9 Best Caulking Guns (Manual, Cordless, and Pneumatic)

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types of caulk guns

Specialized tools make finishing a job much easier, and sometimes, you can’t do a job without them. For example, it is quite tricky, if not impossible, to finish a job where you need to seal with caulk if you don’t have a good caulking gun.

These helpful tools enable you to lay straight lines in the correct thickness in a matter of seconds. They make your job simple and efficient.

You have a few choices when it comes to choosing the best caulking gun. There are three main options: manual, cordless, and pneumatic. Each one has its pros and cons that can help you make a decision on which to buy.

Your choice also depends on your end goals and the overall project, and your personal opinion will play into your decision since many people have their preference as to which is the best.

It can help to get an overview of your options and see some specific examples, so we put together a list of the nine best options on the market today.

Our 9 Favorite Caulk Guns

 ProductTypeStyleThrust RatioWeight
best-caulking-gunCOX 41004-2TManualRatchet26:12.1 lbs
best-caulk-gunTajima CNV-100SPManualSmooth26:11.7 lbs
best-cordless-caulking-gunRyobi One+ P310GBattery18Vn/a4.7 lbs
electric-caulking-gunDeWalt DCE560BBattery20Vn/a4.1 lbs
silicone-gunNewborn 250ManualSmooth18:11.8 lbs
heavy-duty-caulk-gunSolidWorkManualRatchet26:12.3 lbs
best-pneumatic-caulking-gunChicago Pneumatic CP9885Pneumaticn/an/a2.3 lbs
sausage-caulking-gunAlbion Engineering B12S20ManualSausage12:12.8 lbs
dripless-caulking-gunDripless ETS2000ManualSmooth12:11.1 lbs

Caulking Gun Reviews

The following nine products represent some of the best caulk gun options you can buy today. We considered many aspects, such as ease of use, overall durability, and special features, to create a list we feel gives you a good variety of choices.

#1 – COX 41004-2T Ascot Manual Caulk Gun

best-caulking-gunConsidered by many pros to be the best manual caulking gun currently available, the COX features a rotating cradle, thumb-activated instant pressure release, and built-in ladder hook.

The ratchet-style gun has a 26:1 thrust ratio for maximum power and fits a standard 10-ounce cartridge. You receive a one-year warranty for defects on this product from the manufacturer.

The support straps help secure the cartridge in the gun to prevent slips and issues. You can use the high thrust ratio to ensure smooth application of every substance, from sealants to adhesives.

Made in England, Cox is known for making some of the most durable caulking guns in the industry. Their attention to detail really shows. The COX Ascot is strong and made to last, providing you with simple operation and less noise than you might expect. Do note that while it has a high thrust ratio, that does slow down operation, so it is a trade-off you’ll have to consider.

The gun also lacks some of the special features you will find on other guns on our list, including a seal puncture tool and tip cutter. However, if you use caulk a lot, then you probably already have something to take the place of these tools.

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#2 – Tajima Convoy Super CNV-100SP Rotary Caulk Gun

best-caulk-gunFrom Tajima, another well-respected name in caulking guns, comes the user-friendly CNV-100SP. It features a 26:1 thrust ratio an easy-to-load barrel that rotates for maximum contact angle and twin thrust plates for better overall control. 

The gun is also heavy duty and built sturdy with a steel welded frame and rugged aluminum handle. The handle is rather large, which may make it tough for people with smaller hands to use. However, the overall durability is outstanding.

The Tajima Convoy Super has an auto flow stop feature, making it even easier to use. The smooth style drip-free system means you’ll make fewer messes and keep the job clean. The barrel is extra long to allow for better control in smaller spaces. The caulking gun also has a ladder hook and eyelet attachable safety strap.

This product does come with a seal puncture tool but lacks something for cutting the nozzle tip. Most people will find this isn’t a big deal since they will usually have a knife or other cutting tool on hand.

With the superior performance of the gun, including excellent adaptation to hot and cold temperatures, this is something easy to overlook.

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#3 – Ryobi One+ P310G 18V Power Caulk and Adhesive Gun

best-cordless-caulking-gunThis one is a real time saver. A power caulking gun may sound like a gimmick but if you do your fair share of caulking, you’ll never want to use a manual gun again. The Ryobi One+ power caulk gun can handle all your needs with over 500 pounds of push force from its 18 volt battery.

It has variable speed options to match to your job and let you have maximum control. Ryobi provides you with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty on this durable gun, which you may use once you surpass the standard Home Depot return time. 

The power gun has many features, including a switch lock to help you avoid accidental starts. The handle offers a GRIPZONE overmold comfort grip with its center-balanced design.

You won’t struggle to load this either thanks to the all-metal manual plunger rods with hook ends. It also features a puncture tool.

While this product doesn’t come with a battery, you can use any Ryobi One+ 18 volt battery and charger with this thanks to the universal fit. The battery is also a powerhouse, allowing you to apply over 200 tubes of caulk on only one charge.

