Updated May 2022
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

Category cover

Buying guide for best grease guns

Do you own a grease gun? If so, performing your own maintenance on that lawnmower may be easier than you think. The main purpose of a grease gun is to help you keep your vehicles and equipment running smoothly. Using a grease gun, you can deliver grease to any mechanical area where moving parts need to operate smoothly, without too much friction and heat.

Perhaps you’re experienced at making repairs and ready to upgrade to an automatic grease gun. Or perhaps you’re looking to buy your first manual grease gun in an effort to lubricate your equipment. In either case, we're here to help.

Content Image
While grease guns can be used in a wide variety of applications, the grease delivered must be specific to the needs of your vehicle or piece of equipment. To determine which grease you need, check your owner’s maintenance manual.

Grease gun types

There are two basic grease gun types: manual pump grease guns and automatic pump grease guns.

Manual pump grease guns

A manual pump grease releases grease when you squeeze it with your hand. It has a spring-loaded piston pump that, in most cases, pushes the grease from a pre-loaded cartridge through the nozzle.

The manual pump sometimes has an extension hose to help you get into smaller spaces. Some manual pump grease guns can be refilled from bulk grease rather than cartridges.

Automatic pump grease guns

Under the automatic pump grease gun umbrella, you’ll find both electric and pneumatic grease guns. These guns work by pulling a finger trigger. They’re quicker for applications in which you have a lot of points to grease.

Grease gun sizes

The size of the grease gun you need depends on what you are trying to grease. Smaller equipment, such as a lawnmower or tiller, will require very little grease compared to larger vehicles such as tractors, trailers, and trucks.

Grease guns are sized according to what cartridge size you will need to buy for the gun. There are two standard sizes that cover most uses: grease guns with three-ounce cartridges and grease guns with 14-ounce cartridges.

  • Smaller grease guns have three-ounce cartridges. Designed to apply small amounts of grease at a time, these guns provide ample lubrication for lawn and boating equipment. Because they’re so small, you can easily store a three-ounce grease gun in a toolbox or the glove compartment of your car.

  • Larger grease guns have 14-ounce cartridges. These guns are usually used for automobiles, farm equipment, pick-up trucks, and boat or RV trailers. They deliver grease in the amounts you need for ball joints, tie rod ends on steering systems, wheels for boat trailers, and universal joints on any vehicle.

Grease gun extensions

Grease guns generally come with some kind of extension that attaches to the body of the grease gun. The extension is either a pipe or a hose.

A grease gun will be easier to use if you have a longer extension hose or extension pipe, and that’s typically what you’ll get with a grease gun. However, if you have a tractor trailer, a farm tractor, or an RV fifth wheel, you may need an extended hose for tight places that are hard to reach.

Automatic grease guns have much longer extensions than their manual counterparts. They will give you a couple of feet extension with the hose.

pump actions

Grease guns come with different types of pump action. Check the packaging to determine how much grease is delivered with each pump.

  • Long-handle manual grease guns can be more difficult to operate, requiring more arm action. However, they do allow you to push more grease per squirt.

  • Hand grip grease guns are easier to operate, but they tend to deliver less grease per pump. Your hand may get tired more quickly using a hand grip grease gun.

  • The pump piston in an automatic grease gun is operated by a finger trigger that runs either an electric motor or a pneumatic piston. In order to determine how much grease is delivered, you will need to check the packaging or the manual for your grease gun.
Content Image
Did you know?
When you operate an automatic grease gun, you can hear each pump cycle. You can count the number of cycles to determine how much grease you are delivering into the joint.


  • If you decide to purchase a battery-powered grease gun, consider a package deal that comes with a charger and a carrying case. For some people, this is a real money-saver.

  • Evaluate your storage options before you buy a new grease gun. Cheaper grease guns have a tendency to leak, which can make storage difficult.

  • The built-in LED lights on some automatic grease guns are very handy for helping locate your grease zerk in tight spots.

Content Image
In home use, each grease gun should be dedicated to only one type of grease. If you need to use different types of grease for different applications, you should have several different grease guns, one for each type of grease.


Q. How do you know where you need to grease?
The piece of equipment you own should have grease points explained in the maintenance manual. You may not need to grease all moving parts, as some come pre-greased and sealed.

Q. What is a grease zerk?
A grease zerk is a fitting that works like a valve. It screws on to the end of a joint on your vehicle or piece of equipment and allows you to hook your gun to the joint and pump grease into the right place. There is a ball in the middle of it that allows the grease to go in, but it does not allow the grease to come out through the same fitting.

Q. How do you know when you’ve applied the right about of grease with your grease gun?
There are two ways to know, and it depends on the joint you are greasing. Some maintenance manuals specify how many pumps you need to apply. If you do not have that information handy, you can also visually see if you have put enough grease into the joint, because the grease will start to come out of the joint when it is full.  

Our Top Picks