Can I Use 2 Stroke Oil for Chainsaw Bar Oil: Answered

Can I Use 2 Stroke Oil for Chainsaw Bar Oil?

If you are a chainsaw owner, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can I use stroke oil for chainsaw bar oil?” The simple answer is- YES, you can. However, it is usually not recommended.

The chainsaw bar oil is an indispensable tool for keeping the chain and bar lubricated for top-notch performance.

However, running out of bar oil when operating the chainsaw is very common. In such cases, you can use 2-stroke oil as a substitute if you can’t access the chainsaw bar oil. You must first check your user’s manual to determine its suitability.

can i use 2 stroke oil for chainsaw bar oil

Additionally, you should only use it briefly because chainsaw bar oil has specific properties that suit it for lubrication. So, using the 2-stroke oil for extended periods might cause damage to your bar and chain.

In this article, I will explore the properties of chainsaw bar oil and 2-stroke oil. I will also explain why the 2-stroke oil may be suitable as a temporary substitute, continue reading to learn more about it.

Importance of Choosing the Right Type of Oil for Your Chainsaw

Importance of Choosing the Right Type of Oil for Your Chainsaw

One thing that plays a critical role in the lubrication and maintenance of the chainsaw bar is the bar oil. Therefore, picking the right type for your chainsaw to function properly is important.

Using the wrong type of oil can cause a decrease in performance and increased wear and tear on the chainsaw bar. There are a few factors that you should consider when picking the right oil for your chainsaw, including viscosity, environmental friendliness, adhesive properties, and water resistance.

Understanding the Chainsaw Bar Oil

Understanding the Chainsaw Bar Oil

The chainsaw bar oil plays the crucial role of lubricating the chain and bar, thus preventing friction buildup, which causes overheating. Additionally, it reduces the wear and tear of the bar to ensure that the saw operates efficiently at all times.

Chainsaw bar oil has a tackifier that makes it viscous and sticky to adhere to the bar and chain without flinging off during operation. Thanks to this, you can operate a chainsaw for several hours without damaging the chainsaw bar.

Here are the main properties of chainsaw bar oil that make it suitable for lubricating the saw and chain:

1. Viscosity

The first important property that chainsaws bar oil has is that it is highly viscous. This means it has the right balance of thickness and slipperiness to adhere to the bar but still allows it to rotate. It also helps to provide sufficient protection to the bar

2. Adhesive Properties

For a lubricant to adhere firmly to the bar and chain, it has to be sticky enough. Luckily, the chainsaw bar oil is designed to be sticky, so it does not fling off the chain as it rotates around the bar.

3. Environmentally Friendly

The oil used to lubricate the chain normally drips off the bar and onto the ground when the saw is in operation or idle. For that reason, it should not be harmful to the environment. Chainsaw bar oil is biodegradable, meaning it can be broken down easily without harming the environment.

4. Resistant to Oxidation

Chainsaw bar oil can resist oxidation pretty well. This enables the oil to remain effective without breaking down despite the high temperatures generated due to friction. In turn, this makes the saw operate at its best.

5. Water Resistance

The best chainsaw bar oils are water-resistant to keep your bar in peak condition. Water can corrode the chainsaw bar and causes it to rust.

Understanding 2-Stroke Oil

Understanding 2-Stroke Oil

2-stroke oil is a specially formulated oil meant to lubricate moving parts in 2-stroke engines of chainsaws. It is normally mixed with gas for combustion. Furthermore, it contains additives such as dispersants and corrosion inhibitors that help to protect the engine from wear and tear and improve its performance.

Some additives also enable it to burn cleanly in the combustion chamber without producing too much smoke or leaving carbon deposits. 2-stroke oil differs in viscosity and grading, so picking the right one for lubricating your chainsaw bar is important.

Here are some of the properties of 2-stroke oil:

1. Viscosity

The 2-stroke oil is viscous enough to provide lubrication to the engine’s moving parts but thin enough to mix well with fuel. Different 2-stroke oils have different viscosities, with some being thicker and more suitable for lubrication.

2. Anti-Wear Properties

To help reduce wear and tear on the engine’s moving parts, the 2-stroke oil is infused with helpful additives such as detergents, anti-wear agents, corrosion inhibitors, and dispersants. This will help to extend the lifespan of your saw.

3. Less Smoke Emission

One magnificent property of the 2-stroke oil is its ability to burn cleanly without emitting too much smoke. So, if you’re environmentally conscious, this oil will impress you. Additionally, this oil burns without leaving too many carbon deposits behind, preventing carbon buildup and clogging.

4. Thermal Stability

The 2-stroke engine has been designed to withstand high temperatures without deteriorating quality or losing its lubricating property. This is especially important because 2-stroke engines generate a lot of heat.