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#4 – DeWalt DCE560B 20V Max Cordless Caulking Gun

electric-caulking-gunWhile the Ryobi above is good, the DeWalt DCE560B caulking gun takes the battery powered option to the next level. Made for professional use, the DeWalt is noted by many to be the best power caulking gun you can buy.

With fast and accurate one-handed use, caulking even in cold outdoor conditions is a piece of cake. Yes you’ll pay a premium but if you’re a professional contractor, the time and frustration you’ll save is invaluable.

It features a variable speed trigger for extra control that allows you to create a smooth finish. The variable speed dial is easy to use to allow you to perfectly set your minimum and maximum flow rates.

The gun also features automatic anti-drip to keep your jobs clean and avoid messy applications. It retracts the plunging rod and sets the rod behind the cartridge to prevent overflow. 

Making the DCE560B even easier to use, the product has quick-connect inter-changeable canister trays. With these, you can move from one sized canister to another with ease. You can use up to 10-ounce canisters with the original tray. A 29 oz tube version is also available.

Do note that you only get the caulking gun with your purchase. The battery and charger is a separate purchase IF you require them. You might also want to consider the Milwaukee 2441-20 M12 caulking gun if you are already using other Milwaukee M12 tools.

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#5 – Newborn 250 Super Smooth Rod Caulking Gun

silicone-gunWith a thrust ratio of 18:1, this top-selling Newborn caulking gun delivers impressive performance. It fits standard 10-ounce cartridges and works well for cement, asphalt, adhesives, acrylic, and butyl. 

The gun features a steel revolving frame for optimal orientation and maximum control. The smooth pressure rod makes the gun much easier to use without a ton of manual force. Compare this to a cheap $10 caulk gun from Walmart and you’ll quickly understand that not all manual caulk guns are created equal.

The overall design and materials help increase durability, especially the zinc alloy handle and trigger, which help reduce corrosion issues. It comes with a seal puncture tool and a spout cutter built in, so you don’t have to search around for something to use and can get a quick start. 

The Newborn 250 is a popular model and offers smooth flow with nice continuous pressure, but note that this isn’t a drip-free gun. You will have to watch for overflow issues and manage your handling to prevent messes.

There is also a slight learning curve since it operates like a firearm instead of the pull-grip style that many other caulking guns use. However, this feature does make this caulking gun quick to use.

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#6 – SolidWork Professional Caulk Gun

heavy-duty-caulk-gunIf you want dependable performance, look no further than the 24:1 thrust ratio caulking gun from SolidWork. You can rotate the holder 360 degrees, and it is effortless to use the squeeze gun design.

The durability is what makes this caulking gun stand out. It features a silicone syringe with die-cast aluminum construction. There are rivets at stress points for longevity, and the whole product is corrosion resistant. 

You get a one-year money-back guarantee from SolidWork, making this a risk-free purchase. It is doubtful you’ll need to take advantage as this caulking gun is a step up from the older, clunky models. The design allows for superior control and smooth action that lets you finish any job with ease. 

The tension control comes from sound engineering to make the product simple to use. The overall design takes into mind the many needs you may have while working to provide a caulking gun that rests comfortably in your hand for superb control.

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#7 – Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Air Caulking Gun

best-pneumatic-caulking-gunPneumatic caulk guns aren’t as popular as other types but they’re incredible performers when you already have an air compressor on site. The Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 is arguably the best pneumatic caulking gun you’ll find.

It’s durable and lightweight, offering you air control at its best. The trigger operation is easy to control and allows you to complete a clean job every time. The gun is easy to handle and designed for your ultimate comfort, making it ideal for long and tedious projects.

The gun fits standard 10 ounce cartridges and works well for sealing a variety of joints and for a range of materials. It offers performance as good as (or better than) a cordless model and at a very affordable price.

As an air caulking gun, you can expect that the tool will do most of the work for you. You can avoid hand or arm cramps on jobs that require a long time commitment and never have to worry about changing out batteries. It also provides the smoothest flow for professional finishes.

The Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 also has auto-stop to prevent messes, which will activate as soon as you release the trigger. There is no need to manually back up the plunger or worry about gobs of goo messing up your project space.

You do need to learn how to use this type of gun if you haven’t used a pneumatic before. You’ll need to make sure your compressor puts out enough CFM and figure out the proper compressor pressure, which can make it difficult to get nice lines in the beginning. A good lightweight air compressor hose is recommended.

It can be finicky at times, so you have to learn the ins and outs of this type of product to get the best performance. But once you do figure it out, you will likely feel it is a superior option when you spend a lot of time caulking.

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#8 – Albion Engineering B12S20 Manual Sausage Caulking Gun

sausage-caulking-gunIf you’re tired of the mess and fuss of using a standard bulk gun with its cartridges, you may want to try a sausage gun. The 18:1 thrust ratio manual Albion Engineering caulking gun provides you with 375 pounds of pressure.

