The best chainsaw cannot function well without a proper supply of bar and chain oil. It helps in maintaining proper lubrication between the two rubbing components.
Without lubricant, the bar and chain will produce friction that will create heat and potentially damage your chainsaw. But you can’t just use any lubricant for your chainsaw. It has to have the right viscosity and composition.
In this review, we will discuss the things you need to look for when choosing the best bar and chain oil for your machine.
All types of chainsaws of varying bar lengths and chain sizes need oil, so it's crucial to choose the right oil for you.
Can You Run a Chainsaw Without Bar Oil?
The bar and chain are constantly in contact when operating the machine. And because they are made up of metal parts, they will need constant lubrication.
Without any form of lubrication, there will be heavy friction between the two, which can cause heat and seriously damage your chainsaw.
Here are some of the inconveniences you will have to face if fail to lubricate your chainsaw;
Faster Fuel Consumption
When you see your fuel getting consumed more than usual, you will need to check the lubrication between the bar and chain.
Since the motor is having more difficulty moving the chain, it will need to exert more effort and thus the use of more fuel. The best chainsaw bar oil will prevent this from happening.
Slower Moving Blades
Since there is more friction between the bar and chain, it just means that there is more friction between them. This will naturally result in less RPM and a hotter chainsaw.
This is something that every chainsaw user must regularly check. You should not skip on the regular top-up of chain oil.
As a general rule of thumb, you should not run your chainsaw even if it's low on chain oil. This is dangerous for both the machine and the user.
Best Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oil Reviews
Here are ten of the most sought after chainsaw guide bars and chain oil you can choose from. These are the most viable options for you.
1. Husqvarna Premium Bar & Chain Oil
First in this list of the best chainsaw bar oils is a premium product that is sure to give your chainsaw happy days in cutting wood after wood.
You can use this oil on both gas and electric chainsaws. It feeds the bar and chain well and lubricates throughout.
It works well in keeping the mechanism lubed and cutting well in any weather condition, from hot to cold.
Moreover, it prevents any buildup of material or gunk that can damage your chainsaw and gives it a long life. With regular lubrication, rust and corrosion will not easily accumulate on the metal parts.
This lubricant will help keep your motor running smoothly so that you can cut through bushes, limb branches, and fell trees that need clearing.
2. Oregon Premium Bar and Chain Oil
Oregon is a household name when it comes to chainsaw and other power tools. This lubricant is a supplementary product that you can use if you have machines of the same build and brand.
First and foremost, This oil lubricates the chain link and the bar to prevent wear and scuffing due to usage. There is a lot of friction that happens between these components, and the proper amount of lubrication will reduce it to a minimum and keep the machine from overheating.
Aside from lubricating the bar and chain, it also addresses the sprocket, which is the central mechanism that moves the chain around the bar. It lubricates the contact points, which will, in turn, produce smoother and better operation for the machine.
Due to its slightly lighter viscosity, it will lubricate the bar and chain in both hot and cold weather. It will easily adhere to metal and will not spill when the machine is running.
Regular lubrication will also help in preventing the buildup of rust and corrosion on metal parts of your chainsaw.
3. Poulan Pro Bar and Chain Oil
This bar and chain oil is developed to address the concerns of the logging industry and meet its standards.
Aside from maintaining good lubrication between the guide bar and the chain, this also allows for safekeeping of the metal components of the chainsaw.
When using the chainsaw on younger trees and branches, this oil will prevent the buildup of sap and other unwanted materials in the chainsaw itself. More so, the proper use and application of this oil will prevent the buildup of corrosion.
You can use this oil on both electric and gas-powered chainsaws. It has the right balance of thickness that allows it to flow freely on the parts that need the most lubrication during operation.
The right amount of tackiness will allow better adherence and minimize the spillage of any lubricant.
4. Maxpower 337045 1-Gallon Bar and Chain Oil
Other than its intended use, this oil will help lengthen the lifespan of your chainsaw using 100% virgin oil.
This means that it uses materials that will care for your chainsaw while doing what it is supposed to do.
With the virgin oil, it will increase the chain life and keep the friction on the bar to a low. You can use this oil on both gas-powered and electric chainsaws.
This has a remarkably sticky and slightly thicker consistency to the touch, but don’t let that fool you. It will work just as well as any other oil and will lubricate your bar and chain with no problem. In fact, the thicker consistency allows the lube to stick more to the bar and chain.
