Best Caulking Gun Reviews 2018

It seems like a simple matter to just snap up the cheapest caulking gun around, but if you’re tired of the frustration that sometimes comes with these often vital tools then you might want to put a bit of forethought into purchasing one. They come in a surprising amount of types and it can be hard to tell the good from the bad.

So why don’t you take a look at our favorites and see if one of them is perfect for you?

Victoria, Homethods Author
Victoria

Best Overall !

While it’s not exactly a recommended product for the average DIYer, if you’ve got an enormous project or a whole career ahead of you this is money well-spent.


NameTypeExtras 
DeWalt DC545K
(EDITOR'S CHOICE)
ElectricNone
Newborn 250 Super Smooth RodSmooth RodBuilt-in cutter and seal punch
3 in 1 Caulking GunRatchet RodBuilt-in cutter and seal punch
Newborn 930-GTDSmooth RodNone
COX 41004-2T AscotSmooth RodNone

DeWalt DC545K

DEWALT DC545K 18-Volt

It would be hard to complete this list without recommending at least one professional level tool. The DeWalt DC545K is an advanced, battery powered caulking gun which is pretty much overkill for anyone who needs something around the house.

If your profession calls for the need for a constant, high-powered caulking gun however it’s pretty much indispensable. There are definitely cheaper options in the market, but they simply can’t compete with this gun.

It will allow you to rotate the cartridge 360° degrees for corners and pushes 650lbs of force which will get pretty much anything out of the tube without a problem.

It’s pretty heavy, even for a battery powered gun, but with some practice it’s a practical investment for those in the right profession.

Pros
  • Heavy duty frame
  • 650lbs of force
  • Rotating cartridge
  • Variable speed
  • Auto-reverse to prevent drips
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Newborn 250 Super Smooth Rod Revolving Frame Caulking Gun

Newborn 250 Super Smooth

For the homeowner who’s not afraid to make a little bit of an investment in a fantastic smooth rod caulking gun, the Newborn 250 is a great option. The first thing most people will notice is the 18:1 thrust ratio which puts it in a league of its own if you’ve only used disposable guns before.

The whole frame is constructed of zinc-alloy which makes it corrosion resistant as well, combined with the durable construction this might be the last gun you ever have to buy if you take care of it.

The revolving frame allows you to maintain the size of your bead round corners without having to twist the gun as well, an often overlooked feature which really should rate higher among homeowners.

The only flaw really is that it doesn’t have a dripless capability, but with a bit of practice you’ll be able to disengage the pressure easily with your thumb.

This is the gun of choice for those working at home, but it does have a pretty high price tag for a relatively simple mechanical tool.

Pros
  • Revolving frame
  • 18:1 thrust ratio
  • Built-in puncture and cutter
  • Extremely smooth action
  • High build quality
Cons
  • Not dripless
  • Fairly expensive

3 in 1 Caulking Gun

3 in 1 Caulking Gun

For a single job use, this ratcheting gun has a lot to recommend and if you only use a caulking gun on rare occasions then there’s no need to break the bank for a super high-quality gun.

This is a ratcheting caulking gun with a fairly standard thrust ratio of about 5:1 but it’s head and shoulders above anything at the same price point. It comes with everything you need to get going, including a seal puncture and cutter built right into the frame.

It’s also pretty sturdy overall, obviously not bulletproof but in can withstand the falls and normal problems that arise when you’re running a bead. It’ll take as much work as a regular gun but give you a lot less problems over time.

If you just need a caulking gun for small projects here and there, you’d be doing yourself a favor by investing in this ultra-cheap tool.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Sturdy frame
  • Built in tools
  • Chrome finish
  • Spin lock
Cons
  • Ratchet rod
  • Not dripless

Newborn 930-GTD

Newborn 930-GTD Drip-Free

If you’re uncomfortable with having to time the release every time you lay down a bead, then the Newborn 930-GTD is perfect. It lacks frills or a particularly high thrust ratio, but for the average home user it’s a complete bargain.

The primary draw of this caulking gun is definitely the dripless design which causes the pressure lever to pull back a bit when you release the trigger. This means a whole lot less mess without having to hassle with a manual release.

Other than that it’s a high-quality smooth rod caulking gun with a fairly standard thrust ratio of 10:1. The dripless design combined with the low price, however, makes this a good way to get a quality gun for extremely cheap.

For novices and those who are worried about mess, this gun stands on its own but it lacks some of the features of more advanced guns.

Pros
  • Smooth gun
  • User friendly
  • Dripless design
  • Seal puncture
  • Ergonomic handle
Cons
  • Standard thrust ratio
  • Not super sturdy

COX 41004-2T Ascot 10.3-Ounce Cartridge

COX 41004-2T

Not all adhesives are equal, and when you’re trying to lay down a serious bead of something thick and gooey you’ll definitely want something with a higher thrust ratio than normal. Why not try something with a 26:1 ratio?

