Best Chainsaw Bars reviewed: are they universal? Read this

by Joost | Updated on:  August 22, 2021
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A key to the safety and efficiency of a chainsaw is the chainsaw bar. This is an elongated bar made out of heavy-duty material. Moreover, chainsaw bars are useful and durable. I have worked diligently to present chainsaw bar reviews to assist you in finding the best chainsaw bar suited to your needs. Best-chainsaw-bar The overarching considerations in our examination of different chainsaw bars involved a focus on efficiency and safety.    

Chainsaw bar

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Best value for money: Husqvarna 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar Best value for money: Husqvarna 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar

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Best cheap chainsaw bar: Oregon 20-Inch Advancedcut Guide bar Best cheap chainsaw bar: Oregon 20-Inch Advancedcut Guide bar

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Best lubrication: Oregon 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar Best lubrication: Oregon 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar

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Best 18-Inch Chainsaw BarHusqvarna Best 18-Inch Chainsaw Bar: Husqvarna

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Best ease of use: Makita Chain Saw 16 in. Bar Makita chainsaw bar

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Best for Stihl chainsaws: Forester Bar and Chain combo Best for Stihl chainsaws: Forester Bar and Chain combo

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Best cheap bar & chain combo: Greenworks Best cheap bar & chain combo: Greenworks

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Chainsaw Bar buying guide

Manufacturers are fighting with the best of their products containing exclusive and mesmerizing designs and features. And that makes it hard for you to choose the best product considering the ins and outs. What are the qualities you should check before buying? What are features the bar must contain? Let us help you with that!

Best-Chainsaw-Bar-Buying-Guide

Types of Bars

To use the bar in different types of works in different situations there at least three types of bars. Such as-

  1. Solid bars: The solid bars are suitable for the hard and heavy type of works such as cutting a big tree or a concrete column.
  2. Solid bars with replacement blade tips: If you have the longer bars, you better own a solid bar that contains replacement blade tips that transfers the load and increases the efficiency as well as the durability.
  3. Laminated bars with the sprocket: To protect the top surface of the bar from scratches, rusts and corrosion lamination is used. Sometimes a nose wheel or sprocket is included to increase the efficiency of controlling and prevent any kind of accident.

Bar Length

The cutting speed and efficiency mostly depend on the length of the bar. If the length is short then the cutting speed increases and it saves time while sawing. Besides the accuracy and precision seem perfect using a short chainsaw bar as you can easily control your saw.

But not always you will be able to use the short bars. When the length of the bar is longer, it helps the saw to cut the thicker trees and sometimes it helps you cut woods easily and saves you some times. So you have to check the type of your work or the pieces you want to cut, then choose the length of the bar.

Compatibility

The length of the bar, as well as the adjustment, fixes the compatibility of the chainsaw bar. When you are buying the chainsaws, you have an attached chainsaw bar included in the pack. But once the bar is damaged, you need to replace it.

While replacing, you have to check if the bar is compatible with your saw. There is a list of compatible saws in the pack. In some cases, the manufacturer gives wrong information about compatibility and fools the customers. So take the necessary steps and buy the one which is compatible with your saw.

Weight

The performance and work types partially depend on the range of weight of the bar and the impact is quite considerable. The chainsaw itself is a little heavy and if you add a heavy bar, the saw will be heavier than before which will cause problems handling the saw and make it harder to control.

Before buying determine the purpose and type of your work. Do not choose something that is not so handy for you and make you tired easily. The chainsaw bar and the chain needs to be light in weight, but remember, the too light product won’t be much good for you considering the build quality and the materials.

Purpose of Your Work

The type of your bar entirely depends on the types of work you are going to have. Don’t buy something that doesn’t go with your working type. If you are going to use the saw occasionally, but something suitable for that. Don’t buy professional bars and spend the extra money without cause.

The length matters with the purpose of the work you have that we have discussed earlier. If you have large trees to cut or larger construction work, buy the longer bar. if not, be dependent on the smaller bars.

