Caulking Tools: The Caulking Gun

Caulking is a fairly easy job. The only tool absolutely required (at least for most applications) is the caulking gun. These come in a wide variety of models, but the basics are the same. The tube is held in place by a metal apparatus while a round piece of metal connected to a rod is pushed inside the back of the tube. The rod is engraved with metal teeth on one side. A trigger, when pulled, engages the teeth, pushing the rod forward, forcing the caulk out of the nozzle of the tube.

Caulk with Gun

On many caulking guns the pressure on the tube continues even after the last pull of the trigger, meaning extra caulk will leak from the gun. There are some no-leak models that will release the pressure on the tube of caulk after the trigger is released.

Some caulking guns come with features such as a fold out metal tip that can be used to puncture sealed tubes. There may also be a sharp cutter attached to snip off the end of the plastic nozzle on freshly open tubes.

Any caulking gun can force caulk from the back of a tube. So it is always wise to remove expended or even half used tubes after every use. Caulk is usually easier to clean up when it is still wet. Also dried caulk, which has oozed from the back of the tube, can adhere to the rod and metal circle making it very difficult to remove the empty tube later.

Other tools that might come in handy when caulking are a shop rag, pliers, and a putty knife. For wide or deep cracks have some kind of filler available. Professionals use something called a caulking rod, which is in reality a kind of foam insulation inserted into cracks to take up space, giving the caulk something to stick to.

<< Types of Caulk | Step-by-Step: How to Caulk >>

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