Poulan Pro 18 Chainsaw Review

Poulan Pro 18 Chainsaw Review and Guide

If you are on the lookout for a powerful chainsaw that falls right on the middle of low and heavy cutting duty chainsaws to be used on both occasions, you need to look no further than the Poulan Pro 4218 chainsaw. The 18-inch chainsaw is packed with a powerful 42 cc engine that is well built to last for several years, even with regular usage. Since this budget-friendly chainsaw comes with a carrying case, the versatile Poulan Pro 18 will be a chainsaw you can rely on wherever you go.

The Poulan Pro 18 is definitely a bang for your buck since you get many features that you don’t get with slightly less expensive saws and while it can’t directly compete with the industry leaders like the Husqvarna and Stihl chainsaws, it is a great budget-friendly option and won’t disappoint in terms of the quality of the work it delivers. To understand more about the Poulan Pro 18, keep on reading this detailed Poulan Pro 18 Chainsaw Review and guide and decide for yourself if it satisfies your need for a mid-duty chainsaw.

Product Specifications of the Poulan Pro 4218 18-inch Chainsaw

Manufacturer Poulan Pro
Model No: PR4218
Type: Gas-powered Chainsaw
Weight 13.25 pounds
Dimensions 24X10X11 inches
Bar Length 18 inches
Engine 42 cc
Engine Power 2.1 Horsepower
Engine Cycle 2-cycles
Handle Type Rear Handle Chainsaw
Fuel-Capacity 5.9 ounces
Fuel Mix Ratio 50:1
Engine Oil Included Yes
Case Included Yes

The Pros And Cons Of Poulan Pro 18” Chainsaw In A Nutshell


  • Powerful 42 ccs 2-stroke engine
  • Compact size with a beautiful design.
  • Reduced harmful emission
  • Cuts smoothly
  • Increased fuel efficiency
  • Automatic Oiling system
  • Automatic inertia Chain Break technology
  • Budget-friendly
  • Reduced Vibration
  • Effortless Pulling System
  • Case-included along with multiple accessories


  • Some issues were reported during start-up.
  • The chain may need frequent replacements
  • Not particularly suited for beginners.
  • The started rope is made up of rubber and might break.

Poulan Pro 18 Chainsaw Overall Performance Review

Poulan Pro PR4218

The one thing that matters the most when we are buying or reviewing a chainsaw is how well it performs, and, in that regard, the Poulan Pro 18 performs exceptionally well. It is quite a unique chainsaw since people tend to use it for a variety of purposes for their varied needs, and it has been delivered in all cases. Heavy woodworkers and lumberjacks use this chainsaw as a secondary chainsaw to cut smaller logs and for low-duty tasks. General property owners have used it as a primary chainsaw to get everything around the land done.

The 18-inch stainless steel alloy blade cuts smoothly through logs without getting stuck. While professionals have tested its limits by cutting over 30-inch slabs with it, it has had no problem whatsoever when dealing with 10-18 inches logs of even hardwoods such as oaks. So, chances are, it can easily handle whatever medium-level task you throw at it.

Although the 42 cc engine and the over 13 pounds of the chainsaw might seem overwhelming and difficult to control, it is not the case. The chainsaw is made with an ergonomic design and has been provided with a handle with reduced vibration and a ComforTouch rear handle along with accessible controls which makes it easy to operate.

To start, however, there have been mixed and contrasting reviews from multiple users. Some have complained about the constant cut-offs after starting the engine which can understandably be extremely frustrating.  However, others have no complaint at all about the starting procedure. The engine starts with just 3-5 pulls and Poulan Pro claims that the Effortless Pull Starting(EPS) technology reduces the effort that takes to pull each time by 30%.

The method to starting the engine has been labeled on the machine itself and once it has sprung into life, it can perform for long cutting operations. But like many other chainsaws in this price range, heating is a serious issue and cooling breaks will be necessary.

Overall, the performance of the Poulan Pro 18 coupled with its safety features, which we’ll discuss later, makes it an easy choice for jobs like making firewood, cross-cutting, storm cleanup, and even felling trees.

Key Features of the Poulan Pro 18 Chainsaw

poulan chainsaw

Some chainsaws brag about a feature or two to make it look like a powerful machine. However, the Poulan Pro 4218 chainsaw is packed with several important features that increase its effectiveness and efficiency. Let us discuss some of those most important features it offers:

1. OxyPower Technology Engine

The main reason behind the overall excellent performance of this chainsaw is the innovative oxypower technology used in its 42 cc engine. This Oxypower engine mainly helps to achieve high power, reduced emissions, and efficient fuel consumption.

