Guide Bars...

Maintaining the guide bar is not difficult, but in the past I've found that many chainsaw users neglect to check certain aspects of their guide bar. Find out more about maintaining your guide bar after the jump...

How to set about removing your guide bar will depend on the make and model of your chainsaw - but you will need to slacken off the chain tension a little and then remove the side plate. You should now be able to get the chain and bar off of the saw.

With the bar off, let's take a quick look at it; at one end there will be a slot cut in it to allow for adjustment when tensioning the chain and at the other end should be a sprocket around which the chain runs. There will also be at least one small hole down near the slot too - one of these is to allow the chain and bar to be lubricated with oil. As well as the makers name emblazened on the side of the bar, you might also find a laser-etched information panel showing you the pitch, gauge, bar length and number of drive links required for this bar.

When it comes to maintaining the bar, you should be looking out for a number of things:

  • Is the bar straight?

  • Does the sprocket at the end of the bar turn?

  • Are the sprocket teeth worn?

  • Are there signs of wear on the bar?

  • Have burrs formed on the bar rails?

  • Is there signs of overheating ("blueing" around the edges)?

  • What condition are the bar rails in?

  • Does the sprocket need greasing?

There are other things that we need to bear in mind, but lets have a look at a video that I made, showing guide bar maintenance before delving in to each area in more detail:

Hopefully the video gave you an idea of what you should be looking for, in the next post we'll take a closer look at the bar and exactly what to check for.

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