If you use your chainsaw more than once in a couple of months, your chainsaw guide bar goes through hard work. First of all, the chain goes around the bar with a rather high seed. Moreover, the bar takes part in cutting itself. Therefore, every chainsaw user should know how to examine the saw bar for wear or damage and how to organise high quality chainsaw bar maintenance.
- 1 How To Understand That You Need The Chainsaw Bar Replacement
- 2 Useful Technical Tips: Chainsaw Bar Maintenance
- 3 Chainsaw Bar Maintenance: Main Features
- 3.1 The Aim Of Grinding The Rails
- 3.2 Wire-Like Edges And How To Deal With Them
- 3.3 Checking The Machining Plug
- 3.4 How To Clean The Bar Groove And The Oil Hole
- 3.5 What Happens If The Chain Tension Is Too Low
- 3.6 The Issue Of The Chain Throwing On A Worn Bar
- 3.7 Chainsaw Sharpening
- 3.8 Bar And Chain Oil Lubrication
- 3.9 How To Make The Lifespan Of The Rail Longer
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 In Closing
How To Understand That You Need The Chainsaw Bar Replacement
There are two common spots where the chainsaw guide bar body wears. They are on the top side of the bar rails as well as on the surfaces inside these rails.
It’s rather simple to notice anything on the top of the rails, so it’s easier to start examination from this spot. What you should remember examining the guide bar? Just stick to the following rules:
- You have to inspect very carefully the area behind the guide bar nose since there the rails get damaged most quickly. It’s so especially when you apply your instrument for lots of limbing operations, and this area of the guide bar works most of all;
- You should also seek chipping or some other kind of rail damage;
- If you see that there is no damage in the nose area, the good idea is to examine the rails on the heel. There you can also find some evidence of wear. Another thing which is advised to do is to turn the n the bar in order to examine its profile at the heel. You will understand that the bar is worn if you notice a narrow tail of the bar. Or you can see that the tail is likely to wear out soon, so you will need to decide how soon you will need a new bar;
- The following step is to check the depth of the bar groove. If the bar heel is worn enough, the rails will be shallow. In fact, sometimes the groove gets so shallow that you can easily notice where the drive links of the chain have rubbed in the groove bottom. If while examining you find anything like that, you don’t need further inspection since you can already make it clear that the bar is worn out and you need to replace it;
- If you still don’t see any damage, the next thing you need to inspect is the inside rails. Although they are difficult to see, there is a method how you can estimate how much the bar is worn out. When the chain is on the bar you should take the chainsaw so that a straight edge is against the bar body as well as the cutter tooth’s side plate. When the rails are okay, they will keep the chain straight with just a little gap between the straight edge and the body of the bar. But in case of the groove wearing out the chain will lean. When there is a lot of lean, there happens to be no gap between the body of the bar and the straight edge. Therefore, you can understand that the inside rails are already worn out and you need to replace the chainsaw bar.
Useful Technical Tips: Chainsaw Bar Maintenance
In this video will learn how to maintain your chainsaw bar and what to look for as signs of wear.
Chainsaw Bar Maintenance: Main Features
Below we would like to cover several main aspects of how you can maintain the guide bar of your chainsaw so that it can serve you for a longer period of time and as efficiently as in the beginning of the chainsaw use.
Of course, the main thing which you should always remember is that your bar should be kept clean as long as it’s possible.
The Aim Of Grinding The Rails
It’s a common practice that the tops of the bar rails wear out with the same speed, but it’s not like that each time. During various cutting operations sometimes one bar rail can deal with more pressure than the other one, and vice versa in some other type of cutting. Of course, one of the rails can get worn out more quickly than the other.
When it happens, the chain won’t hold square on the guide bar. You can solve this issue by grinding the tops of the rails using a special grinder to make the rail height even and to make the rails perpendicular to the bar side. But you should take into account that grinding reduces the life of the guide bar, so you need to be ready to replace the guide bar rather soon after the grinding.
Wire-Like Edges And How To Deal With Them
When you examine your chainsaw bar, you can see the wire-like edge on the outside of the chainsaw bar rails. You should be carefuls since these edges may be sharp. It’s a good idea to have a fine-tooth flat file for this case so that you can remove such edges with it. Why do we need to solve this issue?
