Bar oil/friendliness

adaycj

Member
Location
Michigan
I'll take the bait as a conversation because the post was from a member with many posts. Veg oil does not make as good of a lubricant as petrol oil.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877705813020183

Even at loads of a few hundred pounds it fails quickly. I think that the link and pin pivots in a chainsaw chain could see loads comparable to the ones in this study.

A few other thoughts to feed the conversation. If the chain does wear faster and needs to be replaced sooner than the resources to make more chains may offset any perceived "environmental" advantage. Another thought. Petrol oils break down naturally in the environment. Part of what makes these long chain H-C molecules useful is that we can break them down at will. Is refined veggie oil really better to release into the environment? It is easy to think of something as bad when you talk about carcinogens that are bad if we eat them, or as gigantic oil spills. I think a gigantic veg oil spill could also be disastrous, and there are many sources that state that eating the stuff is quite bad for you. But those mechanisms are not the way bar oil is used or dispersed into the environment.

The article linked it chock full of anecdotal information and trigger words to justify a standpoint, and that is often a red flag for me. Hydrocarbons literally spray from every engineered orifice of a chainsaw when it is in operation. If a human is really concerned that his(or her) influence on wrecking the planet comes from bar oil use, it may be best to put down the gas powered saw and use hand tools.

Oh, and what is "firewood gathering season"? When I used to burn wood I would "gather" all year and dry the stuff before use.
 

Oroboros

Well-Known Member
Location
Owen Sound
I use 3:1 canola to petroleum bar oil mix. In warm months. In the cold it will thicken. Also make certain to store tools with straight petroleum oil. Veg oil will dry to leave a very sticky film. Locked up a hedge trimmer pretty bad once .

Side note. Mycelium has been shown to consume oil in soil.
"How mushrooms can save the world" by Paul Stamets.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
I've never mixed. I only use canola on top-handles. Used to use on 20" bars, but you know, that a lot for an employee to have to remember.

I've never worn a chain out from lack of lube.

Oroboros, how with how long of bars do you use your mix?
 
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craneguy1

Well-Known Member
Location
USA
Food for thought...cuz i thought about it last week, long story...petroleum based "tree paint" was bad 30 years ago; petroleum based products have proven toxic to the cambium layer...still sold...we trim with petroleum oil slinging off and rubbing onto the cambium. My how far we've come.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
So is there a study on the effect of commonly used bar oil and CODIT/localized necrosis from said cuts?
 

Treespotter

Well-Known Member
[emoji15]
Guys, I'm amazed that after all these years there still are professional arborists here on this forum that use petroleum based chain lubricants in stead of canola oil.
Every now and then this topic pops up.
For all disbelievers hear this.
I use canola oil for over 20 years now, summer 30 degrees Celcius and winter -15 degrees Celsius.
I never discarded a chain because of excessive wear. My bars live longer than 5 or 6 chains.
I have no clue how bad canola oil is for our respiratory system but I do know that petroleum based oils are carcinogenic.
If not for the environment, start using canola oil for your own health and for the dollars you keep in your pocket.

When this would be a forum for homeowners/occasional firewood hacks I would agree with the use of petroleum based chain lubricants. Canola can clog up saws that are not in regular use.

Wolter
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Location
Maine Island
Can anyone weigh in on how long canola is shelf stable for bar oil? Guessing I go through 40ish gal/year. Considering buying a drum but have never used it, curious if it degrades once the container is open for an extended period. Thx for any insight.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I've been 100% canola for 4-5 years - just buy it in the baking isle at the grocery store (bonus: no sales tax...). No problems. Maybe a little more fine dust stays under the clutch cover?

I only use the 385 a few times a year (don't do a lot of removals...) so it sits. Sometimes empty, sometimes not. I haven't seen any ill effect from that.

The last paragraph in the OP's article says:
One final note: This article recommends using vegetable oil to replace chain oil in chainsaws. However, this does NOT mean replacing “mix” oil which is used for the gas mix. For mix oil, you must use the petroleum-based 2-stroke mix oil recommended by the chain saw manufacturer.

There are bio-based 2 stroke oils (It says bio based...petro is bio based...). I haven't tried, but these guys were at the TCIA show last fall: https://www.nvearth.com/2-cycle.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I've been 100% canola for 4-5 years - just buy it in the baking isle at the grocery store (bonus: no sales tax...). No problems. Maybe a little more fine dust stays under the clutch cover?

I only use the 385 a few times a year (don't do a lot of removals...) so it sits. Sometimes empty, sometimes not. I haven't seen any ill effect from that.

The last paragraph in the OP's article says:
One final note: This article recommends using vegetable oil to replace chain oil in chainsaws. However, this does NOT mean replacing “mix” oil which is used for the gas mix. For mix oil, you must use the petroleum-based 2-stroke mix oil recommended by the chain saw manufacturer.

There are bio-based 2 stroke oils (It says bio based...petro is bio based...). I haven't tried, but these guys were at the TCIA show last fall: https://www.nvearth.com/2-cycle.
the Stihl sliver bottle stuff is a bio mix
 

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