There are several reasons why you would want to use a vegetable based bar and chain oil for your chain saw chain and it’s not as crazy as you might think. Maybe you are out of standard bar oil and need something to keep your saw running until you get back to the store or you just need to find a clean alternative that’s safer for you, the garden and the environment. Everyone’s case is a little different but one thing is for sure, vegetable oil can be used as a bar and chain oil substitute if the need arises. And if there is a demand there will be an ample supply.
Besides using vegetable oil in a pinch, there are other benefits of running with vegetable chain oil:
- Less impact on the environment
- Fantastic if you’re needing to use your chain saw in the garden or to butcher meat
- Acts as a decent chain lubricant
- Can tolerate high heat
- Much cleaner to work with
One of the biggest draw backs is that vegetable oil is not tacky. Meaning that will not stick to your chain like standard bar & chain oil. It’s also messy and hard to see to clean up since most vegetable oils are translucent.
Always check with your manufacture to ensure that you can use vegetable oil as a bar and chain oil lubricant.
Best Vegetable Based Bar and Chain Oil
There currently is no good vegetable bar and chain oils on the market. Besides using the raw product there are chain oils that are much safer for the environment than traditional petroleum based oils. With that said, traditional vegetable oil acts as a great stand in if you do run out of bar and chain oil.
If your going to use something other than the standard bar and chain oil and you need to use a vegetable based oil, why not use the best. Your going to run through quite a bit so make sure you have an ample supply on hand.
In our testing Crisco did a great job as a cutting chain oil substitute but your mileage will vary depending on what you’re trying to cut and for how long. We were able to cut about a half of a cord of wood using a this vegetable oil as a bar and chain oil without too much incident.
If you use your chain saw for butchering meat then vegetable oil is the way to go. Its clean and you will not have to worry about contaminating your food.
If you need to trim some trees, vegetable oil is a fantastic alternative to some tree killing bar and chain oils.
We don’t recommend using vegetable oil for your bar and chain over prolonged periods. Always check to make sure your chainsaw is designed to use it.
Biodegradable Bar & Chain Oil
It’s almost over whelming the benefits of using vegetable oil for your cutting saw that you can start thinking why ever use anything else? Your saw will run its best when using OEM standard petroleum bar and oil.
But what if we could bridge those two worlds, getting the best out of using vegetable oil benefits without giving up the performance that traditional bar and chain oil give? You can! There are many companies that specialize is creating natural oil for your cutting chains, stuff that wont harm the environment, you or your chain saw.
Motion Lotion has come out with a bar and chain oil that is bio-degradable and still acts much like petroleum based bar & chain oils. The only down side is the price, which is a little higher than standard bar chain oil.
Traditional Bar and Chain Oil
Standard Bar and chain oil is formulated to make ensure your saw runs at optimal performance in some of the worst conditions possible. Things we don’t even think about; hot and cold weather or helping prevent wood chips, saw dust and even tree sap from sticking to the chain. These oils are created to give the best cutting efficiency and to run smoothly.
OEM bar and chain oil is what is recommended by the manufactures. It usually ends up being better for your saw over the long run. Unlike vegetable oil, OEM oil is formulated to be tacky which ensures that the oil will stay on your chain. Its also better at dissipating heat and preventing corrosion. But if your not worried about the environments you are in, do yourself a favor and use traditional bar and chain oil. Your chainsaw (and back) will thank you later.
In all our tests Oregon brand bar and chain oil usually comes out as the best. Most of Oregon products are built to be used in multiple different brands of chainsaws and there oils are no different. Oregon bar and chain oil is one of the highest rated oils on the market right now.
You have a lot of different choices available for your chain saw chain. You can use vegetable based bar and chain oil if you’re in a bind, but traditional bar and chain oil will always work better.