Do Electric Chainsaws Need Oil

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Are you a beginner electric chainsaw user, and you’re wondering whether your new machine needs oil? If so, then you will get all your answers here.

Do electric chainsaws need oil is a question that most newbie chainsaw users have at the start. The answer to that is a simple yes. However, this is very different from what happens with gas-powered chainsaws. Electric chainsaws require oil for lubrication and protection of the chain and guide bar. The oil dripped on the guide bar will protect it from damage and overheating. Unlike gas-powered chainsaws that require fuel mixed with oil, electric chainsaws don’t actually need oil as a fuel component.

In this article, you will get to know all about the application of oil in electric chainsaws, do electric chainsaws need oil, how to refill the oil in an electric chainsaw, and more. Stick around to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Basics of using oil in electric chainsaws

If talking about fuel or gasoline, then electric chainsaws don’t actually need it. However, it is an entirely different story when it comes to the lubrication of the chain and bar, there will be oil needed. With this oil, they will remain functional and well maintained for a long time, helping you carry out multiple firewood cutting or carving jobs.

Unlike gas-powered chainsaws that need a specific oil-to-gas ratio to run and cut, an electric chainsaw doesn’t actually need it. It makes use of an environment-friendly method like plugging it into a power source.

However, it isn’t said that it doesn’t require any oil. An electric chainsaw is a machine, and every machine requires oil for one reason or the other. Even Tesla with its “no harm to nature” promises requires oil. Like Tesla, even electric chainsaws use oil for lubrication, which helps them perform optimally without resistance. Oiling the chainsaw chain and bar will make it easy to cut wood, while also increasing the lifespan of the chainsaw.

Lubrication in electric chainsaws

Lubrication is important for all machines, especially cutting tools. It helps prevent any damage and occasional smoke. If the machine isn’t tended properly, it’ll inevitably get rough and produce smoke while you’re performing heavy tasks.

A special type of oil is used for the lubrication of the bar and chain while reducing friction and providing smooth cutting performance. This is not the same oil used in gas-powered chainsaws or any random vegetable or motor oil. They can easily cause damage to the oiling system. It is an entirely different thing. Chainsaw lubrication oil is a type of oil made specifically for tending the chain and bar. Its key characteristics include –

  • It is stickier and thicker than motor oil, which is why it won’t fly off
  • It is temperature-dependent, which means that during summer the temperature will make it thinner, and thinner oil can easily fly off the bar 
  • Meanwhile, the cold weather during winter can make it think, and the thickness can make it tougher for the oil to flow, and it’ll be unable to provide adequate friction and protection 

Do electric chainsaws need oil?

Electric chainsaws are quite popular among homeowners. They make use of electricity as a power source. You will either need a battery or a power outlet to be plugged in for functioning. They are an amazing alternative to gas-powered chainsaws and have distinct advantages over them. Electric chainsaws are much more lightweight, eco-friendly, and cheaper to operate. Most new electric chainsaw users have many common questions, one of them being – do electric chainsaws need oil?

It is well-known that gas-powered chainsaws require oil to operate. However, does it apply to electric chainsaws as well?

Yes, electric chainsaws also require oil for lubrication and protection of the guide bar and chainsaw chain. The oil dripped on the guitar bar will protect it from damage and overheating. Unlike gas-powered chainsaws that require fuel mixed with oil, electric chainsaws don’t require oil as a fuel component.

There is no getting around the fact that you will require oil for your chainsaw, whether it is an electric or gas-powered chainsaw.

electric chainsaw

How to refill the oil in your electric chainsaw

All chainsaws make use of lubrication for smooth and effortless running and proper maintenance. An automatic oiler will supply oil to the chain from the bar as it is rotating around it. When the oiler or lubricator runs out of oil, you can refill it by following these steps.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for refilling the oil to lubricate the bar and chain in your electric chainsaw – 

  1. Always start off by unplugging your chainsaw from the electric socket. This will help prevent any accidents from your chainsaw starting accidentally.
  2. Remember to place the chainsaw on a flat surface before you start working with it. Dropping the chainsaw can easily damage it and possibly cause injuries. 
  3. If you are refilling your chainsaw while you’re still in the middle of cutting wood, always let the chainsaw cool down first. A hot chainsaw will result in painful burns, which will further slow you down from accomplishing your goals.
  1. Regardless of whether you were just using the chainsaw or it has been stored and collecting dust, it is advised that you should clean the top of the chainsaw before removing the oil cap. You wouldn’t want any debris to enter the oil tank. It can easily cause damage to the lubricating system.
  2. Follow the directions to open the oil tank. Take off the cap and set it aside such that it doesn’t gather any debris and contaminate the oil when reattaching it. Use a clean funnel that can fit the size of the opening of the chainsaw.
  3. Slowly add the chain and bar oil into the funnel. You wouldn’t want to wastefully spill oil and want to ensure that you stop at the full mark indicated in the reservoir. Overfilling can end up being dangerous, even causing a mess when you replace the cap.
  4. Remove the funnel and place it on a power towel or shop clock without spilling the oil, which will inevitably drip from the funnel. Tighten the oil tank cap securely such that it doesn’t leak.

