Main Aspects Of Chainsaw Bar Maintenance

Chainsaw Bar Maintenance: 9 Useful Basic Rules And Features

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 sawing machine bar maintenance.

How To Understand That You Need The Chainsaw Bar Replacement

here are two common spots where the chainsaw guide bar body wears from sliding. They are on the top side of the bar rails as well as on the surfaces inside these rails.chainsaw

It’s rather simple to notice anything on the top of the guardrails, so it’s easier to start examination from this spot. What you should remember examining the alignment rod? Just stick to the following rules:

  • You have to inspect very carefully the area behind the alignment rod nose since there the guardrails get damaged most quickly. It’s so especially when you apply your instrument for lots of limbing operations, and this area of the alignment rod works most of all, with additional pressure on the engine;
  • 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 from sliding. Another thing which is advised to do is to twist the n the bar in order to examine its profile at the heel. You will understand that the bar is tattered 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 groove. If the bar heel is tattered enough, the guardrails 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 a worn out drive link, you don’t need further inspection since you can already make it clear that the bar is shabby and you need to replace it or get a chain saw bar repair;
  • If you still don’t see any damage, the next thing you need to inspect is the inside guardrails. When the chain is on the bar you should take the chainsaw so that a direct 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 direct with just a little gap between the direct 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 direct edge. Therefore, you can understand that the inside rails are already worn out and you need to replace the sawing machine bar.

Useful Technical Tips: Chainsaw Bar Maintenance

In this video will learn how to preserve your sawing machine 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 keep the alignment rod of your sawing machine properly maintained so that it can serve you for a longer period of time and as efficiently as in the beginning of the sawing machine 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 on how to maintain chainsaw quality 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 tattered more quickly than the other.

When it happens, the chain won’t hold square on the alignment rod, no matter if it is an old or new chain. 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 sawing machine bar, you can see the wire-like edge on the outside of the sawing machine 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?
chainsaw is cutting the log

Such edges cause drags in sawing machine 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 alignment rod as if you do it towards the bar, the small pieces of steel and abrasive grit will go to the groove.

And if there is some abrasive in the groove when you put the chain and bar back on the sawing machine, 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 sawing machine bar end in the period of manufacturing. If the plug goes out of the hole, it is likely to gather chips.
chainsaw Echo

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 alignment rod, spend a little bit of your time on cleaning wood chips from the centre of the rails and check whether the grease and oil hole is open. You can do this procedure using a groove cleaner or even a simple pocket knife. When the bar rails are cleaned with a groove cleaner, oil and grease move down the alignment rod without any obstacles. This is beneficial for tip and rail lubrication.
chainsaw Husqvarna

In fact, many people forget about the grease hole, which causes various issues in keeping a sawing machine properly maintained. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to put the chains 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 tightness. If you see that your bar obtains excessive 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 sawing machine has proper chain tension and it does feel snug, the chain doesn’t pull and lift itself after rounding the drive sprocket tip.

With too loose tension the chain does not feel snug and is often reoriented on the rails behind the nose as well as the heel, which leads to the increase of wear. Too much tension and friction is also not good since it can seriously affect the chain as well as the bar tip and the engine elements.

chainsaw chain

The Issue Of The Chain Throwing On A Tattered Bar

If you apply the alignment rod which is rather shabby, you can face the problem of the chain being thrown.  Actually, it can happen even if there is incorrect chain tension. Why does it happen?

When the alignment rod is shabby, 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 and towards the sprocket longer. When the distance becomes larger, the chain starts to behave more unstably and can derail easily, leading to incorrect chain tension.

chainsaw is cutting the log

Of course, the thing which you can do is to change the shabby bar and sprocket 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 alignment rod should be run closer to the nose sprocket.

If your chain gets stretched, try to remove a drive link or multiple drive links as soon as you can, so that you can prolong the life of your alignment rod, otherwise you’ll need to replace it, as well as the sprocket.

Chainsaw Sharpening

Another thing which seriously affects the lifespan of the sawing machine bar is a dull chain.

