How to Load a Grease Gun without a Cartridge [Quick Steps]

A grease gun is a vital tool in the workshop. If you can use it right, you should end up with a great tool for applying lubricant to different places.

It is why many people would consider having their grease gun loaded up all the time.

Talking of a loaded grease gun, have you ever tried to load a grease gun without a cartridge? Anyone who has tried it might claim it is not the easiest thing to do.

However, if you have the right steps in mind, you should be able to handle the process with ease.

In this guide, I look at the steps you can take to load your grease gun without a cartridge. This should help you complete the process without fearing it is too hard.

Types of Grease Guns

Before you can start loading grease into a grease gun, it is best to learn more about the various types available in the market first.

This will help you to know how to handle each one.

  • Pneumatic grease gun

This is a common choice for most shops. This is because it is easy to use so long has there is compressed air on the site.

Simply hook it up to an air compressor and it will help in various lubricating applications.

  • Electric grease gun

As the name suggests, this one uses electricity to work properly. In this case, there is an electric motor that drives the high-pressure pump to push out the grease.

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It is for this reason; you will find it being powerful than other grease guns. It is also the most expensive too.

  • Mini grease gun

If you need to lubricate smaller fittings, you will then need a mini grease gun.

This type of grease gun is also manually operated because of its small size. On average, it can hold 3oz of grease.

  • Battery-operated grease gun

This is another model that is powered by electricity. The difference is that it needs a battery.

The battery can sometimes make such a grease gun heavier, but it will still be durable.

Since it is cordless, you can use it in different places where there is no electricity. As such, it is often used by those who work on trucks while on the move.

They do not need to worry about finding an electrical outlet to use the grease gun.

Steps to Follow to Load a Grease Gun without a Cartridge

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is take off the gun head from the gun barrel. It is not hard as you simply have to unscrew the head from the gun barrel.

During this stage, ensure that the piston rod handle is depressed into the gun barrel.

This helps prevent the risk of sucking grease through it when loading your grease gun.

Step 2

Now that you are ready to fill the barrel with grease, make sure to clench the distal end inside the grease holder.

With the distal-end in the grease container, gently pull the plunger rod back thus refiling the grease gun barrel with grease.

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If you want large grease containers, check out your local hardware. Such large grease containers are best suited for professional mechanics.

Step 3

Now that the barrel is filled with grease, go ahead to remove it from the grease container.

Clean off the excess grease that might be sticking out of the barrel. Make sure to use a tidy and dust-free cloth for cleaning the excess grease.

Step 4

Now that you are done loading the grease into the gun, go ahead and assemble the head back onto the barrel.

Should be good to use the freshly loaded grease for various lubricating applications.

You can test it on different surfaces before using it on the main application. This is to ensure that your grease gun is working as expected.

Just make sure the head is attached to the barrel to avoid any leaks and inconveniences.

How to Load a Grease Gun Video

The grease gun is one of the most widely-used tools for machinery lubrication, yet few are trained on grease gun best practices.

When one doesn’t know how to load a grease gun, it can become a safety risk to both the lubrication technician and the machine.

YouTube video

How to Bleed Your Grease Gun

When you load grease into your grease gun, the chances are you might end up with air trapped in the barrel.

This means there is the need to bleed your grease gun. Bleeding means removing any air that might be trapped in the grease gun so that it works correctly.

Keep in mind that we are looking at a scenario where you have used a cartridge and it is also a manual grease gun.

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Once you have screwed your cartridge in the barrel, proceed to open the air space on the cartridge. Do not open it fully, just a little bit to release the air.

With the air space opened, push the pull rod and the t-handle back in before screwing the cartridge tight.

This activity will create enough pressure in the barrel to release the air that might be stuck in your barrel.

You can also push your gun handle three times to create more pressure necessary for removing as much air as possible.

At this point, you should have fully bled your grease gun and it should be ready for use.

Tips for Using a Grease Gun

A grease gun is a popular tool that many people enjoy using. It is vital that you know a few tips and tricks of using it to make sure it works great too. Here are some.

  • Always use the correct type of grease for the application
  • It is advisable to use the same grease kind even when refilling as there will be residue of the same grease from previous uses
  • Make sure to depressurize the grease gun after use. Proceed to store it horizontally in a cool place to help in keeping the oil from easily separating
  • Always cover the nozzle so that contaminants to do get into the glue before the next use


A grease gun in the best working condition will help you to work on your projects better.

You would not have to worry much about lubricating the different parts of a vehicle or machine when the gun is correctly loaded with grease.

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Also, make sure you always bleed the grease gun to keep it working smoothly.

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