How To Apply Lubricant To Your Chain Saw

Keeping your chain saw well lubricated is crucial for proper use. If it isn’t lubricated, heat will build up from friction and damage the saw. You will also have problems with it running through gas quicker and the chain won’t turn as fast, since it will take more power and effort to keep the chain moving. Below are a few basic steps to keep any chain saw well lubricated and ready to go.

Self-Lubricating Saws

The majority of chain saws will have a means of lubricating the chain saw blade and guide bar on its own during operation. To understand how this works, a mild understanding of the inner workings of the chain saw parts is in order.

There is an oil reservoir in the housing from which oil is pumped out using the same crankshaft assembly that rotates the chain saw blade. Oil is pumped into a small canal, which is separated from the guide bar by a cover plate. Oil flows through this canal to a small hole in the guide bar, from which it flows up through the inside of the guide bar to a groove. This groove runs around the entire outer edge of the guide bar, and is where the chain sits (the chain is guided by this groove). Thus, both the guide bar and the chain are lubricated by the chain saw itself.

Often the oil in the reservoir is refilled by simply removing an oil cap on the outside of the chain saw’s housing, though some models may be different. If the means of refilling the oil isn’t apparent at a glance, be sure to consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to refill the lubricant.

Lubricating the Sprocket

Some chain saws, especially the larger ones, will have a sprocket on the nose (the far end) of the guide bar to help the chain rotate more efficiently and with less friction. For chain saws with a sprocket, those sprockets need to be lubricated independently of the rest of the chain saw. Luckily, lubricating them is almost as simple as refilling the oil in the oil reservoir of your chain saw.

In order to grease the sprocket, you will need a grease gun designed specifically for a chain saw. A chain saw grease gun is designed with a small, piercing tip and is pumped by pushing on the end of the grease gun. Locate the small grease hole on the end of your guide bar. Place the tip of the grease gun into it, and push on the other end of the grease gun. Continue pumping until small amounts of grease appear around the edges of the hole. It should only take 2 or 3 pumps at the most.

When to Lubricate Your Saw

For the most part, self-lubricating chain saws are designed to run out of oil right about the same time it needs more gas. So whenever refueling your chain saw, be sure to at least check the oil level of your chain saw and refill accordingly. Regardless of how low you think the lubricant is around the sprocket on the end (if your chain saw has one), you should always refill the sprocket lubricant every time you refuel the chain saw.