Poulan Pro pp4218a Review

Poulan Pro 42cc Chainsaw Review

Poulan Pro PP4218A Review

Source: PoulanPro

Overall rating:



Build Quality

Look & Feel



  • Relatively affordable
  • Anti-vibration handle
  • Automatic oiling system 
  • 18-inch guide bar
  • Chain brake for safety precaution
  • Reverse sprocket makes removal simple


  • Ethanol can make plastic gas cap swell and hard to remove
  • Carburetor problems sometimes make it hard to start
  • Dirty air filters can also make starting difficult

You never appreciate the ax-wielding pioneers until a storm blows down the massive oak in your yard, and you're faced with the job of cutting it up. Since you probably don't have time to sharpen your ax-swinging skills, let's look at how dependable the Poulan Pro 42cc Chainsaw is for harvesting your wood.


Below are some of the main features that the Poulan Pro 42cc Chainsaw has to offer:

  • Powers up to 18-inch bar. Perfect for most routine firewood cutting projects, the 18-inch bar stretches a foot and a half deep into the wood. The 42cc engine provides adequate muscle to power this length of bar to rip right through the toughest hardwoods;
  • Spring-assisted starting mechanism;
  • Anti-vibration system. The Poulan Pro 42cc Chainsaw's anti-vibration system separates the chassi and the engine, freeing your grip from needless jolting and offering a safer cutting experience;
  • Inertia-initiated chain brake. If your chainsaw kicks back, this feature instantly stops the chain to prevent serious injury;
  • The automatic oiling system keeps the bar and chain continuously lubricated while it's running;
  • Warranty for buying peace of mind;
  • Air filtering system keeps chainsaw running for years;
  • Reverse sprocket makes chain replacement simple;
  • Pulley starting system offers easy starts;
  • Enclosed case prevents carburetor problems from chainsaw left in elements
  • Soft touch handle makes prolonged use sustainable

What Sets the Poulan Pro 42cc Chainsaw Apart?

The Poulan 42cc chainsaw offers the muscle and dependability of a high-end brand at a fraction of the cost. The 42cc engine offers enough power to fell most medium to large trees with its 18-inch bar without weighing down the operator unnecessarily.

Poulan Pro 42cc Chainsaw Review

Design & Quality

The comfortable handle, foothold for easy starting, and lightweight design of this chainsaw make it a great choice for people who are new to woodcutting or for those who plan on using their chainsaws for long stretches of time. It's designed to combine muscle and dependability in a safety-conscious package without the high price tag of other leading brands.

Output & Longevity

The powerful 42cc engine makes this chainsaw dependable for most jobs, even with hardwoods. The recommended maximum cut diameter is 36 inches, which is plenty big enough for most jobs. At that length, you can cut from both sides and meet in the middle with a clean, complete cut.


Weighing at only 13.6 pounds, the Poulan Pro 42cc chainsaw stays light for a long day of wood hauling. While it won't pack the punch of a larger engine, it also won't be so much to pack. When you're both cutting and loading, that's a big deal.

Safety & Enjoyability

The anti-kickback feature, which uses inertia to stop the chain in the event of kickback, makes this chainsaw a top choice for those with safety in mind.

It's important to keep your chains sharpened, since you won't want to increase the danger trying to muscle your way through tough wood.


When maintained properly, this chainsaw can see several years of service. What's extremely important is to be mindful that you're familiar with the requirements for this chainsaw. It uses a 50:1 gas/oil mix, and, just like with most chainsaws, you need a sharp blade along with a replacement sharp blade for when you're out for a full day of chopping. This chainsaw comes with a replacement blade.

Ease of Starting

Not every owner agrees about the Poulan Pro 42cc's ease of starting. Much depends upon the owner's understanding of how the chainsaw works. It's crucial that you keep the air filtration system clean if you want your chainsaw to start easily every time.In optimum conditions, your chainsaw should start after a couple pulls. When it doesn't, it could mean that the air filter needs cleaning. It also might help to make sure your spark plug is in good condition and firing properly.

If you're wondering, "How do I start my Poulan Chainsaw?" it's a good idea to read the owner's manual from cover to cover. You'd be surprised how many people kick their Chainsaws in disgust from a simple problem that reading the manual at the start could have avoided. The chainsaw is conveniently designed so you can set it on the ground and hold it steady with your foot while jerking the pull string.​

If your Poulan Pro 42cc chainsaw won't start, rather than assume the tool is junk, first try three things. First, check the air filter. You can find this by removing the plastic housing at the top of the chainsaw. After cleaning the air filter, you'll want to inspect the spark plug. If neither of these fix your carburetor and make it start, you might try cleaning out the carburetor. Here's a video on how to go about doing this:

You can find Youtube how-tos for cleaning carburetors, so avail yourself of these before you make an irreversible mistake out of ignorance. It can happen. Ask me how I know.​​


Probably the biggest benefit of the Poulan Pro 42cc is its price tag. With comparable features to some of the high-end brands, this is a great combination of quality and affordability.

How does it compare?

This hoss of a chainsaw has a price tag as hefty as its 50.2cc engine. If you're looking to become a lumberjack who spends all day, every day in the woods wielding your gas-oil-guzzling growler, this chainsaw may be better for you than the Poulan.

While the Poulan stands up to some pretty stiff competition, it's hard to outdo this powerhouse engine. On the other hand, if you're planning to fell some tall, tall trees and want to make sure your chainsaw can handle the job, there's no reason to look beyond the Poulan Pro 42cc chainsaw. Sure, its price tag - $169 at Lowe's compared with Husqvarna's $399 – may not suggest it's got what it takes, but plenty of satisfied customers attest that the cheaper name doesn't equal cheaper quality.

If you're seeking a lightweight saw for pruning or thinning out branches up high, this Tanaka 14-inch saw with a 32.2cc engine might be more your speed.

Efficient and lightweight, this chainsaw retails at around $200, so the Poulan Pro 42cc chainsaw is definitely a better deal if you're seeking affordability and power. If you'd rather find reliability and ease of handling, you might prefer the Tanaka. Still, many Poulan owners warn others not to be swayed by fancy brand names when Poulan delivers reliably for so many.

Since it ships from Britain, you'll want to figure a hefty shipping and handling charge on top of the advertised price of $140. Its air-cooled 62cc motor packs a punch for the 20-inch bar. This is a good buy, particularly if you live in Great Britain or don't mind waiting a long time for parts – if you can find them.  This Chinese version chainsaw offers affordability, even if parts are a bit hard to come by. 


Before you ever buy a chainsaw, there are a few important considerations. Will it be easy to find replacement parts when you need them? When you're relying on a chainsaw to heat your home or provide hot water, it's vital you aren't stuck with a model whose parts are only available halfway across the globe. A few exorbitant shipping fees, and you'll wish you'd just gotten a second chainsaw

Another thing many people struggle with is keeping their chainsaw running. A big reason for this is that carburetors on 2-cycle engines are notoriously finicky.​

You'll want to make sure never to leave your chainsaw out in the weather where moisture can build up in your carburetor. Only a drop, and your chainsaw can be a bear to start. Here's a useful video on how to adjust your carburetor:​

Also, make sure to take proper care of your Poulan Pro Chainsaw. A bottle of bar and chain oil should keep your chainsaw in good rotating condition. Also, make sure to use only a 50:1 gas/oil mix. Following these guidelines after carefully reading your owner's manual is a great way to make sure your Poulan Pro 42cc chainsaw is your personal woodcutting sidekick for many years to come.