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The Best Deal in Saws Today!

Post in 'The Gear' started by computeruser, Mar 26, 2007.

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  1. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    East Lansing, MI
    I have been surprised that in all the old posts about good values on quality saws there was no mention of what may be the best deal on saws on the market today: the ex-Home Depot Rental saws! So I guess it is my civic duty to share this with those folks who may not be in the know.

    Home Depot's rental department rents these saws until they have recouped roughly 200% of the saw's purchase price, which nets out to roughly 40 hours of actual use. They then sell them for $205+tax, complete with a used 20" bar and a new chain. Sometimes they throw in a few extra chains, and sometimes (rare) they will even throw in a helmet w/ear protection AND a set of safety chaps. Most of these saws are in decent to good condition. I am aware of only two saws that had problems that required attention, and even then it was at most a $20 part (broken antivibe spring). None of the 6401s I have purchased have required anything other than a new drive sprocket.

    These saws are 64cc pro-grade saws which develop an honest 4.8hp. They are made by Dolmar but wear Makita colors. They are also able to directly accept a 79cc piston and cylinder from the Dolmar 7900, which puts them into the 6.3+hp range; this swap costs less than $200 and twenty minutes of your time. Even in its 64cc form they are capable of pulling a 20" bar respectably and a 24" with skip chain. For most firewood cutters this saw would be a good alternative to a Stihl MS361 or Husqvarna 357xp, with the only drawback being that the Dolmar/Makita is a slightly heavier saw. Anti-vibe and air filtration are superb.

    Hope this information helps someone out! Attached are a couple pictures of an ex-Rental Makita 6401 I bought last year for a friend. It cost $217.30 with tax, plus the new bar I had laying around already. Heck of a deal on a darned good saw!

    Attached Files:

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  2. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Here's one last pic, for size comparison purposes. The saw at the bottom is a Stihl 026/16", and right above it is a Dolmar 7900/28", which shares the same chassis as the Makita 6401 (pictured at top w/ 20" bar). The other saw is a Stihl 066/28".

    Attached Files:

  3. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

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    So how does one go about obtaining a saw, guess I would thought HD rental would wholesale these off, not worth keeping around for retail inquiries
  4. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    The individual store's rental department sells off their items themselves, so one would want to check with the rental department people to see when a particular piece of equipment will be coming up for sale. Most will give you a sense of how soon it will be until an item is ready to be sold. From there, it's a matter of dropping by on a regular basis (or convincing the rental manager to give you a call when an item is ready to be purchased).

    They sell off most of their merchandise this way, all the way up to chippers and $10k (used) trenching machines.
  5. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

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    Sounds like a good idea, I've made a detour towards the rental dept. a few times .. I'll see what else may get traded up for new (ex. wood splitter) Thanks
  6. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I had a friend read the hipe on rental saws at AS from HD and ran out and got his , two weeks later the saw crapped out and when he took it to a service saw shop that said is was in real bad shape. I seen it with the muffler off and it didnt look good.

    Its always a crap shoot to buy used especially from a rental center that just any joe can rent and use that has no idea how to take care of a chainsaw . Its rented right ? just run the piss out of it and take it back when done. Who ever buys a used saw and luckily gets a good one is just that , lucky.

    computeruser glad to see you lucked out.


    when it come to used small engines ...................
    "I wish you luck to save a buck"
  7. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    True, it is a crapshoot and I've been lucky with the few I've purchased. But it is a crapshoot with a happy ending regardless - even if the p/c is trashed, the bottom end is usually fine, so you buy a new 79cc p/c and then you've got yourself a $420 7900. Obviously this bargain is less of a bargain if you're paying a shop $80/hour to do diagnostic and repair work for you.
  8. minesmoria

    minesmoria New Member

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    Mr chunk,

    where did you get those cool bumber spikes on the makita saw, i have an husky 359 and would like to buy a pair if they fit the saw.
  9. biggins08

    biggins08 New Member

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    Yeah, I am not a huge fan of the dogs on my 359 either.......
  10. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Computeruser -

    If I boost the displacement with a 79cc piston and cylinder from the Dolmar 7900, which puts them into the 6.3+hp range Will I have enough carb adjustment? That's what has bene holding me back on this mod.

    Thanks,
    Mike P (Who really likes the Dolmar 5100s but would like Mo' Power for the really large trees)
  11. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, it is the same carb on the 6400, 7300, 7900. Just dial it up. With the stock muffler you should have (barely) enough adjustment without clipping the limiter cap/wing on the high speed screw. With a modded muffler you will want to clip or grind the limiter tab off, since you'll need another 1/4-1/2 turns on the high side. Mine is about a third of a turn past the old limiter stop when tach'd at 13,300 with the modified muffler.
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