If you are a Poulan Pro chainsaw enthusiast or have some tools in their 40V tool range, you won’t need me to convince you about the merits of owning one of their products. The Poulan Pro PPB4014 40V 14 inch chainsaw is the company’s electric chainsaw offering and as you would expect is nicely designed and comes with some great features.
There’s no doubt that there are some great saws in this class and the competition is strong. Read this review to find out everything you need to know about the PPB4014 and see if it is worthy of a place in your power tool collection.
Performance and Handling
Thanks to its ergonomic design and hassle free starting system, users will find the Poulan to be an easy saw to operate.
Firstly, it has all the excellent start-up attributes you would expect to see in an electric saw. This includes a safety on/off switch which must be pressed to operate the throttle trigger. Just fit the battery, activate the trigger and squeeze. The saw will start immediately and you will be ready to go without the uncertain ritual of having to use an annoying pull-cord. Releasing your grip on the trigger will stop the saw and automatically reset the safety lock. This simple and quick process means that you don’t have to keep the saw running when you have a lot of jobs which require intermittent cutting. It also makes it ideal when you have to get the saw out for just a few minutes to take care of something, such as a bit of wind damage.
The PPB4014 is best suited to light cutting duties such as felling and limbing small trees. With its 14 inch blade it should be able to cut through a 12 inch diameter tree in a single pass and this is probably about the limit of its capabilities. It is much more efficient when used on smaller diameter trees and branches around 6-8 inches. When cutting, you need to allow the saw to do the work and not force it into the wood. A number of users advised that if too much force is placed on the saw the overload sensor can kick in and bring it to a stop. This is more of annoyance than a problem as the saw can be started up again immediately.
In terms of handling, the saw is reasonably light and the manufacturer advises that it is quiet and provides low vibration cutting. The manufacturer does not provide any ratings to enable comparison with other products, although generally when compared to gas models cordless saws are easier to handle.
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In summary, this portable saw is suitable for carrying out occasional light duties around your property or taking on trips to cut small amounts of firewood or clear trails.
14 inch Cutting Equipment
The PPB4014 is equipped with a 14 inch guide bar and chain.
As with most home owner saws, the bar is designed for reduced kickback. It is an Oregon product and features the company’s narrow kerf micro-lite cutting system. As well as this the bar has a nose sprocket which helps to improve cutting by reducing friction around the bar. The tip of the bar should be regularly greased with a ‘grease syringe’ which can be purchased for around $10. Should you require a replacement bar, the part number is 144MLEA041.
To go with the bar, the chain is an Oregon 90PX052X. It has a 3/8” pitch, a 0.043” gauge and 52 drive links. Although not as strong as the 0.05” gauge chains, the 90PX is lighter which helps to provide faster cutting. Its unique design helps it to cut smooth and fast with the minimum of kickback.
To ensure optimum performance the cutting equipment should be kept in good condition. This means that the chain should be kept both properly tensioned and sharp.
Tensioning the chain is relatively straightforward but requires a scrench (supplied with the product). Full instructions are provided in the operator’s manual but briefly you simply need to unloosen the bar cover nuts and then adjust the tensioner screw. This is positioned on the side of the unit and so is relatively easy to access.
Keeping the chain sharp is also important to ensure effective cutting. If you are experienced you can do this yourself with a 5/32 inch round file and holder. This is something you can learn to do but if you are not comfortable doing this you can pick up a new chain for around $13. You can check this out here.
You can check out the Poulan in action below.
Design and Construction
The Poulan PPB4014 is a sleek, well designed chainsaw made from hard plastic and metal.
The diagram above shows a traditional rear handle saw design. The trigger switch and safety lock buttons are close together to aid easy starting. The rear handle is also flatter at the bottom and this serves as a hand guard.
The battery slots into the top of the saw as opposed to the side which you see on some saws. This should help with balance. There is a traditional half wrap handle which helps with cutting at different angles and just in front of this is the hand guard/chain brake.
The oil tank cap is positioned on the side of the saw and is both large and easily reachable. Next to the cap is the quick view oil indicator. On the front of the unit you will see a set of metal bumper or bucking spikes. These are used to provide stability when cutting.
