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Last updated: 03/05/2020

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Caulking guns have become an increasingly common item found in toolboxes. Not only are they incredibly useful for professionals, but also for amateurs and DIY fans who use them for a range of projects. Craft enthusiasts also find this tool to be a great addition to their toolkits.

Caulking guns are used to apply silicone in a precise manner. They are commonly used for sealing work, such as in bathrooms and other parts of the home. When the surface is sealed with a caulking gun, water will be unable to pass through it. These tools are also used to better insulate windows, so that wind and cold can’t get through. Keeping reading to learn more about this amazing tool!

Key Facts

  • In general, there are two kinds of caulking guns: heated or pressure guns. Pressure guns are largely used for construction work, plumbing and repair work. They’re bulkier and utilize cartridges containing silicone or acrylic. Heated guns, meanwhile, are usually smaller and are a great option for DIY projects.
  • Heated caulking guns utilize silicone or glue sticks. Consider the specific needs of your project prior to picking a caulking gun. Additionally, there are various kinds of cartridges that are distinguished by color. Each kind of cartridge is made for use with a specific type of material.
  • Heated guns require some time to warm up before use, so remember to turn them on ahead of time. Once hot, make sure not to touch any of the tool’s metal surfaces to avoid getting burned.

Our Selection: The Best Caulking Guns on the U.S. Market

In order to help you find the best caulking gun, we’ve put together a list of the very best options available on the American market. Each offers some unique characteristics, so consider them carefully before making your decision. We hope you’ll find the right tool for your needs!

The Best Caulking Gun Under $10

Newborn makes this bestselling drip-free hex rod caulking gun that users love. The Newborn 930-GTD features a steel half-barrel frame that fits 1/10-gal cartridges and a 10:1 thrust ratio. That means you can use it with low viscosity materials like latex. This tool also has a ratchet-style pressure rod that retracts following each trigger pull, which helps prevent unwanted dripping.

The Newborn 930-GTD also comes with a padded handle and trigger for added comfort and a welded plate on the back, which is good for securing your cartridges into place. Newborn is a US-based company founded in 1974 that manufacturers top-quality sealant and adhesive dispensers like this one. Get it on sale for $8.99, a 56% discount off the normal price!

The Best Air-Powered Caulking Gun

COX is a world leader when it comes to caulk guns and epoxy applicators. Their products are manufacturer in Michigan and England using processes that adhere to strict quality management and durability. Their COX 63002 Berkshire Calk Gun is a great option for more-serious users, as it tops $100.

This gun, which with a drawn aluminum barrel, features a true adjustable air regulator with a maximum 100 PSI. It’s compatible with a standard 29 ox. cartridge, and the cartridge plunger offers piston rod action for high efficiency.

The Best Cordless Caulking Gun

American brand DeWalt is known for making the toughest power and hand tools available, so their caulking gun is certainly a solid option. It’s not the cheapest model available, but if you’re willing to invest, then you won’t be disappointed.

The DeWalt 20V MAX features a variable speed trigger that will give you more control over the flow of whichever adhesive you’re using. It also allows you to set maximum and minimum flow rates. The gun also comes with an anti-drip feature that automatically retracts the plunging rod to avoid messes. Get all your projects done quickly, with this gun’s 10 oz capacity and 21 inches per minute speed. Do note that the battery is sold separately.

The Best Mid-Range Caulking Gun

For just under $50, you can get this sleek red caulking gun from Chicago Pneumatic. It’s not only easy to handle, but also comfortable to hold and lightweight. The CP9885 offers trigger-controlled material flow and accepts standard cartridges sized 2″ x 8-1/2″. Customers love that it doesn’t leave globs or beads of material, just even, great looking joints. It will save you time and money!

Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Should Know About Caulking Guns

Caulking guns have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. In part due to the rise of DIY, craftsmanship and craft projects, these tools have become an indispensable part of my toolkits. You should familiarize yourself with what caulking guns are and how they work prior to purchaing one. This section outlines everything you should know in order to make the right purchase.

