Caulk guns, also called caulking guns or cartridge guns, are essential to just about every DIY home improvement project. They’re used to apply caulks, sealants, and adhesives from cartridges or tubes. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to use one.
These are the caulk gun and tube of caulk I’ll be using for this tutorial:
Labeled Reference Picture
This picture has all the different parts of a caulk gun labeled. Please refer to this picture for the part names and locations as I describe how to use a caulk gun in the following steps.
Step 1. Use the Rod Release Lever to extend the Rod
In order to insert the tube of caulk into the caulk gun, you’ll need to extend the Rod. Press and hold down the Rod Release Lever, then pull back the Rod. (You’ll also need the Rod extended in order to cut the tip of the caulk tube with the Spout Cutter.)
Step 2: Cut the tip of the caulk tube with the Spout Cutter
In order for caulk to come out of the caulk tube, you’ll need to cut the tip of the caulk tube. Fortunately, most caulk guns have a built-in Spout Cutter for this very reason. Simply insert the tip of the caulk tube into the Spout Cutter, then squeeze the Trigger. As you squeeze, a razor blade concealed within the caulk gun will cut the tip of the tube.
Tip: I tend to cut the tip at a slight angle – this makes it easier to apply the caulk evenly across long distances.
Step 3: Use the Seal Puncture Tool to break the seal of the caulk tube
Caulk tubes have an airtight seal inside so the caulk won’t dry out before it’s ready to be used. Hidden underneath the frame of most caulk guns is a Seal Puncture Tool (really just a metal prong). Swivel the Seal Puncture Tool so it is extended outward and away from the caulk gun, then insert it into the tip of the caulk tube. Push the Seal Puncture Tool (somewhat hard and forcefully) until it punctures the seal.
Tip: Have a towel or cloth handy. Some caulk will inevitably get on the end of the Seal Puncture Tool, so you’ll want to wipe it clean.
Once finished, swivel the Seal Puncture Tool back underneath the frame of the caulk gun.
Step 4: Insert the caulk tube into the caulk gun
The Rod should already be extended (if not, refer to Step 1), so place the caulk tube into the caulk gun and keep squeezing the Trigger until the metal plate at the end of the Rod presses up against the bottom of the caulk tube, as shown here:
Step 5: Caulk away!
It might take a few squeezes of the Trigger before caulk will come out. Once it does, squeeze the Trigger with steady pressure so caulk will flow out of the tube evenly.
Step 6: Remove the caulk tube from the caulk gun
Squeezing the trigger causes the Rod to contract. So, once you are finished caulking, you will need to press and hold down the Rod Release Lever and pull back the Rod in order to remove the tube of caulk from the caulk gun.
Did you find this tutorial useful? Let me know in the comments below!
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