Chain bar oil

Submitted: Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:02
ThreadID: 78645 Views:7963 Replies:15 FollowUps:22
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Hi guy's just bought me first chainsaw, finally have trees big enough to need one. Anyway forgot it needed chain bar oil and forked out 9 bucks for something that looks like any other sae 30/40 type oil.

So my question is does it really need this premium oil ? or would most any other oil be sufficiant ?

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:08

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:08
Quality chain oil is very sticky and tends not to spray off when the bar is hot. I use either Stihl or Castrol and find they are good. Have used engine oil once when I ran out and it did not stay on the chain and do what it has to do. Good chains are not cheap and will quickly wear the links if not well lubricated.

cheers
alastair
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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:15

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:15
Ahhh yes thanks Alastair, that would make sence. How much oil should the chain be using on average, say compared to a tank of fuel?
Any safety tips, I read about Kick back and such! but wouldn't mind hearing any other thought on the subject.
Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:42

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:42
In regards to how much oil used to petrol, i remember reading some where that one tank of fuel to one tank of oil.

Baz
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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 17:46

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 17:46
Thanks mate it's working and spraying from the chain so far at full throttle so I guess you be right.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 18:51

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 18:51
As already said about 1 tank oil to fuel. I think the handbooks for both my Stihl saws (1 big, 1 small) say this. Both of mine have an adjuster and I set mine to have just a little left after a full tank of fuel. It does vary a bit on the big one depending on the revs used.

The following have been my own rules for using a chain saw:
1. Always wear ear muffs and shoes with steel caps.
2. Stop and sharpen chain as soon as the cutting rate slows down. A blunt chain gets hot quickly and wears fast. Learn how to sharpen your own chains. A good file is quick and easy if you are not cutting a lot.
3. Keep the chain tension right and stop if a loop appears undernearth. This typically will also cause the saw to cut on and angle. It can also cause the chain to jump off the bar.
4. Clean and sharpen your saw when finished at the end of the day. It will make the saw last and means if you need to use it then it is ready to go.
5. If not planning to use the saw again the next day, drain the fuel tank and run the saw until it stops. This avoids having the petrol evaporate and leaving the 2 stroke oil in the carby. If it is left for a long time it can be the major cause of hard to start saws.
6. At times my saws get worked hard and I have 4 chains for each one. I change the chain rather than sharpening when it gets blunt and sharpen them all at the end of the day.
7. If you ever cut palm trees take the chain and bar apart and wash everything in water when finished. The sap is very corrosive and will eat holes in the alloy very quickly.

I have a plastic blade guard which slide over the bar and makes it much better to transport & store. I also made a simple plywood box in which I can store the small saw, blades, relevant tools, files, oil and 5L can of fuel. I know I can just pick it up and have everything needed.

Each to their own but the above works for me.
alastair
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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 05:37

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 05:37
Thanks Alastair, very helpfull, was wondering about the palms. I have several that need trimming.

Cheers
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Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:15

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:15
The good stuff is meant to be stickier so that centrifugal force doesnt throw it out.

I normally use proper chain bar oil but don't buy the top of the line stuff. But i have been known to use engine oil if i have run out of the good stuff.

You can tell when engine oil is being used by the oil splatter on the wood.

Alan
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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:16

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:16
Thanks Alan, Im sold then.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Vic S (VIC) - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:20

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:20
I have a Stihl Farm Boss with a 20" blade not only will you kill the chain but more so the bar so always use chain oil,mine tends to use 2/3 oil tank to 1 petrol tank .
Vic
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Reply By: sweetwill - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:44

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:44
g/day there roughasguts.
If you are new to chain saws it would pay you to do a course with someone in the know, they are the most dangerous hand tool on the market, and they will demonstrate the dos and don'ts cheers for now bill.
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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 17:45

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 17:45
Hi sweetwill yeah I figured there probably the most dangerous thing on earth the way they slice through logs, with out much of a guard compared to evey other tool I own.
Just hoping I won't get complacent and too confident with it, cause I know it will bite bad If I do something wrong.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Gnomey - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 23:21

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 23:21
Roughasguts
Times 2 and with emphasis on getting checked out by an experienced operator. You already know they are dangerous and being forewarned about the specific circumstances when things can get nasty is essential for keeping bodily parts attached.

One of the most important things not so far mentioned here is to make sure your balance is not affected by insecure footing. Be fastidious about it like having an exit route when felling. It don't matter much how correctly you were holding it if you slip A/T. Always salute when not cutting.

I protect eyes from chips and ears from sound - nothing much will protect you from the chain except keeping the fear alive.

IME there's a lot more to using a chainsaw proficiently than there is to any other saw I've used. Don't want to be smart but you'll know when you see someone who is good at it and probably notice an awful lot people who get by or worse.

FWIW I use Stihl bar oil at 1:1 with the fuel tank. When cutting dry/hard wood, pause occasionally and rev the saw away from the wood until the chain is noticeably moist with oil again. Dry metal on dry metal....

Cheers
Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 00:04

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 00:04
To add to safety warnings.

Always check your escape route. Make sure that you can step back or move away from your tree or work.

