Chainsaws

Poulan Pro PR5020 Review: Heavy-duty Low-Emission Chainsaw

Poulan Pro PR5020 Review

Photo: Poulan Pro

What We Like

  • Powerful 50cc engine
  • Long heavy-duty bar
  • Adjustable bar and chain oiling
  • Safety chain brake
  • Tool-less service access
  • A carry case is included

What We Don’t Like

  • No tool-less chain tensioning
  • Weighty at 17 pounds

Bottom Line

A powerful 50cc low-consumption and low-emission engine help the Poulan Pro PR5020 excel in medium-to-large limbing and tree cutting.

Introduction

If you’re looking for a powerful chainsaw with the right balance of fuel-efficiency and low emissions, Poulan Pro PR5020 is a wise choice, especially for intensive cutting applications.

You’ll also be getting a tool that starts effortlessly, is easy to handle, and supports hassle-free maintenance with tool-free service access, all while providing professional-grade performance across a variety of cutting tasks.

Poulan Pro PR5020 Review

Poulan Pro PR5020

Photo: Poulan Pro

Performance & Handling: Efficient Low-Emission Engine

The performance department is where the PR5020 shines most. It packs a very powerful 50cc, 2-stroke engine, which powers the chainsaw smoothly through intensive cutting and limbing projects in the farm, yard, or away in the woods. Also, an editor at Top Ten Reviews praised the engine’s chromium-plated cylinders, which minimize wear and prolong the component’s life.  

Optimization is a key highlight of the chainsaw, and to help achieve this, Poulan Pro implements its patented OxyPower® technology on the engine. OxyPower optimizes performance by ensuring the engine is producing as much power as possible while keeping fuel consumption and exhaust emissions at the minimum.

Such optimization efforts are great because often, as the power of gasoline chainsaw’s engine increases, so does its fuel consumption and emissions. While the manufacturer claims OxyPower ensures the tool produces 70% fewer emissions, while consuming 20% less fuel, actual performance may vary depending on other factors such as maintenance and other operating constituents.

You will, however, enjoy using the PR5020’s effortless pull-start system, which reduces the starting effort required significantly by combining a reliable pull assist system with an easy-to-use purge bulb. The purge bulb helps supply the carburetor with fuel, and with this entire system in play, expect simplified starts with fewer pulls on the cord.

Also, the integrated choke/stop controls enhance the startup process by not only making it faster but also eliminates the risks typically associated with engine flooding, which is known to have a negative impact on the engine’s life.

Design & Construction: Ergonomic and Convenient

Switching to the PR5020’s design, ergonomics and convenience become the tool’s major highlight. Starting with ergonomics, the controls of this chainsaw have been positioned for ease of use. We have a conveniently-located chain tensioning system at the saw’s side for easy reach when you need to make adjustments.

The front handle adopts a full wrap-around design, which ensures even distribution of the tool’s vibration during operations. This low-vibration handle not only enhances handling and comfort but also boosts the chainsaw’s safety by ensuring you maintain a constant firm grip on the tool. There is also a guard directly in front of this handle. The guard protects your dominant hand from many potential hazards during tool operation.

Shifting to the rear handle, it provides ample clearance to accommodate not only big hands, but also gloved ones, which is recommended when operating a chainsaw. On the inner upper part of the handle, a soft grip has been attached to provide comfort and firmness when holding the tool. Also, you’ll notice that the lock button has been enlarged so that your thumb reaches it naturally without straining.

Despite all the design enchantments offered by the PR5020 to make it convenient for you to use, the chainsaw’s weight of 15.4 pounds is on the bulkier end of the scale. Certainly, there are other models of its class that weigh less, so when this one starts feeling bulky in the hands, a short break is recommended.

Cutting Equipment: Heavy-duty and Low-Kickback

Cutting through large-diameter logs and medium-sized limbs efficiently is what the PR5020 was designed to do, and there is a 20-inch heavy-duty bar and chain to help the chainsaw accomplish exactly that, and much more.

The bar and chain have proven more than capable of cutting both medium and large limbs, and can even fell trees of up to 18 inches in diameter, without straining the engine.

When you want to adjust the chain’s tensioning to the ideal level, you can easily access the side-mounted tensioning system, whose positioning is optimized for not just simplified access, but also fast chain adjustment that will not slow you down especially on a busy cutting session.  