The diagram above shows a view of the right side of the saw and the nut/screw adjustments required for bar replacement and chain tensioning. The saw doesn’t come assembled and requires you to fit the bar and chain. Full instructions are provided and this is quite simple to do.
Brushless Motor 40V 2AH Battery
One of the most important aspects of cordless saws is battery performance. This saw is equipped with a 40 volt 2 amp hour battery. To provide a comparison, most home owner cordless saws have voltages ranging from 18V to 80V and Amp hours from 2AH to 7AH. This particular combination is relatively popular on light use saws and should give you around 20 minutes cutting time.
It is always handy to have more than one battery in reserve so if you already have other Poulan 40V tools the good news is that they are interchangeable between products. If not you can get a replacement for around $100. If you want longer runtime you can opt for the 4AH battery which will cost in the region of $150.
The battery itself is a dual Lithium-Ion system designed to run at full power for the complete charge. It has a clear display so you can see the level of charge at all times and when in storage it will hold its charge for up to a year without causing any damage.
This unit also comes with a battery charger. The charge time is around an hour which is pretty reasonable. One thing to note is that the battery needs to be cool before it can be charged and this takes about 30 minutes.
Runtime for this particular saw is helped by the fact that it has a brushless motor. These are typically 85% - 90% efficient, compared to brushed motors which are around 75% - 80% efficient. As well as enhancing performance, this also helps to preserve the life of the motor.
Automatic Chain Oil System
There is an automatic oiler which will keep the chain lubricated at all times. The lubrication system is fixed flow which means that the rate of release is constant and can’t be adjusted. This can be useful if you want to release more or less oil depending on the cutting conditions but it isn’t something you should be concerned about as most systems are fixed flow. The benefit is that you don’t need to manually release oil to the bar as is the case with some models.
The only thing you need to remember is to keep the oil reservoir topped up. Any good quality bar and chain oil can be used and this is added through the cap on the side of the saw. The reservoir itself has a capacity of 3 oz. (90ml). This isn’t particularly large so you should always keep a supply of oil close at hand. The oil level can easily be checked through the indicator on the side of the saw.
One thing you should note is that oil is not supplied with this purchase. Although irritating, this is something you will find with most chainsaw purchases.
The Poulan incorporates a number of features to make using the saw safer. These include:
- Reduced kickback bar and low kickback chain which meets the ANSI B.175.1 standards in this respect.
- Chain brake. In the event of severe kickback the user’s left hand will be forced against the brake bringing the chain to an immediate stop.
- Safe starting thanks to a lock out switch which must be pressed before the trigger is activated.
- Bumper spikes to provide stability during cutting
- Front and rear guards to protect the hands from a whipping chain and other debris.
The safety features should not be relied upon entirely to keep you safe. The only way to ensure this is through the correct operation of the saw and wearing appropriate safety gear such as gloves and eye wear. You can read more about this here.
Poulan Pro PPB4014 Dimensions
This saw weighs in at 10.2lbs with the battery (8.4lbs without). This is pretty standard for a saw in this class and much lighter than a gas equivalent. It should therefore be within the capacity of anyone used to using garden power tools.
This product comes with an operator’s manual, battery, battery charger, scrench tool and scabbard to protect the cutting equipment.
- Efficiently cuts smaller logs and trees
- Short battery charge time
- Batteries interchangeable with other Poulan tools
- Well designed and lightweight
- Forcing the saw can cause overload sensor to kick in.
There aren’t sufficient ratings available online to draw any meaningful conclusions. I will update this section at a later date when more reviews are added.
You should buy this saw if:
- You need a saw for light cutting duties around the home and yard.
- You want a quiet, clean saw
- You do not have access to a power point.
- You have other power tools in the Poulan 40V range
You should not buy this saw if:
- You have regular medium duty cutting tasks to carry out.
- Cost is your primary consideration
Price of Poulan Pro PPB4014
Priced in the $100-$200 price bracket, this saw costs roughly the same as the excellent Black and Decker LCS1240. Whilst most saws in this class would struggle to match the LCS1240, the Poulan has many similar attributes and the price is fair.