Best Chainsaw Bar Oil of 2020 – Top Picks Reviewed

Tool Tango is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

You may not even realize that your chainsaw is not operating at its full standard of performance until you properly lubricate it with chainsaw bar oil.

Oil makes a huge difference in your chain saw’s overall efficiency and power. Read on to learn more about the benefits of bar oil.

Comparison of the Best Chainsaw Bar Oil

Product

Our Rating

​Price

Husqvarna 610000023​

Best Overall

Oregon 54-026​

Runner-up

Makita 181116-A​

Best for the Money

Stihl 0781 516 5005​

Best Stihl Bar and Chain Oil

Echo 6459007​

Best Echo Chainsaw Bar Oil

What is Chainsaw Bar Oil?

Chainsaw bar oil is any substance that will lubricate your saw’s bar and chain. Without proper lubrication, the chain will eventually begin to encounter a ton of friction as it spins around the bar, which will then begin to wear away at both the bar and the chain.

There are some oils that are designed for saws with specific power systems, such as oils for gasoline saws, or oils that are designed for saws with larger bars. But no matter what, any oil is better for your saw than no oil.

What Can I Use for Chainsaw Bar Oil?

Do you really have to go with oil made specifically for saws, or could you get away with using other kinds of oil? Here are some of your other options:

Motor Oil

A lot of people assume that because chainsaws run on motors, you can use the same motor oil on a saw that you use for your car. This is not the best choice, however, particularly if you use old motor oil that has already been through your car engine. That oil likely contains tiny pieces of metal that could do serious damage to your saw.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is an awesome choice if you are working with live trees, like if you are doing pruning or limbing work. It is not petroleum based, so it will not do any damage to your living plants. But vegetable oil is not good in cold conditions – it will become too syrupy to use effectively.

​Canola Oil

Similar to vegetable oil, canola oil is great for preserving live vegetation. It does not have the same issue with colder temperatures as vegetable oil does, because it is naturally thinner. However, that natural thinness also means it flies off your saw’s bar more easily.

Quick Take: Best ​Chainsaw Bar Oils

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best chainsaw bar oil:

  1. Husqvarna 610000023​
  2. Oregon 54-026
  3. Makita 181116-A​

Review of the Best Chainsaw Bar Oil

So what is the best option for oiling up your saw? Here is our professionally reviewed list:

​Best Overall:
Husqvarna 610000023 Bar & Chain Oil

PROS

  • Works well in both high and low temperatures
  • Will extend the life of your bar, chain, and sprocket by reducing overall wear and tear
  • Reduces overall heat and friction, which will optimize your saw’s cutting performance
  • Huqvarna is a reputable manufacturer of power tools, so you can trust that they know what they are doing when it comes to taking care of your saw

CONS

  • ​Comes in a large quantity, so you will have to find a place to store it  

Our Review

This oil blends typical base stocks with additives that increase its tackiness, so it will adhere to your saw’s bar and chain and not be thrown off by high speed rotations.

It is a great option for people using saws with high powered motors and fast cutting speeds. It is compatible with all different kinds of chainsaws, not just Husqvarna products. And, it lasts a long time, so you will not always be needing to constantly re-oil your saw.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

One of the defining characteristics of this oil is that it is specifically made to be not based on petroleum. If you are sawing wood such as hickory, that you then want to use in your smoker to flavor your ribs for dinner, you do not want oil with petroleum to get all over your saw and then infuse those chemicals into your wood.  

Runner-up: 
Oregon 54 026 Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oil

PROS

  • Pours quickly and easily
  • Easy to grip and to carry around
  • Good viscosity to prevent leakage
  • Flows smoothly, will not clog up your saw
  • Good for saws intended for light pruning and limbing

CONS

  • Not intended for use on large trees
  • Some users report the oil felt thinner than they expected it to be

Our Review

This oil is highly recommended for your “secondary” chainsaw. If you keep a hefty saw around for storm work and huge jobs, but you have another saw in the back of your tool shed for limbing, pruning, and cutting smaller trees, this oil is for that second saw.

It is smooth and thin, making it easy to work with. It also has all the qualities of top notch bar and chain oil – preventing your saw from gumming up, preserving your saw’s parts, etc.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This oil is thinner than a lot of the other oils available on the market today. This quality makes it a great option for electric and cordless chainsaws, which typically have smaller motors and shorter bars, as thicker oil could more easily gunk up a compact, streamlined system.

​Best for the Money:
Makita 181116 A Bar and Chain Oil

PROS

CONS

  • Not all season oil, only intended to be used during warmer weather

Our Review

This oil works great with a variety of different saws, including models that are powered by gas and those that are powered by electricity and batteries.

It is marketed as specifically being designed for Makita saws, so if you are working with a Makita model, you may be more drawn to this oil, but do not worry if you don’t work with Makitas – there is nothing preventing this oil from competently lubing up all saw brands.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

What caught our eye immediately about this product was the price tag – but in the opposite way from what we were expecting! With the reliable Makita brand name on this oil, we thought it was going to be ridiculously expensive, but it is actually quite cheap. You do not want to miss out on this steal of a deal!

