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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
I would not recommend using the Poulan PLN3516F on anything other than trimming limbs and maybe clearing small trees (8-10") out of a fence row. There are two drive gears inside the saw; one is made of metal and the other is made of a polymer. The metal gear will grind against the white polymer (4" diameter) gear and quickly erode its surface after a short time. Any parts within the "Drive Head" can not be ordered. I have called multiple Poulan parts outlets and all I am told to do after explaining the part that I am trying to buy is call the WARRANTY REPLACEMENT CENTER @ (800)633-3522.

The bottom line is this a disposable saw and is (by what I have seen)only for light work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2012
I bought mine at Lowes over the weekend. It seems like a pretty decent saw but I am already on my second one. The first saw seemed to cut well and with good power. The saw blade itself doesn't stay sharp for long. I don't think they spent much money in this area. Pick up a decent saw file and plan to sharpen more often than most saws.

The saw seems to have good power. I used it on a pretty big stump. The issue I had with my first saw (don't know on my second one yet) was the oiler never seemed to oil the chain at the rate I thought it should. I filled up the oil reservoir and after 30 minutes of cutting, it hadn't used hardly any oil. This didn't seem right compared to other saws I had that seemed to use oil like and old Triumph Bonneville would leak oil all over my garage at night. Sort of like a dog marking its territory. Based on the oil usage rate of the saw I could probably cut for 100 hours on a quart of oil and that didn't seem right. So I took it back to Lowes.

Of course customer service called the tool guy over and even he ended up agreeing that it definitely wasn't dispensing oil at the rate it should and promptly gave me another saw. Great customer service!!!

This brings me to the thing that absolutely drives me crazy with this saw, the grip force needed for the trigger. After 30 minutes of using the saw, my hand had such a bad pain I literally couldn't hardly pick up anything for the next 24 hours in my right hand without pain. I am a big guy with a strong grip and it was definitely VERY TIRING to hold the trigger.

I showed the guy at Lowes and even he was surprised how hard it was to grip. My replacement saw is better but not by much. It is so bad I'd be tempted to use a some sort of clamp on it but of course I won't do that as it is a safety issue. To put in context, you might remember those old wire round hand exercisers. Think of the ones Mr World would want to use to build up his grip for the body-building competition, that is about the force you need to squeeze the trigger on my saw. The new saw only requires the grip of the runner-up to Mr World or maybe a slightly aged Arnold Schwarzenegger. It really is that tough and I am not a weakling at 220lbs.

There is one other thing that is sort of an annoying safety feature that becomes more annoying because of the grip strength issue.It is the auto brake that engages when you left off the trigger. It immediately stops the chain while the electric motor slows down. The problem with this is it kills all the chain momentum which sometimes causes the chain to get stuck. I wouldn't mind if I totally let off the trigger but with having to grip it so hard even a slight relaxation of the trigger causes the brake to engage. So after about 5 minutes of trying to crush the trigger I ended up just relaxing my death grip a bit and instant chain stoppage. I understand the safety benefit of this especially for neophytes but it is a royal pain in the butt!

I may try taking the saw apart to do something with the trigger grip issue. It is very hard to have fine control over the saw. Additionally there seems to be only 1 speed, wide open, when the trigger is pulled. NO granularity of it like a gas saw. Think either OFF or ON, no in between. This is a very big annoyance for me when I am trying to use the saw in a more delicate way and don't need all of its power.

With respect to the power of the saw, I am pretty impressed. The saw cuts very well if the chain is sharp or even reasonably so. If you are having to push to make it cut then you better sharpen the chain.

The tooless chain tensioner is really handy. Don't forget to check it often during the first few minutes of use. It will loosen up. Make sure you don't over tighten it. Also check to make sure it is oiling properly. It is very important that the oiler is working as it help keep debris out of the track where the chain runs. Keeping this area clean helps reduce the risk of derailment. Periodically I would suggest checking/cleaning this as well. Of course never EVER work on the chain while plugged in aside from maybe doing the simple chain tension adjustment!

I'd highly recommend Poulan address the trigger grip issue (I have now checked 4 saws and all the same but not as bad as my first saw) and have a better motor controller than a simple on/off trigger switch. The hand fatigue issues I had make it more dangerous to use the saw. I let my 18 year old son try and he couldn't use the saw more than about 2 minutes before complaining about the grip required and he is no weakling either. Considering the saw's target market of people it is really inexcusable. Now even 2 days later I still feel soreness in my arm. Check your saw in the store before you buy! They need to have a retrofit kit to address this issue.

