25

Is there a tool especially designed for opening a tube of caulk, silicone, or construction adhesive?

  • 15
    The real question is how to seal a tube of caulk in such a way that it can be used again... – user4302 May 20 '16 at 3:58
  • @Snowman - leaving a nice little blob of caulking on the tip (and being sure to release the pressure) has always worked for me... you just have to be careful not to disturb it while it dries. – junkyardsparkle May 20 '16 at 4:41
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    @Snowman Release the pressure (metal tab on the 'hammer', don't buy one without it!), then stick a spare screw or nail in the spout when you're done. I usually use a drywall screw, but anything big enough to seal the opening works. Then when you need the tube again, just yank the screw out. – brichins May 20 '16 at 19:01
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    @Snowman, in my locale most of these tubes (with a variety of compounds) come with separate sprouts. You cut off the tip of the tube's threaded end, screw on the sprout, then cut of the tip of the sprout to the desired size. Some sprouts come with a little screw-on cap for resealing (super strong glue). Others seem to cure despite the screw/nail in the spout (silicone), in which case a piece of cling wrap from the kitchen, draped over the tube's threaded end then screwing the sprout back on, work well. Next use, use a fresh sprout or scrape out the cured compound in the old one... – fr13d May 20 '16 at 20:09
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    @snowman That question has already been asked on SE. The thread is: What is the best way to seal caulk tube? – Ben Welborn May 22 '16 at 2:52
46

Yes! the tool is called a caulk gun. Use the spout cutter for cutting off the tip of the tube; then use the seal punch tool for poking holes in the foil seal.

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  • 14
    The punch tool on some guns is built into the handle rather than the tube support. Great Q&A - many people have no idea these details are on many caulk guns. – JPhi1618 May 19 '16 at 20:21
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    +1 The caulk gun is convenient, but the cut will usually be pretty rough. If you are doing detail work, I like to use my utility knife to cut the tip on two sides to fit in 90° corners and then use the angle to control how much caulk is left. – BMitch May 19 '16 at 20:38
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    What the...now I have to go look at my caulk gun when I get home. – dotjoe May 19 '16 at 21:01
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    Almost every time I've used the stupid spout cutter, I've pinched my palm with the handle. Use a real shear or a knife. – Mazura May 20 '16 at 0:37
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    The important part is the release lever on the second one. The top one is junk. – Mazura May 20 '16 at 0:45
2

A knife to cut the tip at the desired spot, and a nail to puncture the seal inside. You'll use the nail later to hold the partially-used tube.

I remember as a kid never having any of that built into the caulking gun. Later, when I tried one that had a handy "cigar clipper" thing on the handle, I thought it was terrible, not allowing easy selection of the place on the cone and impossible to cut at an angle.

  • Plus one because spout cutters suck. – Mazura May 20 '16 at 22:15
2

For UK users there is no separate seal as such, it's part of the tube itself. The top of the threaded part that goes into the nozzle is cut off using a craft knife.

UK type caulk tubes

1

In a pinch you use the cutter on the side of the caulking gun, but a utility knife should be used if you plan to do detailed work vs just slopping the caulk on. (The puncturing wire on the gun is fine, though, if there is a seal in the cartridge.)

To reseal the tube, take a short piece of duct tape and fold it over the tip, with the fold over the end of the tip, and press the tape to itself on both sides. Don't fold tape tightly against the tip, but leave maybe 3/8" "headroom". Then, once the tape is in place, pump the gun until the tape balloons out slightly around the tip. (Or you can now buy a tube sealer gizmo that looks pretty neat.)

-1

With your teeth! It's a little known fact that per consumer ease mandates, all products sold in a cylindrical tube longer than 6 inches with a graduated nozzle must have a "yield" extending down at least 5/8" along the nozzle structure. The yield, by regulation, must tear cleanly when penetrated by a dull edge at less than 120psi. The statute was put into effect after it was revealed that certain containers housing solvents used in medicine could not be opened in the case of an emergency. The specific technique, referred to as "occlusive puncture" employs a combination of the lateral incisor and upper and lower cuspids, and is taught primarily to medical professionals and military personnelle. If performed properly, it will even be effective on potato chip bags and DVD packaging.

  • 3
    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. It seems a bit unlikely that caulk tubes were designed to be opened with teeth; seems a bit dangerous to the biter as well. Do you have a source for this? – Daniel Griscom Jan 24 '17 at 12:16

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