone and so the stability is guaranteed. Moreover, the enhanced die-cast aluminum construction is ensured to maximize the durability and to make it fit for heavy-duty work.
You can load any standard caulk in the gun as the gun can deal with up to 310 mL refill. You can do a heavy caulking job all day with this tool. Along with some other specifications, the improved design also features some exotic reverted pressure points to increase the durability, even in case of heavy usage. This design is essential for a professional-grade tool to sustain for a long period.
The manufacturer gives a scheme of money back. Suppose you purchase the product today and not be fully satisfied, you can give that product back to the manufacturer. You can enjoy this scheme for an entire year!
What we didn’t like
- The caulking gun doesn’t come with a spout cutter mechanism. That’s why you need to cut the tube all by yourself.
5. Edward Tools 10 oz Caulk Gun
With its iconic half barrel design, it can hold the caulk tube up to 10 oz. If you are up to plumbing, painting or sealing, you can definitely have the benefit of this caulking gun through its better ergonomics ‘n solid build quality.
Let’s move towards the build quality of the tool. No wonder that the manufacturer has chosen steel as the primary build material for the tool. We know the power of steel as a material that can sustain the heavy load.
When you apply pressure on the rod, you actually make the body of the gun to endure the force. That’s why steel is a better choice as this construction will be helpful for longer life.
The manufacturer has designed the gun to be able to deliver more pressure, even in case of less input pressure. The dripless design has been introduced to ensure more output pressure. Besides, the rod will automatically retract after the use. That’s why you’ve to pay less effort to obtain a mighty trust.
Simplicity and better ergonomics are ensured while designing the tool. All the components are designed to encounter less friction and to give maximum pressure on the caulk tube. As the tool features better build quality and solid design aspects, you have a lifetime warranty for the tool.
What we didn’t like
- You will face it slightly difficult to use the handle, especially when it’s new. But over time, the handle will be free.
6. Tajima CNV-100SP Convoy Rotary Caulk Gun
Tajima has brought a caulking gun that can please you by its different features. You can get it in two different variants. One is 1/10-gallon and another is for its half capacity. That’s why you can get the same quality in different sizes!
To examine the body construction of the tool, we’ve checked the frame of the gun. The frame is built with steel. That’s why you get durability. But the coolest fact is, this caulk gun is lighter than other steel counterparts. This construction has enabled the tool to be a more effective performer as you can control the tool with ease.
If you’re a pro in this field, probably you’ve noticed how difficult it is to load the caulk tube inside the gun. Well, the main reason behind this is a design error. You know that the ratchet-style guns are oldies. Besides, the aging of the tool can also make it hard to load. But for this gun, simple loading is guaranteed.
A stronger aluminum handle has empowered this gun to create more thrust on the caulk tube. As aluminum is used, the handle itself is lightweight but strong enough to endure pressure for a long time. For ensuring the smooth flow, twin thrust plates are also introduced.
What we didn’t like
- You won’t find any cutter in this gun. That’s why you’ll need to arrange a cutter all by yourself.
- The tube will squeak a bit when you push the handle.
7. COX 41004-XT Chilton 10.3-Ounce Cartridge Caulk Gun
Here is a massive caulk gun with an 18:1 ratio. You can easily use this for advanced usages or any professional purpose. Designing is carefully done for this product so that the gun can endure more pressure. Besides, other parts are carefully assembled to ensure durability.
On the top of the list, we’ve placed the switchable flow control mechanism. This is a cool technique to ensure proper ejection of the caulk at the right point. You can have proper caulking: not more, not less! For this technique, you can highly increase the precision and quality.
Secondly, the pressure release technique can be operated by your thumb. This feature can increase the accuracy of your work. Besides, the longer use of a caulk tube is ensured. The ladder hook is attached at the end of the gun. This high-quality hook can ensure proper support with safety.
