A grease gun (also called a ‘grease pump’ or ‘pumping gun’) is an everyday handy tool used for lubricating many working parts. A grease gun works by applying grease to the fittings through a suction tube or nozzle. As the grease passes through the fittings, it expands to form a plug and then drops away. The resulting plug helps stop friction between the moving parts of the fixture and the greases, thus keeping things moving and less likely to break. This type of tool comes in handy for many applications in the workshop.
How does a grease gun work? The way a typical grease gun works is this – as the grease shoots out of the nozzle, it is pushed down into the barrel where it continues its journey until it falls out again. The compressed air that is released after the shot makes the moving parts of your device to slide along the barrel making friction and heat dissipation. It also creates tiny leaks that are so small they don’t show up on an inspection, yet they help keep your parts working correctly. Grease isn’t particularly fast-moving, and is able to maintain a constant speed even under great pressure. Most guns have an expansion port in the bottom of the barrel to allow for the expansion and cooling of grease.
You will need the following items to operate your grease gun. Two types of extension hose – one regular (non-changing) and one with a locking nut. Attachments to the extension hose may include an o-ring and a washer. Also make sure you have a sturdy and suitable bench or workbench to work on. Some basic hand tools will be required, as well as pliers, a screwdriver and a wrench.
A suitable working area is going to require an open area with a flat surface for working. If possible place your nozzle closer to the surface to prime the grease gun. If you want to prime a standard size hole, you need to cut the end of the handle so that it fits the drilled hole perfectly. Use pliers to keep the handle straight while you are putting the o-ring onto the handle.
A high pressure grease gun works best when it is plugged into a high-pressure electric motor. These units are designed to handle extremely high levels of pressure. To test if your equipment can handle the job, plug it into an electric-powered drill bit at the largest diameter. Be careful not to plug any other electrical equipment into this piece of hardware. This is one safety precaution you want to follow to ensure your industrial strength equipment is safe.
The grease gun has a small tank that holds a large amount of lubricant. When you pressurize the unit, a small amount of the lubricant will be released into the gun’s tip. This lubricant expands as it is compressed and creates a vacuum. This vacuum increases the speed at which the unit pumps the lubricant through the gun. An increase in speed is the key to increasing the performance of your equipment.
The type of grease gun you purchase will depend on how often you plan to use it and how many applications you anticipate using it for. If you only plan on using the tool occasionally to lubricate fittings or remove lumps from the spinning blades, a simple one-gallon plastic fluid bottle should be adequate. If you anticipate doing a lot of heavy duty grease gun work, you will probably want to purchase a larger capacity bottle that accommodates the pressures that you are going to be applying to it. Higher pressure equals greater suction power and greater fluid loss.
There are two types of pressure source available for grease guns. The first is a simple rubber sleeve or plunger that requires no air pressure to operate. These types of guns have a rubber sleeve surrounding a rubber plunger inside of them. Air is pumped through the plunger and forces the sleeve against the gun barrel and its stationary base. The result is increased friction and a higher efficiency rating for the grease gun.