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Poulan Pro PP5020AV 20" Bar 50cc Engine

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Review by Dallas posted 08-09-2012 05:29 PM 27211 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Poulan Pro PP5020AV 20" Bar 50cc Engine Poulan Pro PP5020AV 20" Bar 50cc Engine No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

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!

DF

-30-

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!




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Dallas

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18 comments so far

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Dusty56

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#1 posted 08-09-2012 07:53 PM

I like the second picture much better : ) Thanks

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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Dallas

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#2 posted 08-10-2012 01:49 AM

Sorry about that Dusty, I had chosen another photo but did something wrong, (As per usual), I changed the photo and uploaded one of the chainsaw sharpener.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Dusty56

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#3 posted 08-10-2012 01:59 AM

LOL , couldn’t resist : ) I also hate the newer “homeowner” chains….sounds like you went out of your way to get the saw to work well for your needs though : ) Nice review…thanks

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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LumberGeek

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#4 posted 06-16-2013 12:28 AM

I know this is almost a year old now… but…
How did it go with the new Chain and Bar ?
I ordered 2 of those chains based on your recommendation, have not replaced the bar yet.
And the problem I have with the 72 tooth chains is, I can’t tighten them. The bar hits the stops, and there is no more room to make the chain tight!
If I am Real Careful, and never turn the bar, I can cut for a while.
(And it is a Monster with that chain, for sure!)
But the slightest side motion and the chain pops.
It DID seem OK for a while, and then after a few cuts started popping off. Maybe after taking down those dead pines, then chain stretched to its max length, making it Just too long for the stock bar ?

You say the replacement bar, while better, is no longer and that’s a problem, too, unless it happens to be oh, maybe a 1/2” longer, at least.

For now I guess I need to go back to 70’s, have ordered a pair of 72LPX070G’s :-(

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Dallas

3195 posts in 1234 days


#5 posted 06-16-2013 12:58 AM

LumberGeek, to use the longer 72 link chain you’ll have to use the wider Oregon bar. It’s (The Bar), not any longer but it is a bit wider, plus it is a hardened bar, unlike the laminated homeowner bar.

If you don’t want to add another $50 for the Oregon bar, order the Oregon 72LPX070G. It will fit the original bar just fine, but beware of kickback…. and heat from the low quality bar…..

As a matter of fact I added a 28” bar to the arsenal also. It has never been a problem in trees up to about 30-36” even when I’ve had the tip buried for a couple of minutes. I’ve cut over 500 bd ft of slabs with it and the whole saw is so far just as good as the day I bought it… I haven’t even leaned out the carb yet which I should probably do.

PM me with more questions or post them here. As much as I detested the thought of buying another Poulan, I did it and have been thorougly pleased. Live Oak, Cedar Elm, Black Walnut, English Walnut, Bodark, Cedar, Loblolly, this thing doesn’t seem to have a problem.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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LumberGeek

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#6 posted 06-16-2013 01:18 AM

OK, I had a feeling the Oregon might be wider.
I see one of those for a little under $50, so I guess I will get it.
The 70G’s will be OK on that bar, too, yeah?

My cutting is a lot less intense that yours, I am sure.
Essentially homeowner stuff, sorry to say. But I don’t like being coddled, either. I had good training, including kickback, sharpen my own, maintain my equipment, rebuild carbs as needed.
I live on a large wooded property and do enough cutting that the machines are used every summer. Either voluntary drops, or the inevitable weather drops. (Lost 2 huge Oaks in the Halloween storm 2 years ago)
[ want some extra firewood? ;-) We’ll never use it all]

Got this saw based on this review, actually. And thank you, you’re right, this is a heckuva machine.
28”, really?
I thought about 24’s for a certain tree that is not long for this earth, so that is encouraging.
Just trying to get the nerve to take it before it comes on its own.
If it falls the wrong way? Wellllll. A little house remodeling is not out of my skill set either. ;-)

