Grease guns are not often needed on modern cars, as most ball joints are sealed. But some cars, such as the BL Mini, 1100 and Allegro range, still need greasing on certain parts.
It is not worth buying a cheap grease gun. The most suitable kind is one with a pistol-type side lever that gives high-pressure action, and has a capacity of about 120cc.
A grease gun is a common workshop and garage tool used for lubrication. The purpose of the grease gun is to apply lubricant through an aperture to a specific point, usually on a grease fitting or 'nipple'. The channels behind the grease nipple lead to where the lubrication is needed. The aperture may be of a type that fits closely with a receiving aperture on any number of mechanical devices. The close fitting of the apertures ensures that lubricant is applied only where needed. There are three types of grease gun:
- Hand-powered, where the grease is forced from the aperture by back-pressure built up by hand cranking the trigger mechanism of the gun, which applies pressure to a spring mechanism behind the lubricant, thus forcing grease through the aperture.
- Hand-powered, where there is no trigger mechanism, and the grease is forced through the aperture by the back-pressure built up by pushing on the butt of the grease gun, which slides a piston through the body of the tool, pumping grease out of the aperture.
- Air-powered (pneumatic), where compressed air is directed to the gun by hoses, the air pressure serving to force the grease through the aperture. Russell Gray, inventor of the air-powered grease gun, founded Graco based on this invention.
The grease gun is charged or loaded with any of the various types of lubricants, but usually a thicker heavier type of grease is used.
It was a close resemblance to contemporary hand-powered grease guns that gave the nickname to the World War II-era M3 submachine gun.
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