Tech Review - Bar, Chain and Sprocket

Cannon Bar WorksCannon Bar Works

Cannon Bar Works Ltd.’s objective has been to provide professional loggers, arborists, carvers, and competitors with the highest quality saw chain guide bars at the fairest possible price. Cannon Bars are individually made by skilled craftsmen to ensure all quality standards are met and exceeded to provide customers with “The Best Bar – Bar None!”. The company offers a full line of .404 and ¾ pitch harvester bars, chainsaw bars, milling bars, package saw bars, and even repair all brands of bars.

Cannon chainsaw and .404 pitch harvester bars are made from high-grade, custom formulated, cold rolled, and annealed steel. Each bar is water-jet cut in our Langley, BC shop. Bars are then heat-treated, oil quenched, and press tempered to achieve just the right hardness. Its Master Barmen individually groove the bars to within .003” of the desired gauge.

Cannon Bar flame hardens the rails to increase bar rail life and then press the heel to reduce vibration. Our ¾” pitch harvester bars are cut from a titanium alloy steel, straightened, grooved, and stress relieved in-house. The titanium alloy steel work-hardens and decreases the chance of cracks when bars are bent, which makes the bars much more repairable. Cannon Bars are also put through quality assurance tests at every stage of production.

Gem ChainGem Chain Bar

Gem Chain Bar believes it is the science behind their product that makes it the highest quality for a competitive price.

Gem harvester bars are precision cut by a water jet to leave no mechanical stress or heat affected zone on the metal. The bars are made from ballistic grade steel — the strongest in the harvester industry. This material gives the company the advantage of high-level spring back and bend-force resistance. This steel also significantly reduces the flexing of the rails and prevents them from cracking by not requiring heat treatment of the rails.

Gem says that other bars begin with a lower grade of steel and heat treat the rails to be harder; which changes the hardness between the body and rails of the bar. By using the strongest material and not needing to temper our rails, Gem maintains a uniform hardness throughout the bar for consistent strength and longer wear life. Robotic manufacturing and laser probe verification give the most consistent, highest quality. Wide oil wells and deep, precisely machined rail grooves also extend the wear life. The replaceable tips are also made from premium hard plate with a unique hard metal composition. With no need to heat treat these parts either, the company gains the same advantages as our bars — elimination of chipping, prevention of cracking and longer wear life.

Utilizing premium materials, high-tech manufacturing processes and unique design features, it all adds up to maximized runtime for Gem customers.


All over the world Hultdins saw units are standard on a wide range of harvester heads, processor heads, felling heads, delimbers and grapplesaws. The Hultdins SuperCut is one of the market leader in chain saw systems today.

Hultins offers bth the SuperCut (SC100, SC150, SC300, and SCSTD) and SuperSaw (SuperSaw 555S, SuperSaw 650S. They are all compact self-contained units, and feature: automatic tension system; fast replacement of saw chain and bar; built-in bar feed cylinder; promotional chain lubrication and both .404” saw chain and ¾” – 11H saw chain.


With the new R5500 saw unit, JPS has improved former technologies in several ways. Instead of operating the saw motor at its maximum limits, which leads to reduced efficiency and high heat generation, JPS have lowered the RPM’s to half and increased the torque by using a larger sprocket.

With a lower rotational speed and less heat generation, the power produced by the hydraulic system is used more efficient. Validated tests have shown that the R5500 saw unit can reduce fuel consumption when harvesting up to 15 percent.

The chain speed has been maintained by using a larger drive sprocket with 20 or 22 teeth. The large radius also reduces sprocket wear out to a minimum.

Additionally, as the sprocket is reversible, meaning the sprocket is double sided with two rows of teeth, you simply turn it over if needed. And JPS offers an impressive 5,000-hour warranty against wear-out of the sprocket.

Also, a wider saw bar tail with a more rigid saw bar, results in reduced oscillation. The rigid structure of the saw bar enables the rails to be made stiffer without any risk of cracking. The unique bar mount can be unfastened with a single screw and it is therefore easy to demount and turn.

The R5500 features automatic chain tensioning. The optimized chain tension, the more rigid saw bar and the large sprocket reduce downtime caused by chain slippage and bar deformation.


The Swedish company, Olosfors, offers two Iggesund Forest options.

Blue Line — Iggesund Forest is pleased to introduce Blue Line. Blue Line is the strongest .404” bar ever produced due to a unique metal alloy and improved tempering techniques. Blue Line is more rigid yet flexible and the material reduces vibrations reducing wear and providing straighter cuts. Blue Line has increased the dimension of the lubrication holes for improved oil flow and better adaptability with grease lubrication systems.

New ¾” Saw Bar — Iggesund Forest is also pleased to announce an upgraded ¾” pitch saw bar. The R9 series features a stronger metal alloy in the bar and tip for increased lifetime and wear resistance. R9 comes standard with a wide tampered replaceable nose tip and many different bar mounts to suit many different harvesting heads.


Built with a focus on cutting speed, strength, and durability the Oregon SpeedMax XL .404” timber harvester cutting system delivers maximum uptime through advanced designs across the bar, chain, and sprocket.

Oregon believes cutting system speed and durability are two of the most important factors when it comes to increasing productivity in the forest. The company is focused on helping harvester operators spend more time in the cab and less time changing out equipment.

The SpeedMax XL .404” cutting system features:

• 19HX Saw Chain – a chamfer chisel chain built to deliver faster, more aggressive cutting. The chain has tall chamfer chisel cutters that combine durability with improved chip clearance to deliver faster and more consistent cuts in all types of wood.

