Best Chainsaw Bar & Chain Oils (2019)

Chainsaws are one of the most versatile tools one can own. Not only for cutting down trees, chainsaws can also be used for chopping up wood pieces and occasional trimming unruly bushes. Performing such heavy-duty tasks, chainsaws, especially the bars and chains, are susceptible to rusting, corrosion along with wear and tear. Often, users end up with their new chainsaws worn out very quickly, or with discoloration around the edges of the bars and chains, without having any clue as to why it happened. Improper lubrication is the one of the most apparent and prevalent reasons behind these issues. A quality bar and chain oil tackles these problems and enhances the lifespan of chainsaws significantly.

The purpose of such lubricants is not to make wood cutting smooth, it is to reduce the friction between the moving parts. The oil seeps into every groove and tight space on the bar and chain to reduce any resistance as the chain ought to run at extremely high rotations per minute (rpm). This not only keeps the metal parts spinning smoothly, but also prevents overheating and stressing the engine consequently. Moreover, as we all know, less friction means faster movement, which in turn means faster cutting.

This article is about some of the top bar and chain oil you can find now; read along to know more. You might also want to go through our article on how to oil the bar & chain for more insight.

Our top pick is the Oregon 54-059 and our premium choice would be the Husqvarna 610000161. We have one environment friendly option in our list, that is the Renewable Lubricants Bio-pro oil. All these products perform equally well in context to what an ideal bar and chain oil ought to do. However, before choosing one, do go through your chainsaw's user manual to check if the oil meets all the requirements as stated by the manufacturer.

​Product Comparison Table

1) Oregon 54-059 Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oil

​Our top choice

  • ​Resists deposits buildup
  • Designed for all brands of chain saws
  • Premium oil base fortified with high-performance additive

The Oregon 54-059 is suited for any chainsaw regardless of the engine stroke type. Especially for 2-stroke engine chainsaws, this oil would be a good alternative to ester oils as such oils are specifically designed for 4-stroke ones.

The components of this petroleum based oil combust readily at optimum temperatures and so leaves little to no residue. It even averts the accumulation of sap, gum or any other fluids from cutting. The Oregon 54-059 has high film strength and is extra sticky so that doesn’t fly off the chainsaw parts easily. Its proper polybutene compositions enable the tool to run smoothly in any weather.


  • Suitable for any ​​weather
  • High film strength
  • Corrosion and buildup resistant


  • Dries out quickly
  • Not environment friendly

2) Poulan Pro 952030204 Bar and Chain Oil

​The first runner-up

  • Resists high-temperatures
  • Flows freely at low temperatures
  • Resists rust

The Poulan Pro 952030204 is a mineral oil and has a red hue to it which helps a user to easily visualize whether the lubricant is reaching the spots or not.  This oil works great with 2-stroke engines and has anti-wear properties too and helps keep the chain from jamming. The viscosity and tackiness is liked by users also.

This lubricant too is designed for all chainsaw types and helps maintain a constant moderate temperature of the machine while running. It is one of the top choices of many professionals in the logging industry, available at a very reasonable price.


  • Works well at high temperatures
  • Prevents chain jamming
  • Red tint for visibility


  • Some users voted against the red hue

3) Husqvarna Forest & Garden 610000161

The premium choice

  • Can be used with all Husqvarna chainsaw models
  • Premium blend of base stocks and tackifier additives
  • Reduces high speed throw-off

Husqvarna has successfully lived up to its brand name for all ranges of outdoor products. This petroleum based premium bar/chain oil is designed to be suitable with all chainsaw models of the brand and comprises a fine blend of base stocks and additives to enhance the tackiness. It is perfectly sticky and doesn’t drip off the tool easily.

This oil is recommended to be used at regular intervals. Along with the bar and chain, the oil also works on the links and other internal parts of the tool. The Husqvarna 610000161 is neck to neck with our second choice in terms of performance, the only reason for it to be in third position is its tad higher price.


