Caulk has been a favorite material in helping seal leaks and other house problems over the years. However, applying caulk can be a problem if only done with your bare hands. The reason for this is because the container can be quite severe, and consistency in pressing is required.
Thus, the best caulking gun will help eliminate this problem. It’s an easy tool to use that you can buy for cheap. Moreover, it’s a great investment for any homeowner because of its versatility. Stay tuned as we discuss some of the best products out there!
Last update on 2019-07-20 at 11:38 PST - Details
Caulking has been around for a very long time. One of the first uses of this material is to seal leaks that are present in wooden boats. Because of this, caulking became integral worldwide, given that the first means of international transportation was through sailing.
Nowadays, caulking has watered down its purpose to housework. You can use this for so many applications, but most commonly for pipes. Many of us have probably experienced a water leak in one of the sink pipes.
Other applications of a caulking sealant are to polish up crevices from walls and tiles. Also, it’s used to develop the housing of different machines which also includes the more modern ships.
To further add, you can even use a caulking sealant to close off any pathways where pests like rodents go. It’s a great tool to prevent any pest ingress.
Commercial brands have designed caulking by changing its consistency and composition. With this said, the most common one that you’ll find is caulking that comes in the form of silicon.
Because of silicon's elasticity, durability, and viscosity, it’s been a favorite material to act as sealants.
Why do you need a caulking gun?
Most silicon caulking sealants come in a rubber tube that has a long nozzle at the tip. It’s kind of similar to a ketchup and mustard container that you see in hot dog stands.The difference is, the material of the caulking container is a lot tougher.
It is specifically designed to prevent any breakages or damage when applying the sturdy and air-tight silicon.
Because of this, your hands will be in for a lot of stress if you’re planning to use the sealant extensively. A few squeezes and droplets in fixing tiny cracks might not need a caulking gun, but fixing larger damages in sinks and walls would.
The caulking gun does not stop there. In using caulking sealant, it’s important that you apply it evenly and cleanly. By doing so, this reduces the need to redo your work. Remember, although caulking sealant is airtight, it’s still susceptible to fail.
Failure happens if you did not apply the sealant evenly on the crack or damage. You must level the sealant when using it because there might be holes if it is inconsistent. Moreover, caulking sealant that overlaps will not only look dirty, but it can also fall apart.
Tips and Tricks When Using a Caulking Gun
Using a caulking gun is easy. You just need to set up the caulking tube correctly and let the gun do the work. To begin, you’ll need to buy a caulking sealant that fits comfortably inside the chamber of the weapon.
Placing the tube inside the chamber
That should be no problem, given that most caulking guns cater to the sizes of caulking sealants. These sealants are commonly manufactured in uniform sizes as well. To place the sealant properly in the chamber, you need first to press the trigger to release the plunger.
The trigger is the metal rectangle connected with the plunger. It unlocks the plunger so you can push and pull it to your desired choice. Pull the plunger until the caulking tube secures itself inside the chamber.
Once the sealant is in place, the caulking gun should allow the sealant’s nozzle to pop out.
Trimming the nozzle
Use a utility knife, box cutter, or a pair of scissors to cut the tip. It is just a cover, so cutting it allows the nozzle to release a fair amount of sealant. Once you’ve done that, you can now use the caulking gun with the tube.
Some caulking guns have a built in snout cutter. The muzzle cutter is a hole that has a diameter of conventional nozzles. Just insert the nozzle until it gets tight, then press the trigger. The nozzle should snap off easily. Other brands have long pointed rods that puncture the nozzle of the tube.
Applying the sealant
When applying, it’s important to note that you should not do it directly on top of the crack. If you implement it with the nozzle directly below, it will cause an uneven distribution of sealant. Not to mention, it’s also pretty awkward to do.
The best way to go about this is to position the caulking gun at a good 45-degree angle. It will allow the caulking sealant to release at a good pace without spreading too much.
With the nozzle aligned, only push the trigger slowly. The trigger works by working with the plunger. The plunger applies pressure at the bottom of the tube. It helps push the sealant out in an even and consistent manner. Of course, there can still be mistakes if you’re not handling the caulking gun correctly.
Getting the technique right
Pushing the trigger too hard or too fast can cause a mess. Don’t do it abruptly. Instead, just try to ease your way and let the plunger do the work. Your hands should only apply a little force, while the gun does the rest.
Moreover, you should use the proper technique in motioning the caulking gun. Besides the proper 45-degree angle, try to get the right pace of moving the nozzle. That is especially the case when you’re working on walls and long cracks.
The best way to go about it is to look at the sealant that’s being pushed out. The sealant should graze and cover the gap, but it shouldn’t overflow. Once you see this, just simply bring the gun down slowly, working on the length of the difference in a consistent pace.
