How to load a mini grease gun

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Because of its compact size, a mini grease gun has loads of advantages over a full size one..

Not only do they maneuver more easily into the hard-to-reach areas but they also take up minimal room in the toolbox.

Plus, you can operate it with only one hand.

But you need to know how to load a mini grease gun…

Okay, it’s not as complicated as the big gun it can still be a bit frustrating particularly if you’re new to mini grease guns. 

Here’s how to how to load a mini grease gun and grease the tightest spots in your machines in no time.

How to load a mini grease gun with a cartridge

The following step by step guide covers a variety of cartridge style models.

Step 1: Separate the head and the barrel

To get started, unscrew the head – the head is simply the part with a handle and an applicator tube attached- from the barrel and separate them.

To be clear, you unscrew it counter-clockwise and not the other way.

Step 2: Prepare to load the grease

Now you need to prepare to load your grease.

To begin with, you’ll need to pull the rod handle all the way back.

Next, you lock the rod handle with the end cap.

Be sure that it has locked in position tightly before proceeding.

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Step 3: Inserting the grease cartridge

At this point, you’re now set to load your grease cartridge inside the barrel.

It’s quite a simple step but you have to insert in the right direction to prevent problems down the road.


Grease cartridges usually have a plastic cap at the end. Your first step is removing the cap.


Very well.

Now push the cartridge inside the barrel with the open end going in first.

Continue to push the grease cartridge deeper into the barrel and all the way until the two rims- that of the pull-tab end and that of the barrel- are in contact with each other.

The final procedure when this is done is removing the pull tab seal, obviously from the end of the cartridge.

Step 4: Return the head

With that cartridge correctly inserted, you will progress as follows:

Return the head onto the barrel-Just screw it back into place.

This further pushes the dome of grease into the grease gun head.

Step 5:  Unlocking the rod handle

You previously locked the rod handle to the end cap and we need to undo this before moving on.

And while at it, it’s important to ensure that the rubber plunger and the rod are still connected.

You can easily test for this by pushing the rod handle-You’re certain that the connection is still intact if you feel some resistance when pushing.

Step 6: Priming the gun

To prime the mini grease gun, you first stand the gun on a workbench.

From there, you start to pump the lever handle and pull down on the barrel at the same time.

You’ll also check if your small gun features an air release valve (some do) and press it.

Alternatively, you should loosen the head a little as you’re pulling down on the barrel.

Either action helps force out any trapped air.

You’re not yet done..

Now rotate the rod handle to disconnect it from the unit’s rubber plunger assembly.

Remember to apply good pressure as you rotate it.

Lastly, press on the quick release.

The rod goes all the way down (into the barrel).

All that remains at this stage is to pump the lever handle – you may have to do this several times- until grease starts to flow from the coupler.

Step 7:  Wait for bubbles to clear (if any)

You’re almost all done but it’s advisable to check if the grease flowing out is free of bubbles (indicating the presence of air pockets within the grease).

All you have to do is continue pumping on the lever until bubbles-free grease streams out.

If it’s unable to do this, try to prime the gun again – you unscrew the release valve a few turns or loosen the head a bit (about two turns) then prime it with the plunger before tightening the head.


Be extremely careful when loading the mini grease gun as the handle can just pop out of the locking position and send grease exploding all over the place.


  • Please note that these are general instructions to help you load your mini grease gun with a cartridge and they might not match your mini gun exactly.
  • We suggest that you check your manual for the steps that specifically match your model.

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Bulk loading grease in Mini Grease Guns

In most cases, there are two ways you can bulk load grease in many brands of mini grease guns.

The options are either:

  1. Suction loading (using the barrel) OR
  2. Pump loading (using a pump to bulk load it through a coupler).

Summary of steps

1.      Suction loading

  • Remove the barrel by unscrewing it.
  • Insert the open section of the barrel beneath the surface of your bulk grease.
  • Pull the rod back and push it sideways to have it go into its retaining slot.
  • Proceed to remove the barrel away from your bulk grease.
  • Wipe excess grease on the outside of your barrel and again screw it back into the mini grease gun.
  • Free the rod from its retaining slot and push it completely down into the barrel.
  • Prime the gun as described earlier.

2.      Pump loading

  • Pull the rod back and turn it so that the rod handle locks into the plunger.
  • Release the rod/plunger and ensure that the rod is not pushed into the retaining notch.
  • Insert a loader that fits into your mini gun loader coupler.
  • Squeeze the loader pump until the rod is pushed out of the barrel by approximately 8”.
  • Release the plunger by rotating the rod handle.
  • Push the rod completely down into the barrel.
  • Prime the gun as described earlier.

Final thoughts

Greasing isn’t exciting and failing to load the mini grease gun properly will make the chore even more frustrating.

This helpful guide has taught you how to load a mini grease gun with minimal mess so you won’t have a good reason to postpone the all-important greasing task.

Note that while the steps may differ slightly in some models, cartridge style mini grease guns are more popular and follow a similar procedure.

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