Top 8 Best Foam Guns and Foam Cannons for Detailing (2019)

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What are some of the top snow foam guns, cannons, and lances?A common question I see asked is,  “Should I get a foam gun and if so which one?” The truth is the purpose of buying a foam gun or foam lance is more about making washing your car more enjoyable than it is about getting cleaner or speeding up your washing routine.

There is some merit to the fact that highly foamed shampoo will resist running off of your paint and drying quickly allowing ample time for the chemicals in the soap to dwell and let you wipe the whole car with your favorite mitt in one go. Though, once you add in setup time you’re at about the same time as it would take you to do a simple two bucket wash.

The real benefit comes from the increased satisfaction of soaking your car down in thick, rich foam. It’s a lot like playing in a bubble bath vs a quick shower. If you’re a professional detailer you may also find your customers are more impressed by the foam wash than you just busting out a hose and a couple buckets, so there is some value in that as well.

So the real question you should be asking is,  “Does a foam gun make washing my car more enjoyable and thus more likely to do it?” The answer to that is yes!

Now that you understand the true merit of a foam gun or foam cannon let’s look at what is out there and which options you should be looking at. If you’re short for time I suggest looking at the Gilmour Foammaster II foam gun if all you have is a hose and the SudMagic Foam Cannon if you use a pressure washer. Read on to learn why.

Top Snow Foam Guns and Cannons:

Foam Gun vs Foam Cannon vs Foam Lance

Quite simply put, foam guns are used on regular water hoses, foam cannons are used with pressure washers, and foam lances are just another name for foam cannons. While you’ll sometimes see foam guns advertised as being able to be hooked to a pressure washer you’re really better off sticking to using them on garden hoses and getting a foam cannon for the pressure washer.

Purchasing a foam gun versus a foam cannon is also about managing expectations. You’re not going to get the same thickness or quantity of foam out of a foam gun as you would a foam cannon. The tradeoff is that you don’t need an expensive pressure washer running to use it.

At the most basic level most foam guns are pretty similar to each other. They will either be adjustable or not and will come with a pistol grip sprayer that quick attaches to the shampoo reservoir and mixing nozzle. You’ll also find that most options for foam guns are just copies or re-brands of the Gilmour foam guns. Many companies just put a different label on the bottle and sell it for a markup (or discount in the case of cheap copies you find strewn about eBay, Amazon, other sites).

Foam cannons are pretty much the same story as foam guns. The one thing you need to look out for with foam cannons is that the connection to the pressure washer is not universal. You’ll need to make sure the one you buy either comes with a quick connect that fits your pressure washer already or that you purchase one separately.

When buying a foam gun or foam lance I recommend sticking to brands that are likely to provide warranty support or replacement parts should something break. Being that most foam guns and cannons are made of plastic and brass the chance of something breaking if mishandled is pretty high.

Does GPM really matter when using a foam cannon?

Many people may wonder if they can run a foam cannon on a pressure washer that has a lower gallon per minute (GPM) rating than advertised for the foam cannon. The answer is yes, you just need to use a smaller orifice for the foam cannon. Sometimes these are included and sometimes you’ll have to order them separately from the manufacturer’s website.

If you can’t get a smaller orifice you can still use the foam cannon just understand that the foam might not be as dense as it could be.

Gilmour 95QGFMR Foamaster II Gun

Gilmour Cleaning Sprayer Foamaster II...
766 Reviews
Gilmour Cleaning Sprayer Foamaster II...
  • Uses 4 ounce of chemicals per gallon of water
  • Chemical resistance
  • Accurately mixes and sprays foaming chemicals
  • Fan spray deflector included
  • quick set dial selects mixing ratio or mixing off setting

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Quality Materials and Construction
  • Adjustable foam levels
  • Excellent foam pattern with fan attachment
  • Brass connectors
  • Replacement parts available from Gilmour

Cons:

  • Nozzle can be finicky to secure to front
  • No volume markers on the side of the bottle

For its intended purpose this foam gun works great. It’s made by Gilmour, a quality brand, in the USA. You’ll notice many, if not most, of the alternative foam guns are based on this design.

The build quality is there using sturdy plastic and tight fitting brass connections.

The foam levels are adjustable with a spin dial located on top of the bottle attachment, though I suspect most will end up using it on the max level.

The connection between the sprayer and foamer is a quick connect allowing you to remove the foamer to rinse the car. One downside the sprayer without the foamer is the spray pattern is not adjustable to it’s not easy to get anything other than a tight stream of water which many may not like for rinsing. This is a common problem across most foam guns though.

Another drawback is that the fan pattern nozzle can be finicky to secure properly. It’s entirely possible that the nozzle can come off while using it if it’s not secured. Some people have resorted to gluing the nozzle on just to be safe.

All in all this foam gun is a great alternative to a loud, expensive pressure washer and foam cannon combo. With a quality shampoo such as Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam (smells great) you’ll get all you can ask for out of a foam gun.

