When to Replace a Chainsaw Bar – The 7 Definitive Signs!

Do you know what the biggest reason to replace the bars of your chainsaw is? Undoubtedly it’s mainly for your safety purpose. A damaged bar is more likely to create a danger zone for the user than that for the tree it’s going to cut!

So the question arises when to replace a chainsaw bar?

There are some crucial signs you need to file out to replace your bars. Some of these can be twisted and chucked Bar, widen grooves, damaged or jammed sprocket, pinched rails, and few others like those.

when to replace a chainsaw bar

This tiny Infos aren’t sufficient, right? Indeed, you would get here more details with an in-depth analysis of why and when you should replace the bars of your chainsaw.

When Should You Replace the Chainsaw Bar?

The Bar of a chainsaw has to handle a lot of friction and wear. But as it’s made of tough material, it’s not a loose task for the users to find out the signs to replace the Bar.

If you know the proper timing of replacement of the Bar, undoubtedly you can save your machine from stressing. However, the following signs would tell whether your Bar needs to replace or not.

Wearing out the Sides of the Bar

The top sides of the rail are more likely to wear out than the rest parts. Sometimes extra wear on one side of the rail can be noticed, and it happens due to some cutting tends that put more pressure on one side than the other.

Therefore, the chain won’t fit properly within the rails.

What you can do here is that grinding the top rails to have a quick fix. But in case your grinding leads only a temporary solution and it’s needy to more and more grinding within a few whiles, you should go for a new bar.

Also, if you notice some chunks missing on the top Bar, better you replace them.

The Bar Rail has Cracks

Sometimes it happens while running the chainsaw; the chain gets caught. If there is a pointy edge on the Bar of your chainsaw or any cracks or cuts are there in the middle of the Bar, you may face that type of disturbance.

However, if you notice the cuts or cracks on the rail, we recommend you to pick a new bar.

Chainsaw Bars Become Twisted

Heavy loads sometimes may cause twisting to your chainsaw bars and it’s common circumstances for chainsaw users. You also may notice one side is bent more than the other, indicating the side is used to get more load.

No, we do not recommend changing your bars if you notice a little bend over there. You can fix it by hitting that bent area.

chainsaw bar samples

But, in case the Bar has been twisted too much, it would better if you replace it with a good one.

Here to be noted that most of the bars can be repaired, but it perhaps won’t be a good option while cost facts come. In case you need to pay half the price of a new bar for repairing one, better you replace it.

The Sprocket Becomes Jammed or Damaged.


Chainsaw Bar SprocketIf you have sprocket tip chainsaw bars, note that the sprocket is usually the first part to show the sign of being worn.

The nose sprocket allows the chain to move around the tip bar within a fixed place, and it maximizes the speed and power of your chainsaw.

As it works with the oil from the bar oil reservoir, one cause of the sprocket failure can be your insufficient lubrication on the tool.

Also, there is a chance to get a damaged sprocket when the tree’s weight is so heavy that it causes pinching over it. As a result, a tooth of the part might be broken down.

However, if your chainsaw bar comes with a replaceable sprocket, you just have to change the sprocket nose. Otherwise, replace the Bar and get a new one.

The Grooves have Widened up

Suppose the chain of your chainsaw is tightened enough against the Bar. Instead of that, it’s getting wiggle side to side on the Bar.

Why is that happening? One significant cause can be the widened up of the grooves compared to their normal gap. As a result, the Bar’s chain becomes extremely loose and causes premature wear on your Bar.

It’s also dangerous if you use a chainsaw with the chain too loose as it can come off and hit you cutting your leg.

If you have a bar machine to make the gap tighter, it will help. And if you don’t have one, you can go on repairing shop but replacing with a new bar perhaps the best option in such a case.

The Groove/ Rail turns to V Shape

You might be noticed that the chain fits into the bars in a tongue and groove style. With a U shaped bar, the chain can maintain the fittings properly.

However, when the bars start to wear, the grooves slowly turn into V Shape, allowing more room for the chain to wiggle around. This circumstance indicates the time you need to replace the Bar.

Pinched Spots over the Rails

Look along the rails whether there is any narrower area than the rests’ on the Bar. This narrow spot or pinched rail causes decreasing the room against the smooth moving of the chain. And, for that, the bars face friction of the chain also a hot spot over there.

However, the question is whether you need to repair or replace in that case. Right?

Luckily, pinched rails are repairable. You can easily open up the pinch using a flat-blade screwdriver and matching the rails with their normal thickness.

After repairing, test it by sliding the chain. In case it’s not moving easily may be any burns left inside the rails from the repair or damage. You can also remove these using a small grinder with a thin abrasive.

Last update on 2024-03-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Chainsaw Bar Maintenance Tips

  • Each time you use the chainsaw, fill it up with fuel and bar oil. Having no oils means you are getting excessive wear.
  • Make sure that the oiler holes on each side of the Bar are always clean.
  • If the Bar has a grease hole at the tip, you should regularly grease it. For that, you may use a small grease gun inserting a few squirts.
  • Keep the groove in the Bar clear of any sawdust as there is a chance the sawdust can suck up all the bar oil. You can use a flat screwdriver, or a small pick or compressed air, or maybe another cleaning for that.

Remember that no matter how well you take care of the Bar of your chainsaw, eventually, it will wear out. So, it would better if you replace the Bar from time to time when you replace your chainsaw chain.


Generally, the chainsaw users are more likely to focus on the chainsaw’s chain and engine instead of the Bar.

Hopefully, now you’ve known that it’s crucial to maintain the Bar.  Furthermore, you have got a clear idea of when to replace a chainsaw bar, haven’t you?

However, if you aren’t sure if the Bar needs to replace or not, just take it to an engine shop, and they would tell you what you need.


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