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πŸ¦ͺ The Best Clam Guns For Razor Clams

Harvesting razor clams can be a very physically intensive process. Even if you have the strength and energy to spend an afternoon constantly harvesting clams, it’s very likely you’ll accidentally puncture the shell while digging it up. That’s why some clever clammers out there devised an excellent machine called a clam gun that allows you to effortlessly pull up burrowed razor clams without damaging their shell.

While the device may seem simple, there’s actually quite a bit of variety between the different makes and models which is why we compared the best options on the market and came up with a list of five that you can order online today.



Our Top Overall Pick




ImageNameFeaturesPrice
Murff's Claminator Stainless Steel Clam Gun
  • Comes in 5 separate sizes.
  • Perfect for anyone 5'-6' and up/li>
  • Stainless steel.
  • Barrel diameter: 5"
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Danielson Clam Gun
  • Dimensions: 31" length, 5" x 15" barrel.
  • Made of corrosion resistant steel.
  • Coated with an enamel finish.
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Danielson Anodized Aluminum Clam Gun
  • Length: 31"
  • Diameter: 5"
  • Corrosion resistant.
  • Lightweight aluminum construction.
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Promar Clam Gun
  • Length: 31"
  • Diameter: 5"
  • Made of steel.
  • Rubber handles for improved grip.
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Standard PVC Plastic Razor Clam Gun
  • Length: 30"
  • Diameter: 4"
  • Made of PVC plastic.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Inexpensive.
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Top 5 Best Clam Guns for Razor Clams

1. Murff’s Claminator Stainless Steel Clam Gun – Best for Razor Clams

Features:
  • Comes in 5 separate sizes.
  • Perfect for anyone 5′-6′ and up!
  • Stainless steel.
  • Barrel diameter: 5″

Murff’s Claminator is hands down the best clam gun we’ve ever reviewed. It comes in five different sizes for all heights and ages and is made of stainless steel to prevent corrosion and damage caused by seawater. It’s air valve is also specially designed to close as it enters the sand and opens as you pull up which breaks the vacuum and makes it much easier to pull out of the sand.

It’s also sold in four separate sizes: 28″, 33″, 35″ and 37″. This means that whatever your height, there’s a size that will fit you perfectly:

  • 28″ – Ideal for kids as young as 8 years old.
  • 33″ – Perfect for people between 5′-5’5″ tall.
  • 35″ – Fits well for people between 5’6″ – 5’10” tall.
  • 37″ – For taller clammers above 5’11” tall.

The only real downside to this clam gun is it’s cost – it’s almost twice as expensive as it’s closest competitor. That being said, you definitely get what you pay for. The quality of this clam gun is unmatched and it’s the perfect choice for any serious clammers that want a gun that is built to last.

Pros
  • Made of stainless steel.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes for different heights.
  • Highest quality construction.
  • Recommended for serious clammers.

Cons
  • Very expensive.

Buy at Amazon.com

2. Danielson Clam Gun – Best for Enamel Coating

Features:
  • Dimensions: 31″ length, 5″ x 15″ barrel.
  • Made of corrosion resistant steel.
  • Coated with an enamel finish.

In addition to making a variety of crabbing and clamming gear, Danielson also makes an excellent steel clam gun. Measuring at 31″ inches long with a 5″ by 15″ barrel, this solid steel clam gun has a blue coating of enamel that is designed to help prevent corrosion and rust even in the harsh ocean conditions.

Maintaining a strong suction while pulling up the clam can be a bit tricky. It’s best to pull 3-4 inches before the suction breaks, then slide it out of the sand where the clam is easier to retrieve. Trying to pull the full 6+ inches out of the sand will likely result in the suction breaking and you’ll need to manually dig in the hole to retrieve the clam.

There are a few downsides – the enamel coating will, unsurprisingly, peel off quite quickly after even a couple uses. This is hardly surprising given how hard saltwater and sand can be on any type of coating. Frankly, they probably shouldn’t have even bothered coating it since after a single afternoon of use it’ll likely rub off most of the enamel. It shouldn’t be much of a problem if you remember to rinse it off after use in fresh water so it won’t corrode or rust.

Pros
  • Steel construction.
  • Coated with a corrosion resistant enamel.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Perfect size for shorter clammers.

Cons
  • Paint will rub off quickly after repeated use.
  • Excellent value.

Buy at Amazon.com

3. Danielson Anodized Aluminum Clam Gun – Best for Aluminum Construction

Features:
  • Length: 31″
  • Diameter: 5″
  • Corrosion resistant.
  • Lightweight aluminum construction.

Unlike the other options on this list this clam gun is made out of anodized aluminum which offers quite a few advantages compared to the steel and PVC alternatives. For starters, aluminum won’t rust or corrode like steel which is a pretty big perk considering where you’re likely to use it. It’s also very lightweight and easy to carry since aluminum is significantly lighter than steel.

That being said, you need to be more careful with it since it may bend or break under heavy strain. Aluminum just isn’t as durable as the steel options on this list and if you’re not careful you may accidentally bend or break it. It’s also a bit more expensive than the steel options.

While you may sacrifice some durability, it makes up for it by being significantly lighter and easier to carry. And you don’t have to worry about rinsing it off with freshwater after use since it can’t rust.

Pros
  • Made of anodized aluminum.
  • Cannot rust or corrode.
  • Very lightweight.

Cons
  • More expensive than the steel clam guns on this list.
  • Aluminum isn’t as durable or strong as steel so it may bend or break under heavy strain.

Buy at Amazon.com

4. Promar Clam Gun – Best for Improved Grip

Features:
  • Length: 31″
  • Diameter: 5″
  • Made of steel.
  • Rubber handles for improved grip.

