Power tools are awesome. Whether it’s a drill that makes it easier to add wall decorations or a chainsaw that helps with your lawn, these tools can save you tons of money on contractors.
The thing that every tool owner needs to remember is that tools will go bad very quickly if they are not properly maintained. While hiring contractors to do the work can be expensive, hiring professionals to maintain your tools is also not cheap. Learning to properly maintain your own power tools will help you save time and money.
This is especially important when it comes to chainsaw maintenance. This article is going to review 7 of the best chainsaw bar oils available. It breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of each oil to help you make an informed buying decision.
If you’re completely new to the concept of chainsaw maintenance, the buyers guide at the end of this review will answer some basic questions you might have. It will help you learn about chainsaw bar oil, how often it needs replacement, what to avoid, and some alternatives and substitutes to use in a pinch.
- 1 Reviews
- 2 Buyers Guide
- 3 Conclusion
There are tons of different chainsaw bar oils on the market, so it can be difficult to know what to look for and buy the right kind for your needs. Testing chainsaw bar oil can become costly and dangerous, so this guide has hand-selected the 7 best chainsaw bar oils. Any of the products on this list are a safe choice for your power tools, so you can buy with confidence.
1. Oregon Premium Bar and Chain Oil
The Oregon Premium Bar and Chain Oil is a great all-season lubricant, It uses a special formula to prevent throw off even in the worst of weather conditions thanks to its extra high tackiness. It allows for maximum possible engine power while keeping friction to a minimum, which results in faster cutting times.
The strength of the film prevents your chainsaw from getting worn down thanks to scuffs from impacting chain links and bars and protects the metal against rust and corrosion. It even prevents sap, gum, and pitch from building up on your machine.
Oregon makes and manufacturers saw chains, so they are an authority on power tools. They know exactly what a lubricant needs to be capable of to maintain chainsaw blades, chains, and bars.
- Stickier than motor oil and specially designed for chainsaws
- Maximizes engine power
- Prevents rusting and corrosion
- No pour spout so oil may spill
- Thinner than comparable chainsaw bar oils
2. Husqvarna Premium Bar and Chain Oil
Husqvarna Premium Bar and Chain Oil is another fantastic option. In fact, most professionals prefer this brand of oil for their needs. They blend the highest quality base oils with premium additives to maximize the effectiveness of their formula.
This formula is suitable for year-round use and will prevent throw off at high speeds. It also improves your chainsaw’s cutting performance while maximizing the lifespan of its guide bar and chain.
This chain bar oil also reduces the heat and friction that occurs through regular use. The special formula clings better than other brands thanks to its extra tacky adhesives, which prevents significant wear and tear from occurring.
- Suitable for year-round use
- Increases chainsaw bar and chain lifespan
- Perfect for battery-powered and electric chainsaws
- Not suitable for internal use
- Not suitable for use with gas chainsaws
3. Poulan Pro Bar and Chain Oil
The Poulan Pro oil is made with 100% Virgin base stock oils. They guarantee consistency in their products and guarantee performance. This oil has a specialized sling resistant additive that will hold your oil onto the chainsaw guide bar. This will extend the life of your bar and increase its performance.
This reduces wear and tear on your chain while preventing the chain from jamming up in the middle of your jobs and possibly damaging the engine as a result.
This lubricant was formulated specifically for the logging industry, to it can get the job done no matter how hard you work your chainsaw. It prevents rust, flows freely when temperatures are low, and resists both high temperatures and extreme pressures on bars and chains.
- 100% virgin base oils
- Formulated specifically for the logging industry
- Less expensive than comparable brands
- Easy to pour bottle
- Chainsaw goes through this oil much faster than comparable brands
4. Stihl 2 Cycle Engine Oil HP Ultra
This lubricant by Stihl lives up to the Ultra in its name. It is biodegradable engine oil for chainsaws and power tools that contains fuel stabilizers in its formula.
The ultra lubrication is specially suited for use in chains saws and does an outstanding job cleaning engines. It biodegrades by 80% in just 3 weeks.
It is less smoky than other oils and offers better fuel efficiency in smaller motors. In fact, Stihl is so confident in their oil that if you purchase it with one of their power tools, they extend the warranty on the tool’s engine.
- Suitable for use in other power tools
- Extends the life span of your chainsaw
- Pricier than comparable brands
- Bottles prone to leaking
5. Maxpower Bar and Chain Oil
One of the most versatile brands on the market is the Maxpower Bar and Chain Oil, which is recommended for all chainsaws. This no sling, high tac oil increases the lifespan of your chain while reducing throw offs.
It is made with 100% virgin oil that contains additives that prevent wear and tear on your tools. Despite being sticky to the touch, it is still easy to use and not as viscous as you may be used to from other oils.
This is also great oil for maintenance. If your chain is seized up, using this will ameliorate the situation and get your motor running again.