You will soon get the hang of the refill process and won’t think twice before checking it such that it doesn’t run dry. Think of it like you’re refilling your car. You would not want to run near empty for long. 

Even though electric chainsaws don’t use gasoline and oil as gas-powered chainsaws do, you’ll need to lubricate the bar and chain as you’d any chainsaw. This will help ensure that it runs properly and enjoys a long life for you to use in the work and home tasks.

How To Add Oil To An Electric Chainsaw

Oil options for electric chainsaws

The way today’s market is structured, most chainsaw manufacturers produce their own brand of the bar and chain oil for their own chainsaws. By no means is it essential to use a specific brand name. However, the manufacturer might offer the best lubrication for your model. 

Some companies who don’t produce their own lubricant will still name a particular lubricant that they’ve partnered up with and recommend using it for the chainsaw you’ve purchased.

You can buy oil at many home and garden stores, big box stores, hardware stores, and even engine shops. Many people choose to purchase it at a place where you can purchase larger quantities at a less expensive price per fluid ounce. You’ll be able to gauge whether that is a great option for you or not based on how often you’re using the chainsaw.

Chainsaw companies conduct performance tests to see which lubrication oil works best in their systems. While some oils might be less expensive, they could be costlier to use eventually. Moreover, most companies show that fresh motor oil should be used for lubricating your electric chainsaw. Most companies advise users to use an SAE 30 motor oil in the summer. During winter, it is advised that you should use an SAE 10 motor oil in the winter for producing the best lubrication.

Potential dangers when dealing with electric chainsaws

Using the wrong type of oil can damage the bar and chain, and it’ll happen quicker than you realize. Damage can also occur to the clutch assembly and drive sprocket. A smoking or extremely hot tip can mean that lubrication is too low. Moreover, it is recommended that you should immediately shut off the engine in such cases. You’ll need to check the oiling system to ensure that the chainsaw isn’t damaged.

No matter what type of chainsaw you’re using, chainsaws are mechanically powered saws that use sharp teeth attached to a rotating chain. Electric chainsaws are used effectively to cut, prune, and buck. They’ll make work much easier for the user. However, safety guidelines must be followed at all times. You must pay close attention to what the instructions say – 

  • Wear the proper type of gloves to protect your hands, as they’ll provide the best grip when using the chainsaw.
  • Wear proper eyewear protection such that your eyes aren’t injured from flying debris when using the chainsaw.
  • You must wear the recommended clothing, jacket, chaps, and more so that your body doesn’t get caught by the moving chain. Remember, chainsaw runs at a rapid pace and even a slip can be fatal. Chainsaw chaps are important as approximately 35% of chainsaw injuries take place to the knees and lower legs.
  • Use the proper technique to hold the chainsaw and use it effectively.
  • You must know how to cut trees and limbs effectively for the wood to cut much more easily and in a way that you don’t get injured by falling trees and limbs.
  • Many users think that they’re okay if they add fresh oil to the chainsaw. However, before starting work, you must ensure that the oil reservoir of the chainsaw doesn’t contain old oil as it can affect proper lubrication. This can be true if you don’t use the chainsaw regularly. If you cannot remember the last time you used the chainsaw or the last time you changed the oil, it’ll be best to take the time to change it and start fresh. It’ll be smart for both your safety and the long-term care and maintenance of the chainsaw.
  • Ensure that the chainsaw’s oil stays filled. If you’re using the chainsaw for a long period of time, you shouldn’t just assume that the reservoir will remain filled. If you aren’t checking it often, it might dry before you even realize it, and it can be problematic. This can result in the build-up of heat and friction, which will affect its performance and eventually result in damage to the chainsaw.


Why do chainsaws need oil?

Both gas-powered chainsaws and electric chainsaws need oil. Gas-powered chainsaws have 2-stroke engines that require oil mixed in the fuel to operate. For electric chainsaws, the oil will protect and lubricate the guide bar and chain.

Should you use regular oil in an electric chainsaw?

Unfortunately, you cannot use regular oil in an electric chainsaw. Electric chainsaws need lubrication for the bar and the chain. This type of oil is made specifically for this purpose. The user manual will contain the answer to what type of oil you should use in your chainsaw. However, many companies recommend that you should use motor oil with SAE having a rating of 5-10. Moreover, you must consult your local professional for more insight.

Can an electric chainsaw work without oil?

An electric chainsaw will work even without adding any oil to it, as it doesn’t need oil for running. However, don’t think there will be no problems. The oil is actually used for the bar and chain. It is more for the maintenance purpose of the electric chainsaw.

How to know if your chainsaw needs oil?

There are a few common indications of low lubrication such as a smoking tip, extremely hot chainsaw, and kickback and resistance while cutting. In such scenarios, you need to turn off the chainsaw and refill your tank.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.