- Clean the holes for lubrication and chain groove. The guide bar should be turned at regular intervals to ensure more even wear. Also file off any burrs using a flat file.
- One often-overlooked component of the chainsaw is the guide bar. If it is not properly maintained, it will decrease the saw’s efficiency and damage the chain. Most guide bar problems are caused by one of three things: incorrect chain tension, lack of lubrication, and irregular operating techniques.
- Improper tension will cause irregular wear and damage to the bar – with the chain cool and the saw turned off, put on a pair of gloves and check the tension by sliding the chain by hand along the top of the bar. The chain should feel snug but still slide freely. Then lift up on the chain’s tooth that is in the middle of the top of the bar, if you can pull the bottom of this tooth all the way up and out of the bar groove, the chain is too loose.
- Requiring a constant supply of oil during operation running the saw without sufficient oil will overheat and weaken the bar. Ideally check the bar and chain oil every time you refuel, and check frequently to see that the chain is spraying a fine mist of oil at the nose by holding the saw just above some leaves. If it is not spraying oil, clean the hole where oil passes from the saw’s reservoir to the bar.
- Inspect the bar regularly to insure that it is flat, the rails are straight, and that there is no unusual wear. Every time you clean or replace a chain, flip the bar over. This will insure that normal wear occurs evenly on both sides of the bar. At the same time, run a flat file across the flat sides of the bar to remove any burrs or wire edges from the rails.
- Clean the groove with a bar groove cleaner (£1.50) With the chain on, check for wear to the groove by holding a straightedge along the bar body and against a cutter side plate. A good groove will hold the chain straight, leaving a small gap between the straightedge and the bar body. A worn groove will let the chain lean until the straightedge is flush with the bar body.