Pick the right caulk gun for your upcoming project and life becomes a whole lot easier. The wrong caulk gun, on the other hand, makes these kinds of projects a nightmare.
They make you fiddle and fool around with caulk tubes, produce bumpy and inconsistent caulk lines, and inevitably you have a lot of wasted material in the tube you ended up spending money on that you never get to use.
The best caulk gun for the job will eliminate spills and waste, will clean up caulk lines and produce a more consistent finish, and will generally help you to move a lot faster than you would have been able to before.
And that’s why we have put together this detailed guide.
|1. Ryobi One+ P310G Caulk Gun
|2. COX 41004-2T Caulk Gun
|3. Tajima CNV-100SP Caulk Gun
|4. DeWalt DCE560B Caulk Gun
|5. Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Caulk Gun
|6. Albion Engineering B12S20 Caulk Gun
Our reviews of the best caulk gun choices shine a light on the top options you have available in 2020, great tools that are going to break your bank account but will still deliver fantastic results across the board.
Let’s jump right in!
Our Best Caulk Gun Reviews and Comparison
1. COX 41004-2T Caulk Gun
Universally regarded as one of the best manual caulk gun options available today, this is a choice professionals reach for more often than not.
Featuring a smartly designed rotating cradle, a thumb-activated pressure relief valve, and a ladder hook that actually works, there’s a lot to like when it comes to this compact and lightweight tool.
- Thrust ratio of 26:1
- Rotating cradle
- Fantastic warranty
- Instant shut off thumb trigger
- Easy squeeze system
- Great build quality
What We Like About COX 41004-2T Caulk Gun
The overall design and build quality of this caulk gun are both off the charts.
Made in England, everything about this caulk gun has been well-thought-out, well-engineered, and then well implemented.
The power ratio is a little bit higher than what you might need for lightweight silicone caulk or glue, but if you ever have to push heavy-duty glues, mastic, or a proxy you’ll really appreciate the 26:1 thrust ratio for sure.
What We Don’t Like About COX 41004-2T Caulk Gun
Truth be told, the warranty is the only real shortcoming of this manual caulk gun.
It just isn’t quite as strong as what you’ll find from other manufacturers, especially those based here in the USA. If you want to be sure that you have a hassle-free time getting a replacement for your caulk gun if it falls apart you might need to look elsewhere.
All the same, this COX option doesn’t have a reputation for falling apart at all!
- Rock-solid build quality
- High-powered thrust ratio
- Instant shut off valve for overflow
- Slightly more expensive than other manual caulk guns
- Warranty leaves a little bit to be desired for sure
2. Tajima CNV-100SP Caulk Gun
Another professional grade caulk gun that you want to keep your eyes on, this option is even more heavy-duty than the COX one we just reviewed above – even though it has the same 26:1 thrust ratio.
This option also has a rotating barrel for maximizing contact angles, has twin thrust plates that give you a little more control, and includes the same kind of automatic flow stop trigger feature that a lot of the top manual caulk gun choices include.
A little heavier, a little stiffer, and a little less ergonomically sound, this is still a rock-solid choice for those that need to lay down a lot of caulk or a lot of glue.
- 26:1 Thrust ratio
- Fully rotating barrel
- Twin thrust plate options
- Automatic flow stop trigger capabilities
- Smooth squeeze technology
What We Like About Tajima CNV-100SP Caulk Gun
The odds are pretty good that the 26:1 thrust ratio power behind this caulk gun will come in handy more often than not, especially if you are pushing heavy-duty glue, epoxy, and other more viscous material.
The handle on this particular tool is a bit bigger and oversized compared to some of the other options on this list, but that helps make it even more comfortable when you need to really dig deep and squeeze thicker material.
Durability is never going to be a problem with this unit, either.
Super well-made (with heavy-duty metal construction materials throughout), this contender for the best caulk gun on the market just might be the last caulk gun that you ever have to buy.
What We Don’t Like About Tajima CNV-100SP Caulk Gun
The only real knock against this particular choice is that the company itself doesn’t include a cutting nozzle or a puncture rod.
Both of those things are pretty standard fare whenever you are talking about a manually operated caulk gun but are missing here. That usually isn’t going to be a dealbreaker, but it’s going to take a little bit of time to get used to running a manual caulk gun without these accessories.
- Skyhigh thrust ratio for thick material
- Super smooth dual push plate configuration
- The oversized handle lets you get extra leverage when you need it
- Very durable build quality
- Lacks a couple of standard caulk tube accessories
3. Ryobi One+ P310G Caulk Gun
One of the best power operated caulk gun options money can buy (and possibly one of the best caulk guns you can purchase across the board), Ryobi has smashed a home run with this tool.
