Caulk is one of the few multi-use liquids that can be applied almost anywhere in the house. Although mostly used in the kitchen and bathroom, this sealant can manage all kinds of problems around the home. Of course, using caulk is another matter.
Frequently tough and requiring a lot of time and effort, caulking can be a real pain – unless you have the right caulking tools, of course. In this article, we discuss the best caulking gun for your needs, so you can cut down on time and energy when finishing off your DIY work. Read on to find out everything there is to know about caulk guns.
The Best Caulking Gun
Standing as the best caulking gun on our list is this drip-free option from Newborn. Created with ease of pressure and a comfortable execution, this caulk gun is one of the easiest options to use and comes at an incredible price – providing excellent value for money.
This is one of the best caulking tools for low viscosity materials and has been designed with the user in mind, allowing for quick and simple application. From the concealed puncture tool and spout cutter through to the retracting rod which prevents any nasty drips escaping the tip, the Newborn 930-GTD easily hits the top spot on our list thanks to how user-friendly and affordable it is.
- Steel cradle for precision and longevity
- Retracting rod prevents dripping
- Shaped handle for added comfort
- Concealed puncture tool and spout cutter included
- Brand Newborn
- Model 930-GTD
- Weight 1.5 pounds
If you’re looking for a manual caulking gun that has the pressure to easily work with high viscosity materials, then look no further. This caulk gun from Albion Engineering has been produced to do just that by producing up to 300 psi with no further strength or struggling from yourself. There’s even a dual gripping plate which allows for your cartridge to quickly and easily release the caulk, without the need for a strained hand or wrist afterwards.
There are also some handy features included with this option, such as the puncture wire and ladder hook, as well as the rotating ability, to leave you with smooth corners and a premium finish. This all-metal constructed caulk gun is a powerful, affordable tool that anyone can use.
- Dual gripping plate for added comfort and strength
- Provides up to 300 psi
- Includes concealed puncture tool
- Manual caulking gun
- Brand Albion Engineering
- Model B26
- Weight 2 Pounds
For those who prefer to work with an electric caulk gun, you can’t go far from with this cordless caulking gun from Makita. Known for their heavy-duty tools and quality craftsmanship, it’s fair to say that Makita have done well to produce the best cordless caulking gun on the market – just be aware that the entire kit can be bought separately to the bare tool itself, although this saves money for those who have the kit beforehand for other tools.
With a five-speed dial to optimize the workflow and an overload indicator to reduce the risk of cartridge breakages, this is a great tool for regular use. Up to 1,100psi can be produced with a touch of a button and with no risk to yourself, making this a great choice for handymen, builders and so on.
- Electric caulk gun
- Cordless caulk gun
- Can produce up to 1,100 PSI
- Can use 5 different speeds
- Brand Makita
- Model XGC01Z
- Weight 5 Pounds
If you’re looking for something quick and simple, this is the best caulk gun for you. Lightweight and simple to use, with some handy added features, this caulking tool is available at a great price and therefore great for occasional and domestic use.
The full-sized handles allow for greater pressure with no additional exertion on your part, while the ergonomic grip allows for comfortable use. It also has a revolving frame, to allow you to continue with the smooth application of low viscosity materials around corners and in awkward areas. Not to mention that all of this comes at a great price – perfect for the average DIY-er.
- Lightweight frame for easier use
- Revolving frame ensures even distribution on corners
- Ergonomic grip for added comfort
- Brand Dripless Inc.
- Model ETS2000
- Weight 13.6 Ounces
A great choice for those who want the ease of an electric caulking gun without the price tag, Chicago Pneumatic have done well to produce an effective and affordable caulking gun. The air compressor required for this, along with any accessories, do require additional purchases but overall this is still a fantastic choice for domestic and commercial use.
Simply press the trigger to allow the air compressor to work with all manner of viscosities and allow the caulking gun to do all of the hard work for you. Lightweight and so easy to use, you’ll just need to be mindful of the cord during use. With 90% of customers being very happy with the results, you’re sure to love this air caulking gun as much as previous buyers.
- Lightweight design for easier handling
- Trigger controlled
- Requires air compressor (sold separately)
- Brand Chicago Pneumatic
- Model CP9885
- Weight 2.32 Pounds
If you want caulking tools that give you complete control over every aspect of the caulking process, then look no further than the DEWALT caulking gun. Designed to provide you with all the power you need, while ensuring that you’re still able to manually affect the flow and finish of your caulking, this tool provides the user with everything they need at once.
Slightly more expensive than other electric caulking guns, this is made up for with the overall value for money presented, making it a great choice for regular users such as builders and handymen. The variable trigger allows for improved flow depending on the viscosity of your substances, while the quick control option allows you to switch from one canister to the next – all while using a retracting rod to avoid drips.
- Cordless electric caulking gun
- Variable speed trigger for greater control
- Anti-drip features pulls rod back after trigger is released
- Brand DeWalt
- Model DCE560B
- Weight 4.1 pounds
Slightly more expensive than our previous Newborn option but with greater variability between the viscosities this caulking gun is able to work with, this choice is great for DIY and commercial use. Designed to work with almost any format of materials, this is a caulking gun that remains easy to handle and simple to operate.
