How to load and use a grease gun

You will need to grease fittings on any tractor, zero-turn mower or utility trailer. This is important for proper operation and prevents costly repairs.

Find out where the fittings are

Even if you are operating equipment commercially, it is in your best interests to find out where the fittings are and make sure they are properly lubricated. It is worth the time and effort to take action now, rather than waiting for downtime, dollars, or days.

Once you have located all the fittings (called Zerk and Amelite), you will need to learn how to load a grease guns safely and effectively. This skill is much easier than, for example, renovating a bathroom. It should be taken care of, as with any other maintenance task.

Get to know your grease gun

A grease gun is a combination of a high pressure caulk gun with a cordless drill. Grease is similar to caulk. It’s sticky and gooey with a hard-to-clean packaging.

The tool’s body includes a plunger, the barrel (or tool body), an actuator assembly (head), as well as a flexible nozzle or rigid hose with a coupler at the end that fits on the Zerk. Some crank open and close like a cordless drill’s three-jawed chuck, which captures a drill bit shank. Some are held in place by hand pressure. It is up to you to decide which one works for you.

Different types of grease guns

There are three types of grease guns: one that can be operated by a lever, the other is actuated by a pistol grip and one that can be actuated with a battery.

Pistol-grips, which are available at a moderate price, are recommended for around-the-house usage. The nozzle or hose can be held in one hand, and the pump in the other. In all cases, however, we are referring to some pressure. Cordless grease guns can push at 10,000 psi.

The grease gun can come with either a flexible or fixed tube. Each has its advantages and disadvantages for specific applications. Most heavy-duty operators and mechanics will have at least one of them.

Steps to Load and Use a Grease Gun


Like painting a room with grease gunner, chances favor the prepared grease gunner. Rubber gloves and several rags are necessary.

How to Choose Grease

It is important to choose the right grease. A bad choice can lead to high prices.

  • Every grease is not the same quality. Premium grease is the best, no matter how expensive it may be per tube.
  • Make sure you use the correct grease for the job. Specialty lubricants may be required for modern equipment. To get the right recommendation, check with the manufacturer of your equipment.
  • If you don’t know what you’re doing, DO NOT MATCH GREASE TYPES. Bearings can be damaged by chemical incompatibility with lubricants very quickly. To understand this concept better, read the article on grease compatibility.

How to load a grease gun

Grease guns all work on the same principle. Before using a grease gun, make sure you read and comprehend all instructions.

  • The plunger should be pulled back.
  • Remove the head and body.
  • Remove any old grease tubes from the gun. To push the tube out of a jammed tube, slowly release the plunger. Once you have a good grip on the tube, you can re-lock the plunger.
  • Make sure the gasket connecting the tool body and the actuator head isn’t clogged with grease.
  • Remove the cap from the tube and place it in the tool.
  • Take out the foil or pop-top. The lid is extremely sharp. Be careful.
  • Reassemble the tool.
  • If you have a tool without a bleeder valve, it is necessary to prime the unit or burp it to remove any air. Attach the unit to the back and turn it one turn. Then, release the plunger. It may be necessary to push the plunger through the grease. Turn the tool until it is tightened. Then, pour grease onto a piece or cardboard so that it doesn’t burp. If the handle does not resist pressure, it is likely that there is too much air in the tool. Continue pumping until you get uninterrupted flow.
  • Units with bleeder valves can have the air evacuated through the valve.

How to Use a Grease Gun

You should always clean the Zerk fitting thoroughly with a rag, before applying the grease gun coupler to it. Otherwise, you could be contaminating the bearing assembly.

A Zerk is a combination check and ball valve. Grease can be passed through the grease gun by pressing down on the ball (tiny bearing). The tool is removed and a spring pushes back the ball into the opening sealing it. If the bearing does not return to normal and there is grease leaking out, you may need a new Zerk.

Normal use will cause enough grease to be pumped in that there is escaping pressure. You are basically replacing old grease with new grease.

Do not just continue to add grease. Check with your equipment dealer’s customer service department for tips on how to grease the fittings. Remove any grease.

It is better to have a hub greasing system such as Bearing Buddy installed if the wheels are submerged in water, like boat trailers. This makes maintenance much easier.

To avoid injury, do not grease anything that is susceptible to falling (e.g. dump trucks or booms on equipment).

Continued Use

Even the most expensive grease guns can eventually leak at the plunger. If the plunger doesn’t move easily when you pull it back, don’t push any further. If the plunger seal is not moving easily, it could be grease. If you continue to push the plunger back, the grease will seep out of the gun and spread all over the shop floor.

Move over to the trashcan, grab some clean rags, undo the cap, and then set it aside. Place the plunger over the trash can to let the grease escape.

You can now reload the page as described above.

About the Author


Darius Matsumoto

Hi, i am Darius. Woodworking is my another hobby for the last five years. I love to write woodworking project and also ideas.

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