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Author Topic: Stihl vs. Dolmar  (Read 46109 times)

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Offline Randy88

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Stihl vs. Dolmar
« on: August 14, 2010, 11:16:06 PM »
I currently have two saws both stihls a 660 and a 361 bought new the same day about five years ago and the only complaint I've ever had with them is the small amount of oil they put out for oiling the chain, the first day I bought them I even called my dealer and asked how to turn them up and he told me they are turned up to max.   I've owned lombards, homelites, poulan and now stihls, the first of the week my muffler cracked on my 361 and blew off and I couldn't take running it and shut it down and took it in to get a new muffler which my dealer didn't have so he loaned me a replacement and it was a dolmar 7900.   I'd never seen one before and he told me they were a good saw and he just started to handle them and to give it a try and it was bigger than my 361 but it was all he had, I asked about a stihl 460 and he was out of them.    We've run the saw now for a week and put a lot of gas through it and my muffler still isn't in and he told me to keep it unitl it is in and use the saw.   My family has mixed emotions about the saw, half like it and the other half doesn't, they seem to think it sucks a lot more gas than even my 660 but they all agree it puts out about twice the oil on the bar as the shihls ever did. 

Now the question I have is are they imagining it or does it suck more gas and does it put out more oil?   

The next question is the most important one, is stihl or dolmar going to be around longer with better parts to back them up.   Over the years the only reason I've ever traded saws was because of companies going out and parts being impossible to get so from that standpoint I went with shihls because my local dealer handled them and so far the service and parts has been pretty good but mailnly small stuff that doesn't amount to much unitl now for my muffler.   

I don't know if I'm considered a high usage guy or peanuts but I run through about 150 ft of chain per year on both my current saws and some years more so whatever that computes to for usage but I do like to keep up to date stuff so its not a month long ordeal or longer to get parts like it used to be for my older saws.    All other brands are out for me because the dealer support sucks and I refuse to go back to any other place so its either stihl or dolmar from my one good dealer.   My 361 is a high use saw of the two and everyone loves it and I considered trading it a year ago and didn't know until monday they quit making it and he told me the 460 was the way to go if I wanted a little bigger saw which I do, if its a stiihl or the dolmar 7900   Does the 460 put out any more oil than the 361 turned up to max or the same, he didn't know for sure because nobody had asked him that.     

I've looked on the internet and found virtually nothing about dolmar.    Any advice from the panel of experts as to what to do.   No the option my crew came up with of keeping both my saws and buying both the new ones isn't going to happen.    I'm not concerned with cosmetics, power to weight, balance, speed, torque, or anything else I'm a keep it simple kinda guy, it starts, runs, cuts wood and oils the chain and I can get parts and someone who can fix it when the above mentioned doesn't happen and thats as high tech as it gets.   The oiling thing has been a constant grip of mine because all my previous saws had manual oilers along with automatic oilers and I liked to oil my chain, my dealer and I have gone round on this topic dozens of times and when he handed me the dolmar he told me you'll like it it puts out more oil than my stihls and I told him if it put out less the oil jug might as well remained sealed and on the seat of my pickup.    Any feedback would be appreciated I've read over some of the prior posts and none I found really answered my questions so thank in advance.   

Offline Ed

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 12:14:39 AM »
Just curious as to why you need so much oil on the chain?
My 066 oiler turned wide open will empty the oil tank long before I run out of gas.
One option is going to the 3/4 wrap handlebar Stihls...they have a larger oil pump for the pnw guys felling with long bars.