Customers note that this caulking tool is very smooth and quiet during operation, which is a nice feature to have, if you’re working longer days. There’s also the fact that this zinc alloy caulking gun works with a revolving frame, so you can be sure of a perfect finish, every time.
- Revolving frame for smooth application
- Quiet and smooth
- Zinc alloy handle resists rust and corrosion
- Brand Newborn
- Model 250 1/10GL
- Weight 1.8 pounds
A classic design and look, the emphasis from Tarvol here is a caulking gun that does the job for a great price with a simple construction. Made for almost continuous use, this is a heavy-duty option that covers all bases – making it ideal for both home and business use.
The spin lock design allows for a simple, quick set up before use and the added features of hosting a cutter and seal punch are a nice touch for users, too. Not to mention that this option comes with a moneyback guarantee for life, as Tarvol are known for their responsive and effective customer service, as well as their quality tools.
- Heavy duty construction
- Spin lock design
- Moneyback guarantee included
- Brand Tarvol
- Model FBA_Tar-1043043
- Weight 1.1 Pounds
If you use caulking bags over cartridges, then this is the best option for you. The manual sausage caulking gun has been designed to create a smooth, even finish and prevent the bag wrap which is so common with other caulking tools. This option comes with all the accessories and add-ons you might require, allowing for a greater range of caulking finishes.
Providing up to 120psi this may seem like a smaller level of pressure when compared to our other Top Picks, but this should provide more than enough when used with caulking bags to create a quick, even flow, without casing any messy start or finish points. This is a point that customers are quick to pick up on, as the finished beading is said to be superb with this caulking gun.
- Provides 120 psi
- Double gripping plate minimizes slips
- All accessories included
- Brand Albion
- Model B12S20
- Weight 3.2 pounds
With some great features and being available at a brilliant price, this caulking gun from OX tools has proven to be popular amongst buyers and reviewers alike. Simple additions such as the ergonomic grip and dual gripping plates allow for added strength and comfortable use, while pressure is easily maintained.
The built-in puncture tool is a nice touch, while the pull-back rod ensures no dripping or struggling when finishing off your beading. While this isn’t an outstanding caulking gun when compared to others on our list, it’s definitely a handy workhorse that will keep on going, making it ideal for occasional users and the average DIY-er.
- Pull-back rod ensures no dripping
- Ergonomic grip
- Dual plates increase comfort and strength
- Brand OX Tools
- Model OX-P044410
- Weight 1.78 Pounds
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Caulking Gun
The first thing you’ll need to consider when buying the best caulking gun for your needs is the type of gun you’re after. There are a few choices here, so we discuss these in more depth, below. However, the overview is that you can opt for a ratchet style, smooth rod or a quick and easy electric caulking gun.
The budget you have available for your caulking gun will inevitably affect your final choice. Just be aware that cheaper options can often come with weaker materials that are more likely to bend and become more painful to use, over time. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should go for the most expensive option.
Instead, try to aim for the right quality for your needs. If you’re looking for a one-off option, then there’s no harm is opting for a low-budget choice that you know will give you a great finish when you use it. However, if you’re likely to use your caulking gun frequently, or even for business use, it’s worth spending a little extra in order to get a more comfortable grip and greater pressure, as well as some nice, additional features.
The viscosity of the material you’re working with matters – as lower viscosity materials will be able to work with almost any silicone gun. Meanwhile, high viscosity (thicker) materials will require greater pressure and therefore it’s preferably to choose caulking tools that are able to work with higher pressure.
Of course, if you’re likely to change your materials on a day to day basis and are seeking the right caulking tools to match this, it’s worth opting for a gun that can handle thicker choices. Otherwise, we would wholeheartedly recommend a caulking gun that is able to work with you and change according to the materials you’re working with.
The pressure exerted by your caulking gun will work wonders for your hands and forearms if you’re using your tools on a daily basis. Just be aware that those manual caulking guns that produce too much pressure can cause too much silicone or other material to seep out quicker – leading to a messy finish that requires a quick clean up and wasted product.
With so many options out there, it’s not unfair to say that it can be something as simple as a few extra features that makes the difference between the final purchase (or lack of purchase). Having some handy features around makes your job much easier and quicker, allowing you finish your beading and move on to the next job at a faster pace, without compromising on the overall quality.
Take the spout cutter, for example. This is a handy tool that is often built in to the grip of the caulking gun, allowing you to snip off the tip of your cartridge before placing it in your caulking tools. This means you spend less time grabbing some tougher scissors or other cutters and more time getting on with the task at hand. The same can be said for the sealant piercer.
Meanwhile, pull-back rods allow for a cleaner finish, as they ensure that there is no excess waste product seeping from your cartridge, long after you’ve finished applying pressure. This gives you the chance for a cleaner beading and quicker clean-up time.
