Can-Gun 1


Using your index finger to press and steer a can of spray paint gets old very quickly. If your paint job lasts more than a few minutes, you really should use a snap-on pistol grip. It saves your knuckle, keeps paint off your trigger finger, and gives you an easy way to guide the spray. For years I’ve used an earlier model of this grip (called simply Can-Gun), but that one was only operated with a single finger trigger. This new version uses your whole palm. It’s comfortable, quick-on and off, and the only way to spray. I had a 5-can job on a chain-link fence and the Can-Gun made it kind of fun. Even for small spray paint jobs, I slip one of these on.

-- KK  

Can-Gun1 2012

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Can-Gun1

PU Gun


If you ever had occasion to use expanding polyurethane foam to mount a window or the like, you may have thought like me “Great stuff, wonder what else I could use this for?”; But standard polyurethane foam cans are only good for a short while. Once used, the valve and application tube glues itself shut within a few hours, regardless of how much product was left in the can. Keeping a can around for those odd jobs and bright ideas is just not worth the waste.

Enter foam guns. The point of foam guns is right up front, so to speak. The exit valve is right up at the very tip of the rigid application tube. When you mount a can to the gun, the whole inside of the gun is pressurized with product just like the can. There is nowhere inside where the foam can expand or harden.

That’s the theory, at least. In practice it still won’t keep indefinitely. On first try mine hardened right trough in two weeks, and I had a nasty job cleaning it out mechanically. Subsequently, I have taken care to store it with the can upside down, and I tested it every few days for a while, and now it seems to keep fine for at least two weeks. Perhaps it just needed to self-seal.

I don’t have a particular brand to recommend. I just got the cheapest all-metal model on eBay at the time, which I’ve seen since both branded and unbranded, and at wildly different prices. My experience seems to indicate, though, that staying away from the plastic models was a good idea, as I had to use considerable force to disassemble the gun for mechanical cleaning.

With these caveats, I’m still pretty happy about this discovery of mine. Only this week I used it to assemble a life-size doll my girlfriend made, and fix it to its plastic pipe skeleton. It really feels like I’ve got a whole new material in my kit.
Discovering what else it’s good for is going to be fun.

-- Gaute Amundsen  

Polyurethane Foam Gun

Available from Amazon

Also from eBay

Red Ryder

By far the best air rifle for a kid. There is nothing to break and it has a 650 BB capacity. You can fill it once and wander around in the woods all afternoon. All of my nieces and nephews get one when I think they are old enough.

— K.G.

I recommend the Daisy Red Ryder. They’re inexpensive and don’t break.

— Dale C Snyder

Every child should have one.

— Dave Culp


Daisy 1938 Red Ryder

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Daisy Outdoor Products

Cox Wexford Caulk Gun

My father sent me this with an admonition to immediately throw away all the metal caulk guns I have, since I will never want to touch them again — and I have to agree. This one has an integral spike to break the internal cartridge membrane. It’s lightweight but won’t break (nor will it break anything else) if you drop it. It’s as strong as I have ever required, has never jammed or failed in any way, and the orange color is easy to find in the tool cabinet among all the other junk. As a Victorian homeowner, I use it several times a year and have had this one 3-4 years now. If I were to lose it, I would put off a caulking project until a new one arrived in the mail.

-- Michael Barrett  

Wexford Caulk Gun

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by COX North America, Inc.