Poulan Pro Chainsaw Reviews | 2018 Options

I understand the need for a top-of-the-line chainsaw, regardless of cost.  But if you’re like me (and most homeowners are), you are looking for something that performs well without breaking the bank.  A Poulan Pro chainsaw may be just what you need.

I consider Poulan Pro to be the “no-nonsense”, working-man’s brand.  A no-frills, heavy-duty saw at an affordable price.

And don’t forget, Husqvarna owns Poulan Pro and makes all their saws.  That means many of the same design targets are used, as are many common parts.

I think Husqvarna uses the Poulan Pro brand as a “price-fighter”, allowing them to play in a less-premium brand space without sullying their premium brand name.

In some ways, this is like Lexus and Toyota, or Ford and Lincoln.  There’s nothing wrong with a Toyota, but not many people who are shopping for Toyotas will cross-shop up in the Lexus brand space.

What I want to do here is introduce you to the Poulan Pro brand, and review a number of their affordable saws to see if any of them are right for you.

Poulan Pro Chainsaws

You have probably heard of the Poulan brand.  Most folks recognize their tools as being durable, priced right, and comfortable to use.  That type of reputation has been cultivated by Poulan for decades.  They seem to be dedicated to bringing products to market that are well-liked by the average consumer.

You may remember that Poulan Pro is the 2nd most popular chainsaw brand in 2018, behind only Stihl.

The Poulan History : An All-American Story

It all started with a guy named Claude Poulan.  Claude was a lumberjack, and spent many years of his humble, hard-working life cutting down trees.

I think it’s important to understand the distinction between someone who cuts down a nuisance tree every now and then, or perhaps cleans up a big plot of land after a storm, versus someone who spends years earning their living doing it.

Claude PoulanIf you don’t do it well, you either get hurt or your get fired.  You don’t pay your rent, and you don’t eat!

It’s in that context that we see the significance of Claude Poulan starting the Poulan Saw Company in 1946.  A former lumberjack brings certain qualifications to the table when he starts a saw company!

Poulan began manufacturing robustly designed, affordable chainsaws for professional lumberjacks in Claude’s hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana.

You may have already read that the first chainsaw models were two-man machines.  These things weren’t for the faint of heart, but did help increase throughput of the lumberjack crews.

Poulan’s designs and manufacturing capabilities continue to grow – along with their reputation – throughout the 1950’s.  By the 1970’s, Poulan had created a market for lightweight, consumer-duty saws.  The same quality and durability went into these saws as what was marketed to professional lumberjacks, but they had been downsized and redesigned for mainstream consumers.

It’s certainly hard to beat a large, powerful saw when it’s being used all day, every day by a professional.  But there are very real, substantial tradeoffs:

  • weight
  • cost

Poulan created this niche where saws built for non-professional users were appropriately sized, and didn’t require someone to take out a 10 year mortgage in order to afford them.

At the time, that novel idea was considered a “light-duty” saw.  But these days, we’ve come to recognize them as more medium-duty for the average consumer.

Old Poulan ProductsIn some cases, Poulan has kept up with the market by adding features to its saws.  But they aren’t known for being obnoxious about it.  If a feature makes sense for the sake of safety, or improved productivity, they tend to gravitate towards it.

Recognizing some of the benefits of battery-powered chainsaws (like ease of starting, less maintenance, reduced noise and vibration), Poulan has been fairly active in the last decade or so in this segment of the market.

In the rest of my article, I’ll try to touch on some of the best, most popular Poulan chainsaws – both gasoline and battery.

If you are looking for easy to handle, durable, affordable machines, I think you’ll find Poulan is one of your best bets.  And based on their overwhelming popularity, it’s clear these guys know how to make a chainsaw!

Poulan Pro PR5020AV (967061501)

20″ bar & chain — 50cc, Gas Powered Chain Saw (includes carrying case)

PR 5020av photo
An incredible saw for the money…[Check latest 5020 prices on Amazon]

  • OxyPower engine technology : Extra power via a powerful engine
  • 70% less emissions and 20% lower fuel consumption
  • Easy to start pull starting system : Reduces pull force 30%
  • Combi tool is integrated into the rear handle, it’s always there when you need it for maintenance
  • Purge bulb, which provides the carburetor with fuel
  • Combined choke and stop control makes it easier to start
  • Double post chain brake increases safety by right hand activation as well automatically by inertia
  • Designed for homeowners for general property management and firewood cutting
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • On board, scrunch holder included

View or download the OWNER’S MANUAL


Many of you might not realize this, but Poulan Pro and Husqvarna are the same company. Continue reading “Poulan Pro Chainsaw Reviews | 2018 Options”

Greenworks 20312 16″ Battery Chainsaw Review

It took me awhile, but I finally put together my review for the Greenworks 20312.

Greenworks 20312 chainsaw
The Greenworks 20312 offers serious performance for the money! [Check prices on Amazon now…]
This is their 16″ battery chainsaw that comes with a 4Ah battery. It’s their answer to some of the Black & Decker models, and it appears to be one of Greenworks’ top sellers.

