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on June 13, 2007
Here's my review after compare the machine to the Wild Thing model....

I bought the Poulman Wild Thing saw for $149 at big box retailer. At first I thought it was OK. It did feel very light, and it seemed to start easily the first time (about 10pulls). After about 15min of use (cutting scrap highway bridge rail supports) it suddenly bogged down and died. I tried for 1/2 and hour to get again it to start to no avail. The engine's run characterstics seem to change drastically as the engine heats up. Perhaps they used too much aluminum in its construction, or perhaps the carb was mal adjusted. You cannot adjust the carb's settings so you're stuck with that. My guess is that it's a Chinese import. The pattern repeated the next day (starts, runs for a while, and dies) except that after about an hour of cool down, I finally got it to start and run for about another 5min before it died again. I contacted Poulan support, they gave some suggestions, none of them helped. Finally I returned it and upgraded to a Poulan Pro 18" 42cc for another $20 ($169). This machine is unbelievably better! I cut 5 times the wood in 1hour than I was able to cut in 3days with the "wild thing".

The Poulman Pro has many features that are better than the Wild Thing
1.) it does not leak oil everywhere when you sit it down like the wild thing
2.) Padded grips on the starter rope , not that that that matters much since it starts in 3 pulls!
3.) better chain adjustment (no tools required)
4.) heavier construction and smoother running. It's own weight is all I applied to cut through the rail posts in < 10 seconds.
5.) Cuts much better/faster than wild-thing (even though the dispacement is only 2cc more)
6.) Idles well without dying (wild-thing had to be 'petted' to keep it going, I didn't even realize that wasn't normal.)
7.) Mine came with a free extra chain! (that's almost worth the extra $20 right there)
8.) Springs between body of machine and handle to reduce vibration.

In summary, the Puolman Pro is a much better machine and gets more done, is easier to start and use and seems to use less fuel too all for $20 more. It also feels like a more solid machine and aggresively tears through wood without staggering. I'm able to completely cross cut through heavy 8" logs at 3/4 throttle, using full only occsionally as I hit knots and such. Stay away from the Wild Thing! It's a POC and sure to get you laughed at if you try to use it for any serious work!

I'm not comparing this machine to Stihl... if you are a logger or landscaper that uses chain saws as part of your livelihood, get a Stihl, but for the person that neeeds to cut a cord or 2 of wood every year, you'll be very satisfied with this machine.
1010 comments149 of 155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 24, 2006
I bought a Poulan because of the price. Bad idea. You do get what you pay for. After a year of light use, starting it got very hard. Once it did start, it would run for a minute or two, stall out, and then could not be started until it was fully cooled down. I took it for service at a small engine shop I know and trust. When I went to pick it up, the mechanic told me he couldn't do much with it because the carb has very limited adjustability. He said the only fix would be a new carb, which he would not recommend because of cost, and because I would probably encounter the same problem again.
1313 comments112 of 128 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 18, 2009
I have to be honest, this is my very first chain saw, so I'm no authority on the industry standards. The saw has tackled everything I've asked of it though, so I'm confident in at least saying that it's "good".

The pull-starter system get a "F" though. I was out cutting down trees for a food plot and just like almost everyone else, the pull string didn't recoil. Being an over-confident geek though, I decided to take it apart.

After looking at it for a while, I couldn't figure out what the problem was, but when I tried to put it back together, the "EPS Spring" wouldn't fit back over the plastic post. I looked at the spring more closely and found that it had been over-torqued and now had a coil in the middle that curved inward, instead of being in alignment with the others.

So I went to [...] and clicked on "Parts and Accessories". The parts schematic labeled that spring as the "EPS Spring" (I'm certainly not versed enough to know that off the top of my head). It was $3.50 or so, so I bought two -- grand total about $14 and change.

