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best chainsaw bar

The Top 6 Best Chainsaw Bar In 2021

This post was updated on: April 1, 2021

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To maximize your chainsaw and prolong its life, you must know when and what to replace your chainsaw bar with.

But if this something you know little about, it will not stay that way for long.

This guide tells you the best chainsaw bar models available today and everything you need to know to choose the right one for you.

6 Best Chainsaw Bar in 2021

Husqvarna 20-inch Chainsaw Bar: Best Overall

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Key Takeaways

Performance

The Husqvarna 53100440 20-inch FT280-72 Chainsaw Bar gives you the right length if a short bar is not enough for you.

It will fit most Husqvarna chainsaw models that meet its requirements, such as the 455 or 460 Rancher, 257, and more.

It is the best chainsaw for users looking for a chainsaw blade to withstand the most challenging and demanding conditions and tasks.

We also love how this bar’s low vibration feature, making them easier and more comfortable to use. You also get a low kickback, which will keep you safe when using your saw.

Design

This 20-inch chainsaw bar is made out of durable materials and is coated to reduce corrosion or scratches.

It is 20 inches long and has a 3/8-inch pitch, a 0.50-inch gauge, and 72 drive links.

Chainsaw bar reviews have noted that its coating can wear off fast, especially when there is a lot of friction between the bar and its cutting tree.

Is this Chainsaw Bar for You?

If you have a Husqvarna chainsaw model and need a bar replacement, this one is the first bar you should consider.

It is built to last you a long time and has all the features you can from your chainsaw bar.

Oregon 18-inch Chainsaw Bar and Chain Combo: Best Value

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Key Takeaways

Performance

If you do not own a Husqvarna or STIHL chainsaw, do not worry. The Oregon 39272 Bar and Chain Combo will fit your chainsaw and give you excellent quality and performance.

The Oregon 39272 can be a replacement guide bar for Craftsman, Poulan, and Homelite models.

Its length will allow you to cut thick trees and limbs easily. Every part of this combo satisfies ANSI and ISO standards for chainsaw bars, ensuring your safety and durability.

This also means this bar has low kickback and minimal vibrations.

This is a reversible bar, which means it comes with a symmetrical design that lets you change its installation direction.

It is light at just 3 pounds, making it easy to maneuver as you work.

Design

Like the other Oregon chainsaw bar mentioned in this guide, the 39272 has an 18-inch length, a pitch of 3/8 inches, and a gauge length of 0.050 inches.

Its dimensions are 29 x 8 x 2 inches, just long enough to give you the right balance between size and performance.

Is this Chainsaw Bar for You?

If you own a Craftsman, Poulan, or Homelite chainsaw and are looking for an 18-inch chainsaw bar, this Oregon 39272 is an excellent option, mainly if you frequently use your chainsaw for heavy-duty work.

STIHL Rollomatic 20-inch Chainsaw Bar: Best Budget

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Key Takeaways

Performance

The STIHL 3003 008 6821 Rollomatic E Laminated Chainsaw Bar is another 20inch option made by one of the top manufacturers in the chainsaw industry.

It has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from its users and chainsaw bar reviews.

This is a three-part guide blade made from high-grade steel that is spot welded in three critical points to ensure its strength, stability, and durability.

The combination of steel welded spots and laminate has resulted in an exceptionally durable chainsaw blade that remains affordable.

Design

With a length of 20 inches, a pitch of 0.325 inches, and a 0.63 gauge, this bar is an excellent option for those who need a blade for all-around use.

It has a slip-resistant sprocket nose in the shape of a star, a welcome and subtle design feature on a chainsaw bar.

Is this Chainsaw Bar for You?

If you need a chainsaw bar for all-around work and only use your chainsaw occasionally, or for light-duty tasks, this chainsaw bar is the best choice for you as it comes at an affordable price point without sacrificing quality.

Husqvarna 18-inch Pixel Chainsaw Bar

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Key Takeaways

Performance

The Husqvarna 531300438 18-inch HLN250-72 Pixel Chainsaw bar is one of the best chainsaw bars made by Husqvarna.

Like the 20-inch Husqvarna bar, this is compatible with almost any Husqvarna chainsaw model. It is also equipped with low vibration features and low kickback.

We love how lightweight this is, at just 1 pound. It will add little to your chainsaw’s overall weight, making it easier to handle and maintain your chainsaw’s balance.

It has a sealed bearing on the end, which eliminates the grease port present in other chainsaw bars. This means you will never have to worry about lubricating your chainsaw bar again.

However, this takes some getting used to. Some have also reported this non-grease port can jam.

Design

It is made of corrosion-resistant metal that ensures your chainsaw lasts longer—the chainsaw blade measures 18 inches, a 0.325-inch pitch, and a 0.050-inch gauge length.

Is this Chainsaw Bar for You?

If you have a Husqvarna chainsaw and are looking for a lightweight 18-inch bar, this is the best bar and chain for you. Husqvarna has ensured it can handle demanding jobs and will last you a long time.

