Poulan PP4218A 42-cc Chainsaw Review

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In Brief: Poulan PP4218A Chainsaw Review

The Poulan PP4218A is a decent gas chainsaw used for small and medium-size cutting tasks. Its 18-inch bar and chain cut at a rate of more than 74 feet per second, but it’s not a chainsaw that would make professional lumberjacks proud. For its price, we were hoping for a lot more.

For decades, Poulan Pros has supplied outdoor power tools across the country. The company isn’t at the same level as top-market brands, but it deserves more love than it gets.

Today, we’re taking a look at the Poulan PP4218A—a gas-powered chainsaw with an 18-inch bar and 42-cc engine. It looks more powerful than it is, which can surprise buyers searching for a high-quality chainsaw on a larger budget.

Key Specifications of Poulan PP4218A

Poulan Pro 967185102 PP4218A 42cc Assembled Chainsaw with Case, 18-Inch

From its appearance, the Poulan PP4218A looks to be one of the most reliable gas chainsaws on the market.

Further inspection will show that it sports an 18-inch cutting chain and guide bar to saw through thick limbs and trunks, but its engine doesn’t provide enough torque.

The 74-foot-per-second max cutting speed will save you time on simple sawing tasks, such as trimming and limbing.

The PP4218A is also quite decent at prepping firewood from old, seasoned logs. However, this chainsaw isn’t the best for felling trees.

What’s surprising is its dry weight of just under 12 pounds. Lifting this unit shoulder-height is quite easy, so it meets the minimal criteria for small-scale jobs.

Here’s Poulan Pro’s promotional video for the PP4218A:

 

Also, the following table will summarize all of the PP4218A’s key specifications:

ParametersDetails
Powered Source
Gas
Power (cc)
42
Runtime (minutes)
N/A
Bar Length (inches)
18"
RPM
N/A
Weight (lbs.)
11.8
Noise (dB)
N/A
Warranty (months)
24
Horsepower
N/A
Oil Tank Capacity (pints)
0.71
Chain Speed (feet/second)
74.14

Unique Features

Let’s see what unique features Poulan Pro has installed into the PP4218A.

Anti-Vibration Cushioned Handles

The grippy front and rear handles on the PP4218A help improve the user’s grip on the tool while the chain is running at its highest speed.

The PP4218A shakes quite a bit when revved to its highest speed, so any system that can reduce vibrations is welcomed here.

Still, you’ll need a bit of strength when operating the PP4218A since the cushions only help your hands, not your arms and shoulders.

Carrying Case

We wish that more manufacturers would deliver their chainsaws along with durable, hard-shell cases like this one. The PP4218A’s carrying case fits the tool and all of its accessories for easier transport and safer storage.

 

Performance, Design, and Safety

In this section, we’ll focus on the PP4218A’s performance, design, and safety.

Performance

At first glance, the PP4218A’s specs would have us believe that it’s a heavy-duty sawing machine.

Sadly, this isn’t the case. The PP4218A works well at light-duty sawing jobs like limbing trees and trimming hedges, but the engine is too weak to cut through thick logs reliably.

From user feedback, the 18-inch cutting chain is overkill. At most, you can saw through six-inch limbs with consistently positive results.

Design

In terms of design, the main issue with the PP4218A is starting it up. As customers have pointed out, the product manual instructs how to turn the engine on, but in reality, it’s a lot more complicated.

Everything needs to be done exactly as instructed. If not, you might need to pull on the recoil cord more than 10 times to finally get it to work.

To make matters worse, cold starting the engine is the easy part; turning it back on after hours of use is even more frustrating.

Safety

The set of safety features found in the PP4218A is pretty standard. It comes with a chain brake, a low-kickback chain and bar, a safety lock switch to prevent unintentional startup, and handguards in the front and back.

The most “unique” feature, if you can say that, is the chain catcher. If the chain pops off of the guide bar, a tiny component inside of the plastic casing will catch the chain to prevent further damage to the tool.

 

Ease of Maintenance, Repairs & Warranty

Here, we’ll discuss what the operator’s manual has to say about maintaining the PP4218A and Poulan Pros’ warranty policies.

Ease of Maintenance and Repairs

Maintenance and be tricky in gas chainsaws, and taking care of the PP4218A is no different. Make sure to use a proper mix of gasoline and engine oil (40:1).

If you don’t know how to do this, consider picking up a couple bottle of pre-mixed fuel.

The 18-inch cutting chain needs to sit flush against the guide bar’s edge. After about ten minutes of use, the bar chain will become loosened.

To remove the slack, you’ll need to use the included scrench to loosen the nuts holding the bar in place and turn a tensioning screw.

Warranty

There’s nothing particularly fancy about the two-year warranty. It covers the costs of fixing and replacing broken components caused by manufacturing errors.

If you have tampered with the tool in any way—e.g., incorrect fuel mixture, wrong spare parts—the warranty is immediately voided.

If you get the PP4218A, you’ll have to register it on the Poulan Pro website www.poulanpro.com. You can contact its customer service center by calling 1-800-554-6732.

Price of Poulan PP4218A

What surprised us most about the PP4218A was its price tag. Numerous customers have expressed their disdain at how much they spent on the product and its level of performance.

For its price, you can find a more reputable gas chainsaw model easily, such as the Husqvarna 435 or XtrmePowerUS 22-inch model.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

 

Who Should Buy Poulan PP4218A?

Anyone with a healthy budget and who doesn’t mind spending a bit more for less. The PP4218A isn’t a bad chainsaw per se, but it lacks the cutting performance one would expect from its impressive set of features.

The only area where the PP4218A excels in is small and medium sawing projects, such as trimming shrubs and removing thin tree limbs. Anything else may prove too tricky for the PP4218A to saw through reliably.

Why We Like It

Far from the best but certainly not the worst. The PP4218A gas chainsaw is a fine tool for smaller sawing chores, rendering its 18-inch long bar mostly overkill.

If you can get around the fussy ignition, the PP4218A is sufficient at best.

About Donald Parker

Donald has more than 15 years of experience working with power tools. But his main area of expertise is working saws, especially chainsaws. He's always had an affinity for the cutting edges and all that they can do.

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