For reasons unknown, the companies that make caulk long ago settled on 10-ounce tubes. That size is fine for most jobs but sometimes it would be easier to use a much smaller tube.
Enter the Finish Line Caulk System, which allows you to transfer caulk from a standard tube to a syringe with a tip that will dispense an extremely thin bead.
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The system comes in a kit and consists of a transfer tool, syringe, three tips, and a cap. The transfer tool threads onto the business end of a syringe and screwed into the cut tip of a tube of caulk, which can be pumped into the syringe with the gun.
Once filled, the syringe can be equipped with a dispensing tip and used to lay down fine beads of caulk. The cap screws onto the end of the transfer tool and can be used to keep the remaining caulk in the tube fresh.
The Finish Line Caulk System was invented by Tim Zartman, a remodeler whose picky clients do not want to see the tiniest of gaps between anything. He sometimes had trouble applying a small enough bead and getting at things with a full-size gun so he came up with a way to pump caulk into a syringe and use it in place of a gun. A syringe is far more maneuverable and able to lay down a much finer bead.
The transfer tool is proprietary, but I’m not sure about the caps and tips. The syringes are standard and can be purchased elsewhere. They’re included with the system as a matter of convenience.f
It’s said to be compatible with most standard sized tubes of caulk, silicone, or adhesive.
Price: $9 + shipping for the starter kit, $20 + shipping for the “Pro Pack”
Replacement parts and bulk packs are also available.
I saw the Finish Line Caulk System at the National Hardware Show and my initial thought was “man, how clever”. Then I began wondering what I might actually use the thing for. It wasn’t till I watched some of Zartman’s videos that I was reminded of situations where caulking with a syringe could make a difference.
In one video he recaulks the joint between a quartz countertop and tile backsplash. Doing this with a conventional gun would mean overfilling the joint to get the caulk back in there and then wiping off the excess.
It’d be easy enough with water-based caulk; remove the excess by wiping back and forth with a damp sponge. It’d be messier with silicone or some other material that’s not easily dissolved. And no matter what kind of caulk is used, wiping or tooling could cause some of the excess to ooze into the grout joints above. It has happened to me and it’s a hassle to remove caulk from the ends of so many grout joints.
Zartman avoids this problem by dispensing caulk into the gap and laying down a finer bead than would be possible with a gun. There is no excess and he need only tool it smooth with a finger. I can picture any number of common finish applications where there would be value in using just enough, but not too much caulk.
Given how inexpensive the product is it wouldn’t take long for it to save enough caulk to pay for itself. Though really, the greatest saving would come from spending less time removing excess caulk.
Stuart’s Note: Our kitchen was remodeled a year ago, and it wasn’t before long that the thin grout between countertop and backsplash started to crumble off in some places. During a following visit, our contractor laid out a tiny color-matched bead behind the sink, but there are other places I’ve been meaning to freshen up. I am not very good when it comes to delicate and precise caulking tasks. This seems like a great product for someone like me to apply a small amount of caulk without leaving wide or unsightly beads due to inexperience. There are some other places, such as where the new bathroom door frame settled, and at the top of the bathroom baseboard trim, which can use precision-applied caulk.
Step 1: Prep Your Caulk Tube
Step 2: Fill Your Syringe
Step 3: Get to Work