Do Electric Chainsaws Need Oil? A Guide for Electric Saw Owners

electric chainsaws oil needsYes, they do but the story is different when we talk about what kind of oil do electric chainsaws need.

They use electricity as a power source and require either a battery or a power outlet to be plugged in for function.

Although the answer to the question does an electric chainsaw need oil is yes, but there are many more questions that come with it. Is this oil used for running the chainsaw?

Is it the same as a gas-powered one? What kind of oil is it? And many more questions related to this are answered in this article.

So, let’s have a look, without any further ado:

Do Electric Chainsaws Need Oil?

If we talk about the fuel or gasoline, then electric chainsaws don’t need it. However, when it comes to lubrication of the saw bar and chain, electric chainsaws do need oil. With that oil, they remain functional and maintained enough for a long time to help you with carrying out multiple firewood cutting or carving jobs.

Electric Chainsaw Oiling Basics Discussed

Unlike gas-powered chainsaws that require a specific oil-to-gas ratio to run and cut, an electric chainsaw does not need it. It uses an environment-friendly method like plugging into a power source.

But it is not said that it does not need any oil. An electric chainsaw is a machine and all machines need oil for one reason or the other. Even Tesla with ‘no harm to nature promises’ needs oil. And like Tesla electric chainsaws use oil only for lubrication that helps them perform without resistance.

Oiling the bar and chain makes cutting easy and increases the lifespan of the saw.

Electric Chainsaw Lubrication

Lubrication is essential for cutting tools, it prevents damage and occasional smoke. If the tool is not tended properly it is bound to get rough and produce smoke while doing heavy tasks.

A special kind of oil is used for the lubrication of the bar and chain which reduces friction and provides smooth cutting performance. This is not the oil which is used in gas-powered chainsaws or any random motor or vegetable oil. Those can cause damage to the oiling system. It is a completely different thing.

Characteristics of Lubrication Oil

Chainsaw lubrication oil is a kind of oil made especially for tending the bar and the chain. Its key characteristics are as follows:

  • It is thicker and stickier than motor oil hence it does not fly off.
  • It is temperature dependent i.e. in summer the high temperature can make it thinner. Thinner oil can fly off the bar.
  • The cold weather of winter can make it thick. Thickness can make it harder for the oil to flow and unable to provide adequate protection and friction.

Buying Electric Chainsaw Oil

Most chainsaw manufacturers make their own lubricant for the best results while others recommend an oil brand. Either way, you can find the right answer in your user manual.

In case you cannot find the recommended product any good quality bar and chain oil can be used with the following properties

  • Check the label for ‘throw-off’ tendency. It means enhanced performance since the oil will hold the bar and chain better.
  • The viscosity of oil changes with temperature. So choose the one that can work in a different range of temperature.
  • For pruning and leveling use a biodegradable oil to prevent plants from damaging.

Avoid using cheaper oil as it can damage the whole tool. Professionals do not recommend using cheaper oil as it can damage your saw whether it’s electric or gas-powered.

Learn More: Are Electric Chainsaws Any Good?

Where to Buy Electric Chainsaw Oil?

Lubrication oil for chainsaw can be bought at

  • Engine shop.
  • Hardware store.
  • Home and garden store.

Tip: Large bottles can reduce the long-term cost

Not recommended Chainsaw Oil Alternatives

  • Never use used or recycled oil. Always use fresh oil.
  • When the chainsaw is off, never add oil to the reservoir.
  • Do not use cheaper alternatives. They can damage the whole thing.
  • Using the wrong oil can damage the chain, bar, drive sprocket, and clutch assembly.

How to Refill Oil in an Electric Chainsaw?

All chainsaws use lubrication oil for smooth effortless running and proper maintenance. An automatic oiler supplies oil to the chain from the bar as it rotates around it. When the oiler or lubricator runs out of oil you can refill it using the following steps

  • Wear work gloves for safety purposes.
  • Unplug and turn off the saw.
  • Place the lightweight chainsaw on a flat work surface and let it cool down.
  • Clean the top of the chainsaw and filler cap with a towel or cloth to avoid any dirt or debris from getting into the oil tank.
  • Remove the cap by either rotating it anti-clockwise or by following the instruction in the manual.
  • Use a funnel to add oil carefully.
  • Slowly pour till it reaches the ‘full mark’ indication. Overfilling can be damaging so keep an eye on the mark.
  • Remove the funnel and wipe off any spills.
  • Place the cap and screw it tightly in the clockwise direction or as mentioned in the manual.

Have a look at the whole procedure of oiling an electric chainsaw by Remington Power Tools as follows:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all electric chainsaws need oil?

For maintenance, yes. For running, no. Electric chainsaws use lubrication oil for smooth and efficient performance not running.

Can you use regular oil in an electric chainsaw?

No, you cannot. Electric chainsaws require lubrication for the bar and the chain. This oil is made specifically for this purpose. Your user manual contains the answer to what oil to get. But some companies recommend using motor oil with SAE with a rating of 5-10. Consult with your local professional for more insight or read the article in detail.

Will an electric chainsaw work without oil?

An electric chainsaw will work perfectly fine without the oil since it does not need it for running. The oil is used for the bar and chain. It is more for maintenance purposes.

How do I know if my chainsaw needs oil?

The prominent indications of low lubrication are

  • Smoking tip.
  • Extremely hot chainsaw
  • Resistance and kickback while cutting.

In these scenarios, turn off your chainsaw and refill your tank. For a step-by-step check out the section ‘How to refill the oil in an electric chainsaw?’ above.

What kind of oil does a Worx electric chainsaw use?

Worx electric chainsaw can use any good quality oil. For a more satisfactory answer read the user manual.

Last Words:

An electric chainsaw might not need fuel to run, but they do need it for maintenance purposes. Oiling the bar and chain is essential for better performance and a longer shelf-life.

When it comes to oil the basic properties should be kept in mind and a proper guide to be followed for refilling. Even though a good quality lubricant can get work done, it is best to consult the user manual for the right oil for the best experience.

Proper maintenance is the key to longer usage and for electric chainsaws the main step in maintenance is keeping the bar and chain sharp and oiled. Do that and with a long extension cord, you can maintain your yard for more than 10 years with the same saw.


Richard McMann

Richard lives out in the wild with his other half, Diana Richard. He tests chainsaws based on his personal experience and loves to share their nitty gritty details with his audience. Although Richard does focus on other home improvement tools, his focus remains on cutting fallen trees or maintaining his backyard via chainsaw tools. He pledges to come up with new knowledge about chainsaws every once in a while. Explore Details About Richard