 

Gilmour 75QGFMR Foamaster Gun

Sale
Gilmour 75QGFMR Foamaster Adjustable...
556 Reviews
Gilmour 75QGFMR Foamaster Adjustable...
  • Adjustable to 1, 2, 4, 6 or 12 ounce per gallon
  • Wide, easy-to-fill mouth prevents spills
  • Foaming attachment provides fan spray to maximize cleaning...
  • Accurately mixes and sprays foaming chemicals
  • Foaming attachment provides fan spray, solid stream without...

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Quality Materials and Construction
  • Adjustable foam levels
  • Excellent foam pattern with fan attachment
  • Brass connectors
  • Replacement parts available from Gilmour

Cons:

  • Nozzle can be finicky to secure to front
  • No volume markers on the side of the bottle

Just about everything that was said about the Foamaster II can be said about this one. The exception being that this foam gun has an all brass construction where the adjustments are made and it draws foam from the reservoir which accounts for much of the price difference.

One nice feature is that you can rotate the foam adjuster 180 degrees to shut off the foaming allowing you to rinse the car with the fan attachment which is much easier than the solid stream you get from just the spray handle without foamer attached.

Just like the Foamaster II this snow foam gun is the foundation to which many other brands are copied or relabeled such as the Autogeek foam gun for example.

 

Adam’s NEW Standard Foam Gun

Sale
Adam's Standard Foam Gun - Use with Any...
109 Reviews
Adam's Standard Foam Gun - Use with Any...
  • COST EFFECTIVE, NO PRESSURE WASHER NEEDED! Looking to coat...
  • INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF SUDS! This unique design offers a...
  • 32 OUNCE CANISTER FOR EXTENDED CLEANING! When using the...
  • WIDE FAN SPRAYER FOR MAXIMUM COVERAGE! When setting up your...
  • 110% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE! We pride ourselves on customer...

Pros:

  • Simple Construction
  • Light weight
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • All plastic construction

The Adam’s New Standard Foam Gun is yet another style of foam gun you’re going to find around. Many other brands use the same style as well such as Chemical Guys since it’s made in China and copies are readily available.

This gun has is made mostly of plastic including the quick connect. The nozzle is fixed and it’s non-adjustable on the fly. You can, however, install different orifices (included) in the soap pickup inside the canister to adjust how much soap is pulled in. Consider this the stripped down, keep it simple and affordable version.

Given the price is so close to the Foamaster II I really can’t recommend this one and merely offer it as an alternative for those that value simplicity.

 

Adam’s Premium 32oz Foam Gun

Sale
Adam's Premium 32oz Foam Gun - Premium,...
8 Reviews
Adam's Premium 32oz Foam Gun - Premium,...
  • Produces a thick clinging foam for car washing
  • Works with a standard garden hose, no pressure washer...
  • Premium, heavy-duty construction

Pros:

  • Well built
  • Simple construction
  • Adjustable with included metering tips
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Pricey at near $100

The Adam’s Premium Foam Gun is yet another style of foam gun you’ll run across during your search. Unlike most other foam guns this one, at the time of writing, is exclusive to Adams.

It’s construction is high quality, having a more industrial feel similar to those that you find in the sanitation industry. The quick connects are metal. It’s also made in the USA.

As for adjust-ability, it includes metering tips which are screwed into the nozzle to adjust the foam and water pressure.

You’ll also notice the sprayer grip is the same one used in the cheaper gun which makes me question the $50 price difference.

All-in-all a solid foam gun at a premium price.

 

SudMagic Foam Cannon

Sale
SudMagic Foam Cannon Pressure Washer Gun...
215 Reviews
SudMagic Foam Cannon Pressure Washer Gun...
  • BRASS THREADED BOTTLE (LIFETIME WARRANTY) WILL NOT STRIP:...
  • 1.1mm and 1.25mm ORIFICE INCLUDED: Allows for optimal...
  • BLANKET YOUR VEHICLE IN FOAM: The foam cannon sprayer...
  • HEAVY-DUTY BRASS COMPONENTS: Professional grade quality....
  • ADJUSTABLE NOZZLE AND FOAM THICKNESS: Foamer nozzle turns to...

Pros:

  • Brass construction
  • Brass bottle neck and threads
  • Adjustable foam output
  • Adjustable nozzle pattern
  • Measurement marks on side of bottle
  • Serviceable

Cons

  • Only includes one 1/4″ male quick connect.

You’ll notice there aren’t many cons on this list. That is because for the price this is a really great foam cannon. I honestly think this is the best foam cannon I’ve reviewed yet.

The biggest flaw with most snow foam lances is that they use a brittle plastic bottle with a thin plastic neck and plastic threading. The next biggest flaw is they use cheap suppliers that don’t properly assemble them which causes them to be leaky.

This foam cannon solves those problems by using an HDPE bottle with a brass threaded neck. I love the brass neck on the bottle and have yet to hear of one breaking. It engages smoothly and leak free. I suppose one con could be if you screw the bottle on too tightly you may need tools to loosen it, much like a hose with screw on brass fittings.

