Investing in a chainsaw is a great decision whether you are a professional or simply a DIY (Do It Yourself) enthusiast. Chainsaws are the roughest, rugged and sturdy equipment that you could own and use for a myriad of purposes. These strong tools are extremely forgiving and can last a long duration of time with minimal maintenance compared to other tools and equipment.

However, one of the major components of maintaining a strong and long lasting chainsaw is it’s the type of oil used for it. All chainsaws, whether gasoline or electric thrive and work efficiently only with the right quality, quantity and type of oil. The durability and long life of an electric chainsaw depend upon the quality and type of oil used in it. This short guide is sure to provide you with the basic knowledge you need to choose the right oil and increase the lifespan of your chainsaw.

Importance of using the right oil for your chainsaw:

Gasoline chainsaws require gas and oil in order to function properly. Electric saws, however, are powered by electricity. Hence, the usage of correct oil is essential for an electric chainsaw because it ensures the effective lubrication between the bar and chain – two of the most important parts of an electric chainsaw, that ensure safe and effective cutting.

Besides this, here are some important reasons why it is important to use the right oil for your electric chainsaw:

  • Saves money in the long run by ensuring the long life of the chainsaw and enabling it to be a great investment.
  • Lesser contaminants and contains essential additives.
  • Prevents dust and flyaways from lodging in the chainsaw and causing damage.
  • Reduces cost of maintenance of the saw. Ensures that there is no damage to the drive sprocket and clutch besides the bar and chain.
  • Reduces the friction between the bar and chain and ensure the safe and effective use of the chainsaw.

Using the right oil for your chainsaw

Points to consider while choosing the right oil type:

  • Don’t wait for the warning signs:

A major warning sign of dangerously low lubrication levels is the smoking of the bar when the chainsaw is being used. If the tip is extremely hot or smoking, it is important to stop using the saw and checking the oiling system immediately.

  • Purchase good quality oil:

It is vital to purchase good quality oil for an electric chainsaw. Regular oils that are available at a lower cost may seem effective, but it may easily damage the saw in the long run and increase the cost of maintaining the saw. Investing in a good quality oil will prevent this.

  • Check manufacturer’s requirements:

Most chainsaw manufacturers have their own house oils that they recommend. These oils are the most compatible with your saw. If they do not manufacture their own bar and chain oil, most manufacturers usually recommend the best oils that are compatible with their chainsaws. Paying heed to these recommendations results in the best quality oils for the long run.

  • Temperature variation:

If the area where you live is subject to temperature variations, choose the right type of oil to best suit the climate. The viscosity of some oils change according to the temperature and choosing the right oil for your climate is essential.

Types of oil for your electric chainsaw:


Most large-scale manufacturers with comprehensive research and development capabilities invest large amounts of money in studying the best types of oil, their composition, and additives for their chainsaws. They may be a bit more expensive but are the best oil options compared to general oils that cater to all types of saws. They reduce the amount spent on repairs and maintenance in the long run and ensure the long life and increased efficiency of your chainsaw.


If environmental impact is a prerogative for you, then these vegetable-based oils are the best option. This is also a great option if you wish to use your saw for pruning trees or branches as these oils do not damage the rest of the parts of the tree/bush etc. Hence, it is great if you do not wish to cut off the whole tree but only trim it.


These oils are manufactured by companies to suit all generic brands of chainsaws. They may not be as great as the manufacturer’s option but are the next best choice if your manufacturers do not have their own brand. Also, if you own multiple saws of various brands, this may be a cost-effective option that will ensure the decent performance of your saw. However, it is important to check the viscosity levels of the vegetable oils you are choosing to best suit the temperature you reside in.


Motor oil is often recommended due to its low cost and availability. However, it may cause major damage to your chainsaw. It shortens the life of the saw and causes pinching and result in damage to the oil systems. It is also ‘reclaimed oil’ and hence has already lost its lubricating properties during previous uses. It does not have the capacity to prevent the clogging caused by sap and other gum-like substances secreted from wood.

Refilling oil in your chainsaw:

Step 1: Switch off and unplug the saw from the socket.

Step 2: Place it on the ground or counter and allow to cool down completely.

Step 3: Clean the chainsaw, especially the oil filler cap and remove all build-up and debris to prevent contamination.

Step 4: Open the tank cap, place the funnel and pour the oil up to the mark recommended by the manufacturer. Using a funnel helps to prevent spillage.

Step 5: Remove funnel and close the cap tightly to prevent any leaks.

Following simple guidelines will ensure the smooth and effortless functioning of your chainsaw over a long period of time. Your maintenance time, costs and efforts will be minimized effectively by making the right choice.