How to Oil a Chainsaw the Right Way

Oiling a chainsaw

Lubricating your chainsaw chain and bar is a crucial chainsaw maintenance technique. It keeps your chainsaw functional for the longest time and prevents it from premature wear and tear.

So, in this article, we will learn how to oil a chainsaw properly.

Let’s get into it.

Here is How to Oil a Chainsaw: Step-by-Step Guide

Oiling a chainsaw is straightforward, as the tool features a separate reservoir to store chain and bar oil.

In most saws, this reservoir holds adequate oil that lasts as long as the fuel tank. Once the oil is finished, you can fill them both at once.

Here’s how to do that: 

  1. For starters, ensure that the chainsaw is off and the chain is not moving.
  2. Lay your chainsaw flat by positioning the bar side down on a level surface.
  3. Unscrew the cap to the reservoir. Now, pour oil into it using a funnel. Do it slowly and make sure not to overfill.
  4. Tightly fasten the cover after filling and wipe off extra oil with a dry cloth.
  5. Start the chainsaw to help the oil distribute evenly; let it run for a few minutes.
  6. Shut the saw off and let it cool down before storing it.

So, that’s exactly what it takes to lubricate your chainsaw. The process is simple and pretty quick, and you should do it frequently for the chainsaw’s health and longevity.

Things to Consider While Oiling A Chainsaw 

When it comes to lubricating a chainsaw, there are a few safety precautions that must be followed.

Don’t Over Oil

The bar and chain are the primary components of a chainsaw. They need to be well-lubricated to prevent corrosion. 

However, make sure that you are not overdoing it, as it can lead to leaking and creating a mess.


Tackiness is the capacity of the oil to stick well to other surfaces. Poor tackiness in oil causes it to flow off before fully lubricating the components. 

Regular oils are never tacky enough, which is why oil manufacturing brands include additives to improve their tackiness. 

While buying oil for your chainsaw, ensure that the manufacturer has added the additives for a great performance.

Choose The Right Oil

Choosing the correct type of oil for your chainsaw is as crucial as frequently oiling it. Low-quality chainsaw oil can cause clogging, which will stop the process of lubrication. So, ensure to invest time in picking the right oil for your tool.

Oregon bar and chain oil

If you are looking for a well-reputed manufacturer in the market, Oregon Bar and Chain Oil for Chainsaws is a solid option. It is compounded to reduce throw-off and deliver additional oil tackiness.

In addition, this product can extend the life of your gasoline, electric, and pole saws by preventing the accumulation of resins, gum, and sap.

Understand the Need for Lubrication

A chainsaw’s lubrication is vital, regardless of whether it’s electric or gas-powered. Some novice users tend to overlook its importance. And this is why it is necessary to understand the purpose of lubrication.

The bar and chain are the two parts of the chainsaw that are constantly in contact with each other. As they are metal components, zero lubrication will cause friction, preventing the chain from flowing smoothly. It will also generate enormous heat as the components rub against each other.

The purpose of oil is to minimize that friction and enable the chain to move easily. Additionally, a well-oiled chainsaw can be used for multiple hours.


1. Can I use something other than bar and chain oil?

As a chainsaw user, you know that lubricating your chain and bar is imperative. Nearly all chainsaws come with a manufacturer’s advice for the best oil to use for the bar and chain. 

But sometimes, a specific oil can be inaccessible, out of stock, or expensive. And this is where a chainsaw chain oil substitute enters the picture. 

Luckily, there are plenty of options. Motor oil, drained hydraulic fluid, vegetable oil, and canola oil can be used as alternatives.

2. Can I use vegetable oil instead of bar and chain oil?

Yes. Vegetable oil for chainsaws is a fantastic alternative. It is environmentally friendly, cheaper, safer, and readily available. You can replace it with commercial chainsaw oil. It is also highly viscous, which is great. 

However, colder weather can cause it to become too viscous and impossible to use. So, you need to be aware of that.

3. Does electric chainsaw need oil?

Unlike a gasoline chainsaw, electric saws don’t require oil to function. They work by getting plugged into a power outlet. However, they need oil for the bar and chain to remain functional for a long time.

Concluding Remarks

Chainsaw lubrication is essential for its safety, productivity, and longevity. In this article, we shared how to oil a chainsaw at home. 

In addition, we discussed the importance of oiling and what to keep in mind when oiling your chainsaw.

We hope this guide was helpful to you. Thanks for reading.

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