When to Replace Your Chainsaw Chain, Guide Bar, and Sprocket – Hipa
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When to Replace Your Chainsaw Chain, Guide Bar, and Sprocket

by JEREMY HIPA 21 Jul 2022 0 Comments

We all know chainsaws need maintenance after using them for times. But some may have no idea what service needs to be performed and when, and if there is a standard or a wear mark for the maintenance. Here we have sorted out the possible situations when it is time to replace the chainsaw chain, the guide bar, and the sprocket.

When to Replace the Chainsaw Chain

Wear Marks

Except for the damage to the chainsaw chain itself, the chains under normal use are destined to wear and tear over time. There are obvious wear marks on every tooth of the Stihl chains.

It is necessary to replace the chain when the wear marks have been reached. And if you sharpen over the marks, the chainsaw will perform with a limited cutting ability and efficiency next time.
Typically all the teeth and the depth gauge marks should be reached at the same time. If it is not the case for you, you may have sharpened the chain in the wrong way which will result in different depth gauges, leading to dramatic vibration and poor cutting efficiency.
There are also wear marks along the downside of the teeth, under the rivets, and above the heel of the drive links. If the chainsaw has run out of oil or there is something wrong with the lubricating system, the increased friction will cause premature wear to the bottom part of the teeth. Replace the chain if the underside wear mark has been met.

Broken or Missing Teeth

If you find there are some broken or missed teeth on the chain when you are sharpening, immediately replace the chain with a new one rather than continuing to use it. Because all teeth need to be at a uniform level to minimize the kickback and it is really dangerous to work with such a damaged chain.

When to Replace the Guide Bar

Due to the friction between the rails and the downside of the strips, the rails will wear away over time, making the groove shallower. If the groove depth is too shallow, the heels of the drive links will scrape along the groove which has a negative impact on the smoothness of the chain.
Actually, all the guide bar has a minimum groove depth. We have made it a chart displayed below:

Chain Pitch
Minimum Groove Depth
1/4” P 4mm
1/4” 4mm
3/8” P 5mm
.325” 6mm
3/8” 6mm
.404” 7mm

If you have noticed some wear on the rail, check the groove depth listed on the chart. Change the bar if the groove depth is less than the reference number.

When to Replace the Sprocket

The chain sprocket is an important connection between the engine and the chain. So regular maintenance to the sprocket also matters.
If the wear marks on the sprocket have been nearly reached, it is time to replace it because a worn sprocket may cause the chain and the guide bar to wear at an increased rate and weaken the cutting capacity that the chain should have.

Please let us know if this works and if you have any suggestions or comments. Or you can join us to feature your passion for repair projects, share your stories with the Hipa family, and get help from Hipa.

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