Ed

Offline tlandrum

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 12:23:47 AM »
with a 20 or 24 bar the oiler should run out about the same time as the fuel and it will be good to go.why do you think you need more oil?
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Offline 441FELLER

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2010, 01:07:03 AM »
If your looking for a bigger saw than the 361 go with the 441 Mag, it's soo smooth, total of 7 springs and buffers, you barley feel the cut (even if you drop the rakers way down, hehe :)) Yes it's 5cc's less but you can't tell, because the 460 has waay more vibe, 441 sipps fuel, i run mainly a 25" wide nose on mine for felling, bucking, and some carving and have never had a lack of oil problem.....the bar uses less oil because it keeps the oil in the bar and  on the chain, using only as much as it needs, although the classic baroil snot rocket at first throttle is sometimes cool, it is however, wasteful and if not using bio-oil, it's harm to surrounding foliage. So in a nutshell, go with the 441 you'll save a couple bucks, hands, and oil.  I promise you won't be sorry.  By the way, out of all the saws I have, My mod'd 441 8T 25".375 .050 w/ wrap handle is by far my favorite and most used.

Hope I helped

Offline peppone

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    • la motosega ed altri attrezzi da taglio
Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2010, 03:49:03 AM »
dolmar ps7900 is a good saw (but ps7300 is definetly better). you have just to tune the register of the oil pump.
you're invited to visit my forum all about chainsaws:
http://lamotosega.forumattivo.com/forum.htm
saluti
peppone

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2010, 06:35:16 AM »
The low volume oil pumps are a plague on several Stihl models. Fortunately you have an easy solution with the 361 as the oil pump from the 460 is a direct bolt on replacement.

There are two oil pumps for the 460, the standard one and the high volume one that comes on the west coast models with full wrap handles. The standard one should put out more oil than the standard pump on the 361. If you're running a 28" bar or longer then you need the high volume pump. I couldn't imagine anyone running a 28" bar on a 361 all the time though.

There are also two oil pumps available for the 660. As Ed said, the oil pump on the west coast saws equipped with the full wrap handles put out about 50% more oil than the wimpy oilers on the saws available here. I've swapped out a couple of the oilers and they run about $100 to upgrade the 660 and about $85 to upgrade the 460. It's about a 15 minute job and the hardest part is spinning the clutch off the crankshaft to get to the oiler.

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2010, 07:29:15 AM »
Wow, lots of replies here that have nothing to do with the questions.

In answer to your first question, of course the Dolmar 7900 sucks more gas and pumps more oil than the Stihl 361. You're comparing saws from two different classes, a 79cc saw vs a 59cc saw. The MS460 is a closer comparison to the Dolmar 7900. Those two saws have similar displacement and power. The 361 is a much smaller saw with less power and lighter weight.

My V8 F150 burns more gas and weighs more than my neighbor's four cylinder Chevy S-10 also.

Offline Randy88

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2010, 08:18:35 AM »
I've never got either saw to ever use more than 3/4 of the oil and most times less than half unless we let the saw sit and do a lot of idling, my 660 turned up full I generally run full two plus tanks of gas to one tank of oil and then never run out of oil, but I also realize I use saws differently than most.   I pick them up, start, make my cut and shut them off all day long, I've noticed most guys I've watched let them do a lot of idling between cuts but I operate heavy equipment and get them out of the toolbox and put them back in right after making my cuts, if thats the difference I don't know.   When we buck up firewood they run wide open all day long and we change out operators and they are either full throttle or shut down for fuel and chains, I don't know if thats how others do it or not if thats the difference.    I've had my dealer put new oilers on my 660 a couple times now and its turned up full and the chain still looks dryer to me than I've ever run any saw in my life, I noticed that from day one.    My 361 sips gas and a quart of oil will last it seems forever, we even blend winter and summer oil for the summer and only winter oil in the winter to help it oil better and keep the saws in where its warm so it flows better in cold weather immediately  I've listened to all the specs about the proper amount of oil and all that but in order to get the chain to not appear dry or overheat we end up letting it sit there a long time idling after each cut and on my older saws we just gave them a few pumps with the manual oiler and it was done.  I gave up on the roller nose sprocket thing years ago and run only hard tip bars, they seem to last better and cause less problems.    I've even taken both saws to other stihl dealers and had them look at them and they tell me they are working proper and everythings up to snuff and putting out the max oil possible.   As far as running it out of oil before the gas I'd have to let it idle 90% of the time and still not run it out of oil and cut hardly anything to try to achieve that.  We finally gave up and I hand the saw to my kids and tell them to start it and let it idle a while and make my cuts and hand it back and say hang onto it and let it idle until the chain looks a little wet and then put it away, they complained from day one about hanging onto saws just to have them idle to oil the chain but its what we've had to do.    

All the other saws I've run by the time its warmed up and ready to pull the throttle wide open oil was literally dripping off the end of the bar but not the stihls ever.     The first thing about the dolmar I noticed was after the brief warmup oil shot off the end of the bar and my kids asked me after making a few cuts is it broke or wheres all the oil coming from and I told them no thats the way it should be done and we were putting  a tank of oil per tank of gas into it all week long and the chain looked wet and I have no idea where the oil adjustment is even at on the 7900 to know where its set at but we must have run 30 tanks of gas through it this week and the way we cut its been about out of oil when it runs out of gas every time, everyone who ran it made comment about that, my youngest even said if we let it idle like the white saws it'll run out of oil before gas and I think he's right.  

My dealer told me he's had less problems with the 460 over the 441 and I never asked him what problems I just told him give a 460 and we'll run that but he was out of them and he told me once he got one in he'd let me use it and it ended there for now.    Whats the 3/4 wrap handle saw, I don't want to sound dumb but since you've already figured that out I might as well ask anyhow.   I run a 20 inch bar on the 361 and a 25 inch on my 660 and would like to go longer but I think I'd burn up chains due to the stingy oiler on the saw if I put on a longer bar but maybe I'm wrong.   I've asked on this forum before about the oiler thing and all I got was stihls put out a little less oil than most so I figured I was operating it different and now I'm told its possible to actually run it out of oil before the gas, how?   If everyone who's looked at it tells me its working properly how could you ever run it out of oil before the gas, we are constantly checking to make sure its full output on the adjustment screws, I've even asked about high output oilers at several dealers and they all told me its working fine and the manufacturer has it calculated to put out the correct amount of oil and all that and I've argued that on full output it should run it out before the gas but they all tell me its in the way I run it and now we've tried the dolmar and we run that the same exact way and its out of oil every time we gas up so I'm not buying into the line its in the way we operate it anymore because we now have a comparison before it was just two stihls and they ran about the same as far as oil usage.   All my prior saws we always ran out of oil just about the time it ran out of gas and I just figured that was about right for usage and I've argued now for over five years and got nowhere, they claim they've done everything possible to get them to put out the max for oil and no I'm not happy with the stihls for that reason and that only but they are a large company and I figured they'd be in business for decades to come and since I've gone down the road of obsolete saws I didn't want to have a few more great looking boat anchors sitting around like all my other saws are.   I've never worn a saw out so to speak it's just getting them fixed and parts thats the problem.   I'd still be running my dads Lombard L50 that was bored and ported to put out more power if we could have gotten parts along with all the rest of the saws sitting here, as I tell me current dealer I must be hard on repair guys because the last three died on me over the years and he's about all thats left that can actually fix anything around here.   Sorry for the long babbling and thanks for the replies but I gotta go run saws all day long again today so I'll chat later tonight  

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2010, 08:33:20 AM »
If your dealer swapped out the 660 oiler for another stock 660 oiler then he ripped you off. The high output oiler for the 660 is part number 1122 640 3201. I paid $71 for mine a couple years ago. It's a 15 minute job to change it.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2010, 08:58:19 AM »
In answer to the other part of your question, Dolmar does have a good reputation, and makes some very good saws. They've been around and making chainsaws for a very long time. The only across the board complaint I've heard about them is lack of a good dealer network -- at least here in Vermont -- other areas have a more developed network. If you've got a good dealer in your area, you are over that hurdle

I'm seeing more Dolmars in my area, despite the lack of a dealer network. When Husqvarna dropped their sponsorship of the "Game of Logging" course, Dolmar picked it up. We've got an extremely active GOL training organization in our area (Northeast Woodland Training) they train landowners and professionals (loggers, arborists, etc). This has been getting the saws more exposure. The company is reportedly committed

One of the trainers told me that Briggs & Stratton now owns Dolmar (or owns another company that owns Dolmar), so you can get parts through Briggs' extensive parts network, if you are doing your own work.

