How to Load a Grease Gun without a Cartridge

Grease guns are essential tools used daily. If you own or work in a store, manufacturing plant, or garage, you must learn how to load a grease gun without a cartridge. If you have no idea, this guide is for you.

Various moving and mechanical parts often require greasing for better functionality. Mechanics or other users use a grease gun to transfer lubricants or grease to the parts' application levels. The tool enables oil or different grease types to reach the inaccessible rotary bearing areas under pressure.

The process of loading a gun for greasing without a cartridge may seem complicated, but it's easy if you understand how it operates. It will also be a piece of cake if you follow the following step-by-step procedure to the later.

6 Steps of Loading a Grease Gun without a Cartridge:

Step 1: Assemble the Required Items

Some of the items are mandatory to have when loading a grease gun. The first thing to do is to collect everything you require to use in the process. The following are the materials you need;

  • A container filled with grease
  • A cartridge-less grease gun
  • A dust-free, clean piece of cloth or towel

Step 2: Separate the Grease Gun's Barrel from Its Head

After assembling all the necessary materials for the procedure, you need to prepare the grease gun. It entails separating the barrel from the head. Start by unscrewing the gun head attached to the cap.

You will find the applicator tube and handle connected to the device's head part. Go ahead and separate them by loosening the grease gun's double pieces.

Ensure the piston rod inside the barrel is fully depilated. Otherwise, it would be difficult to suck grease using the gun, sabotaging the process.

Step 3: Put Grease into the Barrel

When you finish detaching the barrel from the head and ensuring the piston rod depilates fully inside the barrel, it's time to put grease inside the barrel. First, insert the barrel's distal end into the container with the lubricant and keep it down. Then pull the plunger rod to refill the barrel with grease.

If you don't have an ideal container to put your grease, get one from any hardware near you. If working as a professional, you can go for large-scale grease containers.

Step 4: Pull Out the Barrel

After filling the barrel with grease by lifting the plunger rod, remove or pull it out from the container. A lot of lubricants may stick on the barrel. To reduce the stuck grease, rotate the barrel while pulling it out of the grease container.

Then take a clean piece of cloth or towel and wipe out any excess grease around the barrel's end. Ensure the cloth or towel you use to wipe the lubricant is free of dust.

Step 5: Screw the Grease Gun's Nozzle

When running the grease gun, you may see some variations. You need not panic when you discover this because it's normal with these devices. To prevent this, you need to ensure that the nozzle is screwed on properly. Some grease guns may require you to screw their end caps on. It depends on the type of grease gun in use.

Step 6: Conduct a Test

After you finish loading your grease gun and reassembling all its parts, you need to test whether it passes grease as required. Start by pressing the piston rod's handle correctly until the lubricant comes out through the applicator tube. Wipe out the excess oil from the tube using a clean rag or cloth.

If the grease doesn't come out from the applicator tube when you press the piston rod handle or has difficulties, then know there's a problem. It could be you didn't load the grease properly to the fill, or you reassembled the grease gun's parts wrongly.

Disassemble the grease gun as explained earlier and repeat the grease loading process. Then assembled all parts correctly. Ensure no loose part. When through, repeat the test. If grease comes out perfectly and with ease, you have successively loaded your grease gun without a cartridge.

For effective grease gun loading, there are some things you need to know and keep in mind. To keep you enlightened, check out the following;

Essential Tips about Grease Guns

  • Never allow your grease gun to build up enough pressure to destroy the seals of the component getting sealed. Always keep an eye on the pressure build-up of your grease gun to avoid damages.
  • When a component goes for an extended period without greasing, the tiny amount of grease left inside solidifies next to the nipple. So when you start oiling such a part, your grease gun builds pressure as the hardened grease blocks the gun's nipple. After some time, enough pressure builds up to push the solid piece out from the nipple, allowing fresh grease.
  • But sometimes, the pressure built can be too much to make the gun nozzle come out through the nipple. It would be best if you, therefore, were keen on the pressure building up. Otherwise, you may end up replacing the nozzle because it won't be able to take in the fresh grease.
  • Keep your equipment greased regularly to avoid grease from solidifying. A sufficiently lubricated component works out great and efficiently.
  • Always use the same type of grease in your grease gun and machine parts. Mixing greases degrades the value of the lubricant.
  • After greasing, ensure you use warm water to wash your grease gun.

