10 Best Caulking Guns of 2021 – Reviews, Top Picks & Guide
Caulking guns are a must-have for many types of activities. These nifty tools are perfect for sealing joints between two surfaces, which is needed in many different DIY projects.
There are many different caulking guns available on the market. You’d be surprised by the variety of guns available. Most are hand-powered, so you have to squeeze a hand trigger to release the caulk. However, you can also find powered caulking guns these days. Many of them come with tons of extra features as well. Despite their simple job, these guns are not so simple.
In this article, we’ll review some of the highest quality options on the market. We’ll also look at the essential features you need to keep in mind when purchasing these tools.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Ryobi P310G Variable Discharge Caulk||
|Best Value||Newborn Drip-Free Caulking Gun||
|Premium Choice||Makita XGC01Z Caulk & Adhesive Gun||
|Dripless Inc. Ergo Composite Caulk Gun||
|Albion Engineering Manual Cartridge Caulking Gun||
The 10 Best Caulking Guns – Reviews 2021
1. Ryobi P310G Variable Discharge Caulk – Best Overall
Out of all the caulking guns currently on the market, the Ryobi P310G Variable Discharge Caulk is your best option. It has up to 500 pounds of push force, allowing you to use it with many high viscosity sealants. This makes it extremely versatile. You can easily use it for a variety of different projects. It is also very energy efficient. It can dispense up to 200 tubes of caulk on a single charge. Thanks to the ergonomically designed pistol grip handle, the Ryobi is made to be very balanced. The weight is evenly distributed across the whole tool.
It has a variable speed adjuster, so you can change the dispensing speed to match your work speed. You won’t have to go slower than you may go otherwise or rush just to keep up with the caulk dispenser. We particularly liked that it has an onboard puncture tool.
This isn’t a very budget-friendly option, but it isn’t costly either. In this case, you’re getting what you pay for – a high-quality, mid-level caulking tool.
2. Newborn Drip-Free Caulking Gun – Best Value
If you’re looking for an extremely cheap caulking gun, the Newborn Drip-Free Caulking Gun may be the way to go. It is incredibly inexpensive but is still decently high-quality. It has a steel half-barrel and can be used with 1/10-gallon cartridges. It can only be used with low viscosity materials, which is why it did not make first place in this article. It is simply not as versatile and can not be used for all jobs.
This is a manual caulk gun, so you have to hold the trigger down the entire time. This can wear your hand out faster than you may consider, which can elongate how long it takes for you to finish your project. If you have to take a break every-so-often, your project will take longer to be completed.
However, for the price, this is a very high-quality tool. The smooth pressure rod requires little force and is very quiet. The rod retracts after each pull, preventing unnecessary dripping. The handle and trigger are very comfortable and padded, so you should feel comfortable while using them.
3. Makita XGC01Z Caulk & Adhesive Gun – Premium Choice
In comparison to most caulk guns, the Makita XGC01Z Caulk & Adhesive Gun is extremely expensive. Most caulk guns are under $50. However, this one will cost you about four times that much. You are getting what you pay for, though. There is not a higher quality gun with so many features on the market.
The built-in motor delivers 1,100 pounds of dispensing force, allowing you to work with high viscosity adhesives and other materials very quickly. It has a variable speed trigger, allowing you to optimize the flow rate without pausing your project. It has a 60-degree rotatable cartridge holder that fits 10-ounce and 300-ml cartridges. It has a drip-reduction feature. This feature automatically relieves the pressure on the material if you release the trigger. This prevents the machine from dispensing unintentionally.
Many users loved this gun. It is durable and can be used with practically any material. However, it is quite expensive. It is best suited for professionals who plan on doing a lot of caulking.
4. Dripless Inc. Ergo Composite Caulk Gun
The Dripless Inc. Ergo Composite Caulk Gun is a decent caulking gun. It is relatively inexpensive, though it isn’t the cheapest option on the market by any means. It may be a good budget option for some situations.
It is lightweight and designed to be used with 10-ounce. cartridges. It has a thrust ratio of 12:1, so you can use it with various materials. It only works amazingly with low viscosity materials, though. If the material is too thick, it will take a lot of grip strength to push it out. The revolving frame allows you to rotate the cartridges. This may seem like a useless feature, but it helps when you’re caulking around corners.
There is a small cutter on the tool’s side, allowing you to open cartridges without using another tool. This is a small but helpful feature that can save you a bit of time. It is designed to be used by contractors, so it can stand up to a lot of beating. We did like the ergonomic grip, which is very comfortable despite how it may look.
