How to Load a Grease Gun Without a Cartridge? 5 Steps

How to Load a Grease Gun Without a Cartridge?

A grease gun is used to apply grease or other viscous lubricants to moving parts of a machine to avoid abrasion. Certain parts of different machines may be difficult to access, and you can grease such parts with a grease gun. However, a grease gun cannot operate when it’s out of grease. It is often refilled by replacing its empty cartridge with a filled one.

You need to know how to load a grease gun with a cartridge because of the day that you’ll run out of the cartridge. This method may be a little messy and difficult at first, but when you keep using this method to load your grease gun, with time, you’ll eventually get the hang of it. What matters more is being able to fill your grease gun with or without a cartridge.

How To Load a Grease Gun Without a Cartridge? 5 Steps

Step 1:

You need to separate the head of your grease gun from the barrel. To do that, you have to unscrew the head of the gun from the cap. You also have to remove the handle and applicator tube to gain access to the inner part of the grease gun. Loosen the pieces of the gun. You need to push the piston into the barrel to prevent it from accidentally sucking the grease in the process.

Step 2:

Now, you should fill the barrel. Pull down the barrel. Pull back the plunger rod back to refill. You can get a big grease container. It will be easier for you to feed the grease into the barrel from a large container. 

Step 3:

Now, you can remove the barrel from the grease container. Lift the plunger rod and rotate the barrel to cut off the excess. After that, you can clean off the excess grease by using a clean cloth. Clean off the excess from the end of the barrel. 

Step 4:

After loading the barrel, you can screw the nozzle to the end cap. 

Step 5:

Reassemble the grease gun. Make sure the handle of the piston is positioned correctly. If not, grease may not come out of the applicator tube. After assemblage, you need to test the grease to be sure that you did a good job. Also, you’re likely to have excess grease coming out of the gun. Clean it off with a clean piece of cloth.

How Do You Know When a Grease Gun is Empty?

The first sign of an empty grease gun is that grease no longer comes out of the grease gun. However, when your gun no longer dispenses grease, don’t just conclude that it’s empty. It could be due to another fault. You don’t have to pull your grease gun apart to verify if it’s empty or not. That will be messy. 

There’s a simple way to carry out the task. You already know the full length of the plunger when pulled to the end. Now, go and pull out the plunger to the very end. If it gets to its full length, it means the barrel is empty. Otherwise, the difference between the length of the plunger and its full length is the level of grease left in the barrel of your grease gun.

What Can I Use to Grease My Gun?

There are several types of grease and different grease guns use different types of grease. Check the user manual of your grease gun to see the recommended brands of grease for your gun. It is better to use the recommended grease. Your gun will continue to perform optimally. And its lifespan will be extended. 

Generally, lithium-based greases are the best for grease guns because they have relatively higher melting points. That means they don’t melt up easily. And they are easier to store. Lithium-based grease won’t melt and drip while being stored. Once you start loading your grease gun with a type of grease that’s not recommended, you’re shortening the lifespan of your grease gun.

What is a Grease Syringe?

A grease syringe is a needle with a grease gun feeding at the top. It is used to grease tiny parts like tie rods and ball joints. Without a grease syringe, it might be impossible to fill such tight crevices with grease. The head of the grease syringe will be fitted into the mouth of the grease gun. As you pump grease from your grease gun, grease passes from the mouth of the grease gun into the syringe, and the grease comes out from the mouth of the needle.

Can I Put Grease in a Grease Gun Without a Cartridge?

Yes, it is possible to load your grease gun with grease without a cartridge. However, it will be a little messy and complicated at the beginning, but with time, you’ll master the steps, and it will be much easier for you. The steps involved are few. They have been given above.

What Should I Look for in a Grease Gun?

There are several brands and models of grease guns, but they offer different features, and they are available at various prices. Unfortunately, higher prices don’t always lead to higher quality. So, when looking to buy a grease gun, here are the features to look for.

  1. Compatibility with numerous types of greases. Some guns can only work with very few types of grease, while others support a wider variety of greases. Choose the latter. 
  2. Go for the gun with higher accuracy. Such a gun will make use of grease more efficiently. 
  3. You might also want to choose a grease gun that is able to block air pockets with its bleeder valve. 
  4. Durability is key. Consider the durability of your grease gun.
  5. It is always a good idea to go for a known brand. You’ll be sure of its quality. 

Final Words

As you have seen, you can load a grease gun without a cartridge. However, it is easier done with a cartridge. But if a cartridge isn’t available, you can use the other method to load your gun. It may be difficult initially, but after trying it a couple of times, you should be able to master it.