Whether you are a handyman, auto repairman or an engineer, you will surely need a good grease gun to lubricate machinery and keep your equipment running smoothly. However, not all grease guns are the same and buying a perfect one is not a simple mission. For this reason, we will discuss all the elements you should look for in this kind of gear.
Alternatives that are available might prove puzzling for an average user, and that is why we have consulted professionals and have come up with five best grease guns on the market today that are highly recommended. If you read our reviews, you will be able to make an informed decision before investing your money in a grease gun, instead of relying on price alone, like most of the users, and ending up with a faulty product.
Last update on 2019-06-20 at 08:08 PST - Details
What are grease guns used for?
The history of grease guns is a long one; they have been used since 1900 and evolved into the modern versions which make lubrication easy. These guns are a standard tool in every workshop today, and manufacturers combine different technologies to compete on the market and come up with an affordable and easy to manage grease guns.
The uses of grease gun are numerous, and every household has at least once met the need to use it. We live in a mechanical era, and all our mechanical devices need to be greased regularly in order to run smoothly- this brings about the growing interest in grease guns and grease fittings. Reflecting the desire for the most efficient models, new products are released almost daily, and as a result, you can now choose a model that best fits your needs to safely grease your precious car, sporting gear, machines or your kid’s swing and bike.
What to look for in a grease gun?
As already stated, there are numerous versions and models of the grease guns on the market today. For this reason, we have felt the need to look into this subject and explore all the possibilities. We have come up with certain traits which make grease guns efficient and easy to use. The characteristics you should consider before emptying your wallet on this piece of equipment are:
1. Pressure force
Taking into account the model’s pressure force is essential if you want to be sure that the gun can perform all the tasks you need it for. It is best to choose the model with the highest pressure you can afford. High-pressure guns usually reach 10,000 PSI allowing for proper greasing performance and professional use.
However, if you are going to use the grease gun solely for day to day applications, you do not have to choose a very powerful one. In such cases, grease guns fitted with bearing lip seals which reach 5,000 PSI and more, will serve the purpose and prove a good investment. These guns offer optimal performance for around-the-house greasing tasks such as lubricating bikes, treadmills, washing machines.
2. Power source
Grease guns can be powered in four different ways: by using air, by hand, electrically or by the battery.
Hand-powered grease guns are currently the most popular and economical ones. For every pump, they can extrude around 1.28 grams of grease. The grease is pushed and comes out through an opening from the manual pump. These pumps feature either a lever or a pistol grip. You can also choose the one-handed pumping method which will provide you with approximately 0.86 grams of grease per pump. Manual grease machines can reach pressures up to 10,000 psi, and plug valve sealant ones are able to attain 15,000 psi.
Pneumatic grease guns utilize the compressed air. The air is brought directly to the grease gun through a hose that triggers positive displacement each time the trigger is pulled. When it comes to heavy equipment and large machines, it is best to use an air powered grease gun. Normally, pneumatic grease machines are rated up to 6,000 psi.
AC electric or corded grease guns are often used as an alternative to air-powered tools. They deliver a consistent flow of grease are usually rated up to 7,000 psi.
Battery-powered grease guns pistol usually feature low voltage and perform similarly as the pneumatic type guns. However, their greatest advantage is that they are cordless. These grease machines are perfect for speeding up repetitive greasing tasks. Using the battery powered guns also minimizes operator tiredness. These guns can achieve pressures from 6,000 to 10,000 psi, but that depends on the model.
3. Loading method
Grease guns can typically be loaded in different ways: by suction fill, cartridge or bulk. The method depends on your preferences. Regardless of the type of gun you have, it is necessary to use grease and avoid using oil as a lubricant. Unlike oil, the grease does not often leak, all thanks to its consistency.
Related: How To Load A Grease Gun
4. Hose/ Tube
You can also choose between a fixed tube or a flexible hose depending on the grease fitting type of the machinery you are going to use the gun for. A flexible hose is appropriate for handling hard-to-access locations. A fixed tube is used for lever-style grease guns which require two hands for executing grease pumping.
5. Adapter, Connector or Coupler
Typically most grease guns are equipped with a standard connection adapter such as a hydraulic coupler. However, there are numerous variations to choose from depending on the application. The hydraulic coupler is considered to be the most practical and is, therefore, most usually used.
A 90-degree adapter, as the name suggests can bend by 90 degrees and is best used for fittings in tight space. A three-jaw swivel coupler offers a range of locking positions choose from which allows for accommodating various applications. A needle-end adapter is an essential for tight spaces as it delivers a thin and precise amount of grease.
To make the most of your grease supply, you can fit a grease gun meter onto your grease gun. Plastic caps can prevent corrosion and debris. Caps can be color coded as to avoid cross-contamination of different lubricants you use. Sonic or ultrasonic devices are accessories that can be very useful too.
It seems a minor issue, but it is highly important to choose a grease gun with a comfortable handle. This is especially significant if you use the gun on a daily basis. It is best to test the handle before buying making sure it offers an easy grip.
How to properly use and care for a grease machine
In order to use the grease gun effectively and for a long time, you have to ensure that you know how it operates before you start utilizing it. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using your gun.
Another issue you have to pay special attention to is the high pressure developed by the grease gun. High pressure is created for various reasons, but the most common situation is so called “frozen fitting.”; it happens when the fitting is not lubricated for a long period of time and the grease “cakes” in the line.
High-pressure may cause injection injuries, most often on hands. A person injured might not feel pain at all and continue working, but it is highly recommended to seek medical attention right away as to prevent infections. Make sure that you know the brand of grease or oil used so that the medical personnel can get informed of the possible toxicity.