  • Reduced Emissions: The OxyPower engine helps to reduce the harmful emissions from the Poulan Pro 18 chainsaw by up to 60%. This is possible because clean air first enters the cylinder and escapes out instead of the unburned fuel.
  • Efficient fuel usage: Since less of the unburned fuel is emitted, it significantly increases the amount of energy generated from the fuel filled into the chainsaw and makes it more efficient by up to 20%.
  • Generate more power: As a result of reduced emission and increased efficiency of the fuel used, the chainsaw can generate more power to do heavier tasks for longer times.

2. Automatic Chain Oiler

Automatic chain oiling is one of those features that should be absent for you to experience its importance. If you haven’t used a manual oiling chainsaw before, the Poulan Pro chainsaw doesn’t let you experience the hassle of frequent manual chain oiling. Moreover, just filling the oil lubricates the chain perfectly for you so that you don’t have to worry about the oil not being distributed evenly on the chain and focus on the work that matters; cutting those logs apart.

3. Blade Quality

The quality of the blade is also one of the top features of this chainsaw. The 18-inch blade sure can maintain the sharpness even after being used for hours on end. The stainless-steel alloy with which the blade is made makes it usable for almost every type of wood material you might come across. Whatever you put the blade on, with the proper technique, it slices right through it without any kickbacks.

4. EPS (Effortless Pulling System)

While a few customers have mentioned that the engine cuts off frequently after starting, the Effortless Pulling System included in the Poulan Pro 18 sure helps in such cases. This is because the pulling effort has been reduced by 30%. This means happier arms and shoulders. Nevertheless, the cutoffs are reported by only a handful of users and the models are easily replaceable.

The effortless pulling system is particularly important because the starter rope is made up of rubber, as one would expect in the consumer-grade range of power chainsaws. So, after using it several times, it would be best to find a sweet spot for the force applied while pulling the rope since it may break faster compared to ropes on higher model chainsaws.

5. Super Clean Centrifugal Air Cleaning System

This patented air cleaning system built into the Poulan Pro-18 is a prized feature and contributes significantly to increasing the life of the engine. This system prevents the wood debris and other particles from reaching the air filter.

6. Ergonomics

Several features of this gas-powered chainsaw have contributed to its overall ergonomics. To start with, it takes fewer strokes and less force to start the engine. Moving on, the rear handle makes it very easy to hold and operate.

However, the most crucial feature of this Poulan saw for ergonomics is the vibration reduction by the anti-vibration handle. Vibration is the most serious ergonomic challenge while operating any powered hand tool, especially one as powerful as a chainsaw.

Although the Poulan Pro delivers more power than its other competitors in its price range, its vibration reduction in the handles is unreal as compared to the others with the help of the steel spring system as an anti-vibration system.

7. Design Features

With all the impressive features included in this powerhouse, it might be easier to miss the impressive design elements of this chainsaw. The carburetor engine is adjustable and the spline tool can be fitted into the grooves on the base of the chainsaw.

With a color combination of orange and black, this well-built and good-looking chainsaw looks like it belongs to the woods.

The excellent design is also extended on the cylinder design with the use of Durachrome Vertical Cylinder Design.

8. Chain Tensioning without Tool

A loose chain not only reduces the efficiency of your cutting operations, tightening a loose chain can be extremely troublesome in the middle of a workflow. Moreover, you will need tools fit for the specific chainsaw to adjust the tension of your chain.

The Poulan Pro 18 has another patented feature as a tool-less chain tensioning feature, which converts the boring task of tightening the chains into a quick and easy job.

poulanpro 18 inch chainsaw

Safety Features of Poulan Pro 4218

Along with the features that make this chainsaw versatile and powerful, the Poulan Pro 4218 also has a few safety features that help avoid accidents and keep you away from harm. Some of the safety features included are:

  • Front hand Guard: Even experienced chainsaw users have had their front hand slipped while operating, and the outcomes have been disastrous. To completely prevent this from happening, a front hand guard is provided on this Poulan chainsaw, which is a great addition considering that many of the target customers do not have a detailed understanding and experience of using a powerful chainsaw.
  • Inertia Chain Brake: The inertia chain brake technology is responsible for stopping the chain from rotating in accidental cases. It activates automatically with the help of an inertial system or when the chain encounters the handguard.
  • Chain catcher: On the lower side of the saw, a device is built just to prevent a broken chain from landing on the operator’s hand. The front handguard present above and the chain catcher below make sure that both of your hands are safe at all times.
  • Throttle lockout button: The throttle makes the chain spin and cut things. But the throttle trigger may be pressed unintentionally, unconsciously, or accidentally when it shouldn’t have been pressed. This may result in result injuries to the user or the people around. As a safety feature against this, the chainsaw comes with a throttle lockout which keeps the throttle locked when not in use.
  • Protective sheath: The protective sheath for the blade as well as the carrying case for the whole chainsaw also serve to increase the safety of the users when storing or moving the chainsaw.

The manufacturer has done its part in making the tool safe for its users. Now it is up to us users to follow the proper techniques and safety guidelines while using the chainsaw. Some of the safety measures you should not forget while using the Poulan Pro 18 chainsaw are:

  • First, follow the instructions for operation included in the guide that comes with the chainsaw.
  • Make sure that the tension of the chain is optimum before starting the chainsaw at first and at regular intervals during operation.
  • Do not attempt very heavy-duty tasks with the Poulan Pro 18, like felling large trees or cutting logs greater than 36 inches.
  • Finally, always wear protective clothing like gloves, protective trousers, and jackets, boots, ear defenders, and chainsaw helmets.

Accessories Included

The chainsaw is a hundred different parts from within and needs a handful of external accessories so that you can make the best use out of it. The Poulan Pro 4218 comes with several accessories like the case, which is a praiseworthy addition for a chainsaw of this price range.

Moreover, other important accessories that come with the purchase are engine oil, operator manual, a sharpening guide file, scrench tool, gloves, and an extra chain.

chain oil

How to Operate the Poulan Pro 4218?

The Poulan Pro 4218 is an easy chainsaw to operate. With a fair amount of knowledge on the proper techniques and guidelines to use a chainsaw, you will be ready to go by following the following steps:

  1. Get the chainsaw out of the case and remove the protection from the blade. Make sure that the chain is not drooping, and the tension is good on the chain.
  2. Now you need to prepare the fuel for the chainsaw. The Poulan Pro 4218 uses a fuel mix ratio of 50:1 with 50 parts gas and 1 part of the recommended Poulan pro synthetic 2 stroke engine oil for the latest version.
  3. Filling gas should be followed by filling bar or chain oil on the automatic chain oiler compartment. Make sure to close the lids on both of these oil tanks.
  4. Now you need to press the primer or the air plug bulb regularly for about 10 times to get the engine ready.
  5. Now before pulling the chord, always make sure that the chain is locked by pushing the chain brake forward.
  6. The last thing you need to do before bringing the engine to life is to make sure that you have all the protective gear on you, especially the gloves, earplugs, and protective eye gear. I can’t stress enough the importance of safety measures whenever you are using a handheld power device.
  7. Finally, to start the engine, place your foot on the rear handle to hold the chainsaw in place and pull the throttle a few times until it starts. If it doesn’t, press the primer a few more times and try again.
  8. Use proper handling techniques to hold your chainsaw properly, and after leaving the engine to run for several seconds to get warmed up, press the throttle trigger gently to get the feel of the power of the blade.
  9. Finally, place the blade on the wood or the zombie you want to cut and start slicing through.

How to Change the Chain of the Poulan Pro 4218 Power Chainsaw?

A bad chain will decrease the durability of your chainsaw, and a loose saw can lead to reduced performance and accidents, especially if it has been used for quite some time and is hard to tighten anymore. The Poulan Pro 18 comes with an extra piece of chain with the purchase, which makes it easier to change the chain whenever the chain breaks. However, you need to know the method to change the chain of the chainsaw if you are to use this chainsaw frequently.

You only need two things for changing the chain on the Poulan Pro 18 – the chain itself and the chainsaw chain tool that comes with the initial purchase. You can also easily buy replacements if you’ve lost yours. For the chain, while it is best to use the company’s 18-inch chains, many users have reported that other brands’ chains work just fine with the Poulan Pro 4218.

Moving on, the chainsaw tool has two different functions on its two ends. One end has a nut opener that removes the blade from the chainsaw while the other acts as a screwdriver to tighten the chain once it is installed.

The first thing you need to do is to remove the two nuts that hold the blade in place and remove the guard.

Now, gently remove the chain from the blade and remove the blade from the chainsaw. Use this opportunity to clean the area that holds the blade in place.

At this point, you should already have a new chain lined up by the side, which you will then align perfectly on the blade’s edges and then fit the blade on the tool.