Brand

The brand may not matter to all the people but it varies from man to man. But there is some manufacturer who has consistently proved its product to be efficient and durable, as well as their performance, has remained better considering the other brands.

The better brands have got confidence in their product and they always try to keep themselves on the top of the market. For example, Husqvarna is pretty dominant in the market over many other manufacturers. On the other hand, Makita is an old and dominant player in the market of tools, yet couldn’t make through our list of choices except for a single chainsaw bar.

You can trust some of those manufacturers without a doubt. But be sure about the product and do not trust them blindly. Some others include STIHL,  Oregon, etc. Their chainsaws are comparatively more durable, efficient and handy as well as the chainsaw bars.

Safety

With the increasing rate of usage of the chainsaws, the incidents of injuries regarding the sawing has been a considerable issue for the users as well as the manufacturer. Though there are lots of brands and their products, safety is not ensured everywhere. And that may make you tensed as the accident can be severe while sawing.

The vibration of the bar should be the least for both a good finish and perfect safety. Besides, safety depends a lot on the build quality and the user as well. Besides the bar should not be made up with cheap materials and the adjustment needs to be perfect so that the chain or the bar can not shift or move from their positions.

The bar often comes with a chain, sometimes more than one chain. They are usually tightened a lot, which may hamper the durability. But considering the durability, if you tighten the chain a little low, then the performance will be hampered along with the precision and accuracy.

Price

Most of the buyers always have a particular budget and that limits the demands of them. When you are buying a chainsaw bar for your industrial work, you must have a decent budget. Because you will want your chainsaw bar to last a long time.

But if you are planning to buy a chainsaw bar to use it occasionally for your household works or for your backyard to cut the trees or clean it for a better plan, buy the light ones and save some money. Besides, you may have different demands that may make you choose your bar.

Best Chainsaw Bar Reviewed

Best value for money: Husqvarna 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar

Husqvarna is a highly-regarded name in the realm of power tools and equipment. As a result, it is no surprise that its chainsaw bar ended up on the list of the best products of its kind. Best value for money: Husqvarna 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar

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The Husqvarna 531300440 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar is a product that is well-suited to general consumer use as well as for professional projects. As noted earlier, a consumer intent on undertaking do-it-yourself projects with a chainsaw should tend to stick to bars that do not exceed the 18” to 20” boundary. This product is at the top end of that spectrum. Despite is length, a key benefit of this chainsaw bar is that it is low vibration. This renders it easier to handle, more efficient, and safer than some other chainsaw bars of this length. The bar has a notable heavy-duty construction. The durability of the product ensures that it has a longer life than other brands of the same size and design.

Pros:

This product is designed to fit a broad spectrum of Husqvarna chainsaws. It is also compatible with a number of other brands. With that said, it is important to double-check compatibility when the objective is to use this rod with a product made by another manufacturer.

Cons:

There are no major negative aspects to this chainsaw bar. With that said, because of its length, the Husqvarna 531300440 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar really is better suited to a consumer with a reasonable amount of experience using a chainsaw.

Product Specifications:

Item weight: 2.5 lbs. Product dimensions: 24.8″ x 4.2″ x 0.5″ Manufacturer: Husqvarna Check it out here on Amazon

Best cheap chainsaw bar: Oregon 20-Inch Advancedcut Guide bar

This Oregon chainsaw bar model has a number of important benefits. These include its classification as one of the best lightweight chainsaw bars. Best cheap chainsaw bar: Oregon 20-Inch Advancedcut Guide bar

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It receives this classification because it is a substantial bar that nonetheless has a relatively lower weight. The weight of this chainsaw bar renders it a solid option for a person new to using this type of tool or a person who does not have a great deal of experience with a chainsaw. Although a lightweight product, it is substantial enough to tackle any task a typical consumer is likely to confront. Another positive aspect of the Oregon 27850 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar is that it is reversible. Reversibility extends the life of a chainsaw bar significantly, in many cases.