​Best Stihl Bar and Chain Oil:​
Stihl 0781 516 5005 Platinum Bar and Chain Lubricant

PROS

  • Great for cutting hardwoods
  • Coats all moving parts of a blade
  • Can be used for both newer and older saws
  • Does not break down easily in heat, so will last for a long time

CONS

  • If you buy it in small quantities, it can get really expensive really quickly
  • On the stickier side, so if you apply too much, it may attract sawdust and other dust particles

Our Review

Users report that this is the top recommended oil for use with saws with longer bars, particularly saws with bar lengths between twenty five and thirty inches.

If you are trying to gear your huge saw up for a massive job, this is the oil you are going to want to go with. Plus, it works great with lubricating saws that are cutting harder woods. It coats all moving parts of a saw blade to provide enhanced protection.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This oil has additional ingredients, beyond the usual recipe of oil components, that differentiate it from other saw oils on the market and make it more tacky, for better chain lubrication. These additives also make it a great option for an all season oil, that can be used in both warmer months and during colder spells.

​Best Echo Chainsaw Bar Oil:​
Echo 6459007 Power Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oil

PROS

  • Minimizes build up
  • ​Thick but not overly sticky
  • Echo provides good customer service
  • ​Great at reducing friction while cutting

CONS

  • ​Some customers don't like the ​viscosity

Our Review

This oil can do it all – it will remain sticky in hotter temperatures, making sure it stays on your saw blade, but it will still flow freely even in colder conditions, ensuring your saw does not get backed up.

Users report using it on a variety of different saw brands beyond just Echo saws, including saws from both Husqvarna and Poulan Pro. It is especially great when used with two stroke chainsaw engines, which can be a little complicated to maintain.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Echo’s bar and chain oil is a fantastic quality for the price. It is a little on the thicker side, but it will excellently lubricate your chain while cutting. While we recommend this oil mostly for larger chainsaws, such as a 16-inch chainsaw or an 18-inch chainsaw, it works on small chainsaws as well. Backed up by Echo’s great customer service, you can’t go wrong with this bar and chain oil.

Chainsaw Bar Oil Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Success

Here's what you need to know when it comes to bar oil: 

Figuring Out Oil Weight

If you have browsed through saw oils at all, you will see that many of them have weights listed. Why is the weight of your oil important? Oil weight will impact how well your oil will work under certain temperature conditions.

You can figure out whether or not your oil weight is sufficient by holding your saw about eight inches away from a white rag, and revving it for a minute. If your oil weight is good for the current temperature, a line will form on the rag.

Time to Refill

How do you know when your saw needs more oil? A good warning sign is that it is consuming a LOT more fuel than usual, which means the friction between the bar and the chain is increasing. That situation typically means it is time to restock.

How and When to Use Chainsaw Bar Oil

​The gold standard for gasoline powered chainsaws is to use about one full tank of bar and chain oil for one full tank of gasoline – that way, whenever you run out of gas and need to refill, you can also conveniently refill your bar and chain oil at the same time.

  1. ​Set your saw on a level surface.

  2. ​Unscrew the cap on the oil tank.

  3. ​Use a funnel to pour the oil into the reservoir (it is probably a good idea to wear gloves to prevent messy, slippery hands – not ideal for working with chainsaws!).

  4. ​Make sure not to overfill.

  5. ​Screw the cap back on.

  6. ​Take a minute to wipe off any excess oil that may have collected around the oil tank – again, the last thing you want is a slippery saw.

Conclusion

When it comes to taking the absolute best care of your saw, you really can’t go wrong with a high quality bar oil. It will boost your saw’s power and efficiency to previously unheard of levels. And we guarantee that the best options for saw oil are right here on this list.

People Also Ask

Here are answer to some of your lingering questions regarding oil:

What Weight is Chainsaw Bar Oil?

Oil weight is measured relative to the temperature conditions, and it changes when the seasons changes. You should look for an oil with at least a 10W weight designation for use in the winter months, and a 30W weight designation for summer cutting.

How Much Bar Oil Should a Chainsaw Use?

The standard to go by is a fifty to one fuel mix ratio – which in layman’s terms means that your oil should be 2% of your fuel amount. If you are operating with a liter of gasoline, you should also be operating with twenty milliliters of oil.

Are There Any Chainsaw Bar Oil Substitutes?

As we mentioned above, you can get away with using substitutes like motor oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. But if you really want to maximize the life of your saw, there is no option better than bar oil.

Should I Worry About Chainsaw Bar Oil Viscosity?

Yes. Viscosity can make a big difference. If an oil becomes more viscous under colder conditions, it will be extremely difficult to pour and will not lube your saw up properly. On the other hand, if it is not viscous enough, it will not adhere to your saw.