How to Prime a Grease Gun

by Amelia Allonsy
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Mechanism image by Goran Bogicevic from

Grease guns are an essential part of any mechanical workshop or facility. Grease guns make it easy to distribute lubrication to the moving parts of all types of machines. In a mechanic's workshop, a grease gun might be used to apply grease to ball joints, U-joints in the drive shaft, tie rod ends or wheel bearings. When using a grease gun, you will want to have an even distribution of grease with each pump of the gun's handle. This can be achieved by priming the grease gun before placing the nozzle of the gun next to the equipment.

Step 1

Pull the T-handle and rod out of the grease gun. Push down on the handle slightly to lock it into the open position. There is a small groove into which the handle fits to hold it open while you load the gun with grease.

Step 2

Unscrew the metal cylinder inside the grease gun and pull the empty grease cartridge out. The cylinder screws into the gun near the nozzle.

Step 3

Pull the rubber or plastic cap off one end of your new grease tube. Pull the metal tab off the other end. Slide the new grease tube into the metal cylinder so that the metal-tab end faces down toward the dispensing nozzle. Screw the cylinder back into place in the grease gun.

Step 4

Unlock the T-handle and rod and push it in and out of the new grease tube two or three times. This will create a channel to push air out of the back of the tube and allow grease to flow.

Step 5

Squeeze the handle of the gun several times until grease begins to flow consistently through the dispensing nozzle. You should do this over a trash can or a shop rag to avoid dispensing grease onto your floor or work surface.

Step 6

Unscrew the bleed screw at the top of your grease gun and pump the handle a few times to open up the flow of your grease gun. Tighten the screw once the grease is dispensing freely. You usually won't have to perform this step unless the grease in your new tube is cold and heavy.

Step 7

Pull the T-handle and rod back out and pump it in and out a few times if your grease gun loses its prime while you are applying grease.

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