How To Oil Your Pole Saw or Chainsaw
Like every other tool, pole saws or chainsaws too require maintenance and lubrication to deliver optimum performance and have a long life. Simply put, you take care of the tools, they take care of your needs. Chainsaws, itself as well as the pole attached ones, comprise several functional parts that need regular attention, but in this article, we will be focusing on two of the vital ones – the bar and chain.
The balde and chain are the two parts that do the main job and are under constant movement. And for any movement, friction follows. Friction not only damages the cutting parts but also allows corrosion and can overheat the machine, stressing out the engine. Oiling essentially removes this problem; even the best pole saw can go kaput bereft of proper lubrication.
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.
First things first, choose a proper oil. Many manufacturers of the machine market these lubricating agents as well, so you can get a specific one from them or follow the manual to find out the perfect type your pole saw needs. You could also take a look at our review article on some of the top bar and chain oils out there and choose one that suits your tool.
Now, for the oiling, make sure the power source is completely off and then lay down the machine on a flat surface, with the bar side down. Give it a good wipe with a damp cloth to clean off any debris or dust.
Take a funnel (might come with the package; if not, buy one) and place it into the open side of the chain oil reservoir. You could do the job without it too, a funnel just makes spilling less likely. Pour the oil slowly, making sure not to overfill. If your machine has a see-through oil tank, you can check the level very easily. Secure the cap after filling completely and wipe around the area to remove any remnant. Some caps might have a breathing hole, so do not rest your tool upside down.
Then check whether the oil is reaching its designated place correctly. Run your machine for some time without cutting through anything. Stop the machine and closely inspect the chain; it should have a thin film of the lubricant surrounding it, as in the picture below.
This method is applicable to both pole saws and chainsaws. And that’s about it, your machine is good to go. See this video to get a demo:
What Can I Use To Oil The Bar & Chain?
Some alternatives to consider and some to avoid.
Conventional bar and chain oils are petroleum based, which can be hazardous to the environment as well as your health. An alternative would be vegetable oil based lubricants, but not the vegetable oil itself. These lubricants can endure low temperatures, are safe and environment friendly. Some people do however suggest using vegetable oil, but that is debatable because such household oils do not serve the purpose at extreme temperatures.
People often use traditional, cheap motor oil for lubricating the bar and chain; do not do that! Manufacturers strictly recommend against it. Motor oil will instead weaken the tool since they suspend tiny fragments which can impair the bar and chain on every run. If it is an absolutely dire need and you have nothing else around, filter the motor oil first before using it. However, prolonged use is not advised.
One alternative could be drained hydraulic fluids mixed with the manufacturers' recommended oil. If, for instance, you are running low and do not have any means to buy one soon, you could try this method. But certainly after mixing, not the hydraulic fluid only as it is less viscous and dries up quickly.
Whichever lubricant you use, always use it fresh. Never use old, discarded oil from some other machine to lubricate your bar and chain.
Bars and chains are devised in a such a way that they necessitate petroleum based lubricants. Going against the manufacturers recommendations and using alternatives is solely your responsibility. If your machine is crippled due to using anything other than the recommended types, then unfortunately the warranty would be annulled.
Always refill the tank as soon as the oil falls below the recommended level. Do not run your machine with a dry reservoir tank. Stick to the manual because it suggests the perfect type of oil, specific to the model, which will prevent any accidental slinging of the chain from the bar, along with an effortlessly smooth run.
Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments!