What oil is right for a chainsaw?. The consequences of unjustified economy

Oil for chainsaw: what kind of oil to fill, in what ratio with gasoline, which one for chains, and which one for the stars

Gasoline and chain and engine oils for chain saws play a major role in the stable running of a chainsaw. Their quality and properties influence the durability of the saw’s main working mechanisms, that’s why special attention has to be paid to the choice of fuel and lubricants. Regular use of quality lubricants and fuel is the key to long chain saw life without unexpected malfunctions.

During the choice of a suitable fuel, each owner of the tool should be guided by the brand and country of manufacture available in the farm model. Old home-made saws called Ural and Druzhba are best fueled with AI-80 gasoline. It contains precisely those additives that are required for stable operation of unpretentious domestic engines. modern domestic models are designed to run on 92 gasoline.

Things are a little different with imported chainsaws. Motors of all these models are designed for a more forgiving fuel, so German, Swedish, American and Japanese chainsaws need to be filled exclusively with gasoline, AI-92 brand.

The condition of the gasoline plays an important role in the choice of fuel. Many novice gardeners believe that the fuel tank of the saw can be filled with fuel that has been in the canister for a long time. Some believe that the tool is already working in conditions of constant dust, and that is why the carburetor manufacturers have provided a special air compensator, which is triggered when the air filter is worn.

This opinion is fundamentally wrong. As a result of a long stay in the canister gasoline loses its main properties, and its composition, depending on the material of the canister, is replenished by molecules of plastic or metal rust.

Due to staying in the canister for a long time, gasoline begins to lose its vapors, which is what ignites when starting a chainsaw. It is because of this that gardeners face a number of typical problems, which include:

To prevent this, you should regularly use only fresh fuel from trusted fuel stations. It’s best to buy 2-3 liters of gasoline every morning before starting work in the garden. Using fresh gasoline will make it easier to start your chainsaw, and greatly extend its life.

Rating of the best chainsaw oils

Nomination place product name price
The best chain oils for chainsaws 1 STIHL Forest Plus 299 ₽
2 Oregon 90844S 448 ₽
The best motor oils for chainsaws 1 STIHL HP Ultra 180 ₽
2 Husqvarna HP 2 680 ₽
3 Oregon 90720S 489 ₽
4 Hammerflex 501-004 319 ₽

The chainsaw chain slides on the bar by means of a sprocket and a groove into which the legs of the cutter bar links fit. Friction causes the tooling to heat up and expand, resulting in slippage and loss of performance. Sawdust and resin from wood also slows down turning. To keep the chainsaw chain running smoothly, there are oils poured into a special container in the tool. From there it flows to the saw bar as a drip during the whole process. Operator sets oil flow by means of special valve. The product protects the sprocket and cutting elements against corrosion during storage.

STIHL Forest Plus

First place in the ranking of chain oils is occupied by the product of the German company. The product is mineral-based and made directly in Germany. The oil is available in 1, 5 or 20-litre containers and is therefore ideal for purchasing on a volume basis. The last two containers already have a complete carrying handle. If the saw blade is properly treated, it can be stored for an unlimited period without tarring and is immediately ready for use.

This oil was added to the rating by experts as the best wood tar protection for chainsaws. Lubricant is highly resistant to adhesion and will not slow down the sawing process, even with frequent work with conifers, as well as garden plants that release large amounts of resin on the trunks. The tool can work freely after long downtimes. German quality is always top notch and has only positive reviews, but its cost remains relatively high.


  • Fits all types of chains and bars;
  • Packaged in a variety of containers;
  • comfortable handles for carrying the canister;
  • reduces wear and tear;
  • effective protection against tar.


  • thickens at temperatures below freezing.15 degrees;
  • relatively high cost;
  • wide neck makes it awkward to pour directly into chainsaw reservoir.

Oregon 90844S

This product is also based on mineral oils, which also ranks second in the rating. The manufacturer has managed to maintain a constant viscosity of the lubricant, so it can be used even in cold weather.20 degrees. The oil slows wear and tear considerably and is easy to clean in solvent if needed. UK-developed product designed to work with all chainsaws. The instructions allow you to fill the tank with oil even if it contains a previous mineral-based fluid. In addition to its lubricating effect, the oil also serves a cooling function, effectively taking the temperature away from the metal.

Our experts have rated the oil as the best for retaining viscosity at high RPM. The producer managed to achieve such an effect by using additional additives. Thanks to this property, the oil stays on the saw-blade and does not splash around, which is what the chain saw’s owners like in their reviews. Reduced volatility and viscosity for economic consumption.


  • does not smoke even when heated up to 240 degrees;
  • An ergonomic bottle convenient for filling the chain saw;
  • there is no pungent odor;
  • Contains a set of additives to prevent freezing and maintain viscosity;
  • will not corrode gaskets or plastics of the chainsaw.

What oil to pour into the chainsaw tank to lubricate the chain

Now let’s see, what kind of oil to use to lubricate the chain of a chainsaw. Without this material, the tool would fail in the first hours of operation, because the lubricant reduces the friction force between the bar and the links, and also cools these elements. You should lubricate the chain with special lubricants, also available at any specialty tool store.

