LAST UPDATED: September 19, 2019
Best Caulking Guns: Seal Joints Between Surfaces Seamlessly
Seal cracks and joints smoothly and quickly with these top quality caulking guns
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON September 19, 2019
At times, your home develops cracks which might let in pests or interfere with your heating and cooling system. To get rid of these cracks, you need the best caulk or sealant. However, applying this caulk becomes another problem due to its high adhesive properties. Luckily, there is a tool that can help you apply it smoothly and seamlessly—the caulking gun. Here we have reviewed several of the best caulking guns on the market to aid in selection.
With a thrust ratio of 18:1, this gun is efficient for use with acrylic, adhesives, asphalt, butyl, and cement. It features a revolving frame that allows cartridge rotation for easy caulking around corners.
It features a smooth pressure rod for easy, quieter, and hassle-free caulking. It has multiple applications and it is easy to use. It features steel construction with a zinc alloy handle and trigger for enhanced durability.
Some users say that the tool has a dipping problem. It is also pricey and a bit heavy for extended use.
This tool features Albion's Double-Gripping Plate technology for durability. It handles high viscosity and thicker materials easily. It gets into tight places and is easy to use.
More expensive than other models. Also, it is a bit heavy, and its efficiency deteriorates over time.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Caulking Guns
- Faster seam sealing. A caulking gun makes the process of joint sealing much easier and quicker. This is because most high-quality caulking guns have very soft triggers that allow you to inject the right amount of sealant with little to no strain. Additionally, most of these devices feature an ergonomic design that allows for comfortable handling, making it easier and faster to use.
- Higher precision. These devices have specialized nozzles and mechanisms that allow you to dispense the sealant precisely on the joints, thus ensuring a clean surface. Also, you can set your caulking gun to control the flow of caulk to avoid dripping on the area where it is not required.
- Reduce waste. A caulking gun eliminates drips and controls the amount of caulk that you can use due to its precision. A standard caulking gun uses a tube measuring 10 to 14 ounces, which makes it economical. Also, some of these devices have a rod that retracts automatically after every pull to prevent dripping.
- Multipurpose. A quality caulking gun can be used in multiple places that require seam sealing. It can be used to seal joints on your bathroom door, car windows, boat, and also on wooden surfaces. A caulking gun tube allows for easy cleaning when changing sealant for a new project, which makes the transition easier.
Types of Caulking Guns
These are the traditional caulk guns with a 5:1 thrust ratio. The caulk gun comes with a ragged pushrod that you can pull to push the caulk out of the tube. These types of caulking guns work on pressure-based technology. You can easily pull back the push rod if you want to stop or start using the caulking gun for seaming your door or window. Controlling the caulk flow on this type of caulk gun is a bit challenging if you are a beginner. If you want to release the seal from the caulk cartridge, then you must open it with a knife.
Electric vs. Manual
Electrical caulking guns are the best type of caulking gun due to their ease of use and specialized mechanisms. Some use rechargeable batteries for power, while others are plugged directly into a socket. If you intend to work on a big project, then an electric caulking gun suits you better because it is much easier to operate and allows high precision caulking on any project. On the other hand, manual caulking guns use pressure triggers to start and stop. They don’t require electricity to function, and they are best suited for small projects.
Drip vs. Drip-Free
Drip-free smooth rod caulking guns are some of the most common caulking guns. The caulk guns come with a thrust ratio of more than 10:1, which makes it easier to push the caulk out with little pressure. The smooth rod on the caulking gun comes with a spring that will push the pressure rod to release the sealant smoothly. You can control the amount of caulk coming out of the machine by regulating the pressure on the trigger. Drip caulking guns are those that have lower precision tips. They come with low-quality rods and are suitable for home use only.
Albion Engineering Company
Albion Engineering is one of the best companies that manufactures quality caulking guns for commercial and home use. The company has its headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is famous for producing good-quality dispensing products and related accessories. Some of its products include the Albion Engineering Manual Cartridge Caulking Gun and Albion Engineering B12S20 B-Line Manual Sausage Caulking Gun. All products come with a detailed user guide and product warranty.
Since its establishment in 1974, Newborn Brothers has gained an excellent reputation in the manufacturing industry for its quality and affordable dispensing products and accessories. It has its head offices and production facility in Jessup, Maryland. The company offers products such as the Newborn Super Smooth Rod Revolving Frame Caulking Gun. Newborn Brothers provides a warranty on all of its products.
Dripless, Inc. stands out in the industry for its quality caulking guns and other related products. The company was established in 1991 and has grown to be one of the best manufacturers of quality dispensing products for both professional and home use. It has its production facility in Santa Rosa, California. Some of its best selling products include the Dripless Inc. ETS2000 Ergo Composite Caulk Gun and Dripless 10oz Industrial Ergonomic Composite Caulk Gun
Best Caulking Guns Pricing
- Under $30: Caulking guns in this category are some of the most affordable you can find within a fixed budget. In this category are traditional caulking guns that use pressure pull and ragged rods. These caulking guns are not suitable for commercial use because they are a bit slow, and they have the lowest thrust ratio.
- $30-$50: In this category you will find caulking guns with an average thrust ratio for efficient caulk dispensing. They can either be electric or manual. These caulking guns are suitable for medium projects and home usage.
