How to Use a Grease Gun

​A grease gun is an essential tool to have in a garage or any other tool shop. It is used to apply grease or oil onto different mechanical moving parts to prevent friction. The oil comes out of the nipple and onto these mechanical parts. Before you learn how to use a grease gun, you should have an idea about the different types of grease guns available in the market.

​Types of Grease Guns

​The most popular grease guns include:

  • Pneumatic Guns: These are grease guns force grease out of the nozzle using compressed air that is administered by hoses.
  • Hand-Powered Guns: These apply a spring mechanism. You crank the gun in order to build pressure which pushes the grease to come out of the nozzle. Some of these guns have trigger mechanisms which aid in their function.
  • Battery Guns: These are powered by batteries and are best used for large volumes of lubrication work.

​How ​To ​Load a ​Grease ​Gun

how to load a grease gun

​Before you use a grease gun, you must learn how to load the cartridge. This might seem like a very simple task but it is important. It determines whether or not your grease actually comes out of the nozzle. 

Loading a cartridge the wrong way might cause an air lock which then blocks the grease from flowing. Removing airlocks can be very frustrating thus it is easier to avoid them altogether by loading the cartridge correctly.

Before you begin loading your cartridge, you must have the relevant material. First you need to have a grease gun, a new grease cartridge and latex gloves to prevent getting the grease all over your hands. Proceed to separate the grease gun head from the barrel.

Once this is done, remove the remaining grease from the barrel and pack it onto the head to prevent any airlocks. The next step is to screw in the new cartridge onto the barrel. Once it is seating on the head, turn it back about two turns to release the spring tension. Your new grease cartridge is now loaded and any air will bleed from the loose threads.

​Bleeding Trapped Air In Grease Gun

​Releasing trapped air from the grease gun is known as bleeding or forced priming. Air bubbles slow down the discharge of grease or even completely hinder it. Therefore, they must be removed for the gun to function properly.   Before you start using a new grease gun, you should bleed it for air to prevent malfunctions in the future.

To remove the trapped air, you should follow the following steps:

  1. First you need to load a grease cartridge properly by ensuring that it sits on the head with two turns left for bleeding the air.
  2. Take the plunger rod and pull it back so that it is locked with the end cap.
  3. Ensure that the cylinder is tightly connected to the gun head and also that the gun handle is in an open position.
  4. From the end cap, remove the plunger rod and then proceed to lock the plunger to the rod. To do this, you need to rotate the notch near the end of the plunger such that it is not facing the opening of the steel cap. The steel cap is below the plunger.
  5. Press the air release valve and then push the plunger rod inside the cylinder. You can tell if the plunger is locked to the rod by how easily it goes into the cylinder.
  6. Repeat this process numerous times to release all the air trapped in the grease gun.
  7. The next step is to rotate the rod so that it is in line with the opening on the steel cap. This unlocks the rod.
  8. Push the rod inside the cylinder.
  9. Test the grease gun by operating it normally. If there is a steady stream of grease flowing out, then the air has been bled out. If the grease still does not come out, it means that you will need to repeat the process until you can get grease coming out of the gun.

​How to Apply Grease

​This is a very simple and straightforward process. It all depends on the type of grease gun that you are using. In order to apply grease, all you have to do is push the piston so that the grease or oil is forced out of the nozzle. If you are using the hand-powered grease gun, you would need to:

  • ​Clamp the nipple or nozzle in place
  • ​Use the hand-crank to create pressure and then pull the trigger once you are convinced that the pressure built up is enough
  • ​Before releasing the trigger mechanism, you will need to direct the nozzle where you want to lubricate or oil

​One important point to note when using a grease gun is to use an apron or some protective clothing. Ensure that you are in clothes you do not mind getting messy.

​Taking Care of the Grease Gun

​Now that you know how to load a cartridge, to bleed air and to use the grease gun once it is functional, the next thing is to learn how to maintain this gun. Like every other tool, there are certain tips and guidelines that will help you keep the grease gun functional for longer. These are:

  • ​Use the appropriate amount of pressure. The shields and seals can be easily damaged if you build excess pressure
  • ​Clean the grease gun well before storing it away
  • ​Use some warm water to rinse the nozzle and let it dry before storing the grease gun
  • ​Have different guns for different lubricants. Separating these will help keep your grease gun clean and working well for a long time
​Final Verdict

​If you are going to use a grease gun for lubrication you need to know how to work it. Apart from using it for grease application, you should also know how to bleed out air as this is a common problem when it comes to grease guns. Additionally, maintenance of the grease gun will give it a longer life and thus serve you for a longer period of time as well.

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