How often do you oil a chainsaw chain

How often do you oil a chainsaw chain? – know the symptoms!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A gas chainsaw and an electric chainsaw both need to oil their bar and chain to lubricate it while cutting so that it does not get dry and heat up and eventually dry. Also, they use the same bar and chain oil.

On a gas chainsaw and an electric chainsaw, you should oil the bar and chain before each cut and while cutting so that the bar and chain remain wet to work with great efficiency and keep the chainsaw lasting longer.

Let’s get more specific on which oiling system and prospects; how often do you oil a chainsaw chain, and how do I know if my chainsaw needs oil?

How often do you oil a chainsaw chain?

Whether it is a gas or an electric chainsaw, oiling a chainsaw chain is important, and you should oil a chainsaw before beginning each day’s work and each cut. While using a manual oiling system, you should manually oil the chain every half hour so that the bar and chain do not remain dry while cutting.

While using an automatic oiling system, you can oil when the bar and chain tank gets empty, or every time you fill the fuel tank, you can fill the oil tank because, for every tank of fuel, you need around one tank of bar and chain oil. 

Here, the bar and the chain will be automatically oiled in every pass, and you don’t have to worry about drying your bar and chain. This system will always keep the bar and chain wet until the oil reservoir empties.

How do I know if my chainsaw needs oil?

If you are a regular worker, you may easily notice the signs while cutting, but for beginners, it’s hard to identify the symptoms without knowing about them. Even sometimes, the pro-workers overlook this, which reduces the cut quality.

  • Take a look at the bar and chain or put your hand on it and if you don’t feel any moisture, that means it is dry, and your chainsaw needs oil.
  • You can check the bar and chain reservoir tank to see if it is empty or not. If it is empty, that means no oil is leaking onto the bar and chain, and it will keep your chainsaw dry at the time your chainsaw needs oil.
  • Fill your bar and chain oil tank while filling the fuel tank; if your fuel runs out, that means your oil also runs out; that time, your chainsaw needs oil because, for every tank of fuel, you need around one tank of bar and chain oil.

Note: Fill the bar and chain reservoir tank for electric cordless chainsaws while changing batteries.

  • Take a cardboard and hold the chainsaw near it, and turn it on; if you don’t see a spray of oil on the cardboard, that time you should oil your chainsaw.

Note: This might can happen for blockage on the oil leaking whole, so check and clean it before making oiling.

Manual oiling system vs automatic oiling system

Manual oiling system

In a manual oiling system, you must manually oil the bar and chain. However, in 3 steps, you can oil your chainsaw bar and chain.

Pressing the bulb: Here, you have to fill the bar and chain reservoir tank then; before making each cut, you have to press the bulb for 3 or 4 seconds so that enough oil leaks on the bar and chain and make the chainsaw ready for cutting.

Wet chain: Before your everyday work, untie your chainsaw chain and put it on a bucket or poly bag, then put oil on it and keep it there overnight or a few hours so that it soaks oi perfectly. Then tie the chain and start cutting.

Note: You can take the oil can and directly put oil on the chain to lubricate, but it’s not a healthy process and won’t lubricate every portion of your chainsaw.

Spray: Instead of an oil can, you can use a spray to lubricate manually. You can use spray directly on the chain while the chainsaw is in a steady position or running. 

Note: You can use Ballistol spray or WD-40 spray on the chain to lubricate.

Disadvantages of manual oiling system

A manual oiling system is a temporary lubricating system; it’s not a permanent solution for a chainsaw because you have to lubricate after every half hour to keep the chain and bar wet; neither it will overheat, wear out quickly, and cause breakage.

Automatic oiling system

Unlike the manual system, the automatic oiling system leaks oil from the bar tip on the bar and chain to lubricate and keep it wet. Most modern gas and electric chainsaws have this system. You just have to put oil on the bar and chain reservoir tank, and it will oil the bar and chain automatically until the oil runs out.

Note: Never try to use manual oiling on your automatic oiling system. Fill the tank when it runs out to have the efficiency of cutting.

Disadvantages of automatic oiling system

Actually, it’s not a disadvantage. For the wood dust, the oil leaking whole can be jammed or blocked, which can interrupt lubricating and effects efficiency; for that reason, clean or maintain your chainsaw after everyday work and keep oil all time in the oil tank to have longer chainsaw and chain lifetime.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if my chainsaw chain is dull?

There are multiple symptoms a chainsaw shows during the cutting; if you notice them, you can easily identify whether your chainsaw is dull.
During a cut, if you have to provide extra pressure to get into the wood, then your blade is dull.
If your saw bounces or shatters and provides uneven cuts during the cuts, then your blade is dull.
If you get smoke or deep burn marks during cutting while having proper oiling and tension, then you need to change your chain.
During cross cuts, if you get fine sawdust, not the wood chips, then your blade is dull, and you need sharpening or a replacement chain.

How tight should the chainsaw chain should be?

Keeping excess loose chainsaw chains can provide you with uneven cuts, and keeping excess tight chainsaw chains can block the movement of the chain on the bar. For that, you should tighten enough your chainsaw chain that you can up the chain from the chain bar but can’t pull it out from the bar nose to have the perfect balanced cutting.

Is it ok to keep bar oil in the chainsaw?

It is ok to keep bar oil in the chainsaw if you use the chainsaw regularly to cut wood. Neither if you use your chainsaw once or twice a month, then it could be harmful to your chainsaw.
A bar oil has a shelf life before opening; it is about 3 to 7 years, and after opening reduces its lifetime. Also, a chainsaw leaks oil automatically if the tank has bar oil which can be jammed by dust.


To longer the chainsaw and chain life and cut fluently with efficiency, you should continuously oil your chainsaw chain before each cutting and while cutting.

I hope you understand you got your answer and understand all the aspects. Maintain your chainsaw property and enjoy cutting. Thank you.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *