How to Adjust Oiler on Stihl Chainsaw: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Adjust Oiler on Stihl Chainsaw: A Comprehensive Guide

A properly functioning oiler is crucial for optimal performance and longevity of your Stihl chainsaw. Adjusting the oiler ensures adequate lubrication to protect the bar and chain from excessive wear and overheating during use. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps for adjusting the oiler on a Stihl chainsaw, troubleshooting common issues, and tips for ongoing maintenance. Grab your flathead screwdriver and let’s get oiling!

How to Adjust Oiler on Stihl Chainsaw?: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to adjust oiler on stihl chainsaw

Adjusting the oiler on a Stihl chainsaw is a straightforward process once you know where to find the adjustment screw. Here is a step-by-step guide to get your oiler dialed in:

Step 1: Safety Precautions

Before beginning any adjustment or maintenance on your chainsaw, proper safety precautions are a must.

  • Turn off the chainsaw and allow ample time for the engine and components to completely cool down before handling. Hot engines and bars can cause severe burns.
  • Always wear protective gloves and safety glasses when performing chainsaw maintenance. Chainsaws are powerful cutting tools and safety gear protects from flying debris and pinched fingers.

Taking these simple precautions will allow you to safely service your chainsaw oiler system.

Step 2: Locate the Oil Adjustment Screw

The oiler adjustment screw is typically found on the underside of the chainsaw, though location can vary by model. Consult your owner’s manual for the exact location. In general, look for a recessed flathead screw on the underside between the rear handle and guide bar. This is the oil adjustment screw.

Step 3: Adjust the Oil Flow

Once located, use a flathead screwdriver to turn the adjustment screw and modify oil output:

  • Turn clockwise to reduce oil flow
  • Turn counterclockwise to increase oil flow

Make small incremental adjustments and check oil output each time to dial-in the desired flow. The ideal flow provides adequate bar and chain lubrication without excessive flinging. See step 4 for tuning tips.

Step 4: Test the Adjusted Oiler

To check adjusted oil flow, start the chainsaw and hold a piece of cardboard near the guide bar tip. A properly adjusted oiler will throw a light mist of chain oil onto the cardboard.

If oil output is too light, turn adjustment screw counterclockwise to increase flow. If too heavy, reduce by turning clockwise. Make additional small tweaks until oil throw is optimal.

Be sure to recheck after each adjustment. Tune the oiler for adequate flow before heavy use.

Step 5: Clean and Maintain the Oiler

For optimal oiler function over time:

  • Regularly clean the guide bar oil inlet hole and oiler ports using a wire brush. This prevents clogging from sawdust and debris.
  • Visually check the oil tank and lines for leaks. Replace worn lines as needed.
  • Test and adjust oil flow periodically to account for pump wear over time.

Proper oiler cleaning and maintenance prevents issues down the road and ensures your Stihl chainsaw stays lubricated.

Troubleshooting Common Oiler Issues

A properly functioning oiler prevents a wide range of issues, but problems can arise over time. Here are solutions to common oiler problems on Stihl chainsaws:

Clogged Oiler Ports

Sawdust and debris easily clog the oil inlet hole and ports along the guide bar. This restricts oil flow even with the pump working properly.

Regularly clean the bar oil hole and oiler ports using compressed air or a wire brush. Soaking in solvent helps dissolve built-up gunk. Proper cleaning clears obstructions and restores full oil flow.

Damaged or Worn Oil Pump

The oil pump has a finite service life and will eventually require replacement. Symptoms of a failing pump include lack of oil flow even with the adjustment screw fully open.

If cleaning the oiler system does not resolve insufficient lubrication, the oil pump likely needs replacement. Consult your Stihl dealer for parts and service.

Incorrect Oil Type

Stihl chainsaws require use of quality bar and chain oil for proper lubrication. Regular motor oil is too thin and will not adequately lubricate bar and chain under high temperatures.

Always use Stihl brand bar and chain oil or another quality equivalent oil specifically formulated for chainsaw lubrication. Never substitute with motor oil.

Additional Tips for Stihl Chainsaw Maintenance

Proper oiler maintenance and adjustment keeps your saw lubricated, while additional maintenance ensures peak performance season after season:

Regularly Check Chain Tension

A loose chain can derail or wear prematurely. Routinely check tension and adjust as needed. Consult your owner’s manual for proper tightness specifications.

Keep the Air Filter Clean

A dirty air filter restricts airflow to the carburetor leading to poor performance. Check and clean or replace the air filter regularly.

Inspect and Replace Spark Plug

Over time spark plugs get fouled or the electrodes wear down. Annually inspect the spark plug and replace if needed or as specified in owner’s manual. Use only manufacturer approved replacement plugs.


Adjusting the oiler and overall maintenance keeps your Stihl chainsaw running smoothly for years of use. Be sure to take safety precautions during service and wear protective gear when operating your chainsaw. With proper care, your chainsaw will deliver reliable power and cutting performance season after season. Don’t hesitate to consult your owner’s manual or dealership if you have additional questions on getting the best performance from your Stihl chainsaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I adjust the oiler on my Stihl chainsaw?

It’s a good idea to check and adjust your Stihl chainsaw’s oiler periodically to account for pump wear over time. Test the oil flow every few chainsaw uses and adjust as needed to maintain proper lubrication.

Can I use regular motor oil for my Stihl chainsaw?

No, regular motor oils do not provide adequate lubrication for chainsaw guide bars and chains. Always use high quality bar and chain oil specifically formulated for chainsaw lubrication under intense cutting conditions.

How do I know if my chainsaw oiler is working properly?

Hold a piece of cardboard by the tip of the guide bar while running the saw. Proper oil flow will throw a light mist pattern onto the cardboard. Insufficient oiling will leave the cardboard dry. Adjust flow upwards if oil throw is lacking.

What are the signs of a failing oil pump?

Symptoms of a worn oil pump include decreased oil flow even with the adjustment screw fully opened, chain smoking or discoloration from running dry, and guide bar overheating. Have your Stihl dealer inspect the oiler if you notice these issues.

How do I clean the oiler ports on my Stihl chainsaw?

Regularly use compressed air or a wire brush to clear sawdust and debris from the guide bar oil inlet hole and oiler ports. Soaking in gum-cutting solvent can help dissolve built-up gunk as well. Proper cleaning maintains full oil flow.

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