The oiler on your chainsaw is one of the most important parts. Lubrication is critical to keep your chain spinning smoothly around the bar. Today we will look at how exactly a chainsaw oiler works, and what you can do to enhance the performance of your chainsaw through lubrication.
Without proper lubrication, there will be too much friction between your chain and the bar, and this can cause a bunch of nasty issues. The bar can be damaged, the chain itself could also be damaged, and the engine will be badly affected because it has to work harder than necessary. Without lubrication, your chainsaw will inevitably cease to work.
To keep everything working smoothly, every chainsaw comes with an oiling system. These oiling systems are typically automatic and do not require much maintenance. So long as you use the proper oil and keep the chainsaw oiler fueled, you will never have any lubrication problems.
How Does a Chainsaw Oiler Work?
Every modern chainsaw uses an automatic oiling system. And they all work pretty much the same. First, chainsaw bar oil is deposited inside the oil reservoir. And while you definitely need to keep track of your oil levels inside the reservoir, most come with translucent view windows so that you can see when levels are getting low.
It is important to note that whether you have a gas chainsaw or an electric chainsaw, you are still going to be using an automatic oiling system. No matter what type of chainsaw you have, the chain needs to be lubricated. A good practice is to refill the oiler whenever you switch a battery or refuel the machine.
With the oiler fully filled with oil, It works all by itself. It either uses a fixed flowing system or an adjustable system. A fixed flowing system works by releasing lubrication onto the bar at a consistent rate. This means a constant supply of oil will always be sent onto the chain for the best possible lubrication.
An adjustable system is better, as you can adjust the flow rate of the oil by turning the convenient adjustment screw. This allows you to account for lots of different variables, such as temperature changes and different types of wood. If you really know your stuff when it comes to chainsaws, you definitely want an adjustable lubrication system.
The chainsaw oiler works when the throttle is engaged. When you pull the throttle on your chainsaw, it simultaneously engages both the oil pump and the motor. As you squeeze the throttle, a special drive engages the pump, thereby sending oil through the small port and onto the bar.
With oil squirting onto the bar, it is picked up by the chain as it spins. The chain then distributes the oil across the entire surface of the bar, keeping friction at a minimum so that it can spin quickly and efficiently. This is the key to being able to cut through wood – a smoothly spinning chain.
How to Keep Your Bar Properly Oiled
As you have learned, keeping your bar and chain properly oiled is extremely important. Even more important is using the proper lubrication. When it comes to what type of bar oil to use for your chainsaw, you should always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation, which you can easily find in the owner’s manual.
Chainsaw oils are typically designed to have a specific viscosity, ensuring that they are sticky and slippery to work effectively with your tool. While there are various types of oils you can use inside your oiling system, the manufacturer-recommended bar oil is always going to work the best.
If you choose not to listen to the manufacture and use your own oil, whether it be vegetable oil, canola oil, used hydraulic oil, or motor oil, there are a few things you need to consider for keeping your chainsaw working properly. If you use the wrong oil, it is almost just as bad as not using any oil at all.
Viscosity is the main point when discussing oils. When choosing an alternative oil for your chainsaw, the first thing you need to consider is what the weather is like outside. Cold temperatures will naturally thicken oil, while hot temperatures will naturally thin the oil out. For this reason, you can’t use very thin oil in the winter or very thick oil in the summer.
If you will be using any kind of motor oil, always make sure you use SAE 30 in the hot months and SAE 10 during the cold months. If you choose to use vegetable oil, know that because it is extremely thin, it should not be used in the winter. You can only use vegetable oil or canola oil in the summertime due to its viscosity.
How to Check Your Chain for Oil
Before you get to work, you should definitely make sure your chain is properly oiled. Just because the oil reservoir is full and the mechanism appears to be working, it does not mean you shouldn’t check to make sure the oil is actually on the chain.
To do this, you simply need to point your chainsaw tip at your work surface. Another great way is to hover your chainsaw above a white rag or piece of cloth. Then, run your chainsaw for a few seconds. You should see a thin line of oil sprayed over the surface of the rag or the wood, and this means the oiler is working just as it should.
Remember that whenever you finish a job, you should always check how much oil is left in the tank. You should also do some quick maintenance by double-checking the oil port to ensure there is no sawdust or other debris stuck inside. If there is any blockage, you can simply remove it with a dry rag or a pick. By taking proper care of your chainsaw oiler, your chain and bar will last much longer!