Pros:Easy to start, VERY POWERFUL.
Cons:Manufacturing defect ? Bad pull cords?
The Bottom Line: Pay a little more for one manufactured by someone who's been doing blowers/weed eaters for years, not someone who made their reputation in chain saws.
I purchased this blower at the local Lowes store for my father, since I'm his "yard girl" and I got tired of lugging my blower over to his house every week during the summer when I go to mow his lawn. He's on a fixed income and didn't want to spend too much on a blower, so this one fit the bill at around $100 and it was a brand name I recognized, though I'd had no experience with it previously.
Recommend this product?
Purchased the blower and after assembly I fired it up to make sure it was working and then put it away (it was end of the mowing season). Two months later, when the leaves were falling, I pulled it out to use it for the first time. On the first pull, the pull cord came out all the way... but then wouldn't go back in!! After some tugging and twisting it finally slooooowwwly snaked it's way back in and I was able to pull it again and get the unit to start. I figured it for a fluke, went about the business of blowing and never gave it much thought. On the actual business of blowing, I will have to say I was impressed. This thing puts out some SERIOUS air and does a much better leaf management job (quicker, more powerful) than my Weedeater brand blower at home. Made a big job small because it was so powerful.
Well, the next time I went to use it, I pulled out the cord and again it would not go back in!!! I tried everything, and could not convince the cord to retract. Took it back to Lowes, but because it was past their 30-day limit for lawn equipment, they said all they could do was send it out for service. A week later it came back from service fixed but with a note that it there was a problem with it again to just trade it out for a new one - even the service folks apparently acknowledged it wasn't worth fixing again! Weird but true. When I picked it up from servicing I pulled the cord out multiple times and it retracted each time, but who knows if that will continue. We shall see.
The shame here is that when it did work it was amazing. Very powerful, easy to start, and I particularly like the throttle control that allows you to control (by how hard your pressing the throttle) the wind power/speed. The one I have at home has just a constant speed, no variation, and this Poulan is the first one I'd run across with a variable speed - one of those nice things you didn't know you were missing until you saw it in action.
If this one dies again, we'll probably trade it out for a different brand. This was our first run with a Poulan (I only know their reputation with chain saws), but it looks like it'll be the last.