Such edges cause drags in chainsaw cuts. Moreover, there happens to be more chipping if these edges are not removed in time. Although such an edge can break off the rail, but it can take some good part of the rail with it, so you need to prevent this from happening by using the flat file.
Another thing which you can apply instead of the flat file is a pneumatic or electric disc sander. If you do have it, don’t forget to use it in the direction which sends debris away from the guide bar as if you do it towards the bar, the small pieces of steel and abrasive grit will go to the bar groove.
And if there is some abrasive in the groove when you put the chain and bar back on the chainsaw, it will spoil the inside of the rails. Moreover, if it gets to the bar nose, it will also damage the bar.
Checking The Machining Plug
The machining hole near the bar tip should obtain a little plug made of aluminum. The plug closes a little hole which is usually applied to hold the chainsaw bar end in the period of manufacturing. If the plug goes out of the hole, it is likely to gather chips.
Many people forget to check this plug, but it’s rather important since when the plug is out, the tip can hang up in the cuts. Therefore, the machining plug is very essential, and if you notice that it’s missing, you need to replace it immediately.
How To Clean The Bar Groove And The Oil Hole
When you examine your guide bar, spend a little bit of your time on cleaning wood chips from the centre of the rails and check whether the oil hole is open. You can do this procedure using a groove cleaner or even a simple pocket knife. When the bar rails are clean, oil moves down the guide bar without any obstacles. This is beneficial for tip and rail lubrication.
In fact, many people forget about this hole, which causes various issues. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to put the chain off regularly and check the bar groove and oil hole.
What Happens If The Chain Tension Is Too Low
Another thing which influences the wearing of guide bars is chain tension. If you see that your bar obtains excess wear in the area of the heel or behind the nose, you can make a conclusion that your chain is too loose. But if the tension is correct, the chain doesn’t pull itself after rounding the drive sprocket tip.
With too loose tension the chain is often reoriented on the rails behind the nose as well as the heel, which leads to the increase of wear. Too much tension is also not good since it can seriously affect the chain as well as the bar tip and the engine elements.
Therefore, chain tension plays a very important role in the work of the saw bar, and we highly recommend everyone to check the chain tension regularly in order to avoid any issues.
The Issue Of The Chain Throwing On A Worn Bar
If you apply the guide bar which is rather worn out, you can face the problem of the chain being thrown. Actually, it can happen even if the chain is tensioned enough or too much. Why does it happen?
When the guide bar is worn out, its heel is much narrower than the one of a new guide bar. This, while the rail height gets less, makes the distance of your chain travelling out of the groove longer. When the distance becomes larger, the chain starts to behave more unstably and can derail easily.
Of course, the thing which you can do is to change the worn bar into a new one, but if you see that your bar can work for some more time, you can run a shorter chain, which means that the heel of the guide bar should be run closer to the sprocket.
If your chain gets stretched, try to remove a link as soon as you can, so that you can prolong the life of your guide bar.
Another thing which seriously affects the lifespan of the chainsaw bar is the incorrect chain filing or sharpening.
It’s highly essential that the top plate angles of the cutter teeth obtain the same angle of filing, which usually happens to be around 30 degrees. Of course, the angle depends on the kind of wood you are going to cut as well as whether you are ripping or cross cutting with the grain.
In addition to this, it’s vital to set the correct depth of the depth gauges of the chain. If they are taken down too much, the cutter teeth start to behave aggressively and cause a quicker wearing of the rails and bar itself.
Therefore, it’s very important for every chainsaw user to sharpen the chain of their chainsaws regularly and correctly. You can also apply a special depth gauge tool for choosing the needed settings.
Bar And Chain Oil Lubrication
Why do we need to have the bar and chain properly lubricated? The answer is that oil makes friction less between the chain and the bar, which helps them to avoid damages for a longer period of time. Therefore, every chainsaw user should make sure that the oil tank of their chainsaws is regularly refilled.
When you choose the bar and chain oil for your instrument, you should pay attention to its quality, which should be high enough. The best options are usually offered by saw manufacturers. But you should avoid using motor oil since it obtains heavy particles which increase the speed of the bar and chain wearing out.
And if you store your chainsaw without using it for some time, before applying for the first time after the break it’s a good idea to slide the chain around the saw bar before starting the tool. This will lubricate all the elements so that the chainsaw won’t start going dry.