Pros:

It is highly regarded because it is sold with what is described as a low-kick premium chain. The benefit of a low-kick chain is found in easier handling and enhanced safety than exists with a product that lacks this design feature. In addition to the low-kick chain, safety is enhanced on this bar via a double guard on the chainsaw bar. The double guard enhances safety by reducing potential kickback when a chainsaw is in operation.

Cons:

The primary downside to this model of chainsaw guard is found in the limitations of chainsaws with which it is compatible. The limitation includes a smaller range of Oregon chainsaws that can accommodate this bar.

Product Specifications:

Item weight: 3.5 lbs. Product dimensions: 29″ x 5″ x 1″ Manufacturer: Oregon Check the lowest prices here

Best lubrication: Oregon 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar

The Oregon 105671 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar is a flexible product. It is meant that it fits not only Oregon brand chainsaws but also certain models from STIHL. Of course, a person needs to confirm compatibility before making a purchase. Best lubrication: Oregon 20-Inch Chainsaw Bar

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Another of the positive aspects of the brand and model of this chainsaw bar is the fact that it comes complete with the Lubricate system. Lubricate is a system unique to some Oregon models that keeps a chain and chainsaw bar well-oiled.

Pros:

The net effect of this process is that less friction is created when in use, a result that extends the life of both the chain and the bar. Another advantage associated with this product is that it has a low-level kickback. Lower kickback renders the chainsaw itself easier to control and safer. Finally, this chainsaw bar features what Oregon calls its Advance-cut Guide. The Advance-cut Guide makes the product easier to maneuver and renders it ideal for people who like harvesting firewood and engaging in similar activities.

Cons:

Negative aspects associated with this product are not significant. As is the case with other bars of this length, a person needs at least some chainsaw use experience in order to effectively utilize a chainsaw with this bar.

Product Specifications:

Item weight: 3.45 lbs. Product dimensions: 29″ x 5″ x 0.2″ Manufacturer: Oregon Check prices and availability here

Best 18-Inch Chainsaw Bar: Husqvarna

This is the second chainsaw bar model from Husqvarna. A number of important reasons exist for this Husqvarna Chainsaw Bar being listed is its design. Best 18-Inch Chainsaw Bar: Husqvarna

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It is designed with high-performance features. The product includes some of the latest technological advances applied to chainsaw bars in recent times.

Pros:

These include design features that result in low-vibration when it use. The companion chain is also crafted in a manner to ensure low-vibration. Because of the low-vibration of this bar and associated chain, the Husqvarna 531300438 Chainsaw Bar is easier to use than some other competing products on the market today. Low-vibration also enhances the safety of the Husqvarna 531300438 18-Inch Chainsaw Bar. At 1.7 lbs., this chainsaw bar is the most lightweight among the all chainsaw bars. That does render it a bit easier to operate.

Cons:

The primary con associated with this chainsaw bar is found in its accessibility to everyday consumers, people who only occasionally make use of a chainsaw. This particular chainsaw bar has design features that favor professional users facing demanding job tasks. Although these design features can be a plus to a mainstream consumer, there is a learning curve associated with better mastering this equipment.

Product specifications:

Item weight: 1.7 lbs. Product dimensions: 22.2″ x 4.2″ x 0.5″ Manufacturer: Husqvarna You can buy it here on Amazon

Best ease of use: Makita Chain Saw 16 in. Bar

Makita chainsaw bar

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Highlights The compatibility, design, efficiency, comfort has helped this 16 in saw bar to make it to our shortlist. Unlike the previous ones, this one is suitable for professional heavy works as well as the occasional type of works too. The contour is pretty slim for this particular chainsaw bar which increases the workability and makes it easy for the user to cut it effortlessly. You will not need to worry about the risks and safety while using the chainsaw bar, as the weight is quite light compared to the other chainsaw bar in the market. A chain with a low profile can be used with this bar and that can increase the efficiency of cutting and have e precise finishing. Makita has already made a great impression by the other mechanical product and the manufacturer has not made us disappointed with this chainsaw bar too. The automatic self-oiling feature has increased the performance. The customer feedback is great as the manufacturer has tested the efficiency, workability, compatibility. Challenges The length of the bar will not be satisfying comparing to the previous chainsaw bar we have already reviewed. Besides some consumers have complained about the performance when working with heavy construction work. Even there is a saying that the chain starts to come off after a little use. The tensile and compressive strength of the bar has earned a question mark too. Check prices and availability here