Well-designed, super powerful, and running off of the same One+ lithium-ion battery technology that (almost) every other Ryobi cordless tool is running off of as well, this is a flexible and highly adaptive caulk gun you won’t want to sleep on.
Variable speed configurations, 500+ pounds of thrust, and the ability to push more than 200 tubes of caulk on a single full battery charge help to push this Ryobi option right up near the top of our favorite caulk gun list.
- 18 v Lithium-ion battery powered caulk gun
- Variable speed trigger
- 500+ pounds of thrust
- Can push 200 tubes of caulk on a single battery charge
What We Like About Ryobi One+ P310G Caulk Gun
The fact that this caulk gun is powered is reason enough to fall head over heels in love with it.
Anyone that has ever had to squeeze tube after tube of caulk on a job knows just how fatiguing it can get. Manual caulk guns like to fight you every step of the way eventually, and when you’re working with super viscous materials things become exhausting in a hurry.
That’s never going to be a problem with this electric powered Ryobi.
Instead, you get effortless control over the amount of caulk being pushed help of your tube regardless of what you are pushing in the first place. The infinitely variable speed trigger system allows you to determine just how fast or how slow material comes out – and that results in a much cleaner caulk line, too.
All in all, this is a great choice.
What We Don’t Like About Ryobi One+ P310G Caulk Gun
It’s really hard to find anything to be upset with when it comes to this Ryobi caulk gun.
The one knock against it might be that it is completely useless unless you have a charged battery ready to go. Consider that you can get 200 tubes of caulk out of a single charged battery, though, and that’s not much of an issue.
- Runs off of the same One+ lithium-ion battery technology as all other Ryobi cordless tools
- Legendary Ryobi build quality and warranty included
- Super lightweight (for a battery-powered cordless caulk gun)
- Very consistent results
- Does require a charged battery to work
4. DeWalt DCE560B Caulk Gun
The folks at DeWalt also make one of the best battery powered caulk gun choices money can buy, ranking right up there with the Ryobi option (even if this one is a little more expensive).
Specifically designed with professional use in mind, this is a heavy-duty caulk gun that looks a bit like a futuristic space pistol – engineered to pump out tube after tube of even the thickest and most viscous material without breaking a sweat.
Capable of incredibly accurate caulk lines (even when you run it one-handed), you’ll even be able to caulk in cold outdoor conditions thanks to the way that this system is engineered. It
- Capable of putting up to 29-ounce tubes of material
- Produces north of 500+ pounds of thrust power
- Variable speed trigger guarantees smooth caulk lines
- Minimum and maximum flow rates are easy to control
- Instant shut off when you’re fingerlings the trigger
What We Like About DeWalt DCE560B Caulk Gun
For starters, the build quality of all DeWalt cordless power tools is legendary across the industry.
There’s a reason why these yellow and black tools are found on job sites and construction sites all over the world, after all. DeWalt makes amazing tools that work in every kind of condition imaginable.
On top of that, the fit and finish of this cordless caulk gun are second to none.
Everything feels solid, the trigger is highly responsive, the consistency of the caulk lines you push with this tool is next level, and everything just sort of works the way you would expect it to right out of the box.
The automatic drip shut off capabilities are fantastic, too. All electrical caulk guns have these kinds of capabilities built right in, but none of them are quite as quick or as effective as the DeWalt.
What We Don’t Like About DeWalt DCE560B Caulk Gun
The only thing that’s really going to hold you back from getting your hands on this DeWalt caulk gun would be the premium price point it has compared to other options.
Again, this is definitely a professional-grade tool built with contractors in mind. This isn’t exactly the best choice for weekend warriors, homeowners, or DIYers that are only going to need it every six months or so (if that).
Another thing you might be concerned with is the heaviness of this tool, especially if you opt for the 29-ounce tube version compared to the 10-ounce canister option.
- Very well-made
- Super smooth trigger
- Clean and consistent caulk lines
- 500+ Thrust power ratio
- Offers up to 29-ounce tube capacity
- Overkill for most
- A bit on the heavy side of things
5. Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Caulk Gun
Perhaps not quite as popular as some of our other choices for the best caulk gun in 2020, the only thing that holds this Chicago Pneumatic option back from other contenders is that it is a pneumatic caulk gun – and that means it requires an air compressor on-site.
