Poulan Pro PR521 Review

Poulan Pro PR521

11110
(Rated: 4.2 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise11100
Ease of Assembly11110.5
Maneuverability11110
Balance And Handling11111
Result Quality11110.5

When you have a large driveway and live in a region that typically gets fairly heavy snow storms through the winter, you need a snow blower that can provide the kind of power and performance you need to keep your property clear. A gas powered single stage snow blower is perfect for keeping large paved surfaces clear of heavy snow fall. These machines have the kind of powerful engines that can support high per minute clearance capacities, and they have the kind of extra wide augers that can help you clear your driveway quickly and efficiently. Higher snow cut depths also help make sure you will be prepared for whatever amount of snow may accumulate. The Poulan Pro PR521 provides all of the power you would expect from a gas single stage snow blower. It has a 136 cubic centimeter, four cycle engine with overhead valve design and is powerful enough to clear up to 1100 pounds of snow per minute.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Poulan Pro PR521 is a gas powered single stage snow blower with a 136 cubic centimeter, four cycle engine that provides enough power to the auger that it can clear up to 1100 pounds of snow per minute while simultaneously helping to pull the snow blower along. It has an extra wide 21 inch clearing width that will allow you to clear your driveway quickly and efficiently. The snow blower’s 13 inch intake height ensures that you will be prepared for all but the worst winter blizzards. The overall design of the snow blower is ergonomic and makes it very convenient to operate.

The Poulan Pro PR521 is rather loud, even for a gas powered single stage snow blower, and it does produce a lot of emissions. Its overall dimensions – 26.5 x 31.2 x 24.5 inches – are rather large, which may present issues with finding enough storage for the machine as well as maneuvering it in tight spaces. The auger may struggle to throw slushy, wetter snow the full 25 feet. And major components of the snow blower, including the body, are made of plastic, which may not be durable over the long run.

Compared to similar models, the Poulan Pro PR521 is one of the larger machines in its class and has one of the highest per minute clearance capacities. Its price is in the mid range.

Specifications

review specificationsThe Poulan Pro PR521 is a gas powered single stage snow blower with dimensions of 26.5 x 31.2 x 24.5 inches. It has a push button start and a 136 cubic centimeter OHV 4-cycle engine. Its clearing width is 21 inches, and its snow cut depth is 13 inches high.

Type Single-Stage
Dimensions 26.5 x 31.2 x 24.5 inches
Start Button push
Engine Manufacturer Poulan Pro
Engine 136 cc – OHV
2-cycle / 4-cycle 4-cycle
Clearing Width 21 inches
Snow Cut Depth 13 inches
Capacity / Minute Up to 1100 pounds
Throw Distance Up to 25 feet
Drive Manual push
Handle Ergonomic
Chute Control Manual 180°
Wheels Compact wheels
Weight 81 pounds
Warranty 2 years

The Poulan Pro PR521 has a per minute clearance capacity of 1100 pounds, and it can throw snow up to 25 feet. It has an auger driven speed drive but requires the operator to also manually push it. Its handle is ergonomic and its snow chute manually rotates 180 degrees. It has compact wheels and weighs 81 pounds. It has a 2 year warranty.

Description

review descriptionThe Poulan Pro PR521 is a gas powered single stage snow blower with a 136 cubic centimeter 4-cycle engine with an overhead valve. The design of the engine allows it to provide more power to the auger, which can clear up to 1100 pounds of snow per minute. The auger driven speed drive also helps propel the snow blower forward somewhat, although the operator will also have to help by manually pushing the machine through the snow. The OHV design of the engine ensures you are getting the most power with a smaller displacement, which helps keep the snow blower’s footprint to a manageable size, although it also means the engine will be louder and produce higher emissions.

The Poulan Pro PR521 has an extra wide 21 inch clearing width, which is a bit above average on a gas single stage snow blower. Having a wider auger on your snow blower allows you to finish clearing your driveway in fewer passes, and on larger driveways the extra few inches add up quickly. This allows you to complete the job more efficiently, saving time and making sure you get back indoors that much sooner. The snow blower has a 13 inch snow cut depth. Because of that it is well equipped to handle above average snow fall in just about any region in the United States. And the snow blower has an ergonomic design that makes it easier to use.

The Poulan Pro PR521 has a fairly large footprint, which may cause hassles for some users when it comes to finding enough storage space for it in the garage or tool shed. And certain design and manufacturing features of the machine are constructed from plastic, which is not as durable as stamped metal parts would be. While this is cause for concern, overall the snow blower is fairly solid.

