How do you know when a chain bar is done?

Robert P

Jul 11, 2014
The title pretty much says it. How do you know when it's time to toss a chain bar?
Groove's egged out beyond repair, drivelinks dragging in the bottom of the slot, looks ugly and you want a shiny new bar :^D Milled bars are worth putting more attention into repair than laminated. I've hammered the groove closed on a couple laminated bars, and I keep all of them dressed with the Pferd bar tool. Everything has a lifesapn though, and screwing with cheap laminated bars becomes more "expensive" than just buying a new one. Hammering them in shape only buys time. They seem to go out of true faster and faster. I haven't had to do any hammering on my milled bars yet.

As long as the sprocket works, and it's geometrically right, it's still good for a beater bar though. Save it and a natty old chain for cutting roots and stuff like that.
If the groove is over .015" larger than the chain gauge, then close the rails or toss it. If you have problems with it not cutting well, binding, or cutting crooked even with a relatively new and sharp chain, toss it. If the drive links bottom out, toss it. If the rails are chipped away and no longer smooth, toss it.