  • Reduces heat
  • Stickiness is ideal
  • Compatible with all Husqvarna chainsaws


  • A bit pricey
  • Petroleum base makes it non-environment friendly

4) Makita 181116-A Chain Bar Oil

The timber industry choice

  • All seasons formula
  • Ideal for use with Makita Gas and Electric Chain Saws
  • Reduces heat capacity

The Makita 181116-A is another oil highly preferred by the timber industry. This oil delivers commercial grade performance, but at a much better price, making it readily available for residential users also.

It has high film strength and does all the things an ideal bar/chain oil is supposed to do; reduces heat, friction, wear and tear. Being adept to work in both hot and cold temperatures and reasonably priced, this product can be stocked up for prolonged use.


  • Commercial grade oil
  • Good value for money


  • Has to be used within 2 years of manufacturing date might be an issue for some users

5) Renewable Lubricants Bio-Pro Bar and Chain Oil - The environment friendly choice

  • High level of tackiness with anti-wear additives
  • Readily Biodegradable, EPA VGP Approved
  • Suitable with Stihl, Greenworks, Poulan, Oregon Chainsaw

This biodegradable bar and chain oil comprises agricultural vegetable oils with patented additive technology. It has a high level of tackiness and additives with anti-wear properties. It can withstand extreme pressure and has a consistency that does not fly off the machine parts while running.

As it is a bio-based oil, degraded in 28 days, it poses no known health or environmental hazard, making it a perfect choice of many. This product is compatible with chainsaws of many well-known brands, or any chainsaw that requires a 15W-50. Despite not being that talked about, this renewable lubricants product has got some pretty positive reviews and is worth the try.


  • Non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Safe (health and environment wise)


  • Costs slightly more than other contenders

What Kind Of Oil To Use On The Bar & Chain

One thing to remember is that, for summer seasons thick, sticky oils are better to use. And for winter, you guessed it right, thin oils. The reason is simple. Since temperatures are already higher during summer, the natural consistency of general oils will be thin and runny, which will fly about in all directions the minute you run the blade after oiling. But thick oils, because of their heavy consistency, tends to stick to the surface, even when the tool is running. And by that same logic, during the cold season, as the temperature drops, fluids habitually become dense and viscous. Thus, it is better to use already thin oils throughout winter so that the fluid can flow freely and reach every little spot on the bar.

Apart from these factors, follow to the product specific manual to decide on the perfect oil for your tool.

Some frequently asked questions

Can I substitute chainsaw bar oil with regular oil instead?

No. Simply no. Motor oil does not have the proper tackiness chainsaws need and so will fly about everywhere when working. Besides, they have minute fragments and pieces of metal which will abrade your bar and chain, doing more harm than good. Some might say it can be substituted, but that is totally subjective to a situation and the user; we recommend against it.

Are ​there substitutes?

Yes, there are substitutes, but they are not ideal. One such is canola oil, due its stickiness, or drained hydraulic fluids. But we only suggest these for absolutely dire circumstances, not for regular use. Some people suggest using regular vegetable oil as substitutes, but we are not completely certain about it. The physical properties of such oils vastly differ from those of a proper bar and chain lubricant. Using them regularly might save the environment and your wallet, but not your tool for sure.

Can I use bar and chain oil in my lawnmower?

Sometimes, yes. Some multipurpose bar oils can be used on other machines, including the lawnmower. STIHL 2 cycle bar oil is one such example. But do read the respective user manual for complete assurance.

Does electric chainsaws need oil?

Regardless of the power source, all chainsaws need oil. Being electric or battery powered doesn’t make the moving chain and bar immune to friction and heat. They run like any other chainsaw and so have to be lubricated in those places for proper functioning.

​Also don't forget to take a look at our review articles on some of the top gas, electric and cordless chainsaws you could buy.

Do you own any of the ​​oils mentioned here? Did you choose a different one? Let us know in the comments!

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