Can You Use Chainsaw Oil On Your Bike Chain?

A bike’s chain’s health has to be one of the most important things when taking proper care of a bike. This needs to be done for the bike to run properly. For proper care, the main thing to do is lubricate the chain.

Regular lubrication of the bike chain is recommended for maintaining the performance of your bike. Otherwise, it can become difficult to pedal.

Have you ever wondered if you can lubricate your bike’s chain with chainsaw oil? This article will tell you the pros and cons of using chainsaw oil on your bike chain.

What is chainsaw oil?

Chainsaw oil is a lubricant that is specially made for lubricating a chainsaw’s chain. Chainsaw oil gives proper protection against rust, corrosion, and wear.

The oil is often made with a greater viscosity than conventional motor oil, allowing it to stick to the chainsaw’s chain and bar very well. Chainsaw oil is applied to the chain and bar via an oiling mechanism, which dispenses the oil automatically as the chain rotates.

Chainsaw oil is not the same as chain oil. People use chainsaw oil as a substitute for bike chain oil. But it is not always recommended.

Chainsaw bar and chain oil have somewhat different requirements than standard motor oil. It must be slippery enough to keep tree sap and debris from adhering to the bar and chain. At the same time, it has to be sticky to stay on the chain while it spins at full speed.

Can You Use Chainsaw Oil On Your Bike Chain?

Yes, you can use chainsaw oil on your bike chain. While oil explicitly made for bike chains is the best option, chainsaw oil is a good substitute for a bike chain.

Chainsaw oil is sticky, so it is great for rainy or wet weather. The oil will not get washed away in these weathers because of its sticky nature. However, it can get tricky to use chainsaw oil in normal conditions, mainly because it is thick and sticky.

But chainsaw oil is often considered to be a means to an end. It is not recommended to continue using chainsaw oil on a bike chain for a long time. It can have deteriorating effects and damage your bike parts.

It is best to use bike-specific chain oil for lubricating the bike chain. You can use chainsaw oil for emergencies.

Related reading: Best Bike Lube for Winter – Reviews & Buying Guide

How to Remove Chainsaw Oil from Bike Chain?

Removing chainsaw oil from a bike chain is not that difficult. Here are several methods for removing the oil from your bike chain:

  1. To remove as much chainsaw oil as possible, use a degreaser made exclusively for bike chains.
  2. Scrape the chain with a stiff-bristled brush, like a toothbrush, to clear any leftover residues of oil.
  3. To clean any leftover degreaser and dirt, rinse the chain with water.
  4. To properly dry the chain, use a clean rag.
  5. After cleaning and drying the chain, lubricate it again with bike chain oil or chainsaw oil.

What are the Consequences of Long-Term Use of Chainsaw Oil on Bicycle Parts?

Putting chainsaw oil on bike parts can have a lot of adverse long-term consequences. Here are a few possible side effects of using chainsaw oil on a bike over an extended period of time:

  • More wear and tear: Because chainsaw oil is not specifically made for the lubricating needs of a bike chain, it may create higher friction and wear on the chain and gears.
  • Rust and corrosion: Because the oil does not give the same amount of rust and corrosion protection as bike chain oil, the chain and other parts can rust and degrade much faster with time.
  • Decreased efficiency: The additional friction chainsaw oil creates can make pedaling more difficult, lowering efficiency and making riding more difficult.

To minimize any damage, use a lubricant particularly made for bike chains. Using the correct oil and keeping your chain properly greased and maintained is the ideal way to ensure the lifespan of your bike.

Pros and cons


  • Chainsaw oil is available very cheaply. This makes it a good alternative for bike chain oils and lubricants. If a person is a heavy bike rider, they might need a lot of bicycle chain oil, and because chainsaw oil is cheaper than most, it makes it more budget-friendly for the rider.
  • When it comes to chainsaw oil, a little goes a long way– adding a drop on each link will make the bike chain run smoothly and without fuss.
  • It is also a great alternative for rainy and wet weather as it has great low-temperature handling properties. Because it is sticky in nature, it does not get washed off easily, which is why it is a great alternative for rainy and wet weather.
  • It provides protection from rust and friction, like most other oils and lubricants.


  • One quality of chainsaw oil is that they tend to be very, very sticky. It is good for chainsaws but could be better for bike chains. Because they are so sticky, dust, dirt, and other debris get stuck to them very easily and almost instantly.
  • Because of its sticky nature, it is very hard to clean it off of the bike chain.
  • Chainsaw oils are very stenchy, which can be very nauseating for some people as it is not an easy stench to tolerate.
  • Chainsaw oils are very thick, which makes them not easy to apply to the inner parts of a bike chain. It needs to be handled very intricately.

Related reading: How Can You Fix a Rusty Bike Chain?

Final Thoughts

Even though chainsaw oil has its cons, it is a great alternative when considering using it for a short period of time. Especially for riders who enjoy riding in the rain or on a cold, misty winter’s morning, it is a great choice as a bike chain oil.

Not only is this cheap, but it will also not wear off easily during cold and wet weather. The only suggestion would be that if you do use chainsaw oil as a bike chain lubricant, be patient enough to clean it thoroughly before reapplying it again so it is safe from being contaminated with dirt, dust, or other debris.


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