Dolmar chainsaws have a long and rich history in the world of power tools. Since the introduction of the first Dolmar chainsaw in 1927, the brand has become synonymous with quality, innovation, and reliability. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the past, present, and future of Dolmar chainsaw models, exploring their evolution, mergers, and the current state of the brand under the Makita umbrella. We’ll also discuss some of the most popular and sought-after Dolmar chainsaw models and their features.
1. The Origins of Dolmar Chainsaws
1.1 The Early Days
The Dolmar brand was founded by German inventor Emil Lerp, who revolutionized the chainsaw industry by creating the first gasoline-powered chainsaw for tree work in 1927. Named after Dolmar Hill in Thuringian Forest, Germany, the brand quickly gained recognition for its innovative designs and high-quality products.
1.2 Dolmar’s First Chainsaw Model
Emil Lerp’s first chainsaw, the Dolmar Model A, was a powerful 8 HP, two-man saw weighing 128 lb (58 kg). It was designed specifically for logging and was a massive leap forward in the industry.
1.3 Dolmar vs. Stihl: The Early Rivalry
Dolmar’s rise in the chainsaw market was closely followed by another German brand, Stihl. While Stihl introduced the first electric chainsaw in 1926, Dolmar’s Model A was the first gasoline-powered chainsaw, marking the beginning of a long-standing rivalry between the two brands.
2. Dolmar’s Mergers and Acquisitions
2.1 The Sachs Dolmar Era
In 1975, Dolmar merged with Fichtel & Sachs, another German company known for its mechanical parts and engines. This merger led to the creation of Sachs Dolmar, which continued to produce chainsaws under the combined brand name.
2.2 The Makita Acquisition
Makita, a well-known Japanese power tool company, acquired Sachs Dolmar in 1991. The brand name was then changed to Dolmar GmbH, and later to Makita Corporation. Makita continued to manufacture chainsaws using Dolmar’s designs and engineering expertise, resulting in a range of powerful and reliable gas chainsaws.
3. Dolmar Chainsaws under the Makita Banner
3.1 The Rebranding
Under Makita’s ownership, new products made using Dolmar standards were rebranded as Makita chainsaws. Makita utilized Dolmar’s engineering quality to produce a range of 2-cycle gas chainsaws that offered reliable performance and ergonomic comfort.
3.2 The Color Transition
While older Dolmar chainsaws were warm red in color, Makita introduced teal-colored gas chainsaws as a part of their rebranding strategy. Today, Makita’s 2-cycle gas chainsaws are available in the traditional warm red color, signifying their adherence to Dolmar’s standards and commitment to safety.
4. Popular Dolmar Chainsaw Models
4.1 Dolmar Model C (1930 – 1937)
The Dolmar Model C was introduced as a successor to the Model A, offering improved performance and features. This model was popular for its high power-to-weight ratio and easy-start pull cord mechanism.
4.2 Dolmar Model CL (1939 – 1968)
The Model CL was considered one of Dolmar’s best-performing early chainsaws. Its advanced design and long production run made it a popular choice among professionals in the forestry and landscaping industries.
4.3 Sachs Dolmar KMS 4 (1975)
The first chainsaw released under the Sachs Dolmar partnership was the KMS 4, featuring a rotary engine (the SACHS Wankel rotary engine). This innovative design set the stage for the future of Sachs Dolmar chainsaws.
5. Makita’s Gas Chainsaws: The Dolmar Legacy Continues
5.1 High Power-to-Weight Ratio
Makita’s gas chainsaws, made using Dolmar’s engineering expertise, boast a high power-to-weight ratio, providing users with optimal performance and efficiency.
5.2 Easy-Start Pull Cord Mechanism
Makita chainsaws also feature an easy-start pull cord mechanism, reducing the effort required to start the engine and making them more user-friendly.
5.3 Vibration Reduction Technology
To ensure a comfortable and safe user experience, Makita’s gas chainsaws include vibration reduction technology, which minimizes fatigue and enhances productivity.
6. Makita’s Electric and Battery Chainsaws
In addition to their gas-powered models, Makita also offers a range of electric and battery-powered chainsaws. These chainsaws are dressed in Makita’s signature teal color, making it easy for users to distinguish between the gas and electric models.
6.1 Power and Durability
Makita’s electric and battery-powered chainsaws are known for their power and durability, making them popular choices among professionals and homeowners alike.
6.2 Environmentally Friendly Options
For those seeking eco-friendly alternatives, Makita’s electric and battery-powered chainsaws offer a cleaner and quieter solution without compromising on performance.
7. The Future of Dolmar Chainsaws
7.1 Makita Discontinuing Gas Chainsaws
In 2022, Makita announced its decision to discontinue the production of gas-powered chainsaws to focus on their mainstay rechargeable power tools and gardening equipment. However, their electric and battery-powered chainsaw lines will continue to be available.
7.2 The Legacy Lives On
Despite the discontinuation of gas chainsaws, the Dolmar legacy will live on through Makita’s commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable, and powerful chainsaws for professional and personal use.
8. Dolmar Chainsaws Models: Collectibles and Second-Hand Market
Many old Dolmar chainsaws, particularly those produced during the Sachs Dolmar era, are now considered collectibles. The second-hand market for these chainsaws remains active, with enthusiasts and collectors seeking them for their historical value and performance.
9. Dolmar Chainsaws vs. Competitors
While Dolmar chainsaws may not enjoy the same level of popularity as brands like Stihl and Husqvarna, they continue to hold their own in terms of quality, innovation, and performance. The combination of Dolmar’s engineering prowess and Makita’s manufacturing capabilities has produced a range of powerful and reliable chainsaws that remain competitive in the market.
10. Conclusion – Dolmar Chainsaw Models
Dolmar chainsaws have come a long way since their inception in 1927. From the pioneering days of Emil Lerp to the acquisition by Makita, these chainsaws have consistently provided users with reliable performance and innovative features. As the brand transitions to focus on electric and battery-powered models, the Dolmar legacy will continue to influence the chainsaw industry, setting the standard for quality, innovation, and reliability.