Best for Stihl chainsaws: Forester Bar and Chain combo

Best for Stihl chainsaws: Forester Bar and Chain combo

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Highlights Forester has already proved its consistency in maintaining the quality of any kind of mechanical products and you will see the reflection of the premium quality in this replaceable chainsaw bar too. The length of 20” is pretty common with other chainsaw bars. The chainsaw bar pack comes with a chain like the most other chainsaw bars in the market. Durability may be the best feature of this chainsaw bar and the users are quite satisfied with the durability. Along with the durability, the cutting edge of the bar is sharp and gives a precise cut every time you are sawing and contains the ability of fast cutting. The compatibility is pretty good as various types of chainsaws can be used with this bar. But as we can see the name of the replaceable bar, it’s the best idea to use it in the Stihl chainsaws. The bar is not too heavy or too thick, but some of the users have found problems with the bar while using it for heavy construction works. Challenges Unlike the other top-notch chainsaw bars, the self-oiling feature is unavailable in this bar. The bar needs to greased by hand, so this can be an issue for the users. As the thickness of this bar is not that great, so bending is a common problem with this bar. Check the latest prices here

Best cheap bar & chain combo: Greenworks

Best cheap bar & chain combo: Greenworks

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Highlights Greenworks has previously worked successfully with the replacement products and won the hearts of many, and the buyers are still satisfied with the performance of this particular chainsaw bar with a length of 18 inches. The built quality of the bar is also satisfying to the users which makes the bar more durable and efficient. The precision with this bar is considered to be nearly gratifying as well as the accuracy while sawing. Though you can do both occasional and heavy loaded work with this bar, it is better to use it for occasional and your backyard house works rather than use it in any kind of construction work where the tensile strength and compressive strength may be questioned. Though the build quality is great at this range of price, you can face the deformation of the bar when a huge amount of load is applied. Besides, the chain might spill off due to deformation. The compatibility has been quite good though the size of the bar cause problem regarding the usual size of the bar as most of the bars out there on the mall is around 20 to 24 inches. Challenges The adjustment of the bar may be a question as the fitting of the chain and bar is perfect. That’s why the chain may spill off from the bar and your safety may concern you. Check the latest prices here

When do you Replace a Chainsaw Bar?

There are two primary reasons why you must be proactive when it comes to replacing a chainsaw bar. First, the timely replacement of a chainsaw ensures optimal operation. Second, timely replacement of the bar ensures the safest possible operation of a chainsaw. As part of ascertaining if the time has arrived to replace a chainsaw bar you also need to examine its tail end. A worn bar will have a tail end that has narrowed. In many instances this will prove the first indication that the time for bar replacement has arrived. A key tactic to employ to determine if the time has arrived to replace a chainsaw bar begins with removing it from the device. Once removed, hold up the bar and look down its length as if it was the barrel of a gun. The technique permits you to see if the bar is bent in one direction or another. The manner in which a chainsaw cuts also provides evidence of the state of wear of the bar. A chainsaw with a bar in good condition produces a U shape when it cuts. As the chainsaw bar wears it produces more a V shape when it cuts. When the cut appears to be more of a V shape the time replacement has arrived. The efficiency of a chainsaw directly is impacted by making a timely replacement when this type of issue appears.

How do you Use a Chainsaw Bar?