Oregon 105671 20-inch Replacement Bar and Chain Combo

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Key Takeaways

Performance

The Oregon 105671 is the gold standard with chainsaw bars. It is one of the best-selling and most popular chainsaw bars available today.

Oregon created this model to fit numerous STIHL chainsaws.

It has a lubrication system sought-after by many. The Lubritec system has repeatedly proven you can keep your bar and chain adequately oiled with no trouble.

This chainsaw bar is also fitted with an Intenz tensioning system that lets you effortlessly adjust your chain.

It has a multi-riveted nose that helps this chainsaw bar stay in the best condition for longer.

Oregon has tested this guide bar rigorously. It meets the requirements for a low kickback, making it an excellent option for users looking for a minimal kickback.

This model is part of the AdvanceCut series, optimized for making straight and smooth cuts, making it suitable for light-duty work.

Its contour is slim, symmetrical, and lightweight, making it easier for you to use while making it last longer. It is also easy to install on your chainsaw.

Design

The pitch of this chainsaw bar is 0.325 inches, and the gauge is 0.063 inches. It can fit numerous STIHL chainsaws, with up to 62 cc motors. There are 81 total chain drive links.

Is this Chainsaw Bar for You?

If you own a STIHL chainsaw and want a chainsaw blade of the best quality, look no further than the Oregon 105671. When used only for light-duty work, this one can last you for years to come.

Forrester 20-inch Chainsaw Bar and Chain Combo

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Key Takeaways

Performance

The Forrester S205072X is coming with the bar and chain in one pack. It was made to be compatible with many STIHL chainsaws.

This high-quality chainsaw bar works well on even the Hedge and Locust tree, known to have some of the most challenging wood.

The bar itself is sharp and does not require you to add any force to cut.

However, note this does not come with an automatic oiling system, which means you have to grease the bar by hand.

Design

Its length is 20 inches. It has a pitch of 0.375 inches and a gauge of 0.050 inches. It is a little heavy, though, weighing 3.6 pounds.

The bar is thin and can easily bend if you are not careful with it. Chainsaw bar reviews have also noted that it can dull quickly, so you must know how to sharpen your chainsaw.

Is this Chainsaw Bar for You?

If you own a STIHL chainsaw and frequently work with hardwoods or do not mind having to sharpen your chainsaw, this high-quality bar is an excellent value purchase for you.

Do You Need to Replace Your Chainsaw Bar?

Much like anything else, chainsaw bars also suffer from normal wear and tear from usage.

This is inevitable, regardless of how well you take care of it. Follow the steps we will explain below to determine whether it is time to replace your chainsaw blade.

  1. Check the bar’s rails – The rails are the edge surfaces that the chain surrounds, much like a train track’s rails. This is often the first place where signs of wear and tear will show, especially near the nose (the blunt, stubby end of the bar). The constant fast motion of the chain naturally erodes the rails, creating worn flat areas. When you see the rails ground down, start thinking about getting a new one.
  2. Check the heel – This is the area where the bar connects to the engine casing. Check if the metal has worn away. If the heel of your chainsaw bar is nearing its end, it will look narrower than the heel of a new bar. This is because the chain strips away tiny amounts of metal over time as you use it.
  3. Check the depth of the grooves in the rails – As your chainsaw bar and chain age, the bar’s grooves become shallower, similar to how the threads of your car tires also become shallower. If you see any scratches or marks on the bottom of any of the grooves, stop using those chainsaw bars. It is no longer safe to use because the rails can no longer hold the chain in place. This is a severe safety hazard. 
  4. Test the grooves inside – Hold the chain between your thumb and forefinger and try to wiggle it back and forth. If you cannot move it, that means your bar is still okay. If it gives way a little, it means the inside of the bar is worn down. This wear and tear is rarer when compared to visible exterior erosion, so check it this way, even if the exterior of your chainsaw bar still looks good.

How to Buy the Best Chainsaw Bar for You?

The choice of the right chain saw blade for you will depend on a lot of factors. Below, we detail the things you need to consider to get the perfect chain saw blade for you and your needs.

Consider the Type of Chainsaw You Have

Individual chainsaw bars are only compatible with particular chainsaw models.

For example, some brands like Husqvarna and Stihl manufacture chainsaw bars only suitable with specific chainsaw models they also manufacture.

There are exceptions, however. Some chainsaw bars are universal, which means it will fit with any brand of chainsaw.

Regardless, remember that large bars work well with chainsaws equipped with powerful motors.

A robust engine will be capable of supporting the bars’ weight and length and of powering the chain saw blade.

Consider the Different Types of Chainsaw Bars Available

There are three general types of chainsaw bars available: solid bars with replacement tips, solid bars without replacement tips, and laminated bars with nose wheels.

Below are their descriptions and differences.

Solid Bars with Replacement Tips

Individual chainsaw bars, particularly long ones, have replacement tips.

These tips minimize the bar tips’ load by transferring them to the high-performance roller bearing. These bars may also be coated for protection against scratches, rust, or corrosion.

Solid Bars without Replacement Tips

A reliable guide bar is suitable for hard timber species, thick barks, and dusty, sooty, and sandy conditions. This bar may also be coated to prevent them from corroding or rusting.

