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How to Load a Grease Gun Cartridge

Updated: Oct. 24, 2018

Avoid air locks and your grease gun will always work.

FH13JUN_BURPAR_02-2 how to load a grease gunFamily Handyman
Loading a new grease cartridge seems easy enough. But if you don't do it right, an air lock might keep grease from coming out when you pump the gun. Removing an air lock can be frustrating. Here's how to avoid them—and how to get rid of them if you're reading this too late.

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How to Load a Grease Gun: Load first, burp second

Photo 1. Pack the head

Scoop any remaining grease out of the old cartridge and pack it into the head.

Photo 2. Burp from the top

Unscrew the plug on the head of the gun, but keep it positioned directly over the hole. Screw it back in as soon as the air bubble clears.

Prevent air locks by filling the grease gun head before adding the new cartridge (Photo 1). Insert the new cartridge and screw on the barrel until it seats against the head. Then back it off two turns and release the spring tension. The remaining air should bleed out through the loose threads. Finish tightening the barrel.

If you’ve done that but still have an air lock, remove the plug (Photo 2).

Required Tools for this How to Load a Grease Gun Project

You’ll need a grease gun and latex gloves.

Required Materials for this How to Load a Grease Gun Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Grease cartridge