What Is Chainsaw Oil? Different Types and Benefits

If you are handy with tools as a hobby or as a professional, you’d know how important it is to maintain the tools to make them function smoothly and last longer.

The same is the case with a chainsaw. It has to be regularly sharpened and oiled to avoid any friction and keep it running fluently.

Oiling a chainsaw prevents it from rust and corrosion from the regular wear and tear, thus reducing depreciation of the machine.

The oil sticks to the bar and keeps the chainsaw from becoming damaged, avoiding the need to replace the chains frequently.

However, it is critical to know what kind of oil is being used to lubricate the chainsaw. Not all oils are suited for the purpose and each brand has its own suggestions for the specific oil that should be used.

Read our review of the: Best 2 Stroke Oil for Chainsaws

What to Consider Before Buying

There are multiple factors to consider before purchasing and using a bar oil for your chainsaw. Different work environments call for different types of bar oils that differ in their weight.

There are specific oils for the summer as well as winter.

Therefore, many variables come into play while selecting the best chainsaw oil. Let’s take a look.

1. Purpose of Use: The intensity and frequency of work done by your chainsaw is a major factor in determining how much and what kind of oil you need as a lubricant for the bar and chain.

Tasks similar to cutting trees consume a lot of oil while simple tasks might consume lesser and of different quality.

2. Quality of Oil: Choose an oil that flows fluidly and does not cause any friction by forming lumps in the way. Also, if the oil is leaving too much residue, it’s not of good quality and will damage the chains.

3. Weather: The weather plays an extremely important role in determining the type and weight of the oil. The summers require a thicker oil with more weight so that the dilution due to the heat is compensated and the oil sticks to the chainsaw.

On the other hand, in winters, the oil should be of lesser density and lighter as well since the chilly weather tends to make the oil thicker and increase its density.

Therefore, a lighter and thinner density oil is more feasible to put on a chainsaw.

4. The Brand of Chainsaw: Every manufacturer has its own recommendation of oil to be used in chainsaw as a lubricant and it is given in the user’s manual more often than not.

Since every chainsaw has a different caliber, the recommendation should be seriously considered while making the choice since a wrong oil can severely damage the chains and the bar.


Benefits of Using Chainsaw Bar Oil

Benefits of chainsaw bar oil

If you are using a chainsaw, maintaining it is a necessity and oiling comes in that department. A chainsaw regularly consumes oil in its operation, whether it’s an electric chainsaw or powered by gas.

Here’s why you need to use chainsaw oil:

  • It increases the life cycle of the chainsaw by ensuring smooth functioning.
  • It prevents rust and corrosion, reducing the wear and tear through exposure.
  • Using the right oil increases the performance of the chainsaw even in extreme weather conditions since the oil sticks to the bar and ensures fluidity.
  • The oil removes the dust and chips from the surface and ensures better efficiency while cutting.
  • Lubricating the chainsaw keeps the chain sharpened and prevents the need to replace them regularly.
  • It eliminates any friction while operating the chainsaw and thus reduces the chance of recoil while using it.


Types of Chainsaw Oil

There are different types of chainsaw oil that you can use. The specifications are usually mentioned in the user guide that is given by the manufacturer.

The oil used is specially made for the chainsaw using an advanced formula to increase the work efficiency of the tool and has an additive that makes the oil stick to the chain and the bar.

Even though there are alternatives to the bar and chain oil, it is highly recommended to not use the regular motor oil in the chainsaw.

The regular motor oil burns the chain as well as the bar and you’ll need to replace them more frequently than needed, increasing the cost of maintenance and reducing the life of the chainsaw.

Vegetable oil can be a suitable alternative to the petroleum-based bar oil. It is a natural product that is processed with several additives to compensate for what it lacks and then used as a chainsaw lubricant.

It is environmentally effective, which is a huge positive since all the oil used in the chainsaw is ultimately a negative waste that harms the environment.

Canola-based oil is being increasingly adopted as a replacement since it’s biodegradable and has a much lower consumption as compared to the petroleum-based oil.

It sticks to the metal bar and chain better than the chemical oil and thus lubricates with more efficiency.


The Weight of the Oil

While the weight of the oil is not specified by the manufacturers, it is recommended to use heavier oil in summers and lighter oil in winters.

While the oil gets thinner in summers due to the heat, it gets thicker in winters due to the cold, leading to damaged chains.

The manufacturers also make the oil keeping the weather in consideration in which the chainsaw operates. In the case of chainsaws with automatic lubrication systems, the oil is poured in the bar oil reservoir.

Alternatively, it can be poured manually on the chain and the bar.



A high-quality chainsaw oil is like nourishment to the chainsaw. A regular feed of oil keeps it working at its highest capacity and for a longer period of time.

It is critical to know what kind of oil your chainsaw needs, therefore, remember to go through the user guide and multiple options to know better about the oil before making the final decision.

With more studies being published on environmental degradation, more manufacturers are producing eco-friendly and biodegradable chainsaw oils to reduce the impact of waste on the environment.

Therefore, it is recommended to switch to such alternatives and make a better choice for your chainsaw as well as for the environment.

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