Grease Lubrication for Beginners: The Types of Grease Guns

Machines need lubrication to function correctly. Each part of the component has specific lubrication requirements. Some of these often require the use of heavy grease for all moving parts to operate smoothly.

Lubricating a machine can be a daunting task. You would need to exert effort to achieve your aim. The good news is that a tool such as a lever handle grease application gun can make the job easy and fast.

What Is a Grease Gun?

Every handyman, engineer, and auto maintenance specialist should have a grease gun in their toolbox. But what exactly is a grease gun?

A grease gun is a long tool that looks similar to a caulking gun. A lever handle grease application gun is used to apply different types of grease in hard to reach areas of machines, tools, car parts, and many more.

Grease is graded according to their viscosity as determined by the NLGI standards. The higher the number, the more viscous it is.

Grease guns are primarily pumps that can push the viscous grease through an aperture to lubricate machine parts. It allows the lubrication technician to apply the grease in controlled quantities, pressure, and locations. Using pressure from the grease guns enables the grease to reach even the innermost portions of the metal part.

Types of Grease Guns

Grease guns vary mainly through how they are powered and through how they are loaded. Grease guns may be powered by hand (manual), air (pneumatic or hydraulic), or electricity. A cord may power electric grease guns from an AC outlet or by batteries. Manual grease guns are pumped through the action of either a lever or a pistol grip.

Filling a grease gun may be done through either loading a cartridge or suction from a bulk container.

Manual (Lever) – This is the most common type of grease gun. It requires the use of both hands to deliver grease through an aperture by pumping action. Around 1.28 grams of grease is supplied per pumping action.

Manual (Pistol Grip) – The pumping action is done through a pistol-type trigger, allowing the lubricant technician to use only one hand. Approximately 0.86 grams of grease is supplied per pumping action.

Pneumatic (Pistol Grip) – A pneumatic grease gun uses compressed air through a hose. The air activates a positive displacement with each trigger. The small air compressor module is integral to the grease gun and is powered by electricity.

Battery (Pistol Grip) – The cordless pneumatic grease gun has low-voltage battery-powered air pumps. Cordless grease guns allow for working in tight spaces.

Grease is the alternative lubricant for metals that are exposed. Lubricating oils easily leak and are only used when the moving parts are enclosed in sealed cases. The choice of which grease gun to use depends more on the work area and the industrial process than on personal preference.

In heavy industries, larger grease pumps mounted on the skids and powered by higher pressure from air compressors are needed.

Proper tools and training are needed by the lubrication technician to avoid under-greasing or over-greasing the machine parts that require lubrication.

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