The lubricant comes in a bigger 1-gallon container, which makes it a wise buy if you have multiple chainsaws or tools that need an oil change or top-up.
5. Makita Bar and Chain Oil
If you have been impressed with a Makita power tool in the past, then their branded bar and chain oil should be on your list of oils to consider.
This lubricant reduces friction between the bar, chain, and even the sprocket. The proper lubrication of these components helps to extend the life of your tools.
When these are properly lubricated, it will reduce heat and stress on the motor as it is operated. This will allow for efficient and smooth cutting when using your chainsaw.
The formula they created is great for any season. Moreover, the balanced consistency and thickness will keep you from using two different oils whenever the weather changes from hot to cold and vice versa.
This oil is recommended for Makita gas and electric chainsaw and is sold in 1-quart bottles. But although it is recommended for the same brand tools, it can still be used by other brands like a regular bar and chain oil.
6. Toro Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oil
This bar and chain oil is a great alternative to more expensive options if you want to save a penny or two.
To begin, this oil ensures low friction and contact between the bar and chain, which makes for more efficient and better running performance. This will, in turn, lessen the risk of breaking the chain and the stress on the motor.
When the bar and chain are properly lubed and oiled, it protects the chainsaw from the damage of rust and corrosion. It will also help in cutting wood faster and easier as there is good lubrication between the guide bar and the base of the chain.
Furthermore, this oil is multigrade, which makes it a good oil for any weather. So if you use your chainsaw to fell trees during the summer or need to cut some branches during winters, you can apply this oil on your chainsaw, and you can expect the same result.
This is also one of the cheaper priced oils in this list, which will make it a better choice if you want to save some money on your chain oil.
7. Poulan Bar and Chain Oil (1 gallon)
If you live by the principle that you cannot have too much of a good thing, then this will probably be up the ladder of your choices.
Poulan helps keep your tool running efficiently and cutting through wood like its butter. And you don't need to worry about it running out fast because, with the massive 1-gallon volume, you may well be stocked up for a long time.
Bar and chain oil should be regularly topped up on your chainsaw. Regardless if it’s an electric or gas-powered one, it will still need chain oil.
This lubricant helps reduce friction between the bar and chain. An unlubed mechanism will result in damaging effects like corrosion, excessive heat, and stress on the motor.
You can use this oil in any weather, which is a great way of saving time and money from buying another set of oil for cold or hot weather.
8. Tanaka 700320 Commercial Grade 1-Quart Bar & Chain Oil
This brand is part of the Hitachi Power Tools Group. But it can be used for all gas-powered and electric chainsaws. This oil prevents the buildup of rust in the metal parts of your chainsaw. It also prevents the accumulation of gunk in your machine.
Aside from lubrication, it also offers protection from frictional damages between your bar and chain. More so, since there is less friction, it also makes cutting more efficient and faster, giving the motor more leverage to utilize its maximum power.
The viscosity of the oil is just right to keep the oil-lubricated and adhere to the metal parts better. This keeps the chain blades sharp and efficient for cutting wood of any size.
Since it is part of one of the biggest names in manufacturing, you can vouch for its quality in terms of keeping your machine in tip-top shape.
9. Sun Joe SWJ-SB1 Starter Bottle of Bar + Chain Oil
If you only need just enough to fill your oil for one-time use, then this is your best bet from our list.
This comes in a smaller bottle that’s suitable if you just want to have enough to top up your chainsaw. It is made by Sun Joe, a known brand that manufactures power tools and machines intended for heavy tasks.
You can use this oil for both gas and electric chain saws. The consistency of the fluid has a slight thickness to it, which makes it great for any weather. A thicker consistency may not work well in cold winter weather because it has more chances of clogging up due to the drop in temperature.
This prolongs the lifespan of Sun Joe chainsaws and other chainsaws at that by lessening the friction and resistance. It also reduces the chance of excessive heat from these components.
Moreover, it doesn’t just protect the metal components, but it also helps in keeping the motor running smooth and efficient due to the proper lubrication of the bar and chain.
10. NV Earth Biodegradable Bar & Chain Oil
This is an environment-friendly alternative to your chainsaw oil. Needless to say, this is great for use when you're opting for an electric chainsaw. But it doesn't mean that you can't use this for gas-powered machines as well.
NV Earth produces a biodegradable and bio-based lubricant you can use for your chainsaw to oil the bar and chain. It has a high tack, which helps in adherence to the metal parts it is protecting.