Lastly I'd like to give Kudos to my local Lowes store. It was literally the first time I ever bought anything ever from Lowes. The service was exemplary and I'll definitely be back. I don't know why I never tried them before. Much better than the HD store not far away and I've been a long time customer of HD (20 years).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2012
Talk about a light duty tool. For the first few minutes, I loved this thing. It was light in weight. I didn't have to worry about gas and oil and getting it started. It seemed like the perfect solution. And then it just stopped working. I have no idea why. I was sawing down a bush in my front yard. If it can't handle that, then what can it handle? So, unless you are planning to cut toothpicks with this thing, I would advise you get a larger, gas powered tool. This thing is just not ready for any actual wood cutting. Or, I guess maybe I just got a defective one. Hard to say. Unfortunately it broke after the returns window was closed, so Amazon wouldn't let me return it. Bummer.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2011
I first used this saw on a nine-inch Oak tree and the saw's performance was poor. It might work well on soft wood but on this hard wood tree it struggled. After using, the saw was easy to disassemble and clean. I used a water hose to spray out the dirt and debris from each part and chassis.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
This was a good buy. It came assembled and ready to go, all I had to do was put chain oil in it and plug it in. I used it for 3 hours and only used 1/4 of a quart of chain oil. It has a knob on the side to adjust the chain tension so its very easy. I cut 10' off a Bradford Pear tree and trimmed the entire tree with ease. The chainsaw worked great. I tied the extension cord around the handle so it doesn't come unplugged. If your going up in a tree, take a bungee cord with you so you can put it through the handle to hang the chainsaw on a branch. This makes it easier for you to move around. I also like the way the chain stops as soon as you let go of the power button, to avoid accidents.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2011
This is a great chainsaw for around the house. It is really well-built and powerful. It is easy to set the chain tension, no tools are required. The automatic chain oiler is another great feature. I have cut quite a few rather large tree limbs and it never even slows down. The quality and performance of this chain saw is outstanding. For the price this is also a great value.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2012
I have had this saw for a year now. I have felled numerous hardwood trees in the 6" to 24" diameter range and cut them all up effortlessly. I have been helping a neighbor clear some land around his house, he uses his gas 16" saw and I used the Poulan with a 100ft 10 gauge cord. I actually got more work done than he did because I did not have to stop to pull-start, fill it with gas or fuss around with chain tensioning. Tightening the chain is so easy, it takes a few seconds! He was really impressed by that, in fact after the 1st day he was really envious! The price is right - even when you add a 100ft cord for around $70.00. When cutting or bucking you can really bear down on the cut and it won't bog down - even in heavy oak. After cutting 3 cords of firewood that was mostly hard wood (maple, oak, ash) the blade is still sharp! After a few hours the 10+lb saw does start to feel heavy, but no more than an equivalent gas saw would. I am totally thrilled with this saw.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2012
OK I've had this something over a month now and from my observations:

1) Unlike a gas powered saw it cranks every time
2) Seems to as powerful as my gas powered saw (home grade not a pro unit)
3) Will occasionally throw the chain off, maybe every 90 minutes or so tho it was happening more often as the original chain got worn. You'll have to remove one Phillips head screw and unscrew the chain tightening adjustor all the way. At this point the area around the sprocket will have all sorts of saw dust and other debris packed around it that needs to be cleaned out anyway. The whole process takes 5 minutes or so. It's a good time to take a break.
4) My sprocket is metal not plastic.
5) For a replacement chain/blade use the Oregon S55 as mentioned by another reviewer. I got the S54 which he also mentions and it was tough to make it fit even with the adjustment all the way in. You have to put the chain on the the bar first, then angle the bar around so you can get it on the sprocket. That will pull the chain out of the bar guides near the sprocket end. I used the Phillips screwdriver I had handy to lever the chain into the guide. It is tight and probably as it loosens up and stretches it will be easier to deal with. The S56 is marked on the package as fitting this saw but it does not do so. You need a chain with 55 links tho 54 can be made to work.
5) The safety lever bar do-hickey can look like it is pulled back and latched but it isn't, if the saw refuses to run--push the lever out and then firmly back in to engage. You'll hear a click. I was ready to return the saw one afternoon until I figured this out.
6) Keep a close eye on the bar oil level, this saw goes thru what seems like a lot but the reservoir is quite small.
7) Like all these yard electric tools that darned pigtail lead lets the cord pull out too easily, when you are dragging the saw around in the debris generated by cutting trees down and trimming them it will continuously get jerked out.
8) This saw is -quiet- compared to a gas saw and also very light weight a pleasure to use.
9) It stops the chain instantly when you release the trigger tho you can hear the motor wind down for 10 seconds or so. A nice safety feature which means you can put the saw down right away.
10) One gripe- the trigger lock has never worked on it.

Just a safety note on using any chainsaw. Wear at the minimum: glasses, long pants, boots and gloves. Read up on safety while using one of these. Youtube has a lot of videos. These saws will hack off a hand or leg faster than they will cut down a tree. One afternoon using another saw I suddenly felt the change in my pocket running down my leg. Looking down I saw I had cut the jeans pocket open at the bottom but had not even scratched my leg. The Lord was looking after me that day. I try to carry my cellphone if I'm alone, in the hope I can call for help in case of a serious accident. Look up how to cut down trees and hopefully make them fall the right way without crushing you. Loggers call some trees widowmakers---just think about that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2013
I bought this saw and loved it.... until the plastic gear inside the saw stripped about 8 teeth. It was easy as pie to get to, and would have been easy as pie to replace. However, Poulan in their quest to keep you buying more product... labeled this as a non-serviceable item. The saw just became disposable. What a waste. I've been trying to find a way to repair it, but the cost would be more than the saw, and there would probably be balance issues if you were able to replace the missing teeth. I could replicate the whole gear, but in small quantities, again the cost is too high.

I hate when American manufacturers do this to us. It would be SO EASY for them to sell the part as a replacement. I am assuming plastic was used as a safety device, so if you got the chain into something that bound it up, the gear would strip instead of possibly yanking the saw around. That part is good. That you can't easily replace the gear is bad.

I was very pleased, but guess what POULAN... I won't give you more money to replace a faulty design. I will be trying one of your competitors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
Never owning a saw before I was skeptical at getting an electric one. I have used gas ones and have left frustrated with each time I have used one. Very hard to start and upkeep. Make sure you are using the appropriate size extension cord. Make sure you have chain lube in. And you are ready to start cutting. The blade only spins when you have the trigger pressed. Let go of the trigger and the blade stops immediately. AWESOME. You have to be sure to keep the chain at the correct tightness to cut well and right off the bat this will be often and sometimes in between two cuts. It is very easy to adjust though. Were talking seconds. All you do is turn one of the inner dials to loosen the hold on the outer dial and then spin the outer dial to the appropriate tightness. Not too tight and not too loose.

Highly recommended.
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