How To Make The Lifespan Of The Rail Longer
The easiest way to extend the life of the guide bar rail is to rotate the rail. You can do it when to replace chainsaw chain or just after some certain period of use, and for this you should remove the chainsaw bar and put it on upside down.
It is okay even if the logo of the chainsaw brand is upside down. Since the rails get worn out faster from the bottom during cutting operations, the moment when you rotate the bar helps the rails wear evenly on both sides. In fact, it happens the same way when you rotate the tires on your car or truck.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below we have decided to cover a few questions which chainsaw users usually ask about their chainsaw bars.
How often should you flip the bar on a chainsaw?
We have already mentioned that it’s essential to rotate the chainsaw bar so that the rails wear out evenly. It’s a good idea to flip the guide bar each time you take off the chain for any manipulations.
If you don’t take off the chain very often, the best solution is to rotate the chainsaw bar once a month if you are not a professional user, and at least once in two weeks if you use your chainsaw more often than an amateur owner.
How long does a chainsaw bar last?
In fact, there is no certain answer to the question.
It’s usually stated that the chainsaw bar can serve for about ten years.
Of course, the lifespan depends on several factors. For instance the amount of hours you apply your chainsaw as well as the frequency of use.
In addition to this, harder cutting operations increase the wearing of the chain and bar. However, even if you cut a lot but take care of your chainsaw regularly and in the needed amount, you will be able to use the chainsaw and it’s bar as long as possible.
What is the best chainsaw bar oil?
As we have noted earlier, usually high quality chainsaw bar and chain oils are sold in chainsaw stores and actually are produced by chainsaw manufacturers. In 2021 there have been named six chainsaw bar oils which happen to be the most suitable for use.
If you look for a typical chainsaw oil which fully performs its functions, you should consider buying Husqvarna Bar & Chain Oil. This oil can be applied to the chainsaw of any brand and in any weather conditions. It also works well in cutting operations of any difficulty.
If you seek a less expensive option, think of Poulan Pro Bar & Chain Oil. It also performs its functions well but it’s not so suitable for winter conditions, for which you may need another chainsaw bar oil.
As for weather conditions, in summer a good idea is to use a light and free-flowing oil, the ideal sample of which is MAXPOWER Bar & Chain Oil. In the opposite, the best oil model for winter is Stihl Winter Grade Bar And Chain Lubricant. Sometimes oil can be adapted to the type of your chainsaw.
For instance, Oregon Chainsaw Bar And Chain Oil is specially designed for use in electric or cordless chainsaws. And, as in many other spheres of goods for home and work, people try to find eco-friendly versions of the things they use frequently.
If you also look for a biodegradable oil, the best option for you is NV Earth Biodegradable Bar & Chain Oil.
In other words, the choice of oil is rather wide, so try to ask for the advice of a shop assistant in a local chainsaw store, examine the reviews of other chainsaw users or choose the option mentioned above in order to prolong the lifespan and increase the efficiency of your chainsaw.
My Saw Doesn’t Cut Straight. What Should I Do?
If you notice that your saw doesn’t cut straight, you can suppose that the problem may be with the bar. Of course, it can occur that the chainsaw bar guides the chain incorrectly. However, it happens rather seldom. For most cases the problem of not straight cutting is connected with the chainsaw chain.
Even if there is a little bend in your chainsaw bar, it won’t have any influence on the ability of the chainsaw to cut straight. Of course, you shouldn’t use any worn bar based on the previous statement. However, first of all when you face the problem of not straight cuts you should check your chain and only if it doesn’t have any issues you examine the saw bar.
In this article we have covered how you should examine your chainsaw in case you think that the chainsaw bar is worn out. The most important things which you should take into account are that there are several spots where you should check the possible damages on your chainsaw bar. If there are too many damages, the saw bar happens to be completely worn out and needs replacement.
If you see that although there is some wear you can still apply your chainsaw guide bar, you can provide some chainsaw bar maintenance. By this you can increase the lifespan and efficiency of this important chainsaw element. For this we have collected the list of the main features which you have to take into account when you maintain your chainsaw bar.
We hope that this article will be extremely helpful for you and you will be able to use the offered advice to organise the correct guide bar maintenance and to make the use of your chainsaw easy and enjoyable.