Durable, lightweight, and offering you a lot of control, the pneumatic system practically guarantees you have access to (almost) unlimited thrust ratios useful when pushing thick material.
Definitely designed with your comfort in mind, the gun itself is lightweight and portable. Fatigue won’t be a problem when you are running this caulk gun.
Capable of accepting 10-ounce cartridges (as well as larger material with an accessory tube) the fact that you are tied to air hoses becomes a bit of an annoyance every now and again – but it’s not something that can’t be overcome.
- Runs off of pneumatic air systems
- Consistent trigger system
- Automatic shut off trigger
- Can automatically and consistently spread material, too
What We Like About Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Caulk Gun
The automatic setting of this airgun is a game-changer.
Being able to configure a couple of different settings (with manual dials directly on the caulk gun itself) and then running through tube after tube of material without having to fiddle with trigger control or anything else, really, is fantastic.
That is only possible when you are running a consistent source of power like you are with this pneumatic tool. When the airflow has been dialed in and your compressor is fully charged you are off to the races.
If you do need a bit of granular control over the results, though, you can flip this into “manual” caulk capabilities, too.
This allows you to feather the trigger as much or as little as you need to in order to get the caulk lines you are after. It really doesn’t take much to get this caulk gun to work the way you want it to.
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What We Don’t Like About Chicago Pneumatic CP9885 Caulk Gun
Running pneumatic tools always involves a bunch of air hoses piling up all over the place and this one is no exception.
You’ll also have to have a decent compressor on hand, either a lightweight “pancake” unit that can be moved around or a larger base unit with longer hoses.
At the end of the day, some people just aren’t up for that kind of setup and takedown process.
- Very consistent
- High build quality
- The automatic no-drip trigger system
- Works with all different kinds of compressors
- Requires air compressor and hose set up
- Not truly cordless
6. Albion Engineering B12S20 Caulk Gun
This sausage-style caulk gun guarantees that you don’t ever waste a single drop of caulk during a project ever again.
Pumping out an 18:1 thrust ratio (right up there amongst the best options out there), you’ll get 375 pounds of pressure per square inch with the material that you are squeezing out of this sausage set up.
Best of all, you can choose whether or not you forward with 10-ounce, 13-ounce, or 20-ounce “sausage packs” of material inside of the barrel set up. This flexibility and versatility lets you run as much or as little material as you need to every timeout.
- 18:1 Thrust ratio
- Works with “sausage packs” of varying sizes
- Very comfortable handle system
- Consistent trigger squeeze
What We Like About Albion Engineering B12S20 Caulk Gun
Being able to use sausage packs with this caulk gun changes everything.
Now instead of having to worry about waste, you’ll be able to squeeze pretty much every drop of material out of your caulk tubes, using it in your projects without throwing money down the drain every time you toss a one-quarter full traditional tube.
The consistent trigger squeeze of this caulk gun is another nice advantage.
It feels great in the hand, offers extra leverage when you are pushing thick material, and has a consistent squeeze that allows you to lay down very clean lines.
What We Don’t Like About Albion Engineering B12S20 Caulk Gun
Like a lot of other sausage gun options out there this one is a little stiff until you break it in.
Expected to have to squeeze about a dozen or two different sausage packs until this feels nice and smooth.
Also, different trust ratio options are available for you to take advantage of – including 12:1 and 26:1 options.
If you need something built for lighter work materials the 12:1 is where you’ll want to focus your attention; more viscous and thicker materials demand you use the 26:1 choice.
- Consistent trigger squeeze is a dream when broken in
- 18:1 Thrust ratio is flexible and adaptable
- Sausage style caulk gun eliminates a lot of extra waste material
- Durability is off the charts
- A little bit stiff until you break it in
- May have to purchase both 12:1 and 26:1 options as this depends on your needs
Now that you have had a look at our favorite caulk gun options on the market today, it’s time to really zero in on the best option we think you can spend your hard-earned money on in 2020.
While each and every one of the options broken down above is worthy contenders, one stands head and shoulders above the rest of the pack – and that has to be the Ryobi One+ P310G Caulk Gun.
Battery-powered (using the lithium-ion cordless battery technology that acts as the foundation for all Ryobi One+ tools on the market today), you get a high-powered cordless set up here that feels great in the hand and delivers really consistent results.
Offering 500 pounds of push force, a variable speed control trigger, and a switch lock system that keeps you from wasting material, this isn’t quite as efficient as a sausage gun. But it’s right up there!
