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Ive been toying with the idea of a new saw for the last 12 months or so. For the past 20 years I have owned a stihl 034 farmboss. Lets just say its been a terrific saw and cut a tremendous amount of wood. But last outting finally cracked the piston sleave. Was on the original rings, piston and sleeve .. not bad after 22 years eh?

The new purchase. After hours and hours of window shopping and online researching, I concluded that the best saw that fits my intended purpose, ie reliability, power, weight etc narrowed down to one saw in that time frame.

The Dolmar 6400 or in todays terms the makita DSC6401

DCS6401-Petrol Chainsaw - 2 Stroke (Semi Pro/Pro Saw)=

$749 delivered to my door via fleabay.

Side by side to stihl and husky (they were what I was comparing too), this saw is a beast. Lets just say the power of the thing caught me off guard the first few times I've used it. Its truly amazing. Now this saw is the same model as the dolmar 6400 just rebadged for makita, for those that are not familiar, Dolmar is the original chainsaw maker based in West Germany.

This thing is built like a brick outhouse and cuts hardwood like a knife through butter. The only downside that Ive noted is the stock steel chain. I would highly recommend forking out for a carbide tipped chain ($$$) as the power of the damn thing rips through timber damn quick, the likelyhood of catching some dirt is highly probable.

Just thought I'de share.

Cheers pete
 

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Very interesting, I'm about to start looking into chainsaws and probably wouldn't have considered makita, but certainly will now. Just spent a week working on a farm using a mates MTD? branded chainsaw - was pretty impressed with it (although was only cutting up fallen down pine trees).
 

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ive got its big brother the 7901, they are the exact same saw just the 7901 has a bigger piston/cylinder.

brilliant saw tons of grunt and pretty light for its capacity.and cost nearly $800 less than the equivilent stihl.
i wouldnt bother with carbide chain, just use good quality chain and get good at filing, personally im running the std 20 inch bar with a loop of stihl semi chisel chain, but am upgrading to either a 24 or 28 inch setup in the new year. have to say its almost too easy cutting big hardwood logs with this much grunt

heres an intresting read on chains, bars, sharpening etc, http://www.sawchain.com/images/complete book.pdf

more info can be found here
http://www.arboristsite.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9
the yanks seem to love the pro makitas
 

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I have owned a Sachs Dolmar 133 (85cc) chain saw since about 1985. It has seen a fair bit of work especially when I lived in East Gippsland, cutting mainly Ironbark for home heater. Have never had a problem (touch wood ), and still goes great.
I worked at Makita a few years ago in the service dept, and we didnt have much trouble with the Dolmar saws. Lot more plastic on them these days though, but much smoother to operate.
 

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Hi Fellas. I brought a 115i Dolmar (52cc) with a 18" bar in 1993 and this little saw has cut my firewood every year since. Last year I hit a horseshoe imbedded in a tree and stuffed the bar and chain. The bar - which was original, has been dressed and is relegated to stumping duties. I shouted it a new 20" bar and chain and she's as good as ever. Only ever brought 1 plug and a tank filter hose. I run 40 : 1 mix and it always starts 2nd pull. It will stand alongside any Stihl or Husky and I would buy another one tomorrow. Thing is - I dont think this one is going to ever die! highly recommend the brand. Cheers, Derb.
 

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I would recommend sticking to Stihl or Husky chainsaws. I guess it depends what you want but there is a good reason your saw lasted as long as it did Pete, German proven quality. If you guys are doing a bit of firewood it would be well worth the extra investment. They have the best power to weight, always start and last just about forever.

Some good options are;

Stihl - MS260 18" bar for small wood, MS361 with 20" bar is a great medium saw and MS460 is a brilliant large saw even though its expensive.

Tree Stuff - Stihl Saws

Husky - 346xp is the best small saw goes very well, 372xp is another excellent saw.

Tree Stuff - Husqvarna Saws

The links are to a friend of mine and he will post if you ask nicely, postage is not too expensive. These prices are much cheeper than you will find in Aussie.

Regarding chain, i wouldnt recommend carbide chain! Unless you cutting nails its not worth the money and it dulls on wood. A new correct sized file plus a little practice, you can sharpen your own chains for free nearly as sharp as it was out of the box. The most important thing it to keep the chain OUT of the dirt!

Im an arborist and use chainsaws everyday, i have taught maintenance, chainsaw use, felling and even climbing with chainsaws. If i can help in anyway as you guys have helped me with my 4x4 then ill be happy to give a hand.
 

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Stihl's do break on occasion.....Even Brand new ones

My old man purchased the Stihl MS460/066 saw late last year and it broke the sprocket clean off the crank after only cutting through 3 sections of 4.5' iron bark timber. He was horrified, I laughed my tits off.

Any way, he returned it to the Stihl shop @ Londonderry in Western Sydney and they said, it was the first one they have ever seen break from new in over 25 years of business. Fortunately they replaced the broken part and he never had a problem since.
 
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