TOOL TIPS-Tool Pick for January

Just so you don’t think I’m a tool snob (but I am, as well as beer and coffee snob too) I’ve decided to go low tech this month. Definitely not old skool but simple and basic and it can be used while drinking a beer which is always a plus, no risk of injury. Yay! This tool is used when caulking, ie counter backsplashes, tubs, around kitchen sinks, along trim before painting, etc. There are many versions and I’m sure you have even seen the commercials and thought, “What a gimmick” but they do work. I’ve used my finger for years and ended up with less than perfect caulk lines as well as caulk all over my fingers and tons of paper towels wadded up from wiping my hands off. I got one of these little jobbies during a stint with a property maintenance company and never looked back. My caulk lines were da bomb. A little note though, and I think this is why people think these things don’t work. If you goop the line with too much caulk to start with it will still get messy. I think that when you caulk the rule of thumb is less is better whether you are using finger, thumb, spoon, caulk tool or whatever. You can always go back and add a bit more to fill in gaps but if you layer it in like you are using a cake icing squeeze bag it will never look good. It will turn out looking like you used your knee to spread the caulk around. Another little note: If you are going to paint over the caulk do NOT use 100% silicone, you will need a latex/silicone mix. Also, I highly recommend against using the adhesive/caulk combo. It is very sticky and hard to spread as well as drying hard and not allowing the materials to expand and contract and it can separate from the materials. I have posted a video in conclusion of me caulking the backsplash of a vanity with the caulking tool and a pic or two.. Always nice to only need to drop less than $10 or so for a useful tool! Have fun. BTW, the set should come with a caulk removal tool as well which is usually junk. You can use this tool pick to redo all the caulking around your house on a boring snowy day and feel a great sense of accomplishment. Get down with your bad self!

The black tool is the caulk remover. The blue ones spread the caulk. They all offer different angles or fit into tighter spaces such as the spot at the back of the sink near the wall.

Below is my video demonstrating this tool. Sorry if the video is a bit lacking, I just bought this camera and Julie has never used it before. I have forced her to be my camerawoman and she is a bit reluctant. In reality it should be me filming her, much better to look at. There are some things a camera just can’t help!

About Travis "That Home Inspector Guy" Moyer

I am a certified home inspector, rehabber, landlord, carpenter, handyman and generally inquisitive person who wants to know how everything works. I love to educate other DIY homeowners and potential homeowners about projects that they may be interested in.

3 comments

  1. joe

    And I always thought that those tools were
    just junk!
    Nice to know that they DO work.

  2. Great demo! We’re sold on the tool! Thanks for following up with us. Next up on our home improvement list: updated lighting fixtures. We’re picking out fixtures over the next 2 weeks.

  3. I have always wondered if these work Travis and a few months ago I asked at Mead Clark, a lumberyard in Santa Rosa, and they said “no!” Actually they said “not really” but still. So, I’ve been using a paper towel but I might go back and give this a go.

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