1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Getting ready to pull the trigger on a new saw.

Post in 'The Gear' started by gmule, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    Conifer Colorado
    The Timber bear is on her final legs so to speak so it is time to get a new saw.
    I have been reading the forums and talking with my local saw dealer that carries both Stihl and Dolmar
    I have narrowed it down to a Stihl 290 or Dolmar 5100.

    Is there anything that I should be aware of before I put down my hard earned cash? I am leaning heavily towards the Dolmar and I want to make sure I am making a good decision on a saw that will last me many years. I do know that I will be running an 18" Bar since all I cut is beetle killed lodge pole and some smaller fir and Pondeosa pines.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Should be a 291 or 5105. Two good saws the dolmer had some issue with running to lean I think thats been fixed. I would probally lean to the dolmar on those two choices.
    Jonathan70 likes this.
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    What's your budget? I'd say Stihl MS261 but I dunno if you are in the market for a professional grade saw or something from the mid-level farm & ranch saw line.

    The Dolmar is a good brand too, just don't know a whole lot about them.
  4. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    Conifer Colorado
    my budget is 6-7 hundred
  5. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,005
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Yeah, I have run both a friend's MS290 and my MS261. If you are going to spend hours cutting, go with the MS261. The MS261 is in the $560 range. Believe that is what I paid for mine in 2011. Might also want to look at the MS362, but that is a little over $700. Both the MS261 and MS362 are pro grade saws. I could easily feel the weight difference between the MS290 and MS261 and they both have the same amount of power.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    MS261 without a doubt then. If you will not need a bar bigger than 18" then moving up to the MS362 would be overkill.

    The 261 will have every bit of power the MS290 has but will be missing a few pounds!
  7. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    The 5100 without a second thought. Make sure it is tuned correctly by the dealer and get to cutting.
    TreePointer likes this.
  8. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,005
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Ah, missed the fact that he only wanted to run an 18" bar. Yeah, my 261 has an 18" bar and it has been plenty good. Glad I have the 660 though because it allows me to tackle trees/logs I could not touch with the 261. If I had a steady diet of 30" or less trees, I would probably be fine with the 261. However, pretty nice to cut through the big ones with the 660 in a single shot.
  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    261 IMO. Light weight. will cut the wood yo cut all day with ease. Last many years.
    Dolmar 5105 is light weight too. 5100 last years model? I don't have experience with this brand.
    Would depend on price $$ .
    261 is pro model, impressive saw.
    5105 is a pro saw , mid range power & a bit lighter.
    Would say either would work well.
    Is your 455 to be the back up saw ?

    sthl3.jpg

    dolmr.jpg


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Amick's Price $469.95


    Product Code: DOLMAR PS5100S 18 CHAINSAW AS
  10. arngnick

    arngnick Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    244
    Loc:
    Mansfield, PA
    Not knowing anything about the Dolmar I run Stihl. I have MS280, MS290 and MS441. I am very statisfied with all of them. If you are not cutting huge timber I believe the 290 is a great choice. If you have ALOT of cutting to do it may be worth considering the professional grade saw (MS261 or MS362). I am always happy that I have my 441 when I get into some bigger stuff, it makes quick work of it but it also cost alot more than the 290.

    IMO Ithink I would consider the 261 or 362 and decide based on your needs. I do not think any of them would be a bad choice.
  11. FireBones

    FireBones Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    135
    Loc:
    Norfolk County Ontario
    I just got a Stihl 362 a few months ago and I have to say I love this saw!! Little big for limbs but perfect for med to large stuff and not bad on the 4/6" rounds. I would have been pretty frustrated if I didn't have a saw with its capability....now I want a tiny limber and a massive girl for those 40" plus jobs.....I'd start with the middle size saw and go from there....I'm bias towards Stihl as that's all I own for yard equipment and for good reason it all works flawlessly! Good luck with the new saw and be safe.
    Stlshrk likes this.
  12. biggkidd

    biggkidd New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    I love my dolmar 7900 24" bar 6.3hp. I work in a small engine shop we work on far more stihls than dolmars & we are the local warrenty shop for dolmar. We dont sell any new equp. or tools. Dolmar is made by the same parrent co as mersadies benz. (Sp) German tech is pretty good.