Different Types of Caulking Guns
- Electric Caulk Gun
If you’re likely to do caulking on a regular basis, this is the option which we would recommend. The use of the electric trigger negates any danger of repetitive strain injuries or similar, as you won’t need to be exerting any effort beyond pointing and “shooting” the caulk. These are therefore ideal for heavy duty use – although their price tag is often much higher as a result of the ease of use, especially if you opt for a cordless caulking gun.
- Ratchet Caulk Gun
This is likely to be the image of a caulking gun that comes to mind, when talking about caulking tools. Simply designed to be effective in power and in price, the ratchet caulk gun uses a standard push rod that becomes engaged when the handle-triggers are squeezed. The push road places pressure on the cartridge and this, in turn, allows the materials to escape from the tip of the cartridge.
These are the cheapest option, but their simple design can also lead to a slightly messier finish, as the flow is slightly harder to control than most other types of caulking tools.
- Smooth Rod Caulk Gun
Similar to ratchet guns, these use a similar rod method with the added difference of using a spring-loaded lock. This addition allows you to vary the pressure – and therefore the speed – at which the viscous materials leave the tip of the cartridge or bag. It also allows for a greater pressure to be created by squeezing the handles together, without any extra effort on your part, meaning your job can often be finished quicker, too.
Caulking Gun Care and Maintenance
If you’re looking for a caulking gun to use regularly, then it’s understandable that you’ll want to take care of your new purchase to continue to smoothness and overall better finish. A poorly cared-for caulking gun will become hard to handle over time, as well as being dirtier during use and therefore more likely to leave an uneven beading. Instead, we recommend the following:
- Use a brush or wet cloth to clean down your caulking tools after use – and ensure that they are dried thoroughly, before putting them away.
- Only use the right size cartridges or bags for your caulking tools. We’ve given you an indication to capacity in our Top Picks, but the manufacturers guidelines are likely to be more precise, according to your purchase.
- Invest in a good lubricating oil to keep your manual caulking tools properly maintained and ensure a smooth motion, every time you use your caulking gun.
- Don’t forget to keep your caulking tools stored in a cool, dry place. This will stop any risk of rusting and keep your caulking gun running smoothly for years to come.
- Remove your caulking tubes properly, following the guidelines, below.
Best Caulking Gun FAQ:
Q: How can I remove a caulk tube from a caulking gun?
A: Properly removing your caulk tubes ensures that there is no risk of excess caulk ruining your caulking tools. Follow the steps below to guarantee that you can use your remaining caulk without issue, as well as maintaining your caulk gun.
- Once you’ve finished your current task, be sure to seal up the end of your caulk. While a caulk cap is ideal, many people simply use a nail with a large head, which can easily be removed the next time you require your caulk.
- Press the release lever (which can often be found just above the grip) in order to “relax” your rod and pull the plunger backwards, away from the cartridge.
- Lift the cartridge away from the gun. This should now come away easily.
- Don’t forget to follow the tips above to maintain your caulking tools.
Q: What can I use a caulk for?
A: Most people only use caulk around their kitchens and bathrooms but there are actually many different types of caulks available for use both in and around the house. Switching between silicone, latex, rubber and many more variants will give you the best finish for each task, so be sure to check the right caulk for the right job.
- Window Sills
Since caulk creates a watertight seal and can prevent drafts, it is ideal for finishing off these areas and giving your home an additional level of security against the cold. There are plenty of different styles of caulk which are ideal for this, so check with your local hardware store for the best option.
You’ll need a special caulk for this, which often comes in forms of siliconized acrylic. These are ideal for giving that added layer of waterproof protection – especially if you live in colder, wetter states. This is ideal for getting into those awkward leaks or spot-checking your guttering, without having to replace the entire system.
Again, you’ll need a specialized variation of standard caulk which is suitable for adhering to masonry, tiling or asphalt but caulking around the roof is perfect for patching over small areas, or finishing new tiles to provide additional protection.
- Kitchens and Bathrooms
Again, this is the most common use, but caulk is perfect for ensuring a waterproof seal around your bathroom furniture. You can also buy mold and mildew-resistant options to give you that gleaming white look, for longer.
- Before Painting
If you find small cracks or holes around the surface you wish to paint, you can opt for a painters’ caulk, which will allow you to create a smooth finish, ready to paint over.
Another specialized variety, fireproof caulk provides a great defense against the risk of fire. Place in and around holes, gaps and cracks to provide a fireproof layer that will prevent the spread of smoke and fire around the home.
Our Top Pick
Comprising of an ergonomic trigger and grip, alongside multiple handy features and a drip-free finish, this caulking gun from Newborn came up as our Top Pick thanks to its usability and affordable price. Easily the most effective caulking gun on the market, and the easiest manual caulking gun to use, this is a great choice for commercial and domestic use.
Everything about this caulking tool has been designed with the user in mind, making it easy to cut the cartridge, start up and even produce a smooth, lasting finish thanks to the non-drip retracting rod. With well over a thousand positive reviews, we’re sure that you’ll love this caulk gun as much as we do.