The 10 Best Grease Guns
This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in June of 2015. When you need to deliver a specific and consistent amount of lubricant to a complicated job, whether you're working in your garage at home or at a commercial auto shop, a quality grease gun should be your closest ally. The models on our list range from simple, inexpensive manual units perfect for hobbyists all the way up to the high-powered, professional implements used by the guys in jumpsuits. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best grease gun on Amazon.
All About Grease Guns
Grease guns most often come in three types; manual, pneumatic, and air powered, with manual models being the most affordable and widely used.
Manual grease guns may have either a lever or a trigger for hand-pumping the grease from the barrel to the hose or tube.
Grease guns are commonly used in automotive and industrial machining shops for greasing bearings and other parts that need regular lubrication. They are the most effective tool for moving grease to an application point in a controlled and localized manner. Grease guns most often come in three types; manual, pneumatic, and air powered, with manual models being the most affordable and widely used.
Different types of grease guns, and even different brands within the same type, will output a different amount of grease per stroke. Most grease guns output somewhere between one and three grams of grease per stroke. Over-greasing a bearing can cause the seals of a bearing to blow out, potentially allowing in dust and other contaminants, while under-greasing a bearing can lead to mechanical failure and overheating.
For this reason is it important that lubrication technicians and home DIYers using a grease gun know how much grease their specific model outputs per stroke. The actual output can also vary depending on the age of the grease gun, so it is important to periodically measure your grease gun's output. This can be done by performing a single stroke onto an electronic scale and weighing the amount of grease pushed out of the gun.
Manual grease guns may have either a lever or a trigger for hand-pumping the grease from the barrel to the hose or tube. The barrel is the area where the grease or grease cartridge is stored when inside of the gun. Some guns are designed to hold a pre-filled cartridge of grease while other models are designed to be filled with grease from a bulk container. Inside of the barrel is a plunger that gets depressed with a squeeze of the trigger or lever. This provides even pressure to the back of the grease tube or the grease itself to ensure a consistent output of grease.
On grease guns that accept exposed grease from a bulk container there will be a filler nipple, which is the injection point. On all models there will also be some kind of air-release valve to allow air to escape after adding new grease.
Attached to the barrel will be some kind of hydraulic coupler or connector that holds the flexible tube or fixed hose firmly in place when pumping grease. At the end of the hose or tube will be another coupler that connects to the application point.
Types Of Grease Guns Explained
As mentioned previously, there are three main types of grease guns; pneumatic, battery, and hand powered. Within the hand power category, there are both trigger, press, and lever style guns.
Lever style manual grease guns are the most commonly used types. They supply on average 1.28 grams of grease per pump. The lever runs along the length of the barrel. This can make them useful for applying grease in areas where there is no room to use a pistol grip style grease gun.
This can make them useful for applying grease in areas where there is no room to use a pistol grip style grease gun.
Press style grease guns will have some kind of T-handle sticking out from the rear of the barrel which is designed to be depressed in some manner, either by brute force or through a twisting action.
Manual pistol grip grease guns allow for one-handed pumping so the user can keep one hand free for other purposes. These are also very commonly used and can be found in most automotive shops and in many home DIYer garages. A manual pistol grip gun outputs on average 0.86 grams of grease per stroke.
Pneumatic-powered grease guns only come with a pistol style grip and utilize positive displacement to dispense the grease. Pneumatic grease guns need to be attached to a hose during operation, which makes them inconvenient for some users. In addition to their high cost, they are also incredibly powerful and can easily blow out a bearing on smaller machine components. For these reasons they are generally only used in commercial and industrial applications.
Battery-powered grease guns also only come in a pistol grip and work in a similar manner to pneumatic models, the only difference being the power source. Battery-powered models have the advantage of cordless operation, making them more useful for those that need to move around a lot or work in an area where a cord running along the ground can be a hazard.
Tips For Using A Grease Gun
Following a few simple tips when using a grease can make your work more effective and also prevent any problems from arising. Make sure to use the vent plug when applying grease to allow air bubbles and old grease to escape. This will reduce the risk of applying too much pressure and blowing out the bearing.
Following a few simple tips when using a grease can make your work more effective and also prevent any problems from arising.
Another good idea is to install a grease fitting with a pressure relief valve. One must also be very careful when loading new cartridges to ensure that no contaminants are introduced to the system, as this can seriously shorten bearing life.
Before dispensing the grease, pump out a small amount onto a cloth or rag of some kind. This will clean the dispensing nozzle of any contaminants that might have gotten inside of it during storage. After dispensing a little bit, wipe the end of the nozzle off with a lint-free rag before attaching it to the application point.
The grease application point should also be cleaned with a lint-free rag before attaching the gun. After application wipe the injection point clean one more time before replacing the cap.
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