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Warren Wilson College
Campus Box 6323
P.O. Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000


Please refer comments or questions about this website to Ellen Querin.

Soy-Based Lubricant

Why We Do It:

Using soy-based lubricant for our chainsaws is considered a best management practice because of its ability to minimize soil and groundwater pollution.  The oil used to lubricate chainsaws is shed onto the floor of the forest surrounding the tree being cut, which gets absorbed by the soil or washed into our streams and rivers. While having obvious environmental implications, this has social implications, as well when one considers the importance of clean water and soils with regard to our health.

How We Do It:

Warren Wilson College has begun suing a natural, biodegradable soy-based oil in place of bar oil to lubricate its chainsaws.  We use a soy-oil manufactured by Stihl, which is the same company who manufactures our chainsaws. In addition to being naturally derived and biodegradable this product also has cost savings. We obtain it from a local hardware store. There are no challenges identified with this product for us, however use of other soy-based oils have caused problems with excess heat, which is something to be aware of as you adapt this alternative.

Where To Get It:

Check with your local hardware store or chainsaw manufacturer.