- Relaxes seized chains quickly
- Good viscosity to stickiness ratio
- Large jug needs to be replaced less frequently
- Not for crank case use
- Closer to motor oil than bar oil in stickiness
- No smaller sizes available
6. Echo Power Blend Gold Oil Mix
The Echo Power Blend Gold oil is designed to work in any air-cooled 2-stroke (or 2-cycle) engine. It is designed to mix with gas for a blend of fuel and stability. It will extend the natural life of your power tools.
This oil is designed to mix perfectly into a 2-gallon fuel can for the right balance of oil to fuel. It is designed to lubricate chainsaw engines and stabilize the performance. Low smoke emissions reduce the environmental impact of your tools.
The oil’s formula maintains your fuel quality through detergents and stabilizers, creating reliable performance and cleaner-burning fuel. The additives eliminate exhaust port blockages and protect against corrosion.
- Reduces environmental impact
- Fuel stabilizers maintain fuel for a month or more
- Reduces exhaust port blockages and cleans engine
- Protects against rusting and wear and tear damage
- Not for use on chainsaw bars
- Only partially synthetic oil blend
7. Makita Bar and Chain Lubricant
Makita Bar and Chain Lubricant makes great Summer Oil for use on your chainsaw bars. They are in the business of manufacturing power tools, so you can trust them to know what oil is best for your needs.
You definitely don’t want to skimp out on the type of bar oil you use, so this one is well worth the price. It does an excellent job lubricating, so you don’t have to worry about wearing your bar out too quickly.
This oil also protects against overheating, which can stretch and damage your chain or cause it to seize. It decreases wear and tear while increasing the longevity of your power tools.
This is also very sticky chainsaw bar oil, even among competitors, so you will see massive results when it comes to the elimination of throw offs and slings.
- Made by one of the leaders in power tool manufacturing
- Specially designed to eliminate throw offs
- Coats your chain saw bar extremely well
- Too sticky for chainsaws with automatic oiling systems
Now that you have read about some of the best oils for your chainsaw bar and chains, it is time to cover some of the basics.
What chainsaw bar oil should you avoid?
Just like there are best practices in every category, there are also some ways to avoid extremely costly mistakes. You may be thinking that oil is oil, but this is far from accurate.
Never use motor oil on your chainsaw bar and chain. Motor oil has the wrong viscosity and will not help to lubricate your chains. Motor oil also contains different fillers, and the additives in motor oil can quickly wear down your chain and damage the bar’s groove.
What are some safe substitutes to chainsaw bar oil?
Finding safe substitutes for your manufacturer’s recommended bar and chain oil involves knowing what to look for in an alternative.
A good chainsaw lubricant needs to be slippery enough to prevent tree sap and debris from sticking to your bar while you operate it but sticky enough to stay on your chain while it is moving at 45 miles an hour.
It should also be environmentally friendly. This means you should look for an option that is fully biodegradable and does not emit poisonous fumes.
You can use natural substitutes if you don’t like buying synthetic oils. Vegetable and plant-based oils can be used instead, but they don’t always work well in different climates.
Canola oil is what the US Forest Service suggests if you want to be environmentally friendly and avoid petroleum-based products, but it is not meant to be used as a substitute through the entire year.
What weight of oil should you use?
Your chainsaw will need different weights at different times of the year based on weather conditions. Weather affects the viscosity of your oil, so be sure to use the right kind.
In the summer, you will need thicker, heavier oils. Warm weather causes oils to become watery, so using 30-weight oil is best. Using lighter oil in the summer will lead to sling off and un-lubricated bars.
In the winter, colder temperatures will thicken your oil. This means that thinner oils will be easier to pour and circulate better even in freezing temperatures. Using 10-weight oil should more than suffice if your climate gets very cold winters.
When do you need to add oil to your chainsaw?
The good news is that if everything is running smoothly in your chainsaw, there should be a pretty even ratio of bar and chain oil to fuel tanks. Every time you refuel your tank, go ahead and fill the reservoir for your bar and chain oil.
If you notice performance issues, it might also be a good time to add oil. If your chain is running slowly or you are burning through fuel much more quickly than usual, it may be time to lubricate your chainsaw bar.
Keeping your power tools well maintained should be the top of your priority list as an owner. They were a very costly investment and if you are constantly having to pay for repairs, then it may end up costing you more in the long run than just hiring a contractor for those hard to handle jobs that require you to break out the chainsaw.
Remember that fuel oils and chainsaw bar and chain oils are two very different products. Using bar oil in your engine will cause it to stick and it will not run smoothly, but using motor oil of your chainsaw bar will not be sticky enough to do the job right.
Whether you use manufactured, synthetic oils or natural alternatives, be sure that you are regularly maintaining your blade and engine. The right oils will maximize the lifetime of your power tools, but neglect will do the opposite.