We have probably heard that old adage “Grease is cheaper than metal so use your grease gun regularly”
With modern high-performance machinery and vehicles it's very important that all joints and bearings are greased regularly and with clean flowing, quality grease, made for that particular application. It’s such an important job to minimise breakdowns and costly repairs – yet one that can easily be overlooked! Following are a few tips which could potentially save you lots of money and time…
1. Dummy Lubrication:
Ever thought you were saving money buying a cheap grease gun? Beware! Make sure the Grease gun you use has the Unique TWIN-LOCK Piston System which eliminates the possibility of dummy lubrication - by going solid if the grease nipple is blocked. Now you know if you are still actually pumping grease. Using the twin locking system you know your bearings are being effectively greased whenever you pump the handle.
2. Refill Grease with Ease:
Refilling your gun with grease can be frustrating and messy. It always seems to run out part way through the job! Check if your gun has a coarse thread to stop cross threading. Do you have the correct size grease cartridges? (The most common in NZ is the 450 gm and 400 gm size.) If you ‘bulk fill’ – do you have corresponding connections between the pump and gun?
3. Handle Type:
Do you prefer a ‘lever’ type gun or a trigger type? Typically, a trigger type is ideal to hold in one hand, with the other hand positioning the coupler on a flexible extension (see accessories below). A lever gun needs to be held with both hands and can normally pump a higher pressure (psi).
Grease guns can be used for a considerable amount of time, and in many awkward positions, so you want them to be light and easy to hold.
Do you want a rigid extension, or a flexible one to bend around and get into difficult positions? How long do you want the extension to be? Where does it need to reach to, from where you are positioned? Couplings are available in 3 or 4 jaw options – do you prefer one which holds onto the grease nipple tighter or a looser option that is easier to pull off?
6. Manual, Rechargeable, or Air Operated:
Normally this comes down to several factors – cost and availability of compressed air, or the ability to recharge a battery. Air operated and rechargeable grease guns are easier to use as you just have to pull the trigger, but cost more and require compressed air on site, or a battery needing to be charged up periodically. Like most rechargeable tools - batteries are getting better all the time and are becoming more popular.
7. Machine Specs:
It’s important you check your machine's specs online or with the agent for the recommended grease for the particular make and model of machine you are lubricating. If a special grease is specified, even though it may be expensive to you, think back to the old adage and you will find that the special greases will be more competitively priced than having to repair or replace bushes, bearings, or other parts. Also, consider the downtime, which often is the most expensive and inconvenient part of the whole exercise!
Last, but certainly not least! Does your grease gun wear out quickly or get ‘air bubbles’ all the time? We can recommend some reliable options, and remember time is money when on the work site. You may pay a little more initially, but the savings are huge in the long run!
Another variant for you to take account of is whether you are using your vehicle or machine in extreme conditions. Consider when you may be working mostly in water, or near the sea where salt is likely to cause corrosion.. To find out what grease is best for these applications you might have to contact oil and lubrication manufactures who may have a special product to use in these circumstances. Most of these companies have an engineer available to help with your problem or again you could search the internet.
Now you know some of the most important things to look out for in a grease gun you are probably on the hunt for something that will last you years… We have a range of greasing gear to help you out.