It has been on the market for a couple of years now, and I’ve been itching to get my hands on one. I finally sent some chips flying with this thing, and I really like it!

Read on through this review for:

  • a detailed look at the 20312 specs
  • a fit/feel/finish assessment, and my “out of box” experience
  • performance evaluation
  • common competitors, and how it stacks up

Greenworks 20312 Features

You get a lot for your money with this chainsaw. A bullet-point list of specs/features:

  • Durable 16″ steel bar and chain.
  • Greenworks popular high-performance 40V G-Max Lithium-Ion battery, ideal for tough applications requiring fade-free power and no “memory loss” after charging.
  • Brushless motor, designed for longer life, higher efficiency, and up to 30% more torque to power through tough cuts.
  • Tool-less chain tensioning for maximum performance and ease of use.
  • 3/8 in. chain pitch delivering aggressive cuts while minimizing stall and kickback.
  • Overmolded handle for reduced vibration and increased user comfort.
  • Rear handle ergonomics provide max control, especially for overhead use.
  • Electronic chain brake to maximize operator safety.
  • Quick-release trigger.
  • Push-button start.
  • Up to 150 cuts on a single charge.
  • Automatic oiler with translucent tank.
[Click here for the OWNER’S MANUAL.]

Initial Impressions

The saw feels high-quality.

Its various knobs, plastic pieces, and metal pieces all fit well together, with no weird burrs or areas that make me think “cheap”.

The books and manuals were there, the packaging wasn’t a pain in the butt, and I didn’t notice any damage.

greenworks batteryThe 20312 version comes with a battery and charger.

The battery snaps into both the saw and the charger with no muss or fuss.  The charger isn’t flimsy and I get the impression I could get some real work out of this combo.

Performance Evaluation

Right out of the gate I noticed a few things:

  • MUCH quieter!
  • much less vibration
  • feels solid despite light weight

Greenworks, as well as other manufacturers, claim their battery saws are up to 50% quieter than gas saws. I would believe it!

greenworks saw
A powerful chainsaw! [View more product specs on Amazon…]
After years spent in the industry, I would never use any chainsaw without hearing protection. But this saw in particular runs very quietly, even at full throttle.

The noise it produces is very mechanical, with no noticeable whine from the electric motor.

The vibration on the 20312 seems to be at near-record lows. Similar to their claims for noise, Greenworks says this saw vibrates up to 70% less than a gas chainsaw equivalent.

I definitely believe their claim. Frankly, if I were to choose a saw I had to use all day long, this might be what I would pick just based on how easy it is on my hands and arms.

Even though this thing feels like a featherweight, it feels solid. The box says it’s only 10.4 lbs, and my lower back corroborates that story.

I think Greenworks did a good job tuning the stiffness and the balance of the saw to match up with its weight. It sits in the hands great, and has that “all-day” comfortable feeling.

It’s hard to get used to how easy it is to start one of these electric saws.  Pop the battery in, pull the trigger!

There’s no messing with a choke, and no jerking your arm off.  This is definitely one of the benefits I love.

This saw cuts really well.

At 16″, it’s in the middle of the common electric saw range.

It feels plenty powerful.  Of course with it being brand new and having a sharp chain, I was pretty impressed with how it slices through pretty much anything.

I cut with it for awhile, and it’s battery life seemed average, maybe a bit more than average.

It’s hard to tell you exactly how that will stack up to what you’re thinking, since there are so many variables, including how much pressure you’re applying through your hands.

Greenworks claims this combo is good for 100 cuts through 4×4 lumber.

4×4’s are expensive, and I’m not about to chop several into 100 pieces to prove a point to ya’ll!

But let’s do the math.

With the power this thing has, slicing through a 4×4 only takes a few seconds.  Including repositioning, I think you could make 4 cuts in one minute.

So if it will do 100 of those cuts, that means it would operate in fairly severe conditions for around 25 minutes.

Based on my experience, I think that’s about right.  You can always charge the battery in order to go at it again, which will take maybe an hour.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of cutting, it wouldn’t hurt to buy a spare battery.  But they are expensive.  If you’re going to do that much cutting (which frankly I think is rare for most homeowners), you probably want to consider a gas saw.

20312 vs Black & Decker LCS1240

LCS1240 chainsaw
Black & Decker’s closest competitor [Check B&D prices on Amazon…]
As I mentioned before, Greenworks meant for this saw to go up against the likes of Black & Decker.

The B&D LCS1240 is probably the closest competitor.

It’s a 12″ saw, 40V, and has similar features like automatic chain oiling and tool free chain tensioning.

You’ll notice the B&D is a 12″ while the 20312 is 16″.

BD LCS1240 chainsawAnd the Greenworks has a 40v 4.0Ah battery, while the Black & Decker has a 40V 2.0Ah.

Yes, you will need a bigger battery for the Greenworks since it’s a bigger saw, but even with that headwind you will get more runtime.

The B&D saw performs well.  It has a good feature set, and there’s nothing wrong with the saw, but honestly they have been resting on the laurels and Greenworks has run right by them.