Stop every so often and take off your ear guards to listen. Look up and around often to see what's around you.

Don't saw if children and animals are nearby.

Wear chainsaw chaps... or lose a leg.

Always have the chain moving fast before you start to cut.

It's a good idea to have someone know that you are chainsawing to check on you if they hear the saw stop unexpectedly!
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Follow Up By: Nigel Migraine - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 07:41

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 07:41
And get a note from your Mum saying you're old enough to own a chainsaw too.

You're a grown adult, you sound like a sensible person - I assume you haven't had "training" for every other dangerous object you own (watch out for those kitchen knives) just use the chainsaw in a sensible manner and take sensible precautions.

This country will end up wrapping itself up in cotton wool.
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 08:59

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 08:59
What a shocking irresponsible response from Nigel. My wife is an ambulance paramedic. You should listen to some of the horrible results of ignorant 'grown adults' using chainsaws.... or for that matter kitchen knives!!!!

You must be a very young and foolish person to suggest that ALL the safety advice shouldn't be carefully followed. My son is currently felling timber from the big fires in our area. I am relieved every evening when he makes it home safely. This is no lightweight discussion.... We ARE talking about life and death.

Wake up to yourself. It is not a 'nanny state'... 'cotton wool' discussion. Chainsaws really shouldn't be sold to untrained operators. IMHO
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Follow Up By: Nigel Migraine - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 09:17

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 09:17
“Wake up to yourself.”

What an interesting and supremely arrogant expression. Its intent is to suggest the user has some superior knowledge and wisdom over the mere mortal to which he is speaking . The user of the expression, alone, sees “The Truth” and knows only his view is the “Correct” one.

Unfortunately this phrase has become all too commonplace recently and is, invariably, uttered by people who want to force their view of the world onto those “other” people who hold worthless opinions.

It is a valuable tool for proponents of the nanny state.

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Follow Up By: ob - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 12:58

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 12:58
Well Nigel all I can think from your responses is that either you are trying to get a "rise" from someone or you have never seen or contemplated the damage the wrong end of a chainsaw can inflict on the operator or a bystander getting too close. Keep in mind some so called "adults" can not perform a task as simple as getting themselves across a road without winding up as roadkill.
Get too up close and personal with the bitie end of a chainsaw and you will have a lot more to worry about than a migraine
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 18:00

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 18:00
Ah well done Nigel. You understood well. I don't however think that your opinions are completely worthless.
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Reply By: D200Dug- Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:52

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 16:52
Remember if it has an auto oil feed that is not adjustable ( like most models ) the oil supply is usually set for cutting green timber not dry hardwood.

If you don't want to burn out the chain and bar cut slowly and give the chain a chance to lubricate itself in the dry timber.

Apart from that ALWAYS use ALL the safety gear, legs and fingers do not grow back !
AnswerID: 417560

Reply By: john&thejayco - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 19:39

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 19:39
g'day Roughasguts,
Over the years,having done a lot of scrub clearing in farming and timbered areas i have used chainsaws for day in and day out and we still use them for fencing and other jobs around the place . we only use engine oil and it still works out about 1 tank of fuel to 1 tank of oil. It's true chain bar oil is stickier and hangs onto the chain ,but if you keep your chain sharp,so it's producing chips and not dust , and the oil pump is working and the oil is running onto the chain basically any oil will do the job. hope this helps.
Cheers John.
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Follow Up By: Gazal Champion - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 12:32

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 12:32
Hi John, I'm with you mate.
This subject has sure brought out the experts.
Cheers Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Fatso - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 19:40

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 19:40
Go for the bar oil. It is not a big expense to most of us 4 times a year us camp-fire wood cutters.
There are a lot of us blokes out there who only pull the chainsaw out now & then. With me, I don't think I have ever put even 1 litre of fuel through it yet in any period of use. I bought the Husqvarna bar oil & 2 stroke oil. I also bought a 1 litre mixing bottle. It is calibrated for mixing fuel & oil in. Works great. I only buy 1 litre of fresh fuel each time. If I don't use the saw for a month or 2 I get fresh fuel & the old stuff goes in a car or whatever petrol motor is handy.
I always pull the bar & covers off & give the saw a good clean & drain the tank & run the saw out of fuel when finished for that period.
Like one of the previous blokes said, I have made a ply box for mine & carry both oils, 1 litre fuel bottle, 2 spare chains, file & filing jig, the plug tool that came with it, a cleaning brush & some rags. All ready to go. Make sure your brush is one of those wooden ones that can handle heat.

As for safety never hold the saw where you can look down the bar. You have to stand to the side. If it does kick back it won't get your neck. Natural reaction is to turn your face away & that expose your neck.

Always hold the saw with 2 hands

Cut at the base of the bar with the body of the saw hard up against the job.
Steer clear of cutting with the top of the bar. Leave that one for the pros.


I am about to go down & put it in the ute now along with the rest of the camping gear for the weekend.
Driving around in a ute with a chainsaw is the best way to get the perfect fire wood.
Good luck
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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 05:43

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 05:43
Thanks Fatso, was wondering about the cutting using the upper chain . Think I'll leave that then.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 19:59

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 19:59
Maybe these guys could show you the do's and dont's of how to use one. Bob.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 22:40

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 22:40
Don't forget to have a good first kit on hand with plenty of bandaids and large pads and bandages if you need them. You may only need them once, but you'll be glad they are there.

