How to Use A Grease Gun Step by Step Guide

The grease gun is a mechanical device used to lubricate the parts of various mechanical devices or automotive engines. It delivers the lubricant through a nozzle when pressure is applied.

Grease guns are widely used in automobile industry and are an inherent part of mechanics. To know how to use a grease gun, you must also understand the various types of it. First, let us know the different kinds of grease guns available.

Types of Grease Guns

1. Manual grease gun with lever

Manual grease gun with lever

2. Manual grease gun with pump/pistol grip

Manual grease gun with pump/pistol grip

3. Gaseous or pneumatic grease gun (uses air pressure to dispense the grease)

pneumatic grease gun

4. Electric grease gun

Electric grease gun

Whatever may the type of grease gun be, the ultimate aim is to distribute the lubricant. Almost all grease guns function based on a similar mechanism except for the kind of operation.

Parts of a Grease Gun

A grease gun is a combination of different mechanical parts which work in coordination. Before you know how to use a grease gun, it is essential to understand what are the various components of it.

A grease gun will have the following parts:

  • A barrel which acts as the main body of the gun and also holds the grease cartridge or grease tube.
  • A grease cartridge which contains the grease and rests inside the barrel.
  • A lever/pump/trigger used to pump the grease from the barrel.
  • Head of the grease gun which has valves and connects with a coupler or connector. Head allows the smooth flow of lubricant from the cartridge into the nozzle.
  • A coupler which connects the head and nozzle or hose of the grease gun.
  • A knob for releasing the air pressure which builds up after using the grease gun.
  • A powerful spring at the base of the grease cartridge. The spring will push the grease outside once pressure is applied.
  • At the bottom of the gun, there is a follower rod or piston with a follower handle. Together they will help in pulling back the spring and also for maintaining the balance.
  • Most of the grease guns will have a fixed rigid tube at the end of the hose. But the hose is flexible.

Now that you know the various types of grease guns and their parts let us dwell into their usage.

How To Use A Grease Gun 

Any grease gun to work, it must be loaded with the grease cartridge correctly. Make sure you use an appropriate cartridge and load it appropriately.

How to Use A Grease Gun

Steps in using the grease gun:

  • To load the grease cartridge, remove the head of the barrel. After removing the head, pull the follower rod back from the barrel.
  • Most grease guns, irrespective of the type will have a lock to hold the rod in position. Once the rod is pulled back, use the lock and secure the rod in this position.
  • Open the new grease cartridge and insert it in the barrel of the gun.
  • Replace the head of the gun but do not tighten it.
  • Release the follower rod from the lock and push it so that it would force the grease from the head. This will remove all the air inside the grease gun.
  • Push the rod until some grease comes out from the head.
  • Clean off the lubricant and attach the nozzle to the head.
  • After connecting the nozzle, tighten the head and release the air knob to release the excess air.
  • Attach the coupler to the nozzle, and you are all set to use the grease gun.

The mechanism of using the pneumatic and electric air gun is more or less similar except the way of dispensing the grease. Among all the three variants, a pneumatic grease gun is easier to use.

A pneumatic gun is more precise, less tedious, will not waste the grease, and is very safe to use.

Maintenance of Grease Gun

Maintenance of the grease gun is essential so that it will function efficiently. Regular inspection of its parts and rectifying any anomalies will eliminate the defects and keeps the grease gun functional.

  • Clean the gun regularly or immediately after use.
  • Use the nozzle caps so that it will prevent any dirt or impurities getting into the grease.
  • Use a clean cloth without debris to clean the grease gun.
  • Make sure the couplers, air nozzle, and barrel head are appropriately fit.
  • Don’t over tighten the air nozzle and barrel head. It will lead to the development of excess pressure which will malfunction the grease gun.
  • Cover the grease gun with a clean mackintosh sheet or cloth when not in use.
  • Clean the barrel to remove all contamination or dirt before inserting the new cartridge.
  • You can use isopropyl alcohol for degreasing the grease gun. It is comfortable, convenient and safe to use.
  • Avoid mixing of old grease with the new one. Clean the old grease inside the barrel thoroughly.
  • Wear protective gear such as gloves and face protective shield or glasses while using the grease gun.
  • Do not use the gun near a flame as most of the lubricants catch fire.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)


1. Which type of grease gun is more reliable?

The pneumatic grease gun is easy to use and more reliable than manual or electric grease guns. It is more precise, and there will be less wastage of the grease.

2. Is it okay to degrease the gun while loading a new grease cartridge?

There is a high chance of the presence of the impurities in the old grease due to many factors such as work area, improper cleaning, and contamination with air dust. It is always good to remove the old grease completely so that there will be less or no impurities in the new one.

3. Is it good to tighten up the barrels and nozzles excessively?

No. It is advisable not to tighten up the barrel as there is a chance of developing barrel pressure as high as 15,000 psi. You can always use the air knob to release any excess pressure or air that builds up after using the grease gun.

4. What are the various degreasers which can be used to clean the grease gun?

There are many commercially available degreasers in the market. Some of them include Gumout Carb Cleaner, WD40, etc. But isopropyl alcohol is very useful, cheap and is available widely.


A grease gun is used for lubrication. It helps in lubricating the parts of machinery and enhances their life. The grease gun is a straightforward tool which can be used without any tiresome procedures.

With appropriate care and usage, you can work with grease with ease and hassle-free. Read the instruction manual about the usage and maintenance of the grease gun. Also, you can use any type (manual, pneumatic or electric) according to your convenience.

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