How to Fix a Chain Saw Chain Oiler

Updated February 21, 2017

The oiler on a chain saw helps bring oil from the tank to the bar and chain for lubrication. Without the oiler, the chain would overheat and destroy the bar, sprocket and clutch. Dirt, old oil and other debris can clog the oiler holes and nozzle on the chain saw, stopping oil from flowing to the bar. The oiler contains a nozzle and hose, which pump the oil to two holes on the heel of the bar. Keeping the oiler in good repair ensures premium performance from your chain saw.

Unscrew both bar nuts on the metal bar posts holding the chain cover in place using the wrench. Lift the cover and bar off the two metal posts. Slide the chain off the bar. Hold the bar up by its tip.

Run the edge of the knife along both guide slots down the length of the bar. Clean out any compacted sawdust, oil and dirt. Pick out the two oiler holes, at the rear, with the tip of the knife. Clean the bar with the rag.

Unscrew the oiler plate, which sits beside the metal bar posts and has the oiler's nozzle in its centre. Lift the plate and clean the plate and the area under it with the rag.

Use the pressure washer to clean the bar and the oiler side of the chainsaw. Blow the oiler holes and oiler nozzle out with compressed air. Turn the chain saw upside down and check if it has an oiler control screw.

Turn the oiler screw either clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on model, to increase oiler output. Put the bar, chain and chain cover back onto the saw.


If this doesn't solve the problem, you'll need to remove, disassemble and repair the oil pump, which only a professional should do.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Knife
  • Rag
  • Screwdriver
  • Pressure washer
  • Compressed air
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About the Author

Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.