If you stop by any hardware store, you'll see dap cap or other tools and are only like 2.50.
The plastic gives a cleaner line than and the caulk pushes away up the tool, rather than building up and sticking to your finger.
Again, agree, you need to use the tool properly and push the caulk into the joint,and not like a shovel scooping away the caulk for the main seam.
Then You can also use the tool like a mini-trowel to scrape away excess as well.
you should also make use of two tools, or use an old credit card and roll of paper towels to help you periodically help clean off excess caulk from the tool so the buildup of caulk doesn't mess up your line.
I am not a caulking expert, but I've tried tape before and don't think the tape gives good results. One, it takes more time. Two, when you remove masking it will leave a lip/edge of caulk which eventually will show as dust or water pools on it. You are better off using a tool like this, because if you push/scrape the excess on the raw surface away, this will fade the caulk to a nice seamless transition without zero lip/edge.