Power tools are, as their name suggests, powerful. They can handle intense work with absolute ease. However, with great power comes great maintenance. Without the right care, they can’t work nearly as well. In some cases, it might even break. This is especially true for chainsaws.
They can easily damage themselves if you don’t lubricate them properly. Some might think it’d be okay to lather any kind of oil onto the bar and chain and call it a day. However, that’s not the truth. You need to find the best bar and chain oil to get the job done.
Though, there’s a lot of different oils out there for you to choose from. It’s also easy to think they’re all mostly the same. So, we’re here to help you differentiate the best from the average bar and chain oils.
We’ve reviewed many tried and tested lubricants for you to choose from. There’s also a thorough guide to help you identify all the little details that you need to look out for.
So, read through this list and learn how to effectively maintain your chainsaw with the best oils out there! [Learn about chainsaw bar and chain sizes in detail]
Can You Run a Chainsaw Without Bar Oil?
Before we get down to the list, let’s answer the most common question. Many people might wonder if it’s possible to run their gas and electric chainsaws without oils. To a certain extent, yes. However, it comes with a ton of drawbacks that must be addressed.
Let’s discuss the purpose of these oils first. Once you pour them into the oil reservoir, the chain lubricates itself and moves along the bar. Due to the lubrication, the chain can move along the bar without much friction.
It runs smoothly and quickly, reducing friction. The fast movements increase their cutting prowess as well.
Now, what happens when you take that away? Yes, the chainsaw will run, but not effectively. The dry chain and bar with grind with each other consistently to cause massive friction.
This causes heat to build up, which can damage and discolor the bar. With enough heat, it could permanently damage your chainsaw. Moreover, the friction makes the chain move slower than it could.
As such, it loses a huge chunk of its cutting prowess and effectivity. Simply put, you can run the chainsaw, but you’ll never really want to due to the vast drawbacks it causes.
11 Best Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oil Reviews
Now that you’re all familiar with why these oils are so essential, let’s check out some of the top solutions in the market today. We’ve tested many oils and found 11 units that were beyond our expectations. So, let’s take a look at them.
1. Oregon 54-059 Bar and Chain Lube, Black, 1 Gallon
A lot of us need to use our chainsaws regularly. Whether it’s for gardening or cutting wood, heavy use isn’t all that uncommon. However, that also means that you’ll have to replace your oil every now and then. That’s because the more you use your chainsaw, the faster you burn through the lubricant.
The folks in Oregon took this issue under consideration and came up with a fantastic lube that’ll last you longer than you’d ever need. It uses exceptionally high-quality additives, ones that can drastically improve the longevity of the oil. As such, you can run your tool all day with minimal refills.
This also saves you a lot of time since you won’t have to go get the canister and refill every now and then. So, when it comes to heavy use, the 54-059 is really hard to beat. It can also handle extreme friction quite well. As such, you’ll be able to run your chainsaw at max speed without any issues.
This Oregon bar and chain oil is able to handle demanding and long-term use with relative ease. There’s no wonder why it’s favored by enthusiasts and professionals alike. With all that under its belt, it deserves to land a spot on our list.
2. Husqvarna 610000023 Bar & Chain Oil, Quart
The quality of the bottle itself is already a testament to what this lube can do. However, our review is based on its performance, not looks. So, we’re happy to say that it lives up to what it presents itself as.
This premium oil can turn your chainsaw into a monstrous cutting machine, capable of taking down any type of wood you throw at it.
It has the exact level of consistency to get the most out of your chainsaw. The lube can optimize the cutting performance significantly by controlling the friction, reducing heat as a process. It’ll almost feel like the chain runs faster once you apply this.
The husqvarna bar and chain oil employs superb tackifier additives, which adds a level of stickiness that does not hinder the chain motions. It keeps the chains on track. As such, you won’t have to worry about the chain derailing as you run it at whatever speed you want.
Finally, it contributes to the longevity of the chainsaw itself. The oil has protective qualities that can protect your bar and chain from wear. So, even though it might be pricier than other lubricants, it more than justifies that cost with its premium qualities.
3. Poulan Pro 952030203 Bar and Chain Oil - 1 Quart
If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable oil that does more than just lubricate, then the Poulan Pro bar and chain oil is for you. It’s a superb tool that’ll help you protect your chainsaw as well as drastically improve the cutting capacity. Let’s elaborate, shall we?