Young repairman working at the kitchen

Caulking guns are especially useful for plumbing projects.
(Source: Amikishiyev: 71201551/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a caulking gun?

Caulking guns are tools used for joining together a range of objects and materials. For example, they are used to seal the joints of materials such as ceramics, stone and marble. In construction, caulking guns are used for plumbing work and repairs as well as for sealing windows once they have been properly positioned.

The guns have a trigger that is activated to exert pressure on a silicon or acrylic cartridge. The material is pushed out and it emerges from a nozzle. The user guides the gun, using the nozzle for precision. Some models heat the silicone or glue, which comes in the form of a stick.

What are the primary uses for caulking guns?

Caulking guns are primarily used for construction, especially to seal bathtubs, sinks and other bathroom parts. They are crucial to preventing water from leaking. They are also commonly used to fill the gaps between veneer and wall tiles. More recently, caulking guns have been increasingly used for DIY and craft projects.

They are particularly useful because they allow you to work with precision on a variety of materials.

What kinds of caulking guns are available?

There are essentially two kinds of caulking guns: heated and pressure guns. Pressure guns have long been used in construction and plumbing work. They have metal frames into which a silicone or acrylic cartridge is inserted. When a trigger is activated, the material in the cartrige passes through the nozzle and is extracted.

Heated guns, which are also known as glue guns, are mostly used for handicrafts and DIY. They are noticeably smaller and function by heating the silicone. The silicone comes in cylindrical sticks, which are heated and then pushed through the nozzle when a trigger is activated. Heated guns are lightweight and extremely precise.

Pressure caulking guns Heated caulking guns
Operation They work with acrylic or silicone cartridges. They have a trigger that pulls a hammer. They work with cylindrical sticks of glue or silicone. They heat the silicone.
Weight They are heavier, because they’re made from metal. They are usually lighter and made with plastic, with some electronic elements.
Size They are larger. This is due to the bigger size of the cartridges. They are smaller and lighter. They are about the size of a hand.
Price They are very affordable, with prices usually around 10 to 15 dollars. They are affordable. Still, you can find more costly models.
Purposes Filling and sealing joints. Glueing construction materials: ceramics, stone and wood. DIY projects, handicrafts, jewelry. Glueing things like plastic, leather or cardboard.

Why should I buy a caulking gun?

Caulking guns are affordable, versatile tools. They can be used for minor household repairs, but also for more complex, professional work. You will need to pick a specific model depending on how you plan to use it. Caulking guns are great for DIY projects and crafts. Below is a list of advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages
  • Versatile
  • Good for professional jobs
  • Home repairs and DIY
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • Very specific use
  • Can be dangerous
  • Can get dirty easily

How hot does a caulking gun get?

The temperature a caulking gun reaches is directly linked to the kind of silicone or glue used. Low-temperature rods heat up to 250°F. These are appropriate for handicrafts with fabric, wood or plastics. Low-temperature guns are usually cheaper, lightweight and easy to use.

Guns that use high-temperature silicone rods heat up to about 380ºF and have a more professional function. High-temperature silicone is thermosealant and offers a higher degree of adhesion. This kind of silicone is common in professional sealing jobs and for use with materials like ceramics or metal.

Closeup of glue gun on wooden table

There are two kinds of caulking guns; the smaller ones are best for craftwork.
(Source: Valery-Skurydin: 83784079/ 123rf.com)

How do I use my caulking gun?

Caulking guns are very easy use. Just put in the silicone cylinder or stick and squeeze the trigger. When using a heated gun, you will need to let it warm up, while pressure guns don’t need any additional time. Here an overview of how to use a caulking gun:

  • First, put the silicone stick or cartridge into the gun. 
  • The gun needs to be connected to a power supply in order to heat up as needed. You need to wait for a heated gun to warm up prior to working with it. Some guns heat up very quickly.
  • In the case of pressure guns, simply put the silicone cartridge in place and squeeze the trigger.
  • Once hot silicone has warmed up, just squeeze the trigger and guide the tip towards the desired location. To avoid a messy seal, press gently and move the tip to one side.
  • Place the other element quickly to avoid the silicone drying before you’re ready. Press for a few seconds and there you go! Done!