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, your sprocket, as well as whether you are ripping or cross cutting with the grain.

chainsaw Stihl

In addition to this, it’s vital to set the correct depth of the depth gauges of the chain. If the depth gauges are taken down too much, the cutter teeth start to behave aggressively and cause a quicker wearing of the rails, bar and the sprocket itself.

Therefore, it’s very important for every sawing machine user to sharpen the chain of their chainsaws regularly and correctly with a chainsaw bar dresser. 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 blade properly lubricated? The answer is that oil and grease make friction less between the chain, bar, and drive sprocket which helps them to avoid damages for a longer period of time. Therefore, every sawing machine user should make sure that the oil tank of their chainsaws is regularly refilled with a grease gun.
Chain Oil Lubrication

When you choose the bar and 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, chain and nose sprocket wearing out.

And if you store your sawing machine without using it for some time, before applying for the first time after the break it’s a good idea to let the chain slide around the saw bar and drive sprocket tip before starting the tool. This will lubricate all the elements so that the sawing machine won’t start going dry.

How To Make The Lifespan Of The Rail Longer

The easiest way to extend the life of the alignment rod rail is to twist the rail. You can do it when to replace sawing machine blade or to repair chainsaw bar or just after some certain period of use, and for this you should remove the sawing machine bar and put it on upside down.

chainsaw is cutting the log

It is okay even if the logo of the sawing machine brand is upside down. Since the rails get shabby faster from the bottom during cutting operations, the moment when you rotate the guideway 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 sawing machine users usually ask about their sawing machine bars.
chainsaw is cutting the log

How often should you flip the guideway on a sawing machine?

We have already mentioned that it’s essential to rotate the sawing machine guideway lever so that the rails erode evenly. It’s a good idea to flip the alignment rod each time you take off the blade for any manipulations.

If you don’t take off the blade very often, the best solution is to rotate the sawing machine guideway lever once a month if you are not a professional user, and at least once in two weeks if you use your sawing machine more often than an amateur owner.

chainsaw is cutting the tree

How long does a sawing machine guideway last?

In fact, there is no certain answer to the question.

It’s usually stated that the sawing machine guideway can serve for about ten years.

Of course, the lifespan depends on several factors. For instance the amount of hours you apply your sawing machine as well as the frequency of use.
chainsaw Husqvarna

In addition to this, harder cutting operations increase the wearing of the blade and guideway. However, even if you cut a lot but take care of your sawing machine regularly and in the needed amount, you will be able to use the sawing machine and it’s guideway as long as possible.

What is the best chainsaw guideway oil?

As we have noted earlier, usually high quality sawing machine guideway and blade oils are sold in chainsaw stores and actually are produced by chainsaw manufacturers. There have been named six sawing machine guideway oils which happen to be the most suitable for use and allow for chainsaw parts to slide freely.chainsaw Remington

If you look for a typical sawing machine oil which fully performs its functions, you should consider going to a tools shop and buying Husqvarna Bar & Chain Oil. This oil can be applied to the sawing machine of any brand and in any weather conditions. It also works well in cutting operations of any difficulty, letting the blade slide freely.

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 sawing machine 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 sawing machine.

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 & Oil

In other words, the choice of oil for the oil holes is rather wide, so try to ask for the advice of a shop assistant in a local sawing machine store, examine the reviews of other sawing machine users or choose the option mentioned above in order to prolong the lifespan and increase the efficiency of your sawing machine.

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 sawing machine bar guides the blade incorrectly. However, it happens rather seldom. For most cases the problem of not direct cutting is connected with the chainsaw chain.
chainsaw is cutting the log

Even if there is a little bend in your sawing machine bar, it won’t have any influence on the ability of the chainsaw to cut straight. Of course, you shouldn’t use any dull bar based on the previous statement. However, first of all when you face the problem of not straight cuts you should check your blade and only if it doesn’t have any issues you examine the saw bar.

In Closing

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 needs replacement.chainsaw is cutting the tree

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.

Serg Cooper
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