All machines need to be lubricated at regular intervals to ensure that they continue to function perfectly. A grease gun distributes the lubricating oil or grease in exactly the right place thanks to its thin tip.
In grease gun reviews, devices that have a high capacity are always convincing. Anyone who wants to use the purchased grease gun only rarely should now choose a model from our comparison, which can be filled with cartridges and thus keep the grease fresh longer.
The most important in a nutshell
- A grease gun is a tool used to grease machines, motors, and motor joints in order to reduce friction and increase service life.
- The oil, which is necessary for the faultless movement of machines, must be brought to the associated parts such as chains, wheel bearings, threads, etc. This is possible with a grease gun.
- Grease guns are divided into automatic grease guns, which are operated either electrically or by compressed air, and manual grease guns, which are operated by pushing or via levers.
The tool is used to apply grease to the important components of machines to lubricate them sufficiently. The lubricant is distributed through a grease nipple at the desired bearing point so that the various components are better lubricated and last longer.
The fixed metal housing has a slot for an oil cartridge and, depending on the model, a compressed air reservoir, accumulator, or trigger.
When the trigger is pulled, pressure is generated inside the press. The pressure distributes oil or lubricant to the selected area via a hose and a lubrication device. Thanks to a valve, the excess pressure can be released in the process.
What are the different types of grease guns and how are they operated?
Presses can be divided into the following categories:
- manual grease gun with a lever;
- manual grease gun with a push operation;
- automatic grease gun with compressed air;
- automatic grease gun with battery.
Manual grease guns
Manual grease guns include impact grease guns, hand lever grease guns, and one-hand grease guns. What these have in common is that they require power to operate. The manual units, which must be equipped with cartridges, are relatively small and thus easy to transport. The hand lever grease gun requires less force than the one-hand grease gun, which can be operated with one hand, due to the lever action. The impact grease gun is even smaller and has a lubrication tube. This tube increases the internal pressure, which is relieved via the grease (which exits at the mouthpiece).
The manual one-hand presses must be filled with a cartridge just like the hand lever presses. This cartridge is refillable and must be changed as soon as it is empty. Only the impact grease gun must be filled with loose grease, which is more complicated.
Automatic grease guns
Automatic presses include, first of all, the electric grease gun, which works on battery and compressed air. In the case of the compressed air grease gun, compressed air is generated by a compressor, which greatly simplifies the lubrication of threads, chains, or joints. In contrast, the battery grease gun does not require cables or hoses and has similar efficiency.
The advantage of automatic presses is that they require less force than manual presses. Most automatic presses can be filled with both cartridges and grease. The battery grease presses have the advantage that they are very easy to move – compared to the compressed air grease press, which must be transported with a compressor.
Buying advice for grease guns
Type of press
The cordless grease gun offers the most efficient performance but also costs the most. A compressed air grease gun requires similarly little power but is more likely to be used stationary due to hoses and cables.
To find the right grease gun type for you, you should therefore ask yourself a few questions:
- Where do you want to use the tool? The compressed air grease gun can only be used stationary due to the weight of the compressor and the number of cables as well as hoses. All other grease guns can be easily transported.
- The number of applications of the grease gun? Presses that are filled with cartridges are easier to fill and last longer than those that need to be filled with grease.
- One-handed or two-handed? One-handed grease guns are easier to use but require increased force.
- Pressure buildup by own force or automatic? Automatic presses do not require physical effort and are therefore easier to operate.
Grease Guns Best Choice
Best Grease Guns on the market:
Lumax Black Heavy Duty Deluxe Pistol Grease Gun
MILWAUKEE'S M12 Cordless Lithium-Ion Grease Gun
Lincoln Fully Automatic Heavy Duty Pneumatic Grease Gun
Ryobi ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless Grease Gun Kit
Since nozzle tubes are usually made of steel, they are not flexible but rigid and inelastic. Due to this rigidity, it is difficult to grease particularly hard-to-reach places. For easy-to-reach places, the application proves to be easier. Either bent or straight nozzle tubes are somewhat shorter than hoses but are already supplied with the matching grease gun mouthpiece.
To prevent unnecessary lubrication, the mouthpiece is connected to a nozzle tube or armored hose at one end and to a grease nipple at the other. However, since several types of grease nipples exist, you must make sure that your mouthpiece harmonizes with the appropriate grease nipple. M10x1 refers to the most common model of connection thread. An overview of the different types of grease nipples can be found here.
In contrast to nozzle tubes, a so-called armored hose is flexible and bendable. Similar to a nozzle tube, the majority of hoses have the M10x1 connection thread. The advantage of hoses is mainly that they can be used in places that are difficult to reach.
With regard to the material, you have rather few options to choose from when it comes to the grease gun.
You should be aware of the fact that parts of your press are almost always made of (galvanized) metal or steel. Although there is also the possibility of a plastic tube, very few manufacturers resort to this. Only the battery lubrication presses often still consist of a plastic part.
You must make sure that you buy a stainless material. Otherwise, you will not only buy once but twice.
Stainless materials for grease guns include:
- Plastic or plastic.
- Galvanized metal.
If the metal is not galvanized, you risk rust and thus the leakage of oil from the grease gun. The metal makes the grease gun heavier for you, but also much more robust. Wind and weather do less to a press made of metal than those made of plastic.
Filling the presses
How to fill the grease guns is important to know, as you can choose between a grease cartridge or grease. Manual filling with grease cartridges, which is mainly used for impact grease guns, has the advantage of being cheaper, but we still recommend that you choose the grease cartridge because it:
- can be easily transported without smearing;
- can be filled cleanly and quickly;
- and sometimes even refillable.
Note: Often the grease guns – manual or automatic – can be filled with both grease cartridges and grease.
Which greases are recommended?
The composition of the greases is important, as they should meet certain requirements. Greases are recommended depending on the area of application. Among the properties that different greases possess are water resistance, resistance to a certain temperature, resistance to a certain pressure, and protection against corrosion. Therefore, so-called multi-purpose greases exist that use mineral oil as the base oil and lithium as the thickener, which fulfills several properties at once.
Tip: Less is sometimes more! Too much grease can damage the shaft seal and does not mean that the lubrication is better than with less grease.
Cleaning of compressed air grease gun
Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure that the pneumatic grease gun continues to serve its purpose and is not damaged by friction or corrosion. This means that the press must be covered with a plastic sheet after each use. Before that, however, the press must be removed from the compressed air source if it has become dirty.
When cleaning, use soft and dry cloths to avoid damaging the compressed air grease gun with sharp objects.
Although manual grease guns are somewhat cheaper than electric grease guns, the purchase of the second variant is worth considering. In particular, battery grease guns, as well as mini grease guns are very practical. They work without force and precisely, can be stored in a space-saving way, and have no annoying cables. It is ideal if you find a model that can be filled with both cartridges and loose lubricating oil. This gives you all the options: Simple and clean with cartridge or in a pinch with lubricating oil. However, always be economical when lubricating. Oil does not have to be applied in large quantities.