First off, the solvent utilizes a blend of high-quality virgin base stocks and top-tier additives to generate a level of consistency that keeps your chainsaw revving at high speeds. It also has the right stickiness to prevent the chains from high speed throw off, no matter how harshly you use it.
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The solution also drastically decreases friction to high degrees. As such, the chain can move rapidly and decimate dense trees. To top it all off, it’s actually quite cheap.
Yes, the Poulan bar and oil manages to dish out a lot despite how cheap it is. The lower cost makes it easily accessible and available for a lot of tasks. Although it doesn’t last as long when dealing with intensive use. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic oil when you’re out to do mi-level work at a low cost.
4. HUSQVARNA FOREST & GARDEN 610000161 Gallon Chain Saw Bar/Chain Oil
For the fourth chain oil review, we’re returning back to another set from HUSQVARNA. That’s only because of just how many impressive lubes they dish out. The oil works very similarly to their other oil; however, it stands on its own as a fantastic solvent for your tool. So, let’s get into it.
These solvents offer some of the best lubrication we can find. They boast the perfect level of consistency to be both extra tacky and slippery. This allows the chains to keep them running smoothly and quickly without generating too much friction. Moreover, the stickiness keeps the chains in place at all times.
If you have Husqvarna chainsaws, then this is the oil for you. They are specifically optimized for those chains. As such, you’ll get a significant boost in performance when you use it. This is possible due to its premium quality material.
The Husqvarna oil uses some of the best additives and bases to create a fantastic solution. Its lubrication capabilities are nearly unmatched as it offers some of the best slipperiness in the market. Furthermore, it doesn’t run out fast either. As such, its price is more than justified.
5. Makita 181119-a Bar and Chain Oil Lubricant, 1 Quart Automotive Accessories, Black
Have you heard of Makita before? If you’ve been around power tools long enough, you probably have. Makita is widely popular for the level of quality they deliver in everything they make.
This could be their incredible tools or supplementary materials. In this case, the 181119-a is an outstanding bar and chain oil meant for Makita chainsaws.
Of course, it can be used on pretty much any chainsaw, but the way it boosts their potential is outstanding. It’s a must-have for anyone who uses Makita chainsaws, whether it’s gas-powered or electric. If you don’t have their brand’s saws, you can still get way more than your money’s worth out of it.
That’s because they use a unique mix of additives that allow the oil to stay effective no matter what weather it’s exposed to. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of winter or summer. You can extract the same level of utility at all times.
This also boosts your chainsaw’s longevity. Since it significantly decreases heat generated from friction, your bar and chain won’t be damaged. On top of that, it reduces wear s well to guarantee a long-lasting, capable chainsaw.
6. Maxpower 337045 1-Gallon Bar and Chain Oil
Let’s take a step back and examine an oil that works the same for all chainsaws. MaxPower provides what they say they’ll provide: max engine power. It’s an incredible oil that more than takes down any kind of friction. You’ll get a premium smooth chainsaw once you put this on.
The wonderful folks in MaxPower chose to include anti wear additives with unique properties that explicitly decrease wear. As such, this solvent is a one-way ticket to a long-lasting chainsaw. Moreover, it utilizes 100% virgin oil to boost its quality and build.
Are you looking for something that provides high tack? MaxPower bar and chain oil has you covered as this oil offers the perfect degree of tact. It’s almost as though we have engineered and calculated the exact level of tack necessary for max performance. This also means that you won’t have to worry about slings either.
It has the ideal thickness as well. Usually, thick oils run the risk of clogging up your chainsaw, which is a pain to remove. Not this, though. It’s thick enough to lubricate yet thin enough to leave your tool unclogged. What more could we ask for from this fantastic solution?
7. WARREN DISTRIBTUTIO MAG1 Gal bar/Chain Oil
We’re excited to show you what we got as our 7th entry. Warren always dishes out quality products, but the MAG1 is something special. Whether it be stickiness or smoothness, it has you and your chainsaw covered. The proper lubrication lets your chainsaw plow through sturdy wood with little to no issues.
