Tips To Avoid Leaking or Spilling Oil From Your Chainsaw


In Brief: Tips To Avoid Leaking or Spilling Oil From Your Chainsaw

To avoid leaking or spilling oil from your chainsaw, check if the amount is normal. Check the oiler system, ensuring it functions and does not have damage or wear. Keep the line free of sawdust. Do not store the chainsaw with a full tank of oil, and wipe down the bar, chain, and machine housing with a cloth after use.

If your chainsaw has begun leaking or spilling oil then you may be concerned that there is a maintenance problem with it.

Fortunately, most oil leaks and spills from chainsaws are the result of normal operation and do not constitute a problem.

To help minimize the oil leaking or spilling from your chainsaw, we have put together a list of these top tips.

Tips To Avoid Leaking or Spilling Bar and Chain Oil

The first few tips for avoiding oil leaks from your chainsaw center around the oiler system and ensuring that it functions.

Following on from that, we have some tips for ensuring that normal leaks and spills are kept under control.

Check That Oil Actually Leaks

Firstly, your chainsaw may not be leaking at all.

A small amount of oil under your chainsaw when you retrieve it from storage is normal. The oil rarely comes from the reservoir, constituting a leak.

The more likely situation is that the oil that was on your chain, bar, and collected on the machine housing during the last use has collected and dripped down onto the floor.

If you find a large pool of oil, you might have a leak and should proceed to check the oiler system as detailed below.

Check That Oiler System Functions

The oiler system delivers bar and chain oil from the reservoir to the bar and chain. You should check that it functions correctly.

Fill the oil reservoir, then start your chainsaw and throttle it with the nose within a few inches of a piece of cardboard. You should see a fine spray of oil appear on the cardboard every time you throttle.

If the oiler system does not function, then you will probably find a solution using the next two tips.

Inspect Oiler System For Wear

Open up the machine housing and follow the oil line from the reservoir, through the clutch, and to the bar and chain. Along the oiler line, you will find seals, oiling holes, and other wearable parts.

If any of the components looks worse for wear, and your oiler system does not function correctly, the leaking could be explained by that. Replace any worn seals.

You may need to take the saw in for repair by a professional if you see any cracks or fractures on other components.

Keep Oiler System Clean

Assuming that you found no damage in the oiler system and have replaced any worn seals, the most likely cause of a genuine bar and chain oil leak is a clogged line.

Sawdust can get into cracks and crevices. Mixed with oil, clumps form that can block the oil from reaching the bar.

Thoroughly clean the inside of your chainsaw. Make a habit of doing so regularly to avoid any problems in the future.

Never Store With A Full Oil Tank

If there were no issues with your oiler system, the most likely candidate for the apparent oil leaks is an overfilled tank.

Some people top up their fuel and oil after use so it is ready for next time. While that may seem prudent, it is not advised.

Fuel degrades over time, and oil kept in a full tank can change volume due to temperature fluctuations.

A half-full oil reservoir is fine, so there is no need to drain it. However, refrain from topping it up until you need to use it.

Wipe Down After Use

Finally, if none of the above tips apply, the remaining reason for apparent oil leaks is that the oil collected on the outside of the machine has dripped down.

During use, bar and chain oil is sprayed as a fine mist from the bar. When cutting, the oil usually ends up on the wood.

When not in contact with wood, it can spray a mist onto the machine housing. The fine droplets collect together and drip down over time in storage.

After every use, simply wipe down the housing, bar, and chain with a clean, dry cloth.


We hope these tips will help you to avoid any leaking or spilling of oil from your chainsaw in the future.

There will always be a little bit of oil under your chainsaw after storing it, but following these tips will help you minimize normal leaks and identify problematic ones.

If you have any more questions or comments about these tips or chainsaw oil problems in general, please feel free to leave them in the section below.

About Christopher Hall

Chris has been writing on automotive topics for more than five years now. He works with a custom car-making firm. Car racing is his no.1 passion and he's been doing it ever since he was 16 years old. He loves to take care of cars and enjoys reading all about them, while also always looking forward to the next race.