If your chainsaw has seen better days and you’re thinking of retiring it for a newer model, think again. You can breathe new life into an old chainsaw and have it working as good as new simply by replacing the chainsaw bar. This can completely change the operation of your chainsaw, and it’s an easy and inexpensive fix. Here we discuss all about how to choose a replacement chainsaw bar and the best chainsaw bars currently on the market.
In This Article
- Benefits of a Replacement Chainsaw Bar
- What to Look for in a Chainsaw Bar:
- Best Chainsaw Bars to Buy
Benefits of a Replacement Chainsaw Bar
Extend the life of your chainsaw
After a chainsaw has had a lot of use, it can start to show signs of wear and tear or aging. In many cases, this will be in the form of a chainsaw bar which has started to bend or become misshapen. When this happens, you don’t need to spend a tonne of money on replacing the entire chainsaw, and instead, you can extend the life of your current chainsaw by just fitting it with a new chainsaw bar.
In some cases, you might find that your chainsaw isn’t performing as well as it once did, with no obvious indication of what the problem is. In this instance, many people are surprised to find that simply replacing the chainsaw bar completely transforms the performance of their chainsaw and gets it working just as well as it did when it was brand new.
If you’re thinking about buying a new chainsaw to achieve the fresh cut of a new tool that your old chainsaw no longer delivers, you’ll be looking at spending a considerable chunk of money. However, replacing the chainsaw bar can result in the same outcome by spending a fraction of the cost. By improving your chainsaw with a new chainsaw bar, you can have a tool that works like new without taking a big hit on your bank balance.
A new chainsaw bar will improve the cutting performance of your chainsaw if your tool has started to make less precise and less smooth cuts due to extended use. By improving the cutting capabilities of your chainsaw, you’ll find that it operates much more seamlessly, making previously tough jobs a breeze.
Chainsaws are powerful and useful pieces of kit, but they are also among the most dangerous types of tools that you can own. If the chainsaw bar which came with your chainsaw has aged, then it can diminish the safety of your chainsaw. Improve the safety of your tool by swapping out the chainsaw bar for a new one. It should be made of a strong and sturdy material by a reputable manufacturer to ensure ultimate safety.
What to Look for in a Chainsaw Bar:
One of the most important things to pay attention to when finding a new chainsaw bar is the size. Different models of chainsaws will require different sizes of chainsaw bars, and it certainly isn’t a one size fits all scenario. Before buying a new chainsaw bar, you should check that it is compatible with your chainsaw. You can usually do this by looking on the manufacturer’s website, or in many cases, a chainsaw bar will be advertised with a list of makes and models it is suitable for use with.
Chainsaw bars need to be kept lubricated in order to prevent unwanted friction, therefore ensuring good performance and helping them to last longer. There are different methods of lubrication for chainsaw bars, and the type you should choose will come down to personal preference. Some people prefer chainsaw bars that can be manually lubricated, while others feel that self-lubricating systems are better. Self-lubricating chainsaw bars typically feature a sealed bearing at the sprocket tip, and therefore the user never needs to manually grease the tool. Some users find this saves them a job, while others prefer to have control over the lubrication.
In order to prevent injury and ensure your chainsaw is safe to use, it is best to look for a chainsaw bar that has low kickback. Kickback can occur when the chain of the tool is too dull and gets caught in the cutting material or when the nose of a chainsaw bar makes contact with the cutting material causing the chain to snag. ‘Kickback’ refers to the sudden upward action of the chainsaw bar and can be dangerous because the user momentarily loses control of the tool. The best chainsaw bars will have been specifically designed to ensure low kickback.
If you want a chainsaw that is comfortable to use, then find a bar that offers low vibration. This will optimize the smooth performance of the tool and make for a more pleasurable user experience.
The material a chainsaw bar is made from will play a big part in the way it performs and its longevity. If you plan to use your chainsaw for light or occasional use only, then the strength of a chainsaw bar won’t be as important, however for regular or heavy use, you’ll need a strong and reliable bar to ensure that you won’t need to be continually replacing it. The strongest chainsaw bars are made from solid steel, whereas a laminated chainsaw bar is made from two pieces of steel joined together. A strong chainsaw bar will be more resistant to bending and perform better for longer.
While it’s important to stick to a budget that works for you and your family, don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest chainsaw bar as this will likely have a short lifespan and cost you more in the long run as you’ll need more frequent replacements. Inexpensive bars will also be more likely to offer poor performance and be less safe to use. Instead, focus on reputation and user reviews over price. Many users have found mid-range chainsaw bars to work just as well as the most expensive chainsaw bars.
Best Chainsaw Bars to Buy
STIHL 3003 008 6821 Rollomatic E Laminated Chainsaw Bar
This chainsaw bar is 20 inches long and is a three-part spot-welded laminated guide bar made from high-grade steel. It has a star-shaped sprocket and is recommended by the manufacturers for use as an all-around bar, suitable for both frequent professional use or occasional home use. This size bar fits 81 chain links on it and weighs 2.7 pounds. It is made by Stihl, who are known for their high-quality tools and accessories, with a reputation dating back almost a century. Stihl is a German manufacturer with a long history of chainsaw innovation.
Buyers of this chainsaw bar found it to be exactly as they would expect from a Stihl product; sturdy, reliable, and the perfect fit. Users described their worn-out chainsaws to be as good as new after having the new chainsaw bar fitted. Users found that the bar bolted on easily and could be used straight away. Buyers agreed that the chainsaw bar was fairly priced, and many believe that Stihl chainsaw bars are the best around in terms of replacement bars for chainsaws.
After using this chainsaw bar and seeing the difference in quality between this and other branded chainsaw bars, many users stated that they would only be using Stihl bars for replacements in the future. Some users were disappointed with the lack of information provided by Stihl about which chainsaws this bar would be compatible with, and as a result, purchased the wrong sized bar for their tool. It is recommended that you check out the Stihl website before purchasing a new chainsaw bar, as there you will find all the information regarding which bars fit which chainsaws.
- High quality
- Easy to fit
- Reasonable price
- Lack of sizing information
Oregon 105671 20-Inch Replacement Chainsaw Bar and Chain Combo For Stihl
This is a 20-inch chainsaw guide bar and chain which features a . 325-inch chain. It is a reliable and durable bar that is ideal for occasional use, both commercially or privately. It has low-vibration micro chisel cutters, which ensure low kickback. This bar meets the kickback performance requirement of CSA Standard Z62.3 and ANSI B175.1-2012. It has a lubrication system to keep the bar well oiled, making for less friction during use and ensuring a longer lifespan of the tool. This chainsaw bar is compatible with a wide range of chainsaws, including the Stihl 024, 026, 026P, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 034, 036, MS 260, MS 270, MS 271, MS 280, MS 290, and many more. It has a multi-rivet nose with a small radius, which helps to improve control, and is lightweight to aid with better maneuverability.
Buyers of this chainsaw bar and chain set found it to be very impressive for the price. In many instances, users preferred this bar to replacement Stihl alternatives they had used in the past, which they found needed to be sharpened more frequently. Users of this bar agreed that it was very durable and reliable and found that it fitted easily. Some users were concerned before purchasing the bar that it would not fit as well as a Stihl bar, but they found that this was not an issue, and the bar fitted perfectly.
Users were pleased to note that the bar allowed old chainsaws to work like new, and after a lot of use, it still performed well. The majority of buyers believe that this chainsaw bar is better for value for money than Stihl alternatives, as it is much less expensive and offers a very similar quality. Some buyers even felt that the quality of this bar surpassed that of previous Stihl bars they had used. A minority of buyers were disappointed to find that when they received their box in the mail that it did not contain the bar, which suggests that it had fallen out during transit and points to an issue in packaging.