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the environment you will be working in. Take note of all the escape routes you will use when the tree starts to fall. Step 2: Wear all the protective gear and check the working condition of the chainsaw. Ensure the chain is tightened to avoid injury. Step 3: If you are using a gas machine, check its gas levels, and fill up the tank. Also, put chain oil in your chain lube reservoir. Step 4: Set the machine on a flat surface with its bottom part facing down. Locate the chain brake that is positioned between the blade and the top handle of the chainsaw. Push it frontward until it locks. Step 5: If you will be using a gas-powered saw, check if it has a choke and turn it on. Conversely, if it has a primer button, thrust it six times to pull the gas into the carburetor. Afterward, switch on the power button. For an electric saw, you will only be required to depress the safety switch then turn on the power. Step 6: If you are using a gas chainsaw, secure it by putting your right foot on the back handle, then put your weight on the handle. Hold the front handle in place using your left hand and then pull the starter rope to its full length using your right hand. It takes a minimum of four pulls to start the engine. Adjust the choke to engage the engine. If you are using an electric chainsaw, skip this step. Step 7: For the chain to start moving, press the throttle or the trigger. To minimize the severity of injury in case of kickback, always cut a log with the saw slightly angled away from you. Step 8: Once you are ready to cut the wood, release the chain break then engage the throttle. Lay the saw in the region you want to cut but do not apply pressure on the chainsaw blade. Step 9: Maintain a steady grip and keep the trigger or the throttle engaged when cutting. After you have finish cutting, release the trigger and switch off the power.

Ways of bucking or cutting down a log

1. Overcutting or overbucking

This is the process of cutting a log that is fully supported by the ground from its top part. When cutting such a log, make sure the chainsaw bar does not come into contact with any objects on the ground. Nonetheless, if the guide bar gets caught in the wood, turn off the chainsaw then drive a wooden wedge in the cut using a hammer. This should remove the saw easily. For safety purposes, you should never try to restart the saw when it is pinched in the log.

2. Log Support

Log supported on both ends, and the middle isn’t supported. The first step is to make a 1/3 cut from the top. Next, cut the remaining part from underbuck (underside) and only exert a little pressure upwards. During the underbucking procedure, the saw will want to kick you back, therefore, be careful not to hit yourself.

3. Cutting a log on the hill

When cutting wood on a sloppy terrain, always stand on the upper side of the hill so that you can avoid any accidents in case the log roles over. Other than how to operate a chainsaw, new chainsaw owners may have some concerns. Below are some of these concerns and how to deal with them.

Frequently Ask Questions around chain saw bars

How tight should a chainsaw chain be?

The tension of the chain should be slightly loose. Nonetheless, a very loose chain will pull the drive links off the bar nose. Tightening it, on the other hand, will break it during the cutting procedure.

Are chainsaw bars universal?

There is no definite answer to this. Chainsaw bars that can be used interchangeably should have the same features. This means that if you want to purchase a new chainsaw bar, the measurements, size, and components of that bar should match your chainsaw.

Can I use an Oregon bar on a Stihl chainsaw?

OREGON 203RNDD025 20″ PowerCut chainsaw guide Bar . THIS BAR IS A PowerCut WITH REPLACEABLE NOSE. THIS BAR FITS THE FOLLOWING STIHL SAWS WITH A 3/8 PITCH SPROCKET: 029, 030, 031, 032, 034, 036, 040, MS290, MS291,…

How do you measure a chainsaw blade?

Ans. Mostly, the length of chainsaw bars ranges between 16 inches to 20 inches. To measure the length of your saw’s blade, first measure the distance between chainsaw’s bar tip and the region where the bar first emerges. You can use a tape measure to get this measurement. If you get an uneven number or a fraction, round it off to the nearest even number.

Why is Husqvarna better than Stihl?

Side-by-side, Husqvarna edges out Stihl. Their safety features and anti-vibration technology allow for easier and safer use. And although Stihl chainsaw engines can have more power, Husqvarna chainsaws tend to be more efficient and better at cutting. As far as value goes, Husqvarna is also a top pick.

Final Thought about Purchasing the Best Chainsaw Bar

Armed with this information about the best chainsaw bars, you can now explore that may be of interest to you. Indeed, understanding what is available on the market in regard to replacement chainsaw bars is invaluable information when it comes to selecting a suitable chainsaw in the first instance. There exists a wide spectrum of chainsaws marketed to consumers who have an occasional but not professional need for this type of tool.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.