The closest thing to a Stihl 361  (59cc, 4.4 HP) in Dolmar's line-up would be their PS-6400 (64cc, 4.8 hp). As someone has already mentioned, the PS-7900 you are using significantly larger (78.5 cc, 6.3 HP).

As you've probably already found, the 361 is no longer being made. It has been replaced with the 362 (59cc, 4.6 HP). The new model gained about 3/4 of a pound, to 13 lbs., and got a little over 4% boost in HP.

Another saw to consider in the 361 size range is the "soon to be released" Husky 560 (preliminary specs: 60cc, 4.7 HP, and about 1 pound lighter than the Stihl 362).

John Mc
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2010, 10:16:17 AM »
Dolmar has been around for quite some time .It appears they are attempting to gain market shares in the saw biz here of late .

I've ran the 7900 Dolmar a time or two and they seem to have plenty of power .As has already been mentioned though they would be in the class of the Stihl 460 because of the displacement .

Myself and perhaps a few others are not really what you would call "brand loyal " whatever gets the job done is a good saw no matter who made it .When it comes to turning wrenchs on one because of never doing much on that brand I really can't comment .

Offline SawTroll

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2010, 10:20:45 AM »
Rocky hit the nail on the oilers - the high capasity 460 oiler is the way to go on the 361, it you really need more oil on the bar. 8) 8)

I run no more than an 18" bar on my 361, and the original oiler is adquate for that, IMO.  :)
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Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2010, 10:32:07 AM »
Even the stock 460 oiler would be good for the 361. The 460 high output oiler might be too much for that saw.

Offline Ed

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2010, 10:40:24 AM »
Randy,
You state that you are running hardnose bars. There has to be a little more slack in the chain on them when compared to a sprocket tip. A really tight chain will generate lots of extra heat & friction pulling it around the hardened tip.
You might want to check the oil hole diameter in the bar, enlarging it might help. Oil hole size is not a standard thing between bar mfg's.

Ed


Offline John Mc

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2010, 04:54:45 PM »
Dolmar has been around for quite some time .It appears they are attempting to gain market shares in the saw biz here of late .

The GOL instructor I mentioned in an earlier post said that Dolmar is committed to becoming one of the top 3 chainsaw manufacturers.

I told him that all they really lacked around here (Vermont) was a good dealer network. The only one in my area leaves a good bit to be desired... never have many Dolmar saws in stock, will only service saws that they actually sold (they keep track of serial numbers), won't stock the 5100 (which is now the 5105, I guess?) because they say they've "had too many of them burn up" (I suspect they are setting the mixture too lean, or perhaps just leaving it at the very lean factory setting??). I even asked them for a price if I wanted to order a 5100, and they would not order me one... "to much hassle dealing with the problems with this saw". I thought this was kind of strange for a saw that by most accounts is a rather good 50cc saw. I've seen them hold up very well under professional use.

John Mc

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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2010, 07:50:56 PM »
There was one Dolmar dealer in this area but he wasn't a good business man .Husqvarna kind of tried a power play a few years back with the dealers they had but it back fired on them and as such the closest stocking dealer is 40 miles away .

As such Stihl is about the only higher quality saw you can buy locally and have dealer support .In addition and as a result I know more about Stihl than the others because that's what I wrench on .Mac too but that is just more or less a nostalgia thing .

