Pro 15 is Dow's answer to dispensing its Great Stuff Pro Expanding Foam with consistency and ease. It's a one-handed tool that keeps the PRO can securely on top and dispenses beads of expanding foam anywhere from 1/8" to 3" thick. If you do a lot of construction work, or work in a specialty trade like plumbing, electrical, or weathering, you'll need a tool like this to simplify what can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Once you've used a dispensing gun, you won't want to use manual canning again. Beyond that, Dow's Great Stuff Gun can help you last your cans longer and waste less, which may save you money in the long run.
The Dow Great Stuff PRO 15 Spray Gun is ideal for consistent, easy dispensing of its Great Stuff Expanding Foam. It's a one-handed tool that keeps the PRO can securely on top and dispenses beads of expanding foam anywhere from 1/8" to 3" thick. If you do a lot of construction work, or work in a specialty trade like plumbing, electrical, or weathering, you'll need a tool like this to simplify what can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Once you use the dispensing gun, you don't want to use the tubing again. Beyond that, the Dow Great Stuff PRO 15 Gun will help you last your cans longer and reduce waste, which may save you money in the long run.
Why Use a Spray (Expanding) Foam Gun?
Some professionals may wonder why they should even consider spending money on a spray (expanding) foam gun. After all, don't cans come with plastic straws for easy use? The answer is that if you don't have more than one project per year, or only use it occasionally, you probably shouldn't be using a foam spray gun. However, if you're a pro, you'll find that guns give you a considerable advantage. First, you get better control. By setting the flow rate, you can adjust the bead size more easily and provide more consistent results. More importantly, however, the can stops dispensing foam when you release the trigger. Unless you're using a model with a straw attached to the end (which allows the foam to continue to expand), guns like the Dow Great Stuff PRO 15 Gun only store liquid, unexpanded foam inside the barrel. This means that when you release the trigger, the check valve drops back to seal the outlet hole – all flow stops. You won't experience the extra two to three inches of dribble when you use the hand canning variety.
It's also easier to use, so you don't experience the physical exertion you do when using manual activation tanks. After spraying Great Stuff can for a while to seal multiple windows or doors, you will definitely start to feel it on your wrists and hands. Pro-Series spray guns, including the Pro 15 we reviewed, allow you to form nice, steady beads of foam where you want them with minimal energy. One of our least favorite things about the expanding foam gun is that as long as you use the foam gun once a month, you can put the Great Stuff Pro on top. The spray gun system is completely sealed, from can to nozzle, so it is best stored for 30 days. In fact, if you store it with the can, it's much better for the gun itself – much better (not to mention cheaper) than using gun cleaners that leave a residue in the Over time it will harden and build up, reducing your flow and overall gun performance. Just make sure to use the spray gun every 30 days to keep it fresh and ready to use.
to clean up
Great Stuff Pro Gun Cleaner is a great acetone-based product if you make a mess, or need to clean the top of your can or the exterior of your gun. It comes with a threaded top so it can be screwed onto the gun – but if you can seal everything well and use foam a lot, we wouldn't recommend it. It dissolves uncured foam almost instantly, allowing you to clean normally sticky Great Stuff foam from almost any surface. See how a single spray of gun cleaner literally blows a line through our foam test beads:
Great Stuff also makes new Work Wipes that use a chemical called dibasic esters to clean overspray with a separate cleaning cloth. They also smell a little citrusy, which is nice. The wipes store in a resealable plastic bag that is super convenient to use and can be carried on the go in a work truck or tool bag. They clean just about anything, including caulk and adhesive, so you can take them with you wherever you go.