There are 12:1 and 26:1 versions also available along with a cordless powered option.

This product works best with standard materials and fits 10-ounce, 13-ounce, or 20-ounce sausage packs (or 10-ounce or 12-ounce cartridges with a simple conversion). Once all the material is expelled, you’re simply left with a disk of foil about the size of a thick silver dollar.

The handle is full-sized for comfort grip and ease of use. The double gripping plate keeps you free from slips and increases the durability of the unit. The gun also has a rotating swivel barrel and pistons that help prevent bag-wrap. 

The overall design works well in tight spots or if you need to reach to get into a space. The Albion Engineering B12S20 is a manual sausage gun so you get the standard ease of use and typical learning curve if you are new to this type of design.

Even with stiff materials, this gun performs well and isn’t too hard to squeeze. It makes it simple to do a large job without hand cramps or discomfort but we recommend avoiding the 12:1 thrust ratio version.

This sausage style caulking gun does feature some plastic material parts, which can increase the risks of breaking it if dropped, so do be aware of that.

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#9 – Dripless ETS2000 Ergo Composite Caulk Gun

dripless-caulking-gunLast but certainly not least on our list is the Dripless ETS2000 caulking gun. This inexpensive gun has a large following of users.

It’s likely the lightest caulk gun you’ll ever pick up so if discomfort is a big pet peeves of yours when tackling a caulking job, then this gun with its composite frame may be the perfect option. 

In addition, the gun has a special ergonomic grip. The design keeps your wrist in perfect alignment to avoid common aches and pains. 

This composite caulk gun features a revolving frame for best control and a hook so you can hang it up as you move about your work space. The gun also comes with a spout cutter for your convenience. The extra-long clean out rod also attaches to the unit.

The Dripless Inc ETS2000 has a 12:1 thrust ratio that works well with a range of materials, including silicone, latex, and acrylic. It has a contractor design for durability that outlasts and outperforms. 

Do note that the gun isn’t made for especially thick or hard materials. The auto-stop feature is nice for most of the thinner materials, but it can become problematic if you try to dispense thicker materials.

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Caulking Gun Buying Guide

We provided you with a lot of options in that last section, but before you make your final choice, you may want to look over the information that follows.

Below are some basic details about each type of caulking gun and answered some common questions to ensure that you know exactly what you need to when buying this product.

Types of Caulk Guns

The most common and well-known type of caulking gun is the manual or ratchet rod. It is completely manual, meaning that you control every aspect of use.

Similar to this is the smooth rod or dripless manual caulk gun. The difference is the smooth rod has an automatic stop that prevents the rod from pushing material out when you are not pushing the trigger.

Another manual option is the sausage type. The Family Handyman explains that you would use this type for a specific type of cartridge called a sausage. It is collapsible and made of foil. They work like any other manual gun. One perk of this type of gun is there is very little waste since you squeeze the cartridge completely when using.

Moving from manual options, there is the cordless electric. These run off batteries and offer you an easier way to apply caulk. It can be especially nice to use one of these if you often work on big jobs as it helps protect you from fatigue and strain. The gun does the work for you, which also makes it nice when working with stiffer materials or if you have a health issues, such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Lastly, there is the pneumatic caulking gun, which operates using air. You hook it to your compressor and the air does the work. It is similar to an electric or battery style model. You can make many adjustments to suit the job on which you are working, making this style one with a slightly more complicated learning curve but increasing its overall usability and value. 

Thrust Ratio

The thrust ratio is an important consideration when buying a caulking gun because it determines the amount of force in the gun. If you work with thicker materials, you need a higher thrust ratio or you will either wear out your hand or the gun trying to dispense them.

On the other hand, if you work with thinner materials, a higher thrust ratio could reduce your control and lead to a messy project. So, you need to match the thrust ratio to your needs to get the best final look.

For example, a 26:1 ratio is great for thicker materials while a 12:1 ratio would be ideal for thin materials.

Manual vs. Powered

As mentioned above, manual and powered caulking guns are quite different in the feel when you use them. Manual guns require more work on your part than powered. However, there are some other differences worth considering.

Manual caulk guns may offer you a bit more control since you manage the whole application. There may be a learning curve to overcome with a battery powered or powered model until you get used to the power of the pressure.

In addition, manual guns are much cheaper. They don’t have the mechanical aspects of an electric model and generally are easier to manufacture. In addition, you only need to buy the gun when you get a manual one. For most powered options, you need to purchase additional supplies, including batteries or a properly sized air compressor.

What Materials Can a Caulking Gun Dispense?

You want to match your material to your gun’s capabilities, but in general, a caulking gun can dispense any type of material that comes in the correct size of tube.

You will find that there is a range of options for different types of projects, including cement, silicone, epoxy, latex, ceramic, adhesive, and regular caulk.

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