If you build homes for a living, or perhaps you’re just starting a one-time flooring project at your new house, you’d want some sort of caulking gun that will do the job, produce the perfect caulk bead and cause the least mess possible. If you just have the odd small job to do then a manual trigger one will work perfectly fine.
But if you going to spend many hours pumping the material out by hand then this will cause some pain. The solution is to buy an air or battery powered device. You will see on this page exactly why they are so beneficial. And you can scroll down to find out what the best models are, and what they are best used for.
Here are the 10 best caulking guns that you can buy in 2018.
Top 10 Best Caulking Guns Of 2018 Compared
Table of Contents
- 1. Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Air Caulking Gun
- 2. Albion 365-2 Air-Powered Standard Line
- 3. Dripless ETS5000: Best Caulking Gun Available
- 4. Newborn 250 Super Smooth Rod Revolving Frame Caulking Gun, 1/10-Gallon Cartridge Capacity, 18:1 Thrust Ratio
- 5. Newborn 188 Super Ratchet Rod Cradle Caulking Gun, 1/10 Gallon Cartridge, 6:1 Thrust Ratio
- 6. Campbell Hausfeld Air Powered Caulk Gun (PL155800AV)
- 7.Wagner Power Products 0287040 PowerCaulk 740 Variable Speed: Best Cordless Caulking Gun
- 8. Ridgid 51887 / DS110 PowerPush Air-Powered Material Dispenser
- 9. Caulk Master PG100 1/10th Gallon Cartridge Air Caulking Gun
- 10. Caulk Master PG151 Professional Air Powered Dispensing Gun
- Introduction To Caulking Guns
- What Is A Caulking Gun?
- Best Caulking Gun Review: Conclusion
1. Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Air Caulking Gun
This caulking gun offers a trigger controlled material flow. It accepts standard cartridges: 2″ x 8-1/2″ (50mm x 210mm) and comes with an air flow regulator included. It’s ideal for sealing joints on wood, composite, glass, rubber and plastic materials.
- Easy to handle
- Nice smooth operation
- Lightweight and will not cause cramps in the arms
- Quickly and smoothly applies a line of caulk
- Everyone can use it
- The plastic trigger is not very well made
- Might take a little while to get the air pressure adjusted
2. Albion 365-2 Air-Powered Standard Line
This Albion caulking gun comes unsprouted with a front cap / nozzle. It works great for high volume or industrial applications. The tool generates a 120 psi pressure, the barrel diameter is 2.625 inches, and the barrel length is 12 ⅜ inches.
- Really easy to use
- Well made
- For both DIY-ers and professionals
- Doesn’t seem to last as long as the others
3. Dripless ETS5000: Best Caulking Gun Available
This is one of the best dripless caulk gun options you can buy. With a composite revolving frame that fits 1/4-gal. cartridges and a 18:1 thrust ratio for use with silicone, latex, drywall, subfloor adhesives, polyurethanes and concrete masonry and roofing sealants. The tool has both drip and non-drip settings; on the non-drip setting, the rod retracts after each pull of the trigger, removing pressure from the tube to help prevent dripping.
The revolving frame allows the barrel to rotate for maintaining the same bead orientation when caulking around corners. The hook on the back allows it to hang on a ladder, and a seal puncture tool and a spout cutter are built into the side of the gun for opening cartridges without a knife.
- High quality
- Very sturdy
- Ability to switch the “dripless” feature off and on
- Easy to squeeze
- Doesn’t drip
- Release button can be easily pushed with thumb
- Best dripless caulking gun
- A bit costly
- Dripless function might not work with the thinner caulk
4. Newborn 250 Super Smooth Rod Revolving Frame Caulking Gun, 1/10-Gallon Cartridge Capacity, 18:1 Thrust Ratio
This caulking gun has a steel revolving frame that fits 1/10-gal. cartridges and has an 18:1 thrust ratio for use with acrylic, adhesives, asphalt, butyl and cement. The revolving frame allows the barrel to rotate for maintaining the same bead orientation when caulking around corners.
The smooth pressure rod requires less force and is quieter than a ratchet-style pressure rod. The zinc alloy handle and trigger provide corrosion resistance and a seal puncture tool and a spout cutter are built into the side of gun for opening cartridges without a knife.
- Very well made
- Will last a long time
- Very good tip cutter
- The action is extremely smooth
- The barrel turns easily
- Very low effort
- Large pressure release button fall right under the thumb for fast access
- It’s not dripless, you have to press the release button each time to get it to stop
5. Newborn 188 Super Ratchet Rod Cradle Caulking Gun, 1/10 Gallon Cartridge, 6:1 Thrust Ratio
This caulking gun has a steel half-barrel frame that fits 1/10-gal. cartridges and has a 6:1 thrust ratio for use with medium viscosity materials such as silicone. The ratchet-style pressure rod has teeth that hold the rod in place after each pull of the trigger. For thinner materials, this helps minimize drips.
There is a welded plate in the back for securing the cartridge in place. The hook on the back allows it to hang on a ladder, and a seal puncture tool and a spout cutter are built into the side of the gun for opening cartridges without a knife.
