Saw Chain

can i flip the chain bar on a chain saw?

I have a Stihl chain saw with a 16 inch bar. I cut a cord of dead oak and wore out a new bar so now it cuts crooked. Is it possible to flip the bar and use it or is it one directional.

Hi Justin,

First of all, I'm SHOCKED that you could wear out a Stihl's bar after 1 cord!!! My pal and I cut/split approx. 15 cord per year for ourselves. I've cut over 50 with the current bar on my Stihl Farm Boss and it's still as good as new. You are either not filling the oil EVERY TIME you fuel-up, or your oiling port is clogged. Your saw should consume ALMOST one full reservoir of oil for every tank of gas/oil. If it isn't, and it can't be, your port is clogged. Remove the bar and blow out the saw's body/port with compressed air.

The other thing that will kill your chain/bar is touching the dirt FOR ONE FRACTION OF A SECOND. Do that, and your chains cutting edge is JUNK.........IMMEDIATELY.......
DON"T EVER TOUCH THE GROUND !!! If you do, shut down your machine and sharpen the chain. Dull saw-chain's EAT bars !!

"Flipping the bar" is a very good practice. It works on the same idea of rotating the tires on your car. Just make sure you're using Chain and Bar oil on your bar, and if someone tells you it's o.k. to use ANYTHING else, don't believe them for one second!!

When your saw cuts crooked, it's NOT THE BAR. Saws cut crooked when one side of the saw chain is sharper than the other. Uniform sharpening of both sides of the saw chain is a time-earned skill that takes CONSTANT practice. The BEST way to remedy this is with an electric chain saw sharpener. A Weekend-Warrior version of this is on sale RIGHT NOW at Harbor Freight Tools for $29.99. If you were using this daily, you'd kill it in no time, but it's a GREAT tool/value for anyone using their saws for light/ medium duty trimming/cutting.

As far as bar maintenance goes, with your bar removed from the saw, look lengthwise down the groove. If the bar is "V" shaped, and not flat, it will damage/wear out your new chain in NO TIME. With a fine, flat file, file the bar to bring the top and bottom to 90 degrees with the bar's sides. Remove all burs/sharp edges, and reinstall your chain.

When adjusting your saw-chain's tension, let me help you with another little trick. With your new chain installed, set your saw on a flat surface. Put a piece of wood under the tip of the bar (your chain gets tighter when the tip is lifted). Adjust your chain tension with the bar's tip lifted this way, and the adjustment will hold, and not get too tight as you use the machine. This will get the biggest bang out of your investment(s).

**Special Note""

Before you replace that saw-chain and bar, let me pass on something I learned the hard way. After-market chains CAN'T HOLD A CANDLE TO AN ORIGINAL STIHL. They cut better, last longer, and cut one hell of a lot more logs between sharpenings. You won't find them on-line, because Stihl protects their dealers by making original parts and service available only through dealers to protect not only the reputation of the brand, but the dealers investments in these tough economic times, and I respect them VERY MUCH FOR THAT.......

While you're at your Stihl dealers counter, invest in eye and hearing protection. It's the best investment you'll EVER MAKE !!!

Find Saw Chain On eBay Below:

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