Best Chainsaw Bars – 2020 Reviews

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The chainsaw bar supports the chain and allows the engine to set it into motion. It plays a part in the cutting process. And a time will come when wear and tear will take a toll on it.

So, you’d better start learning more about how to pick a great model. Sooner or later, you’ll need this!

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best chainsaw bars:

  1. Husqvarna 531300436
  2. Oregon 39272
  3. Forester Platinum 24" Bar

Comparison of the Best Chainsaw Bars

Product

Our Rating

Price

Husqvarna 531300436

  • 16-inch bar
  • Weighs 1.1lbs
  • .325-inch pitch and 0.50-inch gauge

Oregon 39272

  • Anti-friction coating
  • 18-inch bar
  • Comes with the chain

Forester Platinum 24" Bar

  • Best for the Money
  • Large 24-inch bar
  • Replaceable sprocket nose

Oregon 105671

  • Best Oregon Chainsaw Bar
  • Low-vibration chisel cutters
  • 20-inch bar and chain

Stihl 3005 000 4809

  • Best Stihl Chainsaw Bar
  • 14-inch bar
  • Weighs 1.41lbs

What is a Chainsaw Bar? 

The bar or the blade is that large metal part that all chainsaws have. It’s where you put on the chain. It is typically sized between 12 and 36 inches in length. And it features built-in details essential to proper and safe operation.

It comes with an edge slot that guides the lower part of the chain and helps to spread the oil. It has two oil holes at the end and a grease hole at its nose. And, also, a guide slot with one or two bolts that will secure it with the clutch cover.

What Size Chainsaw Bar Do I Need? 

There are two ways you can look at a bar’s size. You can measure its true length or the effective cutting length. The latter is a few inches shorter than the true length, and you need a standard tape measure to find it. It’s the length from where the bar emerges from the casing, all the way to its other end.

The true length is the entire length of the bar. It includes the part that you don’t see from inside the casing. To measure it, you must remove the cover altogether and lift the bar from those interior bolts.

Review of the Best Chainsaw Bars  

Ready to put your knowledge into practice and prospect your best-rated chainsaw bar options? We have taken the lead and picked five models you can begin with. We included well-known brands such as Husqvarna, Oregon, Stihl, or Forester. Take a look!

Best Overall:
Husqvarna 531300436

PROS

  • OEM chainsaw bar
  • Easy and intuitive to install
  • Size will fit average difficulty woodwork
  • Compatible with a wide range of chainsaws
  • Comes from one of the most popular manufacturers
  • Pixel blade with narrow kerf for superior performances

CONS

  • Paint can chip relatively easy
  • No grease fitting for the sprocket

Our Review

This mid-sized chainsaw bar from Husqvarna is available in six styles. We picked the 16-inch, .325-inch pitch, .050-inch gauge, 66 DL model. It measures 0.5 x 4.2 x 20.2 inches and weighs 1.1 pounds, working optimally with an H30-66 chain.

The manufacturer claims compatibility with the Husqvarna 41, 45, 49, 51, 55, 336, 339XP, 340, 345, 346 XP, 350, 351, 353, 435, 440, 445 and 450e chainsaws. Designed as a pixel chainsaw bar, it features low kickback and low vibration functionality.

So, today’s lightweight chainsaws will work very well with it. Cutting with this chainsaw bar will be a breeze. Just pair it with the right CC!

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This bar has a narrow kerf. It was built for the .325-inch pitch narrow kerf technology, which increases the cutting speed. And it provides significant extra cutting performance compared to the standard bars.

Runner-up:
Oregon 39272

PROS

  • Comes with a chain in the box
  • Fits many different chainsaw models
  • Works with a wide range of engines, up to 42CC
  • Safe to use, compliant with ANSI & CSA low-kickback standards
  • Includes the Lubritec system for proper chain and bar guide oiling
  • Facilitates outstanding performances with the Chamfer Chisel cutters

CONS

  • Not an OEM model
  • Not so easy chain tensioning system

Our Review

This 18-inch model from Oregon comes with a low-profile 3/8-inch chain. With a gauge of .050-inch and 62 DL, it pairs with chainsaws of up to 42CC from Echo, Craftsman, Poulan, and more!

A slim and lightweight blade, its symmetrical contour features a small radius nose. The design reduces both the kickback and the vibrations. And the Lubritec oiling system increases the product life with efficient lubrication and reduced friction.

