How To Tell If Chainsaw Oiler Is Working? 3 Easy Methods

How To Tell If Chainsaw Oiler Is Working

Have you ever wondered why your brand new chainsaw’s chain teeth bit the dust in such a short period? This wearout might be related to the oiler.

No matter if you have a gas-powered chainsaw or an electric one, the oiler’s job remains the same. It constantly works to protect and lubricate your bar and chain. Without the chainsaw oiler, the lifespan of your chain and bar will most likely decrease rapidly.

This is why it is crucial to check regularly whether your chainsaw oiler is working or not. Now you might be wondering how to tell if the chainsaw oiler is working.

This is where we come in. We will show you 3 easy methods to check your oiler. So, let’s get started.

How To Tell If Chainsaw Oiler Is Working? 3 Easy Methods

Estimated Cost

You won’t have to buy anything, so the cost is zero. But, there is one tool you will need in the 3rd method. If you don’t have one (unlikely), then buy it.

Time Needed

Each method will require 10 to 15 minutes. Not too long, not too short.

Tools or materials Needed

  • A piece of wood
  • Clean cardboard
  • A wrench

Method 1 – Checking by hands

The first method is the easiest. In this method, we will rely on our hands. Fingers, to be more specific. Fill up the oil tank with sufficient oil, and start the chainsaw.

Holding the chainsaw with your hands is not necessary right now. You can place it on a flat surface. Let the chainsaw run for a few minutes. Just enough to get it going.

After 4 or 5 minutes, stop the chainsaw and let it cool down. Don’t touch it immediately because it might be too hot.

Once the chainsaw has cooled down, softly rub your fingers on the chain. If you have oil on your fingertip, your chainsaw oiler is working fine.

To be more sure, slightly lift the chain from the bar. A few centimetres is enough. Check whether there is any oil present on the drive link of the chain.

We would recommend checking the bottom side of the chain. That’s where most of the oil sits.

This method will tell you if the chainsaw oiler is working or not. But the problem is that it won’t tell you if the bar and chain are getting sufficient oil or not. For that, navigate to the second method mentioned below.

Method 2 – Using a cardboard or wood log

The second method is also easy, but it requires a bit of strength. For the second method, you have to start the chainsaw again. Let it run for a few minutes.

While the chainsaw runs, you have to place a wood log or a piece of cardboard on the floor or against a wall. Using the cardboard gives you more accurate results, but either is fine.

Once the chainsaw has been running for a few minutes and the cardboard is placed in the right spot, we begin our second method.

Hold the running chainsaw like you are cutting a tree. The chain should be facing the direction of the cardboard. If it’s on the floor, hold the chain downwards. You get the idea, right?

Don’t let the chainsaw touch the cardboard or the wood log, though. Hold it a few centimeters away from the cardboard or wood log. Now, rev up the chainsaw, and hold it there for 30 seconds. After that, turn it off.

Now carefully inspect the cardboard or wood log to see if there’s any oil spray on it. When an oiler works as it should, it leaves a lot of oil spray/splatter.

If you see plenty of sprays, the oiler is just fine. No need to worry about anything. But, if there’s little to no spray, move to the next method.

Method 3 – Getting technical

Is the chainsaw bar not getting oil? Bar getting oil, but not enough? Well, this method is for you.

We placed this method last on the list because this one is not for everyone. Not everyone wants to open up their chainsaw. It is very easy, but still, some might not want to do this.

Anyway, if you are still reading this, it means you want to apply the third method. In that case, you are one tough fella.

For this method, you will have to remove the clutch cover to see if the oil hole is outputting enough oil, to begin with.

To remove the clutch cover, first, you will have to remove the two nuts securing it. If you have a Stihl chainsaw, there will be a single nut.

To remove it, use a wrench and rotate it counterclockwise. Once the nut/nuts come off, lift the cover.

Now you have to remove the chain and bar. Carefully lift them, and place them in a secure place. After that, put the chainsaw on a flat surface. Make sure it’s placed properly. Now start the chainsaw.

WARNING – Do not rev up the chainsaw after removing the clutch cover, bar, and chain. Doing so might pressure the clutch drum, and it might come off. It will be a mess. So, don’t do it.

There will be a hole right where the bar and chain were. This hole outputs all the oil needed. After starting the chainsaw, check if there is any oil coming out from that hole or not. If not, clean up the hole.

Now it should output oil properly. Stihl chainsaw oiler clogged? Try this method, and it will be good as new. It can also be applied to other chainsaws.

How to increase the oil flow of the chainsaw oiler? In 2 Steps

If you have applied all the methods and are still not getting a good oil flow, either the oiler needs to be fixed or adjust the chainsaw oiler adjustment screw.

If it’s the former, here is a guide on how to fix chainsaw oiler. But if it’s the latter, follow this quick guide.

Step 1 – Find out the bar hole

Place your chainsaw upside down on a flat surface. There will be a hole with a logo or sign right beneath the bar and chain.

Step 2 – Rotate the screwdriver clockwise

Insert a screwdriver and make sure it fits. Now rotate it clockwise to increase the oil flow. Yep, you are done. Your chainsaw should be outputting more oil from now on.

Remember that having more oil flow is not a waste because the more the oil flow, the better lubrication and protection you get. Chainsaw oil is very cheap as well.

3 Easy Ways To Check If Your Chainsaw Is Oiling The Bar & Chain - Video


My chainsaw oiler is working fine, but why does my oil run out so fast?

If your oiler is outputting the right amount, your chainsaw might be leaking oil. Place your chainsaw upside down to fix the leak and make sure the oil cap is facing downwards. The gravity will save your oil.

My chainsaw oiler uses cardboard or a wood log, do I need to rev it up to medium speed or high?

First of all, make sure you are not holding the chainsaw too far from the cardboard. If you don’t see any spray, rev up the speed to high, but always start from the medium.

Are there any other methods to tell if chainsaw oiler is working?

Yes, there’s a fourth. After using your chainsaw to chop wood, check if there is any brownish gunk on the chains or not. If yes, then your chainsaw is either not getting enough oil, or it’s not getting any oil at all.

Why is my chainsaw oiler outputting such thick/dense oil?

If you store chainsaw oil for a long period, it will thicken. You can’t do anything about it. This is why we recommend using fresh oil. Besides, chainsaw oil is very cheap, so no point in working with thick oil.

Final Words

The arch-enemy of every moving part is friction. Since chainsaws also have moving parts like the drive link, chain teeth, and bar, these things must stay lubricated. And, who does the lubricating?

Yes, you guessed it right. The chainsaw oiler is behind all these. It lubricates and protects your bar and chain. The hero works silently. Without it, your chainsaw will probably wear out sooner than you expected.

This is why you must check your chainsaw oiler from time to time. Hope the methods we shared on how to tell if chainsaw oiler is working will help you with that.

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