How to load a caulking gun cartridge

glazier image by Greg Pickens from

Load a cartridge into a chalking gun to make repairs, or to apply new caulking. The cartridges are wrapped in cardboard or plastic, and made in sizes to fit particular caulk guns. The caulker will dispense smooth lines of caulk at a selected width for sealing cracks. Choose a caulk gun for a project, install a cartridge and spread caulk as needed to seal out water and stop fire in cracks.

Select the appropriate size cartridge for the caulking gun to be used. Common tube sizes are 283 or 822 g (10 or 29 oz).

Cut the tip off the pointed nozzle end of the cartridge with a utility knife. Cut a selected diameter along the point. Use a straight cut or angle it depending on how you expect to hold the caulker for the job.

Insert the point of a 7.6 cm (10 d) nail into the cut on the nozzle. Pierce the seal on the inner tube to release the caulk for dispensing.

Pull the piston rod on the caulking gun back to its fully extended position. Slip the plastic nozzle into the hole or slot in the forward stop. Place the body of the cartridge into the frame of the caulking gun.

Grip the handle and trigger of the caulker and squeeze them together several times to set the push piston into the back end of the cartridge. Keep squeezing the trigger until caulk flows out of the nozzle.

Release the pressure on the cartridge by pressing the lever behind the handle of a smooth-rod caulk gun, or by twisting the rod of a ratchet dispenser gun until the notches come off the push lever.

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