Dolmar Chain Saw

tomhoffman(NE Iowa)August 4, 2008

Just recently bought a cabin with loads of timber. I had a Stihl 026 Chain Saw that had less than 10 hours on it. It always seemend underpowered.

Went looking for more Saw, and found a dealer who is featuering the Dolmar Saws, seems that they are new in the State in the last 6 months.

He claimed you get a lot more saw for the money. When I got my Stihl, I thought it was pretty pricey 7 or 8 years ago. I can trade my Stihl and get a Dolmar 5100 w/20 inch bar for $300.

Problem is I don't know anything about the Dolmar other than what the Dealer and the brochure tells and shows.

Does any one have any experience with this saw?


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I don't have any experience with them, however if you go to the chainsaw section of I have noticed that everyone raves about Dolmar, including the 5100. Those guys on that forum know their saws too, most of them use 'em to make a living.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 6:42PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

The Dolmar 5100 by all accounts is a great saw in the 50cc class but so are the Stihl 260/026 and Husky 346XP. They are all pro quality 50cc class saws. The 5100 may run a little better but I don't think I would trade a good working 026 for a 5100 plus $300. Just not a good economic choice. Actually it is kind of a ripoff, because a good working 026 can bring in $200 conservatively. A new Dolmar 5100 goes for ~$420. The 5100 is best suited with a 16" bar. You can run a 20" on it but it runs better with a 16". The same goes for the 346xp and 026/260.

If you want more power, I'd say you should probably get a second saw that can handle at least a 20" bar maybe 24" depending on what you are going to cut and that would be a 60cc+ saw for a 20" and 75cc+ for a 24". The Stihl MS361 is a real favorite for a 20" saw. The Dolmar 7900 is a great saw at 80cc. Stihl, Husky and Dolmar/Makita have some excellent saws in all of those sizes.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:16PM
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vangellis(NE PA)

Ditto on what peter said.....the Dolmar 5100 is said to be a good saw, and that comes from another site familiar with tree guys. If you have good dealer support also, that a plus. I'm a Husky fan by the way.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Dolmars are excellent saws and generally "best in category" power to weight ratios. However there's no way I'd trade an 026 + $300 for a 5100. The 5100 is only slightly better then the 026 in power and handling.

If your 026 is underpowered then the next step up in Dolmar is a 6401 or 7900. The 7900 is a terrific saw and puts you between Stihl MS460 to MS660 territory which might be overkill. The 6401 is lower cost and power but the same weight as 7900.

My rule of thumb is to decide on the weight you can live with and go for maximum power.

The Stihl 361 is a good choice if you want more power then an 026 but don't want to go to a big saw like 7900/MS460/372XP. Some have called it the perfect firewood saw.

I have all the above saws except for the 372XP so speak with experience.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:57PM
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No way I would trade for $300, I've seen ne Dolmar 5100s go for $389. Keep the 026 for a backup. Are you running 3/8 or 325 chain on your 026, if it's 3/8 switch to 325 and you won't even want a new saw.. Steve

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 5:49AM
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masiman(z7 VA)

I agree on ladylakes price for the Dolmar, although you might not be able to get that locally.

Let us know what you decide on and how you have your 026 set up.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 6:31PM
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tomhoffman(NE Iowa)

Thank you for all the good advice. I have a 20" bar on the 026 and when cutting, it will not sustain a cut if you put any kind of downward pressure on the blade. It will die if you lean on it at all.

That is the reason for the need for a larger CC saw. I didn't realize that the two were approximately the same. What is the cc on the 026? It has never seemed to have much power. I think the chain is the .325 not sure. I have been only an occasional user of chain saws up until now. Will need a good sturdy saw for wood cutting for the house for this winter.

I have a really large Oak that is dead and has to come down and that will be this years wood for heat. Lots of other trees need to be thinned out and will be able to be seasoned and held back for the next few years of heat. I will look at the larger Dolmars.



