Anyone who has ever employed a chainsaw understands how essential it is to maintain the chain and bar properly oiled. Proper lubrication keeps blades running efficiently and stops friction which can lead to hurt to your instrument and hazardous warmth construct-up.
Your chainsaw’s manufacturer most likely has recommendations for what bar and chain oil performs best for your instrument. But the advised lubricants can be costly, and occasionally the ideal option merely is not offered when you require it.
Blessed for you, we have compiled four generally identified alternatives to pricey chainsaw bar and chain oil – plus two previous-ditch variations to be utilised only in the most desperate of instances. Hopefully, this record can save you time and income if you find yourself in a pinch!
6 Chainsaw Bar & Chain Oil Alternatives
1. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is a single of the most secure choices offered to oil your chainsaw. It is entirely non-toxic and biodegradable, and can even be utilized to trim stay trees without having hazard of hurting you or the plants! And boy is it low-cost – you could even have it in your kitchen area right now.
The viscosity of vegetable oil also indicates that you can use it without dilution if essential. But the tradeoff is that this oil is inclined to clumping and turning into unusable in cold weather.
2. Canola Oil
Comparable to vegetable oil, canola oil is one more super-protected different. Canola is produced solely from rapeseed oil and is considerably significantly less sticky than vegetable oil. Canola clings to the chain a lot much better when used in reduced temperature conditions.
The viscosity does not make canola oil a very good permanent resolution, but it can be incredibly helpful for diluting other oils or on snowy times!
3. Motor Oil
Motor oil can make a good, very last-vacation resort oil for your chainsaw. You can uncover it sitting down all around in most people’s garages, and it has superb viscosity and a large flash position.
However, motor oil must not be employed to substitute the chain and bar oil suggested by your chainsaw’s manufacturer. When employing a chainsaw, the spinning blades fling droplets of oil almost everywhere – into the air, the surrounding surroundings, and onto the particular person employing it.
It is harmful to crops, so do not use it in your yard or on residing trees. And what is much more, do you really want to be potentially respiration in motor oil on a typical foundation? Yeah, we didn’t consider so. Much better to use it sparingly as an occasional dilution of protected oil.
4. Hydraulic Fluid (Diluted)
Hydraulic fluid is similar to motor oil in that it also has a high flash position and outstanding lubrication abilities. Generally used in automotive brake techniques, you may possibly currently have some hydraulic fluid in your garage.
Hydraulic fluid is significantly significantly less viscous and does not stick to the chain nicely. But if you are dangerously minimal on your regular oil, it can be included to what you have acquired still left to prolong your use period.
In no way use hydraulic fluid without having correct basic safety gear. It can be incredibly dangerous at higher pressures, and you ought to stay away from any contact with skin or inhalation. Hydraulic fluid should be a backup, never your go-to substitute.
The Last-Resort Options
As pointed out over, motor oil and hydraulic fluid can be combined with the current chainsaw bar and chain oil to extend its lifespan. If you need a rapid-repair to end the final fifteen minutes of a job, these two choices can preserve you slicing. Nevertheless, by no indicates, are these long lasting options. Furthermore, you need to be skilled in managing dangerous supplies ahead of attempting to use hydraulic fluid with your chainsaw.
5. Drained Motor Oil (Diluted)
As a backup, utilised motor oil is a super inexpensive, effective way to add quantity to your final little bit of chainsaw oil. If you have a car, you absolutely have some utilised motor oil!
Filter it first to stop clogs and terrible buildup. Soon after all, utilized motor oil has currently been by way of an motor and will most likely be entire of contaminants. Utilized oils frequently have water and air, and some will have additives and abrasive particles like metallic that could injury your chainsaw over time.
It definitely is not the safest choice for you or any crops close by your sawing operate, and we don’t advocate using motor oil on a typical foundation anyway, never ever brain drained motor oil. Be encouraged that filtering used motor oil is messy, time-consuming, and not as easy as it appears.
6. Drained Hydraulic Fluids (Diluted)
Hydraulic fluid that has been drained from other equipment can be a fantastic way to lubricate your chainsaw in a pinch, or even stretch out your usual chainsaw bar and chain oil.
