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What is a Cordless Caulking Gun?

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  • Written By: Mitch Morgan
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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A cordless caulking gun is a common, helpful tool used in home repair and construction. It is used to apply beads of caulk for sealing gaps, weatherproofing, and other applications. The gun houses a tube of caulk or sealant that is discharged as pressure is applied to the caulking gun’s handle. Unlike an electric or battery-powered caulking gun, a cordless caulking gun is a manual device that requires no power source.

A cordless caulking gun usually has a ratchet rod mechanism that slides down the inner part of a pressurized caulk tube as force is applied on the gun’s lever. The more pressure is applied, the faster the flow of caulk becomes. The main casing of most cordless caulking guns are made of metal to withstand the pressure of the caulk flow.

The basic, ratchet rod style cordless caulking gun is a good choice for many home applications, but might not be the best choice for lengthy jobs, or ones that require great detail. Due to a low thrust ratio (5:1), the gun’s lever is comparatively difficult to squeeze. As a result, accuracy when applying caulk can be complicated. Also, one must manually adjust or release the ratchet rod to stop the flow of caulk between uses, making it a sometimes messy job.

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Modern caulk gun designs like the “drip-less” cordless caulking gun offer a better thrust ratio, which means squeezing the gun will be relatively easier than with a ratchet rod model. The drip-less caulking gun is also less messy than a ratchet rod model. It features a smooth rod that retracts when a button behind the gun’s rod is released, which eliminates the drip factor of older models and helps control the caulk flow.

Depending on the style or brand of cordless caulking gun, other features may include built-in tools to cut and puncture a caulk tube prior to use. Otherwise a tube of caulk must be cut with a knife and punctured with a long, straight poking device like a coat hanger. Features such as ergonomic hand grips may help reduce fatigue when used for extended periods of time.

A variety of caulks are available for various DIY projects around the home including sealing windows and doors, filling gaps or cracks, weather proofing, and others. Most cordless caulking guns are designed to house any of these caulks if the pressurized tube fits within the gun’s metal casing. Finding the right caulk for the right job is important to help ensure a reliable and thorough application.

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