Laminated Bars with Nose Wheels

Designed to minimize kickback risk while ensuring optimum cutting control, these chainsaw bars have a gentle curve and a small nose radius. A laminate coating also prevents rust, corrosion, and scratches.

Consider the Right Length of Your Bar

The length of your chainsaw bar will determine the size (in the form of the tree’s diameter) that you can cut. The distance will also affect the cutting speed of your chain saw.

To determine the right bar length for you, you need to select the largest wood diameter you will be cutting. Then, add about two inches to that length. Here, it is useful to overestimate.

However, remember, chainsaws with a more extended bar will require more power in their engines to operate.

The longer the bar length, the harder it is to control the chain saw and the greater the risk of injuring yourself.

This is because the chain saw becomes unbalanced or front-heavy, and fatigue becomes a significant factor, as the chain saw will feel heavier the longer you hold and use it.

A 14 – inch chain saw is more comfortable to control than a 24 – inch one.

The right bar length for you will also depend on the chainsaw you have because the chain saw bar you select must be compatible with your chain saw. You should check the owner’s manual first. 

When talking about chain saw bar length, it is measured from the outer tip to where the bar meets your saw (heel). An uninstalled bar will always look longer than it is.

Below is a general chain saw bar length reference you can use to guide you:

  • Battery Electric (18-30 volts) – 10 to 12 inches ideal bar length
  • Battery Electric (31-50 volts) – 12 to 16 inches ideal bar length
  • Battery Electric (51-80 volts) – 16 to 18 inches ideal bar length
  • Corded Electric (8-12 amps) – 10 to 14 inches ideal bar length
  • Corded Electric (13-15 amps) – 14 to 18 inches ideal bar length
  • Gas (20-35 cc) – 12 to 16 inches ideal bar length
  • Gas (25-50 cc) – 16 to 20 inches ideal bar length
  • Gas (51-65 cc) – 20 to 24 inches ideal bar length

Consider the Safety of Usage

As with any other task that requires machinery and power tools, using a chain saw is dangerous work. This is why it should be a primary consideration for you when selecting the right bar for your saw.

You want a chainsaw bar that minimizes chainsaw kickback and vibration.

The kickback of your chain saw can cause the blade to reverse and head towards you instead of into whatever you are using it on.

We recommend choosing a bar that meets the ANSI standard for low kickback performance.

A chain saw a bar with low vibrations or vibration reduction technology would prevent long-term injuries from handling a chain saw and make it more comfortable and easier to hold, especially for extended periods.

Consider the Weight of the Chainsaw Bar

The weight of your chainsaw’s bar will add to the total weight of your saw. This is why it is generally best to choose a lightweight chainsaw bar.

We recommend finding the right balance between the bar weight and length, depending on what you will use it for.

Also, consider how it may feel in your hands, as you would not want a chainsaw too heavy on the rear and too light on the front end.

Consider the Material of the Chainsaw Bar

Today, most chains saw bars are made out of either steel, aluminum, or chrome-moly (an alloy that combines chromium and molybdenum).

Aluminum bars are more lightweight and are advisable for beginners or lighter tasks.

Chrome-moly bars have more tensile strength, making them more suited for heavy-duty work.

Steel gives you a good middle ground between these two.

Consider Replacing Other Parts While You're at It

While replacing your chain saw bar, there are two other parts you might want to replace, as well: the chain and the sprocket.

If your new bar is of a different length than the old one, you will need a new chain. The chain length has to suit the bar length it will go around.

A sprocket is the wheel built into the nose of some chain saw bars. It turns along with the chain, minimizing harmful friction.

Consider replacing your sprocket if:

  • you replace the chain; and
  • if the new chain has a different pitch (distance between a pair of links) or gauge (width of each link)

You will need none of this if you purchase a chain-bar combo.

Top Picks

Husqvarna 20-inch Chainsaw Bar: Best Overall

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Key Takeaways

Among all the chainsaws mentioned in this list, this is the best chainsaw bar on this list. Husqvarna has used only high-grade steel to ensure its durability.

It has reduced vibration and kickback, making it safer and easier to use.

If you need a partner that will never fail you, this is it. Everything about it makes any professional or a heavy user’s dream come true.

Oregon 18-inch Chainsaw Bar and Chain Combo: Best Value

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Key Takeaways

The Oregon 39272 offers you excellent value. For just a few dollars more, you get a combination bar and chain. Even better, it’s compatible with many chains saw models.

It also meets all safety and certification standards required to ensure you stay safe while using this, making it one of the best bars you can buy.

STIHL Rollomatic 20-inch Chainsaw Bar: Best Budget

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Key Takeaways

High-quality bars need not be expensive. If you are looking to get the best chainsaw bar without breaking the bank, this STIHL Rollomatic is the answer to your prayers.

It showcases excellent construction and features, making it a compelling choice for light-duty work.

Conclusion

The bars in this guide will maximize your chainsaw’s capabilities and ensure you have the best experience with your tool. Now, it is only a matter of selecting the right one for you.

Check my other chainsaw reviews

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