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Cold weather cutting and chain oil

Post in 'The Gear' started by Adkjake, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Adkjake

    Adkjake Member

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    Had the opportunity to go over and cut some more from my friend's log pile today, and seeing as how skiing conditions are not good up here, and it was going to be in the single digits, why not. Was actually not a bad day for cutting and loading wood even though the high for the morning was 9*, sunny and no wind. Did notice when filling up the saw, the bar and chain oil was like tar. I use the Husqvarna Premium Bar and Chain oil

    Do any of the long time chainsaw users thin the bar and chain oil when it is really cold? If so what do you use?

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  2. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    If you are springing for expensive Husky bar oil, then just buy their winter weight stuff.
  3. Axe140

    Axe140 New Member

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    I mix canola oil with my bar oil when the temps get colder. Usually 50/50
  4. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    A hot saw will solve that quickly.
    nate379 likes this.
  5. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

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    As much as I cut anymore I buy the tractor supply stuff. For winter I thin with a precise two glugs or so of diesel.
  6. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I remember reading to use SAE 30 in my chainsaw manual, so SAE 20 should be a little thinner, just one more option...
  7. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Both Husky and Stihl sell winter weight bar oil. Same price as their regular bar oil.

    Yeah, it's a little more expensive than the TSC stuff, but considering how cord a gallon cuts, it's not that expensive.

    Ken
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've used the winter weight stuff but honestly unless your cutting in sub-20 °F temps all the time, the regular stuff flows great once the saw gets some heat in it. Having some on hand for that first fill isn't a bad idea tho. I'm a little leary of old tricks like thinning with diesel/kerosene. Could always run the TSC bar oil for normal work and have a gallon of Stihl/Husky winter weight around.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I don't buy Winter weight oil. Yes, it is slow to pour but the saw is hot so it warms it up. When it is so cold that Summer weight won't pour, I will switch to medium weight.
  10. artmos

    artmos Member

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    When it's so cold that summer weight won't work,you'll find me in my easy chair with a molson canadian!! art
  11. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    I would rather be cutting wood when the oil doesn't flow than in the hot, humid summertime with sweat and bugs.

    Ken
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    +1
    and I only drink beer when it's hot, humid summertime with sweat and bugs.
  13. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    My experience has been that it depends on the saw. My old Stihl 028 and 011 both go through precisely a fill of regular Stihl bar oil per tank of gas, regardless of the temperature......perfect! My son's new Stihl saws won't hardly oil at all with the regular stuff when it is cold, and he has to use the winter grade.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. Adkjake

    Adkjake Member

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    +2, I'd much rather cut and split when it is 9*F than when it is 90*. Molson tastes so much better when it is 90F!!

    Love the Canola oil suggestion. Nothing like a low cholesterol saw!
  15. b33p3r

    b33p3r Feeling the Heat

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    Only 2 years into heating with wood and I agree that I like cutting,hauling and splitting in the cold weather with no bugs. As far as beer goes....I only enjoy it from January-December.
    KodiakII, loon, raybonz and 1 other person like this.
  16. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    The hot saw idea is fine until the saw cools and the bar oil makes a slurry with chips/dust and hardens in the rail. When cutting below freezing, I use winter weight bar oil or cut regular oil with diesel.
  17. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    I simply thin mine with a little Dexron ATF. Cheap & quick. A C
    RK_MacKendrick likes this.
  18. sparklow

    sparklow Member

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    I leave my saws out in the shed but keep my bar oil in the cellar.
  19. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

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    Most saw mfgs recommend cutting the normal SAE 30 bar oil with up to 50% kero/diesel as the temps drop below 40 F, or going to multigrade.

    This is from a book that is a compendium of saw repair/maint manuals.

    Some modern saws simply will not pump chain oil once temps are below freezing.
  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Actually most modern saw manuals I've read don't reccomend using SAE 30wt or any other engine oil anymore unless there are no other alternatives. Bar oil has a tack additive (Canola is naturally somewhat tacky) to keep it on the chain longer than 30 wt. Using Engine oil is an old school recomendation/practice. With TSC supplying bar oil at 7$ a gallon there isn't a price advantage either.
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I switch to winter weight . . . the price of bar oil has never been a major issue to me. I figure I save enough in heating to treat my saw to decent lubrication.
    Firewood Bandit likes this.
  22. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I run Canola Oil in the saws, last weekend when cutting a Cherry the chains seemed to be getting oil just fine.


    zap
    raybonz likes this.
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    You can add a Little kerosene to the oil.
  24. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    I use what I got. I mostly mix in some oil I have half quarts of.
    Yesterday it was 20 and the straight bar lube was slinging fine.
  25. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Its not cold yet! lol If you can get it in the saw it going to work fine. Its really a matter of that glob of oil being bigger than the hole.... ;-)

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