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New Saw

Post in 'The Gear' started by rreihart, Aug 17, 2007.

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  1. rreihart

    rreihart New Member

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    Central PA
    I know this has probably been posted to death, but I'll ask for opinions anyway. I'm looking to purchase a saw and after reading many posts I'm leaning toward the Dolmar 5100. I've also considered a few Husvarnas, 346xp and 359, but to purchase locally, they are about $70 more. I'm sure I could do better for price on-line, but I'm not an old pro, so I think I'll need decent dealer support. I my main purpose will be for cutting firewood and this will be the first year I've burned wood for quite a while.

    Does my leaning toward the 5100 make sense? Would you expect the 346xp to be closer in price? The Dolmar dealer said there would be a price increase soon. Is there a recent upgrade in the 5100 model, is it a seasonal thing, or is it just a sales pitch?

    Any input or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Rob

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  2. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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  3. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Have owned chainsaws for 25 years and wouldn't buy anything but a Stihl or Husqavarna. No matter what the price difference.
  4. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    I can't answer your questions about pricing, but I have a 5100S and it's a superb saw, king of it's class, in my opinion. Unless you're either very young or doing commercial cutting, it will quite possibly outlast you. :)
  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    What's your price range for the saw?

    Chainsaws aren't all that complicated and often for the price buying online makes more sense. I guess a lot does have to do with the relationship you have with your dealer.

    Sometimes it's even advisable to check craigslist. I picked up a sweetheart deal on a saw from there and I know several other people who have as well.

    I bought my last saw (Husky 372XPW) from

    http://www.npeco.com/

    The support online has been excellent and you can get a lot of support here about any questions you might have.
  6. rreihart

    rreihart New Member

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    Central PA
    No specific price range. I don't want to find myself wishing I had bought more sometime down the road. So I'd rather spend the money now and be satisfied. I like the thought of staying local, but the pricing at Norwalk is pretty appealing along with no tax and 2 extra chains. Either Husky would be about $75 less plus the chains. I'm in central PA, know of any good on-line sources on the east coast?

    Thanks, Rob.
  7. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    How big of wood do you typically cut?

    If most of it is under 20 inches, it sounds like the Dolmar 5100S, Stihl MS310, 346XP or a 357XP would be your best bet. If you regularly see bigger timber (say 24"+) you might look into a beefier saw like a 372XPW and put a smaller bar on it. Then you always have the option of the larger bar later.

    I found here in the Pacific NW, that the more powerful saw becomes nice when cutting large softwoods, but if you're doing lots of small timber, the smaller saw is much easier to handle and you get tired slower.
  8. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I agree with TM good advice the 5100 would have been my next saw if I had not come across a 357 that cost me $2.57 for bar bolts.

    Really I was waiting for my 041 farm boss to die to justify purchasing new. 27 year old I still can't kill it and man has it seen a lot of cutting
    roads house lots ,more than any home owner will ever approach. Other than a carb rebuild it just won't quit.

    I have a lot of makita tools all preform day in and day out Makita owns Dolmar. From personal experience Makita tools preform very well on condtruction jobs

    If I needed another circular saw my first choice would be Makita, If money was no object then a Bosh.

    Also there are a lot of Makita service centers for repairs if one needs them Makita is one of the few companies, to date, that have not cheapen their manufacturing, to sell in the box stores
  9. rreihart

    rreihart New Member

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    I'm going this morning to check out a 5100 and whatever Husqvarnas the shop has in stock. Thanks for the input so far.

    Rob.
  10. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    IMO you will not be disappointed with the 5100s, I picked one up this year and it's a great saw. I had it narrowed down to a short list very similar to yours before buying the Dolmar. In the end, it came down to bang for the buck and no one could beat the 5100s.
  11. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    I have the MS310 and the 5100s. I use the the 5100s I like it much more.
  12. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Jonsered?
  13. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi rreihart,

    I can tell you my evolution in chainsaws. It might help.

    I started with a new Craftsman 42 cc 18 inch bar. It was great for hardwoods up to 18 inches. I did not know you needed to sharped a chain, so performance was mediocre. After 2 years ( as I got more serious about sawing) and with help of this forum, I upgraded to a Husky 359. Great saw, agressive chains and worked really well. But it suffered from kickback (mostly my fault because of poor sharpening skills and raker filing). It was too large and heavy for my taste.

    Then I got a new Husky 346XP. Same power as the 359, smaller chain and never bogs down. I got the files, guides, good oil etc etc and the saw is the best thing I ever bought. Light, powerful and gets the job done in a short time with minimal effort. It is safer too, because I let the saw do the work (no pushing) and no kickback ever.

    Please consider the 346XP. It has worked wonders for me.

    carpniels
  14. rreihart

    rreihart New Member

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    Loc:
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    I'm considering the 346xp, but locally they're about $500. Of course I've seen them online for a lot less, plus extras thrown in, but since I'm fairly new to this I think I want the backing of a local dealer. I have heard a knock on the 346xp for not having a lot of torque and bogging down. Apparently you don't feel this way.

    I did stop and look at a 5100 at a shop about 20 miles away. The owner seemed like a decent and knowledgable guy, so I think that's where I'm heading. I'm still trying to convince myself that I don't want to order online and save about $60. Thanks for the advice.
  15. victorytea

    victorytea Member

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    Sep 5, 2007
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    I bought my 346XP on-line and all has gone well. I have wished, however, that I had spent the x-tra 70 bucks and bought it from the local guy. It has eatin away at me that I did not support the local economy and what if all hadn't gone well? 60 or 70 dollars over the lifetime of the saw is really minimal. The 346xp is a great saw but took me a while to get used to- they need to be properly sharpened each time you go into the woods or they will bog down. I had my muffler modified by a local expert and it runs at more rpms and actually cooler. All in all, I would buy the 346 again but from a dealer- not on-line. The muffler mod can be done after the warranty expires and will improve the abilities of this saw. Paul
  16. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Glad to hear the new saw is working out well. I felt a little guilty when I bought my Dolmar online, rather than from the local dealer (and I saved more than $60-70). I figure I'll try to buy oil, filters, files, etc... from him to make up a bit for the lost sale of the saw.
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