Thanks
John

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Dallas

3195 posts in 1234 days


#7 posted 06-16-2013 01:47 AM

John, the 70’s won’t work on the wider Oregon bar. Remember, every link in the chain is an extra 1/2” on that type of chain. Those little home owner bars are so small you’ll wonder why you got one in the first place. The 20” Oregon bar will add another 3+ pounds to the weight of the saw, which changes the balance, and I like them a bit bar heavy, less work for me.
Save your original bar and chains for anyone that wants to borrow the saw…. It will save you hundreds in the long run.
My 28” bar and chain was a stretch, but I figured for the price I could rebuild the saw and sell it as running on Craigslist.
If you want I’ll post the chains and bars that work on the Poulan, but it’s probably easier to look up fitment for the Husqvarna 450, 455, 460, 470, and back track to the Poulan.

the Poulan is only a 50.2 CID but from the ones I worked on, the parts are the same on the inside for the Husky Rancher 450 and 455.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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LumberGeek

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#8 posted 06-16-2013 02:11 AM

Sure
Info from an expert far Better than trial and error…
If you know the cross-matching parts, let’s have ‘em.
Other readers might find them useful, too.
Original article only said better parts on-order. Hearing the results is worth gold.
Thanks
John

and I like the catchphrase :-)
Never Give-Up, Never Surrender! another of my favorites.

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LumberGeek

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#9 posted 06-16-2013 02:22 AM

P.S.
I don’t usually lend my power tools. Too many bad experiences.
But if you ever mis-judged a pinch direction, and pinned a bar…
Having a spare is something you appreciate right away.

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Dallas

3195 posts in 1234 days


#10 posted 06-16-2013 01:31 PM

OK, here are the two I used:

20” upgrade to the standard Poulan bar and chain:
Oregon Power Match bar 200RNDK095 which takes the LPX Super Chisel chain 72LPX072G

28” upgrade to the Poulan bar and chain:
Oregon Power Match bar 280RNDK095 which uses the LPX Super Chisel chain 72LPX093G

(BTW, the standard replacement chain in the LPX series is the 72LPX070G for the factory bar).

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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LumberGeek

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#11 posted 06-16-2013 03:20 PM

Excellent, thank you.
Gotta Love Oregon
The 24 is apparently 240RNDK095 / 72LPX084G
(Took a guess and interpolated between the 2 and found hits on it)
Thanks again

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Dallas

3195 posts in 1234 days


#12 posted 06-16-2013 03:47 PM

Yeah, I forgot where I put the listings for the 24” and the 32”. I’m not sure I’d want to put a 32” bar on, it would take a lot more power and I’m not certain the oiler is robust enough to keep everything, including the front sprocket lubricated.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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PSUmike

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#13 posted 06-20-2013 02:08 AM

dallas, i’ve got this same model saw (my first ever), and i’m pretty happy with it thus far. my only gripe is that i’d really like to get one of those fancy bar-mount sharpeners, like the power sharp, that snaps on to sharpen the chain in a few seconds. i can’t seem to find anything compatible with this saw. can you offer any insight?

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Dallas

3195 posts in 1234 days


#14 posted 06-20-2013 02:24 AM

Yeah, my insight is that if you use one you’ll spend a lot of money on chains.
Those things are built for people that have no idea of what a chainsaw is capable of.

With the Greenberg sharpener or any of the clones, I can sharpen the 28” chain in less than 15 minutes. It takes longer to install and set up the bar mount sharpener.

With premium chains @ $20+ it’s worth it to get yourself a decent sharpener and learn how to use it.

BTW, my boss has one of those sharpeners for his Stihl .029….. He replaces a chain at least every month and if we are into heavy cutting, at least twice a week.
On the other hand, I have 3 chains I have used since last year, I sharpen and replace each one as it gets dull doing it in rotation.

Good luck, but just like with any other wood working tool you have to learn how to sharpen correctly!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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PSUmike

22 posts in 915 days


#15 posted 06-20-2013 03:09 AM

thanks, i really appreciate the advice!

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