- Easy to fit
- Fits perfectly
- High quality
- Low price
- Some packaging inadequate
Husqvarna 531300440 20-Inch FT280-72 Chain Saw Bar
This is a 20-inch chainsaw bar that is recommended for professional and commercial use in demanding conditions. The pitch on this bar is ⅜ inches, and the gauge is .050 inches. It has a low-vibration chain which offers excellent, smooth performance. It is compatible with a range of chainsaw models, including the 55Rancher, 257, 261, 262XP, 357XP, 359, 455Rancher, and 460.
Buyers of this chainsaw bar recommend it for heavy-duty jobs such as felling large trees. It was found by users to be of very solid construction, which they expected would be durable and last well. Many users were pleased to discover that their old chainsaw worked like it was brand new after installing this bar and noted that it was easy to fit.
Some people commented that Husqvarna had changed their product numbers, which made finding the right chainsaw bar a little tricky, and in this case, it would be best to contact a Husqvarna dealer to point you in the correct direction. Users of this bar recommend that it is kept well oiled to ensure a good long life and smooth operation. Some buyers noted that the blue painted details on the side of the bar became damaged after a few uses, which made the chainsaw look old and worn. Though this was disappointing for some people, it does not affect the use of the bar. Most buyers agreed that this chainsaw bar is fairly priced considering the quality.
- Easy to fit
- Solid and durable
- Heavy duty
- Reasonable price
- Blue paint easily damaged
Forester Bar & Chain Combo 20″ – 3/8-72Dl for Stihl Chainsaws
This chainsaw bar and chain set includes a bar guide that is 20 inches long, with a pitch of ⅜ inches and a gauge of 050 inches. The chain has a 72 link count. These pieces are designed to be replacement parts for Stihl chainsaws, and they fit a range of chainsaws, including Stihl 030, 031, 032, 034, 036, MS 310, MS 311, MS 341, MS 360, MS 361, MS 362, MS 440, MS 441, MS 460 and MS 461. This is a durable yet lightweight bar for improved maneuverability and reliability. It is recommended for light or occasional use and would be ideal for homeowners or farmers.
Buyers of this chainsaw set found it to be very impressive at first, remaining strong and sharp after several hours of cutting. However, a significant portion of users found that after considerable use, the bar bent and was no longer working effectively. Some users also encountered problems with the sprocket in the roller tip, which broke into several pieces during use and needed replacing. Buyers of this set which use it for very light and occasional work, found it to perform to a satisfactory standard, but for medium-level or heavy-duty work, it will not stand up to the job.
It is not particularly durable, and so some users recommend spending more money and getting a bar and chain which will last longer. However, occasional users felt this was a good bar and chain set for the money, noting it was easy to fit and pleasant to use.
- Easy to fit
- Not durable
Husqvarna 531300438 18-Inch HLN250-72 Pixel Chain Saw Bar
This is an 18-inch chainsaw bar that is compatible with tools in the Husqvarna Chainsaw Series, including models 435(e), 440(e), 445(e), 450(e), 450 Rancher, 543XP, 545 (MII), and 550XP (MII). It has a pitch of .325 inches and a gauge of .050 inches. It is designed to offer a high level of performance due to the low vibration chain and is ideal for heavy-duty use.
Buyers of this chainsaw bar found it to be rugged, strong, and durable. Some users were very impressed at how well the bar breathed new life into their old chainsaw, noting that it cut through tough surfaces with ease. Some users rated this bar poorly because they believed that there was no way for the sprocket to be manually greased; however, this model has a sealed bearing at the sprocket tip which means it never needs to be greased, making it a lower maintenance product for the user.
Some users found that the bar fitted easily to their chainsaw, while others found it to come up a little too small and therefore had quite a bit of trouble installing it. A small portion of users also commented on how easily the paint on the side of the bar gets marred after a few uses, which makes it look old and worn. This was disappointing among those who found the appearance of the bar to be appealing.
- Rugged and sturdy
- Low maintenance
- Paint becomes easily damaged
- Fit may not be perfect