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Simple Steps to Load Your Grease Gun

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A grease gun is a useful tool to lubricate your machine parts. It makes it easy to grease those hard to reach areas of your machine. However, the grease can run out, and you have to reload it to use the grease gun again. Understanding how to load a grease gun correctly will help you avoid unnecessary mishaps like malfunctions and leaks. It is therefore essential that you have the tips on how to load your grease gun. The process of loading a grease gun is quite easy especially if you grasp it properly.

Source: Bryn Pinzgauer under CC 2.0

There are two different methods of loading a grease gun depending on the type of your grease gun. Below are steps on how to load your grease gun from bulk grease containers and from cartridges.

For Bulk Grease Guns

  • Step 1: Unfasten the Grease Gun Head from the Barrel

You first need to unfasten the grease gun head from the barrel first before anything else. Loosen the head to detach it from the cap. The grease gun head is the front part of the grease gun with an attached applicator tube and a handle. The piston rod handle (located at the end of the gun) should be pushed to the end to keep it from accidentally sucking grease from the gun.

  • Step 2: Fill the Container

Slowly fill the barrel from a bulk grease container (mostly found in auto spares stores or local hardware). Hold the barrel down the bowl with the open end facing the container. Pull up the piston rod to pump in grease.

  • Step 3: Remove the Barrel from the Container

After you have fully withdrawn the piston rod, you have to remove the barrel from the container. Lift the barrel while slowly facing the open end up to avoid grease from falling back into the container. Grease may adhere/cling to the barrel. Ensure to rotate the barrel several times to break it free. Also, ensure to wipe off excess grease with a rag or a piece of cloth.

  • Step 4: Fasten the Barrel to the Head Again

Fasten the barrel to the head back and completely close it. Test the grease gun to ensure it works correctly. You can do this by pressing the grease gun handle and squeezing the trigger to check if grease comes out of the nipple.

filling grease gun

For Cartridge Grease Guns

  • Step 1: Take Out the Cartridge

Take out the cartridge by unfastening the cap. You do this by turning the cap of the container clockwise while turning the dispenser nozzle anticlockwise. If you find the cap or the screw too tight, use elbow grease.

  • Step 2: Detach the Plunger Rod from the Barrel

First, ensure the plunger rod well fastened. There is a slot that helps you fix the plunger rod to keep it from moving. Above the nozzle of the grease gun, there is the plunger rod that forces grease out of the cartridge. Pull out the nozzle rod until you entirely withdraw it from the container. Sometimes it is hard to pull it up due to grease build up. Also, check your grease gun’s type or model. Some eject the cartridge automatically.

  • Step 3: load the grease gun by putting in a new cartridge

You need first to clean the grease gun before inserting a new cartridge. You can do this with a clean rag or a piece of cloth. Unscrew the cartridge from one end where grease will flow out from. Insert the cartridge from the screwed end. Push it fully until it is completely sealed with the barrel’s end.

  • Step 4: Fasten the Head and the Barrel

Reattach the barrel to the head by fastening it. Remove the piston carefully from its lock-in or retracted position to release it. Push it back to the barrel slowly while pumping the nozzle to test if grease is coming out.


Loading a grease as you have seen can be very simple. Even if you are a first timer in using grease guns, you will be a pro after a few tries. You, however, need to be familiar with the type of grease gun you are using before reloading. Just follow the simple methods explained above depending on the grease gun you have, and you are good to go.

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Updated: August 17, 2018

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