chainsaw bar lube

Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:58 pm

Ran out of chainsaw bar lube today and was to lazy, or rather did not want to take the time to run up to the grain elevator to get some. I used some 80w90 gear oil instead and it seemed to work alright. The chain needs to come off soon anyways and be sharpened so I figure I couldnt really hurt much. What do you think? Actually I dont think this is the first time I have done this...

Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:00 pm

Jake, I'm sure you're not the only one who has done this either. It might not adhere as well as bar lube but I don't see a problem with using it.

Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:04 pm

yeah its deffinately not as sticky or thick as bar lube but it seems to work in a pinch and cheaper too :D

Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:14 pm

I've use gear oil before also, and one time i used straight motor oil. Gear oil did okay, motor oil let chain get way too warm. But the motor oil didn't stink as bad. Gear oil smells bad enough in a jug but warm it a little and sling it into the air and you get the idea what a rotten dinosaur smells like.

Last edited by Russell F on Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:43 pm

Always the contrarian, I use chain and bar oil for another purpose. I use it for way oil on machine tools. It will still be there the next time the tool is used. Both way oil and chain and bar oil need the stickyness (if there's such a word) to keep it in place.

chainsaw bar lube

Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:23 pm

Do you think it (bar oil) would work to lubricate a lathe center? :?: :idea: :idea: I am real good at smoking them... I tend to run them a little tight I guess...


Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:20 pm

Brian. Buy yourself a tube of "centerlube"...........

George. I use way-lube in the chain saw. Works good.......... :)

Jake. It's the bar you want to lubricate to prevent from over-heating and ware. The chain is cheaper to replace!
Last edited by Ron L on Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chainsaw bar lube

Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:23 pm

Thanks Ron! :)

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:13 am

Jake wrote:The chain needs to come off soon anyways and be sharpened

Jake: do you always take your chain off to sharpen it ?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:05 am

I used to use whatever oil I had handy. Now I only use bar oil. I came to find out that engine oil is way to thin. The problem is not so much with the chain but with the bar. I have seen sparks come off between the bar and chain in dry old trees. And thought wow thats a hard tree sparks are coming off the chain :!: The bar need good lube to last you need to check to see that the chain does not rock too much in the bar grove, that the chain does not bottom in the grove and the outside of the bar does not cup the bottom of the chain. I took my bar tool and flattened it so I can clean the bottom of the grove when I change blades. Always make sure the oil hole is clear in both the bar and chainsaw when putting it back together.

I haven't used a chainsaw file in fifteen years. I go to the woods with three chains and when they are done so am I. They last a loong time if you don't touch the dirt or cut wood that hasn't been drug through it. I will not use a chain if it is even slightly dull. It just builds heat and wastes time. Also check the bottom of the chain to see how much wear is on it. Back when I used whatever oil I found you can where off enought metal from the bottm of the chain to break it at the link pins.


Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:48 pm

actually knowone has ever showed me how to sharpen a chain with a file or whatnot. I dont think my dad knows how either. Before I moved out to the farm we were "tinners" and didnt use chain saws much, If we did we just borrowed them and returned them full of oil and gas. Im gonna have to find someone to show me how to sharpen them it would save me time and money. I was just gonna take a pile of chains I have to a old man down the road who has a "sharpening service" sign in his yard. Although my Uncle told me he's getting pretty old and his work a little sloppy. Guess I need to learn to sharpen on my own, how hard is it? I wouldnt mind trying on a few of my chains. I remember getting a file with my saw although I no longer know where it is, Im sure there cheap though :)

Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:08 pm

A couple of yrs ago I finally broke down and bought my own electric chain sharpener. What a good investment. I quickly discovered the chains that had been previuosly sharpened where grossly overdone and the reverse pitch would not have equal material removed. The shops are in such a hurry they just hog your chain to where only about 3 sharpening and its done. I've found you can sharpen a chain dozens of times if you take your time and remove only enough material to make it sharp again. Also the convinence allows me to always have a sharp chain. Most home units will cost between $130.00 and $150.00. I won't take a chain anywhere again.

Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:25 pm

There is a device you can obtain that will clamp onto your bar of the chain saw.You can set your angle for your chain.Set the file in it and you are away.You do not have to take the chain of the saw either, just tighen it up.Just re ajust your chain after you are done.Using any oil other than chain oil for a period of time,will burn the bar and wear it out very fast. 8) :) Bruce

Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:37 pm

I have been sharpening my chains for many years. I use a Dremel tool with the proper diameter sharpening stone. I don't use a jig or fixture to maintain the proper angle, I just "eyeball" it. The worst that can happen is that the cut starts running at an angle through the log. After a while, your accuracy improves. I only sharpen enough to give me a sharp edge. Most commmercial sharpeners don't care how much material is removed as long as the chain is sharpened. I have recently prepared 3-4 sharpened chains to cut up 2 felled trees. I always carry a file with me in case unforeseen problems dull my chains prematurely. I don't know if it is wise, but I have been thinking about using other lubricants, such as trans fluid, which I have a lot of, to lubricate the chain. What do you think? Larry

Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:40 pm

My grandmother bought a McCullough 130 back in the 1950s. My uncle used it for 30 years, then gave it to me because he couldn't easily get parts for it anymore. Seems there have been at least 2 more model 130 produced since that one. McC calls for 30W motor oil for the chain, it's cut hundreds of cords of firewood and now needs a new bar after all these years. I turned the bar over but it still is worn on one side and the center groove isn't deep enough to carry the chain.

The secret is to keep the chain/bar well oiled, no matter what the lube is. Dirt is your enemy. I wish someone would make carbide tip chain saw chains!