Tips on Choosing and Using Caulk Guns

Our DIY experts offer tips on a variety of caulk guns and a foam dispenser, making it easy to choose the right tool for any job.

Many Choices

many choices of caulk guns are available

many choices of caulk guns are available

Figure A

Caulk is used for weatherproofing around doors and windows or to waterproof areas such as where the tile meets the tub in a bathroom. Caulk guns can also be used to dispense other materials, such as construction adhesives. When using a caulk gun, place the tube of caulk into the gun, then cut off the tube at the size bead you need. Remember to puncture the tip of the tube so the caulk will come out.

basic caulk gun works by simple operation

basic caulk gun works by simple operation

Figure B

Basic Caulk Guns

When using a basic caulk gun, you have to push the handle forward as you squeeze the trigger to run a bead of caulk.

Battery Powered

battery powered caulk guns move at constant speed

battery powered caulk guns move at constant speed

Figure C

With battery powered caulk guns, the handle will move forward at a constant speed as you push the trigger. The down-side to this type is that you can't change the speed or flow of the caulk.

Some battery powered caulk guns have a variable speed control that allows you to adjust the speed of the caulk as you need.

Pneumatic Tools

pneumatic caulk gun has industrial power

pneumatic caulk gun has industrial power

Figure D

With a pneumatic caulk gun, the tube of caulk is placed inside the sleeve, then the tip is cut and punctured. After running a bead of caulk, the tool releases so the cartridge doesn't remain under constant pressure.

Foam Dispensers

foam used to insulate around doors and windows

foam used to insulate around doors and windows

Figure E

Foam is used to insulate around doors and windows. After it's squeezed out of the tube, the foam expands to fill in the gap.

One foam dispenser available today has a speed adjustment so you can attain the size bead you need. When the speed is turned all the way down, a vapor lock is created in the tool so that the foam doesn't stay inside the dispenser tube.

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