You need a good durable caulking gun if you plan on working on a large-scale construction, weatherproofing, or waterproofing project. It doesn’t matter how large the project is, having a caulking gun will make your work a lot easier and faster. Caulking is meant to be a quick job, so you need something that will work right the first time and not create a sloppy mess. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the right gun for your next project.
Top 5 Best Caulking Gun Comparison Chart
The 5 Best Caulking Guns – Reviews
1. Ryobi P310G Variable Discharge Caulk + Adhesive Gun – Best Overall
This 18-volt, pistol grip caulking gun is perfect for projects around the house. The Ryobi P310G Gun comes with a variable discharge rate and an ergonomically designed handle. It is constructed with an emphasis on balance across the center of the tool to improve the gun’s accuracy. Caulking doesn’t need to be frustrating or strain your joints. The Ryobi P310G Caulking Gun has many on board features that provide the finesse you want from a hand-operated tool. Built with slip-resistant polymers, this machine features two switches allowing you to adjust your speed or lock the gun that does not require both hands to access.
Thanks to the hooked end piece, you can replace a used tube quickly. Just pull off the used tube, use the puncturing tool on the new tube, and load it up. The Ryobi P310G Caulking gun comes with up to 500 pounds of push force that also allow you to use a wide variety of high viscosity sealants This is an energy-efficient product that lets you dispense up to 200 tubes of caulk using just on one-volt battery. With its balanced design, it is easy for any age user to use the gun comfortably while the variable speed adjuster lets you dispense different sized beads, so you can work on any type of sealing job without having to change your workflow. Plus, the on-board puncture tool lets you carry fewer tools to the job site than you need to.
2 .Newborn Drip-Free Caulking Gun – Best Value
The Newborn 930-GTD Caulking Gun gives you a drip-free caulking experience with its Gator trigger comfort grip and a 10:1 thrust ratio. Featuring a steel half-barrel frame, this product will fit 1/10-gallon cartridges and can be used with low viscosity materials like latex. Requiring less force thanks to its smooth pressure rod, this caulking gun uses a ratchet-style pressure rod that also makes it quieter than its competitors.
After you pull the trigger on the Newborn 930-GTD, the rod will retract and remove pressure from the tube, which will prevent it from dripping. Both the trigger and handle are padded for comfort while the welded plate in the back keeps the cartridge securely in place. It is equipped with a spout cutter and seal puncture tool that is built into the side of the gun allowing you to open cartridges without a knife.
Ergonomically designed, the Newborn 930-GTD Caulking Gun features a thermoplastic comfort grip to lessen hand fatigue. It also includes Other features include a professional-strength hex rod and an all-steel construction for better durability. And, it comes with a hook, so you can hang it on a ladder for added safety.
3. Makita Caulk & Adhesive Gun – Premium Choice
Featuring variable speed and a compact design, the Makita XGC01Z is an 18-volt, Lithium-Ion cordless caulking gun. This is a powerful and versatile caulking tool that is perfect if you need to dispense a large number of adhesives or caulk. Delivering 1,100 pounds of force, this tool works with 10 ounces and 300 ml cartridges.
Able to dispense high viscosity sealants and adhesives, the Makita XGC01Z comes with a five-speed dial that gives you 0-66 inches per minute (IPM). The variable speed trigger lets you optimize the gun’s flow rate to the needs of the project. Weighing only 5.1 pounds, this compact design allows you to use it for long periods of time without getting tired.
With a drip-reduction feature, the Makita XGC01Z can relieve pressure automatically on the material when you release the trigger preventing unintentional dispensing. Plus, it also comes with an overload indicator which lets you know when the tool is almost overloaded minimizing the rupture of the caulking cartridge.
4. Dripless Inc. Ergo Composite Caulk Gun
Featuring a lightweight composite frame, the Dripless ETS2000 Caulking Gun is industrial grade and fits 10-ounce cartridges. It is equipped with a 12:1 thrust ratio and can be used with silicone, latex, and acrylic. The frame revolves allowing the barrel to rotate so you can maintain the same bead orientation when you caulk around corners.
On the side of the gun is a spout cutter that lets you open cartridges without a knife. Plus, there is a hook on the back that lets you hand it on a ladder. The Dripless ETS2000 also comes with a viewing port that lets you check the angle of the cut as well as an extra-long rod to clean out the gun, which will snap back into place when you aren’t using it.
To reach corners and hard to reach places, the Dripless ETS2000 has a rotating barrel while the ergonomic grip allows you to keep your wrist in a balanced and natural position, which reduces stress in your arms and hands. The rugged construction provides a weight that is 40 percent less than other models on the market. This is a heavy-duty composite caulk gun that will give you superior performance whether you are a contractor or a beginner.
5. Albion Engineering Manual Cartridge Caulking Gun
Easy to dispense, the Albion Engineering B26 Caulking gun is designed to be used with 10 ounces or 300 ml cartridges. This high thrust manual drive gun comes with a metal half-barrel carriage that will securely hold cartridges in place for consistent and precise dispensing. It is equipped with a full-sized handle that is comfortable to use for long period of time.
With 900 pounds of thrust, the Albion Engineering B26 Gun can easily dispense viscous materials at a cold temperature. It is also user-friendly and includes a built-in ladder hook pull as well as a cartridge puncture tool. This durable tool features a steel trigger and double gripping plates, so it won’t break if you drop it.
