Pick one my favorite best caulk guns listed here, then head over to our explanation of related topics:
- How To Use a Caulking Gun, complete with application how-to’s, toxicity warnings, and more…from almost 40 years of experience.
- How to load a caulk gun, and finally…
- On the Best Caulk (Every Type)
Don’t want to read more? Here’s my best caulk gun (quality/price): COX Chilton “XT” (extra thrust).
Top picks quick summary
What makes the best caulking caulk gun?
In two words, hardened steel. The “metal” claiming to be steel in Chinese tools bend and get jammed permanantly when you drop them. They also will drip after you click the release button, and they have questionable trigger-to-piston ratios (a.k.a. mechanical advantage).
Quality caulk guns completely let go of pressure on the piston plunger stopping the flow.
Key features you want in a good caulk gun:
- Get the right size! Most guns are for all standard 10 to 11 oz. tubes. The big ones are for much larger tubes (32 oz).
- Thrust ratio: how much ‘goo’ comes out with one squeeze of the handle. For gluing floors etc, you want a high ratio: lots of material, but for painting, we prefer the standard medium ratio: nice and steady. A smooth piston shaft, (not notched) is key.
- Spout cutter: so helpful and most have this…see video at the bottom.
- Seal punch rod: tucked into the gun somewhere in good caulking guns. It just flips out so you can puncture the seal in the nozzle of the tube. Keep it clean!
- Hook for hanging: helpful when on ladders, belts.
- Thumb pressure release lever/button: the bad ones make you twist the hook on the end of the plunger. FAIL !!
Our top picks for 3 budgets:
Best Pick Cox “2T” or “XT”
The type of caulk gun you leave to your children: The all-steel Cox gun is the best tool for the money. That is the “2T”. The “XT” is linked at the top of this page. We discovered at some point in the 80’s that caulk guns from England were the best by far, and did not cost much more. The best caulking gun period. The Cox is the bomb. I love it.
I want to marry it. Sorry honey.
Low Budget, Recommended, and Big Job Electrics:
Top pick: Made in the USA, which is nice. Not necessarily the best caulk gun on the market, but will get you through your next few jobs. Don’t drop it!
Professional Caulk Guns
Great for big jobs: A pneumatic caulk gun uses your air compressor: great for big jobs.
Dual-chamber caulk gun for 2-part epoxy glue.
Quart size quality caulking gun (for the 32 oz. size tubes): the type used on construction sites for applying A LOT of material.
Video: Features of quality caulk guns
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