Poulan Pro 27 inch 2-Stage Snow Thrower Review
The Poulan and Poulan Pro brands have been around since 1944, supplying a range of outdoor power tools and machinery. Their ethos is to provide durable, powerful, quality machines to the homeowner at a price that reflects great value.
Poulan take the best engines and base machines from other manufacturers and build their own models with a distinctive look. They supply these to consumers making sure the features and pricing are always competitive in the marketplace.
The PR270 is actually the mid-range model in their selection of two-stage snow blowers. Poulan call them a snow thrower, other manufacturers use the term snow blower or even snowblower. They are all the same thing so don't get confused if we use the different terms throughout our review.
This particular model has a good width of cut, plenty of power and all the features you really need in a decent dual stage snow thrower.
We're going to take a closer look at the Poulan Pro PR270 so that you can decide if it's the right snow clearing machine for you and your property.
Introducing the Poulan Pro PR270
The Poulan range of snow throwers is actually made by Husqvarna so you will find a lot of similarities in models between the two suppliers. Poulan like to put their own stamp on their machines though so there are a few differences, particularly in the way they look.
Of course, that also means you enjoy the build quality and reliability of the Husqvarna machines when buying a Poulan Pro snow thrower, which is a nice bonus.
Two-stage snow blowers are great for those homeowners with more than just a small driveway to clear. If you have a property with a single car drive and maybe a couple of footpaths, then a 2-stage machine might be over doing it.
How much snow you get will also dictate what you need. If you usually get just a couple of inches once in a while, then a single stage blower or even a powered snow shovel may suffice. Check out our article on Single or Two-Stage Snow Blowers for more info on how to decide what's best for you.
The Poulan Pro range of dual stage snow throwers is aimed at the homeowner with a medium to large sized driveway. Maybe you also have some footpaths and sidewalks to clear as well. These high performing machines will cope with medium to heavy snowfall and even the occasional blizzard.
Currently made up of 6 models, the PR200 range has something for all homeowners. The PR240 and 241 have a 24-inch wide cut whilst the PR270/270A and PR271/271A are 27 inch.
We're going to review mid-range model in the PR200 series here, the PR270, as we think it represents the best mix of value and performance.
It comes with all the features you would need on a good 2-stage snow blower with a couple of exceptions as we shall find out.
One feature it does have that no one else apart from Husqvarna offers, is a height adjustable handle. That might not seem much of a big deal, but it actually is, especially if you're less than around 6 foot tall.
Note that we are going to look at the 2016 model here as that came with some improvements over the previous (2014) model. The 2016 model is the one now available through Amazon.
What motor is in the PR270?
The power for the Poulan Pro PR270 is provided by a gasoline engine made by LCT. This model has a 254cc 4-stroke Snow Engine Gen 2 motor that drives this snow blower with an impressive 9.5 lb-ft of torque.
The fuel tank holds around 0.71 gal (US) which is should get you through an average snow clearing session without running dry.
This engine comes with an electric starter that plugs into a standard wall socket. Similar to a starter motor on a car, this makes starting the snow thrower really easy even in very cold weather.
There is also a standard hand operated recoil starter as well should you need it.
How loud and heavy is it?
Poulan do not publish the noise levels of their snow throwers, but similar machines operate at around 88B(A) at the operator's ear level. That's a lot quieter than snow blowers used to be, mostly due to the improved mufflers nowadays. For reference, it's about as loud as a large gas powered lawnmower
It is always a good idea to wear ear protection when operating powerful outdoor machinery and snow blowers are no exception. Just a few hours use without it can damage your hearing and prolonged exposure can have long-term effects.
This snow blower is quite large at 52.25 in (L) x 31.5 in (W) x 35 in (H). As it's a big machine it's not surprising that it comes in at a hefty 240lbs.
That's some serious weight to move around so it's a good job the blower has powered wheels although this model does not have any form of power steering.
What is the drive mechanism on the Poulan Pro PR snow blower?
The updated 2016 models now come with 15" x 5" wheels fitted with oversized X-Trac deep tread tires. These provide plenty of traction in the worst of the winter weather.
The self-propelled drive is a friction disc type that has six forward and one reverse gear. As mentioned above there is no power steering on this model to help you turn corners.
However, the drive system does work well and with the improved ergonomics of the height adjustable handle, the PR270 is quite easy to maneuver.
How Much Snow Can The PR 270 Move?
With a 27 inch wide cut and a cutting height of 12 inches, this beast can shift some large amounts of snow. The auger intake is actually 23 inches high so it can tackle quite deep snowfall of 18 inches or more when required.
