When choosing a caulking gun, most people simply buy the cheapest option available. Unfortunately, these models are often not the best caulking gun option available. Sure, they may be cheaper than other models, but they will most likely also waste caulk, tire out the user’s hands needlessly and create just one big mess. And that’s why it’s important for consumers to do their research. Yes, I know that it isn’t always easy to find the best caulking gun models available and that’s why I’ve decided to go ahead and do the research for you. I’ve listed what I feel are the best models currently available. These are models that are easy-to-use, make the best use of caulk and help the user apply it professionally.
9. Newborn U-Lite Easy Load
The Newborn U-Lite is a gun which is able to use most 1/10th-gallon cartridges and has a 10 to 1 thrust ratio. This thrust ratio makes it useful for applying such materials as silicone and latex caulk. This model has a light design that’s compact and allows the cartridge to rotate, which helps maintain bead orientation. This tool needs less force to apply product and is very quiet. In order to help prevent dripping, the rod retracts after each trigger pull. Other options built into this tool include a spout cuter and a seal puncture tool. All of which makes this unit handy for handyman use.
8. Newborn 375-XSP
Designed to use 1/10-gallon cartridges and equipped with a 26 to 1 thrust ratio, this gun is ideal for use applying materials that have a very high viscosity, such as urethane products. It has a revolving frame design that allows the barrel to rotate and this allows the user to maintain bead orientation, even when applying around corners. And since it has such a high thrust ratio, this tool requires less force to use than many ratchet-style guns which are currently available. The Newborn 375-XSP is manufactured with a hammered finish, a heat treated rod and a rubber coated trigger.
7. Tarvol 3-In-1
This heavy-duty gun is designed for professional jobs but can also be wielded by the DIY enthusiast. It’s manufactured using pressed steel that’s been chrome plated and uses a spin-lock design that allows for drip-less setup. Other key features which can be found in this gun include a seal punch, a built-in sharpened blade cutter and a wrist strap that prevents it from being dropped when the contractor is using it on a ladder. This model has an ergonomic handle, a quick-change rod and accepts standard caulk cartridges. It’s a tool that can be used to dispense caulk, adhesives and other sealants.
6. Campbell Hausfeld Air-Powered (PL155800AV)
With the ability to use 10-ounce cartridges and designed to be lightweight and easy-to-hold, this gun has the features that just about anyone can appreciate. It fits cartridges which are 8.5-inches and have a diameter of 1-5/16-inches and this tool weighs under 3-pounds so it’s easy to hold and use. It has a shut-off valve that’s easy to operate and stops the material from flowing when the trigger is released. It has a smooth dispensing design that allows it to be used for just about anything from caulks to sealants and adhesives. This makes it a useful caulking tool.
5. Dripless ETS2000
This gun is designed to accommodate 10-ounce cartridges and has a 12 to 1 thrust ratio which allows it to effortlessly dispense a variety of different materials including silicone, acrylic and latex caulk. It has a revolving frame to maintain optimal bead orientation, has a spout cutter for opening cartridges when a knife isn’t available and has a hook on the back of the tool which allows it to be hung off the back of a ladder. It also has an ergonomic design, is lightweight and has a composite construction that makes it extremely durable. This contractor grade tool is ideal for any number of caulking jobs.
4. Astro Pneumatic Tool Air Gun (AST-405)
Using the power of compressed air, this tool is really useful in getting caulking jobs done quickly and accurately. When hooked up to an air compressor, and a compatible pressure regulator, this tool will dispense caulks, adhesives and other sealants. It can accommodate standard 10-ounce cartridge models and won’t strain the user’s hand during long caulking sessions. This makes it a useful tool for anyone who needs to do large caulking jobs. It has a lightweight stylish design, is manufactured to be durable and should provide the user with many caulking jobs of service.
3. Newborn 930-GTD
With its half-cradle design and the fact that it holds standard 10-ounce cartridges, this tool is easy to mistake for any other gun on the market but it does have a few design features which set it apart. It is made using an all-steel welded construct and a professional-grade hex rod that’s designed to make it extremely durable and to provide precision caulking power to the user. It has a thrust ratio of 10 to 1, which makes it useful for dispensing low viscosity materials, and has a smooth pressure rod that’s quieter than ratchet-style models. It also has a padded handle and trigger which makes it comfortable to use.
2. Newborn 250 Smooth Rod
Using a smooth pressure rod that gives this gun a thrust ratio of 18:1, this is one of the easiest caulk guns to operate that’s currently available. It can be used to dispense a number of different materials including cement, acrylic, adhesives, and silicone and has a revolving frame that maintains consistent bead orientation. This model is designed with a zinc handle that makes it lightweight and is also highly resistant to corrosion. Overall, this is a professional grade gun that can be used by just about anyone and ensures a quality job is done each and every time.
1. Chicago Pneumatic Air Gun (CP9885)
Anytime a tool saves time, it’s usually highly regarded and that’s probably why this gun has been gaining in popularity recently. When it’s hooked up to an air compressor and pressure regulator, this device will deliver smooth and clean caulk dispensing. It can be used to seal just about anything and has a trigger controlled material flow that prevents drips and messes. It’s lightweight, easy-to-use and accepts standard cartridges, so it’s sure to be a good fit for any DIY enthusiast or contractor. And since it’s made using quality materials it should do its job for quite some time.