- Over $50: This is where you will find the most sophisticated caulking guns. Products in this price range are mostly electric and come with the highest thrust ratio. They are multipurpose and can be useful in handling large-scale projects.
Thrust ratio is a key feature in a quality caulking gun that every buyer must consider. It determines where you can use the device or the type of material you can caulk. Caulking guns with high thrust ratio are more efficient and faster than other types. You can use them to handle caulks with higher viscosity.
Caulking guns differ on the quality of their pressure rods. Traditional ratchet caulking guns come with ragged pressure rods, while modern electrical devices have smoother rods. When choosing a caulking gun, ensure that the pressure rod can release the pressure on the plunger fast enough to start and stop the flow of the sealant.
Lighter caulking guns are the best for frequent caulking. They reduce wrist fatigue and strain on your hands when you are working all day. The material used on the caulking gun should be lightweight to help in the control of movement and precision angle. If you have a larger-scale seaming project, it is more comfortable working with a lighter caulking gun than using a heavier one.
- Price: You can use the price of a product to determine its value, but not all cheap caulking guns are low quality. However, most expensive caulking guns come with features that make them suitable for heavy commercial caulking. You are likely to spend more than $40 on a high-quality caulking gun
- Dripping: A caulking gun should be drip-free, which means it should stop releasing the caulk when you stop pulling the trigger. This way, you can reduce waste when seaming. It is a bit difficult to use a dripping caulking gun on some outdoor tasks if you are a beginner.
- Accuracy: This is the ability of a caulking gun to put caulk in a specific area without waste. Precision and accuracy are essential factors to consider when you are choosing a quality caulking gun. It determines the nature of work you can do with this kind of tool.
Best Caulking Guns Reviews & Recommendations
This caulking gun comes with an 18:1 thrust ratio, which makes it a suitable tool for heavy-duty caulking. It only requires a little pressure on the trigger to release the sealant. You can use this caulking gun in multiple areas because it has an easy-to-clean design. It comes with a steel frame.
This caulking gun makes your caulking task more comfortable because it comes with a smooth pressure rod. With a little pull on the trigger, it releases the caulk. The handle is made of zinc alloy that lasts longer than other materials, it withstands harsh weather, and it is rust- and corrosion-resistant.
Although it looks okay when packed, some users report that the caulking gun has some dripping issues, which makes it unfit for beginners. Also, it is a bit heavy, and therefore is unsuitable for all-day commercial caulking.
This Newborn Caulking Gun is excellent for home use. The caulking gun comes with all the features that you need in a quality device, such as an efficient thrust ratio of 10:1 and a seal puncture tool. The thrust ratio makes it more comfortable and easier to use on low viscosity sealants.
This caulking gun is drip-free. It retracts quickly when you pull the trigger to stop the sealant from dripping, hence avoiding waste. Also, it is lightweight and comes with a padded handle and trigger, which make it more comfortable to use.
However, the trigger is a bit stiff, so it can be more difficult to load the sealant. Also, if you want to use a caulking gun on a larger seaming project, this is not your best option. The caulking gun has a lower thrust ratio, which makes it unfavorable for heavy-duty caulking.
This caulking gun comes with a thrust ratio of 26:1, which makes it suitable for heavy-duty sealing. You can use the caulking gun with many sealants because it has a 1/10 gallon cartridge. It also comes with a quality half-cradle carriage that ensures your caulking is hassle-free. The full-sized handle is comfortable to use when caulking.
The thrust ratio on this tool enables it to handle high viscous sealants with much ease; you can just apply a little pressure on the trigger, and the caulking gun releases the sealant with precision. The caulking gun has an accurate tip that helps you to seal tight places without wasting much sealant.
Like most Albion caulking guns, this one is a bit expensive if you are on a fixed budget. Also, its efficiency and productivity can drop over time as the pressure rod and other parts wear out. In addition, the device is a bit heavy, which increases wrist fatigue if you have to use it all day.
- To ensure clean caulking, ensure you purchase a tool with the dripless feature. Note that even a small drip can make a mess of your caulking area.
- Your caulking gun should have smooth and even pressure to ensure a balanced application of the caulk. Also, ensure your gun has a pressure release system for dispensing the correct amount of sealant without waste.
- To keep the caulking work simple and clean, go for a tool with a seal breaker and tube tip cutter. These two simple features will ensure your working area is less messy.
Q: Why would I need a caulking gun?
A: Although you can apply caulk without a caulking gun, it is necessary to have this tool to make work easier, better-looking, and cleaner. A caulking gun can also help apply any sealant effectively to achieve waterproof surfaces and create the desired finish.
Q: What is the thrust ratio in a caulking gun?
A: This refers to the efficiency or the performance of a caulk gun. It shows how easily you can use your tool without excessive pressure on the trigger. The higher the ratio, the better the performance of the gun
Q: How do I maintain my caulking gun?
A: You can best maintain your caulking gun by cleaning it with a wet cloth and allowing it to dry before storing it in a cool dry place to prevent rusting. Also, ensure it is lubricated properly if it is manual.
We recommend the Newborn Super Smooth Rod Revolving Frame Caulking Gun because it is efficient, easy to use, and durable.
For a pocket-friendly caulking gun, consider the Newborn Drip-Free Smooth Hex Rod Cradle Caulking Gun. It is efficient, ergonomic, lightweight, and does not drip.