Grease guns: simple and helpful for lubricating automotive and industrial machinery. Push grease from the gun, through a nozzle, using pressure. Different types of grease guns exist, but all are loaded and used in similar ways. Here’s how to use one.
Read this guide first. Have rags, empty containers, and any accessories or adapters needed close by. Once you understand the guide, follow these steps for correct usage and safety:
- Fill the grease gun with the proper lubricant.
- Attach the nozzle to the gun.
- Press the trigger to release the grease.
- Apply the grease to the desired area.
- Clean up any excess grease.
What is a Grease Gun?
Grease guns are tools used to oil up machine parts. They come in many sizes and styles, from small handheld ones to big commercial versions. Grease is a special, thick oil used for different types of tasks. The nozzle screws into the canister for easy access and use.
Grease guns are simple to use, so they’re great for automotive maintenance like filling wheel bearings or greasing cotter pins. Before using one, it’s important to understand how they work and follow all safety guidelines.
Types of Grease Guns
Many types of grease guns exist. Popular ones include manual, air-powered, and battery-powered. Each type has its own pros and cons. It’s vital to know these before selecting the right one.
Let’s explore the various types, their features, and how to pick the best one for your purpose:
Manual Grease Guns
Manual grease guns are known as hand-operated grease guns. They are great for light duty jobs. They use a plunger-style delivery system to send grease to the area needing lubrication. There are two types: lever and pistol grip.
- Lever Operated Grease Guns have a plastic body and metal handle. Pressure builds when the handle is squeezed, pushing the grease out through the hose.
- Pistol Grip Grease Guns have a spring-loaded trigger behind the hand guard. Pressure builds when the trigger is pulled, sending grease through an adjustable nozzle at the end of the delivery hose.
Air-Powered Grease Guns
Air-powered grease guns are popular in industrial settings. They use a motor and compressed air to pump grease, and are inexpensive and easy to use.
They come in lever-action and pistol-grip designs, and many have adjustable speed control dials. Some have a mini air regulator for more control over discharge speed.
- Lever action models offer extra comfort and ease of use.
- Most air powered models feature an ergonomic trigger for easier loading.
- The expensive models offer pressure gauges and extra hose kits for extended reach.
Electric Grease Guns
Electric grease guns are battery-powered, designed for medium to heavy lubrication. They offer more even lubricant distribution and can push grease further into mechanical parts. Plus, they’re faster and have higher pressure than manual models.
These guns come with a motor, an ergonomic handle, variable speed control, and adjustable discharge pressures. They also have longer hoses than manual versions, making it easier to reach hard-to-access areas.
Electric grease guns are affordable, but require skill to use safely and without issues. Make sure to read the instructions before operating one.
Preparing the Grease Gun for Use
Before you use your Grease Gun, it’s essential to make sure you’ve properly prepped it. Read on for a step-by-step guide to preparing your Grease Gun.
You need to make sure you have all the parts and pieces, along with the right supplies and tools. That’s how you get your Grease Gun ready for use:
- Ensure you have all the necessary parts and pieces.
- Gather the supplies and tools you need.
- Assemble all the parts and pieces.
- Check that everything is working properly.
Filling the Grease Gun
Filling a Grease Gun is the next step. The amount and type of lube will decide how to fill it. All Grease Guns have a flexible hose. Connect the hose, then open the ball valve at each end, to let the grease go in.
Grease Guns have plastic plungers or pumps, that control how much lube comes out per move. Hand-operated Greasers are suitable, as they are easy to use, need little maintenance and don’t need much lube.
The reservoir can hold up to 14 ounces. For longer operations, an additional cartridge can be bought. Don’t overfill – this can cause pressure and harm the tool. After filling, remove any air bubbles, so the tool won’t clog.
Connecting the Grease Gun to the Grease Fitting
To start using a grease gun, connect it to the grease fitting. Securely attach the end of the flexible hose to the port of the grease gun. For open type guns, fit a threaded sleeve drive fitting by hand. With closed type guns, use a wrench to screw the sleeve fitting in.
Check for kinks in the hose and make sure it is not damaged. Attach the grease gun to the lube pipe or lube device. Take a “C” clamp. Secure one side to the round nipple on the lube pipe and tighten it, but do not over-tighten. Connect the other side of the “C” clamp with even pressure. Again, be careful not to over-tighten.
If manufacturer guide suggests, prime the hose assembly with fresh lubricant. This will prevent air pockets and reduce wear on hoses and machine parts.
Finally! How to Use the Grease Gun?
Let’s learn how to use it!
- Firstly, loading it up.
- Then, how to use it.
Read on and find out!
Squeezing the Trigger
To apply grease, prep the gun first. Squeeze the trigger with your finger and thumb until it locks in place. Squeeze hard so the pressure of the grease is released. Be sure no one is within 10 feet of the grease stream when using a pressure-fed lubrication device. This could cause splatter or an unexpected strike. Release the trigger by pulling back with thumb or index finger until you hear a click. Repeat until sufficient lubricant has been dispensed.
Releasing the Trigger
Check the grease gun is filled and loaded, then you are ready to press the trigger. Pressure inside the barrel forces the grease out of the nozzle steadily. You will need a few pumps before any grease appears, this depends on how full it is.
Release your finger from the trigger when all the grease is out. This prevents any extra grease from being discharged. Maintain pressure on both sides of the plunger when squeezing and releasing, to avoid damaging yourself or the components.
When using the grease gun, it is important to:
- Work in a well-ventilated area, to minimise risk of harm from vapourised exhaust gasses.
- Wear eye protection, because excessive force may cause rebound effects, which may eject small particles of hot metal and plastic in your vicinity.
Cleaning and Storing the Grease Gun
Clean and store your grease gun correctly for good performance and long life!
- Firstly, ensure all parts are free from dirt. Then, use a flathead screwdriver to disassemble the gun. This includes removing clamps and levers, and taking apart the nozzle, extension hose or cordless adaptor as needed.
- Next, remove all grease or oil inside the body with a rag or paper towel. Use a soft brush to clean built-up dirt and lubricant residue from the plunger rod assembly.
- Clean all other components with warm soapy water. Then, wipe them with a dry cloth. Reassemble the parts in order, noting where springs may have fallen out.
- Dry lube all moving parts on the gun. This is especially important if the gun has been in storage longer than a few weeks.
- Finally, store cleaned parts together in their original packaging or in an appropriately sized box. This will prevent items from getting jumbled up next time you need them!
To finish off, it’s key to use a grease gun correctly. Before any job, check what type of grease is needed, and ensure the gun works with it. Make sure the tip fits the fitting before pumping. All these steps will help with using the gun. If you can, practice on something replaceable until you’re comfortable with loading and operating the tool.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a grease gun?
A grease gun is a device used to apply lubricating grease to machines and moving parts.
What are the steps to loading and using a grease gun?
The steps for loading and using a grease gun are:
- Install the grease cartridge into the gun.
- Prime the gun by pumping the trigger several times.
- Attach the grease gun to the grease fitting.
- Press the trigger to dispense the grease.
- Unscrew the gun from the fitting, and store it for future use.
What type of grease should I use in my grease gun?
You should use the type of grease recommended by the manufacturer of the equipment you are lubricating.