When to Replace Your Chainsaw Bar

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A chainsaw bar lives a tough life. Primarily, it supports a chain that zings around it at more than 50miles/hour. Secondly, a chainsaw bar is often inserted in cuts that pinch, bend, and twist. Therefore, you not only need to know when to replace it, but also how to inspect it for wear and damage.

How To Inspect For Wear And Damage — Signs That Indicate It Is Time To Replace The Chainsaw Bar

In most cases, a chainsaw bar wears in two places. These places are on the surface inside the rails and at the top side of bar rails. Begin your inspection by looking at the top of the rails, which is easy to see. The area behind the bar nose often shows the most wear. Therefore, pay close attention. Additionally, look for chipping or other forms of rail damage.

Step 1

Inspect the rails on a bar’s heel. Is there any evidence of excess wear? Turn the bar in order to observe its profile on the heel. Worn bars have narrow tails; consequently, if the tail is narrow, this is the first indication that it needs replacement.

Step 2

Another sign that indicates its time to replace the chainsaw bar are the inside rails of the bar. Normally, they are hard to see. With the machine’s chain on the bar, perfectly hold a straight edge against the tooth’s side plate and the body bar. Excellent side rails hold the chain straight. If worn, the chain tends to lean. Worn inside rails are a clear sign that you need to replace the chainsaw bar.

Step 3

Cutting a new bar into half produces a ‘U’ shape. However, when bars start to wear, the groove slowly turns to a looser ‘V’ shape. When this happens, you need to replace your bar.

Step 4

The top sides of bar rails normally wear out at the same time/rate. Nevertheless, this does not happen always. Some cutting tends to put more pressure on side of the rail compared to the other. With time, this causes extra wear on one side of the rail. Consequently, the chain fails to sit perfectly on the bar. Grinding the top of the bar rails is a quick fix for this since it makes the rails perpendicular again. As much as grinding will temporarily solve the problem, this issue is a clear sign that the bar is worn out and urgently needs replacement.

When is the perfect time to replace a chainsaw bar? This is a pertinent and common question to many chainsaw owners/operators. By knowing the right time to replace a chainsaw bar, there is no doubt that you can save your machine much stress. By following the above steps, you can inspect the highlighted areas, which in turn can indicate whether you need to change your chainsaw bar. Simply put, knowing when to replace the chainsaw bar is dependent on your knowledge of how to effectively inspect the bar for wear and damage.

Here is another important area of the bar you need to look at:

Is the Bar Machining Plug-In Place?

The machining hole in front of the bar tip should have an aluminum plug. If the small plug falls out, the machining hole collects chips. Many people hardly check this. Actually, most individuals do not think that loosing the plug can make much difference. Surprisingly, it makes such a huge difference. Anytime the plug is missing, the tip hangs up on the cut. As a result, chips get in the hole thus making it difficult for a bar to slide smoothly through a cut.

It is very important to know when to replace a chainsaw bar. Knowing how to check other parts of a bar and ensure they are functioning optimally is equally essential. Follow the above steps and you are good to go.

Also read our guide on how to pick the chainsaw size for your needs!

One Response

  1. Awesome, thanks for the writeup. I’m gonna go cut my bar in half to check for any V’s and then grind down the top rail.

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