Grease Gun Accessories

One of the most important grease gun accessories for the quick, precise, and mess-free application of lubricant, grease nipples are vital across a wide range of industrial applications.

Cromwell stocks a wide range of high-quality grease nipples and other fittings, available in a variety of styles and sizes to suit any job.

What are grease nipples?

Grease nipples (AKA grease fittings or zerk fittings) are used in conjunction with grease guns to dispense lubricant exactly where it needs to be. The grease nipple itself is a screw-on valve cap made from metal, which has a small opening at its peak and a narrow channel that directs lubricant to the base.

They are fundamental to proper machine maintenance, allowing grease to be applied in an effective manner. Due to their importance, machines often become faulty or damaged when grease fittings are neglected or misused.

Why a grease nipple?

Grease nipples are incredibly important for dispensing lubricant exactly where it needs to be. They also provide a visible point of entry for maintenance and lubrication, giving engineers peace of mind that the lubricant they apply will go exactly where it is needed without spillage.

By adding grease nipples as a way to dispense lubricant onto moving parts, you can greatly reduce the chance of machine ineffectiveness or failure.

Grease nipples are widely regarded for their ability to:
• Allow for the precise application of lubricant to moving parts
• Stop lubricant from dripping onto other surfaces
• Prevent mess and unwanted clean-up

When are grease nipples used?

Grease nipples are designed to prevent unnecessary mess or spillage when applying grease. They are commonplace amongst a range of applications, including:

• Agricultural vehicles and machinery
• Large machines with moving parts
• Automotive applications
• Engines
• Factory or warehouse equipment, such as conveyors
• Landscaping equipment

Types of grease nipple

Grease nipples are part of a wider category of fittings, with each having their own strengths and desired applications. Here are a few of the most common fittings for your consideration:

• Grease nipples - Grease nipples provide a secure lubrication point for mechanical components such as bearing houses. They offer a secure connection to grease guns to accurately apply lubrication to moving systems.

• Hydraulic nipples - Hydraulic nipples have a flat face design and can be used with hydraulic grease equipment.

• Ball type fittings - Ball type fittings have a smooth dome-like nipple which is ideal for any part that demands frequent lubrication. They boast a ball check valve that prevents back flow when lubricant is applied.

• Leakproof grease fittings - Similar to standard grease nipples but with a rubber, plastic, or brass ball check. They are used for sensitive applications such as in the food industry where leakage prevention is paramount.

• Flush fittings - Flush fittings boast a low-profile design that is useful in situations where clearance between moving parts is a necessity. They are typically used in low-clearance mechanisms such as pulleys and shafts.

• Safety vent fittings - Safety vent fittings are similar to standard grease nipples; however they have a vertical slot that serves as an air vent as grease is applied. This also lets users know when enough lubricant has been applied, as it will begin to flow out the slot.

If you're looking for personalised recommendations on the right type of grease fitting for your job, ask our experts for specialised advice.

Considerations when buying grease nipples

• Material - Grease nipples are generally available in steel, brass, carbon steel, stainless steel, and Monel®. The material will affect the strength and overall longevity of your grease fitting.

• Coating - Nowadays, many grease fittings have a chromate coating to enhance durability and limit corrosion. Definitely worth considering in scenarios where rust or seizing could be an issue.

• Size - An obvious consideration but an important one, nonetheless. Grease fittings that are too big or too small will not work effectively.

• Thread - Grease fittings have two common thread types, tapered and parallel. If the thread diameter becomes narrower towards the bottom, then it's a tapered thread. If the thread diameter is straight all the way down, it's a parallel thread.

Grease nipple jargon buster

Thread type:
Grease fittings have a number of thread types. Here are the most common:

• BSPT - British standard pipe taper
• BSPP - British standard pipe parallel
• Metric tapered
• Metric parallel
• UNF - United fine
• NPT/NPTF - National pipe thread / National pipe thread fuel


How to unclog grease fitting?
Commercial grease fitting cleaners are available to help unclog grease nipples and fittings. Additionally, users can heat up the fitting to soften and help shift the clogged grease.

Can't get grease gun off nipple
To remove a grease gun from the nipple, try loosening the coupler body slightly with a wrench. Also, always remove grease guns at an angle rather than trying to pull them straight off.