If you’re a casual razor clammer then the Promar clam gun is the choice for you. It’s steel construction holds an air-tight seal much better than the PVC alternatives and is much more likely to hold up to sustained use. At 31″ long it’s a comfortable fit for clammers that are around 5’8″ (give or take a few inches) and it’s 5″ diameter barrel is just big enough to ensure you won’t puncture any razor clams you might be pulling up.

The rubber grips on the handles help ensure that you maintain your grip even when the clam gun gets wet.

The biggest drawback to the Promar clam gun is how it’s built – the handle and the barrel are two separate pieces that are welded together which creates a potential weak point. If the welding becomes cracked then the handle can become detached from the barrel altogether which means you’ll either need to re-weld it back together or buy a new clam gun. Luckily cracking is fairly uncommon but it’s something to consider before making a purchase.

Pros
  • Steel construction.
  • Comes with rubber grips on the handles for improved grip.
  • Great for people around 5’8″ tall.

Cons
  • The welding between the handle and the tube is a weak spot and may break over time.
  • There are cheaper steel options on the market.

Buy at Amazon.com

5. Standard PVC Plastic Razor Clam Gun – Best for Children

Features:
  • Length: 30″
  • Diameter: 4″
  • Made of PVC plastic.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Inexpensive.

Last on this list is the standard PVC razor clam gun. In addition to being extremely lightweight and easy to carry it’s also a perfect option for younger children who want to go clamming. It’s much cheaper than both the steel and aluminum options which is great for casual clammers that don’t want to spend much.

Unfortunately the PVC plastic is very weak and can easily crack if you’re too rough with it. You’ll need to be very careful not to pull up too much sand or the increased weight will cause too much strain on the plastic and cause it to break. Of all the options on this list, this is no question the least durable and is unlikely to last more than a half dozen clamming trips.

Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Good for children.
  • The least expensive option on this list.

Cons
  • Cracks very easily.
  • Unlikely to last more than a couple trips to the beach.

Buy at Amazon.com

Conclusion

Out of the hundreds of clam guns available online right now, the 5 we outlined above are hands down the best options you can buy today. And out of that 5 we crown the Murff’s Claminator Stainless Steel Clam Gun as the best overall.

Buyer’s Guide

Before you decide on a clam gun we strongly recommend you determine which attributes it needs to have. There’s quite a bit of variety among clam guns so we went ahead and broke down the most important details so you can decide for yourself what’s most important before you buy it online.

Suction

One of the most important aspects of the clam gun is how well it keeps it’s suction. Almost all clam guns come with a ventilation system that allows you to drop the sand out of the barrel once you’ve pulled it up. Without a suction system it can become very difficult to pull the tube out of the sand and you won’t be able to dump it once pulled up.

Length

The length of the clam gun is also extremely important. Longer clamming guns make it easier to extract deeper razor clams and prevent taller people from bending over during the pushing and pulling process. Shorter clam guns may require you to pull multiple tubes of sand out before getting to the razor clam.

Diameter

A longer diameter tube can also make it much easier to get the razor clam without damaging the shell. A common problem when digging with forks or shovels is that you accidentally puncture the shell and damage the clam itself while larger diameter clam guns make it simple to extract the razor clam without damaging it.

Construction

Generally speaking clamming guns are made of three materials: steel, aluminum and PVC plastic. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Steel – Steel is the most durable of the three but is heavier and much more expensive than PVC plastic.
  • Aluminum – Aluminum is more durable than PVC but less so than steel while being much more lightweight. It’s also generally more expensive than the other options on this list.
  • PVC Plastic – It’s the lightest and cheapest of the three but it’s also the least durable and can easily crack or break under heavy use.

Warranty

Be sure to check whether or not the manufacturer offers a warranty on the item you intend to purchase. While Amazon should cover broken or defective items upon delivery, it’s up to the manufacturer as to whether they will provide a replacement after it’s been used. Compare different clam gun sellers to see if any of them will offer replacements in the event it breaks from normal use.

Return Policy

Even if everything works properly, you may discover you’ve ordered the wrong clam gun for your needs which may require a return. Be sure to check with the vendor before purchasing to see if they will allow a return and if so, under what circumstances.

Shipping

Shipping is easily one of the most annoying costs associated with making online purchases. Be sure to compare the shipping costs to your location prior to making a purchase so you don’t end up spending more than you bargained for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which clam gun is the cheapest?

If you’re shopping for the lowest priced clam gun you can find then we recommend the Standard PVC Plastic Razor Clam Gun. Of all the clam guns we’ve reviewed, none of the others can beat it’s price.

What is a clam gun?

A clam gun is a simple machine that is designed to effortlessly harvest razor clams without requiring you to dig with a shovel or your hands. You simply push the tube over a razor clam dimple and pull up all the surrounding sand so you can effortlessly pick up the clam.

How do you dig for razor clams with a clam gun?

It’s actually quite simple:

  1. Find an indentation or hole in the sand where razor clams typically burrow.
  2. Center the clam gun over the hole in the sand.
  3. Twist the clam gun back forth causing it to dig deeper and deeper into the sand until the barrel is completely submerged.
  4. Pull up the entire barrel and dump the sand and razor clam for easy retrieval.

For our more visual learners, here’s a video that shows the entire process from beginning to end:

How far down are razor clams?

Typically razor clams burrow between 6 inches and two feet below the surface. The vast majority of razor clams will come up from a single pull of a clam gun but every four or five may require you to go a bit deeper or even dig by hand in order to retrieve it.

How do you carry the clams once you’ve harvested them?

Most people choose to carry the clams they’ve harvested in a clam bag that allows the razor clam to discharge any excess water and sand they may have ingested.

Further Reading