Caulking guns are the handheld tools used to apply caulk, a sealant that prevents water and air leaks between two surfaces — like around your bathtub or sink. Their pistol-style design makes it easy to switch in and out caulk packaging, and also allows you to precisely create neat and even beads of caulk, leaving you with a clean and professional-looking result. Most caulk guns are powered manually — by the user squeezing a trigger — but they’re also available in pneumatic, electric, and battery-powered options. These automatic options tend to be more expensive, but they do require much less effort to operate.
What to Consider
First of all, think about what kind of caulk, sealant, or adhesive you’re going to be using. These materials can come in different viscosities, so you’ll want to make sure your gun is able to generate the pressure necessary to push the material out of the tube. Luckily, most caulk guns clearly state this “thrust ratio” on their packaging, and a general rule of thumb is the higher the thrust ratio, the higher the viscosity they can handle. It’s worth noting that if your caulking project is very small, you may want to forgo a caulk gun and simply purchase a tube of caulk instead.
How We Selected
We’ve used countless caulk guns in our career, in a variety of projects, from sealing bathrooms and kitchen appliances, to using liquid adhesives on heavy-duty construction projects. This experience, combined with feedback from experts we reached out to and additional online research, helped us curate this list of the best caulk guns you can buy. We made sure to include a range of styles in our picks, including models that use traditional caulk cartridges, as well as those that are designed to accept sausage packs of caulk, so regardless of the material you’re using, you should find something that works for you.
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Newborn 930-GTD Smooth Hex Rod Caulking Gun
If you’re looking for an affordable caulk gun that won’t let you down, this Newborn model could be just what you’re looking for. Its rubber-padded handle and trigger make for comfortable operation, and should help cut down on hand cramping and fatigue. Its 10:1 thrust ratio isn’t the highest on our list, so it won’t be suited for extra-thick material, but if you know you’ll only be using a low viscosity product, that shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Despite this low price, this gun still has an anti-drip mechanism, and retracts the rod after each trigger pull to prevent wasted material.
- Steel construction
- Convenient spout cutter
- Not for use with extra-thick material
Best Extra-Long Option
Tajima CNV-100RS Convoy RS Caulk Gun
A dual thrusting system allows you to choose between either 16:1 or 8:1 thrust ratios, making this gun more versatile than most. The steel welded barrel is nice and durable, and should handle drops and falls a bit better than other models. This extra-long barrel also allows for easy tube reloads, which makes this option well-suited for large projects that will go through a lot of material. It’s one of the more expensive guns on our list, but if you’re looking for maximum control with the comfort of an extended barrel, this could be a great fit.
- Adjustable thrust ratio
- 360-degree rotating handle
- Pricier than most options
Best Budget Option
Red Devil 3936 Drip-Free Caulk Gun
Even though this gun costs less than $7, it still gives you the perks of a more expensive model, like a seal punch, ladder hook, and spout cutter, all integrated into the unit itself. It’s compatible with any tube size from 8 to 11 ounces, and due to its low thrust ratio, is best-suited to handle light- to medium-viscosity material. If you don’t have the budget for a higher-end choice, or you want to purchase multiple units to outfit an entire contracting team, this Red Devil gun might be just what you’re looking for.
- Affordable price
- Sturdy construction
Best for Extra-Viscous Material
Red Devil 3989 Extreme Duty Caulk Gun
The impressive 26:1 thrust ratio of this Red Devil caulk gun generates 950 pounds of force, making it perfect for those who plan on using it for high-viscous material like epoxies or hybrid adhesives.
The revolving barrel also allows users to maneuver the gun into tight or awkward areas, and the rubber coating on the trigger, as well as the push-release lever, allow you to keep a solid grip as you work. This gun is also designed to minimize mess and wasted material, and quickly stops the flow as soon as you release the lever.
- Ergonomic trigger
- Ladder hook
Best Battery-Powered Option
Milwaukee 2441-20 Electric Cordless Caulk Gun
If you own other 12-vault Milwaukee tools, and already have a few batteries on hand, this electric gun might be a convenient addition. It’s a bit heavy at 4.51 pounds, but the energy saved from not having to pump a handle all day might be worth that extra weight. We appreciate the oversized hook, too, making it easy to hang from a ladder or your tool belt when you’re not using it. This model is designed to work with 10-ounce cartridges, but a separate conversion kit is available to make it compatible with 20-ounce sausage packs.
- Rotating collar
- Generates 400 pounds of force
- Does not include battery pack
Best for Sausage Packs
Newborn Sausage Pack Caulk Gun
If you prefer to use sausage packs vs traditional caulk cartridges, you’ll need a specific type of gun to do it, like this heavy-duty Newborn model. It has a 24-ounce capacity, and includes three plastic cone nozzles to get you started. If you find yourself needing to switch back to cartridges, this gun can also accept those as well, which is always a convenient feature.
We also like how this gun is available in a wide variety of colors, which can be handy if you’re working with others and don’t want anyone accidentally walking off with yours.
- Accepts both sausage and traditional cartridges
- Heavy-duty construction
Best affordable battery-powered model
Ryobi P310G ONE+ Power Caulk Adhesive Gun
This cordless Ryobi gun could be ideal for those who want the convenience of a battery-powered model, but don’t already have any branded batteries on hand. It includes a 2.0 Ah battery and charger, and is capable of processing 200 tubes of caulk on a single charge. The easy to use speed selector allows you to customize precisely how fast the caulk is exiting the tube, making it versatile enough for a range of jobs and projects.
It’s more powerful than you might expect — able to generate 500 pounds of pushing force — and all you have to do is pull the trigger.
- Easy to switch out tubes
- Trigger lock
- Relatively heavy weight of 7.93 pounds
- Plastic construction isn’t as durable as metal competitors
Best High-End Option
Newborn 820AL Elite Series Sausage Pack Caulking Gun
Another Newborn model, this heavy-duty gun is designed with comfort and versatility in mind, and is capable of accepting either cartridges or sausage packs. The rubber grips on both the handle and trigger make it comfortable to use, and should help to maintain a good solid grip on the tool while you work.
We also love the oversized ladder hook on this model, which makes it simple to use as well as hang on your belt or ladder when you need a break. It’s not the cheapest model on our list, though, so if you don’t really need this much versatility, you might want to consider a more affordable option.
- 22:1 thrust ratio
- Heat-treated rod
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