Read Also: How Tight Should a Chainsaw Chain Be?

Difference Between 2-Stroke Oil and Chainsaw Bar Oil

Difference Between 2-Stroke Oil and Chainsaw Bar Oil

Although you can temporarily use 2-stroke oil to replace Chainsaw bar oil, the two are very different in composition and purpose. Here is the difference:


Chainsaw bar oil is composed of base oils and tackifiers, which are additives that help to make the oil viscous so that it won’t get flung off the chain easily. This oil is thick and coats the bar and chain perfectly, even when you’re handling heavy cutting tasks.

On the other hand, 2-stroke oil is typically a mixture of synthetic base oils and additives that help the oil to burn cleanly without causing any carbon residue buildup. 2-stroke oil doesn’t contain tackifiers, so it is usually thinner and less viscous.


Chainsaw bar oil also has a higher flash point than 2-stroke oil, making it less susceptible to fire even when the operating temperatures get too high due to overheating.

From an environmental safety perspective, chainsaw bar oil is biodegradable, while a 2-stroke engine is not making chainsaw bar oil more environmentally friendly.


The main purpose of the chainsaw bar oil is to lubricate the bar and chain, as the name suggests. This helps to reduce the amount of friction and heat that builds up when the chain and bar are in motion.

However, 2-stroke oil is a more refined oil that lubricates 2-stroke engines. This reduces the wear and tear of various engine components.

Can 2-Stroke Oil be Used as Chainsaw Bar Oil?

Can 2-Stroke Oil be Used as Chainsaw Bar Oil

Yes, you can use 2-stroke oil as chainsaw bar oil. However, you should only do this when you have an emergency. Although 2-stroke oil can provide the lubricating properties of chainsaw bar oil, it will not be as effective.

Why is that? First, chainsaw bar oil has tackifiers, making it stickier and viscous. This makes it adhere to the chain and bar firmly, thus providing sufficient lubrication.

However, 2-stroke oil doesn’t have any tackifiers so it doesn’t stick to the bar properly. This makes it messier to use since it flings off from the chain when cutting.

2-stroke oil also provides less lubrication since it is thinner, so there will be more wear on the bar and chain. You will have to sharpen your chainsaw blade more often because of this. Additionally, it burns off faster, so you should be prepared to refill your oil tank more frequently.

Read Also: How to Clean a Chainsaw Like a Pro

Risks and Benefits of Using 2-Stroke Oil for Chainsaw Bar Oil

Risks and Benefits of Using 2-Stroke Oil for Chainsaw Bar Oil

Using 2-stroke oil in place of chainsaw bar oil comes with significant risks and benefits. These are some of the most common ones:


  • Inadequate lubrication: Chainsaw bar oil has been specifically designed to lubricate the chainsaw’s bar and chain. It is thicker and more viscous, so replacing it with 2-stroke engine oil, which is thinner, will lead to increased wear and tear on the chain and bar. This will also cause decreased performance.
  • Pollution: 2-stroke oil is not biodegradable like chainsaw bar oil, so it will not be broken down naturally when left in the environment making it more harmful to the environment.
  • Cost: 2-stroke oil is generally more expensive than bar oil. Additionally, it runs out faster than chainsaw bar oil, so you will need to refuel more. Even if it helps you temporarily lubricate your saw, it might not be cost-effective in the long run.


  • Availability: In some cases, 2-stroke oil may be more readily available than chainsaw bar oil. This is because it is used for various machines, including boats, trimmers, and other small engines.

Chainsaw bar oil may not be available, especially if you run out of it while working in a remote area.

  • Lubrication: 2-stroke engine oil is designed to provide lubrication, but it can come in handy when you run out of chainsaw bar oil.

Generally speaking, it may be suitable to substitute chainsaw bar oil with 2-stroke oil when carrying out light to medium-duty tasks. It is much better than using the chain without lubrication.

Common Queries

What will happen if you don’t use chainsaw bar oil in your chainsaw?

Using a chainsaw without chainsaw bar oil might damage the chain and bar because of increased wear and tear due to friction.

Final Verdict

Although 2-stroke oil and chainsaw bar oil are designed for chainsaw use, they both play different roles. Chainsaw bar oil is meant for lubricating the chainsaw chain and bar during use. On the other hand, 2-stroke oil is meant for lubricating moving engine parts.

If you’re wondering if you can use 2-stroke engine oil for chainsaw oil, the answer is yes. However, you should only use it if there is no alternative or you can’t access any chainsaw bar oil.

2-stroke oil is thinner and doesn’t contain the adhesive properties of chainsaw bar oil, so using it for extended periods can lead to wear and tear of the bar. Let me know your thoughts and experiences on using 2-stroke oil for chainsaw oil down in the comment section.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *