solo and efco chainsaw's.....let's hear some comments

robarOctober 4, 2005

I would like to hear some feedback regarding Solo and Efco chainsaw's. I hear the John Deere chainsaw's are made by Efco. That's Efco....not Echo. Again, let's hear some comments on these saw's.

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hlw49(Z6 TN)

Both are decent saws but have poor parts support I would stick with the more know brands. Husqvarna, Echo, Jonsered or as a last resort Stihl. Later Butch

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 10:08PM
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hippy

Husqvarna or Jonsered for chainsaws myself also.

Husqvarna for trimmers and other power equipment.

I do dont even consider Stihl products any longer. They have gone down hill in quailty so far that a winch could not even pull them back up.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 11:01AM
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aesanders(8b Alachua, FL)

What's wrong with Stihl? Last I bought they were the best available.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 11:22AM
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tommyw

After owning many saws and cutting 10 cords a year, IMHO the best saws are STIHL!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 6:37PM
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hlw49(Z6 TN)

I could cut 10 cord a year with a Poulan or a McCullough but it Stihl would not make it the best saw made. Pun intented. LoL Later Butch

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 11:32PM
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jammer1(mass)

As a last knock to stihl;I had to fix a friends stihl chainsaw;the crankshaft BROKE OFF!!Right were the threads were; I could see why;the output end was long and skinny,a very bad combination,when it comes to handling stress.Instead of having the sprocket inside towards the engine,they put it outside at the very end of the shaft........only an idiot would make a design like that!If they want to do that,they should at least add 3-4 oz. of steel on the shaft to insure the shaft wouldn't get too much stress..........I don't know if stihl ever had a problem with shafts breaking,but I would bet they did

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 4:12AM
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slimmarks(NC)

ive owned solo. good solid saw. ive owned and still do an efco 962. stock its as good a saw as ive owned. id compare it to an 036 that i owned. mines modified now so its a real cutter. but to be honest it was good before modifications. naturally not as fast as now. but still it was a fast cutter and durable. since im not a mechanic ,my thing is to get these saw rite then with good maintenance they keep running and running and running like the bunny. lol

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 4:46PM
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kennyplay

hello, i am thinking about getting a cub cadet 5720 (efco?) does anyone know about it or have used one? I am thinking about that one or Dolmar ps5100s..thanks

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 10:48PM
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mmyles

I have a stihl saw that I love.

Definately check out the Solo though, they are a great company and make excellant stuff

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 8:01AM
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ladylake(minnesota)

I have a Cub Cadet 5720, nice looking saw fairly well built but I'm not impressed with the power or wieght for 56 cc. My Echo CS510 49.6 cc outcuts it by a lot and wieghts 3 pounds less full of fuel and oil both with 20" bars. Solo I hear good reviews but parts are spendy. Steve

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:17AM
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computeruser

Stick with major brands that are well-supported in your area. Efco and Solo make solid machines but their dealer network is spotty. Dolmar is getting better and their machines are top-notch, class-leading products (especially 5100S and 7900).

Stihl and Husqvarna are always good choices, along with Echo and Jonsered.

The idiotic comments about inboard-versus-outboard clutch designs above really don't merit a response except to say that all brands have at one point or another gone both routes with favorable results. Outboard clutches do not per se expose the crank to damage. The occasional manufacturing flaw may cause crank failure, but usually it is user error or inept servicing more than anything else that contributes to crank failures.

For what it's worth Husqvarna still uses a lot of outboard clutches on their saws; Stihl and Dolmar do not.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 1:01PM
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rbtree(Seattle)

bump...

A new pro saw is the Solo 681.....made from the same mold as the 7900 Dolmar, but 2 cc larger....rates at the top of its class in power. Good word from several users.

I've never owned an Efco, used to want a 962C, which is reportedly very close to the 357 Husky and 361 Stihl in performance.

I have a Solo 651SP, which is an OK saw, but my least favorite of my 3 cube saws-----which are 346 Husky, 5100S Dolmar, and Shindaiwa 488. The outdated 260 Stihl is an excellent saw, but overpriced and slower than the 346 or 5100. Great longevity though! it's been made for 20 years or more.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 12:22PM
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ckr74

Lots of people knock Stihl but they are still a common benchmark when it comes to chainsaws. Wonder why?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 2:08PM
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ladylake(minnesota)

Stihl and many other companys use there name to sell cheaply made homeowner tools. Stihl homeowner saws are way better than Poulan or Mac ( both used to be good years ago)but nowhere near the quality of thier pro saws. At least they still make pro saws. Steve

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 5:37AM
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pronoman

I know this is an old topic, but... Next time you are driving down the street and see a pro tree service somewhere, take a look at the Stihl saw's they are using. That's all I have to say.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 8:02AM
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davefr

I'd go with Stihl or Dolmar.

Stihl makes some very good saws like the 260, 361, 440, 460 and 660. They also make some pigs like the 290. You need to do your homework first. The saws I've mentioned have a wonderful reputation and have more accumulated time in the harshest field conditions then all other brands combined. The problem with Stihl is there antiquated dealer support model. It's impossible to get parts online.

However Dolmar beats Stihl in performance/weight ratio and price/performance ratio. The 401, 5100 and 7900 are world class in their categories.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:10AM
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jpauldunn

Since 05 when this question was asked the chains of distribution for both brands have changed for the better. Efco opened its own central office and warehouse and signed distributors in strategic areas of the US and Canada and Solo has done basically the same.
As far as the chainsaws themselves I am a fan of out board clutches as in most of the Husky models and all the saws of old,it keeps heat away from the oil pump as well as the PTO seals and makes chainbrake and oil pump repair and maintenance so much easier. For that reason I myself prefer the Efcos I find them to have the simplicity and ease of maintenance of the 90's ERA Huskys with the emission technology of today.Not to mention the performance and engineering the Italian's are famous for and with Husky and Stihl continually cheapening up their products to hit price points its nice to see some manufacturers staying the coarse.
As far as the Solo's go I know that they share a few models With Dolmar which are great performers in there own right,other than that I can't say that much about them.
Oh and FYI Efco will no longer be supplying JD with there saws JD just inked a deal with Stihl for all their hand held equipment,all JD dealers will be able to carry Stihl equipment no matter where the nearest Stihl dealer is.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 3:36PM
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plantman314(z5-6 StL, MO)

I have yet to meet anyone who regrets owning a stihl. I know many people who went with another brand, and they have all ssid they wished they had bought a stihl.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 6:34PM
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ladylake(minnesota)

The Dolmar 5100s and 7900 are the best bang for the buck, Stihl make Pro saws and homeowner saws, the Pro saws are just fine but spendy, thier homeowner saw are built way cheaper but seem to run good, with the power to wieght being not so good. Stihl saws shouldn't all be lumped together . Same with Husky. Steve

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 5:59AM
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wood_101

I cut on average 40-50 cord a season. I have (2) Efco chainsaws. I use a 962 with a 20" bar and 945 with a 16" bar for tree tops. They are not to bad of a saw for the money. I run a 288 XP, 395 XP and a 3120 XP Husky for big stuff. I have had Dolmar saws in the past. I didn't like them real well. I recommend Husky for work but its $. If you aren't going to be cutting big stuff or boring with the saw I would say you can be safe to use Efco. I do however recommend having all of your 2-stroke engines adjusted to run on aviation fuel. I mix all my fuel 40:1 and use AV gas. You can leave it in your saw and not worry any. It has about a 3 year shelf life instead of gasoline having about 30-45 day shelf life. Once you switch you will like it. Truthfully a Stihl saw is only good if is one of the older ones which they were made in Germany. I have had some of the new ones and they aren't worth owning to my opinion.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:38PM
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ewalk

The Stihl Prograde are fine 260-Pro 360 / 361 ! But your correct that most of the American made Stihl and Husky for that matter are not the same . Any Unit with other than Metal Crankcase I steer away from . The Efco units are Walbro Old School Carbureted saws . Great Pricing for the sizing . Dolmar are rated very high , but part sourcing is always suspect . I guess each to his own . I have a Buddy with a Solo and he swears that it's the greatest saw going . I have ran it a few times and it cuts with a 348 XP and is light and vibration free .

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 2:02PM
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rockyslayer_ht_com

I purchased a Dolmar 5100s and a 7900H and they have the best power to weight and power per cc. and cost hundreds of dollars cheaper than a Stihl or a Husqvarna and they also have a good parts availability in Ontario Canada. The company is as old as Stihl and makes all their good saws in Germany still. They like the others make cheap consumer saws in Asia. They make the bast saw for the buck and don,t charge the big bucks for the name. I understand they make Solo saws, seen an old one the other day and was curoius about the resemblance to Dolmar. Check them out you can not go wrong.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 4:33PM
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ewalk

Paul You are correct in that Dolmar Manufacture Quality Saws. Solo also has Quality Pro Grade Units along with Prosumer lesser Grade units . As far as economics of pricing I have seen Dolmar units priced as high as Husky and Stihl Professional Grade Saws . I'am in Northern Ontario , don't know about the potential for reduced pricing within Southern Ontario or perhaps Edmonton Alb. where there is no sales tax ..etc .

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 3:22PM
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christian_seibel_hotmail_com

Solo chainsaws are still made in germany. even the small customer models. All Solo users I know swear on the great performance and robustness of Solo saws...

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 7:12PM
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weepete

Can anyone explain why so many questions regarding chainsaw manufacurers and models gets turned into the boring argument about Stihl and Husqvarna. The original request was about Solo and Efco. May I suggest that if you know nothing about these makes you air your expert thoughts elsewhere.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 3:00AM
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txtom50(8a texas)

2005 post - start a new one

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:08AM
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