Safety measures have to be taken as to minimize the risk. First of all, do not improvise or alter anything on the grease gun; use it only for the intended purpose. Check that all the components are rated for the same amount of pressure. If your gun is rated at 10,000 psi and the hose you use is rated at 1,500 psi, you can find yourself in the extremely hazardous situation. Moreover, you should check the hose and coupler for signs of wear and damage before every use.
All the repairs have to be performed by a qualified technician. Only original replacement parts should be used. Finally, grease will often end up on your hands when you use the grease gun, and you have to wash them as to eliminate any chemical residue.
The Top Five Grease Guns On The Market- Our Reviews
Lincoln Lubrication 1134 is an air-powered grease gun rated at 7500 PSI (517 Bar) of pressure. This grease gun uses standard 14 oz. cartridges but can also be filled from the bulk. It is a fully pneumatic tool and features a variable speed trigger that allows you to choose the best speed of grease flow depending on the task you are performing. This professional grease gun incorporates an air pressure range from 40 to 150 pounds per square inch, adding precision during every application.
It features a durable cast head design, 30” flexible hose, and handle return mechanism which prevents jamming. The package includes a 6" rigid tube and an 18" whip hose with the coupler. To set it up the coupler has to be loosened and then attached to the fitting and tightened for a proper seal.
We are happy with the flow performance of the product and only wish it came with a storage case as lubricating is a fairly messy job.
- The variable speed trigger
- A high-quality pump ratio
- No storage case
- Needs to be primed after each cartridge replacement
The DEWALT DCGG571M1 features 20V MAX Lithium Ion battery (4.0 Ah) which allows for about 14 tubes of grease per charge in normal weather conditions. It has a powerful motor that is rated at 10,000 psi and a high-volume pump.
It also features a variable speed trigger for precise control of the grease flow. The flexible hose is extra-long (42") length and can get hold of the grease fittings which are hardest to reach. We especially liked a LED light which comes very handy in low-light situations, and no-mar foot design which allows you to rest this rather heavy tool on the ground while working with it.
It uses standard 14 oz. cartridges but can also be bulk filled by suction or with a filler nipple for a bucket pump. Changing the cartridges is relatively easy due to a self-bleeding valve that releases the air while priming. In some instances, it has proven too powerful and damaged the seals we were greasing.
- 42″ flexible hose
- Bright LED light
- Air-bleeder valve
- A bit heavy (9.5 LBS)
- The pressure cannot be controlled; it is too high for some applications
The Lincoln Lubrication 1844 is another battery operated grease gun rated at 7,500 psi. It comes with a very sturdy carry case and a spare 18V lithium-ion battery. It is appropriate for use with standard 14 oz. cartridges; you can use around 8 cartridges per battery charge.
The feature we liked the most is that it has a 2-speed transmission which allows choosing pressure and volume ratio when you fear that the high pressure might damage the seals on the machine that you are greasing. Besides the handy LED light, it also has an LCD screen telling the battery status and the amount of grease remaining.
It features a 30” flexible hose, dual spring guards and a high-performance 5852 coupler. On the downside, it is very heavy since it weighs 16LBS, and the handle is made of weak plastic which might break.
- Two-speed transmission
- Carry case
- Spare battery
- Very heavy (16 LBS)
- Plastic handle
Carbyne grease gun is manually powered and generates up to 4500 psi working pressure. It features a lightweight aluminum core anodized for greater durability, plus a non-slip cover grip which is quite convenient for working with slippery lubricants. The grease can be loaded in three ways: by standard 14 oz. cartridges, bulk suction, and dispenser pump.
Carbyne has an air bleeder valve, a removable coupler with a protective cap and easily controllable pistol-grip handle, which are great features for the set price. Grip for hand lever is a little wide, especially for small hands. The instructions are well written and easy to follow.
It operates smoothly, but 12” flexible hose is sometimes too short for proper application. On the bright side, it does include a 6-inch rigid extension for faster coupling. In short, although not automatic this gun offers a lot for a reasonable price.
- Non-slip cover grip
- Detailed instructions
- Wide hand lever grip
- Short flexible hose
Lumax LX-1152 is the least expensive grease gun we have reviewed, but never the less offers a very good performance. It is another manually powered gun built to last as it features a heavy gauge steel barrel and chromed finish. It is easy to load and offers three options: standard cartridge, suction or the pump. Ergonomically designed T-handle provides a secure grip and allows for easy filling. Instructions demonstrate loading in full detail.
The flexible hose is 18 inches long; it is well built and comes with a cover for the tip. Leverage secures a comfortable grip, so there are no sore hands after using this gun.
The manual states that the hose can be replaced with 4500 PSI (310 bars) rated one which has made us wonder if the 7,000 PSI rating of the gun is correct. Another negative feature is that the pressure relief valve has a tendency to leak a bit when left sitting with the plunger.
- Easy to load and use; comfortable grip
- We are not sure of the pressure force
- Tendency to leak
The best grease gun you can get is…
Dewalt DCGG571M1 Grease Gun, without the doubt- it is the most expensive model but also offers the most for the price. It is a professional piece of equipment well-worth investing in- nothing slippery about that!
If you want to save some bucks, you should choose Lincoln Lubrication 1134 Grease Gun as it offers a lot for less money. Ultimately, you will not regret buying any of the guns reviewed since all of them deliver when it comes to successful greasing- and that is the point, isn’t it?
Thomas is a Pro himself, who has been in the business of home renovation & construction, working with various tools. He used to be the owner of 2 local construction companies with over 18 years experience. His works also include writing inspiring Do IT Yourself Tips & Tricks.