Should Chainsaw Bars Leak Oil?

As you know, chainsaw chains are borne on the chainsaw’s bar. And so, when you switch on your chainsaw, it is this chain that goes into action. When these chains are used over time, heat is generated within them due to friction. It is best to lubricate the chainsaw chains and bars on which the chain is borne.

However, you may be wondering to know whether it is normal for your chainsaw to leak bar oil after lubrication and storage. It is normal for chainsaw bar oil to leak, but it must be moderate.

If the oil leakage is excessive, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Maybe the pressure in the bar oil tank must be relieved, or the chainsaw is not stored correctly. Whatever the case may be, it needs to be addressed.

In this article, we have discussed some frequently asked questions regarding bar oil leakages and how they can be solved. If your chainsaw leaks bar oil more often than usual, read through and get the necessary information to stop it.

How To Identify a Leaking Bar Oil Problem

To solve a problem, it is good to identify the problem, so you don’t end up solving what doesn’t need to be fixed in the first place.

To identify a leaking bar oil, there are two methods to go through:

The first method may be time-consuming. Here’s what it requires you to do:

  • Keep your chainsaw stable for some time. (1-3hours).
  • Check the chainsaw after a while.
  • If oil is seen under the chain bar area, your chainsaw has a bar oil leakage problem.

The second method saves time, and it requires that you do the following:

  • Get a white paper.
  • Take up the chainsaw over the paper and start it on reverse mode.
  • If the bar oil level is just right, you will see an oil mist jump over the paper surface.

However, if the paper gets soaked, you have a bar oil leakage problem that needs to be fixed.

Why Do Chainsaws Leak Bar Oil?

Bar oil leakages are a normal thing, only when the oil that leaks is the one that had been left over for increased speed rotation of the chain when in use. However, if the oil that is leaked is more than what the chainsaw consumes, then there’s a problem that needs to be fixed.

There is no effect without a cause, so to address the effects in the right way. It is important to know the causes so that you can prevent unwanted occurrences.

What Causes Chainsaws To Leak Bar Oil?

The main reason chainsaws leak bar oil is the creation of a vacuum in the oil tank due to variations in atmospheric pressure. A rule of thumb goes, “the higher the atmospheric pressure, the more the leakages, and the lower the pressure, the lesser the leakages.”

The bar oil and the chainsaw oil are stored in the oil tank located just above the motor section of the chainsaw. In the oil tank, there is a one-way valve that directs atmospheric pressure inwards, letting oil pump out to the parts of the chainsaw that needs oil when in use without leaking the oil.

This valve is also responsible for maintaining negative air pressure in the tank, preventing oil leakages. The oil begins to leak if the valve cannot hold negative air pressure due to high pressure towards the oil tank.

At night when the temperature is low, air pressure drops as well, leading to no leakages of bar oil in chainsaws. But in the daytime, the high temperature and pressure lead to excess oil leakages in chainsaws.

What Are The Effects of Bar Oil Leakages?

Chainsaw bar oil leaks when in excess, but what happens when your chainsaw runs out of bar oil? The chainsaw bars, as stated earlier, bear the chain, which does the main work of cutting the wood.

If the oil is drained completely, this chain is put to use. It will slowly but surely damage the chainsaw, reducing its life expectancy by half. When there is no bar oil, the chain bars are not lubricated, which will cause friction, generating a large amount of heat that can dull the chains.

Without chain bar oils, the bar and the chain blades will wear off more rapidly. Consequently, this will drop the efficiency of the chainsaw by 70%, making you exert more effort to cut wood than usual. To prevent this from happening to your chainsaw, do well to lubricate the bar chains and prevent your chainsaw from leaking bar oil.

How To Prevent Chainsaw From Leaking Bar Oil

Leaked oil cannot be recovered but can only be replaced. Replacing bar oil will cost you a lot of things – your time, energy, and resources. You can avoid all of these by preventing bar oil leakages.

To prevent bar oil leakages, you must ensure that the oil tank is not filled to the brim.

You must also ensure regular checkups on your wood-cutting machine before and after use.

Things to check out for:

  • Rubber ring (if oil tank).
  • Oil tank
  • Fuel vent (if it is clogged up).
  • Oil pump (if it is functioning correctly).

How To Stop Chainsaw From Leaking Bar Oil

Why Do Chainsaw Leak Bar and Chain Oil

Chainsaw bar oil leakages are caused mainly by changes in temperature and pressure. To stop the oil leakages, there is a need for proper ventilation of the oil tank.

There are four ways to stop a chainsaw from leaking bar oil. They include:

1. Drain bar oil from the oil tank before storage and store empty

This method could easily pass as the best method to prevent chainsaw bar oil leakage as it leaves an empty tank, ensuring that the effects of the changes in temperature and pressure of the environment where the chainsaw is stored will not be felt.

However, this method cannot be done all the time as you may forget to do it after use if the chainsaw and you don’t want to find your chainsaw in a pool of bar oil in the garage, so we suggest that you get to know the other methods.

2. Lay the chainsaw on the side so the oil cap faces upwards. Then keep the oil cap slightly opened

This way, there is a drop in pressure build-up in the tank, even where there is an increased temperature and pressure in the environment.

Note: Endeavor to tighten the oil filler cap before use if this prevention method is used.

3. Check and replace the rubber ring

In between the oil tank and the chainsaw chain is a rubber ring. The oil leakages often stem from the high pressure in the oil tank created by the rubber ring. If this is the case, it is best to replace the ring to avoid leakages.

4. Clean up the chainsaw

This preventive measure cannot be overemphasized. A clean chainsaw has a very low tendency to leak oil. After use, your chainsaw is most likely to pick up debris and sawdust dirt. If this dirt is not cleaned, it will collect into the bar oil filter, resulting in leakages.


Chainsaw bar oil leakages are one of those problems of a chainsaw that is easy to solve. When your chainsaw leaks bar oil in excess, you should identify the problems first. This will give you an idea of what to do to solve it.

Do a thorough cleanup of the chainsaw removing the debris and sawdust. Check the rubber rings if it is due for replacement, and don’t hesitate to replace them if it needs to be replaced.

After cleaning the chainsaw and the rubber rings and the leaking persists, we suggest you empty the oil tank and store the chainsaw. However, remember to top up the oil before the next use and tighten the oil cap of the tank properly before use.

If you need to keep the oil in the tank, vent properly by keeping the chainsaw on its side and opening the oil cap slightly.

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