A grease gun (plural of greasewrench) is a handy tool used in workshops and garages for lubricating and greasing fittings. The main function of the grease gun is typically to apply grease to an internal surface, often from a grease gun cartridge or grease pipe to a grease bearing or ‘nut’. The grease gun’s channels typically lead to holes that feed into grease gun couplings that permit it to be removed from the tool’s nozzle for cleaning. Some modern guns have single needle operation; this is called Single Action. In Single Action mode, you must manually crank the handle to get the tool to rotate.
Grease gun pumps are also used to operate similar machines like the electric screwdriver. However, there are significant differences in the power source. In an electric screwdriver, the motor supplies the power. The pressure output of a grease gun comes from an internal pressure tank that supplies it with compressed air. The pressure output of a gas powered pump is limited by the pressure output of the fuel/oxygen mixture. For high pressure output, a fuel-powered gun will be much more efficient than an internal pressure tank.
Grease guns can be either straight shaft or curved. Shafts are most commonly used for painting and degreasing applications. However, many have a small ball bearing at the end that provides a turning motion. The ball bearing acts as a buffer against the pressure from the compressed air to keep the fitting clean and aligned.
A popular choice for those who enjoy using their grease gun but do not want to carry a full-size car is the cordless version. While cordless models are often smaller and lighter than their electric cousins, they are just as effective. Most manufacturers include a power cord to operate the gun. Cordless guns are especially convenient if you work in a commercial setting because they can be transported by a cord.
The principle behind a greased gun’s suction comes from its closed end, which is similar to the design of a dryer hose. The suction starts at the open end, forcing the cleaner into the dirt and grime. This suction is powerful enough to loosen stubborn dirt particles. It is powerful enough to draw out stubborn grime, but is gentle on the surface of the metal parts. The tiny suction nozzle ensures that you don’t get aqueous splatters on any surface, including chrome surfaces. Also, because of its compact size, the open end of the barrel doesn’t require any permanent fixtures.
There are two types of fittings that can be used with grease guns. One type of fitting is commonly used for standard hydraulic coupler systems. The other is commonly used with the electric grease gun. The standard hydraulic coupler is very similar to the one used with a hand held Q-tip. They are typically black, but can come in a variety of colors.
A hand lever grease gun, as the name implies, uses a hand lever to open up the cylinder. Hand lever grease guns, like standard hydraulic couplings, utilize a power source. Typically, a hand lever is designed so that it can be opened while the trigger is being held. This feature makes them very convenient to use. In addition to being convenient, a hand lever grease gun also provides very strong suction.
One advantage that standard grease guns have over their battery-powered cousins is the longevity of their operation. Standard units usually last between one and five years. One drawback, however, is that their life span can be reduced by overcharging or discharging the unit. In extreme cases where a battery-powered device is desired, they can even be operated using an air compressor.