Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday ToolTalk: B&D Powercaulk

I think I mentioned a while back that I had bought a new tool but hadn’t had a chance to use it yet. That changed when I started working on the bathroom and kitchen ceilings.

I’d bought the Black & Decker Powercaulk, a cordless caulk gun that operates on four AA batteries. This is something that the mother and I have talked about for ages. It was the first time I’d actually seen one that wasn’t air-powered.

I knew that with the ceiling and molding in the kitchen, it would come in handy. Add to that, the beadboard going up in both bedrooms, and some exterior caulking, and I thought I could more than justify the purchase.

The Powercaulk has two pieces: the handle that controls it and a rounded compartment where you load your tube of caulk or adhesive and lock it into the handle. It has two speeds, though I found the slower of the two to be worthless. I could, however, see potential use for doing an intricate, small bead. (Not something I needed at least this time around.)

Only one complaint: If you’re working in a tight space – like I was inside the shower – it can be difficult to maneuver. Between the length of the tube and an extended plunger if it’s full, it can, as the mother says, look “like a bazooka” and prove to be nearly as cumbersome. (She thought it was heavy. Then, she thinks everything is heavy.)

Lawrence marveled at it and he took the opportunity to use it both in the kitchen and to do a quick outside fix the mother had pointed out to him. It got his seal of approval.

It’s extremely easy to use. So far, I’ve only used it for adhesive but it has performed quite well. The battery compartment is in the base of the handle. The batteries it came with were worn out right away. I put in some Energizer rechargeables though and those lasted through the entire bathroom ceiling and even part of the kitchen. The fresh set of rechargeables I put in to finish the kitchen are still working.

Another cool feature is a thin wire attached to the side that you can use to puncture tube caulk seals. (I always find myself looking for a long nail to do this job!)

My normal frugal nature didn’t even try to find a cheaper price online. I paid $29.99 at Lowe’s but scored $10 off when my purchase totaled more than $50. (Special promotion.) Cheapest I saw it online was $24.99 at Amazon.com. So, if you’re looking for something for dad or another man in your life for Father’s Day, you might consider this.