Chain oil for chainsaws by origin is synthetic and mineral. Mineral materials are better to fill in the tank if you work in the summertime. It lubricates all parts and penetrates into the smallest fittings. However, its disadvantage is freezing at low temperatures, so in winter it is better to use synthetics.

If you do not want to control the pouring of oils of different types, then buy semi-synthetics, which are designed to work at temperatures from.30 to 25. When using the tool it is important to check that the lubricant is supplied to the cutting set. The oil pump can fail, causing the temperature of the chain and bar to rise. If the chain gets too hot, it can break while you are working.

Choosing chain saw oil is a kind of dark forest for most chain saw operators, but it’s actually quite simple. Choose only quality materials from well-known manufacturers, such as STIHL, Husqvarna. When buying branded oils, you can not doubt their quality, but their main disadvantage is the high price. If you need to buy something cheaper, there are many not so famous companies, but which also produce quality oil products at an affordable price.

A comparative review of STIHL motor oils

There is very little difference between brand name oils of the same type in their composition and their specifications, therefore we would like to give you a quick overview on the characteristics of the three popular STIHL motor oils.

  • STIHL HP motor oil. the best value and performance choice. Its formulation is intended for use in performance saws of semi-professional and professional class. The composition does not produce soot or toxic compounds when burned, does not destroy gaskets and is more resistant to high and extreme loads.
  • STIHL HP Super. the classic low-ash semi-synthetic that meets the needs of highly demanding users.
  • STIHL HP Ultra, a pure synthetic, can be considered a true all-rounder thanks to its high resistance to extreme temperatures and to heavy loads. Excellent material for use in heavy-duty engines of professional chainsaws.

How Does Engine Oil Effect Fuel Economy (made with Spreaker)

Why do I have to dilute the lubricant?

At the very beginning it is necessary to understand the reason for diluting the fuel. The mixture used for the chainsaw is diluted primarily to prolong the life of its owner. The instructions for it strictly prohibit the operation without dilution of gasoline.

The basis of the chainsaw motor is a piston internal combustion engine. It consists only of a cylinder, so it has no additional systems for lubricating parts. The mixture enters and settles and lubricates the piston rings and walls. In tools such as chainsaws, oil with gasoline acts as a one-of-a-kind lubricant. The mixture extends the functioning life of all parts.

It also contains additives that are useful for engine operation. Has antioxidant, preservative and other properties, which are also useful for the engine and its parts.

What oil to lubricate the chain of a chainsaw

It is important to choose the correct chain oil. It is not a good idea to use motor oil for chain lubrication. This is due to other technical characteristics of fluids. When considering which chain oil to use to lubricate a chainsaw chain, brand name products are to be preferred because the manufacturer has provided them with a high degree of adhesion. This allows for a long time to be held on the metal surface during fast and intense movement.

For the Bosch electric saw

Echo PREMIUM BC has been proven in both petrol and electric chainsaws by modern manufacturers, including Bosch. Its parameters significantly exceed established ISO-LEGD and JASO M345/FD standards. This allows you to achieve positive results:

  • it keeps the moving surface perfectly clean;
  • Reduces clogging of the technological holes;
  • provides protection against corrosive effects;
  • the tool wear and tear is reduced, etc.

Price for a 3.78 liter capacity is 1170

Price peculiarities of the offered ranges

High-priced European chain oils are recommended for professional chainsaws that operate in harsh and extreme conditions.

Oil flows in the chainsaw REPAIR Chinese assembly

Domestic chain oils for the most part are produced with imported raw materials, additives and modern technologies.

By quality and performance characteristics the Russian products are not inferior to similar products of European brands but they are considerably cheaper.

Chinese medium-class chainsaws are inferior to their European counterparts in durability and service life. This imbalance is partially eliminated by the use of manufacturer-recommended chain oils developed by Chinese specialists.


By assurance of consumable component suppliers, the presence of special additives in Chinese chain oils has a positive effect on the performance of regular bars and saw chains, and chainsaw equipment in general.


This only applies to big companies’ products. The advantages of small private chain oils have not been proven in practice.

Problems and solutions

Knowing what kind of chain saw oil is needed avoids the following series of typical problems:

Note! Often the information about what oil to pour in a chainsaw does not always save from the above-described malfunctions. The problem can hide in a clogged oil supply artery. Blowing or cleaning the channel or changing the internal oil filter can remedy the situation.

No oil in the chain, what are the causes?

It is not always possible to immediately see when you are working that there is no chain oil in the chain saw. Signs of no lubrication:

  • the level in the tank does not go down;
  • Cutting is difficult, accompanied by a burning wood smell;
  • There are no oil droplets coming off the tip of the chain saw bar.

Having detected a malfunction in the oil system you need to determine the cause. There are few of them. clogging, hose breakage or oil pump failure.

Dirt and swarf usually clog up the oil supply line. Blowing through with air or wiping it with a fine wire is often enough to straighten the problem. The oil tank has its own internal filter. With normal oil clogging is unlikely, but with used oil it’s quite possible. You have to clean it.

The oil hose can get damaged or torn completely. It is possible to seal the damaged place temporarily, but it is more reliable to replace it with a new one.

And the most serious problem is the oil pump failure. The causes can be different. the worm gear teeth are worn out, the plunger is jammed and others. It won’t be easy to remove the pump and replace the damaged part by yourself. It is easier and more reliable to apply to a service center.