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Author Topic: Bar oil vs. used motor oil  (Read 14188 times)

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Offline Lambee10

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Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« on: January 16, 2012, 01:14:58 pm »
I got in a bind this weekend and ran out of bar oil.  ::)  In order to finish cutting the tree I used some used motor oil that came out of my tractor on my last change.  It got me through the job but is that something I can continue to use?  seems to keep it oiled well and is easy to get!
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Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 03:20:38 pm »
I used all my used motor oil, when we had 2 trucks, 2 skidders, 1 feller buncher, 2 pickups, 2 cars, thats  39 gals of oil in one change.

I never had a problem using used oil, just a little dirty [ black]

Back when we used solid nose bars, i used #90 cut with fuel oil in the winter, it didn't smell very good, the bar would be green on the end. The chain sure run smooth  with it.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Online chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 03:37:13 pm »
If you really want to run it I would recommend running it through some sort of filter first as often times used motor oil has bits and pieces in it that can and will clog up the tiny passage in your chainsaw oiler.

Won't mention that used oil usually contains heavy metals and is slightly toxic.......

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 03:39:44 pm »
Old crankcase oil is some smelly  nasty stuff .I save all mine in 55 gallon drums and my buddy burns it in a black oil heater .

I have a 2100 S Homelite that was a west coaster that somebody black oiled before I got it .It must have taken me a gallon of kerosine flushing all that stuff out of it .

Offline tstex

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 04:51:43 pm »
I have seen a post like this before on used oil in chainsaws...there is a reason used motor/crankcase oil is black, it is contaminated with gasoline that was ignited and then emit both carbon and some possible pieces of metal residue.  Running this stuff in your c-saw should be for an emergency situation only...if not, the cheapest chain oil out there should not set you back too much...tstex

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 05:20:48 pm »
When oil is drained out its already filtered oil, it is good clean oil, turned black from a little soot and going cold to hot also causes oil to turn black.

I always check oil between my fingers, if it slippery its good usable oil yet.

I never had any oiler problems, dirty oil isn't the word for used oil, its used oil, it doesn't have dirt in it.

I used it over a 30 yr period, never had a issue with it, it was cheap, or maybe i was.    8)
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 06:07:44 pm »
You can get a ton of junk in the bottom of an oil pan especially in a high hours engine .

Now I wouldn't use it .However just for the record somebody did a research thing on it with respect to wear and tear on a saw and found no significant difference between it and regular high tack bar oil .

Oil never really" wears out "so to speak ,it just gets contaminated .The big diesels on the U-boats used a centifuge system  and I forget exactly but maybe 100 gallons of oil .It had several canister filters and for all intents the oil  circulating though the engine was just about as clean as if it were newly added .

Online chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 06:13:21 pm »
When oil is drained out its already filtered oil, it is good clean oil, turned black from a little soot and going cold to hot also causes oil to turn black.

Its filtered after its sucked from the oil pan and before it enters the oil passages.

When it comes out of the bottom of the oil pan it isn't yet filtered after being run and there is also sludge and sediment in the bottom of the oil pan from normal wear and tear.

I used it over a 30 yr period, never had a issue with it, it was cheap, or maybe i was.    8)

Saws back then had much less sensitive oilers. They tossed oil onto the bar like water from a fire hose. Modern saws apply much less oil to the bar (thanks EPA), so what oil makes it to the bar needs to be tacky and stay there for a bit.   

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 06:21:40 pm »
Back in the days of non detergent oil which kept things in suspension they'd have say a 5 bucket full of old oil .If they let it sit a couple months they could skim off about half a bucket full that was nice and clear .

Detergent oil could sit for a year and be just as black and nasty as it was when it first went in the bucket .

Offline Paul_H

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 06:27:57 pm »
I was in the logging industry the same amount of years as lumberjack48 and never saw a logging outfit run used oil in a saw but maybe it's a regional thing.I wouldn't dream of it unless it was an emergency and we needed to finish out the day.
We liked to run good fuels and oils and maintained our equipment reasonably well as we depended on it.