In addition to the sheer amount of force behind the trigger, this gun is actually machined as well despite the open frame design. This makes it long lasting, and when combined with the rotating frame to maintain a clean bead around corners.

It’s expensive, but in this case it’s well worth the expense if you have to get serious about things. You’ll also need to be a bit careful with it, the power can overwhelm some cartridges of material by quite a bit and ruptured cans aren’t unheard of.

Luckily, if you’re in doubt the easily accessible pressure release trigger is right there and you’ll be able to back off almost instantly.

If you absolutely must have the strongest manual gun available, this is the gun for you. You’ll be able to push absolutely anything with a surprising amount of ease.

Pros
  • Smooth action
  • 26:1 thrust ratio
  • Rotating frame
  • Machined parts
  • Easy to activate release
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No built-in tools

Why You Should Think About Your Caulking Gun

Most of us have been there when it comes to grabbing a caulking gun off the shelf and then finding ourselves frustrated with the whole affair before the job is over.

Most professionals refer to the cheap, ratchet-type guns as disposable. For good reason too, they have a tendency to drip and many novices make plenty of mistakes with them. It’s easy enough to clean up, but you don’t have to spend time cleaning up beads if you’re careful in your selection.

While we don’t recommend spending a whole lot of money on an electric or pneumatic model for most homeowners, there are better options than the “disposable” guns which most people think of when they hear the phrase “caulking gun.”

What Types of Caulking Gun Are There?

There are two available types of manual caulking gun and a couple of different powered variations. For homeowners who rarely use one we definitely recommend going with a manual one, but if putting together windows and sealing things is part of your day job then it might make sense to go with something that costs more.

Ratcheting guns operate by pushing things forward in set increments. They apply pressure in set increments, increasing the internal pressure of the sealant until it comes out of the gun. They can make a mess, however, and have a tendency to drip.

Some are better than others, of course, but for the most part these guns are super cheap and the results will show. They can also be a bit hard on the hands during longer jobs due to the lower pressure needed

If you’re already fine with using one, you may just want to upgrade to a higher end model instead of having to reinvent the wheel while you’re working.

Smooth rod caulking guns apply pressure cleanly and smoothly instead of in set increments. They’re pretty much ideal for home projects and they usually don’t cost much more than a decent ratcheting gun. If you’re consistently having problems with making your bead then they’re a great investment.

Electric caulking guns are expensive but they’re ideal if you’re constantly having to caulk. They’re easy on the hands, operate extremely well, and will cost you as much as ten manual guns.

They also require some practice to get used to, so don’t think you can get around developing the skills you need by investing in one of these.

Pneumatic guns are similar to electric guns and have the same advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage over electric guns is for specialty materials which are highly viscous and simply won’t push without a ton of effort in other types of guns.

For silicon or other common materials you’d be better served with a battery operated gun since you won’t have to drag a compressor around with you on the job site.

How to use a caulking gun

What to Look for in a Caulking Gun

For most people this question will resolve itself with personal tastes. Once you’ve decided on the type of gun it really does boil down to a balance between personal preference and budget. That said, keep a look out for the following features.

Dripless

This definitely isn’t the province of ratcheting guns, which increase the pressure by a set amount with each click along their shaft.

That said, a quick and smooth release is pretty much essential to making the advantage of a smooth rod caulking gun present. The best of these will let off the pressure the very instant you let off the trigger, causing drips to be either non-existent or minimal.

Built-in Tools

If you don’t want to be digging around for a razor knife and a nail each time you want to open a new can of sealant then you might look for a model with these tools built in. There’s a lot of them available but the best will be out of the way while you’re working and allow you to get things open quickly and efficiently.

Pressure Ratio

Caulking can get hard on the hands after a while since you’ll have to pull the trigger each time you need more sealant to come out of the gun. A higher pressure ratio means less of a trigger pull for you.

For reference, most ratcheting guns are about 5:1 while smooth rods will run about 10:1. The higher the ratio, the less pressure you’ll need to apply and a high ratio can be a complete lifesaver on larger jobs.

Weight

During a long job a closed frame gun with all sorts of extra widgets can be tiring to hold. Open frames can help you make sure that the gun weighs less and you’ll be able to work with it longer.

Overall

The guns which a professional and a DIYer are going to want are obviously going to be quite different. The truth is, we don’t use these tools all that often for the most part and it really is better to go with a manual gun if you’re just using it at home.

If you’re planning on projects around the home, then we recommend you look for the following:

  • Smooth rod operation
  • Dripless
  • Lightweight
  • High pressure ratio
  • Built in cutter and seal punch

A professional on the other hand would be best served by the best electric gun they can find that will fit into their budget.

Either way, if you use one of our recommended guns you can rest assured you’re in good hands at the end of the day.

References

  1. http://www.doityourself.com/
  2. http://www.house-painting-info.com/
  3. http://www.diynetwork.com/
  4. http://inspectapedia.com/exterior/Caulk_Gun_Choices.php






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