What Are the Best Substitutes for Chainsaw Bar Oil? 6 Oils to Sharpen your Chainsaw

Chainsaw Bar Oil substitutes

If your chainsaw is wearing and not moving smoothly, then it could be the reason that you are not lubricating the chainsaw with oil. Chainsaw lubricants make it work properly and smoothly. Moreover, oiling also saves it from wear and tear. So, you need to use chainsaw bar oil frequently for better performance.

But what would be the chainsaw bar oil substitute if you run out of chainsaw oil or work in an area where you can’t buy chainsaw oil immediately? There are many substitutes you can easily find in your home.

This blog post will briefly talk about why you should use Chainsaw bar oil and What would are the best chainsaw bar oil substitutes?

Why Use Chainsaw Bar Oil?

Let’s set aside the why were chainsaws invented joke for the moment. Modern day chainsaws require careful maintenance. Chainsaw bar oil is specifically used to lubricate the bar and chain. When you switch on the chainsaw, the sharp teeth of the chainsaw move on the bar at high speed. It produces heat and wear. So, when you put oil in the chainsaw, it saves it from wearing out and heating. It is also good for the engine. The engine doesn’t work harder to move the chain on the bar. So, lubricating your chainsaw will increase its life and help it perform smoothly.

Also Read: Mighty Carver

Top 6 Chainsaw Bar Oil Substitutes

Six chainsaw bar oil substitutes are listed and discussed below one by one:

  1. Engine/Motor oil
  2. Canola Oil
  3. Vegetable oil
  4. Hydraulic Fluid
  5. Coconut oil
  6. Olive oil

1. Engine/Motor Oil

Engine/Motor Oil

Regular engine/motor oil is the best substitute for chainsaw bar oil, and it has nearly the same viscosity and flash point as regular bar oil. Refined motor oil keeps the chain and the bar lubricated and brighter. It is non-organic, so wear a mask when using motor oil in a chainsaw to avoid inhaling such harmful gases.

It is already available in your home or workshop.It’s not environmentally friendly and contains detergents.
It has nearly the same thickness that the chainsaw needs for lubrication.It’s a bit thinner and drips off the chain and the bar.
It is highly flammable, so be careful while using it.

2. Canola Oil

Canola Oil

Canola oil is produced by rapeseed. It is a good alternative to chainsaw bar oil, especially when it is more sticky in winter. So, it is the best substitute in cold and low temperatures.

It is cheaper and reduces chain stress as compared to regular chainsaw oils.It’s not a good substitute in hot weather.
It is environmentally friendly.Less adhesive to chain and bar.
Safe for your skin, and no harmful gas is produced when used in chainsaw.Shorter shelf life.

3. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is another substitute for chainsaw bar oil and has properties similar to canola oil. It also works well in lower temperatures.

It is cheaper and environmentally friendly.It is a bit thicker at low temperatures.
Good viscosity makes it a perfect choice.It often clogs in the oil pump and stops all chain and bar lubrication.
Its high flash point makes it more suitable as an alternative.Thinner in high temperatures.

4. Hydraulic Fluid

Hydraulic Fluid

Hydraulic fluids are as good as motor oil with a high flash point. It hydrates your chainsaw, and fine lubricating properties prevent corrosion and rust. Hydraulic fluids also work well in low temperatures. It is advisable to use filtered hydraulic fluid as a chainsaw oil.

Best in low and high temperatures.It is not good for the environment and living things.
Has a high flash point.It dries up quickly, so you need more oiling for lubrication.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

An eco-friendly substitute that is mostly available in your home is coconut oil. It has a high flash point and can be used in high temperatures.

It is environmentally friendly.Less viscosity.
It has a high flash point that is needed for chainsaw bar oiling.It can give better results when mixed with vegetable or engine oil.

6. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil is readily available in your kitchen and a good substitute for chainsaw bar oil. The high viscosity makes it suitable for oiling chainsaws. It has also lubrication properties.

Available next in your kitchen.It’s a bit expensive compared to other substitutes.
Bio-friendly with high viscosity.

Other Chainsaw Bar Oil Substitutes

Apart from these oils, you can also use drained hydraulic oil, used engine oil, drained engine oil, and power steering oil. All these oils can be used as emergency replacements but not regularly.

Final Thoughts

Lubricating the chainsaw bar and chain is essential for better performance. The substitute oils can be used to fulfill the need of the time but not regularly. When you use these oils, their flash point and viscosity differ from the chainsaw’s needs for lubrication.

Disclaimer: Regular use of substitutes can affect the performance and life of the chainsaw.


What is the difference between Chainsaw Bar Oil and Motor Oil?

The chainsaw bar oil is a thicker stick that stays on the chain’s surface and the bar for a long time. That’s why using chainsaw bar oil protects your chainsaw from wearing out, and increases chainsaw shelf life. The regular motor oil is runny and does not stick on the chain or bar.

What is the closest substitute to the chainsaw bar oil?

If we talk about the substitute of the chainsaw bar oil that can be used for a pinch of time. We recommend that canola oil is the closest substitute to chainsaw bar oil. It is also preferred by the arborists from all over the world.

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Suhail is a blogger, an editor, and a researcher, who writes for various lifestyle publications. He creates blog posts around his interests, hobbies, and daily activities. Connect with him on Twitter.