Poulan - PP5020AV Plus more. (Rating: 4)

To start, I want to mention I started a couple of threads on the subject of chainsaws.

To begin with, I wasn't happy having to buy a Poulan….... ANYTHING…... I've had my share of problems with those engines and understand the well deserved nickname of "pullin'" Some of those old saws and weed eaters wouldn't start with starting fluid and and a stick of dynamite.

However, this saw seems to be different.

I bought it (Poulan Pro PP5020AV) on the 15th of July, 2012. To begin with, the saw started and ran on the first pull after filling it with 40:1 gas oil mix. Lots of power and I could not bog it down no matter what I did… Yup, a new saw.

After about 10 hours I noticed I was working way too hard to get through a 20" cut and had had no kickback whatsoever. Hmm.

I looked at the chain and it was a Hairy Homeowner style, with low kickback and a low profile to keep the homeowner's safe from themselves. Personally, I hate those…. I grew up with chainsaws and don't need to be coddled so I don't hurt myself. (On another thread we discussed making ribbons and a little bit about how to sharpen).
This chain is called a "Vanguard" (72LGX070G), chain and while it's great for things under 16", it's almost worthless for aggressive cutting through a 40" log with a 20" bar.

I immediately found a replacement chain, the 72LPX070G which is round chisel chain, and not low kick back.

I went from 3 minutes and change through a log about 36" thick to 1 minute 45 seconds. Or there abouts.

The next problem I ran in to was that the nose sprocket on the bar would heat up and seize when cutting though a thick log with the nose buried in the wood…. a common problem with laminated bars and home owner saws.
For a week I would make 4 deep cuts then work the bar in oil to loosen it back up. I got pissed and then sent the saw back. The wife exchanged it and after using the exchange for about 20 hours, it did the same thing. On this one though, I greased the nose sprocket every morning and every evening. So it wasn't lubrication that was the problem, and reading into the reviews, this has been a problem with the 5020AV.
Don't get this confused with the PP5020AVX.. those were produced by the old Poulan and really have no relationship to the PP5020AV which is produced by Husqvarna and closely resembles the Husky 455, even down to the oiling and carb system.

I've ordered a new bar and chain, the Oregon 200RNDK095 bar and the 72LPX072G chain. It's not any longer, but has a replaceable sprocket and the chain is two links longer.
I would have preferred a 24 or 26" bar, which I'm certain this saw could handle, but the wife was after me to get this stuff ordered and I let her get the better of me.

In the Poulan's defense, it is a strong saw and after nearly 90 hours of running it, it still starts first try after it's warmed up. Cold it might take four pulls, but considering everything it does quite well.

This saw harkens back to the old days of Poulan and makes up for a lot of the problems we had with them 20 years ago.

I would recommend this saw to anyone who wants an inexpensive saw and needs it to do a real days work. I have to admit it is much more reliable than the old Pro-Mac 610 and Pro-Mac 650's I use to have… Boy am I glad someone stole them!