A single of the principal factors to hold in mind, nevertheless, is that hydraulic fluid can potentially result in serious injury. It is inadvisable to permit any to appear into speak to with your pores and skin, and when hugely pressurized it is incredibly harmful.
Also, utilised hydraulic fluid is entire of contaminants from its use and is most likely relatively degraded. Contaminants include water, air, or even abrasive substances that have leaked into the fluid. Filtering is suggested, but lengthy-term use of used hydraulic fluid may impact the lifespan of your chainsaw.
How to Filter Used Motor Oil and Hydraulic Fluid
Once more, we’d like to remind you that filtered employed motor oil is not a good lengthy-phrase resolution for chainsaw bar and chain oil. Filtered utilised oil is not the exact same as reclaimed (aka recycled) oil, which is free of charge of contaminants, impurities, and particles. With filtered oil, you’re simply getting rid of the greater debris like tiny shards of metal. Filtering does not eliminate the impurities brought on by combustion.
Filtering Used Motor Oil
Simply because you won’t be needing a large sum of motor oil or hydraulic fluid, you could – if you ended up so inclined – filter the utilised oil or fluid in many methods.
The Quick & Simple Way: The initial and most clear is to use a large, vacant plastic bottle, a funnel, and some cheesecloth or other thoroughly clean, semi-porous cloth. Extend the fabric across the funnel and pour the oil carefully through the cloth.
The Prolonged & Time-Consuming Way: Preserve your utilised motor oil in a fifty five-gallon steel drum. Protect and let sit for one-two months. The particles and loose components will settle to the base. When you see a distinct separation in between viscous fluids – the base will be darker – skim the oil from the top, getting watchful not to disturb the area stress too significantly.
The Professional Way: Look at this online video to see how a tremendous-wise male filters his used motor oil:
Filtering Hydraulic Fluid
You could filter your utilised hydraulic fluid The Quick & Simple Way described for motor oil, but to be blunt, you’d be obtaining into pennywise and pound foolish territory. Any individual who’s familiar with hydraulic fluid would be making use of a specific filtration cart.
Key Considerations of Chainsaw Bar & Chain Oil
- Because chainsaws splatter the bar and chain oil you choose all over the place, it is highly advisable to use non-toxic oil whenever possible.
- For some projects non-toxic oil is a necessity: when pruning a living tree, sawing in your garden, working near a river or pond.
- Chainsaw lubricant needs to be especially viscous and tacky to stick to the rapidly spinning chain. If an oil is too thin it won’t coat the chain at all!
- The “flash point” of any given substance is the lowest temperature at which the vapors can ignite. The higher the flash point, the hotter the substance needs to be before there is any danger of combustion.
- Choosing a bar and chain oil with a high flash point is incredibly important due to the extreme speeds that chainsaws can reach, which in turn create extreme heat. To avoid fires and harmful fumes, stick to high flash point lubricants when deviating from the manufacturer’s recommended bar and chain oil.
Chainsaw Maintenance: What to Avoid
If your chainsaw out of the blue commences utilizing a lot more gas than typical, it is likely simply because there is improved friction between the bar and the chain. It could be that the oil you began employing just is not slicing it, or maybe it is managing low.
Pro idea: top off your fuel and oil collectively, so that you never inadvertently run out of oil and trigger damage to your chainsaw.
As your chainsaw’s blades rotate, they also fling the oil you are using to lubricate it off into the air. And that signifies that you and any close by vegetation will get that lubricant – and what ever is in it – all over.
For security, your regular bar and chain oil should be non-harmful. Include any uncovered skin ahead of starting up, and only use chainsaws in areas with correct ventilation.
Probably you’re running low on your preferred chainsaw oil, and only midway by means of a time sensitive venture. Or perhaps you want to attempt a entirely non-poisonous substitute so that you can noticed some limbs off a living tree in your garden.
Sometimes it’s just not achievable to adhere to the chain lubricant suggested by your chainsaw’s manufacturer. But we hope that this record of 6 substitute chain and bar oils will assist you get the most out of each bottle of chainsaw oil, and save you some time and income in the process!
Featured and header impression credit score: AS-kom, Shutterstock