Place the guard in place and put back the nuts, and tighten with the help of the chain tool after making sure that there is no slack in the chain.

By properly replacing the chain on your chainsaw when you must, you will ensure that you avoid kickbacks and jumps and that your chainsaw lasts longer.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What is the Poulan Pro 18 inch chainsaw best suited for?

Answer: The Poulan Pro 4218 is a medium-duty chainsaw that will find use in pretty much any working circumstances you might encounter. I would not recommend it for the very beginners since a less powerful chainsaw will be best to build sawing experience. If you are a professional lumberjack with heavy demands from your chainsaw, this powerful chainsaw can act as a secondary chainsaw to assist the more powerful top models.

On that note, the Poulan Pro 4218 will be best suited for medium woodworking requirements like felling medium trees, making lumber, cross-cutting, clearing the storm debris, making firewood, or some regular gardening operations.

Question: Is the Poulan Pro 18 inch chainsaw built for a left-handed or right-handed person?

Answer: This chainsaw is designed in a way that makes it operatable by both left-handed and right-handed users with equal efficiency and it is ergonomic in both cases as well. Taking about inclusivity, the Poulan Pro 18 inch chainsaw can even be operated by people with less power on their hands since this is a relatively easy and more importantly, a safe chainsaw to use.

Question: Are Poulan Pro and Husqvarna chainsaws the same?

Answer: The Poulan Pro and Husqvarna chainsaw models are surely not the same. Although the Poulan Pro is owned by the Husqvarna Group, the chainsaws they manufacture differ in terms of the quality and the performance they provide. Husqvarna chainsaws are generally higher-end chainsaws and come at a higher price range than the Poulan Pro chainsaws.

If you have frequent use for your chainsaw, the best thing to do would be to go for Husqvarna chainsaws. But Poulan Pro chainsaws, like the gas-powered Poulan Pro 4218 are good options for most users.

Question: What makes the Poulan Pro 18-inch chainsaw stand out from the rest?

Answer: As mentioned in the detailed review above, this chainsaw is packed with several innovative features that make it a great value for money. Some of the prominent features are the OxyPower technology which reduces emission by 70% and makes it fuel-efficient by 20%. Additionally, the vibration reduction technology functions fully and it is easier to get started and run, thanks to the Effortless Pulling System (EPS).

Question: What fuel mix ratio should I use for my Poulan Pro 4218 chainsaw?

Answer: The recommended fuel mix for this chainsaw is 50:1 which is written on the user’s manual that you get on purchase. There is a bit of confusion regarding the fuel mix ratio for this chainsaw because the earlier models used the ratio of 40:1. So make sure to check the model you are using. The PR4218 model reviewed in this guide uses a 50:1 fuel mix ratio. Also, make sure to use good quality gas which is high octane unleaded gasoline.

Question: Can I use my Poulan Pro 18 inch chainsaw for daylong works?

Answer: This gas-powered 42 cc engine chainsaw is capable of working long work hours. But like all other gas-powered chainsaws, you should never use it continuously for more than 20-30 minutes. If you take periodic breaks to give the machine a break and inspect the tension of the chains, level of oil, and lubrication of the chains, you can use this chainsaw for daylong works as well.

The interval in between is necessary not only for the chainsaw but also from an ergonomic perspective since the constant vibration and physical labor can cause serious physical health problems.

2-cycle gas chainsaw


After this detailed discussion and review on the Poulan Pro 4218 18-inch chainsaw with a 42-cc engine, our final verdict is that it is a great bargain for this price range. It is a unique and versatile combination of a chainsaw that combinations power with portability. With this chainsaw, you get yourself a chainsaw on the smaller end and the case that it comes with is cheery on top in terms of its portability and storage.

The features packed into this chainsaw like the smooth vibration reduction feature and the reduced emissions and fuel efficiency, are comparable with chainsaws on a very high price range spectrum. The OxyPower technology engine and automatic oiler, and chain tensioning features supplement the power and performance of this chainsaw to make it the best chainsaw on this budget.

While you may come across some negative reviews on the internet, my experience tells that most of the issues people have encountered with this chainsaw can be prevented by following the mentioned instructions and solved by tweaking the tool a bit according to specific needs.

Finally, if you need a chainsaw for moderate needs like making your firewood and felling trees on your land, this review must assure you that the Poulan Pro 4218 must be a safe and easy purchase. But make sure to follow everything mentioned in this guide to make the most out of this chainsaw, and don’t forget any of the safety measures we discussed earlier.

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