You could still have some pressing questions about loading a cartridge-less grease gun even after the above tips. To help you out, check the following answers to some of the frequently asked questions.


1. Which is the Best Grease Gun without a Cartridge to Use?

If you are a DIY enthusiast, it's essential to have the right job tool. Before greasing your mechanical part, you should have the best grease gun. If you want a grease gun to operate efficiently and work faster, go for the battery grease gun. With this grease gun, your life becomes much easy.

Battery grease guns come with a budget but worth every penny. If you want an efficient grease gun but don't have the budget, consider a top-notch manual grease gun. Of course, you will have to use your hands to pump the grease, meaning you'll take more time and get tired, but it does an excellent job.

Whether a gun is a battery or manually operated, avoid the cheap ones. They perform shoddy jobs.

2. How are Manual Grease Guns Filled?

You will need to unscrew the cylinder first for easier plunger pulling. Then pull and lock the plunger by tilting it around the metal tab. Finish unscrewing the gun's cylinder and remove the old cartridge. Take the new cartridge and remove its plastic cap.

Then insert it in the cylinder, starting with the cartridge's open end, and peel its metal cap away.

Return the screw on the cylinder and tighten it enough. Avoid over-tightening the screw as the grease gun may not function properly.

3. How Can I Know that My Grease Gun is Out of Grease?

You can check the plunger's bottom to know how much grease is left. But for best results, pull the plunger until you can go no further. You will be able to see the lubricant available on the exposed raw material. It indicates the exact grease inside the cartridge.

4. How Are Small Grease Guns with Cartridges Loaded?

The first thing is to take the grease gun's top off by untwisting it. Then pull its plunger to lock, allowing the bar to protrude outside. Next, remove the top cap of the grease you want to use and put it inside the tube. Then screw back the grease gun's top. Ensure you twist the lid until tight enough. Then unlock the plunger. Voila! You have done it! The process is easy and fast.

5. What is the Best Grease to Use in My Grease Gun?

Different parts require a different type of grease to lubricate them. Knowing the best lubricant to use on your machine or equipment is essential. It is crucial to check the manufacturer's direction on what oil to use in the component you want to lubricate.

Also, never change grease types. Use the same one every time to avoid weakening the grease. The makers of lubricant add various additives to suit different intended applications. These additives vary and may not react well with the rest. That's why it's not recommended you mix grease. The additives may respond by causing the lubricant to liquefy or break down. As a result, the oil starts to leak out.

General or all-purpose greases are ideal for farming equipment or lawnmower. You can also use them on any machine that doesn't heat much or move very fast. The lubricant is usually thick and consists of a light brown color. It is similar to soft toffee.

But other applications require special lubricants. It's therefore essential to check out the manufacturer's instructions on the grease to use.

Red rubber grease is ideal for lubricating any moving part that frequently gets water or moisture. As its name suggests, this grease is red and got popularly used in the olden days. Today, types of water-resistant lubricants are many and come in different colors. Others are for marine applications only.

Some specialized parts like CV joints require graphite grease to lubricate them. This grease type comes in black color and is much thinner compared to the rest.


As illustrated above, some grease guns don't have cartridges and effectively load lubricants on various components. If you love working with your hands, putting grease in a grease gun can be an excellent DIY home project. Whether you are a professional or love doing small projects at home, you must learn how to load your grease gun without a cartridge.

Fortunately, the process is easy and fast, as discussed above. For optimal results, you need to follow the step-by-step guide given above to the latter. You also need to keep the tips explained above in mind before carrying out the process.

Avoid mixing grease as the additives in them may react, weakening them as discussed above. Confirm with the manufacture of the equipment or component which lubricant to use. Some machines and parts come with instructions explaining what grease to use. Always use a quality grease gun for better results.

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