Best Grease Guns: Great Solutions to Lubricated Fittings
Our top picks for properly lubricating machinery bearings and fittings
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Vehicles and other machines require proper lubrication in order to run smoothly and efficiently. A grease gun is an excellent tool for lubricating fittings, bearings, and other components, making it easy to keep everything in proper working order. Check out our buying guide below to learn everything you need to know to find the best grease gun for your needs.
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Benefits of a Grease Gun
- Waste prevention. Proper lubrication is a necessity for any vehicle or machine, and a grease gun is an efficient delivery system for that grease, oil, or lube. Since you’re able to measure out exactly how much is dispensed per stroke, you’ll prevent waste from overflowing product.
- Product longevity. Not only will proper lubrication of car parts keep your vehicle running smoothly for longer, a grease gun that is properly maintained will also stand the test of time. That’s especially useful if you’re a hobby or professional mechanic who frequently uses grease.
- Better saturation. Many delivery systems spray grease into the general area of a component. A grease gun will allow you to deliver grease with a lot more precision, saturating the part properly.
- Accuracy and speed. A grease gun helps get grease where it needs to be quickly and accurately. This is especially useful if you’re a shop owner, where every minute of work time counts. A grease gun allows you to grease the entire underside of a car in about a minute, which is significantly faster than using a push can or another delivery system.
- Money Saving. Because grease guns are so accurate, they allow you to save a lot on the extra product, as well as on components. Properly-lubricated parts will last a lot longer than poorly-maintained ones, saving you money on replacement costs.
Types of Grease Guns
As the name suggests, hand lever grease guns are manually powered. They’re able to build a decent amount of pressure (up to 10,000 PSI in some cases) and are best suited for grease fittings and parts were precision is not critical.
Grease guns that use air pressure can build up to 6,000 PSI and can be calibrated for precision. You can adjust the amount of grease dispersed per stroke on some models, while others will deliver a set amount. Pneumatic grease guns are best suited for more precise tasks where a super-high PSI isn’t needed.
Cordless grease guns are battery-powered, delivering convenience and power in a lightweight package. Typically, battery-powered grease guns can deliver the highest pressure of all and have variable flow rates to easily adjust the amount of grease dispensed per stroke. For heavy machinery and precision applications, battery-powered grease guns are the way to go.
Founded 95 years ago and headquartered in Towson, Md., DeWalt is one of the biggest names in power and hand tools worldwide. Frequently among the top sellers in a number of product categories, DeWalt produces quality equipment that lasts. Among the top sellers is the 20V Cordless Grease Gun.
Headquartered in West Lebanon, N.H., LockNLube has been making a name for itself in the past decade. Specializing in grease solutions for automotive and heavy machinery, LockNLube’s product selection is unrivaled. The company’s best selling product is the LockNLube Dual-Shot Pneumatic Grease Gun.
Since 1910, Lincoln Industrial has been making quality automated lubrication systems, manual lubrication equipment, and industrial pumping systems. Given the company’s worldwide reach, you can rest assured that its products stand the test of time. Among the best sellers is the Air Operated Grease Gun.
Grease Gun Pricing
- Under $20: At this price point, you’ll have a few basic grease guns to choose from. Most of these will be lever action with either straight or flexible nozzles. The quality can vary greatly, so if you’re looking for something at a low price point, make sure the company making it is reputable.
- $20-$70: In the mid-range, you’ll find a couple of good, quality options. Many of these will also be lever action, but a small number of air operated grease guns are also available at this price.
- Over $70: The high-end includes pressure and battery-operated grease guns, many of which are best suited to industrial purposes. A couple of products are also suited to automotive applications but are still a better investment for professional mechanics than for the at-home repairman.
The type of nozzle is critical for proper grease delivery. Grease guns tend to come equipped with one of two styles: a straight, short nozzle or a flexible metal nozzle (these are available in several different lengths). For hard-to-reach places, the flexible nozzle is the way to go, as the accuracy will be greatly improved.
Depending on the main purpose of the grease gun, the barrel size will matter. If you’re looking to deposit a lot of grease in a short amount of time, you’ll want a grease gun with bigger barrel size. On the other hand, if you’re looking for small specialty applications only, a smaller barrel will do the trick.
- Ergonomics: Grease guns come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes. You’ll want one that fits well in your hand and feels comfortable to use. For that, look for cushioned grips with divots to make holding onto the grease gun easier.
- Action Types: Try to keep in mind what purpose you’ll be using the grease gun for most commonly. Are you oiling up car undersides? Are you greasing components on a lawnmower or chainsaw? Or maybe you need something truly multi-functional. This is an important thing to keep in mind, as different types of grease guns work best for different kinds of projects.
- Tube Length: We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. The length of the nozzle tube is really important to ensure the proper delivery of the grease to the site it’s needed. Longer flexible nozzles are available in a range of lengths to suit your needs.
- Quality: The higher the quality, the smoother the operation. High-quality grease guns will feature working parts that make using the product a joy. You’ll want one that is easy to use, dispenses grease evenly and precisely, and eliminates air pockets through a bleeder valve.
- Materials: Most grease guns on the market are fashioned from metal, a durable material that will withstand the pressure built during use. Low-quality options may feature plastic components as well, which are prone to wear and breakage.
Best Grease Gun Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Be careful when loading grease into a grease pump. You’ll want to prevent introducing contaminants or foreign particles that might damage the machinery.
- Always check that the dispensing nozzle is clean before using it. To do this, pump a small amount of grease through the nozzle and wipe it off with a clean rag. Now, you’re good to go to lubricate any fittings or other parts without accidentally also adding dirt.
- Make sure you use the correct grease for each fitting or part. Grease comes in a variety of weights and formulations, making it important that you pick the right one for the job.
- Before introducing new grease to a fitting, make sure you clean off the fitting itself to remove some of the built-up grime. This will help the part work more smoothly.
- If your grease gun is pressurized, make sure to store it unpressurized when not in use, preferably in a horizontal position to prevent oil leaking out of the grease.
Q: Which type of grease gun is best for automotive use?
A: That depends on what type of vehicle you have, how often you want (or need) to use the grease gun, and where you want to deposit the grease to. In most cases, a pneumatic or hand lever grease gun is a good fit if you only occasionally need one. For frequent operation, we’d recommend a battery-powered one, just to make things easier on you.
Q: How much pressure do grease guns put out?
A: This varies by model. In general, they put out anywhere between 0 and 15,000 PSI. Keep in mind that most bearing seals can’t handle more than 500 PSI, so anything in excess of that is wasted power in most cases.
Q: How do you properly store a grease gun?
A: Cartridge tubes should always be stored upright to avoid bleed and separation. If you’ve already loaded a cartridge into a grease gun and want to store it as is, depressurize the gun, wipe it clean to remove contaminants and store it in a horizontal position.
Q: How much grease is dispensed with one pump?
A: The output of a grease gun varies by model, typically between 0.8 and 3 grams per stroke. Some grease guns can be calibrated to adjust the amount of grease dispensed, which is important for proper lubrication.
Our top pick is the Lincoln 1162 Air Operated Grease Gun. It’s made from high-quality materials and features an efficient grease delivery system.
If you’re looking for something a little cheaper, check out the Lumax LX-1152 Heavy Duty Pistol Grease Gun. As a hand lever grease gun, it’s easy to operate and delivers high-pressure.