Best Mastic Sealant Guns
As with any trade, the old adage, ‘tools maketh the man’ rings true for mastic sealant application. Pinning down the best mastic sealant guns is difficult with such a bewildering range of extrusion tools available, so we decided to take a look into the subject in detail. Most hand tools evolve over the years, adopting add-ons and changing shape etc. which can obviously improve usability for many reasons but, for the most part, professionals will often ‘stick to what they know’ or try these new products, then return to ‘what they know’ due to their experience and/or sheer stubbornness to adopt change! That said, it’s a subjective choice with a huge selection available to customers and we stock a whole lot of them.
DIY mastic sealant guns
Note before; There’s obviously ‘DIY’ mastic sealant guns (known widely as caulking guns or caulk guns)available in all the commercial sheds and hardware stores etc. and occasionally, if you’re lucky, you’ll get one that actually works (with soft material at least) but most of these generic, DIY guns aren’t fit for purpose, so, for the sake of this post, we’ll stick to the professional, trade grade mastic sealant guns which we’ve stocked and sold successfully for many years.
Professional quality brands
We purchase several specialist guns from various manufacturers but the mastic sealant guns brand names we deal with are; Sulzer MK (formerly known as MK Krøger), Sulzer Cox (formerly known as PC Cox), Tajima, Sika Everbuild & Illbruck.
Purpose of the tool
A good place to start when selecting the best mastic sealant gun for you, is to consider the design brief (i.e. the purpose of the tool) so firstly, let’s look at the purpose of a mastic sealant gun…. To extract several, quite different liquidous materials from various packaging neatly and precisely into a gap, crack or joint prior to that material solidifying to a finish. The nature of the different types of material and also differing qualities in the same material, result in varying consistencies and thicknesses (or viscosities) thus, gunning out mastic sealants from any ‘one-for-all’ gun isn’t an option and so choosing the best mastic sealant gun for your job isn’t always quite straight-forward!
As well as the differing flow rate of the actual products, there’s also the personal choice for professionals who will debate the ‘best mastic sealant gun’ is a straight up choice between power and control. A happy medium of a slightly higher thrust & trigger ratio with decent build quality is desirable for the majority of professional trades people with the size of a gun being relevant to the space they have to work in.
Cartridge/foil sausage size
Obviously there’s different shapes and sizes of mastic sealant packaging and for this reason, when selecting the best mastic sealant guns, tradespeople have the choice between buying a gun specific to their main work, (or majority of their jobs) and making do with it for other tasks or using different guns for different work. For example, a contractor who does lots of internal, sanitary sealing, would use mostly smaller cartridges from 290ml-310ml, thus a smaller gun will be sufficient for these tasks, with the added benefit that internal work often consists of lots of fiddly angles and areas, such as behind taps etc. so less size and weight for the tool is important. Whereas, a contractor who does lots of external work such as long runs of expansion joints in walls and floors etc. will be using larger packaged materials, either 380-400ml cartridges, 400-600ml foil sausages or a tinned, 2-part product, thus a larger gun would be required, either a ‘professional, heavy duty skeleton gun or a specialist 600ml barrel gun suited to foil sausages & mixed gear.
Best electric (battery) mastic sealant guns
An ever-growing sight on building sites and in production factories nowadays are electric guns, which rely on rechargeable batteries for their power. Although this is still very much a niche, somewhat luxury hand tool for most trades people, an electric battery caulking mastic gun is invaluable for certain applications, especially where a steady flow in long runs is required. Sealing joints in floors for instance, normally consists of the applicator having to bend or kneel continuously whilst covering a substantial length. This is a notoriously laborious task, equating to many trigger pulls of a manual applicator and would benefit enormously from the automated procedure of an electric application tool. Other tasks where an electric gun would be superior to a manual application mastic gun would be when using thicker, stiffer materials, such as Epoxy-based, 2-part mastic sealants, which can be very difficult to extrude. These guns come in a variety of sizes and with changeable barrels to accommodate most sizes of cartridge, foil sausage and mixed 2-part materials. It’s hard to say which particular brand is the best electric, battery mastic sealant caulking gun, and, although we’ve always stocked a selection of the electric battery guns by the ‘trusty & reliable’ Cox Sulzer (see here) but we can also recommend the Makita 18v caulking guns (see here) and the Milwaukee range (see here) judging by customer feedback.
Mastic sealant guns thrust & gear ratio performance & trigger pulls
With cartridges of any kind, the thrust ratio refers to the force applied on the plunger of the cartridge with each trigger pull. Generally, the thicker the material, the higher the ratio should be, with products containing epoxies, polyurethanes and some hybrid polymers commanding the higher ratios! Although it’s also down to personal preference, one simple thing becomes clear when differentiating between mastic sealant guns, the trigger count! This mythical test is a sign of the guns power and also the control you have with it when doing long runs of beads around substrates.
- Professional Guns = Approximately 12:1 extrusion ratio
- Skeleton Guns = Approximately 7:1 extrusion ratio
- Barrel Guns = Approximately 18:1 extrusion ratio
- Resin Guns/Dual Cartridge Guns = Approximately 16:1 – 26:1 extrusion ratio
- Tajima Red Convoy Super 26 68 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Tajima Blue Convoy RS Dual HD Gun Low Pressure: 22 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Tajima Blue Convoy RS Dual HD Gun High Pressure: 51 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Cox Sulzer EasiFlow HD (formerly known as ‘W’ (Wexford) Skeleton Gun 19 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Cox Sulzer PowerFlow (Professional ((Pro)) ) Gun HD 31 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Cox Sulzer Powerflow Combi 600ml Gun HD 42 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Cox Sulzer EasiPower Plus Battery Combi Gun Varying Speed / Steady Flow click here to buy online
- MK Sulzer H40PS 32 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- MK Sulzer H245 High Pressure Gun 60 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- MK Sulzer H2PS 600ml Barrel Gun 52 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- MK Sulzer H2PS 400ml Barrel Gun 36 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Everbuild Foil Sausage Applicator Gun 60 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Everbuild Power Pro Gun 400ml 47 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Everbuild Super Flow 310ml 40 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
- Illbruck AA854 Metal Pro Gun 34 x trigger pulls click here to buy online
Our favourite mastic sealant guns of 2019
We recently became aware of a Japanese company named Tajima (see the brand page here) who produce some exceptional quality hand tools, including some mastic sealant guns. After some research and trialling of the Tajima guns, we decided to invest in 2 x products which we’ve been selling very successfully since. These guns represent an excellent balance of power, build quality and performance at a price point that sits well in the mid-premium quality bracket.
Other notable applicator guns
As well as our favourite mastic sealant guns, there’s also several other guns available for specialist applications.
Applying dual component or, 2-part materials such as epoxy resins or polyester resins, you often need to mix an exact ratio to catalyse the product, this can be achieved by either; using an extra powerful, high pressure gun for the one-part resins, which is then automatically mixed through a special, spiral mixing nozzle attached to the cartridge (such as the H245 – see here) or, for the 2-part materials, by using a 2-part, dual component gun, these come in various sizes to suit the 2-components, either a same-sized side-by-side or a big & small piston configuration (see here)
1 Litre Guns
For the dry lining contractors and other trades people who install plasterboard and kraft lined insulation boards, the preference to use 900ml intumescent acoustic sealant & adhesive products requires the application tool to be unique in size. We stock a specialist 1 litre mastic sealant caulking skeleton gun to take 900ml cartridges, they are often called ‘Jumbo Guns’ (see here)