This is really no competition 🙂

FYI – you may want to check out the LP1000, which is a bit of a specialty saw.

20312 vs DEWALT DCCS690M1

dewalt dccs690m1 pic
A solid competitor if you don’t mind the heft! [Check prices on Amazon…]
Okay, now we are getting a bit more serious.  Nothing wrong with that B&D saw, but DEWALT takes this particular battery chainsaw to a whole-nother level!

This is 40V with their 4.0Ah battery.  And a full 16″ bar and chain.

It’s one of their better saws, and they back it like they mean it with a 3-year warranty.

The DCCS690M1 is known for performing well.  I’ll just jump to the chase here and tell you about its achilles heel: the weight.

Dewalt DCCS690M1 chainsawDEWALT sort of hides the weight of the aw, putting it nowhere on the box or the product literature.  Having used it myself, I can tell you it weighs just under 16 lbs with its battery.

Yes, you’re doing your math right:  it is indeed 50% heavier than the Greenworks.

If you get get over that fact. you’ll find the DEWALT is a worth competitor to the 20312.

20312 vs EGO CS1600

Ego CS1600
Not cheap, but Ego’s CS1600 equipped with a 5Ah battery is a top contender [Check the Ego’s price on Amazon…]
EGO steps it up with their CS1600 model.  It boasts a 56V 5.0Ah battery.

That’s a lot of power!

It does have solid features.  Along with the 16″ bar/chain, it has an auto-oiler, chain brake, and a chain tensioning knob.

I will give it a more in-depth review soon, but I can  tell you without spending too much time with it that about the only thing I can easily find missing with the CS1600 are some metal bucking spikes.

Ego CS1600It does have some plastic ribbing on the front of the cover that presumably servers the same purpose.  But come on Ego, I think you can do better than that.

The fact that the saw is missing these isn’t necessarily a death knell, it’s just indicative that some folks that don’t really use chainsaws for a living might have had a hand in developing it.

20312 vs Zombi ZCS5817

Zombi ZCS5817 pic
The Zombi ZCS5817 is a well-kept secret! [Check prices on Amazon now…]
I’m going to lay one more out there, and it may be one you’ve never heard of.

The Zombi ZCS5817 is competitively spec’d and priced. Continue reading “Greenworks 20312 16″ Battery Chainsaw Review”

Black & Decker LP1000 Alligator Lopper Review

I am more than willing to cut to the chase for this review: the Black & Decker LP1000 Alligator Lopper is very good at what it does, and may be perfect for folks who don’t need an actual chainsaw.

The perfect “extra saw”, everyone should have one Check prices on Amazon

Although I live and breathe chainsaws (hence the website), I realize they are not necessarily for everyone.

Some people are intimidated by them.  Some people don’t feel comfortable using one.   And many people just don’t need one.

But honestly everyone should own one of these.  Yes, I mean everyone!  You too!

There are some limitations of this lopper.  I will cover those in a minute.  There are certain jobs around the house that only a chainsaw can do.  But if you use this thing for what it’s intended, there actually isn’t a better product in the market.

Surprised I said that?  Read on, and I’ll explain why… Continue reading “Black & Decker LP1000 Alligator Lopper Review”

Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf Chainsaw Review | 20″ Gas Chainsaw

Echo CS-590 image
A beast of a saw that can cut firewood all day! Check Amazon prices

The ECHO CS-590 started production in 2013, while the ECHO CS-590 Timber Wolf started in 2014. The Timber Wolf won the won the Dealers Choice Award from Power Equipment Trade magazine. That’s fairly prestigious considering over 1,000 lawn and garden power equipment dealers participated in the survey. At the very least, we have to recognize that this is an impressive chainsaw that customers love.

Over the last couple of years, the ECHO CS-590 Timber Wolf has proven itself to be dependable, well-made, and a strong value considering its price point. In this article I will review it alongside a couple of the gas chainsaws it competes with to see how it compares. Continue reading “Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf Chainsaw Review | 20″ Gas Chainsaw”

Earthwise LCS35814 Chainsaw Review | 58-Volt Battery Performance

Earthwise LCS35814 chainsaw
58V power with a solid 5 year warranty [Check it out on Amazon]
Welcome to my in-depth review of the Earthwise LCS35814.

If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of Earthwise chainsaws. Most folks say the same thing, since the Earthwise brand hasn’t been around very long.  I think they launched around 2006. I’ll try to give you a bit of the history for Earthwise, and talk a bit about their background in addition to covering the saw itself.  I think you’ll find the company has been around awhile.

The point of this review is to focus on the Earthwise LCS35814 14” cordless chainsaw. I’ll be providing an in-depth review of how the product feels, performs, and its features. While I’m at it, I’ll also review the WEN 40417 16″ cordless chainsaw, since it’s a comparable alternative to the Earthwise.  As you’ll see, the WEN is more of a bargain, but has slightly different features and characteristics. Continue reading “Earthwise LCS35814 Chainsaw Review | 58-Volt Battery Performance”