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Poulan Pro PR4218 Review

A 2-cycle gas-powered chainsaw that falls behind the competition in nearly every way
poulan pro pr4218 chainsaw review
Credit: Poulan
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Price:   $215 List | $197.73 at Amazon
Pros:  Decent runtime, quick refills, includes carrying case, extra chain, and onboard tool storage
Cons:  Hard to start, doesn’t like to idle, terribly loud, lacks bucking spikes
Manufacturer:   Poulan
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 21, 2022
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Saw Performance - 35% 5.0
  • Ease of Use - 30% 6.0
  • Power Performance - 25% 8.0
  • Noise - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

When the Poulan Pro PR4218 is warmed up and idling, it makes some relatively fast cuts. This model comes with several included extras such as a carrying case, a gallon's worth of 2-cycle oil, and an extra chain. It's always nice when the models that require the use of a tool for chain tensioning and other adjustments have a spot to store the tool on the machine. Sadly, despite the bits of praise, this model plain old doesn't run well. It's hard to start and, once it's running, it's hard to keep running. Considering its price and overall performance, we'd recommend going with a different model.

Compare to Similar Products

 
poulan pro pr4218 chainsaw review
This Product
Poulan Pro PR4218
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $215 List
$197.73 at Amazon
$239 List
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$260 List$290 List
$229.00 at Amazon
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Pros Decent runtime, quick refills, includes carrying case, extra chain, and onboard tool storageGreat cutting performance, cord stopper, intuitive tensioning system, oil flow is adjustableSolid saw performance, easy to start, great tensioning system, light for this type of sawSpectacular battery life, two chain speed settings, barely consumes bar and chain oilDecent saw performance, light for this type, good oil tank cap location, extremely affordable
Cons Hard to start, doesn't like to idle, terribly loud, lacks bucking spikesOil tank location is not ideal, cord placement could be better, limitations of corded toolsNoisy, short bar for this type of sawNot the strongest cutting power, plastic chain tensioning system, electronic controls slow down sawingMediocre chain tensioning system, slow wind-up time
Bottom Line A 2-cycle gas-powered chainsaw that falls behind the competition in nearly every wayA corded model that quickly slices through wood and has an easy-to-use tensioning systemA smaller high-performance 2-cycle model that requires minimal knowledge of gas-powered machinesA good degree of performance and an exceptional battery life at a reasonable priceIf budget is your overall purchasing decision-making factor, this average saw will get the job done for cheap
Rating Categories Poulan Pro PR4218 Makita UC4051A Stihl MS 180 C-BE Husqvarna 120i Worx WG303.1
Saw Performance (35%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
Ease of Use (30%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Power Performance (25%)
8.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Noise (10%)
4.0
6.0
4.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Poulan Pro PR4218 Makita UC4051A Stihl MS 180 C-BE Husqvarna 120i Worx WG303.1
Model Number PR4218 UC4051A 180 C-BE 120i WG303.1
Bar Length 18 inches 16 inches 16 inches 14 inches 16 inches
Power Source Gasoline Corded Electric Gasoline Battery Corded Electric
Measured Weight 14 lbs, 6 oz 12 lbs, 6 oz 11 lbs, 10 oz 10 lbs, 11 oz 10 lbs 13 oz
Measured Battery Weight n/a n/a n/a 2 lbs, 12 oz n/a
Amps n/a 15 A n/a 4.2 A 15 A
Motor Size 42cc 2-Cycle 15 Amp 32cc 2-Cycle 36V 15 Amp
Measured Runtime 28 minutes n/a 36 minutes 40 minutes n/a
Measured Run Time Eco Mode n/a n/a n/a 54 mins n/a
Recharge/Refuel Time 1 min n/a 1 min 120 min n/a
Measured Average Cutting Time 10.1 seconds 5.7 seconds 7.7 seconds 13.5 seconds 7.4 seconds
Measured Wind Up Time 0.5 seconds 0.5 seconds 0.5 seconds 0.5 seconds 1 second
Measured Decibel Reading at 48in 105.1 dBa 94.1 dBa 103.4 dBa 85.9 dBa 99.1 dBa
Control Type Thumb safety w/ chain brake Side safety w/ chain brake Thumb safety w/ chain brake Electronic button, side safety and brake Side safety w/ chain brake
Chain Replacement and Tensioning Type Included Tool Tool free Tool free Tool free Tool free
Metal Bucking Spikes No Yes Yes No Yes
Oil Conservation 6 9 8 8 8
Bar & Chain Tank Location and Type Side Top Side Side, flip-up Top
Measured Body Dimesions 16 x 8 x 7.5 inches 19 x 6 x 6 inches 14 x 8 x 7.5 inches 19 x 7 x 7 inches 17 x 12 x 6.5 inches

