A grease gun (pipette-style) is a common grease pump used in workshops and garages for lubricating various moving parts. The function of the grease gun is usually to apply lubricant to moving parts through an aperture. The channels on the end of the grease nozzle lead to points where the needed lubricant is supplied. The gun can also be used to apply grease to surfaces or to compress grease to eliminate lumps and bumps in moving parts or equipment.
The basic working of a grease gun begins with the fan-wheel arrangement. The fan-wheel moves a reciprocating piston and applies grease to the moving parts, usually the bearings. A fixed brass or steel sleeve, having numerous holes in it, allows the oil to be pumped into the bore. The tube on top of the barrel is where the oil is contained; it can either be drawn up by a tap or extracted via a hole in the top of the tube. When complete, the tube should be laid along the bore and the valve closed to prevent excess oil from flowing out into the work area.
Many modern grease guns now use high pressure air to propel grease into the bore. These guns are called ‘lubricated’ and work in a similar way to that of a vacuum cleaner. The main difference between a grease gun and a vacuum cleaner is that you cannot start the engine of a grease gun; rather, you must wait until the gun has started to run and then plug in the compressed air. This is because it is very difficult to start an oil-lubed gun when it is cold. However, as long as the oil level is maintained in high pressure, a grease gun can function as a vacuum cleaner.
The way in which the oil goes into the bore depends on the type of grease gun as well as the type of lubricant that it uses. A few examples of common grease gun lubricants include silicon oil, mineral oil, Freon, or grease gun grease. They can also contain other additives such as epoxy or polymer which is designed to increase friction and produce more friction. A common type of additive is called ‘methacrylate’. It has recently been discovered that it is also a strong anti-rust substance which can help extend the service life of a pneumatic fitting and make it more durable.
You may also hear of a pressure washer known as a lever grease gun. This type of cleaning equipment features a rotating cylinder with a series of tiny nozzles on its end. The nozzle on a lever grease gun resembles that of a sprayer; you place your hand into the cylinder and rotate it while applying pressure to the levers on the other side. This is done in order to apply an even layer of grease.
One type of manual grease guns is powered by the battery. Most of these batteries are rechargeable and have a low self-contained amp of power. Because they use electricity, these types of cleaning equipment should be kept far from places where there is a lot of voltage fluctuation, such as near an electric panel. The recharging process takes about an hour. These are often used in manual gun-cleaning applications.
There are also powered pneumatic brushes available which are suitable for both gun cleaning and other pneumatic applications. The most advanced form of these is the pistol grip grease gun. This type has a long throw angle as well as a finger-sink design. Because it requires a high degree of physical exertion, it should not be used for applications where the operator cannot keep his hands steady. If you want to use one of these guns, you will need either a standard electric gun or a manual electric gun with a long throw angle.
Another type of grease gun is the vacuum-pump operated one. Because this is more complex than the preceding type, it should only be handled by skilled individuals who have experience with these devices. One advantage of the vacuum-pump operated one is that it can reach very high levels of temperatures. This can be useful if you are looking to heat materials that are too heavy to be safely melted by hand.