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Unusual Bar Shape on an Old Chain Saw

Back in the day, some chain saws came with a bar that was interrupted in the middle, advantageous for limbing and for cutting stumps. June 15, 2014

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
I have an old HomeliteSuper Wiz66 chainsaw. It has a wild looking chain bar that separates at the end to about one foot (tall). The chain then follows the bar down to the bottom bar. What is this bar setup? Is this just an abandoned bar design? What is it worth running/decent shape?

Forum Responses
(Forestry Forum)
From contributor S:
If the bar you're talking about is sort of tear-dropped in shape and hollow in the middle then I remember seeing one of these 35-40 years ago - it was a limbing bar. You could cut a small diameter limb and when it started to drop it wouldn't pinch like it would on a solid bar. Is this what kind of bar you're talking about?

From contributor T:
It sounds like the old bow saw that many pulpwood cutter used years ago. I don't think you can buy that style of bar new anymore - my guess is they were outlawed. They were inherently dangerous, they have a much larger kickback zone on the bar than conventional bars. Also, it sounds as if your saw lacks modern safety features such as the chain brake that make it inherently dangerous to operate as well. That saw/bar are both best cleaned up and left on a shelf as a novelty or a conversation piece.

From Contributor N:
I spent 11 years working for Asplundh Tree Experts on Metropolitan Edison property, and the old Wiz 66 and 88 was standard equipment on every truck for cutting large trees and stumps. We also used them up in the air when necessary as a two man saw. They would handle up to a six foot bar. They don't kick back as badly as you would think because they were gear driven and the chain spun a lot more slowly than a saw with a centrifugal clutch. With that gear drive you couldn't stop the chain, even if badly pinched, which kept a man on his toes. For cutting gnarly stumps they can't be beat.