How can I avoid accidents while using a caulking gun?

Caulking guns are very simple to use, so you probably won’t have any issues with them. Nonetheless, accidents can happen and, with hot silicone, the result could be a burn. As always, there are some safety criteria that should be observed:

  • Avoid touching any metal surfaces on the gun while it’s hot.
  • Never leave the gun horizontally. Silicone can spill and dry out.
  • If the gun doesn’t have an automatic power off feature, make sure you don’t let it overheat. An overheated gun could cause a short circuit.
  • The metal tip of the pistol should not be placed on any inflammable materials.
  • Take care with silicone trickles and silicone, so that you don’t get burned.
glue gun

Caulking guns are very versatile tools.
(Source: Somchit: 94958644/ 123rf.com)

What can I glue using silicone?

Silicone sticks are made up of various kinds of adhesives. Silicone, which is usually white, is often used to seal joints and fill gaps between tiles. Other adhesives can be used for cardboard, fabric, leather, plastic, ceramics, wood, and more. Caulking guns are truly versatile!

Shopping Criteria

We will now go through a handful of important factors to keep in mind prior to purchasing a caulking gun. If you’re familiar with these important criteria, it will much easier to make a final decision.

Cable or Battery

Cable guns are usually much cheaper than guns with batteries. If you intend to use your caulking gun infrequently or you only need it for simple projects, we suggest a gun with a cable. They’re more affordable and functional.

If you want more freedom and don’t mind paying a bit more, then go for a battery-powered model. Paying more is sometimes worth it. This kind of gun is a better choice for professional or craft work.

Brand

You’ll find both brand names and companies you’ve never heard of selling caulking guns. Unfortunately, the quality and strength of the tool is often linked to the brand, and its price. We recommend that you look for a gun from a reliable brand when possible, since these tend to last longer.

Reputable brands provide high quality tools that have been tested by professionals. These brands use top-of-the-line materials. Cheaper guns are often made of weaker materials, so they can break more easily and may cause accidents.

Design

The design is also a crucial factor. In the photos, all guns may appear similar, but there are more differences that you might expect. Always go for a model that is comfortable to use and hold.

You should also be sure that inserting the silicone stick is simple and easy.

Reviews

It’s always a good idea to check the opinions and reviews left by other customers. With these, you can get an idea of how other people have used the tools and what they liked about them.

Thanks to the comments section, you can get a better idea of the advantages and disadvantages of each caulking gun model. In addition, you may see important aspects that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

Personal Use

Pressure caulking guns are most commonly used for repair or construction work. The cartridges are filled with white silicone and other kinds of acrylics. These guns are bigger and don’t offer as much accuracy. They are best for construction and plumbing, where they are used to seal and join parts.

Heated caulking guns are common in DIY, jewelry and crafts projects. They are smaller and more precise, which is preferred for working on small materials or objects. They are also great for making drawings or patterns using silicone or glue. Heated guns use glue or silicone sticks.

Power Button

You should check that a caulking gun has a power button. This offers extra security. Many guns get very hot when plugged in, which can be dangerous. The buttons have LED lights indicating that the power is on. There are also models that shut off automatically when they get too hot, which is a great feature to have.

Summary

Caulking guns are great tools for many different kinds of crafts and home repairs. They are used to glue together a range of materials like plastic, wood and ceramics. They are also ideal for DIY and home improvement projects, jewelry and small crafts projects.

Be sure to take into account the factors mentioned in the last section of this article when purchasing a caulking gun. Weight, materials, trigger and brand are key, as well as safety and intended use. Choose carefully!

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment with your thoughts or share it with your friends and family via social media. Thanks!

(Source of Featured Image: Amikishiyev: 108649049/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Jacob O'Connor Landscaping & D.I.Y. Expert
Jacob works in a landscaping company and deals with heavy equipment on a daily basis. In his free time, he loves to take care of anything that needs repairing in his family’s house and is always up to help his friends with their home projects