Different Chainsaw Oiling Mechanisms
You’re familiar with chainsaw engine oil, but how much do you know about chainsaw bars and chain oil?
Bar and chain oil is critical for keeping your saw working smoothly and protecting its moving components. Whether your saw is gas or electric, it requires oil to prevent friction, which would otherwise generate too much heat.
Every chainsaw has an internal system that adds oil to the chain while it is running. However, not all chainsaws employ the same mechanism.
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Oilers for chainsaws can be fixed flow/automatic or adjustable. What type is likely to be found within your saw, and what ought you know about how it works?
The Fundamentals of Bar and Chain Oilers
The chainsaw Bar and Chain Oilers oil reservoir, visible through a window on the side of the saw’s body (if you have a transparent window version), and a pump within the chainsaw works in unison with the crankshaft gear to release chain oil whenever the chainsaw is operating to add lubricant oil to the bar and chain.
In practice, clutch-driven oilers only release oil while the chain is running. These systems preserve fluid and save money by stopping oil from being discharged during idle.
Once released, the oil is transferred to the chain via holes in the bar. It then lubricates the following components:
- The chain’s bearing surfaces, allow it to travel around the bar.
- The bar groove, in which the chain drivers go
- If the bar has one, the sprocket is in the nose.
Tackifiers are chemicals that assist bar and chain oil sticking to metal at high speeds (Tackifiers are chemical compounds used to increase the tack, the stickiness of the surface of the oil). Furthermore, every bar and chain oil is offered in two grades: regular (30W) for use in warmer months and lighter winter (10W) for use in colder weather which causes the oil to thicken.
Previously, chainsaw oiling methods relied on manual pumps. To disperse oil and maintain the bar and chain lubricated, the user had to click a button at regular intervals. As you can expect, these were inefficient systems. Users kept forgetting to squeeze the pump.
This is why today’s chainsaws have automated chain oiling systems, and why, even though chain oilers all have the same fundamental functionality, you may find them in two different types.
Chainsaw Oilers with Automatic or Fixed Flow
True automated oilers, also known as fixed-flow oilers, are used in many homeowner-grade chainsaws. Automatic or constant flow oilers, as the name indicates, give a steady amount of oil anytime the saw is operating. Every time you use your saw, you’ll get the same quantity of oil on your chain.
True automatic oilers are typical features on electric saws and residential gas saws for various reasons:
- They’re convenient since you don’t have to adjust them or remember to push a pump.
- They remove the concern of applying the correct amount of oil for effective lubrication.
- They operate well with the smaller bars and shorter chains seen in homeowner chainsaws.
The main advantages of fixed-flow oilers are convenience and peace of mind. Because the rate of oil flow is a continuous factor on which you can rely, you may go about your chainsaw work without pausing to ensure that your chain is suitably lubricated.
However, there is one disadvantage: you will not be able to alter the flow rate to your working circumstances. In some circumstances, having more oil on your bar and chain is preferable:
- Working in hot conditions.
- Working with difficult or thick woodlands.
- Working with a slightly worn or older bar or chain.
Most casual chainsaw users will have little trouble adapting to these conditions. It’s just comforting to know that, in return for a saw that can release more chain oil during tough times, you’ll have a saw that’s simple and practically worry-free to maintain when in use.
Chainsaw Oilers with Adjustable Flow
Adjustable chain oilers are sometimes known as automatic/adjustable flow oilers, which might be misleading.
Adjustable flow oilers continue to automatically provide oil to the bar and chain, eliminating the need for a manual pump. The adjustable aspect derives from the fact that you may change the amount of oil discharged before each usage or between each cut (always with the saw turned off!).
You can fine-tune the oiler on practically any saw with this type of mechanism by twisting a screw on the oil pump that is visible on the body or powerhead of the saw. Turn the screw in one direction to increase flow and the other way to decrease flow.
If household chainsaws are more likely to have fixed flow oilers, professional chainsaws (as well as farm and ranch saws) are more likely to have adjustable flow oilers, for the following reasons:
- They are adaptable to the wide range of working situations that professionals frequently confront.
- They can produce more oil to lubricate the bigger bars and longer chains available on professional saws.
An adjustable oiler allows you to get the proper quantity of oil for your equipment and operating circumstances. However, stopping to change a screw is cumbersome, and it can be difficult to determine precisely how much oil you need on your chain, but one guideline is to use the minimum flow setting with bars under 15″, the maximum flow setting with bars over 20″, and a medium setting for bars in between.
Still, professional-grade equipment necessitates professional-grade expertise, and the adjustable oilers on commercial and semi-pro saws allow you to learn what your saw requires.
Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oiler FAQ
How does the chain oiler on a chainsaw work?
The pump is driven by the crankshaft, which pulls oil from the tank and pumps it onto the guide bar through the output hole. The oil is subsequently distributed over the whole length of the guide bar as the chain moves.
What happens if you run out of bar and chain oil?
When you use a chainsaw without any bar oil, the chain will heat up and finally crack. This can cause serious damage to the chainsaw bar and need the purchase of a replacement chain and bar. You must use the proper amount of bar oil.
Why do chainsaws leak bar oil when sitting?
What causes an oil leak in a chainsaw? The air begins to replace the space where the oil was previously held when the oil is pushed from the tank to the guide bar. If the oil tank is not properly ventilated, a vacuum might form, reducing the flow of oil to the guide bar.
Why does my chainsaw use so much bar oil?
Although a chainsaw requires the lubrication provided by oil during chainsaw functioning, too much oil is not beneficial. Oil might drop off the chain and run down the guide bar if the oil adjustment is set too high.
How much bar oil should a chainsaw use?
Gas chainsaws require approximately one tank of bar and chain oil for every tank of gasoline, therefore replenishing the reservoir whenever the tank is filled.
Why is the tip of my chainsaw bar smoking?
This is most usually caused by a dull chain and applying too much pressure on the bar and chain when attempting to cut with the chainsaw. This might also be due to a shortage of bar and chain oil (empty tank, limited oiler hole) or an inferior quality of oil being thrown off the chain and not lubricating it.
Why is my chainsaw automatic Oiler not working?
The following are the most typical causes of your automatic oiler not working: Your chainsaw’s oil tank is empty. The chainsaw oiler has become clogged. The oil pump has failed.
The Importance of Chain and Bar Oil
Whether your chainsaw has a fixed flow or adjustable flow oiling system, it must have enough oil.
Before each usage, check the oil level in the reservoir and make sure the pump is operating by running your saw with the tip of the bar about an inch above a log or piece of wood. If there are oil splatters on the wood, your oiler is in good working order.
Using bar and chain oil is an important part of good chainsaw maintenance. When you understand the sort of oiling system your saw has, you’ll know how to maintain it working smoothly and what kinds of cleanup chores it was designed to tackle.