Chainsaw Oil Essentials

Can You Use Motor Oil For Chainsaw Bar Oil? [2024]

If you’ve ever found yourself squinting at the almost empty bottle of chainsaw bar oil and wondering if that of motor oil in the garage could do the trick.

 It’s a common question that hovers in the minds of many chainsaw users, Can I Use Motor Oil For Chainsaw Bar Oil?

 While motor oil might seem like a quick fix for a dry chainsaw bar and chain, it’s not the wisest choice. Motor oil, particularly the used kind, is a misfit for chainsaw lubrication—it’s about as helpful as putting diesel in a gasoline engine. The wrong viscosity and the debris it carries can turn your cutting time into a costly repair session. 

Stick around as we dive deep into the world of chainsaw maintenance and why the right oil makes all the difference.

Can You Use Motor Oil For Chainsaw Bar Oil?


Yes, you can replace motor oil for lubrication needs. However, doing so is not advised and should only be done briefly. For chainsaw motors, never use motor oil. Chainsaw lubrication can occasionally be replaced with motor oil. 

Using motor oil on spinning blades and at high velocities means flipping oil everywhere while working. You don’t want to spill it over your workspace. SAE does not grade chain saw bar and chain oil like conventional car motor oil. Instead, manufacturers suggest using summer and winter weights. 

Reminders Regarding Motor Oil Safety

When cutting live trees, be prepared for harmful engine oils to spill everywhere. Because motor oil is synthetic, it can harm those who breathe it in at work. Always shield your nose and wear safety gear, like a mask and sunglasses. You can prevent the harmful oil from getting into your eyes or mouth in this manner.

Read: Is Chainsaw Oil Bad For Environment?

The fact that using motor oil harms the ecosystem is another issue. For the local ecosystem, spraying oil all over the nearby trees and flora can be problematic. But if you don’t have any normal bar oil on hand, you can use motor oil to prevent your chainsaw from burning. Use SAE30 motor oil when it’s hot outside and SAE10 when it’s cold outside.

Can I Use 2 Stroke Oil For Chainsaw Bar Oil?


Chainsaw oil can be made from 2-stroke oil, an excellent alternative. Because some of these 2 stroke lubricants are inappropriate for the chainsaw’s engine, not all can use them for chainsaws. As a result, it can harm the engine, and you might suffer dearly for a small error.

Let me list some 2 stroke lubricants that are suitable for chainsaws. It varies on the engine type. You must first determine whether the chainsaw motor is air-cooled or water-cooled. You can use 2-stroke oil appropriate for air-cooled engines since most chainsaw engines are air-cooled.

You should study your chainsaw’s specifications to choose what works best for it. A decent, high-quality oil is preferable to a cheap, low-quality one, which is something to keep in mind. Oil is necessary for a chainsaw and serves as its equivalent of sustenance. Therefore, if it is of poor quality, it will harm your chainsaw, especially the motor.

Can I Use 10w30 For Chainsaw Bar Oil?

10W30 oil can be used as bar oil, but there are better choices. You can use it in place of it. Because 10W30 oil is multi-weight, it can be used in winter and summer. 10W30 oil can be used in both seasons because it thickens when it warms and thins when it gets chilly. 

However, you might run into some issues because the blade might fall, making it challenging to deal with. Because there are better choices than the oil for the bar, there will undoubtedly be issues when using substitutes.

Can I Use 10w40 For Chainsaw Bar Oil?

It can be used, but there are better choices for bar oil. Both 10W30 and 10W40 motor lubricants can be used as a substitute for chainsaw bar oil. It is never an acceptable or ideal choice.

Vegetable oil is an excellent choice for substitutions. However, the version designed for a chainsaw bar is the best choice. Remember that these substitutes are only for the chainsaw blade, not the engine.

Can You Use Vegetable Oil On The Chainsaw?

Unexpectedly, the answer is yes, you can use vegetable oil with a chainsaw. Because it has the appropriate thickness and can withstand high temperatures, you can use it for your chainsaw. In contrast, vegetable oil is not derived from petroleum and is more ecologically friendly than other petroleum-based oils. 

You could use it to replace your bar and chain oil. Because of this, those who care more about the environment should consider it a better choice.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I substitute motor oil for chainsaw bar oil?

It’s possible to use motor oil as a temporary substitute, but it’s not recommended as a long-term solution because it’s not as tacky and may not adhere to the chain as well.

Can you use old engine oil for chainsaw bar oil?

Using old engine oil is not advisable as it can contain contaminants that may damage the chainsaw bar and chain.

What can I substitute for chainsaw bar oil?

In emergency situations, vegetable oil or motor oil can be used, but they are not ideal substitutes for proper chainsaw bar oil.

What is the difference between chainsaw bar oil and engine oil?

Chainsaw bar oil is designed to stick to the chain better and resist flinging off, while engine oil is designed to protect and lubricate moving engine parts.

Can you use gear oil for chainsaw bar oil?

Gear oil can be used but it might be too thick; it’s better to use the proper chainsaw bar oil for optimal performance and protection.

Is it ok to use motor oil for chainsaw bar oil?

It’s okay for short-term use, but motor oil isn’t designed for the high-friction environment of a chainsaw bar and chain.

over to you!

  • Motor oil is not the ideal substitute for chainsaw bar oil due to viscosity and lubrication differences.
  • Specialized chainsaw bar oil is designed for the specific needs of chainsaw bars and chains.
  • Using motor oil can lead to increased wear, potential damage, and safety hazards.
  • In emergencies, vegetable oil or specific motor oils like SAE30 or SAE10 may be used with caution, but they are not optimal.