A Guide To Caulk & Caulking Guns
Caulking is a very necessary job that everyone has to do to keep their homes in good condition. Applying caulk to cracks and gaps not only helps to keep water and weather out of a home but also helps to keep bugs out of it. Unfortunately, few people give much thought to the type of caulking gun they need or the type of caulk they need. Too many people just grab whatever is available and then immediately press it into service. And by paying little attention to these factors means that some people aren’t using the best tools for the job at hand.
Using the wrong caulk and caulking gun usually results in the job having to be done over again. Using the wrong caulk can result in the caulk failing to adhere properly to the surface or failing much sooner than expected. And using the incorrect caulking gun can result in the job being poorly done or the job taking longer than it should. We want to change all of that with this guide, however. In this guide, we want to give our readers the tools to buy the best caulking gun possible and buy the best caulk, Now that we’ve stated our intent let’s jump right into the article.
How To Buy A Caulking Gun
We feel that the appropriate place to begin this article is with choosing a proper caulking gun. In the past, DIY enthusiasts didn’t have a wide variety of caulking guns to choose from because most hardware and big box stores only had one type of basic caulking gun available. Fortunately, things have changed quite a bit over the past few years, and now consumers have three different types of caulking guns to choose from. These include Basic, Pneumatic, and Battery-Powered caulking guns. Let’s examine each of these independently from each other, so we can determine which one is right for each job.
Basic Caulking Guns
It’s probably safe to say that most people have seen basic caulking guns. These are the ones that are most often found in big-box and hardware stores and are some of the cheapest ones available, with most of them being under $20 and some of them are even under $10. These guns operate by depressing a plunger and pressing a trigger. And that makes them simple to operate, although this basic design also means that there’s pressure on the caulk that can result in product oozing. And having to hold down the trigger all day also means that these models probably aren’t the best for professionals who spend all day applying the caulk. However, for most DIY enthusiasts, then this is probably right up their alley. As a general rule, most of the models come with either a smooth or ratcheted plungers. Smooth plunger guns are easier to control than ratcheted ones.
Pneumatic Caulking Guns
Pneumatic caulking guns cost more than basic models, which some of them falling in the $50 to $125 range, and the more advanced models costing more than $350 or more. These guns work by being hooked up to an air compressor. This means that the user doesn’t have to apply pressure to the tube to get it to dispense the caulk, which saves the user’s hands while they’re spending a lot of time caulking. When choosing one of these models, consumers not only have to consider how much they want to spend on the gun, but they will also want to consider the size of the gun itself. Some models are designed to dispense 10-ounce tubes of caulk, while others are designed to accommodate much larger caulk containers. Most homeowners and DIY enthusiasts probably aren’t going to need a caulk gun that uses large containers of caulk, but professionals might find these models better. That’s because caulk is cheaper per ounce when bought in bulk, and when dealing with larger containers, the professional doesn’t have to swap out tubes all of the time.
Battery-Powered Caulking Guns
Battery-powered caulk guns are very much like basic models, but the user doesn’t have to force down the trigger to get the tool to dispense the caulk they’re using. Although the costs of these tools vary in price, most consumers should be able to find a standard battery-powered model that uses 10-ounce tubes of caulk for under $50. However, if the consumer wants a caulking gun that dispenses a quart-size or large containers of caulk, then they’re going to have to spend a little bit more money. Some of the models that dispense 20 to 29-ounces of caulk can easily cost over $125 and the ones that dispense 30 to 32-ounce containers of caulk easily cost over $425, if not more. Most consumers are probably going to want to leave these more expensive models to professionals who need to use them during industrial projects.
Other Caulking Gun Features To Consider
Although choosing from one of the three different types of caulking guns will ensure that most people buy a tool that will work well for them, those aren’t the only considerations to make when buying a new caulk gun. It’s also important for the consumer to decide if they need the tool to have a few other features. Below are some of the features that are found on caulk guns that some people may (or may not) find useful. Let’s examine them.
Ladder Hook: Useful for hanging the gun on ladders.
Dripless Design: Stop unnecessary caulk flow.
Seal Punch: Helpful for opening caulk that has inner foil seals.
Tip Cutter: Allows the user to cut the cartridge tip.
How To Buy Caulk
Although the main focus of this article is one purchasing the best caulking gun possible, we feel that we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least provide some basic information on buying caulk. Although there’s a wide variety of different caulks available for professionals to choose from, most consumers there are only two real types of caulk available: Latex Caulk and Silicone Caulk. Let’s take a look at each of these types briefly and find out the type of jobs they’re good for.
- Easy to apply
- Easy to replace
- Doesn’t have a strong odor
- Good for both porous and nonporous surfaces
- Weakens in direct sunlight
- Weakens under very hot or very cold conditions
- Suitable for constant gaps and contracting gaps
- Holds up to extreme temperatures
- Suitable for nonporous surfaces
- Lasts a long time
- Produces more odors
- Cleanup requires the use of mineral spirits
- Can be difficult to apply
- Can be difficult to replace