• SpeedMax XL Guide Bar – designed to minimize time between cuts by reducing vibration to the cutting system. This guide bar has been widened to improve chain retention. The bar is also stiffer and stronger to increase cutting speed and reduce costly downtime. A tail contour decreases friction, making it less likely to throw chain. The larger 14-tooth replaceable sprocket nose features high-alloy industrial bearings and requires fewer rotations to accomplish the same work with less heat build-up – extending the life of the nose.

• .404” Rim Sprocket – precision-balanced and machined from durable solid-billet steel. Equipped with a raised-tooth design to reduce chain stretch and improved debris ejection with tapered side-ports.

PacificTrail ManufacturingPacific Trail Manufacturing

Pacific Trail offers the ¾” pitch saw chain guide bars. The bars are made from high tensile strength 500bhn alloy steel. They are strong enough to do the jo and cold formable for straightening in the field. Every bar is straightened and stress relieved by hand.

Options include: sprocket nose, satellite inlaid solid nose or double end; replaceable sprocket nose kits; all-mount patterns; and length from 24” to 10’+ (in both replaceable sprocket nose and double-end).


Stihl takes very seriously the design and construction of critical components of its guide bars. The company manufactures its guide bars with the same strict quality control standards as its chainsaws so they work hand in hand to deliver the power and performance you’ve come to expect from STIHL. 

All STIHL guide bars have induction heat-treated edges to give high wear resistance. The heat treating process hardens the rails while allowing the rest of the bar to remain flexible. This makes it less likely for the bar to have a permanent bend if it were flexed during use. The guide bars are also symmetrical. Over time, they can be flipped over to spread out the wear, increasing the service life of the bar. 

STIHL guide bars range from 10” to an incredible 59”. STIHL manufactures over eighty bar configurations to match the unique cutting requirements of our hardworking chainsaws. All are laser cut from tough, wear-resistant steel and feature our exclusive Ematic™ Bar Lubrication System. This technology ensures pinpoint lubrication where it’s needed most: the saw chain links and guide bar rails. 

When used with STIHL OILOMATIC® saw chains, the guide bars provide maximum lubrication, longer wear, and the company says up to 50 percent less oil consumption than conventional chain lubrication methods.

TriLink Saw ChainTriLink Saw Chain

TriLink Saw Chain strives to provide the best quality, value and service in the industry. Understanding the market needs and being able to deliver a solution that meets its standards, allows Trilink to proudly introduce its NEW TriLink™ Harvester product line.

In the harvester industry quality and durability keep the machines cutting. Maximum performance and dependability are definitive to the harvester operators. The TriLink harvester line is meticulously engineered, designed, and manufactured to meet the demanding challenges faced by cutting operators.

The TriLink™ harvester guide bars are manufactured using state of the art technology. Its solid steel precision cut bars incorporate a fully riveted nose construction providing strength and durability. The breakaway nose design allows for minimal bar damage if pinched during cut.

Complementing the bars, the TriLink™ harvester chain is manufactured from high quality alloy steel. Each chain is produced with a multi-layered industrial chrome plating adding durability and strength.

Enhanced engineer grind and a computer-controlled inspection process provide superior out of box cutting speed and sharpness. Designed with high profile cutters for maximum chip clearance our harvester chain maintains a smooth fast cut even after heavy use. The micro radius semi chisel cutters increase cutting speed while providing wear resistance. An increased kerf width yields advanced cutting efficiency while larger rivets increase strength and bearing surface of the chain.

Tested and proven to perform, TriLink™ Harvester provides, the company says, a superior and durable alternative.


Since 1959, GB-Australia has built a solid reputation by manufacturing products that set new industry standards. Now, with a modern state of the art production line, utilizing laser cutting technology, CNC machines and computer-controlled processors, GB manufactures a product which excels, quite literally, at the cutting edge of timber harvesting. A unique blend of titanium and alloy steel yields the ultra-high strength material with uniform hardness throughout the bar, which the company says is unlike the competition.

This alloy steel is extremely durable, resulting in fewer bends and better “memory”, which allows it to return to original shape and increasing run time for operators. GB® Professional Harvester Bars are available in both .404” & 3/4” pitch and are designed with mounting configurations to fit most mechanical harvesting equipment.

The .404” XV line has a patented 15-tooth sprocket, which reduces RPM resulting in less friction and wear. This, combined with the patented Lube Direct channels to directly feed the bearings lubrication, improves overall performance and life.

The new ¾” BC tip has the Lube Direct system and a machined edge to control chipping. Even with state-of-the-art tips, the bars tend to use multiple tips during their lifetime speaking to their longevity.

TimberWest November/December 2013
September/October 2018

On the Cover
Photo taken by Andrea Watts of a Holbrook Inc. operation near Electron, Washington.

Finding Success in Challenging Times
In 2007, as the country entered the recession, Seth Campbell was fixing his eyes on a future for himself, his family and his crew.

From the Bottom Up
Chris Martin, owner of Martin Timber Harvesting, has taken the bull by the horns and set a standard of excellence.

It’s the Employees
For Holbrook Inc., success has come from the sum of its employees who have kept the company harvesting and moving logs for more than 30 years.

New Study Points to Ways Loggers Can Minimize Knee, Back and Shoulder Injuries
New manual with best practices focusses on preventable injuries in the logging industry.

2018 CBI & Ecotec Factory Forum
The three-day event was an opportunity for the company’s U.S. and international customers to see live machine demonstrations.

Firebreak Column
New technology coming to the fireline.

Pacific Logging Congress review
The 8th PLC Live In-Woods show held in September in Corvallis, Oregon, provided a chance to educate and for industry professionals to show off.

Tech Review — Bar, Chain and Sprocket
A look at options on the market today.

Guest Column
Time to create and tell our story.


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