Consider it for the AdvanceCut chain, Oregon’s best-selling chainsaw chain! The single-rived design makes it an extremely easy to maneuver guide bar. So, both seasoned homeowners and first-time users will get along with it just fine.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This chainsaw bar from Oregon has a particularly exciting design feature. It is a symmetrical blade. When using such a reversible bar, you’ll enjoy an even longer service life compared to other models.

Best for the Money:
Forester Platinum 24" Bar

PROS

  • Commercial-grade chainsaw bar
  • Highly attractive price point for the value it provides
  • Two-piece bundle with blade and full-chisel tooth chain
  • Compatible with no less than 7 Husqvarna chainsaw models
  • Increased durability with clear oil & laser heat blade treatment
  • Easy maintenance, thanks to its swiss bearings & replaceable sprocket nose

CONS

  • Not the most lightweight design
  • No ANSI low kickback compliance for the chain

Our Review

Yet another blade with a chain package, this Forester product stands out as the best choice for the money. It features a commercial-grade 24-inch chainsaw bar and a full-chisel tooth chain. This combo is perfect for the hardest wood and the most challenging working conditions.

The bar has a 3/8 pitch, .050 gauge, 84DL design. As a commercial blade, it went through a new laser heat treatment that increased the hardness of its groove. What’s more, it also got a new clear coating with oil, for increased durability.

This is a superior chainsaw bar, suitable for the heavy-duty chores, yet available for an excellent price.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The blade scores an encouraging 58 Rockwell hardness level. This value is a good starting point for professional-grade steel. So, it certainly catches the eye of those looking for a sturdy bar with an extended lifespan.

Best Oregon Chainsaw Bar:
Oregon 105671

PROS

  • Combo package with bar & chain
  • Fits over ten different Stihl chainsaw models
  • Works well with strong engines of up to 62CC
  • Can tackle wood of up to 40 inches in diameter
  • Meets both ANSI and CSA standards for low kickback operation
  • Keeps the bar and the chain well-oiled with the LubriTec system

CONS

  • No narrow kerf
  • Chain won’t necessarily fit all the listed motor gears

Our Review

With Oregon’s 20-inch bar for Stihl chainsaws, you get superior performance without breaking the bank. The product includes a chain in the package, along with the .325-inch pitch, .063-inch gauge, 81DL bar. And the blade alone measures 29 x 0.25 x 5 inches at 3.89 pounds.

As an AdvanceCut guide bar, it’s a powerful, reliable model that works in various conditions. It boasts a slim, symmetrical contour. And the lightweight makes it easy to maneuver. The multi-rivet nose also contributes to increased durability, just like the LubriTech oiling system.

All these features and good length combined, it is perfect for many property owners out there.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Great product with low maintenance, the Oregon chainsaw bar features the ControlCut chain technology. And it supports two cutting styles, semi-chisel and micro chisel.

The chain cuts better, stays sharper for longer, so the chainsaw will work easier. And it will contribute to maintaining the bar in proper condition in the long run.

Best Stihl Chainsaw Bar:
Stihl 3005 000 4809

PROS

  • Genuine part specifically built for Stihl chainsaws
  • Sturdy construction with a three-layer metal core
  • Compatible with over a dozen of different Stihl chainsaws
  • Lightweight and stable, will fit a wide range of requirements
  • High-quality construction that facilitates increased durability
  • Exceptional cutting performances when paired with the right CC

CONS

  • Can be a bit pricey
  • No replaceable sprocket nose

Our Review

For all the Stihl fans out there and not only, this rollomatic E chainsaw bar can make a whole lot of difference. In some instances, it works better than the original bar of the chainsaw. And because it is an OEM part, it gives you all the confidence to give it a try with your Stihl chainsaw.

The blade measures 3.1 x 0.4 x 19.7 inches and weighs as little as 1.41 pounds. It has 14 inches in length, a 3/8-inch pitch, 0.050-inch gauge, and 50DL. And it is made of high-grade steel, actioned by a star-shaped sprocket.

An all-around bar, suits anything from occasional to mid-range and even professional use.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

As a rollomatic chainsaw bar, it has a sturdy, three-part construction. There are three stainless steel plates, electrically welded, with the middle one largely hollowed out. This construction results in excellent stability without compromising weight at all!

