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Chain Saw Chain Lubrication

Post in 'The Gear' started by WarmGuy, Feb 1, 2007.

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  1. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    I got an electric Remington chainsaw at a garage sale, and it works great.

    There is a plastic reservoir for bar oil that has two little holes for allowing the oil to come out and lubricate the chain. However, those seem to usually be clogged, and sometimes no oil flows out.

    Tell me about chain lubrication. Is it meant to affect the cutting, or preserve the chain? How do most chainsaws handle it? If I were to just apply the oil directly now and then, how much should I use?

    Thanks!

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The oil is needed to keep the chain and bar from overheating during use, and to extend their life by reducing friction.

    I wouldn't try to run a saw, electric or gasoline, without adequate lubrication. On gas chain saws, there is a tank for the oil and a pump and squirts it into the bar and chain through a channel in the body of the bar. My guess is that your electric saw has a similar arrangement. Make sure you fill the oil tank and make sure that your pump is working. You do that by taking off the bar and chain and hitting the throttle (only on an electric saw--don't do that with a regular chain saw) and see if any oil is pumped out. If not, then your pump doesn't work and should be repaired or replaced. Or, if you're lucky, the lines are clogged up or the oil filter needs to be replaced.

    A short answer to one of your questions is that a lack of oil will affect cutting if the chain seizes up.

    Good luck.
  3. ozarkjeep

    ozarkjeep New Member

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    some of the electric chainsaws that ive seen, have a button you push , like a rubber plunger, primer type of thing, that you must pump while cutting to oil the bar and chain.

    manual oilers. they work, but it gets tiresome.
  4. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    OK, thanks for that info. I located a manual for this saw, and it says "OIL FILL KNOB - By pushing the oil fill knob, using only moderate pressure, oil will feed on theh guide bar and saw chain. To keep the saw chain oiled, push the oil fill knob at least once before each cut."
  5. ozarkjeep

    ozarkjeep New Member

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    haha, yeah.

    once each cut, and about 30 times for each cut to really reduce the friction, and keep from overheating your blade or bar.

    Gas powered saws put out a fair amount of oil, like a squirt every chain revolution

    so keep that in mind, that saw though ( which I am unfameliar with) MIGHT put enough on the bar with one pump to cut a small limb, youll have to experiemetn and judge for your self.

    My father has an electric, and I hate using it, you are constantly pumping that bulb while cutting.

    So I bought an old used Stihl, im a happy cutter now.

    checkout arboristsite.com

    for some GREAT info on saws, and cutting, and chain sharpening, and all of that stuff!



  6. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    We have a Craftsman electric chainsaw, so don't know how well this answer translates to your brand. Our manual says to push the oil button every 10 seconds while you are cutting. Hubby tends to hold it down longer than I do, and go through more oil. I don't like the button business since you have to pull on a trigger to keep the chainsaw running while pushing the button, and my hands have a hard time doing both things at one time. Keep thinking I need to invent a lady lumberjack line of chainsaws for people with smaller hands . . .

    Can anybody recommend a good book on chainsaws? We are reading one from our library right now by "Barnacle Parp" (seems like a fake name to me) and it is moderately useful but at least 20 years old. We mean to get a gas chainsaw someday. So far we have been very lucky with getting wood from city lots where professionals have already cut the tree down. But to venture further afield (and even further into our 5 acres) we will need a gas model sometime. Hubby actually cuts our own trees with a bowsaw sometimes, which seems very quaint to me.
  7. extitude

    extitude New Member

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    The barnacle parp book is the best that I have read.I tried reading others but I could not finish them because they were so lame and/or wrong.No other book is needed in my opinion.Stihl offers a handy ,and light ,top handle saw that is easily to handle. stihl 091
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The saw is the Stihl MS-191 and I am so averse to anybody suggesting that a fire wood cutter use a top handle saw that I suggest that the moderators remove these posts. A top handle saw has only one place and that is thirty feet up in a tree in the hands of a seasoned professional limbing and topping. A top handle saw can and will end up sticking a running chain into a casual fire wood cutter's forehead.
  9. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    BB is right on the money. It's usually critically important to use the right tool for the job, especially as the danger level of the job and the tool go up. An MS-191 (or any other top handle saw) is not designed to be a firewood saw. Their purpose is for limbing and topping up in a tree.

    There are lots of great choices for firewood saws out there. The way to select one is to start by determining how you will use the saw and then matching that use to the proper tool.
  10. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Agreed on the top handle saw, they are way dangerous. A good saw should have two handles, well spread apart so that you have proper leverage and good control.

    I would reccomend looking at the earlier posts talking about the Home Depot rental saws, seems like one of the best values around to get a pro-grade saw at a home-owner grade price.

    Bear in mind that the chain saw is possibly the most dangerous power tool in existence today. No other common tool has as big and potentially destructive a blade, with no guards on it!

    Note that an electric saw is not particularly safer than a gas saw either.

    Remember to get AND WEAR your PPE gear, particularly boots, chaps, and if using a gas saw especially, ear and face protection.

    Gooserider
  11. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Yup, 192t is not a proper firewood saw. Even in the new non-t form, complete with a rear handle, it is a poor choice for firewood. You're better off with the less expensive MS180 if you think your needs can be met with a <40cc saw.

    Even when safely used, tophandle saws lack balance and control, encourage one-hand use, and are very fatiguing if any quantity of cutting is going to be performed. These are trade-offs that are considered worthwhile for in-tree arborist use, in light of the conditions in which the saw is to be used. Since you won't be experiencing these conditions on the ground there is no need to accept these trade-offs, either.

    It's all about having the right tool for the job.
  12. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would also suggest thinking really hard and long before getting a small "home-owner grade" gas saw, even one with rear handles. I have a 32cc Poulan purchased prior to our starting to burn full time, and while it is (barely) meeting my needs today, I'd never repeat the purchase.

    I originally got the saw with the idea of having something to trim branches with, possibly drop an occasional small tree, clear brush, and do that sort of yard maintainence chores that need more than a hand saw but don't justify a heavy duty saw. For that sort of use it was fine.

    Now I am dropping more trees each year, and am cutting and processing about 6-7 cords of logs into rounds, and the Poulan really isn't up to it. I have to really strain the saw to make it do the work I need to do, and it's slow because it just doesn't have the power. It has a 16" bar, and barely pulls that.

    I seriously wish I had a stronger saw, professional grade, with modern safety gear (chain brake, etc.) probably in the 60 cc range. I'd probably keep the bar in the same 16-18" range, but the increased power would make a real difference in how fast it would go through a log.

    Gooserider
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I am going through a bit of a quandry on that right now. Lowe's screwed up on pricing and sold me two 40cc Huskies for $99 apiece. I questioned it and they wanted to argue so I just took'em. The little farts take longer to get through the trunks than the big boys, Old Yaller would just rip'em in half, but the little suckers are so light and wind so high that I did the last six cords without ever bothering Old Yaller. Saved the energy for lugging the rounds.

    And chains are dog-ass cheap for them.

    An old guy thing I guess. Got more time than muscle.
  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    What I find is that the Poulan is great for limbing and light cutting - say under the size you'd need to split. Once the rounds start getting big enough that you'll be splitting them once they're cut, the saw starts to bog as you get far enough into the log that both sides of the bar are in the wood.

    I expect that if I had a big saw, I'd still use the Poulan for limbing, but use the big saw for drops and cutting rounds. If I have to pick just one, I'll stick with the big boy.

    Gooserider
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