When you work with mechanical equipment, you need to grease the parts to work more efficiently. This requires just the right amount of grease and application precision so that you’re not wasting the product or under-greasing your surface.
You must find a good way to deliver your grease into hard-to-reach spots, too. Therefore, the grease gun was born, and it’s handy for engineers, hobbyists, and mechanics. Plus, it’s more comfortable to lubricate multiple parts than manually adding the grease by hand.
However, all grease guns aren’t the same, so this buying guide can help you determine what you need!
What Is a Pneumatic Grease Gun?
A pneumatic grease gun is used for lubrication. Air-powered options use compressed air, which is directed to the gun by a hose. The air pressure is the force that pushes the grease out, and the gun puts it where it needs to go.
The Best Pneumatic Grease Guns
Lincoln 1162 Air-operated Grease Gun
The Lincoln 1162 is one of the top air-operated grease guns on the market because it has a variable speed trigger and excellent grease flow control. Overall, its trigger is fully automatic, so it makes continuous operation easy to do. Plus, the advanced pump design can eliminate any priming issues that other guns might have.
With 6000 PSI as the max, this model is ideal for various applications. You also get a flexible hose of 30 inches to reach most things.
However, you do require an air compressor pump for this air grease gun. The grease cartridges are easily swapped out, so you can tackle various jobs. Plus, the air bleeder valve makes it easy to get the air out! You’re sure to appreciate the pistol-grip, making it easy to hold the ergonomic handle for long periods.
The only drawback might be the plunger within the bore. Sometimes, it can jam, requiring you to re-prime the machine, which is a hassle!
Astro Pneumatic Mini Grease Gun
No one wants a complicated tool, especially if you’re only lubricating equipment periodically. Therefore, the Astro brand is a great choice. It’s easy to operate and works well for medium- and light-duty applications. Plus, you can even lubricate your pneumatic tools with it.
The heavy-duty construction is lightweight, and the machine holds 3 ounces of grease. Once you fill the cartridge, you must use a pumping action to get the fluid out of the nozzle, which looks like a needle. Though it doesn’t feature a pistol-grip, it does deliver pressures of up to 3000 PSI.
It has a small design, which could be a downside here. You can’t pack in enough grease to lubricate various parts. Plus, the air bleeder valve could have been designed a bit better. Overall, you might strain the hands while you work unless you only tackle small projects.
OTC Air-operated Grease Gun
Air-operated grease guns like the one from OTC are a great addition to your equipment arsenal. It’s made of heavy-duty aluminum, and the head has a fully automatic air bleeder. With that, you get a large pumping chamber to make it quicker to operate.
You’re sure to appreciate the 24-inc hose with the three-jaw coupler. That way, you can get access easily and tackle all of your projects with ease.
Plus, it works with 14-ounce cartridges and has a one-year warranty.
LockNLube Pneumatic Grease Gun
Those who want serious power without resorting to a battery-operated machine might like the LockNLube brand. It’s a lightweight, fully automatic gun that can deliver 8,000 PSI with 37 strokes per ounce. Therefore, it’s a strong option.
You’re sure to appreciate the uninterrupted grease flow you get with this machine. Plus, the grease coupler is tight-fitting and securely locks in place. Therefore, it stays attached while you use it for continuous operation.
The ergonomic hose swivel with a 20-inch hose makes it easy to get into tight spots. Plus, there’s no stress when working in tight joints. This gun is just what you need because it’s made of rust-resistant aluminum that’s durable and lightweight enough to tackle everything.
This gun offers bulk fill capacity options and an air bleeder for a mess-free application that’s precise. Overall, the unit might be pricier than others, and you might find it hard to detach the aluminum head after using it.
Advantages of Air-operated Grease Guns
The benefits of a grease gun are plentiful and include:
- Waste prevention – You must properly lubricate a machine, so a grease gun is a great delivery system for the lube or oil. You can measure out what you need, so you don’t overflow the product.
- Product longevity – Properly lubricating the car parts keeps your vehicle running smoothly, and a grease gun withstands the test of time.
- Better saturation – Most delivery systems spray the grease into that general area, but grease guns let you deliver grease with precision to saturate the component correctly.
- Speed and accuracy – Grease guns help you put the grease where it should be quickly.
- Save money – Grease guns are accurate, so you can save your components and buy fewer products.
Variable Speed Trigger
Having a variable speed trigger ensures that you can set up your grease gun to put out as much grease as you need. This is helpful for frequent lubrication of the same parts. However, pneumatic tools give you the maximum pressure for applying grease without having to use a hand pump all the time.
Most grease guns use a straight and short nozzle or a flexible one. The flex hose length can be different, depending on the manufacturer. Overall, a flex hose is great for hard-to-reach spots.
Depending on the purpose of your grease gun, the barrel size matters. If you want to add more grease in a shorter period, you need something with a large main bore. However, if you’re focused on specialty applications, a smaller barrel is ideal.
How to Use a Pneumatic Grease Gun?
The first step is to connect the electric air compressor to the grease gun with the hoses. Your hose length determines how far away the machine can be from the work surface.
Next, you turn on the compressor and set it to the right operating pressure for the gun. This might take a while. From there, you must prime the gun so that it shoots a stream of lubricant where you need it to be. Some guns have priming issues, so you must make sure it does the job as needed before starting the project.
How Does a Pneumatic Grease Gun Work?
A pneumatic grease gun requires compressed air to put pressure in the air piston. That drives your piston up, forcing the lubricant to come out of the coupler and into the fitting you’re greasing. When you depress the trigger, you get a steady flow of lubricant. Typically, you need a pancake air compressor with a 6000 PSI rating.
How Do You Bleed a Pneumatic Grease Gun?
Bleeding your gun means getting the air out of it. There should be a bleed valve in the gun. Whenever you change the cartridge and pump the grease gun, the air gets inside and sits at the top of the cartridge.
When that happens, you should bleed it, and here are the steps:
- The grease cartridge is about empty when this happens. Change the grease cartridge first.
- Pull the T-handle out with the pull rod. Unscrew your gun’s barrel.
- Open the rubber or plastic cap at the top of the cartridge, peeling back the cover. Put that in your barrel, screwing it closed again.
- You should see air space in the cartridge to help remove the air. When the barrel is screwed on, unscrew it slightly to release the air.
- Push the pull rod and the T-handle back in, screwing your barrel tight.
- The grease inside creates pressure, releasing the air from the gun.
- Depress the trigger a few times to create pressure and make the job easier.
What Are the Different Types of Grease Guns?
There are three different types of grease guns: hand lever, pneumatic, and battery-powered. Hand lever (manual) grease guns use manual power and are designed to hold decent pressure amounts. They work well for grease fittings and the like.
Grease guns that use an air compressor may build up to 6,000 PSI and are calibrated for more precision. It’s easy to adjust the grease amounts dispersed, making them ideal for precision tasks.
Battery-powered guns are cordless and deliver convenience and power with a lightweight package. They usually have the highest pressure, with variable flow rates to adjust the grease amount and reduce the risk of trapped air.
The top pick today is likely the Lincoln Air-operated Grease Gun. It features an efficient delivery system and is made using high-quality materials. Plus, it uses a compressor, which is the whole point of today’s discussion.
If you don’t own one yet, it’s best to read this air compressor buying guide. You get plenty of information on what you need and why. That way, you can choose one that fits your grease gun efficiently.