A seal puncturing device is given with the gun. You can break the seal of the caulk tube, with no need for external pins or knives. A WCD (wear compensating device) is also introduced to increase the control. Besides, barrel turns are there to make it easier to deal with corners.
What we didn’t like
- The thumb pressure release mechanism may seem difficult to use.
Can you caulk without a gun?
The quick answer to this question is yes, you can apply caulk without a gun. … A caulking gun gun applies steady pressure on the tube so you can get a smoother and more even finish. You can also apply pressure with your hands, but using a caulking gun decreases the risks of making a mess.
Do I really need a caulking gun?
No, you do not need a caulk gun. This is a myth, and nifty though a caulk gun sounds, it’s not. They’re a pain to use, and impossibly difficult if the caulk you use is at all dry. … You should be able to just pull the caulk away; use your scraper or remover to get at any stubborn bits.
How do you caulk like a pro?
How do you smooth out caulk?
How long does caulking last once opened?
Caulks generally last 12 months; some even upto 18 complete sealed (unused) – from the manufacturing date. Also, depends how are you storing it; factors such as a heated or too cold environment can affect the shelf life of caulks.
Do you push or pull a caulk gun?
When applying the caulk, it’s better to pull the caulk gun towards you along the joint you’re sealing with the caulk coming out behind the gun. Pushing it can result in an uneven bead. Hold the tube at a 45-degree angle to the joint.
Can I Recaulk over caulk?
You can recaulk over old caulk, but you should never do it.
Our recaulking experts will remove every bit of your icky, failing caulk. Then, they will add an anti-mold treatment to eliminate mold and mildew and fight future mold and mildew growth. They will apply a 100% silicone caulk, which resists shrinking over time.
How does a dripless caulk gun work?
The smooth-rod dripless caulk gun works with a simple mechanism. A spring-loaded metal plate locks the pressure rod wherever you stop it. … As you squeeze the trigger, the pressure-bar lock plate is released slightly which allows the pressure bar to move and discharge the caulk.
How do you seal a tube of caulking?
How do you caulk baseboards?
What can I use instead of a caulking gun?
A t-shaped stick (like the handle of a hammer) can be used when you have no caulking gun. Put the long end into the back of the tube and the t part in the crook of your elbow. Firmly grasp the tube with the same hand. By bending your wrist towards your elbow you can create enough pressure to deliver the caulk.
How big a gap can caulk fill?
A single bead of caulk can fill gaps up to 1/4 inch. If the gap is slightly larger than this, fill it with a bead of caulk deeper into the gap, but not flush with the surface.
What can I use instead of caulk?
epoxy resin sealer
An epoxy resin sealer proves to be the perfect substitute for replacing caulk in showers as it renders a permanent bond on the corners. Our new age epoxy resin filler renders a sleek and natural appearance to the shower caulk, enhancing the overall appeal.
Q: How to prolong the use of a caulking gun?
Ans: You need to maintain the caulk gun and handle it with care. It’s better to wash the gun after every use. But if it’s not possible, you need to clean it in a regular manner.
Q: How to clean the caulk gun?
Ans: You need to follow the steps listed below to get a clean caulking gun:
1. Place the gun in soapy water. Then try to clean it with that soapy water. If you’re using latex caulk, you have to wipe it with a soaked rag. But you’re using silicone one, you have to go with a dry rag. Ensure that most of the caulk is removed from the gun.
3. Ensure that no remaining caulk remains on the body of the gun.
Okay, I understand your current situation. You’re a bit confused about which one is to choose from. Though these products listed are of the best quality, I’m going to present another shortlist!
I’ll suggest three products that I personally preferred most while searching for the best caulk gun. But the choice is yours. You can go with SolidWork professional Caulk Gun. If you need a great thrust ratio.
Just as a reminder, it will be needed if you’re up to heavy-duty plumbing or painting. But if you need a moderate caulking gun in your budget, you can check the Newborn 930-GTD Caulking Gun.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.