- Easy to use
- Very well made
- Ratchet Rod for easy dispensing
- Tip Cutter
- Seal Puncture Rod
- Hook Hanger
- 6:1 Thrust ratio
- Minimal Drips
- The handle is not so comfortable
- Not suitable for light caulkins like painters caulk
6. Campbell Hausfeld Air Powered Caulk Gun (PL155800AV)
This caulk gun uses standard cartridges, smoothly dispensing material and quickly stopping flow when the trigger is released. Weighing in at under three pounds, the PL155800AV is easy to carry and operate. Dispenses 10.1 fluid ounces and uses 1-5/16 inch (diameter) by 8.5 inch cartridges.
- High quality, will last really long
- Very tough
- Really easy to use
- Quickly and smoothly applies a line of caulk
- Affordable price
- Trigger requires force to operate and can be tiring to the hands
- The trigger is not variable, so you can’t control flow at the trigger
- It’s a little heavy
7.Wagner Power Products 0287040 PowerCaulk 740 Variable Speed: Best Cordless Caulking Gun
This is a powered caulking gun with the added convenience of being cordless. It holds a 10.5 oz. tube and produces an adjustable flow rate of 23 ft./minute (high) to 12 ft./minute (low). With its lightweight design, it only weighs 3 lbs. The tool features a metal barrel, a tube seal puncture tool, polymer housing, rechargeable battery and 120 Volt charger that allows you to apply up to 30 tubes on one charge, while the normal recharging time is 6 hours.
- Convenient cordless design
- Weighs only 3 lbs
- Comes with a rechargeable battery and a 120 Volt charger
- Up to 30 tubes on one charge
- Really easy to use
- Saves a lot of pressure on the hands
- Recharging takes 6 hours
- Doesn’t come with an additional second battery
8. Ridgid 51887 / DS110 PowerPush Air-Powered Material Dispenser
This air-powered material dispenser distributes heavy-duty adhesives, sealants, and industrial caulks quickly and with little effort. The dispenser is durable, lightweight, and comfortable to use, reducing operator fatigue. It can be operated from either a shop or jobsite compressor.
The built-in air regulator adjusts material flow. Light trigger pressure “power pushes” viscous material, while a quick-release trigger stops material flow and reduces drips. Air hose and fittings are not included though.
- It’s easy to use
- Runs a nice controlled flow of caulk
- It’s very easy to set up the variable flow rate
- Great for Pros and DIY-ers
- Durable and lightweight
- Can be operated from either a shop or jobsite compressor
- Needs a little practice before mastering it
- Air hose not included
9. Caulk Master PG100 1/10th Gallon Cartridge Air Caulking Gun
Another great tool for both DIY-ers and pros, this trigger mechanism gives you the exact amount of caulk, sealant, or adhesive you need so you can dispense material at a smooth, steady pace. Once you stop squeezing the trigger, the flow stops immediately. It comes with a 3 ft air hose with 1/4″ NPT fitting. The gun weighs 14.5 ounces.
- Perfect, fine bead with little effort
- Great for softer products
- It only uses air when you release the trigger and it releases air pressure from the gun
- The operating demands are very small
- Very low air consumption in constant operation
- Very easy to operate off of any compressor
- Made in the USA
- Takes a bit of experimenting and practice to get the pressure right
- Occasionally spits an air bubble when you get close to the end of the tube
- The hose coupling can be a bit tricky to use
10. Caulk Master PG151 Professional Air Powered Dispensing Gun
This Air Powered Dispensing Gun is designed for both the professional user or the DIY-er. It gives a great level of control and the patented trigger mechanism gives you the exact amount of caulk, sealant or adhesive you need so you can dispense material at a smooth, steady pace. Unique twist lock bayonet barrel mount of this gun makes the insertion and removal of cartridges easy and convenient.
- Will save a lot of stress on the hands and wrists usually experienced with a manual gun
- Perfect for people with smaller hands
- Very durable and well made
- Really easy to use
- Comes with two gaskets (different thicknesses)
- You will need to experiment depending on viscosity of compound
- You will have to trim down big tubes
- You will need some strength to lock in place
- Has trouble with caulking continuing to run after the trigger is released
Introduction To Caulking Guns
What Is A Caulking Gun?
Before you choose the best caulking gun you might want to find out more about what it is. Essentially it is a tool that you use to apply caulk, silicone and other tubed products in bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere else that they are needed. It can be used to secure wallboard to walls and to secure a waterproof seal around a bathtub, shower or sink area.
You can find them in home improvement and hardware stores and specialty shops where they sell plumbing and other home improvement products. The best manual caulking gun products are reasonably priced and available anywhere that you would buy home improvement items.
What Kinds Of Caulking Guns Are Available?
There are a few different kinds of caulking guns. They aren’t overly expensive and typically you can find them for as little as $10 to $15 for manually powered ones.
There is a ratchet type caulk gun and this is the most often used style. These are the original type of caulking gun. Inexpensive and affordable most people opt for this type of caulking gun.