Offline Randy88

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2010, 08:44:56 PM »
Thanks guys for the replies, I never knew or was told they had a high output oiler for my 660, I've even asked and nobody locally knew anything about it so I'll use the part no. and get my guy to get it coming and also a high output from a 460 for my 361 as well.  I've always used hard nosed bars and yes we always run more slack in them vs. a roller nose.   I've been running stihl bars on my stihl saws along with stihl chain and would it still help to drill out the oil hole a little, I'd never been told that before or ever given it a thought.  We're pretty religious about turning the bar over and cleaninig the grove and oil hole out and blowing the sawdust off the saws along with dressing up the bars every now and then.   

Still haven't decided what to do about a saw but all the info sure has helped, I got more answers in five minutes here than a weeks worth of late night looking on the internet and five years of asking questions locally about my current saws so again I can't say thanks enough.

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2010, 09:00:17 PM »
Glad we could help. I went the same issues with a 660 and 460 belonging to a close friend and business associate two years ago, so I started a couple threads on a couple different forums and finally came up with the part numbers. I referenced those threads to retrieve the information to pass along here. We both can thank those who went before us and found the answers.  8)

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2010, 09:16:37 PM »
Actually as a result of interest generated on improving Stihl oilers I did learn a lot about them from several forums .They are somewhat unique in design having both the flat on the shaft plus a reciprical action of which I really never knew until the subject came up .

There are mixed feelings about the lack of oil that most modern saws put out .I am of the old school opinion they should oil with gusto but some disagree including the EPA .

BTW slightly increasing the oil hole in the bar helps somewhat .Not huge, just a wee bit .

Offline SawTroll

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2010, 04:33:32 PM »
Dolmar has been around for quite some time .It appears they are attempting to gain market shares in the saw biz here of late .

The GOL instructor I mentioned in an earlier post said that Dolmar is committed to becoming one of the top 3 chainsaw manufacturers.

I told him that all they really lacked around here (Vermont) was a good dealer network. The only one in my area leaves a good bit to be desired... never have many Dolmar saws in stock, will only service saws that they actually sold (they keep track of serial numbers), won't stock the 5100 (which is now the 5105, I guess?) because they say they've "had too many of them burn up" (I suspect they are setting the mixture too lean, or perhaps just leaving it at the very lean factory setting??). I even asked them for a price if I wanted to order a 5100, and they would not order me one... "to much hassle dealing with the problems with this saw". I thought this was kind of strange for a saw that by most accounts is a rather good 50cc saw. I've seen them hold up very well under professional use.

John Mc



The dealer is sort of right - the 5100S had to be set way too lean from the factory to pass EPA, and they sort of expected the dealers to remedy that - but the concept failed. They also failed to back the dealers up properly, when bad things happened (and it way too often did). I don't think a dealer that did his job properly at the point of the sale would have had any problems though! The model now is replaced by the 5105, that has a cat muffler in the US, so I guess they don't have to set that one as lean.
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Offline Captain

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2010, 07:23:17 PM »
John Mc is partly right on the Briggs comment.  Briggs did not buy out Dolmar.  However, in the NE United States, they have the same distributor out of New York, so it is the same parts distribution network up here.

Captain

Offline John Mc

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2010, 07:44:32 AM »
John Mc is partly right on the Briggs comment.  Briggs did not buy out Dolmar.  However, in the NE United States, they have the same distributor out of New York, so it is the same parts distribution network up here.

Thanks, Captain. I stand corrected. Not sure if I misunderstood the guy who told me about Briggs/Dolmar, or if he was misinformed.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2010, 07:57:24 AM »
I thought Makita bought out Dolmar and is selling the same saws with their name ,only different color.?? Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline John Mc

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Re: Stihl vs. Dolmar
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2010, 07:18:38 PM »
I thought Makita bought out Dolmar and is selling the same saws with their name ,only different color.?? Frank C.

I believe that is true, at least for some models? Makita was smart enough not to screw up the Dolmar saws.

John Mc
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow


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My New Dolmar 7910 got beat by a Stihl 460

Started by bigsbetter on Chainsaws

11 Replies
15770 Views
Last post November 13, 2013, 07:51:43 PM
by bigsbetter
 


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