    Larry
  13. I'd imagine that has a lot more to do with market share than actual issues inherent to one brand or the other
  14. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Before dropping all that cash on a brand spanking new one, look around. Check Craigslist, ebay, your local classifieds, etc. You can pick up a really nice, used MS290 for a lot less than 6-700 bucks......probably in the 250-300 range.

    On that note, I passed up a really decent MS660 Magnum with a 36" bar/chain a couple weeks back and it went for (get ready for this) $300.00..........

    I didn't have the cash handy, I almost threw up.....
    Thistle likes this.
  15. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,206
    Loc:
    Central IA
    ScotO likes this.
  16. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,005
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    You do know that Stihl is a German company, correct?

    Andreas Stihl AG & Company is a German manufacturer of chainsaws and other handheld power equipment including trimmers and blowers. Their headquarters are in Waiblingen, Baden-Württemberg near Stuttgart, Germany. Stihl was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, an important innovator in early chain saw production. Stihl is the world's best-selling brand of chain saws and is the only chain saw manufacturer to make its own saw chains and guide bars. Andreas Stihl AG is a privately held company owned by the descendants of Andreas Stihl.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stihl

  17. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    You need to realize that alot of Stihls are currently made in the US out of Chinese-made parts....

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_Stihl_products_made
  18. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    339
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    ####, buying at MSRP is insane. Seriously insane.

    5100/5105 walks all over the 290-family of saws. Lighter, more powerful, way more nimble, pulls 3/8" chain just fine, and turns a LOT more RPM. I've got an early 5100, it's a fine saw, and runs a 18" bar with 3/8" chain just fine in hardwood.

    261 is nice, a bit bloated for my taste, but a durable and powerful saw that is getting great reviews. I think that in the 50cc class Husqvarna has it beat with the 550 and the 346xp (if you can still find one), and Dolmar has it beat with the 5100/5105.
  19. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Colorado
  20. Freeheat

    Freeheat Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    565
    Loc:
    West of Cleveland
    I would have found the 300 for that
  21. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,005
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    And I do realize that. My 660 does say Made in Germany on it though.

    So, where are Dolmar's made? Germany with German sourced parts? I would be shocked if that were the case. My response was simply to counter the statement that "Dolmar is a subsidiary of Mercedes Benz. German tech is pretty good." As if Dolmar being German tech is a separation point between the two brands. Honestly, if Mercedes Benz is engineering the saw, I'll take the Ford.
  22. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    All of my Stihls say "made in West Germany"......except for the KM55 pole saw.....
    Yep, they are of skool, and they are heavy, but they're still ticking right along......
    I loves me the old skool saws........
  23. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    Conifer Colorado
    Thanks for all of the input.

    I paid a visit to my saw dealer today and he let me play with a couple of saws on his log pile for a while. I ran the Stihl 290 and the Stihl 261 with 18" bars and the the new model 5105 Dolmar with an 18" bar I cut some 16" diameter pine logs. I ended up ordering the Dolmar. It was comperable in weight with the ms261 and I really considered that saw for a few moments. What made me buy the Dolmar was the way it felt when I handled it. The grips were comfortable and it seemed balanced for how I use the saw. All of the saws were very nice and ripped through the wood with ease and I don't think I could have made a bad purchase with any one of them. I just liked the way the Dolmar felt in my hands the most.

    Kudos to my dealer for putting up with me and letting me take the time to play and make a decision. I should have my new saw in about a week and then I will post some pictures of it.
    MasterMech and Nixon like this.
  24. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,005
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Don't think a single dealer in this area would allow me to play with saws like that. The right saw for you is the one you like. Congrats on the purchase and as you know, post pics.
  25. biggkidd

    biggkidd New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    I was pointing out that they ( dolmar) arnt junk and are made by a reputable co. . Everyone knows stihl is german made or owned. Dolmar just isnt very well known. For that matter Echo is a darn good brand too. Personally i like any well made tool.

    Congrats on your new saw. Hope you have many years of trouble free service.

    Larry

Share This Page