    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 7:16PM
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Tom A 026 isn't that bad of a saw, you should check the pitch for sure if it's 3/8 a 325 setup would make a world of difference. You could also try opening the high adjuster 1/4 turn or so, if set a little lean they bog easy. Less than 10 hours it might not be broken in yet, most of the saws I bought new took 10 tanks before they woke up, all were real doggy the first 5 tanks or so. Steve

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 7:52PM
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A 20" bar in oak is way too much to ask of your 026. (or the 5100). 026 likes 16" best and 5100 can realistically go to 18".

Go with Stihl 361 or Dolmar 6401/7900 and keep the 026 for smaller jobs.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 8:13PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

+1 on davefr's last comment. Your asking too much of that 026 to run a 20" bar. I have one and I can slow it down in oak with a 16" if I try. It is a great dependable saw. I wouldn't get rid of it unless it were giving you problems.

I'd look hard at a 361. Great power for the weight. If you think about a 6400, go that route to save money because it is heavier than the 361 for the same class. Otherwise, start to look at the 75cc saws: MS440/441, Dolmar 7900, Husky 372. The 7900 is great bargain for that class. Machines that size can get tiring for all day use though. I'd like to own a 361 as my 20" saw. I may do that if I upgrade my 6401 to a 7900 (simply change the piston and cylinder).

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 12:44AM
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the 7900 is the way to to go if you like HOTCUTIN saws cuts faster than the husky 3210xp wich is 118.8cc dolmar7900 is 79cc almost a 40cc difference.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:06PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

Tom, if the chain is properly sharpened you should not need to exert downward pressure. Still, 20" is a bit much for a 49 cc 026 and don't even consider 3/8 chain for it.The 5100 is offered with either chain and most seem to be going to 3/8 on an 18".

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:32PM
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One more thing to check on your 026 is the muffler screen, If it's clogged you'll have no power. With a 325 chain and bar and tuned right a 026 cuts pretty good, not as good as a 5100s or a Hushy 346xp but not that far behind. Another good buy is a Makita 6401 rental saw from Home Depot for a little over $200. at 64cc it would cut way faster than a 50cc saw. Steve

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 5:36AM
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Wow there is a lot of things to consider that I never thought about. You guys know your chainsaws. I've using a chainsaw that my mother bought because mine is a cheap one that is now broke down. My mother's chainsaw is a Dolmar 111 52cc and has an 18 inc bar with 325 chain I think. (I'm kind of like Tom, I don't know a whole lot about the whole mechanics that's involved in chainsaws) Anyway, this Dolmar just came out of shop from repairs. I believe they either put a new carb on it or they put a carb kit in it. Well I was cutting a little bit of everything with it and started to cut a cedar limb that was maybe 5 or 6 inches in diameter and it started bogging down. Even after I took it out and gave it gas without cutting anything it would start to die. It sounded like something was blocking air intake so I took the cover off and the found a very unique looking air filter, but it was super clean. So I'm not sure what it is that's wrong. Do they have floats? Because I was thinking maybe that is stuck. Also it has 3 adjustment screws, one has S by it and it looks like it would be for the idle, the other two has L and H by them I'm guessing those stand for low and high. Do you think I need to make an adjustment on those screws? Any ideas about my problem would be appreciated. Another thing the first time I started it after getting it out of the shop I gave it gas and the chain didn't take off right away, but when it warmed up and took off it felt like a solid tight well built machine!!! I like it and hope I can figure this out, thanks for any input!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:27PM
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Greg: Same advice that I gave you on the Tool Shed , bring the saw back to your service dealer . If you had this done over a few mths ago you could service accordingly . But if just repaired they will point the finger back at you for your current problems. You have the Jets and Idle adjustment
postions identified correctly !

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Thanks ewalk! I'll see if they will do right by me.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 6:58PM
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If not Greg get back to us we all try to help where required a lot of good people aboard !

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 5:31AM
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Thanks ewalk, I've updated that other post I made so check it out if you don't mind.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 8:04PM
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