Also, it is non-toxic, which is good for the environment and for the user. This addresses the concern for oil mist, which is produced when you're "burning" the oil when cutting wood.
Aside from the biodegradable component, it works just as well as the regular chain oil. It prevents rust and corrosion build up on the metal parts as well as protects it from further damage caused by friction and from usage.
You may want to save a few more bucks when planning to purchase this because it is a bit more expensive. But it will be worth the price if you’re doing it for the environment.
What to Look for Before Buying?
Before buying the best chainsaw oil, there are some factors you need to consider. It must help lubricate your machine the right way. You can’t just put regular motor oil in your chainsaw.
Since a chainsaw has special components made for cutting, you have to know what’s the proper oil to use for your chainsaw.
You have to have a general understanding of how oil works for your machine. In a chainsaw, it helps in creating a smooth run and connection between the bar and chain, making for a more efficient movement.
Basically, oil reduces the friction between the two materials. So you have to consider what’s the best oil for the material your chainsaw has.
Chainsaws tend to accumulate sawdust and other material from the tasks that it is put through. Therefore, it may need to have a thorough cleaning every now and then.
Some chainsaws added a self-lubricating feature, which helps in reducing the amount of gunk after every job.
Check if the oil you're using has a high resistant film so that it can repel any foreign materials which can damage the bar or chain in the long run.
Some oils have a thicker density than others. As a general rule of thumb, you will want to use a thinner consistency when the weather gets colder. This will allow the fluid to flow naturally despite the drop in temperature. If it becomes warm again, the thicker chain oil will suffice.
The best chainsaw bar oil will provide you good lubrication whether it is cold or sweltering hot.
You need to know the speed of your chainsaw so that you can see what lubricants can match it.
And you don’t want it to slow down when you put in a new chain oil in it because that will be contrary to the reason behind going for a chain lube.
A good chain oil will help keep the speed or even add to it when you top-up your chainsaw with it.
What Can I Use for Chainsaw Bar Oil?
If you suddenly run out of oil and badly need one, there are some alternatives you can use as a temporary fix.
But remember to use the proper chain oil so that your chainsaw will last a long time.
This is an obvious alternative if you don’t have the right chain oil at reach. If you own a car, then chances are, you have one at hand.
If you have the choice, make sure to use a SAE30 type during warmer climate and oils like SAE10 in colder conditions.
Vegetable or Canola Oil
If you have some vegetable oil or canola oil in the kitchen and want to go the organic way of maintaining your lawn in the summer, then pour some in the chainsaw and cut away.
It has the right viscosity to lube your chain and keep it sharp to cut through branches and trees.
Just be wary that you can't use this during cold weather as it becomes too thin, rendering it useless.
Hydraulic Fluid (Brake Fluid)
Just like motor oil, car owners may have brake fluid in storage. It can be used to lubricate your chain if you need one ASAP and don’t have time to go to the store to buy one.
It has the right amount of lubrication to get your chain going as efficiently as possible.
But you have to note that hydraulic fluid tends to dry up faster than chain oil, so you can expect a faster decrease in oil volume when you use this for your chainsaw.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much oil should be used in every operation?
There are prescribed volumes for each chainsaw. It is best to check the instruction manual or the maximum prescribed volume before pouring oil.
The amount that it will use will vary on factors like the length of time it has been used, weather, and the amount of wood it has cut. Most likely, the more of these it has been used on, the more it will consume.
How long is the shelf life of chain oil?
If stored in the bottle or container it was shipped with, you can use it as long as you give it a generous shake. But if the oil has been put in the chainsaw and it has been stored for more than 30 days, chances are it may have changed its consistency. Simply replace it with new oil before using the chainsaw.
Can you refill the oil even while the chainsaw is running?
As a safety precaution, topping up while the engine is running is discouraged.
I recently topped up the oil, why is my chainsaw still not cutting as much?
Aside from oil, your chainsaw also depends on other factors to cut through wood. Better check the sharpness of your blades. If you’re using a battery-powered chainsaw, check the battery.
What’s a multigrade oil?
A multigrade oil is an innovation that makes one oil work well in any weather. The problem it solved was the adherence of oil during the winter season. Thicker oil did not work as well in freezing temperatures.
Regular maintenance of your chainsaw is an important step in lengthening its lifespan. This includes sharpening the blades, cleaning after use, and regularly filling it up with the best bar and chain oil.
With this bar and chain oil review, you will see which one will work best with your budget, type of chainsaw, and personal preference.