2020 Buyer's Guide

Poulan Pro PR5020 Gas Chainsaw Review

by Ollie Robinson

2020 Buyer's Guide

Poulan Pro PR5020 Gas Chainsaw Review

by Ollie Robinson

by Ollie Robinson

Poulan is a brand that you think you might never have heard of, but they’ve been around for a long time – you might have just known the brand under another name before. They’re actually a brand that stands under the much larger Husqvarna company, which produces a lot of higher-end tools for the professional contractor market.

The tools produced by Poulan are just as great as anything you can expect from its sister company, and they offer some of the greatest quality power tools that are seeing more and more use in professional businesses that needed a little more power behind their tools.

The Poulan Pro 20” PR5020 gas-powered chainsaw is one of the best models you’ll find if you’re looking for a light chainsaw that offers plenty of power and speed in a small package. It’s a super-powerful engine best suited to very heavy professional use where you’ll need that extra power from the engine, but it’s just as great for home use for the average DIY job.

If you’re in need of a chainsaw that can handle the majority of jobs you throw at it, the Poulan Pro PR5020 is perfect.

Here’s how the features of the Poulan Pro 20” PR5020 really matches up and why it’s worth considering when you’re in the market for a new chainsaw.

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Product Features

Here’s more about the essential product features that shows what makes the Poulan Pro PR5020 worth buying.

  • Engine size

The Poulan PR5020 is powered by a two-stroke gas engine that puts out 50cc of power, which is more than your average smaller gas-powered chainsaws that usually only measure in at approximately 45cc at maximum power.

  • Bar length

The PR5020 offers you a bar length of 20”, which is much more than your traditional chainsaw – and gives you that extra bit of reach you need when you’re cutting through thicker logs (without the need to make a second, third or fourth cut to get the job done to completion).

  • Kickback and Chain

With any gas-powered chainsaw model above 45cc, you can expect a decent amount of kickback – but more modern chainsaws like the PR5020 have been designed to minimize the amount of kickback experienced by the user, and it won’t transfer any of the vibrations through to your hands.

  • Safety features

Some of the best features that make this little chainsaw model stand out include the instant chain stopping function that ensures you’ll never even risk injury by accident while the chainsaw is in use; when it goes back in storage, the chain guard can protect anyone who might accidentally touch the chainsaw blades.

  • Warranty

Poulan products are covered by an impressive warranty that gives you a period of 2 years where they’re happy to stand by if anything should happen to your chainsaw during this time.

Product Performance

Power, safety and design are three of the most essential features when you’d buy a chainsaw, whether you’re buying it for professional or home use. Here’s how the Poulan PR5020 gas-powered chainsaw really performs.

  • Power

The Poulan PR5020 gives you 50cc of power with a unique, lowered carbon emission engine – this is more than enough power to cut right through even the hardest woods without splintering, sticking or potential injury to the user or the wood.

  • Design

Poulan has put a considerable amount of time and effort into ensuring that the chainsaw is made according to the best possible standards, and they haven’t compromised on design – it’s a comfortable fit, especially if you’re going to be using it for an entire job, and the thumb rest on this chainsaw ensures you’ll have no issues guiding the blade, even when you’re halfway through already making the cut.

  • Safety

Safety is one of the most important factors when you’re looking at buying a chainsaw, and there’s no compromise on safety with the Poulan PR5020, either; they’ve ensured that the Poulan PR5020 is one of the safest chainsaws available on the market, and you never have to worry about injuring yourself: The instant stop function works as advertised, and even if you drop the chainsaw during use, there’s no chance of cutting yourself.

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Pros and Cons

Want to know more about the pro’s and cons? Here are the essential best and worst features of the Poulan PR5020 chainsaw that’ll help you decide when you’re thinking of adding it to your workshop.

  • Pro: The pull-starting system works flawlessly (almost) every time you start the chainsaw.

There are many gas-powered chainsaws that are notorious for being hard to start – especially if you’ve never owned a gas-powered chainsaw before. This isn’t the case with the PR5020, and the majority of Poulan tools are just as easy to operate. In the case of this battery-powered chainsaw, the pull-starting system has been perfected to start on the first try almost every time.

  • Pro: The Poulan PR5020 chainsaw offers you more than enough power to cut through hardwood – or thick brush.

The 50cc power that the Poulan PR5020 offers is more than enough power to cut through heavy logs that other chainsaws might have had trouble with, and it can cut through softer woods like butter – even when it comes to woods that would otherwise be splinted if you weren’t careful. The power behind the PR5020 offers you a completely flawless near-perfect cut.