There's no industry standard that we can use to compare the actual amounts of snow throughput, unfortunately. Some manufacturers quote pounds or tons of snow per minute, others don't. Even when they do there is no standard way of measuring it so it's meaningless anyway.
All we can use to compare how powerful snow blowers are is the capacity of the engine and horsepower or torque. Not everyone provides all these ratings but it's the best we have. This model, as we know, has a 254cc engine providing 9.5 lb-ft or torque. There is no HP rating provided by Poulan.
We find the best way to measure performance is to check the reviews of people who have actually used the machine for any details of the type of results they get.
One user we found reported that they cleared 12 inches of snow from a 50-foot driveway with a branch off to a garage in just 40 minutes. They also had no problem starting it with just one pull even though the temperature outside was 20 degrees F!
Most other reviews we've found are positive about the snow clearing capabilities of this model. Our conclusion is that we think it will have no problems clearing snow depths up to 20 inches or so from the research we've done.
The PR270 will throw the snow around 45 feet according to Poulan and there are several reviews that confirm this. This is helped by the serrated steel ribbon auger that mixes air into the snow as it chews through it. The ribbon augers work a lot better than the stamped steel type which you find on some other models.
Is it easy to assemble?
The blower comes nearly completely assembled and will only need about 15 minutes of simple putting together to finish off.
This involves flipping up and securing the top part of the handle (make sure you set it up at the right height). Then you just need to install the discharge chute and remote controls for it. Finally, just check the tire pressures and it's done.
The user manual contains easy to follow instructions and you will just need some basic tools to complete the job.
Make sure you check the oil before starting it up as we have seen some reports that there is only a small amount in the engine when shipped. Note that the tires are overinflated for shipping as well so don't skip that step.
Then it's just a case of adjusting the skid shoes to the best height for the conditions, adding some gas and away you go!
What is it like to use?
Most of our research points toward this being a capable machine that's easy to use. Starting the snow blower up is straightforward using either the electric starter or a single pull on the recoil in most cases.
Of course, it is a heavy machine and some mention that it would benefit from some form of power steering. However, the height adjustable handles and power driven, oversized wheels with those deep tread tires seem to make up for that. There are no reports we have found of people not being able to use this, so long as you know what you are doing.
The wrap around design of the handles is a welcome feature as well as it means they don't get snagged in your clothing when turning the snow blower.
This model benefits from a new design of console, one designed with practical use in mind. Large knobs and levers make the controls easy to move even when wearing heavy gloves
The standard setup of drive control on the left and auger control on the right is used here with the levers on the top of the handlebar. That means you can hold them down with your body weight and is more popular than the levers you have to pull up from underneath.
It's good to see a single-handed operation feature on the PR270 as you can lock the auger control in the engaged position.
This happens automatically when both the drive and auger controls are engaged at the same time. That means you can change the chute direction with your right hand whilst still moving forward and clearing snow.
The remote chute controls are located within easy reach on the central console. There is one lever to rotate the chute through 180 degrees and another to change the angle of the chute deflector. This controls the direction and height of the snow stream which as we know is thrown up to 45 feet away.
A tool to clear a blocked chute is conveniently clipped onto the top of the auger housing. Don't be tempted to clear the chute by hand, always use the tool provided.
There are no heated handles on this model, which although nice to have, is not really a necessity. A good pair of gloves or mittens will serve you just as well.
There is a halogen bulb headlight on this model that throws out a good deal of light for when working at dawn or after dusk.
The type of snow and how you operate the PR270 Snow Thrower will affect the performance you get from the machine. Here are some tips we've gathered from manufacturers on how to efficiently use your snow blower.
• Use the drive control to adjust the speed to a slow setting when tackling deep, frozen or wet, heavy snow.
• On snow blowers with a throttle control, always operate at full throttle for the best performance. The PR270 does not have anything to control this so it will run at full throttle all the time.
• If you clear snow immediately after it has fallen, you will find it easier to shift.
• Early morning is the best time to remove snow
• To ensure all the snow is removed, slightly overlap the path on each pass of the snow thrower
• Reduce the width of each pass even more if removing extremely heavy snow and move slowly.
• Make sure you throw snow downwind so that it does not blow back in your face if possible.
• Do not operate a snow blower across the face of a slope and take extreme care when turning on a slope.
• A build-up of snow and ice on the engine can restrict airflow and affect performance so make sure you keep it clear.
• The skid plates allow you to raise the height of the scraper at the bottom of the auger housing depending on the terrain and conditions. Make sure they are adjusted correctly before use.
