How to Use an Automatic Chainsaw Oiler

  • 0.5-1
  • Beginner
  • 250-500
What You'll Need
Chainsaw oil
What You'll Need
Chainsaw oil

Using an automatic chainsaw oiler is fairly simple business, so long as you know how it works. Maintenance is kept to a minimum , as most the work is done by the oiler itself, which is the entire reason they call it automatic. Below are steps to take care of your chainsaw automatic oiler, along with basic instruction on why it works the way it does.

Step 1: The Right Oil

Using the right oil in your chainsaw oiler is crucial to your chainsaw’s continued operation. Oil that is too thin will be flung right off with the high speed of the chain before it can adequately coat the chain and the bar. This can cause serious damage to your chainsaw, as friction from metal-to-metal contact between the chain and the bar is increased. The chainsaw will expend more energy than necessary to overcome this friction, which means less energy used for cutting and the chain could end up being damaged. Oil that is too thick can cause similar problems, especially in cold weather, because it is harder to pump out and will not be distributed properly.

10W-30 motor oil is common used, though oil made specifically as a chainsaw bar oiler is best, as it is formulated to best stick to the chain and bar.

Step 2: Refilling The Oil

The oil is contained in a chamber in your chainsaw. Most are easily accessible, but if anything more than an oil cap needs to be removed, you should consult your owner’s manual for proper oil refilling. It is a good idea to check the oil regularly, though most chainsaw oil pumps are designed so that the oil runs out at the same time as the gas. So be sure that the oil is checked at least as often as the gas level.

Step 3 – Operation

How the oil spreads is may differ slightly from chainsaw to chainsaw, but the principle is basically the same for all chainsaw oil pumps. Most chainsaws either use the crankshaft assembly (which rotates the chain) to also pump the oil, though some use a separate pump. In either case, oil is pumped up into a small “canal” behind a cover plate, which separates the canal from the bar. The canal guides the oil into a small hole in the bar. This hole leads up to a groove that goes all the way around the outer edge of the bar. This groove is where the chain rides around the bar.

So when the crankshaft turns, it operates the pump assembly to force oil into the canal, in the hole in the bar, and up into the bar’s groove. The movement of the chain then carries the oil all the way around the bar, properly lubricating both the bar and the chain, and reducing the damaging friction that comes from the high speed, metal to metal contact.

As you can see, using an automatic chainsaw oiler is a simple affair, provided plenty of oil is maintained in the oil reservoir within the chainsaw.