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you're shopping for a gas-powered model, it's easy to find chainsaws that outperform the Poulan Pro PR4218 for a similar price. Unless you find a ridiculous deal or huge sale on this saw, it would be wise to shop around before buying this one.

Performance Comparison


poulan pro pr4218 chainsaw review - the poulan pro pr4218 does a so-so job of making cuts when it's...
The Poulan Pro PR4218 does a so-so job of making cuts when it's warmed up and idling.
Credit: Ross Patton

Likes


To create a true head-to-head analysis for these wood cutting machines and their sawing performance, we built a sawbuck and used dimensional lumber in order to create a repeatable controlled test. By using lumber rather than logs for our tests, we know that each saw is cutting through the same amount of wood and the same type of wood.

poulan pro pr4218 chainsaw review - the poulan pro pr4218 showed some reasonable solid results during...
The Poulan Pro PR4218 showed some reasonable solid results during our wood cutting assessment.
Credit: Ross Patton

During this evaluation, we found that when the Poulan Pro PR4218 was warmed up and idling properly, this model made fairly quick work of our "fake log." After several cuts, we calculated an average cutting time of 10.1 seconds. While this time is more than double the time of the top-tier models, it's still nearly four times the speed of the slowest model.


When we used the Poulan Pro PR4218 on larger logs around our test site, we found that the 42cc engine with the 18-inch bar did a fairly good job.

poulan pro pr4218 chainsaw review - this model handles larger logs reasonably well.
This model handles larger logs reasonably well.
Credit: Ross Patton

When we measured runtime by securing the saws to a stand and running them at full throttle, we found that the Poulan Pro PR4218 did a fairly decent job. 28 minutes is right about in the middle of the pack.


We appreciate that this model comes with several extras. With your purchase, the Poulan Pro PR4218 includes a carrying case, enough 2-cycle oil to mix a gallon of gas, and an extra chain.

The Poulan Pro comes in a handy carrying case to protect the saw...
The Poulan Pro comes in a handy carrying case to protect the saw while not in use.
This model includes a gallon's worth of 2-cycle oil and a spare chain.
This model includes a gallon's worth of 2-cycle oil and a spare chain.

It's nice to store any required tools on the device that requires them. The Poulan stores its wrench/screwdriver combo tool in the bottom of the handle.

poulan pro pr4218 chainsaw review - the poulan pro does an ok job of cutting, but bucking spikes would...
The Poulan Pro does an ok job of cutting, but bucking spikes would certainly help.
Credit: Ross Patton

Dislikes


The main problem we have with the Poulan Pro PR4218 is that it is hard to start. The pull cord is unusually difficult to pull, and it takes many more tugs to get it going than the other 2-cycle models that we've tested. Once it's started, it doesn't like to idle on its own so you are constantly feathering the trigger in between cuts. Often while doing tree work or bucking logs, you need that other hand to drag a branch or throw a round out of the way for your next cut, so keeping it on the throttle can really hinder workflow.


Not only is the Poulan Pro PR4218 lacking bucking spikes, but it also doesn't even have plastic ones. Metal bucking spikes are an absolute industry standard for 2-cycle chainsaws, especially one with this size of an engine and bar.

This model is also brutally loud. In general, the loudest saws often offer the highest performance. Unfortunately, with the Poulan Pro PR421888, this is not the case.


Value


Considering that we've tested 2-cycle chainsaws that outperform the Poulan Pro PR4218 but have a similar price tag, it's hard to see the value offered by this model.

Conclusion


The Poulan Pro PR4218 includes several attractive extras including 2-cycle oil, a case, and an extra chain. It does a commendable job of making cuts when it is running well. As with other gas-powered models, it's great that it's so quick and easy to fuel up once it's out of gas. Unfortunately, it does not like to idle, and it is difficult to start. This model is also extremely loud. Despite the things we like about this machine, your money is likely better spent elsewhere.

Ross Patton
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