What is Bar and Chain Oil: Detailed Explanation

Are you new to the chainsaws and their accessories? Welcome to our world where tools make our work easier. But, that can only happen if we maintain these tools and let them operate at their optimum level.

As you learn more about chainsaws, you will come across certain terms that might seem confusing the first time you see them. For instance, is there any difference between motor oil and chain oil? Well, that will be the focus of our article, so read on to find out more.

What is Bar and Chain Oil

The Oil types used by Chainsaws

A gasoline-powered chainsaw requires two types of oil for it to operate effectively. The first is motor oil, and this is mixed with gas then poured into the gas tank. The other oil type is the bar and chain oil which fills the oil chamber. Both of these oils are important, and a gas-powered chainsaw cannot be run without either of them.

However, an electric chainsaw only requires the bar and chain oil for its operation. Why is motor oil not applicable to electric chainsaws? Motor oil is mixed with gasoline and poured to the gas chamber, which of course, is absent in the electric chainsaw models. That is a simple but inconclusive answer.

Anyway, electric chainsaws use electric power in place of fuel, and an electric motor in place of a gas engine. Therefore, the only thing they share with gasoline chainsaws is the bar and chain oil. Let us explore the functions of these lubricants in the next section. 

What is the work of Bar and Chain Oil?

Before JosephFiorepainter.com answer this question, let us first see the significance of mixing motor oil with gasoline. A gas engine has a lot of moving parts within it, and these series of motions lead to friction. Therefore, the work of motor oil, in this case, is to lubricate and reduce the friction developed between these parts. That further explains why you wouldn’t find motor oil being used in an electric chainsaw.

Now, back to bar and chain oil: the hint is in the name. As you run your chainsaw, you will notice that the chain moves along the guide bar. Similar to the parts in the engine, the chain brushes against the bar hence leading to heat generation. The repercussion of this heat could be adverse; in fact, you might end up replacing the chain. Also, the friction developed creates a barrier that will strain your chainsaw’s engine or motor. As such, the durability of your chainsaw will reduce drastically.

The work of bar and chain oil, therefore, is to lubricate the chain and the guide bar hence reducing the resulting friction. As a side note: you can never get rid of friction, what the lubricants do is reduce the impact.

Can Motor Oil Work in Place of Bar and Chain Oil?

One of the most asked questions about chainsaw lubrication is whether motor oil can substitute bar and chain oil. Well, sometimes it is understandably tempting to use readily available motor oil rather than rushing back to the shop to get a new bar and chain oil. Whether it is safe to do, so is one debate that is yet to be resolved.

Nonetheless, most experts insist that you should only use high-quality oil. One of the main disadvantages of using motor oil instead of a bar and chain oil is that it is not as sticky as required. Since it is already broken down, it will sling off the chainsaw faster. As such, it will not be effective in its work.

The safest option is to follow the manufacturer’s manual. Normally, in this manual, the manufacturer will recommend the best oil then give a few alternatives. Here are some of the most popular types of bar and chain oil.

Husqvarna 610000023 Bar & Chain Oil

Husqvarna 610000023 Bar & Chain Oil

This oil from one of the most reputable manufacturers of chainsaws and chainsaw accessories reduces heat and friction. One amazing fact about this oil is that it can be used to lubricate just about any chainsaw available in the market.

Oregon 54-026 Bar & Chain Oil

Oregon 54-026 Bar & Chain Oil

Whether you are seasoned professional or a beginner in the chainsaw world, there is a good chance that you have come across some Oregon products. Apart from producing among the best chains, the company is also known for manufacturing high-quality bar and chain oil.

Oregon 54-026 has high film strength which prevents wear and tear of metal parts. It also resists the build-up of deposits which could clog parts of your chainsaw.

Bar and Chain Oil Alternatives

Sometimes you might struggle to find the exact brand of oil recommended as the first choice by the manufacturer. In such scenarios, the chainsaw manual usually contains an alternative set of oils from which you can select the most accessible one. If they are not indicated on the manual, you can try the following options.

First, before you decide on which oil best suits your needs, you should consider a few factors. Slipperiness, for instance, defers with the type of oil you choose. A slippery lubricant will not allow any debris to stick on the bar during operation. This is important because you wouldn’t want anything blocking the movement of the chain.

Another thing to consider is the stickiness. The alternative has to stick on the chain long enough despite the revolution speed. Lastly, it should be environmentally friendly, especially if you are cutting trees around wildlife. This brings us to our first selection; the vegetable oil.

In addition to its affordability, vegetable oils are also biodegradable. As such, you can use it to clear bushes without destroying the environment with spillages. Imagine a scenario where you want to quarter a lamb; this is the perfect time to use vegetable oil as your lubricant.

Canola oil is another good alternative to the standard bar and chain oil. If you are easily irritated with the manufacturer’s recommended oil, then you should consider using canola oil. 

Read more:

Motor Oil for Chainsaw: One of the good alternatives

Biodegradable bar and chain oil: Can you use it?

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