I also emailed Poulan customer service, which got me a response from someone at Husqvarna, which I assume owns Poulan. The service rep was helpful and conveyed opinion that I was right about the EPS spring, but they did recommend a "kit" replacement, which I think was $11, w/o shipping. I think the kit replaces the EPS Spring, some parts, and the flat, ribbon-like spring that sits against the wall/plastic. I passed on the kit.

The EPS springs arrived today, and while I haven't installed them yet, I'm ------ scratch that, I just went downstairs and installed one of my new EPS springs. Problem is solved!!!

It's really a piece of cake. There are 4 screws on the outside that hold the pull starter assembly onto the saw. There there is one screw that holds a plastic gear onto a post of the outer housing. Just remove that screw in the middle of the plastic gear and the EPS spring sits right there underneath the plastic gear. You don't have to mess with the the pull string or anything.

One thing to note, Husqvarna/Poulan customer support did recommend that I take the saw to an authorized dealer, as the saw has a 2 year warranty that YOU WILL VOID IF YOU OPEN UP THE SAW. Of course, I don't know how they would be able to tell that because I didn't notice any tamper evident tape on it -- but you've been warned!!!!

For me personally, $14 (which gives me an extra spring if this happens again) makes a lot more sense than wasting my time dropping off and picking up the saw at a service center.
22 comments32 of 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 1, 2006
I have had my poulan pro for a couple of years now, I cut about 4 to 5 cords a winter. I did have some starting troubles, but that was due to a bad plug. I love this saw, it cuts just fine. I am thinking about getting a bigger husky, some of the trees that I am cutting down I have to cut from both sides now. I am definitely going to keep this saw for a backup and around the house. I would recommend this saw to anyone, especially for the $.
0Comment49 of 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 6, 2009
Poulan Pro 42 CC 18 in bar.
The good, inexpensive, comes with a case, and an extra chain. Best of all, based on the prior reviews I bought the extended warranty - full replacement.
The bad, That's the problem. Start with power. Sure this is a 42 CC motor, you should expect some power. But according to my seat of the pants usage, the saw is far too underpowered for even a 16" bar. It would probably have enough power for a 12 inch bar. To prove this case, I contacted Poulan who told me the saw has 1 HP per 29 CC, based on that calculation the saw has approximately 1.5 HP. Based on my experience, that 1.5 is right in line with the performance seen with this saw. You simply can't compare CC to CC when looking at a budget saw vs. a real chain saw. A 40 CC motor from Husqvarna produces around 2.4 HP.
Automatic Chain Tension - This is an absolute engineering disaster. After some usage, my saw would not keep the chain tight. After an adjustment and a couple cuts of 6" limb or 1 cut of 12" or bigger, and I would need to readjust the chain tension. Upon calling Poulan, they sent me a replacement part. The revised part removed the tool less chain adjustment returning the saw to a typical chain adjustment with two nuts, and the adjustment screw.
Extra Chain - It is a good thing the saw came with the extra chain. During the second tree cut down with this saw, the chain became so loose on a 14" log that it tossed the chain bending a fair number of the chain guides. The chain was relatively destroyed.
It comes with a nice case.
My suggestions, DO NOT BUY this saw. If price is really a factor (as it was for me) do yourself a favor, spend a little more money, and get a small saw from Echo, Husqvarna, Stihl, or any other producer of a real chain saw. Don't worry about CC's or the bar, these other saws will be lighter, more powerful and easier to use. If you really want an 18" bar, purchase an aftermarket bar & chain from Oregon. You will be much happier and the money will be well spent. Sure a small saw with the 18" bar would be under powered, but it will be much less underpowered than that 42CC Poulan.
Prior to buying this saw, I found it hard to justify buying a good saw. I don't need a saw very often. Now, even though I rarely need a saw, I will be purchasing one by Echo, Husqvarna, or Stihl in the 40-50 cc range. You can't put a price on frustration.
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on May 15, 2009
First day use: filled with gas and bar oil, started right up, cut down 24 pin oak trees (20'+ tall, 10"+ dia), skinned the main trunk of branches up to 3-6" in dia, heavy and light continuous use, stopped and restarted about 60+ times, started every time on first pull (half choke), no stalling, cut like butter all day, worked hard and great, no surprises, no complaints, highly recommended, very satisfied with chainsaw, chain, and case.
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on November 7, 2010
After reading other reviews I almost sent this back without opening the box. I'm really glad I didn't. I did not have one problem with his saw. I mixed the gas as per instructions. Started right up, kept running. Chain never slipped off. Shut it down to haul brush, didn't need to choke it, started right up never stalled, chain stayed sharp cutting maple. Been using saws for 30 years. The anti vibration feature is great. Don't know what the other reviewers are talking about. Mix the fuel properly, don't let the chain hit the dirt. I must have the best saw of the batch. Would recommend to anyone and would buy another in a heartbeat. Also, amazon had best value!
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on October 29, 2007
I decided to step up to a larger "Pro" chainsaw because my trusty 18 year-old Homelite 14" saw is a little small for some bigger trees. It still runs great, so I decided to keep it as a backup unit. Turned out to be a REALLY good idea.