Other than that, it checks every other box. It’s adjustable in both foam intake and pattern. You can adjust foam intake all the way to off allowing running clean water through the gun, a necessity to keep the internals from clogging up with soap scum.

Using a quality high sudsing soap like Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam with a decent pressure washer produces an excellent amount of foam . It doesn’t leak. It also includes volume levels on the side of the bottle which makes mixing your soap solution a simple task.

All in all, it’s just a really great foam cannon at a great price.

 

MTM Hydro Original Professional Foam Lance

MTM Hydro Original Professional Foam...
419 Reviews
MTM Hydro Original Professional Foam...
  • 1,100 - 5,000 PSI
  • 1.8 - 5.3 GPM
  • 140 degree temp
  • Adjustable Fan Blades (jet-wide)
  • Perfect for Detailing: Auto, RV, Marine, Aviation,...

Pros:

  • Adjustable
  • Volume marking on bottle
  • Brass construction
  • Serviceable

Cons:

  • Plastic bottle neck cross threads and breaks easily
  • Odd sized steel quick connect which rusts easily
  • Easy to knock adjustment knob out of adjustment

Much like Gilmour Foam guns the MTM Hydro Original is the design that many foam lances are based on or simply relabeled from. It’s an earlier design with some reliability quirks but does work overall.

The cannon is adjustable however the adjust-ability is more so just on or off. It’s easy to knock it out of where you set it as well.

Most of the parts are brass except for the quick connect which is an odd size for most electric pressure washers, meaning you’ll likely end up at the hardware store buying a better one for your specific pressure washer.

Two other cons, which you’ll find with most other foam cannons, are that the bottle neck and threads are plastic which don’t hold up well to abuse with the brass connector and the internals easily gunk up with soap scum which stops the lance from working.

The solution to the build up is to always run clean water through the gun without the soap. Unfortunately there is no solution to the plastic bottle threads other than buying another gun like the SudMagic Foam Cannon.

 

MTM Hydro PF22 Professional Foam Lance

Sale
MTM Hydro PF22 Professional Foam Lance...
114 Reviews
MTM Hydro PF22 Professional Foam Lance...
  • New Two Stage Nozzle Sprays up to 20 feet
  • Adjustable Spray Pattern (horizontal or vertical)
  • Adjustable Fan Blades (jet-wide)
  • New Ergonomic easy grip bottle
  • Adjustable chemical injection knob

Pros:

  • Adjustable spray pattern
  • Adjustable foam output
  • Made in Italy and assembled in USA

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Plastic bottle neck and threads

Like the MTM Hydro Original you’ll find this foam cannon copied and relabeled across many brands online. It’s construction is also similar to the Hydro Original relying on a small plastic bottle neck and plastic threads to connect to the gun. If you’re not careful this plastic neck is easy to break.

On the positive side, the nozzle on the foam gun is adjustable so you can have a horizontal or vertical fan without having to hold the bottle sideways and wearing yourself out.

The soap intake is also adjustable allowing for differing amounts of foam to be sprayed out. The adjustment dial on this cannon does seem to stay in place better than the Hyrdo Original.

Like most foam cannons you’re going to end up at the hardware store buying the correct quick connect for your pressure washer since the included one will not fit all.

 

MATCC Adjustable Foam Cannon

MATCC Adjustable Foam Cannon I Liter...
1,493 Reviews
MATCC Adjustable Foam Cannon I Liter...
  • Adjustable Snow Foam Lance with 1/4" quick connection...
  • Adjustable spray nozzle for accurate mixing and generate...
  • Stainless steel foam maker core to make crazy foam when...
  • Requires pressure washer to Have 2.0GPM & Over 1000 PSI...
  • 100% Risk-Free Warranty: One Year Warranty. Contact seller...

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Produces ample foam
  • Adjustable

Cons:

  • Plastic bottle
  • Questionable build quality

I included this cannon as an example of what you’ll commonly see online. It’s an imported copy of the original MTM design. It’s extremely cheap ringing in at near $20 shipped. It does work as advertised including adjustable nozzle and ample foam output.

I do question the support you’re likely to get with these white-labeled foam cannons, especially considering the cheap plastic bottles with thin necks and plastic threads that are prone to breaking.

If you’re really tight on cash but really want to try out a foam cannon then these fit the bill. If you’re and auto enthusiast who enjoys washing their vehicles, or a pro that does this for a living, it really is worth it to spend a few more bucks on a higher quality lance like the SudMagic foam cannon.

 

In Summary

Overall my favorite example of a snow foam gun is the Gilmour Foamaster II and my favorite example of a snow foam lance is the SudMagic Foam Gun.

Both of these foamers are quality and have a great bang for the buck. No matter which you choose I can almost guarantee you’ll have fun with it.

If you need a quality and affordable highly foaming soap to go along with your gun I suggest looking at Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam.

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One thought on “Top 8 Best Foam Guns and Foam Cannons for Detailing (2019)

  1. Reply
    Robert Bridgeforth - August 12, 2018

    I work for Mtm Hydro. You covered a lot of fair and balanced ground. Drop me a line next week to chat.

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