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Chainsaw oil

 
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I,ve been using vegetable oil as a chain lube for 2 years now, next i,m going to experiment with filtered frying oil, it appears to work very well and is very cheap, anyone else do this ?.
 
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I use colza (rape) oil only for the chain oil. If you buy biological chain oil it is at minimum about 2 €/l. If you read the label careful or/and check online it is 98%* colza oil. Presuming the colza oil inside bio chain oil isn't biological grown at all, but just biological degradable, expensive. If there is an colza oil (kitchen) offer about 1 €/l (local supermarket) I buy some.

*The rest are some additives to keep the oil from clumping, though if you use the chainsaw frequently that won't happen. To store it longer clean the chain a bit and apply a bit casual oil spray.
 
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Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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My experience is, ...I heat with wood. I sell firewood. I clear woods. I do commercial tree removal. I run a sawmill. I have had a lot of chain saws. And any oil will work. Dirty oil. thick oil. Thin oil. Hydraulic oil. Any oil. In a pinch, in the woods, any lubricant is better than nothing. But that isn't really the right question. The real question is which oil keeps the saw working with the least strain and working properly longest. Chains and bars wear out faster if not properly lubricated. And to prevent that, in my years of experience with many saws and hundreds of chains, is that the manufacturer recommended oil is best. Saw makers are in the business of making and selling saws. Tree guys talk. If one brand of saw cuts faster and lasts longer than another brand, tree guys will go with the better saw. Part of making the most efficient saw is the oil used. No manufacturer is going to recommend any oil that doesn't give top performance. In the long run, saving on the oil, which is the least expensive component of using a saw, is a false economy.
 
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Location: Ohio 5b6a
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We heat with wood too.  I can turn up the amount of oil sprayed from my commercial brand saw.  Like Jim, we typically use name brand oil because the oil is the cheapest part.  I can easily use a half gallon of oil on a Saturday.  I will use vegetable oil when working around water and swamps, because I dislike seeing rainbows in the water.  Now in my opinion the weekend style saw that will only run for 25 hours till it's burnt up is a different story. It doesn't mater what oil you use, because the bar will last longer than the engine.  For instance a new box store saw will only last me at most a month before I twist the crank off or the engine bore wears out.  My oldest commercial saw I retired last year was born in 1981, and wore out 3 bars using name brand oil most of the time.  The best advice to keeping a saw in the best shape that I have, is keeping a good sharp chain.
 
Mike Homest
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Interesting stuff, in many European countries biological chain-oil and sometimes special ecological fuel are mandatory if working in a forest with a chainsaw. We use as written simple kitchen colza oil, as this seems the cheapest which is biological degradable.

Much of groundwater is going through forests. Even a rather small country like Switzerland uses 800-1000 tons/yearly chain-oil. Usually a chain-saw bar lasts about 4 chains, no matter what oil used.

Indeed the most important about a chainsaw is to learn how to keep it sharp, using the right (diameter) file with a guide suited for the task. Those electrical grinder for it are nice for some tasks but generally tend to take away to much material, thus the chain will last shorter.
 
pollinator
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Christopher wrote: I will use vegetable oil when working around water and swamps, because I dislike seeing rainbows in the water.  



I think this is the question I have(as a casual user who will probably "burn out the engine long before needing a new bar," sadly):

Which readily available, biological oil works best, so as to be relatively cheap enough and not cause pollution issues?   Canola/rapeseed/colza oil? or unspecified vegetable oil? Corn oil, mineral oil, soybean oil, palm oil? Where is the line drawn?

I assume I can disregard coconut oil and lard, as their congealing temp is too low.
 
Malcolm Thomas
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Thanks for the posts people . Well they wanted 5 to 7 euros a  a litre for chain oil and i also did not want to chuck oil with additives on the soil , i then went to el cheapo engine oil and then thought about vege oil, i take the point about manufacturers recommendations but i dont know . So far its working ok , i file my chain sharp and thats it , and when i clean it i tear it down and wash it with either oven cleaner , washing up liquid or washing powder and a 1 inch paint brush in warm water and the crud just falls off.
OK i,m using some cleaners with chemicals yes but chucking engine oil on the land just got me to thinking .
I use a small husqvarna and just to say the brake mechanism bar is not the best design .
 
Mike Homest
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Malcolm Thomas wrote:Thanks for the posts people . Well they wanted 5 to 7 euros a  a litre for chain oil and i also did not want to chuck oil with additives on the soil , i then went to el cheapo engine oil and then thought about vege oil, i take the point about manufacturers recommendations but i dont know . So far its working ok , i file my chain sharp and thats it , and when i clean it i tear it down and wash it with either oven cleaner , washing up liquid or washing powder and a 1 inch paint brush in warm water and the crud just falls off.
OK i,m using some cleaners with chemicals yes but chucking engine oil on the land just got me to thinking .
I use a small husqvarna and just to say the brake mechanism bar is not the best design .



Wow, 5-7 €/l? Sounds like a rip-off! Husqvarna usually makes quite good chain-saws. Though from my experience the newer the saw the lower the quality, even with premium brands. ;-(

From another look, it seems colza (canola) oil is even better for the environment, the consumption and wear of bar/chain then mineral based chain-oil:

https://www.fs.fed.us/eng/pubs/html/98511316/98511316.html



 
Malcolm Thomas
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Rip off yes .
Yes Husqvarna also made good motorbikes too , dont know what theyre like today ?.
Its a bit of a weedy design the brake system , i made a tool for getting the brake band reset in the side panel as its impossible to do it any other way as there is a hefty spring to compress , i learned the hard way as one time it went past my head at the speed of a bullet !!. Make a tool !.
The older the tool the better the quality , a lot of stuff is sadly now built abroad down to a price nuff said.
Thanks for the canola info , very interesting.  

 
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