  • Pro: The handles offer some real protection and the right amount of stability.

When operating a chainsaw, stability is one of the most important things. You don’t want the blade to slip, and you want to make a clear, effortless cut: The handles on the PR5020 gives you perfect grip – and subsequently perfect control no matter what type of wood you’re cutting.

  • Con: This chainsaw is heavy – really, really heavy.

If you aren’t used to operating a chainsaw or you have an old shoulder injury that flares up when you do heavy lifting, you might find that the PR5020 is a little on the heavy side, measuring in at 17 pounds, but the 20” reach it offers you more than makes up for the weight – and the handles ensure that you have proper grip on the saw so that weight becomes much less of an issue.

  • Con: It’s not ideal for saw-mill use. 

Sawmills often require a saw in constant operation, and you have to make a very specific and clear-cut; this is the one thing that the PR5020 isn’t completely suited for – and you might want to find another saw entirely if this is what you’re looking to use it for, unless the PR5020 is your backup model.

  • Con: The reduction of vibration could have been done much better.

While they’ve gone to a lot of effort to reduce vibration, they could have still put some more effort into anti-vibration technology as part of the handles to reduce the vibration a little more. If you’re not used to a saw like this, it can make you feel like you’re trying to ride a very angry horse.

Additional Chains

Wear and tear along the road means that you’ll have to replace your chain sooner or later. Here are the best additional chain models for the PR5020 when the time finally comes.

  • Standard Replacement Oregon Chain

The standard replacement Oregon chain is your answer if you’re looking for a chain that’s close to the one that came with the chainsaw in the first place, and it’s all you’ll ever need for most people.

  • AdvanceCut Replacement Oregon Chain

If your cutting needs are a little more specific, you’ll want to opt for one of the chains from the AdvanceCut series from the Oregon chain line instead. This one is made for cutting jobs that involve harder woods or larger logs.

  • 20” Replacement Oregon Chain

The 20” replacement Oregon chain has also been confirmed to fit the PR5020 by the manufacturer, so if you’ve bought this instead, you can still fit it to the chainsaw with some adjustments and the right bar.

Final Thoughts

Poulan is well known for making a wide variety of great quality power tools, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for professional contractors who need professional-grade tools that can keep up with any job you possibly throw at it.

They make tools of the highest possible quality, and they perform better than you might think – even in high-pressure situations like a tree felling business where your chainsaw will see daily use.

The chainsaw is easy to clean and effortless to operate – and ti can make your job a whole lot easier, especially if you’re a professional contractor or artists who really need to get the most possible out of their chainsaw.

If you’re looking for a professional-grade chainsaw that isn’t going to blow your budget out of the water, this is one of the best possible chainsaw models you can find – and you should strongly consider adding it to your workshop of power tools if you’re in the market for a new, quality power tool that will give you several years of use to come if you’re taking proper care of it.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Where can I find a chain tightening tool for this model chainsaw?

In a handy stroke of genius, Poulan includes the chain tightening tool with the chainsaw – but also happens to include it on the chainsaw: You can find it readily encased in the handle for easy access.

  • What else does the Poulan Pro 20” 50cc gas-powered chainsaw come with?

The extras that come with the Poulan Pro 20” PR5020 chainsaw make it worth buying above other models on the market: Included with the order is a proper hard case to protect your chainsaw from damage, a chain adjustment tool, the chain and a bottle of chain oil – in most cases, these are all extras that you would have had to buy separately with any other chainsaw model.

  • The ad mentions a 20cc model, is this really the 50cc chainsaw model?

The Poulan Pro PR5020 is a 50cc model, although some users experienced confusion when reading through the descriptions: Because the engine details were listed in the same line as the inch-measurement of the bars, which made the description on some sites appear like it said “20cc” instead of 50.

This was fixed in most descriptions, but still pops up every once in a while as a common question for the product.

  • Can it be used for standard or heavy-duty professional logging?

The PR5020 is perfect for logging of any sort, whether you’re an amateur or professional logger who plans to make proper use of their chainsaw almost every day. It’s a great option even if you’ll be putting the tool through heavy, daily use.

  • Why doesn’t the chainsaw start?

If the chainsaw doesn’t start, try placing it on a flat surface – or adjust your mixture of oil to water and see if it works better with the new mix. If this doesn’t do the trick, your best option is to buy pre-mixed oil – or to contact customer support to find out what the problem with your model could be.

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