Maintenance has never been easier. Aside from being a good oil, the MAG1 is extremely easy to use. Its container allows you to pour your needed amount quickly without risking much spillage. More so, it naturally leads the oil to where it needs to go. You’ll get your desired performance output with minimal effort.
Yes, the oil drastically improves how smoothly the chains can move. It’s thick enough to offer significant lubrication to decrease friction and keep the chain on rails. This is due to the use of high-quality additives in the oil’s makeup.
It employs unique viscosity modifiers that give it the same viability in all seasons. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with hot or cold seasons. You’ll get the same effect every time. That more than makes it one of the best chainsaw bar oils and the 7th entry on our list.
8. Husqvarna X-Guard Premium All Season Bar & Chain Oil, 1 Gallon
Don’t worry, this is the last time we’ll talk about Husqvarna. But, you have to understand that we simply couldn’t leave this one out of the list. What can we do? They dish out some of the most significant oils in the entire industry. So, let’s see what this Husqvarna has to offer.
To start, it has the signature Husqvarna bases and additives. However, this one goes a step up. In terms of wear protection, this particular model is out of this world.
It’s called the X-Guard premium for a reason. The solvent does such a fantastic job of coating the bar and chain in a way that saves it from wearing out quickly.
Moreover, it drastically increases longevity as it prevents heat from building up. That’s due to the pristine quality solvents used in this formula. Your chainsaw will seem to never age as you keep using this oil. Its build also allows it to work on pretty much every season.
Even when it’s -9 degrees Celsius (or 15 degrees Fahrenheit), it works just fine. It’s the same, even in hot weather. So, it’s viable all year with the same level of utility and quality. That’s why we had to include Husqvarna for the third time.
9. Stihl 0781 516 5003 Platinum Bar And Chain Lubricant, 1 Quart
A lot of you have been wondering when we were going to introduce Stihl oil. So, what makes this brand so special? Well, it’s one of the most highly-rated brands for a reason.
Every single oil they’ve released is already a strong contender for best chainsaw bar oil. The 0781 516 5003 Platinum manages to exceed everything that came before it.
Simply put, it’s the ultimate lubricant. The stihl bar oil offers everything you could ever ask for from a bar and chain oils and provides even more. Stihl utilizes top of the line refined oils to give you the stickiest chain oils you’ll ever find. Of course, it is exactly as sticky as it needs to be as it does not sacrifice a smidgen of lubrication.
Of course, the top of the line oil can be used in all seasons. Its top-quality refined material is not hindered no matter how cold the weather gets. The oil still provides top of the line performance in low temperatures. You’ll be awed at just how smoothly your chainsaw moves.
In addition, it provides unbeatable wear resistance. You can barely feel your chainsaw growing older as the years grow by. That’s because the oil has properties that prevent it from receiving damage or simple wear in general. It’s indeed an astounding lubricant we highly recommend.
10. Tanaka 700320 Commercial Grade 1-Quart Bar & Chain Oil
In terms of viscosity and protection, this commercial-grade Tanaka unit blows all expectations. They offer a superb bar and chain oil that can provide long-term protection to such a degree that it becomes a must-have. Their outstanding quality is hard to match. So, let’s take a closer look at why it had to be on the list.
Chainsaws wear out quite quickly. This is because of how intensely they have to work. As such, you must maintain them with the right solution to prevent wear and boost longevity.
The Tanaka oil does this to such an extent that it prevents any oil from forming as well. So, you can keep your saw's cutting performance in top condition at all times.
Next up, we got to talk about its high tac build. This keeps the oil effective and helps your chainsaw tear down dense wood with utter ease. You’ll see all of your chains running smoothly and quickly. No-sling also keeps the chainsaw still and on-rails at all times for smooth and pristine cutting.
Your chainsaw will become a weapon of mass destruction as you get to cut down massive logs like its butter. It manages to make your chains move much better than you’d expect as you can safely turn up the speed with no worries of derailing.
11. Greenworks GWBC0 Premium Bar and Chain Oil
We’re about to finish our list with a premium lube from Greenworks. Everything about their oil oozes quality. You can easily tell just by how well it improves your saw’s cutting quality. However, it doesn’t stop just there. It also includes damage protection at a cheap price.