A slight inconvenience you may experience with the tool’s bar and chain is its chain-tensioning system, which is not tool-less. But this is common in many heavy-duty chainsaws, and it does not make the cutting equipment and less efficient when well-tensioned.

Noise Level: Quieter than Most in Its Class

With a loudness rating of 102 dB(A) the PR5020 is pretty loud, but such noise levels are expected from gas-powered chainsaws. What is interesting, however, is that many similar chainsaws of this class (40-50cc) engines tend to be louder. The Husqvarna 455 Rancher, for instance, has noise levels of 114 dB(A). The PR5020 is significantly quieter.

Don’t, however, wait for the chainsaw to get uncomfortably loud for you to take the necessary precautions. Simply slip on some comfortable ear protection before getting to work, and the loud engine should not pause any comfort issues.

Safety Features: Reliable Chain Brake and other Enhancements

For high-performance chainsaws such as the 50cc PR5020, ensuring operator safety is critical. That’s why this chainsaw comes equipped with a chain brake, which is both inertia and hand-activated. Hand activation is effective, but inertia the inertia activation mechanism is more efficient than the manual one because the tool stops the chain automatically when a strong opposing force is detected.

Also, the low-kickback chain and bar do contribute to boosting the tool’s safe operation. Because these components absorb much of the kickback force generated by the powerful engine encountering an opposing force, any unnecessary tool reaction that could be potentially hazardous is significantly reduced.

Finally, while this may not be obvious to many, the carry case that comes with your PR5020 is also does have an impact on safety enhancement. It not only protects the tool from any potential damage during transportation but as long as the tool is in the case, you are protected from any accidental contact with the tool.

Maintenance: Easy and Convenient

When it comes to maintaining the PR5020, this process has been made effortless and time-saving. To get started on maintenance fast, a combi tool comes integrated into the rear handle. You can use this tool for tensioning or blade changes. Having with on the chainsaw wherever you go ensures you can do any supported maintenances whenever necessary.

The chain and bar are kept constantly lubricated by an oiling system, which you can adjust to suit the chainsaw’s different operating conditions. Since oiling is not automatic, no oil gets wasted from constant production, an inconvenience common in electric chainsaws, and one that can be costly.

Also, since air filters and spark plugs require in gas chainsaws regular maintenance, the ones on the PR5020 are optimized for easy access during servicing. The cylinder cover is fastened using easy-access-clips, which allow rapid access to the spark plug and filter. You won’t need a set of tools to change these two components. You can even replace them while on the job and simply resume cutting within no time.

Price: A Bargain for the Value Offered

Powerful chainsaws, such as those packing 50cc engines, don’t come cheap. But the Poulan Pro PR5020 is in a class of its own when it comes to pocket-friendliness. For less than $300, the value you get out of this tool is impressive; a low-emission and low-consumption engine, and a wealth of convenience features, not to mention a heavy-duty 20-inch bar and chain.

You are getting the value of a professional-grade chainsaw for almost half the market price. For instance, the 50cc Tanaka TC51EAP, which has pretty much the same engine and cutting equipment performance costs $100 more than this model, while the slightly less powerful Echo CS400 costs even more. Choosing the PR5020 over its competitors is a no-brainer.

Verdict

The perfect blend of performance reduced emissions, and low fuel consumption makes the chainsaw a unique professional-grade cutting tool.

The Poulan Pro PR5020 further stands out by combining its performance features with ease of handling, hassle-free maintenance, and convenience enhancements distributed strategically across the entire tool.

Specs

  • Product Name: Poulan Pro PR5020
  • Product Brand: Poulan Pro
  • Product Dimensions: 12.0 x 16.0 x 11.8 inches
  • Engine Displacement: 50 cm3
  • Bar Length: 20 inches
  • Chain Brake: Yes
  • Fuel Capacity: 15 ounces
  • Oil Pump Flow: Adjustable
  • Noise Level (dB): 102
  • Tool Weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 year

Key Features

  • Powerful low-emission and efficient 50cc engine
  • 20-inch low-kickback chain for medium-to-large cutting
  • Spring-assist pull cord for effortless starting
  • Tool-free access to components for effortless servicing
  • Low-vibration handle for reduced user fatigue
  • Convenient on-board multi-tool storage
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