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A Handy Guide to Using Grease Guns in the Food Industry

June 22, 2024

Maintaining commercial kitchen equipment is not easy because of the many tools available in a commercial kitchen. 

A grease gun is a tool that one cannot miss in the commercial kitchen for its maintenance of machines and equipment since they are part and parcel of the commercial kitchen and cannot function without it. 

This tool is out of place beside the pots and pans in the commercial kitchen; however, with it, the equipment and machines that form the backbone of the commercial kitchen will function.

Understanding Grease Guns

You use a grease gun to apply lubricant using a teat or aperture at a point where it needs to be – invariably a bearing or somewhere else on one of the pieces of commercial kitchen kit that moves. All the other moving parts thus get lubricated, avoiding friction and wear, which culminate in a breakdown.

The Role of Tag Guns 

Likewise, the grease gun isn’t the only tool from the abattoir that rolls in. A tag gun is another commercial kitchen essential for labelling and tracking meat and other ingredients.

Abattoir Equipment in the Commercial Kitchen 

Many elements of an abattoir are used in the large-scale commercial kitchen, from oversised cutting tables, hooks and cleavers to regular maintenance and the grease gun.

Gumboots South Africa 

Where grease guns operate, one must have footwear that gives grip and protection in slippery conditions in any commercial kitchen, so go for gumboots South Africa.

Using a Grease Gun

  • Identify the lubrication points on your commercial kitchen equipment.
  • Clean the area around the teat to ensure no contamination occurs.
  • Connect the grease gun to the teat and pump the handle to insert the lubricant.
  • Wipe away any excess grease to maintain cleanliness.

Maintenance Tips

  • Regularly check and refill your grease gun with the appropriate lubricant.
  • Store the grease gun in a clean, dry place to prevent clogging.
  • Use a tag gun to label equipment with maintenance dates for regular upkeep.

When Grease Guns First Became Prevalent in the Meat Processing Industry

In the early years of the 20th century, the use of a grease gun became widespread in the meat-processing industry. 

Nowhere in the operation of an abattoir was the impact of the grease gun felt more than in the maintenance of the equipment on which much of the abattoir’s operations depended. 

A grease gun lubricated the moving parts of hoes, knives, bloodletting tools, and other parts involved in a flowing abattoir business. With the use of the grease gun, companies reported a decrease in downtimes from equipment failure, resulting in profits. 

With the lubrication of meat-processing equipment, tools were used for longer periods, sometimes their entire lifetime.

Tag guns were another associated feature. Butchers also used them to label and identify specific meat products for easy quality control and traceability all the way to the consumer.

Often used in conjunction with the stringent safety regulations that accompanied the adoption of grease and tag guns in meat processing, gumboots South Africa offers safety as an important part of its brand.

These grease guns and tag guns brought a revolution in the meat processing industry and set a base for further development in safety, efficiency and productivity.

Grease Guns and Their Effectiveness

Although it may not be readily apparent, the grease gun possesses a highly elegant mechanism for its function – Lubrication for a wide range of industries, from meat processing and abattoirs to cars and motorbikes. 

Below is a detailed explanation of how it works:

The Mechanics of a Grease Gun

  • Reloading the Grease: The grease is loaded into the gun barrel. Cartridges can be prepackaged, or the gun can be loaded by hand from a bulk container.
  • Seal Barrel: The Barrel is sealed after the barrel is loaded. The pressure inside the barrel keeps rising till air can no longer enter because the barrel is already sealed. The user then fires the gun with a lever or pistol grip or air or battery power to build up pressure.
  • By Forcing Out Grease: The grease is forced out through the coupler to the lubrication point under pressure.

Effectiveness in the Industry

  • Precision Lubrication: Since some parts of equipment in the abattoir need to be lubricated at particular points, the grease guns are good for precision lubrication. 
  • Reduce Wear and Tear: Grease guns help prevent premature wearing out of machinery by applying grease that reduces friction in the process. This is useful for high-use equipment such as abattoirs and down to commercial kitchens. 
  • Flexibility: Multiple models, including manual, pneumatic and battery-powered grease guns, are bound to serve any operational requirements that the industry demands.
  • Contamination Prevention: Using dedicated grease guns for specific types of lubricant will help prevent cross-contamination that might damage the equipment.

You can also speed up processes by tagging items with a Tag Gun, which is wise to do, as it increases the efficiency of your abattoir, reducing hassle and lost items. 

The Grease Gun is a testament to the ingenuity of ‘pound shop tech’ that can dramatically alter the efficiency and longevity of industrial kits. Its role down the factory line alongside the right kit in an abattoir – and the right health and safety protocols, such as Gumboots South Africa – underlines its necessity all the way down the chain.


No one talks about these tools. Grease guns and tag guns. But they are the unsung heroes of slaughterhouse equipment, abattoir equipment and commercial kitchen work, making sure wonky mixers and dinged-up meat grinders are still functional, just as gumboots are the early marker of a shift well underway.