With its compact design, it lets you get into tight places to dispense thick products easily. The Albion B26 can hold a large volume, plus it accurately mixes two-component products before dispensing it. Its improved pump efficiency lets you get the job done neater with fewer problems while Albion’s adjustment screw technology will let you remove wasted motion as the tool wears.
Tips For Choosing The Best Caulking Gun
For a while, caulking guns were hard to use and cheaply made. Called “ratchet-rod” caulk guns, these guns were popular choices for the DIYers on the weekend, since it was the only type that could be purchased in a hardware store. With these older style caulk guns, you get a serrated push rod that works when the handle is squeezed ratcheting its way down a tube of caulk. When you want to stop the caulk flow, just turn the pushrod upside down by using the lever disengaging the ratchet teeth before pulling the rod back to relive the pressure. If you don’t do this, the caulk will continue to ooze out of the tube and make a big mess.
While it is still possible to buy a ratchet-rod caulk gun, they are not as popular as they used to be since they need a lot of hand pressure to create a thrust ratio of about 5:1 or less. No matter how quickly you disengage the ratchet rod, it always seems like caulk will continue to flow out uncontrollably for a few moments. To cut open the caulk tube spout, you will need a razor blade or knife, and it can be difficult to reach down into the tube spout to puncture the caulk tube seal open unless you have a long nail or coat hanger around.
These days, you will find another option on the shelves next to the ratchet-rod caulk gun. The smooth-rod dripless caulk gun can be found in most hardware and home improvement stores.
With this new type of gun, you can use pretty much any type of caulk including vinyl latex, acrylic, or silicone. The dripless caulk gun only needs half the amount of effort to squeeze, but it can give you a 10:1 thrust ratio, which makes dispensing caulk from a tube very easy.
Battery Powered versus Pneumatic
You will find that a battery-powered caulk gun will hold caulk the same way as a pneumatic, but you will need to push down on the trigger so that you can get a constant speed for the caulk to comes out. Stopping the flow or the speed of this type of caulking gun is really difficult. There are variable speed settings on some battery-operated caulking guns, but it only gives you one speed. If you want to adjust it, you have to stop and then start again.
A pneumatic caulk gun will hold all of the caulk bottle inside its sleeve. When you pull the trigger, air will go through the hose that is attached to the sleeve and push out the caulk with the pressure. As you release the trigger, air will no longer be pushed through, and it will release the amount of pressure it is under.
Features to Consider
- Easy Open
When you open up the seal on the caulk, you want the gun to be easy and fast. There are a few things to look for in the gun to make sure you get this feature. A seal punch that is designed to punch through the foil seal found on the inside of caulk is a feature that is often seen on caulking guns. A cutter can also come with the gun that lets you trim off the tip of the tube to the size you want. There are also some guns that come with an open rod that will go through the tube’s tip cutting your caulk to ensure that it is ready and clear to use.
- Open Frame
One way that manufacturer’s cut down on the weight of the caulking guns is to use an open frame design. Since it will only have a few rods that hold the caulk in place, you will have less material to weigh the gun down in comparison to those that come with a full sleeve. This makes the gun lightweight enough to carry around as you work since even just a little weight can weigh you down over time allowing you to be more comfortable as you work.
Typically, a basic caulk gun will be constructed of a lightweight metal. These days that is not always the case. Some gun machines are made out of plastic, which usually gives you an even lighter weight as well as some versatility. Usually, these caulking guns are also less expensive options that tend to be good quality, but not as long-lasting or durable as the metal options. It’s all a matter of preference to which will give you the best durability, price, and weight for your budget and needs.
- Thrust Ratio
You should be able to find the thrust ratio of a caulking in its online description or its packaging. The thrust ratio tells you how much force you can generate every time the hand trigger is squeezed. With a higher ratio, more force is being exerted with every squeeze. You need to know this number because there are different kinds of sealants that have varying degrees of viscid or thickness. With a thicker sealant, you will need to have more of a thrust ratio to dispense the sealant. Typically, thrust ratios will run from 3:1 to 28:1. If you have a gun with a lower ratio, it is suitable for dispensing thin types of caulk like latex or water-based caulk while a higher thrust ratio gun will work better for more viscous types of caulk like epoxy sealants.
- Revolving Frame
If you have to stop and start as you run a bead of caulk, you can end up with ugly bulges and lumps. It can be difficult to run a continual bead around a corner while also changing the angle of the gun as well as your hand position. If you have a revolving frame, all you have to do is rotate the frame as you round the corner, so you can continue to caulk without causing unsightly bumps.
- Built-in Attachments
It can be a pain to have to reach for your knife every time you need to open a can of sealant. Consider getting a caulking gun that comes with built-in accessories. With these attachments, you can choose from a variety of designs, but the best ones are usually the ones that don’t get in your way as you work. The winner of the caulking gun roundup is the Ryobi P310G Caulking Gun. This pistol grip caulking gun features 18 volts and is perfect for projects around the house. The Ryobi P310G Caulking Gun comes with a variable discharge rate and an ergonomically designed handle as well as great balance across the center of the tool to improve the gun’s accuracy.
This is an energy-efficient product that lets you dispense up to 200 tubes of caulk using just on 18-volt battery. With its balanced design, it is easy for any age use to use comfortably while the variable speed adjuster lets you dispense different sized beads allowing you to work on any type of sealing job without having to change your workflow. Plus, the onboard puncture tool lets you carry fewer tools to the job site than you need to. The definite winner of the best caulking gun roundup is the Ryobi P310G Caulking Gun hands down.