5. Albion Engineering Manual Cartridge Caulking Gun
The Albion Engineering Manual Cartridge Caulking Gun is a so-so caulking gun. It has a 26:1 thrust drive, which is much larger than most other options. This is likely why it is more expensive as well. Still, this caulking gun does have a manual trigger, so it requires a bit of grip strength to use correctly. The full-sized handle is very comfortable and makes holding the gun much more straightforward.
It has a built-in cartridge puncture wire, which allows you to open cartridges using the tool. It can handle higher viscosity materials thanks to its high thrust drive. However, this requires a lot of grip strength on your part.
We did find this gun quite heavy. This isn’t a huge deal, but it does become a problem when you’re using it for an extended period. It also seems to dispense the caulk faster than other tools, which takes some getting used to. Generally, you need to dispense less than you think you do. You also can’t easily use it with one hand.
6. Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Air Caulking Gun
There is a lot to like about the Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Air Caulking Gun. It is relatively lightweight. This allows you to use it for an extended time before your wrist begins to get tired. This means fewer breaks, which allows you to finish your project sooner. However, despite the low weight of this tool, it is also decently durable. Most homeowners should get plenty of uses out of it. It can be used with a wide variety of different materials as well.
It is a pneumatic option, which relies on your grip strength and air to dispense the material. This typically isn’t a problem, but it can make you tire out faster than a powered caulking gun might.
This tool is a bit expensive for what it is. It isn’t going to cost you as much as some other options, but it isn’t worth the price. You can get a higher quality gun for the same price, so you’re better off saving your money and choosing one of them.
The regulator it comes with is a bit finicky. Furthermore, you will need to purchase an air compressor to use with it.
7. Finder Silicone Caulking Gun
While the Finder Silicone Caulking Gun isn’t the worst caulking gun we reviewed, it isn’t the best one. It is compatible with the usual 10-ounce caulking tubes or cartridges. It has a spray-painted body that is anti-rust and decently durable. It probably doesn’t break after moderate usage, though it may not be suitable for professionals.
It is important to note that this gun is made out of plastic. While this does mean it is very lightweight, it also means that it isn’t as durable as the market’s metal options. It is excellent for regular DIY, but it will not be suitable for professionals who plan to use it often. The grip isn’t incredibly comfortable either. Instead, it doesn’t appear to be ergonomically designed by any means.
We did like that it has a hanging hole design, which may be useful for storage. Of course, not everyone is going to find this feature useful. If you don’t have hooks in your workshop, you probably will not appreciate this feature.
8. Caulk N’ Seal Revolving Frame Caulking Gun
There are a few reasons why the Caulk N’ Seal Revolving Frame Caulking Gun landed decently low on our list. It is described as having a high-thrust ratio. But this ratio isn’t provided by the manufacturer. For this reason, we are a little suspicious of that claim. It is made with heat-treated steel, making it decently durable. The smooth pressure rod requires little force to move, and it is not as noisy as the ratchet-style pressure rods. The thrust block is 10 millimeters, which is plenty thick to withstand a decent amount of wear-and-tear.
We did like that this caulking gun is pretty dripless. It does drip a little bit, but no caulking gun is perfect. It will drip less than many of the other guns on the market.
This caulking gun does have a seal punching rod. However, it is not long enough to puncture most caulking tubes. For this reason, it is pretty much worthless. Instead, you’ll have to carry around an extra tool to complete this task. It also doesn’t come with a hook, which makes storage a bit more complicated. It isn’t expensive, but we do think it is overpriced for what it offers.
9. PC Products Steel Dispensing Caulking Gun
The PC Products Steel Dispensing Caulking Gun does have a high thrust ratio of 26:1. This means you have to use less force to get the caulk to come out. You shouldn’t tire out very quickly while using it for this reason. It is made of steel, which makes it durable and robust. It also makes the gun a bit heavy, though, which you’ll need to keep in mind if you’re using it over a more extended period. It can be used with a lot of sealants, adhesives, and caulk. You’ll likely find that you can use it for many different projects.
With that said, we did find it a little challenging to use. The instructions are not clear in the least. The company assumes you’ve used one of these tools before, which isn’t always the case. It does not have any way to perforate the seal on the caulk, so you will need to carry around an extra tool for the job. This isn’t an essential missing feature, but it is standard among most guns these days.
