Chainsaw Bar Not Getting Oil: What To Do?

chainsaw bar not getting oilLet’s talk about the oiler on your chainsaw. Almost every modern chainsaw comes with an automatic oiling system. This is one of the most important systems on your chainsaw, as it brings oil to your guide bar. But what happens when the chainsaw bar is not getting oil?

When this happens, something is wrong and needs to be fixed. Your chainsaw bar not getting oil is extremely dangerous for your chainsaw’s engine and for your own safety. Without any oil at all, you will see a huge reduction in the performance of your chainsaw, an increase in danger to you, and permanent damage done to your engine.

Today we will look at how to fix a chainsaw oiler. If your bar is not getting oil, it almost certainly has to do with the automatic oiling system. There must be a clog or an obstruction that is blocking the oil from reaching its final destination, which is your guide bar!

Why is a Chainsaw Oiler Important?

A chainsaw oiler is extremely important because it lubricates the bar, which decreases the friction between the bar and the chain. The friction needs to be decreased between the bar and the chain because otherwise, your saw would not cut properly.

The whole reason a chainsaw can cut smoothly by using a spinning chain is that the chain spins fluidly around the guide bar. However, it cannot glide around the bar if there is no lubrication. Think of it like trying to slide down a slide at your local waterpark without any water. You wouldn’t get very far, and the same can be said about your chainsaw.

When the oiler is not working, there is not enough lubrication to keep the chain spinning. This results in a great deal of friction. All that friction is going to put stress on your engine. It could cause your chain to snap and lash back at you, which would definitely hurt a lot. Friction can also wear down the teeth on your chain so that they won’t cut anymore.

As you can see, your chainsaw oiler is extremely important. If you’ve noticed that your chainsaw is lacking sufficient oil, that your reservoir is full but there is absolutely no oil on your guide bar, you need to take a moment to fix the situation before you cause any permanent damage, either to yourself or to your chainsaw.

How to Check Your Chain for Oil

To know for sure if your bar is lagging the oil it needs, the first thing to do is check how much oil is actually on the bar. This is pretty difficult to do just by visually inspecting. You first need to make sure the oil reservoir is full, then you need to start your chainsaw and do a quick experiment.

This is best done with a white rag, but you can definitely do it against the side of a tree or overtop a tree stump. You want to hover your chainsaw just a few inches above your target, either the rag or the wood. Then you want to rev your engine for about 30 seconds while spinning the chain.

While the chain spins, it should be shooting tiny specks of oil off in a straight line. If after 30 seconds you see the white rag or the wood is completely dry, no line of oil, it means your bar is not being lubricated. It is time to sit down and fix the problem.

Fixing Your Chainsaw Oiler

Before we start fixing, you should know a bit about how the oiler works. Basically, oil travels from the reservoir through your chainsaw to a small opening on the bar. This is where the oil is squirted onto the bar according to the adjustable parameters of your chainsaw or the revving of the engine. No oil getting to the bar means there is a blockage somewhere in the line.

This is not that uncommon. After a lot of use, things tend to get clogged and plugged. This can happen for really no reason, and it is generally pretty easy to fix. You will first need to gain access to the chainsaw oiler. Most models will probably require you to remove the sprocket cover, the bar, and the chain.

However, some other models, particularly electric models, have the oiler attached onto the rear of the main housing. Some designs will make you separate the gear casing just to access the oiler, and others will make it a little bit easier. Whatever the case, you must get access to the oiler.

There could be sawdust and dirt inside the nozzle of the oiler, or it could even be broken. You won’t know until you get the chainsaw apart and take a look at the oiler. Remember to drain the oil first, as you won’t be able to see much when it is filled with oil.

Take a look at the bottom of the oil reservoir and at the nozzle. You will notice a blockage if one is there, and you will definitely see if the nozzle is broken. if there is a clog, you can almost always remove it just by using some thin picks and compressed air. If something is broken, you will need to replace the entire unit.

Chainsaw Bar Not Getting Oil: Final Thoughts

There is an alternative to taking apart your chainsaw. You can use some carburetor cleaner to flush out the system, and hopefully eat away whatever clog is preventing oil from reaching the bar. Think of it like cleaning out the pipes in your bathroom by pouring bleach down the drain. It works the same way.

If you have already run a cleaner through the system but it still is clogged, you could try shooting compressed air directly into the oiling system, and this might remove the clog. But if both these attempts don’t work, you will need to take apart the machine and see for yourself. It’s a bit of a hassle but shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Randy Peterson Cutter Life

Randy Peterson

Randy is a chainsaw enthusiast and an experienced lumberjack. He'll most likely be found cutting, chopping, and trimming trees, usually working with a wide variety of tools. Randy likes the outdoors and socializing with friends.