Big jobs require big chainsaws and the Poulan Pro PP4218A is well equipped for that. It has the most powerful engine of all the models we tested, has a lengthy guide bar and comes with more included accessories than any other model we purchased for testing. All these make it a good choice for the frequent user or power tool enthusiast. It made quick and easy work of all the cutting tasks we put to it. However, it struggled a bit in some of our tests – particularly while starting.
The first thing to understand about this chainsaw is that it’s not intended for the casual user. It’s 42cc engine provides more cutting power than any other tool in this category – but you won’t find much use for that power if you don’t have a correspondingly heavy-duty task for it. This model is overkill for occasional yard work or other menial cutting tasks.
Our lab crew tested all the saws we compared. They were all impressed by the Poulan Pro. “This feels like a serious saw,” one commented after using battery powered models like the Kobalt KCS 120-7 and Black & Decker LCS1020. But it wasn’t perfect, with one tester stating that “This primer is not something I like recessed like this, it protects the bubble, but it does make it not quite as convenient to use.” But another pointed out that, “You only have to pump it three times a day and you’re done.”
The biggest frustration we had with this saw was starting it. It was by far the most complicated of all the tools in this category. There are instructions on how to start it printed on the tool itself and in the owner’s manual. Nevertheless, it took both our lab crew and others who used the saw far more attempts to start. If you don’t do everything exactly correctly, you could be stuck pulling the cord dozens of times before it starts. While this isn’t a deal breaker, it reinforces our belief that this is not a tool for casual users.
However, once it is started, it performs beautifully. We used it to cut a 6x6-inch piece of lumber – and it cut right through in less than five seconds. The cut was sharp, clean and smooth – none of our testing crew had complaints about the results this saw produced. Additionally, it did extremely well when we used it to help clear out an overgrown residential yard. We were especially impressed at how well it handled hardened, dead cherry wood – something all our non-gas-powered models had at least some trouble with.
This gas chainsaw comes with almost everything you need to use it. For example, it is one of the few saws that comes with a spare chain. This is especially beneficial because with most top-brand saws you have to order special chains through manufacturer-licensed dealers. Even on large powerful saws, chains wear down quickly after multiple uses, so this saves you a trip to the store.
The chainsaw also comes with an abundance of extra accessories. In the packaging, there is engine oil, a sharpening guide file to keep your chains maintained and a scrench for adjusting chain tension. The Poulan Pro and its accessories come in a hard-shell carrying case for safe storage and transport.
This chainsaw isn’t designed for casual or occasional users – it is a high-end tool that should be reserved for those who know how to handle the power it provides. Our lab team was impressed by its engine, design and accessories, but where flustered by failed attempts to get it started. If you need an around-the-house tool, look elsewhere, but if you want a genuinely top-end chainsaw, this model is worthy of consideration.