Well, can't get much cheaper than bar oil, it's reclaimed engine oil, but any engine oil or the 2 cycle oil would work. Use a weight about like you would for a normal engine in that temp, if you have a choice.
Personally I would not substitute bar oil with another oil because bar oil is formulated to have a cling characteristic that is not prominant in regular motor oil. I know oil is expensive but it is still cheaper than metal, especially that metal that comprises the bar and chain. Additionally a well oiled chain is easier for the engine to drive and will prolong the overall life of the saw as it will not have to work as hard.
I have been running drain oil and used hydraulic oil in my chain saws for maybe 20 years. It works fine. Don't believe the "chicken little sky is falling" tales of woe about how awful it can be. I don't even bother to strain the drain oil.
It works fine. No, it doesn't have the tack additive normal bar oil has. So what?
Will the bar wear out? Yes.....eventually. Will the chain wear out? Yes.....eventually. The bars & chains don't wear out NOTICEABLY quicker. PERIOD.
as long as its oil, it will lube the bar and chain, anything that can help disapate the heat from friction, therefore in a pinch even diesel would lubricate for a time, but the oiler would have to be turned way down to prevent it from just pumping it all out to quickly. And if you use motor oil it should be adusted anyway as well, way to measure is one tank of fuel to about 7/8 tank of oil.... then you are not using any to much .... and ive even turned mine down to half a tank at times.
The problem associated with old motor oil is it splatters everywhere, and if you are cutting logs for log housing, then it stains, luber for siding it stains too......
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I often use diesel or a diesel-bar oil mix in the subzero times of the year. Never had problems with it, except it gets used faster, like someone stated. I was asking because this saw will be in a third world country and there won't be a bunch of chainsaw accessory dealers there to buy from. I think I'll recommend motor oil, maybe in the heavier weights.
To add some stick to it, I'm wondering if you can add some STP oil-additive-type product? Perhaps when you are changing oil in a vehicle, put in new engine oil and one bottle of the additive, run for a couple of miles to mix and then drain out to use in the saw. Then put fresh oil in the vehicle again.
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