Our Top 5 Picks
Astro Pneumatic Tool’s Caulking Gun Air claims to deliver smooth flow caulking. Astro Pneumatic Tool’s caulking gun is a very lightweight tool, which only weighs 2.8 pounds. Its tube length of 8 - ¼ “ dispenses adhesives, caulk, and sealants from any standard cartridge.
Its air pressure ranges from 40 up to 69 PSi. Most importantly, it comes with a factory warranty in case you encounter manufacturer or factory defects. Unlike other brands who do not offer any guarantees.
- It comes with a factory warranty which is perfect for those first-time users who want value for their money.
- The flow that comes out of it is effortless to manage even for first-time users.
- It can dispense even really thick caulk.
- The coating makes it very easy to clean up the caulk gun.
- It might have a little hard time with automotive silicone.
- If this is what you will be using the product for, this might become an issue.
- You might find the ring that holds the barrel a little bothersome if you are not used to this design.
On the other hand, the 3 in 1 Caulking Gun claims to be a heavy duty chrome plated one. The chrome plated pressed steel makes this product very durable, even with regular use. It fits the standard caulk size, and its quality is perfect for either industrial or home use.
Moreover, it is a half barrel caulk gun, blade cutter and seals punch all in one product. But most importantly, Tarvol offers a 100% manufacturer money back guarantee for all of their products, including this.
- If ever you encounter defects or aren’t convinced with the product, you can simply just get a refund to avoid wasting money.
- Its spin lock design allows for a “dripless” set up by just simply unlocking the grooved shaft.
- It is a multipurpose tool that is heavy duty indeed.
- It might come off as a little too big for people who are used to caulking guns that are less bulky.
- That is the case, especially, if you are used to light and small caulk guns for detailed projects and outdoor work.
- You might find untwisting the plunger a bit challenging to fit a caulk carton.
As for Newborn, its Super Smooth Rod Revolving Caulking Gun claims to be a professional grade, high thrust ratio (18:1) caulking gun. Its zinc alloy handle and trigger make it rust and corrosion resistant.
Compared to a ratchet style pressure rod, its horizontal force bar makes a whole lot quieter and requires less power. Finally, its revolving frame lets the cartridge rotate to maintain bias orientation as you caulk around corners.
- The handle and the trigger are corrosion resistant.
- It comes with a ladder hook.
- You can shoot effortlessly while squeezing out caulk smoothly.
- It is a very sturdy equipment.
- It might not be as dripless.
- The piercing rod might be a little big if you want a small tip for detailed projects.
With Dripless Inc.’s Ergo Composite Caulk Gun, you get a very lightweight composite caulking gun. It has a 10- ounce cartridge and 12:1 thrust ratio makes it ideal for latex, acrylic, and silicone. Dripless designed rotating barrel for corners as well as a back hook to hang the gun on a ladder.
It also has a built in spout cutter on the side for opening cartridges. Also, the ergonomically engineered grip is designed to keep your wrist in a natural and balanced position while working.
- It has extra long cleaned out rod snaps in place when not in use.
- It comes with a useful safety feature.
- It is a very heavy duty product ideal for contractor jobs.
- You wouldn’t have to worry using it on extreme work or to use it too much.
- It is a straightforward and effortless to use even for beginners.
- Then, it gives minimal drips.
- It would help you save more caulk and avoid wasting resources.
- With constant and cumbersome use, you might encounter several issues, especially on leakages.
- The rod does not move under high pressure.
- You might have a hard time applying enough pressure for thicker caulks.
Finally, Albion Engineering’s Manual Drive Sausage Caulk Gun is a 20 oz cartridge unit. With its thrust range (12:1 ratio) of 375 lbs and 120 PSi pressure, it is ideal even for non-home use. It has an aluminum barrel, which is two inches in diameter.
Moreover, its duo gripping plate technology makes it very durable, as well as its sausage pistons. But lastly, its rotating swivel handle is a convenient addition to its key features.
- The pistons have a good seal.
- It requires little effort to pull the trigger which is ideal for lots of projects.
- The thrust is powerful yet smooth.
- You might encounter minimal leaks on the cylinder.
- If you are not used to standard caulking guns, this might be an issue.
The nature of the project you will be working on would be very significant in determining what to buy. However, with all the features and disadvantages compared, the 3 in 1 Caulking Gun might be a good option to start with your project.
Compared to the other brands, the product is almost dripless and comes with a manufacturer's guarantee for life. It can help give you a lot of monetary value. So if you are in doubt, you can always just get your refund.
The product that’s best for you will depend on your budget, needs, and preferences. Good luck and don’t forget to share this with your fellow homeowners!
Thomas Roberge is a Pro himself, who has been in the business of home renovation and construction, working with various tools. He used to be the owner of 2 local construction companies with over 18 years experience. His works also include writing inspiring Do IT Yourself Tips and Tricks.