The 4 Best Chainsaw Bar Oils – Chainsaw Lube Reviews 2024

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Photo by Dennis van Zuijlekom / CC BY

When it comes to chainsaws, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. While they’re hardy, powerful tools they also require quite a bit of maintenance from sharpening to oiling. The latter of these is one of the most important parts of the process, and picking the right oil can mean the difference between a battered, chipped chain and one that keeps performing for an extended period.

You can’t just dump car motor oiler into one and hope for the best. The ideal bar oil will actually depend on what you’re doing and where you’re doing it. This can vary between weather conditions, cutting frequency, and temperature which means that the right choice of oil is absolutely imperative to ensuring the smooth and easy operation of your tool.

Below are our recommendations for the 4 best chainsaw bar oils on the market. Take a look!

Poulan Pro 952030203 Bar and Chain Oil – 1 Quart

Poulan Pro makes a great bar oil which will help keep rust off of your chain and keep the temperature running smooth while you’re cutting for extended periods. This particular oil is designed for the logging industry, so you know it’s tough and can be expected to perform for long periods. It’s free-flowing at normal temperatures, which means it may get a bit too runny if you’re cutting in the heat but it’s sure to work well in the cold or more temperate climates.

Maxpower 337045 1-Gallon Bar and Chain Oil

Maxpower produces a fantastic petroleum based oil. While it’s not as environmentally sound as the green option, it’s still a great oil and contains a lot of anti-corrosive additives which are sure to help keep your blade from getting rusted. It’s quite sticky and will coat the blade without throwing oil all over your goggles and arms. This is quite a boon, especially for those of us working around the house where the thrown off oil risks getting on our possessions and ruining our clothing while we do something simple like chopping firewood.

NV Earth Biodegradable Bar & Chain Oil

If you find yourself cutting around water, it’s actually a good idea to use a “green” oil to avoid spilling petroleum products in naturally occurring bodies. This biodegradable oil is ideal for these applications. One thing you’ll have to keep in mind when you’re planning on adding it, however, is that mixing it with the existing, petroleum-based oil in your saw can lead to “gunking” up so either use up what you have or carefully empty the existing supply before you add it. But if you can keep this limitation in mind, you’ve got yourself one of the best chainsaw bar oils there are.

Mag 1 Bar and Chain Oil, 1 gal

Sometimes you just need to get some light work done without much fuss, and this generic oil is a great idea if you’re trying to save some cash. It’s a bit thin and lacks the additives of some of the more expensive brands but if you’re just looking for something to keep everything smooth while you cut down a couple of branches in the yard you’re in good hands. Being one of the least expensive oils on the market, it earns our title of the best chainsaw bar oil for the money.

Picking the Best Chainsaw Oil for You

If all of this seems like it’s a bit much, then just pick the Poulan Pro (see full specs) from above. It’s effective, high-quality, and suitable for almost any usage. If you’re looking for the perfect oil, however, then let’s discuss some of the properties which make the difference between these similar products.

The first thing to think about is the thickness of the oil. Thicker oils will stay on the chain better, but they can also collect debris and sap which will slow down the cutting power of your blade a good deal. The temperature factors in heavily here, any oil will perform differently at varying extremes of the thermometer with colder weather making oils thicker and warmer thinning them out.

For cold weather, pick something that runs fairly freely at room temperature. This will allow it to thicken up and stay on the blade, without becoming overly thick and clogging the chain up. At higher temperatures, a thicker oil is ideal to keep it on the chain and not just sending it all over.

The second factor to take into account is where you’re cutting. If you’re near natural bodies of water, or even a pond in your backyard, go with a green oil like the NV Earth Biodegradable Oil (see full specs) to be responsible. Petroleum based oils are the gold standard, but green oils don’t kill wildlife and destroy water quality upon exposure to the environment.

Thicker oils can also be better if you have a small yard. You’d be surprised at how much “sling” even a good quality oil can have once the saw gets going. Remember to always use goggles and other safety equipment like chainsaw chaps. In addition to keeping yourself safe, they’ll help you avoid any oil that gets “misplaced” during your job and might save you from having to get a bunch of muck off of yourself in the shower.

Lastly, remember that you’ll still need to perform regular maintenance no matter what oil you use. A good oil can keep a chain going for a long time, but if you use a sharpener and make sure the blade is oiled after you’ve cleaned it, you’ll get a much longer lifespan out of the blade. This is especially important for those of us who use our saws a good deal.

A good oil doesn’t just make things easier, in the long run it will make things cheaper for you. By picking out the best chainsaw bar oil for your own applications, you’ll be able to save wear and tear on your equipment which will extend the life of both your chain and your saw by quite a bit. Good luck!

  • Founder of Mechanical Caveman, Beau is an unrepentant tool enthusiast and, sporting deadlift-callused hands and an incongruous beer belly, all-around macho guy. When he doesn’t know re tools, he consults with his handyman and car-repairman buds to give you well-reasoned and cutting-edge info.

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