Flip your bar upside down with every tune-up or when you sharpen your chain. The chain wears on the bar unevenly with more abrasion on the cutting side (the bottom in most cases).
The 2-stroke engine of a chainsaw needs a precise mixture of oil and gas for lubrication. Small bottles of oil are commonly sold to be mixed with one gallon of gasoline, which presents a problem for the occasional chainsaw user: old fuel. “The minute you take that gas out of the pump, the clock starts ticking,” says Steve of Toro Lawnmower, Garden and Chainsaw Center. “It’s only good for about 30 days.”
The culprit in gasoline from the filling station is ethanol. Between 10% (E10) and 15% (E85) of “gas” is this 200-proof alcohol additive. Think of it as a super-flammable cocktail for your car. It reduces emissions and absorbs water; the latter feature makes it unsuitable for long storage. Since most 2-stroke oil is sold pre-measured for a one-gallon batch, you might not be able to use up the mixed fuel while it’s fresh. Solution: Stihl MotoMix. This 92-octane fuel is pre-mixed with 2-stroke oil and may be stored for two years. It’s sold by the quart or gallon, and though it is expensive, consider the cost and inconvenience of constantly disposing of old gas.
Bar and chain lubrication is imperative; don’t allow the reservoir to run dry. To test that the oiler is operating properly, hold the nose of the bar about six inches away from a piece of cardboard and run the saw full throttle. You should see an oily stripe form on the cardboard. Adjust the oiler if necessary according to manufacturer instructions.
Stihl makes an environmentally friendly bar and chain oil called BioPlus. Be a responsible forester and use it instead of synthetics especially if you often cut things up out in the wilds.