Grease Gun Best Practices

Noria Corporation

"Can you give me some advice on how to use a grease gun properly?" 

This is a great question, and one that more people should be thinking about. While it may seem fairly simple, using a grease gun properly is essential to keeping important lubricated components like bearings from failing early or damaging electric motors and other equipment.

Any lubrication technician who is responsible for greasing should be given clear, detailed and step-by-step procedures to do the job correctly and safely. If you don't have these procedures in place, and there's not enough time to train and certify an exissting staff member, bringing in a certified, contract-based lubrication technician may be a good way to quickly get procedures and processes on the right track.

Training is important for two major reasons: safety and reliability. Grease guns can produce a high amount of pressure, so be sure than anyone using a grease gun has been trained in the potential dangers to the operator. Grease guns are capable of producing several thousand psi per stroke. This kind of pressure can certainly blow out bearing seals and shields as well. If a careless approach is taken when using the grease gun, then it is highly likely that the equipment will be overpressurized and overlubricated. When this occurs, particularly with a bearing, the bearing's rated lifecycle will be greatly reduced.and the machine itself will suffer when a grease gun isn't used properly. 

When lubricating equipment with a grease gun, it is important to know precisely how much lubricant needs to be applied per cycle and how much lubricant the grease gun will produce per shot. Grease guns can produce between 1 gram and 1.5 grams per shot. This can result in significant overlubrication per point unless the output is known.

Whether the gun is filled with oil or grease, the practitioner should be precise with the use of the gun, beginning with an analysis of the bearing dimensions and calculation of the required amount of grease per cycle, followed by an analysis of the amount of output per cycle of the gun.

When working the grease gun lever arm, never hold the nozzle onto the grease fitting. Also, when cycling the lever arm, be conscious of the risk of overpressurization and do not force the lever arm if there is strong back pressure.

Use the following tips to maintain your grease guns and fittings.

  • Wipe the fitting before use to clear debris. Use a clean shop rag or lint-free cloth to clear debris.

  • Inspect the grease fitting. Replace defective or damaged fittings.

  • Where possible, standardize on fitting type.

  • Conspicuously mark the grease fitting with the type of grease being used. Avoid changes where possible.

  • Learn the proper grease gun operation and know the delivery volume per shot. Have grease guns calibrated occasionally to ensure proper volume delivery.

  • Some grease guns develop pressure up to 15,000 psi. Exercise caution to avoid overpacking and/or seal damage.

  • Keep guns clean, avoiding laying them on dirty surfaces. Repack on a clean bench using a gun loader fitting.

  • Keep grease guns covered when not in use.

  • Exercise caution to ensure safety. Make changes such as piping out the fitting to avoid danger.

  • When repacking grease guns from a pressure line, wipe down the fitting and the pressure line to prevent contamination. When repacking with tubes, move to an environmentally controlled area, such as a control room, to replace the tube


If you are unsure about your grease gun procedures or how to complete regreasing calculations to deteremine the optimal greasing interval and amount, it might be time to either get training yourself or reach out to a lubrication contractor who can install a skilled technician in your plant to get things going in the right direction more quickly.

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