Place it in a ziplock bag in with your chainsaw toolkit and safety gear, that way it is always available when you have one hand spare.

Andrew
AnswerID: 417612

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 05:41

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 05:41
Yes, and when the chainsaw 'bites' you will need some rope to hold that arm or leg in place till you get to the hospital too

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: ob - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 13:03

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 13:03
Yeah right on Mainey, and an esky full of ice to pack the limb in when you take it and yourself to hospital
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Reply By: Ianw - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 22:51

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 22:51
Most chain oil is recycled oil with a bit of sticky additive. Thats why its not expensive. (only about $3 a litre plus a bit more if you are willing to pay extra for the name) We dont bother, as engine oil works fine. It is not sticky but it flows better and still lubes the chain well.

Ian
AnswerID: 417615

Reply By: Outnabout.. - Friday, May 21, 2010 at 23:39

Friday, May 21, 2010 at 23:39
You don't say what saw you have.
If you bought a Bunnings special then use anything you like but if you bought a quality brand saw then only use a quality brand purpose formulated chain and bar oil. The saw, chain and bar will last a lot longer.
Cracks me up when I see people buy quality gear and then try and use the cheapest oil or parts.
Would you buy a brand new 4wd and then put in the cheapest coolant and oils? and then replace all the parts with chinese copy parts?

As far as safety goes then there have been some good points raised but if you do nothing else go to a Stihl shop and ask for a DVD of chainsaw safety. If they don't have it then ask them to get it in for you and it will cost about $10. Covers a lot of the must know issues and is one of the most informative DVD's I have seen on chainsaws.

As far as sharpening chains goes unless you work with tools in a trade then just buy a couple of extra chains and get sharpened professionally. I sell saws and there is an art to it. It is very important that every tooth is sharpend to the same lenght, same angle and that the depth guages are also done.

Stay away from those 12V sharpeners as it seems like it is easy but novices can't control them properly and usually make a mess of the chain.

AnswerID: 417617

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 06:01

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 06:01
Yes, I agree full with the above comments, you do NEED quality bar oil, it’s nothing like lubricating oil used in a vehicle because it does a totally different job and has to remain on the blade, not get thrown off by the chain.
I'm sure you would not use bar oil in your vehicle engine as lubricating oil ha ha


Why not do a " chainsaw operating course " as you will learn so many things you have not even thought about.
I did and my cutting 'technique' and chain sharpening skills improved dramatically because of it.
Image Could Not Be FoundMaîneÿ . . .
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Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 16:06

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 16:06
Roughasguts, I used to have a Swedish chainsaw (Jonsareds) many years ago and in the brochure it showed that brand of chainsaw being used in a frozen fish factory to cut up fish.
From memory they used olive oil to lubricate the chain, but it may have been some derivative of fish oil.
Pretty sure it wouldn't have been Valvoline or Shell X-100 anyway.

I guess as long as the chain doesn't run dry. it doesn't matter which oil.

Dave
'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 16:25

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 16:25
Hi Dave, I am wondering about m/cycle chain oil! I guess that won't flick off but might gum up the chain and bar with all the wood chips.

So I'll just stick to the bar oil for now.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Bill F (VIC) - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 19:43

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 19:43
Hi Roughasguts
What size ELECTRIC chainsaw did you buy as I just got one a 1800W 14 inch bar from Bunnings ($99.00) and it has worked well to about 10 in. on old dead trees for the fireplace and the best part it works with the ALDI 2000W generator ($299.00) I brought.
Always buy the proper chain oil as it is designed to do a particular job, would you put engine oil in your diff except in an emergency

BillF
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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:45

Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:45
Nah not electric. Bought the petrol Ozito, 12 inch bar! just a GMC in green plastic.

A mate tells me the electric B&D Alligator would probably do a better job quicker and safer. Oh well should have asked around first but it's only a few dollars, just hope it's safe enough.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Members Paul and Melissa (VIC) - Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 20:53

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 20:53
Yeah bar oil only. engine oil comes out too quick and makes a mess. plus when you sit it down for a while it bleep es out all over the floor. i bought 4 ltrs of stihl/castrol stuff for $30 which is OK. it is really gooey so it sticks to the bar and chain really well. i have a 034 Farmboss with 20" bar and find about 1/2 ish oil tank to 1 2 stroke tank. yet my little ole workhorse McCulloch will do 2 tanks 2 stroke to 1 of oil so they are all slightly different.
AnswerID: 417728

Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:51

Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:51
Thanks Mate, I won't be using it a lot as it's only for the maybe twice a year job. Otherwise I would have spent a bit more money like me other toys, but so far can't fault it it starts better than me Stihl Line trimmer and the Blower, but the Honda stuff is easier to date.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member -Toonfish - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 21:24

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 21:24
anybody need 205 litres of good chain and bar oil?
not much use for it here . lol
2013/14 around oz adventure bound

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