Dow Great Stuff PRO 15 Gun Build Quality
Dow makes three guns for dispensing their Great Stuff Pro Expanding Foam. These models are Pro 13, Pro 14 and Pro 15. All three guns are actually made in Switzerland by a company called Todol, and there are some major differences between the models:
|Professional Edition 13||Professional Edition 14||PRO 15|
|hint||Prickly||replaceable barbed||replaceable smooth|
|View valve||*||Rust-resistant steel**||Anti-rust steel, Teflon|
|flow control|| 1/8″
– 3″ beads
– 3″ beads
– 3″ beads
x 8" straws; 2 x 2″ tips
|needle nose tips|| –
*Dow says it will introduce new PRO 13 and PRO 14 guns in the coming months, the PRO 13 will have a steel barrel, nickel plated can adapter and Teflon check valve. **The new PRO 14 will have a brass barrel, steel trigger and Teflon check valve.
The Pro 15 is a slightly modified Todol Pageris gun, while the Pro 14 takes most of the attributes of the Todal Pur Shooter. The Pro 15 gun is nothing fancy – at least from a distance, but it has some high-end features that make it a top-of-the-line model, despite its heavy use of plastic throughout the frame. In particular, almost all important surfaces are coated with Teflon, which makes cleanup easier and helps the gun to always form a reliable seal with the can. Add in a stainless steel tip and you have a product that will last a long time without rust or other corrosion. The Pro 15 also features replaceable tips and a strong plastic trigger. While it may not look as durable as aluminum or steel, it won't do much damage and once you get the flow rate right, it operates pretty smoothly.
We started by loading a can of Great Stuff Pro window and door expansion foam onto the gun. The best way is to press down and actually screw the gun onto the can. This gives you the best possible connection and reduces the possibility of misthreading the can onto the Teflon coated adapter. We grabbed a piece of scrap plywood and started running beads using the flow control valve on its minimum setting, then gradually opening it up to try large bead sizes. The result speaks for itself:
There was virtually no learning curve, and we had no trouble laying down 1/8" beads or wider lines of expanded foam. The flow control valve on the back of the gun is easy to turn on or off, and we were able to experience a very easy and consistent foam line no matter what we wanted. The gun also easily stays in a straight line due to the orientation of the can to the handle – this makes it easy to handle and steer.
After testing the accuracy of the Dow Great Stuff PRO 15 Gun, we wanted to see how much time and effort it could save us on our pet projects. This time, we needed a ton of foam to fill a very large crack in the inside elbow of the water oak. This is a natural place to collect water and do some damage to the trees by encouraging rotting and insect infestation. Once we cleaned the crack, it was almost 10 inches deep at its lowest point! We let it dry and then filled it with Great Stuff Pro Gaps & Cracks, allowing it to fill and expand as needed to cover the entire area and cause future rainwater to move around the area instead of filling and rotting the tree.
Returning after everything was swollen and dry, we took a jigsaw, which we normally use to cut PVC, and created a nice smooth cut along the angle of the tree to reduce the footprint of the foam and hide it while standing below this area.
The result was a nice sunken section of foam, which we then applied roof tar to ensure that rain did not get into the sliced foam (since we had removed the outer seal provided by the natural drying of the foam). The finished product now prevents rainwater from penetrating deep into the tree. Not your usual Great Stuff Foam, but it works.
Next, we tackled a couple of windows we were installing that needed Great Stuff Window & Door Foam Sealant to properly weather them. The foam worked great and the Pro 15 applicator allowed us to lay down a consistent bead of glue from top to bottom along the window's 2×4 framing. Having replaced a ton of windows, I can say this is a lot easier than using jars with plastic straws.
After using the Expanding Foam Gun, it's hard to imagine going back to regular cans and straws. Actually, I won't. But pros will have to ask themselves if $120 is too much for this tool. We had to give a resounding "yes" — but since there are two other models, that just means the Pro 15 is still an elite tool you can buy. For under $50, we think the Pro 14 is at its best and still a worthwhile model to buy. Having said that, you'll see that the 2/10 value rating we gave the Pro 15 is dismal, but the tool itself is fantastic — it gets a 7/10 performance rating. It's just that you can save yourself a lot of money and buy nearly three Pro 14 models for the same money. Do yourself a favor and get a Dow Great Stuff Pro Foam Dispensing Gun – you won't regret it.