I just changed my transmission of 75W90 GL-4 (low sulfur) spec.
What do you think of using it as bar oil for my Husky chain saw?
Anyone done it?
The advantage is obvious.
What's the drawback (don't guess because I can guess too).
I'm asking if anyone has ever used used gear oil for chain lube and lived
to tell the story about how it worked out?
Thanks for letting me know that 90 weight gear oil can work, if new from
the bottle. The Red Line MT-90 is about 20 bucks a quart so I wouldn't use
I understand your point about the particles, which definitely were in the
magnetic trap. I guess I could "filter" out the bigger particles, but your
point is valid that almost certainly there are myriad small particles in
used gear oil.
I think your suggestion that the particles would be bad for the chain is a
good enough reason to just throw the used oil out (to Jiffy Lube) and waste
I would just recycle the used petroleum gear oil. I have three Stihl
chainsaws, a 14", 20" and 36" monster. For the past decade, we have
been using soybean cooking oil for the bars and chains. Works great
and is environmentally safe.
The problem is Donald Trump. The solution is impeachment or, the otherwise legal
removal, from office, of the greatest threat to peace the world has ever known.
I don't know about TF or gear oil but over the years, I accumulated
about a dozen partially used containers of various weight and age
non-synthetic engine oil- 30, 40, 10-30, 5-20, 10-40, etc. which were
left over from oil changes and top-ups on vehicles and power equipment I
no longer own.
They've all worked fine as bar oil in large and small chainsaws,
including one electric.
On Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:27:59 -0400, Bubba's Chainsaw Repair
Realistically, a chain saw isn't worth repairing since a new one is only
$350 and a repair for about 1/3 that price only gets you your used one
Then again, there are things to worry about, and there are things not to
For example, a lot of people worry about climbing a ladder to operate a
chain saw to cut off a high tree limb. So they don't do the job because
they're worried about falling off the ladder.
If they just had someone hold the ladder, then maybe they wouldn't need to
worry so much.
Same here kind of.
If this is a realistic worry that the particles *will* screw up the chain
saw, then it's never going to be worth it.
But if it's just one of those running-with-scissors old wive's tales, then
it's not a realistic worry.
The problem is that nobody knows - which means I either have to be a
guinnea pig or I reason it out or I don't do it. Actually I think someone
said in this thread they do it all the time, so maybe I don't have to be
the guinnea pig.
Anyway, it was worth the question.
I think the answer is that there is a risk of the particles screwing up
"something" but that risk has to be assessed versus the benefit (which
isn't all that much since chain oil isn't all that expensive).
That's the takeaway.
On Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 11:11:18 PM UTC-4, Chaya Eve wrote:
I doubt that whatever is in the oil is going to harm a chainsaw
bar or chain. I've used everything from 10-40 to vegetable oil.
I never tried used oil, but you're not talking about things like
valve seals, piston rings, etc. It's a chain moving on a bar.
I would think one difference with true chain oil would be the
stickiness if you will, ie how well it clings to the bar instead
of flying off. But if you don't care how much oil flies off
because it's free, does it matter that much?
It's much heavier than bar lube oils that are more in the SAE 30 weight
I've used recycled SF SAE 5-40 from the tractors as bar oil for years
with no discernible ill effects...then again, I'm not a professional
tree trimmer or woodcutter, either, so they get intermittent use, not
I'm not sure if it's actually "much heavier" and it might actually be the
I think, they use a different viscosity standard for gear oils than for the
viscosity of motor oils as shown in this chart.
This says that they are the same viscosity:
"While many motorists may assume SAE 90 gear oil is thicker than SAE 40 or
50 motor oil, they are actually the same viscosity; the difference is in
Wiki says the same thing
"API viscosity ratings for gear oils are not directly comparable with those
for motor oil, and they are thinner[further explanation needed] than the
figures suggest.[by whom?] For example, many[quantify] modern gearboxes use
a 75W90 gear oil, which is actually of equivalent viscosity to a 10W40
If that's correct, the SAE 75W90 is the same as a 10W40 in cold viscosity,
which is to say a 90 weight gear oil is the same as a 40 weight motor oil
at elevated temperature (or a 75W is the same as a 10W at cold
I'm not sure which weight matters in a chain saw whose oil is probably
midway in temperature (at ambient temperature) between the cold temperature
and hot temperature rating of oils.
I can't speak for chainsaws but I use 90W gear oil on both my chain
drive motorcycles and get as good a chain life as some of the fancy
I don't know about the used oil part. The generic stuff I buy is about
$10 a quart and lasts a long time.
I normally use Lowes sticky chain lube bought by the gallon but now I have
a gallon of used 75W90 so I was just wondering ...
It must have metal flakes in it though, so it might not be worth it if it
screws up the chainsaw. I'm not so worried about the $30 chain but more
about the $350 chainsaw.
When you use a chain saw, that oil ends up in the environment including
your face. Any oil will lubricate the chain, but you really don't want
to put toxic stuff in your eyes, mouth, and nose.
I have to say that the feds think of everything, and they worry about lots
of things I don't worry about - but - when I'm using the chain saw ...
toxic chemicals splashing in my face are the *least* of my safety concerns.
So I may seem crass, and I know the oil goes *somewhere* (just like tire
rubber goes somewhere and just like power steering fluid goes somewhere)
but on my list of things to worry about - toxic gear lube in my face isn't
yet on that list.
But thanks for the extra worry! :)
Indeed, some folks have too much time on their hands...the amount of oil
left in any one area is so miniscule as to be negligible, and a fair
amount probably actually ends up on the ends of the sawn material that
is removed with the useful timber/cuttings...
The longterm impact isn't all that bad, either--I remember the spot on
the farmstead here that was the oil-change location for 50-60 years or
more...we just drained the oil into the sandy ground in a given location
as was no recycle market back then and was only so much used one could
make use of. After a period of time that was a clear spot of ground
that stuff didn't grow on, naturally.
But, sometime probably in mid-70s or so, the Co-oP started collecting
used oil when they delivered gasoline/diesel/propane so we began
catching used oil. At this point and at least by the time we returned
to the farm in 2000, it is impossible to distinguish that area from the
surrounding--over time even that highly concentrated an area "healed
itself" without any intervention. A little chainsaw spray or wipeoff
would be virtually impossible to detect within a very short time; it's
just not that much of an insult by the limitation of no significant
volume is involved.
Every time I walk in the forest, I step across something that is "toxic"
whether it's a dead animal or poison oak or berries that will make you sick
or just standing water that you wouldn't wash your dog with.
That toxic stuff *grows* in the forest and the forest somehow handles it
without the Feds telling me to use vegetable/canola oil (which itself is
just not natural).
Anyway, I'm not dissing the vegetable/canola oil idea so much as I'm saying
that when I'm using a chain saw, the *least* of my worries are where the
oil goes and what happens to it afterward.
When I get to the point of worrying about that, I'll be dead and in heaven
by then because all my other worries will have been taken care of.
Grok that, too...was just commenting on the magnitude of the "problem"
as being mostly made up rather than real.
I'd not be surprised but what there also was some trade group looking
for more uses for their particular products funding the "research"
driving this, either...
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