Quick Take: Best Chainsaw Bars

In summary, here are the best chainsaw bars:

  1. Husqvarna 531300436
  2. Oregon 39272
  3. Forester Platinum 24" Bar

What to Look For When Buying a Chainsaw Bar

Chainsaw bars might look relatively the same, but many details make a difference in their functionality. Below are the most important ones:

Construction

There are solid bars, made from a single piece of steel. And laminated bars, made of two steel rails separated by a sprocket. The laminated ones are shorter, with 24-inches in length, maximum.

Size

A blade’s length should be twice the diameter of the wood you intend to cut. Consider 12-14-inch for small tree branch limbs; 14-18-inch for thicker branches; 18-22-inch for getting closer to professional cutting; and 22-36-inch models for heavy-duty tasks.

CC Compatibility

Not all bar sizes fit any engine power. If you put a small blade work with a powerful engine, it could get dangerous. The more CC you have on your chainsaw, the longer the bar should be.

Type of Nose

There are hard nose bars and bars with a replaceable sprocket nose. The replaceable nose is the standard. Aside from the fact that it can be replaced, it provides more flexibility. A smaller nose can reduce the risk of kickback.

Main Benefit

You might look either for extra strength or extra flexibility. Solid bars provide power for cutting hard species of wood. The laminated ones work best with cutting that requires additional flexibility.

Chainsaw Bar Length vs Power

The engine generates power that translates into torque for cutting the wood. The bar holds the pressure of the actual cutting while supporting the moving chain. They are somewhat equally important, and there’s even a power-to-bar compatibility generally accepted.

If you want more length, you have to trade off some of the power. The longer the blade you’re using, the lower the performance of the chainsaw. That’s because the length of the bar dictates how far away from the engine the chain will go.

At the same time, you shouldn’t match a short bar with too much power either! Consider the following compatibility:

For gas engines: 25-35CC with 12-16-inch, 35-45CC with 14-18-inch, and 45-60CC with 16-20-inch bars.

For electric, battery-powered engines: 18-20V with 10-12-inch, 36-40V with 10-16-inch, and 54-60V with 14-16-inch bars.

Not sure which bar lengths are compatible with your specific chainsaw model? Best that you read the user manual. If you don’t have it anymore, look it up online. Search for any bar length mentioning or recommendation in that manual and stick to it.

Here’s a practical example. A 40CC gas engine can work with an 18-inch bar, at the upper limit! Can you imagine pairing it with a 16-inch bar? The overall performance would be higher, though, so will be the kick!

Conclusion

Choosing the right bar is no walk in the park. You need to take the specifics of the blade into account. But you must also always consider its compatibility with the engine power. And then, you should make sure you’re using it the right way, to enjoy an extended lifespan.

Luckily, you have just discovered which chainsaw bars are built for success. And you know what to look for when picking the right one for your chainsaw and woodwork needs!

People Also Ask

Sometimes, knowing the basics about the best chainsaw bars isn’t enough. Here’s what else you might be wondering:

Chainsaw Bar Length vs. Tree Diameter - How Do I Know What Size To Go With?

The maximum tree diameter one should cut with a chainsaw bar is twice the bar’s length. So, you can use either the chainsaw bar length or the tree diameter as a reference point. There’s no right or wrong option here IF you keep this ratio in mind when choosing the right size.

How To Measure a Chainsaw Bar

Use a measuring tape and measure the length of the bar for the area between the front of the saw and the tip of the bar. If the bar is not mounted on the chainsaw, you can measure its full length. You’ll get a few extra inches when the bar is off the saw.

When Is It Time To Replace A Chainsaw Bar?

Cutting wood that you previously handled easily becomes hard? Check the chain and the bar. If the chain is sharp enough yet you’re losing efficiency and cutting accuracy, consider replacing the chainsaw bar. Also, when the chain is tensioned, check to see if it wiggles back-and-forth more than it should. This means the bar’s groove has  deteriorated.

How Long Should a Chainsaw Bar Last?

The lifespan of a chainsaw bar depends on its quality and the type of job you’re using it for. It also depends on the quality of the chain and how well you have maintained the two of them (tensioning, oiling, etc.). A chainsaw bar can last anything from a few months to over two years.

How To Read a Chainsaw Bar

The bar stamps indicate the gauge, pitch, and number of drive links. Values can be in standard measure only or doubled by the metric measurement. Numbers like 0.43, .050, .058 or .063 indicate the gauge. And ¼, 3/8, .325, .404 or 3/4 indicate the pitch. The number of drive links may be marked with a “DL”, though not always.