Electric chain saws derive their power from an electric source, so they don't need fuel to run. Most gas chain saws require a premixed gas-and-oil fuel to operate properly. Electric chain saws don't require this added oil, but the bar and chain do need to be properly lubricated. Electric chain saws use the same type of lubrication for the bar and chain as gas-powered chain saws.
Electric chain saws can use only bar and chain lubrication oil in their systems. These oils are specifically designed for this kind of lubrication. They are also manufactured to be safe for the environment. Any other kinds, like reclaimed motor or vegetable oil, can damage the oiling system.
Most chain saw manufacturers will produce a bar and chain oil for their saws. While this is not essential to use, it may offer the best lubrication and results for your model. Other chain saw manufacturers will recommend a brand or producer of oil to use in their chain saw. Refer to your owner's manual for specifications.
Where to Purchase
Bar and chain oil can be bought at many home and garden stores. Small engine shops and hardware stores, closer to home, may also carry bar and chain oil. Large bottles of bar and chain oil can be bought to reduce costs.
Chain saw companies have performed many tests to see what lubrication works best in their systems. While some oils might be cheaper or easier to use, it may be costlier in the long run due to engine repairs required after using the wrong oil.
Using the wrong oil can quickly damage your bar and chain. It can also damage the drive sprocket and clutch assembly. If your tip is smoking or extremely hot, your lubrication is too low. Immediately shut off the engine and check the oiling system.
Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at GoNomad.com and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.