I took the 18" Poulan Pro to my ranch to cut some trees and the starter cord pulled out and would not retract so I could start the saw. The housing is screwed on in a million places with funky torx screws (they obviously don't want you in there) so I could not spin the hub to respool the cord. I finally found a pen and shoved it throught the slots in the housing and retracted the starter cord. It pulled out again and would not retract. Re-spool, cuss, repeat. No go. 75 miles from the nearest town, and this thing was useless. Glad I had the backup.

I got back to town and took the unit back to the retail store and exchanged it, figuring I must have gotten the one bad unit. Wrong! I drove home with the replacement and opened the box. You guessed it, the cord was pulled out and you could see that the previous customer had the same problem I did- the starter cord would not retract. The retailer just put it back in stock. I got my money back and looked to see if there was another unit (that I could open and try in the store). There was one up in the rack, with a DNI (do not inventory) sticker on it, and it was in pieces. Third bad unit. The cheaper "Wild Thing" display model was torn apart on the display shelf as well. The cowling was off, so I assume that the starter cord was stuck on it, too.

So, three Poulan Pro 18" units with stuck starter cords, and one Wild Thing torn apart. Not a ringing endorsement for Poulan quality.

I recommend finding another chain saw unless you like cutting wood without the engine running.
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on March 25, 2011
I purchased my Poulan Pro PP4218AVX 18-Inch 42cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Anti-Vibration Chain Saw with Case from Amazon. I cut between 4-5 cords of wood each year to heat my home. This saw has plenty of power for that amount of wood. This is not a chain saw for an Arborist, or a professional landscaper. Having said that, this saw has plenty of power for the person cutting wood to heat their home or similar uses. This saw is not heavy a little over 20 lbs, but it has enough power to quickly cut through trees with its own weight in just a minute. Ensure to mix your fuel correct and this saw will run like champ, but it does not tolerate an improper fuel mixer, then it tends to bog down. The saw starts on the second or third pull and idles well so I have been very pleased with it.
The tool-less chain adjustment and replacement is a outstanding feature this a big time and hassle saver
The carrying case is great for keeping things neat and tidy, if you have to transport in your car. This saw also comes with an extra chain which has come in very handy. I high recommend this saw for cutting your own firewood or home use.
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on September 16, 2008
The words I want to use to describe this saw should never be written in a public domain. They are the words I mutter and sometimes yell (when I am sure I am out of earshot) whenever I am forced to use this piece of garbage. It is always hard to start. If I adjust the chain too tight it binds, too loose it fall off. There doesn't seem to be a correct adjustment (believe me, after putting the chain back on a few dozen times I have tried everything). I truly hate this product and feel sorry for anyone who buys one. Do yourself a favor - spend 300 bucks (or lots more, of course) and get a good saw. I can't really afford it right now, but I can't really afford not to, either. Time is money and this horrible instrument of mental torture will cost you lots of time.
22 comments23 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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