10. BOUSH Sausage Caulking Gun
At first glance, the BOUSH Sausage Caulking Gun doesn’t look too bad. It is made of stainless steel – a decently durable material that also isn’t extremely heavy. It has an 18:1 thrust ratio. This isn’t the highest on the market, but it should be plenty for most uses. It has a rubber-coated handle that provides a very comfortable grip. You don’t have to worry about your hand fatiguing very quickly with this caulking gun.
Defects seem to be familiar with this gun, though. Many people reported that it just didn’t work at all, though not all of them could pinpoint why it wasn’t working. Many users reported pieces breaking off, which rendered the gun unusable after only a short period.
Despite the advertising, it doesn’t feel like this had a very high thrust ratio. It doesn’t seem properly able to handle thicker materials for this reason. Shipping problems are common as well, as the caulking gun is not packed safely into place. It tends to dent while shipping, which can make the gun useless upon arrival.
These tools have a relatively simple job. However, they can be a bit more complicated than you might think. Many features go into a good caulk gun.
In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the more essential features you need to look out for when purchasing a caulk gun.
Types of Caulking Guns
There are two main types of caulking guns: un-powered and powered.
Powered tools either use electricity (usually in the form of batteries) or air. Most that require batteries come with rechargeable batteries, but you should always double-check before making your purchase. Batteries can be quite expensive and can bump up the cost rather excessively.
The pneumatic options require an air compressor. If you don’t have an appropriate one, you will need to purchase one. These can be decently expensive, so be sure to factor that into your cost.
This is a tiny feature, but it is one we highly recommend keeping an eye out for. Many models come with a sharp edge that allows you to break the seal on the caulk quickly. This saves you time when you’re working and eliminates the need for you to carry around an extra tool – or dig an extra tool out of your pocket every few minutes.
This is a relatively simple feature that many caulking guns come with today. However, there are still many on the market that don’t come with this feature. For this reason, we recommend checking to ensure your gun does come with this relatively simple feature.
Most caulking guns were once made out of some kind of lightweight metal. However, this is not the case anymore. There are now many materials these guns can be made out of. For instance, plastic is used sometimes. It is lighter but also less durable. They are also relatively inexpensive, even when compared to guns made of cheaper metals.
Which material you choose depends on your situation. Metal is heavier but is more durable. Plastic is lightweight but tends to break easier. In the end, it depends on what you’re looking for. We recommend checking the material the gun is made out of before purchasing it, just to ensure you know what you’re getting.
Can you caulk without a gun?
You can apply squeeze-tube-style caulk without a gun. However, this takes much longer than it would with a gun. For this reason, we highly recommend purchasing a caulking gun if you plan on doing any sort of extensive caulking.
Are caulking guns expensive?
Not particularly. You can find many guns for very cheap – less than $10 in some situations. Still, other guns can cost hundreds of dollars. The price ranges a lot on these tools. Typically, powered tools are more expensive than the traditional ones that rely on your strength alone. Extra features can also push the cost of the gun up substantially.
When purchasing a caulking gun, there is a lot you need to keep in mind. The best tool you purchase largely depends on you. Your budget and the exact caulk you’re using will determine which caulking gun is perfect for your situation. You’ll also need to keep the material and type of gun in mind, as these are more suitable for some situations than others.
The Ryobi P310G Variable Discharge Caulk is an excellent battery-powered option that we recommend to most homeowners and professionals. It has a very long battery life and has a lot of pushing power, so you should be able to use it with various materials.
For those who need to spend as little as possible, we also like the Newborn Drip-Free Caulking Gun. It is incredibly inexpensive despite being well-made. It is perfect for one-off projects where you don’t plan on caulking again for a long time.
Hopefully, this article helped you figure out exactly which caulking gun is best for you.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 10 Best Caulking Guns – Reviews 2021
- 2.1 1. Ryobi P310G Variable Discharge Caulk – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Newborn Drip-Free Caulking Gun – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Makita XGC01Z Caulk & Adhesive Gun – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Dripless Inc. Ergo Composite Caulk Gun
- 2.5 5. Albion Engineering Manual Cartridge Caulking Gun
- 2.6 6. Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Air Caulking Gun
- 2.7 7. Finder Silicone Caulking Gun
- 2.8 8. Caulk N’ Seal Revolving Frame Caulking Gun
- 2.9 9. PC Products Steel Dispensing Caulking Gun
- 2.10 10. BOUSH Sausage Caulking Gun
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 FAQ
- 5 Conclusion