Combine all of that with the fact that it can press 200 tubes of caulk on a single for battery charge (with the ability to quickly charge up to 50% from completely dead in about 30 minutes) and this is a real no-brainer kind of pick.
If you want to be sure that your money is well spent on a new caulk gun, the Ryobi option is where you are going to want to focus your money for sure!
To help you get your hands on the best caulk gun available we highlight a handful of the most important factors to consider before you buy this tool.
Let’s jump right in!
Ergonomics Are a Big Piece of the Puzzle
Right out of the gate, you want a new caulk gun that is going to fit well in your hands and that isn’t going to be too heavy.
The odds are good that if you’re using a caulk gun you’re going to be using it for a decent stretch of time all at once, and you’re going to be squeezing it with at least a little bit of pressure for most of that time as well.
You’ll want something that is ergonomic. You want something that is comfortable. And you want something that isn’t going to fatigue your hands or your arms in the middle of a project.
Not all caulk guns are designed to work well with all different kinds of materials.
Some caulk guns are perfect for lightweight materials, like silicone caulk or glue. Those kinds of caulk guns are going to have a tough time with thicker materials – resins, plastic materials, and heavy-duty blues or epoxies, for example.
Either find a tool that works well with the type of material that you expect to use most often or find something that is versatile and flexible enough to work with all different kinds of materials. This kind of caulk gun is a lot more “future proof”, that’s for sure.
Caulk Rod Type
The rod type in this tool makes a huge difference, too
Ratchet rod-style caulk guns are usually super inexpensive, lightweight, and always have serrated rods that catch on every single squeeze – pushing in one direction only. The trouble with these kinds of caulk guns is that they keep squeezing sealant even after you have stopped squeezing, wasting a lot more material and (usually) causing a big mess.
Smooth rod (sometimes called dripless) caulk guns are a little more modern and a little more advanced.
You’ll depress a thumb lever that immediately releases the pressure on the material that you are squeezing, giving you a bit of an “instant shut off” compared to the ratchet-style options we just mentioned.
Thrust Ratio Matters
With so many different things to think of before you spring for a new caulk gun, you might forget to check on the thrust ratio of that specific tool.
That would be a mistake.
Thrust ratio is usually pretty prominently displayed on the box or advertising for a caulk gun and for good reason. This is the ratio of force generated every single time you squeeze the trigger of your caulk gun, and not all caulk guns are created equally in this department.
On top of that, not all thrust ratios are perfectly suited for all jobs universally, either.
Sometimes you want a higher thrust ratio to really push thick material out of your caulk gun, giving you a bit of extra squeeze thanks to mechanical leverage when you pull the trigger.
Other times, though, a sky-high thrust ratio would blast a work surface with a material that is lighter and less viscous – causing a huge mess along the way.
As a general rule, look for thrust ratios that sit between 3:1 and 15:1 or so, bumping things up to 28:1 when you’re working with material that is particularly thick and “chunky”.
If you’re going to be spreading epoxy with this tool, for example, you’re going to want a ratio as close to 28:1 as you can get!
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Revolving Frames Are a Bonus
Every time you stop or start a bead of caulk or material you’re going to end up causing bumps and bubbles.
To help prevent that kind of issue completely, consider taking advantage of caulk gun options that include revolving frames to work around corners and to keep continuous pressure all throughout your squeeze.
Revolving frames allow you to rotate the frame of the caulk gun itself rather than having to twist the entire tool as you move around a project surface. This keeps lines nice and tight, super straight, and (for the most part) bump and chunk-free.
Don’t Sleep on “Sausage Guns”
Sausage guns are specifically designed to squeeze every single drop of material out of the tubes that you are working with, guaranteeing that you waste a whole lot less material than you would have with a more traditional setup.
Usually a bit more expensive than a traditional caulk gun, a lot of professionals find them to be worth every penny in the material savings that they produce.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of caulking in the future this is definitely something that you’re going to want to look closer into.
Power Definitely Makes a Difference
Finally, not everyone is going to be able to really leverage all the advantages that electric or powered caulk guns provide – but the overwhelming majority of people are going to find them a whole lot more consistent, a whole lot more convenient, and much more enjoyable to use across the board.
Powered caulk guns used to only be found on commercial projects or big job sites, but nothing could be further from the truth today.
These tools have been miniaturized, have been designed to work well in smaller applications, and are now some of the most popular cordless tools for contractors, homeowners, and DIYers alike.
If you want a more consistent result (especially when you’re working in a bathroom where caulk is going to be a finish material, for example) these options are a no-brainer.