The other type of caulking gun is called a smooth rod dripless caulking gun and it’s easier to use. It works equally well with any type of caulk or tubed product. It is far easier to use the trigger on this tool as it requires only half the effort to press the lever.
The above products are powered devices and do cost a bit more. But if you are going to be using the tool a lot then an air or battery powered device is ideal. It will save you a lot of pain in your hands. And will provide a continuously smooth dispensing.
What Are They Used For?
These tools are common and are used for applying caulk, silicone, and other products that are used to seal or secure things for plumbing and a few other household improvements.
They can also be used to apply things like liquid nails and other adhesives to secure wallboard to the walls. They are used to apply sealers or adhesives to walls, around tub and shower enclosures and sink areas.
It really is a versatile tool that wouldn’t be uncommon in carpentry. When fitting floor boards securely. This can help avoid any movement once they are set in place.
What Materials Can You Load?
Any product that is sold in tube form such as caulk, sealants, liquid nails and so on can easily be used in a caulking gun. One of the most common materials is silicone and it’s use is endless. You will regularly encounter situations where you need to create tight seal.
How Do You Load A Caulking Gun?
To load the tool you’ll need to locate the trigger at the rear and release it with your thumb. Then, you’ll extend the plunger all the way toward the back of the gun in order to get your tube into position.
Placing the nozzle end of the tube toward the front, you lay it into the “tray” that you’ve exposed when you pull the plunger to the back. Settle it in comfortably before you do anything else. It may require a bit of jostling or maneuvering to make it fit right. Each tube is slightly different and this is normal.
Gently press the plunger to the end of the tube so that you can use it when you’re ready.
Now, all that you need to do is to cut the tip of the plastic point on the tube that you’ve installed and then pierce it with the “needle” that is attached to your caulking gun. You may have to press very hard to break the seal here.
How Do You Use It Once Loaded?
Keeping the tip of your caulking tool at a 45-degree angle place it in the gap or the location where you plan to use it. If it’s the side of the bathtub or shower area make sure to start on one side and work your way around in an even motion not breaking the bead as you go.
If you break the bead you’ll have a gap in your coverage so be sure to go back to this area and smooth it out with the tip of the gun and ensure that you have a complete seal so that it will be water tight.
If you’re using it to apply liquid nails to adhere something to the wall, be sure that you start at the top and work your way down the wall in zig zag type motions.
Make sure that you get the edges as well. Use a smoothing tool or a lightweight rolling pin to “roll” the wallboard to the wall as you go. This will help you to avoid gaps and smooth the coverage out.
Tips And Tricks
When using your caulking gun, keep firm and even pressure on the trigger to ensure that your coverage is all even. Avoid stopping and starting as much as possible as this will result in an uneven look.
Keep a damp rag handy to wipe up any excess as you caulk around the edges of your tub and shower or sink. If you’re using it to apply liquid nails to a wall use the damp rag to wipe up the excess from the edges as you press the wallboard to the wall.
Always leave the cap on the back of the tube of caulk or silicone or liquid nails as this is where the plunger is going to be applying pressure and you don’t want the tube to break open at the end when you’re finished using it.
Sometimes you’ll run across a tube that is too long for your specific type of caulking gun. You can use an Exacto knife and cut your tube to fit. If you are really skilled you can save the remainder of the tube to refill the original part of the tube and save the excess. To do this, you’ll have to wrap it tightly in plastic and plan to use it up as soon as possible.
If you’ve finished caulking and you still have some remaining, you can put a nail or screw into the end of the caulk and tape it to create a seal in plastic. Plan to use it up in a few short months.
To release your caulk tube, do the installation in reverse. To release the trigger, you’ll need to press the lock lever and gradually pull the rod back millimeter by millimeter until you feel it release the pressure.
Caulk will typically tell you on the side of the tube how long it will take to completely dry before you can use your tub or shower or sink. When in doubt it’s wise to wait for 24 hours before using them. This allows it to completely dry and you won’t have to worry about any water damage after this point in time.
The speed of the caulk coming out of the tube is in direct relation to how fast you’re moving the tube when you’re applying the product. On powered devices, you can set the speed manually. It’s always best to test this out before you get started.
You can use your finger to spread the caulk out more if you get too much in one area and not enough in another area. This will help you to keep your application smooth and even, as you apply it to your project. Again, keep a damp rag handy for your fingers or to wipe up any overages that you inadvertently apply.
If you’re using silicone you may need a larger opening in the tip of your tube. To enlarge the opening use your tool that you used to open it up and gradually enlarge the hole at the tip. Do this slowly and gradually and try it a little bit so that you don’t enlarge it too much and wind up with way too much product on your project.
Best Caulking Gun Review: Conclusion
Choosing a high quality, well made caulking gun that will always manage to quickly and smoothly apply a line of caulk is no easy task. It’s hard to actually judge how well-made and sturdy it is especially if you’re buying online. This guide will point you in the right direction of some high quality air powered caulking guns to choose from. If we had to choose one as the top pick, it will have to be the Chicago Pneumatic. It is extremely affordable, does the job well and is really durable and well made.
This concludes our best caulking gun review. Let us know in the comments below what you think!