In the saw shop here I have only one customer that runs used oil but he is a little on the haywire side. :D
eg  tregar  meste  på  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Red Pill

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 06:42:53 pm »
On another note, is there a vegetable oil based bar oil? I've never been concerned about using regular bar oil or 30-weight, but I have to wonder if it will become an environmental issue.

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 06:47:10 pm »
On another note, is there a vegetable oil based bar oil? I've never been concerned about using regular bar oil or 30-weight, but I have to wonder if it will become an environmental issue.

Stihl has an oil that they say breaks down quickly. Unless you spill it I don't think all that much oil from a modern chainsaw ever hits the ground.
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Offline shelbycharger400

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 07:04:56 pm »
parents wood/tree service back in the 80's all they ran was used motor oil, still have almost all the saws, none ever had an oil pump problem or replacement that i can remember.  from what they say a few went to the garbage can after they became too costly to fix , mainly wore out or were droped . they went through a LOT of pruner saws. all the good big saws are still around, i dont think they climbed with them.  they did it all by hand climbing with spikes and ropes, no bucket truck.   we threw out the old waste belt harness 2 years ago, going through stuff...  what a joke that thing is compared to what is available now.    side note...  how long are climbing ropes good for?   they are not frayyed or decayed, all look nearly new , they threw out the bad ropes as they got recked.

Offline Corley5

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2012, 07:18:22 pm »
We ran used oil years ago when Grandpa Whittaker was still alive.  He'd filter it and bottle it back into gallon oil jugs.  I've ran it in a pinch along with mix oil, gear lube etc. but I prefer fresh bar lube.  It's more convenient too  8)
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Offline Clam77

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2012, 07:24:57 pm »
On another note, is there a vegetable oil based bar oil? I've never been concerned about using regular bar oil or 30-weight, but I have to wonder if it will become an environmental issue.

Stihl has an oil that they say breaks down quickly. Unless you spill it I don't think all that much oil from a modern chainsaw ever hits the ground.


I was in the saw shop the other day and saw some of Stihl's new stuff on the shelf (in green bottles of course) and asked about it - guy told me not alot of people are buying it yet with the exception of the federal agencies - guess they all switched to it already around here.  He also said everything in it bio-degrades within a short time EXCEPT for the tackifiers... Stihl web site says 93.8% degraded within 21 days..

Is it REALLY that big a deal that they think we're slinging that much oil around??   ::)
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Online beenthere

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2012, 08:46:38 pm »
So when does the "green" start to degrade?
Chances are it doesn't wait until it gets pumped out across the bar to degrade, but begins soon after it is refined  ::) ::)

Sounds a bit like the short life of ethanol fuel, only shorter.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2012, 09:19:51 pm »
Too much ado about bar oil in my opinion .I still maintain that the traffic  alone drops more oil on interstate 75 and US 30 almost daily than all the chainsaws combined in an entire year in Allen county Ohio .

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2012, 09:54:23 pm »
I remember an old logger than ran used equipment oil in his saws, too cheap to pay for it. He got pithed with me about the cost of repairing/replacing the pumps, I told him I was only too happy to take his money. :D
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2012, 04:37:39 am »
 :D My neighbor did that black oil thing .Until that is he loaned out his nice little Makita which was a Dolmar painted blue and of course it came back broke .I turned him on to Scott where he got another crankcase for repairs .I told him to take the whole grease pile  to the car wash before he brought that mess into my garage .Which he had and hasn't used black oil since .

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Re: Bar oil vs. used motor oil
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2012, 08:04:34 am »
I have done it both ways,our daily operation use store bought bar oil, but like others said used oil has no ill effects other than making a black mess in front of the saw. as petroleum products get more and more costly I am thinking why not reuse it and its all I run in the processor right now and no ill effects yet. after changing the oil in the trucks I have gallons of used oil to use. and yes you have to put clean oil in the saw not the grungy stuff from the bottom. Tim