Getting ready to pull the trigger on a new saw.

gmule Posted By gmule, Feb 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM

  1. gmule

    gmule
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    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.
     
  2. smokinj

    smokinj
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    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.
     
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  3. MasterMech

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    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
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    my budget is 6-7 hundred
     
  5. fabsroman

    fabsroman
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    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

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    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
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    The 5100 without a second thought. Make sure it is tuned correctly by the dealer and get to cutting.
     
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  8. fabsroman

    fabsroman
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    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
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    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

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    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

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    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.
     
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  12. biggkidd

    biggkidd
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    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. mikefrommaine

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    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

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    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.....
     
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  15. Thistle

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  16. fabsroman

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    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

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    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

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    ####, 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

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  20. Freeheat

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    I would have found the 300 for that
     
  21. fabsroman

    fabsroman
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    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

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    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
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    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.
     
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  24. fabsroman

    fabsroman
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    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

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    Feb 15, 2013
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    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
     

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