Can I Use Chainsaw Oil on My Bike Chain? (The Answer)

Chainsaw oil is designed for chainsaws and not bike chains, so you might be wondering if it’s suitable for your bike. Chainsaw oil works well as a lubricant for chainsaws but there are some exceptions like bicycle chains which require a specific lubricant. This article will discuss how you should go about using chainsaw oil for your bike chain.

Can I Use Chainsaw Oil on My Bike Chain?

You can use chainsaw (bar) oil as a bike chain lubricant, but it’s not ideal for most riding conditions. Chainsaw oil is thicker and heavier than motorbike oil, so it’s better suited for inclement weather where you need a sticky lubricant that will not get washed off. Unless you’re consistently riding in rainy weather, this lube is too sticky for most riding conditions.

Chainsaw and motorbike oils are both made to protect your equipment from wear and tear of friction. Chainsaw lubricants have a thicker consistency than their motorbike counterparts, with viscosity being the main difference.

The weight of chainsaw oil is heavier at 13-14 ounces per quart whereas its motorcycle counterpart has a lighter 12 ounces per quart.

Chainsaw oil is used to ensure the safety of a bike chain by protecting against rust and oxidation, as well as lubricating it – which can be difficult with high amounts of friction.

Using chainsaw oil as a lubricant for bike chains is excellent in bad weather when you need all the protection you can get! But keep in mind that it’s not suitable for all conditions.

Can I Use Chainsaw Oil on My Bike Chain?

How good is a chainsaw lubricant when used as a bicycle chain lube?

When it comes to lubricating your bike chain, you have a few different options. You can use chainsaw oil, which is a sticky oil that will not get washed off in inclement weather. It should be thick enough to prevent metal contact but thin enough to penetrate deep into the inner components of the chain.

However, using a chainsaw lubricant comes with some drawbacks. The drag force will increase, slowing down your bike. In addition, this type of lube is not ideal for other parts of the bicycle- like bearings and pivot points.

WD-40 is best used to lubricate pivots and cables; it works with limited lubrication but displaces water and corrects against corrosion. While it isn’t as strong as chainsaw oil, WD40 can be used to lubricate a lot of things – making it an essential item in your toolbox.

No product is a complete replacement for WD40; when you need just enough lubricant without the mess of an oilier product, WD40 is the way to go

How to Use Chain saw Oil as Your Bicycle Chain Lubricant

Bicycle chains need to be lubricated every few days, depending on how much dirt builds up and how dirty the chain is. A lot of mechanics recommend applying wet lube about once a week. It is important to clean and lubricate a bike chain if the tires need to be inflated. Any guideline on frequency is arbitrary.

It is important to know the right amount of chain saw oil for your bicycle chain. Chain saw oil should be applied in areas where it can’t get stuck or over lube other parts, like cables and derailleurs. Lube symptomatically or whenever it sees water.

Chain saw oil is a good alternative to bike chain lubricant – it’s odorless and anti-rust, plus has quick-drying properties. You should avoid oils that are overly thick, however; 3-in-1 Oil is a good alternative that you may have lying around the house already.

Does it matter what chain lube you use?

Yes, it matters. And it matters more than you think. There are a lot of different chain lubes on the market, and it can be tough to decide which one to buy. Different lubes offer different benefits, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

Wax-based lubes are some of the most popular options available. They score well on efficiency, longevity, and in resistance to contaminants. Plus, they include PTFE additives which help the wax maintain its lubricating properties at low temperatures.

Wax is a low friction lubricant that allows your chain to spin with less resistance. It also helps prevent contamination from sticking to the chain and working its way into the internals of the chain or coating your drivetrain parts, which would lead to increased wear and tear over time. Wax must be applied on a clean, dry chain before it can properly produce its desired effects.

Wax lubricants require a clean and dry chain to stick properly; they can be damaged by wet conditions and will need to be cleaned, dried, and re-lubricated soon after riding. So if you’re looking for a long-lasting lube that performs well in all weather conditions, the wax may not be the best option for you

Different Bike Chain Lube Alternatives You Can Use

Clipper oil

Clipper Oil is a light and odorless bike chain lubricant that can also protect your chain from rust. It is often applied frequently, but this will depend on the type of riding you do.

Silicone spray works similarly to clipper oil in terms of longevity – after each ride you need to reapply it. However, silicone spray allows for easy penetration into derailleur and spring pivots, which makes it a popular product among many people who love bikes with intricate systems.

Silicone spray

Silicone spray is a popular option for lubricating your chain, but it can leave residue behind and dry out over time. Make sure to use the right type of silicone spray, according to your bike. It should be a lubricant meant for closed systems, and not one meant for use in external environments or debris.

3-in-1-oil for cycle chain

There are many different bike chain lube options out there to choose from. 3-in-1-oil is a popular choice for cyclists, as it is easy to apply and is known to lubricate and protect the chain well.

However, some people have complained that it attracts dirt and can make the chain slip. It also tends to thicken over time, so you may need to apply it more often than other lubes.

4 Bicycle Chain Lube Alternatives You Must Not Use

Motor oils & other thick oils

Motor oils and other thick oils are not recommended for use on bicycle chains. These types of oil, which have a viscosity that is too high, will attract dust and dirt from the environment which will then create a sticky, dirty mess on the chain.

The most common type of oil to use with chains is light synthetic oils that have an appropriate viscosity for its intended application.

Motor oils are too thick and do not cover your bike parts properly, necessitating the need for thinner products such as mineral spirits.

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly, also known as Vaseline, is a sticky substance that was originally used to help protect against corrosion and keep chains clean. However, because it has little lubricity, it attracts dirt easily and becomes difficult to maintain.

Additionally, petroleum jelly is more expensive than other bike lubricants and does not last long or work on high-heat components. Finally, because petroleum jelly will vanish in the rain, it is not a good option for cyclists who ride in wet weather conditions.

Cooking oil

Cooking oils are too thick to be applied on bike chains. In fact, they will only attract more dirt and grime to the chain, which will eventually wear it down. Cooking oils also contain no graphite, which is important in reducing friction with the chain and other parts of a machine.


WD-40 is a popular multi-purpose lubricant and cleaning agent. However, it should not be used as a chain lubricant on your bike.

Although it can be used to clean your chain, you will still need to apply genuine lube afterwards to protect your bicycle’s gears. WD-40 is not a lubricant and could actually wear away the lubricant already present in your chains – leading to costly repairs.

Anna Stones