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Old 09-01-2011, 02:28 PM
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Quality grease guns?

I'm fighting with an air powered grease gun that I've had it with. It never worked very well and it's hardly working at all now.

I bought it in a kit at Sam's several years ago and it came with a manual pump one as well. The manual one got tossed a while back since it didn't work. Again, it never worked very well either.

It seems like I've never had good luck with grease guns over the years (air or manual). I had a few manual ones that I got at Napa and they would work OK for a while and then not so good.

I'd like to get a new one (or 2 if I get a new manual one and air powered one). I'd like to get the best pro quality one I can get. I'm tired of having trouble with grease guns. And we all know how messy and frustrating this gets fiddling with them.

What's the best?
Advice?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Old 09-01-2011, 02:57 PM
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Just like most things, they are not as good or durable as the older ones. I have a manual grease gun that I used for 7 years as a general line mechanic in both a Chevy and Ford dealerships. I inherited it from one of my uncles who was a pipefitter when I was in high school. I still use it today and it is still working as good as it ever has. This thing has to be over 50 years old.

Vince
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:06 PM
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At work all I use is the lincoln hand pump grease gun, we also have an air powered one that sits on a 15 gallon drum of grease. Like you we never had any luck with the air powered one, this lincoln air grease gun loses itls prime, won't work below 10 degress celcius. I agree with Vince on the old ones have more quality and workmanship.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:31 PM
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Hit the yard and estate sales - if you find an oldie, might just work after a good cleaning - and you might get some other treasures just thrown in for good measure. Both of my 'big' ones are probably close to 45-50 years old, as is the little one. All of them need a new Alemite end fitting, but work regardless as long as you can hold it on the Zerk straight .

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Old 09-01-2011, 03:50 PM
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Of the several I have, two are about all I use. One's a Plews manual. Takes the full sized grease cartridges. I swapped out the rigid tube it came with for a flexible hose w/the zerk end on it. It hasn't given me any problems, but it really doesn't get that much use.

The other is a beautiful little Swiss made Wanner 300-2. It was originally used in a Bausch & Lomb glass plant to lube machinery. When it was made surplus I nabbed it.

It pumps by pressing inward on the end of the body- like a 10-speed tire pump, but shorter. It is about a foot long when fully extended but it will pump w/as little as an inch of compression, so you can fit it into a space as small as about 6" and still be able to pump grease. The thing I like best is it doesn't take two hands to use- just center the tip over the fitting and push. The worst thing is the small capacity. The one shown below has an oiling tip, mine uses a zerk tip but otherwise looks the same.

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Old 09-02-2011, 07:34 PM
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Roger, sounds as if we have the same luck with grease guns. Fortunately, I learned a lot about these pesky critters while running a combine for the last several summers helping the land owner that lets me hunt on his 40 sections of land. We greased the combines every day before hitting the fields. There were 6 fittings that took 50 strokes each and several that took 20-25 strokes. I used about 1 and a half tubes every day. I kept suggesting an air powered gun since we had a compressor on the service truck so they finally got one, then graduated to 18volt rechargeable Lincolns. These are Cadillacs of grease guns as far as I am concerned. We probably use them more in one harvest than you would in your life time in your shop.

Trees
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:12 PM
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Thanks Trees.

I don't use one often enough to consider an electric. It's not good for rechargeable batteries sit for long periods of non use. They sure do sound like they are dandy though.

I posted this same question over on the Garage Journal forum as well. Got a lot of good feedback.

I ended up ordering an Alemite 500 hand lever model. I still might consider a Lincoln pneumatic down the road but I'll see how this Alemite works for me first.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:16 PM
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I recently bought a air powered model from NAPA for about 57 and change when I had to replace my inner and outer tie rods on my 98 1ton pu.

I friggin LOVE IT - To be able to position the hose, and use a trigger to dispense..priceless

For most work I do in my shop, I'll use the air-powered model - but, still have manual regular and small sized grease guns when needed.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:53 PM
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Biggest problems I saw with grease guns:

1. Air trapped in the piston area of the grease gun pump; pump loses prime. Theoretically, the big long spring should take care of this (but often it doesn't.) If you can hand-pack the piston area of the pump, and then eliminate the air in the rest of the gun, it "should" be a solved problem.

2. Folks had a gun set up for bulk grease, but used the cardboard-case grease cartridges instead--or--the other way around. Set up for cartridges but used bulk grease. This will NOT work properly. The seal on the grease gun is directional, and it gets flipped forward for bulk grease and backward for cartridge use.






I agree with buying old equipment at yard sales, surplus auctions, etc. I went crazy about seven years ago trying to find a made-in-America grease gun; and NOBODY sold one new anymore. Best I could come up with was a truly over-priced unit made in India; everything else was made by the Damned Communist Chinese. I'd have HAPPILY bought old 'n' used American equipment, but I was in a time-crunch.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:08 PM
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Alemite grease guns are made in the USA and have a 1 year warranty.

http://flequipment.com/alemitegreaseguns.htm
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:31 PM
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I think most people tend not to know how to load a grease cartridge. This leads to getting air in the system and people hating their grease gun.

The method I use to load the gun is to place the grease cartridge in the grease gun tube with the spring loaded plunger pulled back. I then proceed to screw the head of the gun on the tube but I DO NOT TIGHTEN all the way. I probably leave the head about 2-3 full turns loose. Then, with the head loose, I release the spring loaded plunger. Then tighten the head the rest of the way down. This method works 99% of the time and I don't get grease everywhere. Leaving the head loose allows the air to escape when releasing the plunger.

BTW- I use a Milwaukee 12 volt lithium ion grease gun. Its tons better than my old Lincoln 12 volt gun was. I probably go through about 100 tubes of grease per year.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siduramaxde
I think most people tend not to know how to load a grease cartridge. This leads to getting air in the system and people hating their grease gun.

The method I use to load the gun is to place the grease cartridge in the grease gun tube with the spring loaded plunger pulled back. I then proceed to screw the head of the gun on the tube but I DO NOT TIGHTEN all the way. I probably leave the head about 2-3 full turns loose. Then, with the head loose, I release the spring loaded plunger. Then tighten the head the rest of the way down. This method works 99% of the time and I don't get grease everywhere. Leaving the head loose allows the air to escape when releasing the plunger.
X2

Jon
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:01 AM
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Lincoln 1013. Last for many years. At least my 30 year old one has.

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Old 09-07-2011, 05:46 PM
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I got my Alemite delivered today.

Wow. It feels very good quality. Very solid.
I loaded it with a Mobil 1 synthetic grease cartridge and it bled with just a few pumps.

It came with a personally signed inspection card that proudly states that it was Made In the USA.

I think I'm gonna like this!

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Old 09-07-2011, 06:50 PM
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Looks good! Depending on how much room you have to work, you might want to swap the rigid pipe for a 1/8 NPT flexible hose. They generally come in 12" and 18" lengths, rated for 5000 psi.



Made in the USA counts for something, but there's probably not much if any difference in any of the $20 grease guns, be it Alemite, Plews or Lincoln, etc. The Plews 30-465 has the same refill features (cartridge, suction or pressure), has a pressure relief valve, etc.


My oldest grease gun has "Made in USA" on it, but no brand name. Same basic lever action design but lacks a pressure refill fitting and the bleeder requires a screwdriver. Easier to just crack the seal by unthreading the head a turn or so.
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