Though my trusty old Dolmar 111i tried it’s best, at just 52cc and 2.4kW it just wasn’t quite up to the task of ripping Australian hardwoods. It was slow going and the little Dolmar worked very hard and I was afraid I’d soon kill her. It was time to start looking for a bigger saw that would be my dedicated milling saw, something that would eat hardwood at spit out planks all day long so the old 111i could go back to what she had done so well for so many years, cutting firewood to keep us warm.
While the Dolmar name is no where near as well known as names like Stihl and Husqvarna (at least here in Australia), their saws are top shelf German made units and at least as good or better than the bigger names, and cheaper from my experience (I guess you’re not paying for all the expensive marketing). Having owned and abused a Dolmar saw for years that never complained a jot I automatically went looking for another trusty Dolmar, a big brother for the 111i. To my surprise I could not find any advertised for sale here in Australia, anywhere. Unfortunately (I think it is anyhow) I discovered that the Dolmar name is no longer used on their saws here in Australia, they are now sold under the (better known, although not for chainsaws) Makita brand. Be assured though, that although the Dolmar saws now sport the Makita brand name and colour scheme (that blue/green is not so great a colour for a saw when you’re trying to find where you left it in the bush) I also discovered they are still made in the same German factory on the same tooling as Dolmars pre the branding switch. i.e. they are Dolmars in disguise. Also be aware that not all Makita saws are Dolmars in disguise, you can spot the Dolmar made Makita saws easily as they have the “DCS” prefix to the model name (e.g. DCS9010), DCS stands for Dolmar Chain Saw.
So with that new knowledge under my belt I started looking for “Makita” saws with “DCS” in the model name, and soon discovered the Makita DCS9010. It is a 90cc, 4.9kW/6.66HP beast from Makita/Dolmar that was selling new on ebay with a 30″ bar and two chains for $1099 plus $20 shipping! Saws from Husqvarna or Stihl with similar engine size and power output were much more expensive and well beyond my budget so this was a very welcome find indeed. The 9010 is the largest saw in the Dolmar/Makita range and unlike the other later model Dolmars it still uses the older more rugged design, which I prefer. Suffice to say that after reading several positive reviews I snapped it up.
While I have not yet had the opportunity to mill any hardwood logs with the 9010, I have felled a tree and cut it into logs in preperation for just that. While the 9010 is a relatively heavy saw at 8.2kg, it was well balanced, vibration free and surprisingly easy to handle, even while doing fiddlier work like cutting the crown down into peices that could be removed from the milling site. It handled the heavier work of felling and cutting the trunk into logs with ease. I am really looking forward to get ripping with it to see how she goes!
If you are in the market for a pro saw in the 90cc/4.9kW/6.66HP range I’d urge you not to overlook the Makita DCS9010 just because of the Makita branding, it is a top quality German made Dolmar saw that is right up there with the more popular brands and at a much better price. It is kind of ironic that I should say this when I am sure they are using the Makita branding because they think it will sell more saws, I beg to differ, especally on the larger “pro” saws. While Makita may have made a name for itself in the power tool market, it is a complete unknown entity the chainsaw market. In my opinion they ought to stick with the Dolmar branding, at least on the more serious saws that more experienced chainsaw operators may be shopping for (and the Dolmar bright orange colour scheme is much easier to see out in the bush).
More info on the DCS9010 can be found on the Makita website here
Post/s with reports on milling action up soon, I hope!