What Can I Use For Chainsaw Bar Oil?

What Can I Use For Chainsaw Bar Oil

If you are a professional or a newbie in cutting trees using a saw, you notice that it needs regular maintenance to enable it to yield high performance. One of the effective maintenance practices for chainsaws is lubrication.

Applying chainsaw oil to its moving parts will reduce friction rates and improve output. You may be wondering what the best bar oil is and ask yourself, ‘What can I use for chainsaw bar oil?’

Chain saws and bars usually use specific oils that need to be sticky because their parts experience a lot of friction. If the oil is moist enough, it will not spatter off the chain because the components move at too high a speed.

Therefore, there will be no damage to the parts of the chainsaw. However, sometimes you run out of specific oil and need an alternative. This article outlines some of the available options.

Qualities of good Chainsaw bar oil

Qualities of good Chainsaw bar oil


The first rule of chainsaw oil is that it needs to be adhesive enough not to fall off the chain as it spins at high speeds.

In case it does so, it may lead to the occurrence of friction. And we know well that high friction can cause heat build-up, which destroys the saw in the long run.


Acceptable lubricants should be slippery to prevent friction, as well. The parts should not contact each other, which is where the tricky aspect comes in.


Any chainsaw oil that is friendly to the environment is the best to use. As the chainsaw is in operation, the oil may splatter on its background because of the moving parts. Thus, oil harmful to the environment will cause much damage after that.

Alternatives To Chainsaw Bar Oils

You should settle for other alternatives if you do not have the specific chainsaw oil following a manufacturer’s recommendation. Nevertheless, they are not usually appropriate for long-term use as they may destroy the functioning of your saw.

Most chainsaw manuals indicate the type of chainsaw bar oil to use. Some of the most common include Oregon chainsaw bar oil and Poulan Pro bar oil.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is standard in our kitchens and, thus, readily available. Its texture is thinner, which makes its viscosity lower than the other oil types.

Its main upside is that it is purely environmentally friendly and cannot harm the surrounding eco life. However, it diminishes quickly and needs you to refill regularly.

Motor Oil

You can quickly get motor oil off your vehicle, but it is not the best thing to do. Instead, go to a store and buy fresh motor oil on your chainsaw rather than getting used to oil. Used oil is highly abrasive and may burn up your chain saw.

This oil does not exhibit the stickiness aspect and may eventually lead to friction occurring. The oil will toss out if the chain is at full speed.

The viscosity of oil may change depending on the temperature. Therefore, choose the fat that is suitable for each temperature change.

It would also help if you refilled it frequently, which greatly eats into your budget. Motor oil harms the environment, which means that the local habitat is unsafe. All in all, it ensures your chain saw receives good maintenance.

Hydraulic Oil

This type of oil is not any different from motor oil. The difference comes in the texture. Hydraulic oil is thinner than motor oil, hence low viscosity. It dries out faster and tends to need refilling quite often.

Canola Oil

You can place Canola oil in use in place of vegetable oil. It resists heat quickly, which ensures that your chainsaw does not undergo friction. This will be the best lubricant if you plan to go sawing outdoors in areas with low temperatures. It is highly susceptible to low temperatures.

How To Lubricate A Chainsaw

How to Add Bar and Chain Oil to Your Gas Chainsaw

The process is not challenging as long as you have the right lubrication oil. Chainsaws come with a reservoir tank for filling the lubrication oil. If you notice, new chainsaws come with their lubrication. All you need to do is continuously refill once the oil goes out.

The first thing to do before adding oil to your chainsaw is to ensure that it is not in operation, as it will cause you injuries. Thus, you first need to unplug it and place it on an even surface so that it does not topple over as you refill your oil.

There is a cap on top of the reservoir. Open it up and fill it with oil till it is enough. But do not serve more than the correct requirement. Finally, replace the reservoir’s lid and then wipe with some cloth they saw if the oil spills out during refilling.

Tips on using alternative oils for chainsaw

  • You should never use unfiltered motor oil from your car. This is because it contains harmful metallic substances that can destroy the chainsaw’s ability to function correctly.
  • Because a chainsaw’s oil reservoir and fuel tank deplete simultaneously, they must also refill at equal times. As you add your alternative oil, it may run out quicker than the fuel because it is thinner. At no time should you leave your saw without lubrication. It is good to fill both simultaneously and monitor how quickly the oil diminishes; then, you will know when to add more.
  • You should not add oil to the reservoir if the saw is operating. Also, cutting wood with a saw whose empty oil reservoir is dangerous.

Here is the FAQ section:

More FAQ

Can I use 10w40 for chainsaw bar oil?

Using 10w40 motor oil as a bar and chain oil substitute is not recommended. Bar and chain oil is specially formulated to have high tackiness and adhesion properties to adequately lubricate the chain and bar. 10w40 may be too thin and could lead to insufficient lubrication, causing increased wear on the bar and chain.

Can I use cooking oil for chainsaw bar?

Using cooking oils like vegetables, canola, or olive oil as a bar and chain oil replacement is not advisable. These oils have lower tackiness and do not adhere well to metal surfaces.

Can I use 10w30 as bar oil?

10w30 engine oil is thicker than 10w40 but still too thin for effective bar and chain lubrication. Like 10w40, it can lack the tackiness and adhesive properties needed to stick to the bar and chain at high speeds.

Can I use engine oil as chain lube?

Regular engine oils like 10w30 or 10w40 do not have the optimal viscosity and tackiness for chainsaw bars and chain lubrication.

Final Words

Using standard manufacturers’ chainsaw bar oil is what you need to do to keep your saw in check.

Now, you can answer this question: what can I use for chainsaw bar oil? Alternative oils are not the best options, but they serve the intended purpose. Just take care not to overuse them.