Yes, the Greenworks premium oil is quite cheap for what it does for it. It improves your chainsaw’s lifespan as well with its wear-resistant prowess. The oil itself lasts for a considerable amount of time. So, you’re saving money by using less oil and keeping your chainsaw in top condition.
The bar and chain stay effective with longer lifespans. So, you’re essentially saving a considerable amount of money when you get this. The oil lubricates the chain properly, thus it can also effectively reduce heat. Therefore, the chain can run smoothly continuously.
It boasts compatibility on a wide range of products. Whether you have a gas-powered saw or an electric one, it brings out the max output from your chainsaw's engine during a heavy cutting session. As such, it’s a great safe bet if you have trouble choosing your best chainsaw bar oil.
What to Look for Before Buying?
There are a few key details you need to know before you settle in and buy your lubricants of choice. So, take a moment to read through this section to figure out everything you need to find the best oil.
This is essentially the first thing you need to look for when you’re out to buy lubricants for a longer chain life. That’s the lubrication, of course. So, what does that mean? With lube, the chain runs smoothly along the bar to make the chainsaw run a lot smoother.
It also increases cutting capacity so you can chop down dense wood with no problem.
Thickness and Stickiness
To properly stick to the bar and chain, the oil must have the right thickness. Stickiness is also great to make the oil stick the chain and bar together. This is essentially the quality that makes the oil capable of keeping your chainsaw and other power tools stable and productive.
A good chainsaw oil can lubricate your tool correctly. The best chainsaw oil can do so while also protecting your chain. This mostly comes in the form of wear resistance as the oil makes the chain run smoothly with less friction.
As such, it doesn’t wear as fast. The lubricant could also form a protective barrier and save your chainsaw from outside substances and rust.
So, make sure you read up on what the protection it can offer you before you actually buy.
We’ve already established how a chainsaw oil can boost the longevity of your tool. However, you have to keep in mind that we want our lubrication to last as long as possible without dissipating.
If it lasts longer, you won’t have to worry about oil change as much. It also saves time and money since you won’t have to go out and buy a new oil.
In case you’re working on very intensive projects, we highly recommend long-lasting oils for your chain links. So, make sure you watch out for that.
If you have the option to get an oil that you can use during winter, then why not take it? Lubricants can lose its effectiveness under certain weather conditions. Typically, most lubricants will show a high level of resistance in high temperatures, maintaining its high viscosity.
However, some brands use a unique blend of additives that can maintain its consistency no matter how cold it gets. The oil will flow freely without any issues. It’s a convenient feature, so make sure you consider it.
Now, if you're considering vegetable oil as an alternative to the bar oil, then be cautioned about the temperature compatibility. Because vegetable oil won't offer you that.
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What Can I Use for Chainsaw Bar Oil?
Generally, you’ll want to use oils that were made specifically for chainsaws. They are made with perfect consistency and thickness, and they use bases and additives to make the chains run much smoother for the logging industry.
However, if you want an alternative, you could try to use canola oil. It’s not a perfect substitute; however, it is better than other oils. Canola is environmentally friendly. So, if you want to avoid the use of petroleum-based lubes, then that’s what you should use.
Don't even think of using used car engine oil as an alternative for saving a few bucks. They can contain metal fragments, which may have the opposite effect on the metal parts of your saw's bar and chain. In fact, we would advise against using regular motor oil as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What weight should the oil be?
30-weight oil always works the best.
2. Can Canola oil be used all year?
No. The plant-based oil can’t handle all temperatures effectively.
3. Is motor oil a suitable alternative?
Motor oils build up the antithesis of what we want out of our chain and bar oils. They wear down your chainsaw and lubricates poorly. So, it is best to avoid them. Try to avoid all types if used oil as well for gaining the maximum power from your engine.
4. How frequently should I use them?
That depends on how you use your chainsaw. If you can feel your chain running stuttering or running poorly, it’s a good indicator that you should refill the lubricants.
5. Is stickiness good?
Yes, it keeps the chain on track without making it lose its speed. Of course, the oil you use can’t be too sticky.
There’s a lot that goes into a good chainsaw lubricant (just to let you know, we also have reviewed door hinge lubricants). We hope you can use our guide and recommendations to find the best bar and chain oil for your chainsaw. Make sure you maintain your chainsaw regularly to make the most out of it. So, give your saw the oil treatment it deserves!