How to oil a chainsaw chain

How to oil a chainsaw chain
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Need to know how to oil a chainsaw chain? We've broken down everything you need to know in an easy step-by-step, so you can get your chainsaw back into action as quickly as possible. 

But why do chainsaws need regular oiling? All chainsaws have a pump or oiler built into them that is constantly lubricating the chain with oil. This keeps the chain moving smoothly round the bar without any friction. However, even the best chainsaws (opens in new tab) may require you to know how to oil a chainsaw chain if you’re experiencing problems with the oiler. Here’s what to do.

How to oil a chainsaw chain

1. Know when your chain needs urgent oiling

Before we give you advice on how to oil a chainsaw chain, you need to know how to identify if your chainsaw is suffering from lack of oiling. Key signs your chain needs oiling will be it causing friction on the bar, overheating and potentially even smoking. 

2. Check the chain for oil spray

Check if the oil is reaching the chain by running the chainsaw at full throttle and holding it near to a clean surface. If the chain splatters the surface with a light spray of oil, then the chain is being supplied with oil. If not, then you may have a supply problem with the oil line or there may not be enough oil in the reservoir to supply the chain.

3. Check the oiler line

Open up the chainsaw casing to see the chain oil reservoir and lines. Check the lines for any cracking or splitting and any visible leaking. If this is present then you may need to have the lines replaced. If not, then fill the reservoir with oil.

Step 4. Oil the chainsaw

Fill the chain oil reservoir with specific chainsaw chain oil. This should then run through the oiler line and lubricate the chain automatically.

Nick Greenway is an expert on using chainsaw, especially in the felling and processing of firewood. He runs www.firewood-for-life.com (opens in new tab) where he gives tips on everything firewood related, including machinery maintenance. He advises that, "you should fill up the oil reservoir every time you fill up your saw with gas. I always like to fill up the oil first, before filling up the gas, that way I never forget to add bar oil to the saw.”

Now you know how to oil a chainsaw chain, make sure to regularly do it to ensure that your chainsaw is properly looked after and lasts its full lifetime. 

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Tanisha Fletcher

Tanisha started her career in commercial retail buying for one of Amazon UK’s Top 10 revenue grossing online homeware retailers. Years spent obsessing over homeware products made it an easy career switch to writing about them. Her freelance career has seen her craft customer-focused web content for brands big and small, as well as writing articles in the health, lifestyle, home and retail sectors.

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