chainsaw bars

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Forum topic by Monte Pittman posted 04-16-2013 12:05 PM 2167 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2337 days

04-16-2013 12:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip question

I use a Stihl 660 with a 36 inch bar.i use Stihl bars as well. I have worn out 2 in the past year. Before I buy another one, I thought I would ask what everyone prefers and why. Does different bars make that much difference.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

12 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 04-16-2013 12:43 PM

I use Oregon bars and chains. The bar I usually order is a Power Match Plus except for the old Mac I have and it is just a Power Match. For normal chains I order LPX or LGX and for rippers I order 72RD.

My boss has a Stihl 031 and he’s put 2 bars and 6 chains on it in a year. I’ve put 2 bars and 3 chains on 2 saws in a year.
He uses a power sharpener though and that wears more of the chain than needed. I use a Greenberg saw file guide (108a) and it takes about the same amount of time to sharpen by hand.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2005 days

#2 posted 04-16-2013 12:57 PM

Quite honestly it’s been years sine I’ve used a chainsaw very much, (we have a gas fireplace now) but I did always like the Oregon bars & chains when I did. I had good service from them so long as I kept the oiler working and the blade sharpened.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3084 days

#3 posted 04-16-2013 01:46 PM

It has been a couple of days since I did any serious chainsawing, but back then, Oregon was the best IMHO.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View DocSavage45's profile


8555 posts in 2841 days

#4 posted 04-16-2013 04:26 PM


I’m still in novice area. Always good to find out new things.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2674 days

#5 posted 04-16-2013 05:52 PM

I work with the Baptist Disaster Relief. For no charge we remove trees from cars, roofs, streets etc after tornados, ice storms hurricanes etc. We use Stihl chain saws exclusivey. We use a lot of Stuhl chains and bars. I think they rank up there with the Oregon brand. I have used those on my personal saw at home. I will say that cutting dirty wood is the most damaging thing you can do to your chain and bar. Use good oil and that doesn’t always mean expensive oil. We also use nothing but Stihl 2 cycle oil in the engines. We use cheaper oil for the bars. It needs to have some viscosity to it. We clean the saws at the end of every work day or more often if required. When we clean the saws, bars and chains we turn the bar over. On day one the Stihl logo will be readable. On day 2 the logo will be upside down. When the slot (for lack of a better term) wears it becomes wider and the chain lays over to the side.The saw tries to cut in a circle and it will stall the engine. This is a good trick and we all should use it. This will extend the life of the chains and bars.

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2072 days

#6 posted 04-16-2013 05:58 PM

dull chains wear out the bar. as a chain wears often individuals and those who sharpen commercially forget to maintain the geometry between the tooth and the raker. the chain takes a smaller chip and people start to push to regain rate of cut or think the chain is dull again. I routinely took the raker down a bit farther even when new. The saw would cut bigger chips and much faster with no pushing. I set the oilier up a little heavier on those saws I could (just a little). some saws use a pin against a lobe on the crank these can wear out. the spring pushing the oiling piston back gets weak also so the oilier works good at slow speeds but at high speeds it just bounces. the grooves are deep enough on most blades that they can be flattened out a time or two. never put a used saw chain on a new bar! buy three new chains and have them sharpened at least twice before introducing the bar to an old chain. putting an old chain on a new bar will wreck the bar right off the bat because the contact surfaces are worn the bar is nice and flat but the chain has worn to an angle. there is no surface are for the oil to work on so the bar will wear prematurely.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2486 days

#7 posted 04-16-2013 06:03 PM

What Grandpa said!

I didn’t think about someone not turning the bar over. That was ingrained in my when I was young.

Also, get a good flat file and keep the edge of the bar cleaned up smooth. If you can feel a bur with you finger nail, file it down. That’s where the edge of the chain rides and where a lot of wear comes from.

Make sure you grease the front sprocket and keep it greased. That little bearing takes a lot of stress. If you know how to hammer rivets, you can replace a bad OEM sprocket with a really good roller sprocket which will take moe abuse, but still needs to be greased.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2674 days

#8 posted 04-16-2013 06:07 PM

Stihl makes different chains. One is marked with a green place on a link. The more agressive has a yellow link on on it. The aggressive chain has a smaller raker as mentioned in REO’s paragraph. This will bounce and jump worse and are considered more dangerous.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2337 days

#9 posted 04-16-2013 06:38 PM

I do flip the bar over. I use the chain with yellow links and I sharpen a lot.i only use premium oils. However, I cut a lot of wood. Last year I cut 6500 board feet in slabs with the chainsaw.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2187 days

#10 posted 04-16-2013 07:26 PM

It sounds like you are using your chainsaw with an Alaska mill or similar. When I bought a Husky 385XP and the dealer knew I also had an Alaska mill, he warned me that it’s pretty hard on the saw. He also said it voided the warranty. I guess I would ask “what’s your criteria for when the bar is worn out ?”. Seems like you’re going thru bars rather quickly. Maybe the oiler is not doing its job. If your saw has an adjustable oiler (better saws do), maybe it is set for a smaller bar. Maybe a 3 ft bar is really too big for your saw and hence it’s not getting enough oil.

Chain saw mills seem to me to be a very crude device compared to a small bandsaw mill. If I were doing any amount of slabbing, I would get something like an low end Woodmizer instead. They are not all that expensive and will likely do a much better job with a fraction of the effort. And they are portable !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2337 days

#11 posted 04-16-2013 07:48 PM

According to my welder, the sawmill will be finished this weekend come hell or high water. Just need it for part time use. It is an Alaskan Mill.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2986 days

#12 posted 04-17-2013 12:45 AM

Do you use an auxiliary oiler when you are milling with the chainsaw?
I noticed much less wear (burrs) when I added an auxiliary oiler to my 660.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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