• Allow the engine to run for a few minutes after snow clearing is completed. This will melt off any snow and ice before storing.
• Wipe down and dry the snow blower after use to keep the machine in good condition.
• Wear appropriate winter clothing with no loose scarves or anything that could get caught in the snow blower.
Are there any problems with the Poulan Pro PR270?
With pre-2016 models, there were isolated cases reported of the auger belt breaking or shredding. This has been fixed we think in the 2016 model as the belts and associated pulleys now have different part numbers.
You will find that most snow blowers will throw a belt now and again and more recent models of the PR270 now appear to be more reliable than some other brands. If you do get a problem, following the instructions in the manual or in this video to replace it will solve the problem.
Note that on this model, the scraper blade at the bottom of the auger housing is not adjustable. Sometimes this will result in a thin layer of snow being left on the surface but this is easily brushed away if it happens.
Apart from that most of the issues seem to be the usual problems you get with gas powered snow blowers over time.
What accessories can I get for this blower?
There are no accessories from Poulan directly that we can find so you are limited to some generic ones.
A useful addition would be a cover to keep your blower in good condition when not in use. There are several available on Amazon.
You could also buy some snow chains if you have some steeper slopes to clear, although most users report that this machine grips very well. The tires are 15x5.00 and there are several options available through Amazon if you do need some.
Apart from that, you will want to invest in a good set of safety goggles, ear protectors, and gloves. You can also buy replacement skid plates on Amazon whenever you need them.
You will also find a set of shear bolts and drive belts on Amazon, check your parts manual to make sure they will fit your machine.
You can find a PDF copy of both the owner's manual and the part manual on the Poulan website.
What maintenance will I need to do on it?
Regular maintenance will help to keep your Poulan Pro snow thrower in good working condition. Check the owner's manual for a detailed breakdown of the schedule to follow.
The main ones to keep on top of include:
• Check that the controls all work properly.
• Check that nuts, screws and fasteners are tight.
• Clean and dry the outside of the machine after each use.
• Check the engine oil level.
• Check that there are no fuel leaks from the engine, tank or fuel lines.
• Keep the machine lubricated as per the lubrication schedule in the manual.
There are also easy to follow instructions to replace the shear bolts and drive belts, which are jobs you will need to do at some point.
Shear bolts are used on the auger and impeller shaft. They are designed to shear if something gets stuck in the rotating parts rather than cause any more expensive damage. A spare set is included in the box.
How long is the warranty on the PR270?
The homeowner's warranty period on the Poulan Pro is for 2 years.
The engine is reportedly covered by a separate 4-year warranty although we have not been able to find any documentation on that.
The warranty will provide for free repair and/or replacement should anything go wrong with your machine that is due to poor workmanship or materials.
What are the specifications of the Poulan Pro PR270 Snow Thrower?
These are the specs as listed by the manufacturer.
Working width 27 in
Auger height 12 in
Intake height 23 in
Fuel tank volume (with reserve) 0.71 gal (US)
Gross Torque 9.5 lb-ft
Engine manufacturer LCT Snow Engine Gen 2
Cylinder displacement 254cc
Transmission type Friction Disc
Transmission steps forward 6
Transmission steps reverse 1
Electric start Yes
Remote chute rotation Yes
Remote deflector Yes
Height adjustable handles Yes
Base machine, length 52.25 in
Base machine, width 31.5 in
Base machine, height 35 in
Weight 240 lbs
What are the Pros and Cons of buying the PR270?
Seeing all the Pros and Cons in a nice list can help you decide if this is the right snow blower for you. We are happy to oblige!
Easy to use.
Height adjustable handle.
Powerful and big enough for most homeowner snow blowing jobs.
Starts easily with both the electric and recoil starters.
Great control console.
One handed operation.
Husqvarna build quality.
Easy assembly in just 15 minutes.
Generally reliable, especially 2016 and on models.
Noise levels are high enough for the operator to need ear defenders.
Isolated problems reported with older models that resulted in the auger drive belt
Quite heavy to move around without power steering.
The Poulan Pro PR270 Dual Stage Snow Thrower is a beast of a snow blower. The 27-inch wide cut will make short work of most areas a typical homeowner will need to take care of in all types of winter conditions.
It is big enough to clear larger open areas of snow on occasion as well. If you need to regularly clear those sort of areas through the winter, take a look at the PR271, PR271A or PR300ES models in the Poulan Pro range.
Available at a good price on Amazon, this model competes well with other models that have similar features and will serve you well for many seasons.
Last update on 2019-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API