Pros

review prosThe main Pros on the Poulan Pro PR521 are the fact that it has a fairly powerful engine for a single stage snow blower and a high per minute clearance rate. It is also wide enough to efficiently complete larger jobs and has the kind of snow cut depth that ensures you will always be prepared for whatever accumulation of snow you may experience. Finally, the Poulan Pro PR521 is designed ergonomically to ensure you are as comfortable as possible when using it.

  1. 136 cubic centimeter, 4-cycle engine : The engine on the Poulan Pro PR521 is manufactured in-house, so it is designed specifically for this snow blower. It is 136 cubic centimeters and has an OHV design that allows it to produce more power in less space. The fact that it is a 4-cycle engine means you will not have to change the oil as often. It provides enough power to the snow blower to move up to 1100 pounds of snow per minute.
  2. Auger driven speed drive : While the Poulan Pro PR521 is a manual push snow blower, the auger driven speed drive does help to propel the snow blower forward somewhat. This is especially useful for senior citizens or persons who do not have the strength level necessary to maneuver such a big machine around their driveway under their own strength. But because the auger makes contact with the surface of the ground, you should not use this machine on unpaved areas.
  3. 21 inch clearing width : This extra wide clearing width – slightly above average for single stage gas powered snow blowers – ensures that you will be able to clear bigger driveways more quickly and efficiently. A snow blower with a 21 inch clearing width can clear a three car driveway fifteen percent faster than a snow blower with an 18 inch clearing width can. This time is especially crucial when temperatures dip below zero and frostbite becomes a serious threat.
  4. 13 inch intake height : The 13 inch snow cut depth on the Poulan Pro PR521 ensures that you will be prepared for even the worst winter storms and highest snow accumulations. It is very rare in most parts of the United States to experience snow fall that is higher than about 12 inches at a time, so unless a freak winter blizzard suddenly hits, you will be well equipped to deal with whatever comes your way.
  5. Ergonomic and easy to use : The handle and overall design of the Poulan Pro PR521 is meant to be as ergonomic and user friendly as possible. The handle is adjustable and angled so that you will not have to hunch over the snow blower to use it, which will reduce back and shoulder strain. The snow blower handles very easily, and the plow is only engaged when you hold down the dead man’s switch, so you don’t have to worry about accidents.

Overall, these excellent features ensure that the snow clearing experience you will get with the Poulan Pro PR521 will be a comfortable and enjoyable one. It has enough power from its 136 cubic centimeter engine that you will be able to clear large amounts of snow quickly and efficiently, especially because it has an extra wide clearance and a high snow cut depth. This is a fairly solid single stage snow blower that is perfect for the average suburban driveway.

Cons

review consThe Pros notwithstanding, there are a few drawbacks to this machine, and I would be remiss not to mention them. I do not think any of these present the kind of overarching problems that would reduce the efficiency or performance of the machine too much, but I think it is important to cover a product’s Cons along with its Pros so you get a clear picture of exactly what you are getting should you purchase it.

  1. Fairly loud, even for a gas snow blower : Because the engine has an overhead valve design, it is fairly loud, even when you consider the fact that it is a gas powered single-stage snow blower. Because of this, you may not be able to clear your driveway at any time of day or night without disturbing your neighbors or waking up your kids. The snow blower’s engine really does make a lot of noise – not so much that you need ear protection, but quite a bit anyway.
  2. Not environmentally friendly : Because it has a four stroke combustion engine with an overhead valve, the Poulan Pro PR521 is not very fuel efficient and it produces a lot of emissions. On the one hand, you are getting a lot of power out of this machine, but on the other hand your driveway is going to be filled with fumes after you are done clearing it, and your household’s overall carbon footprint is going to go up considerably every time you use this snow blower.
  3. Has a fairly large footprint : The overall dimensions of the Poulan Pro PR521 are 26.5 x 31.2 x 24.5 inches, which makes it one of the bigger snow blowers for its clearing width and snow cut depth. This may present issues with finding enough storage space for it in your garage or tool shed easily. Likewise, it may make it a bit more difficult to maneuver this snow blower in tight spaces on your property as easily as you could with a smaller model.
  4. May have trouble with wet, slushy snow : In spite of the fact that it is a gas powered single stage snow blower, its engine is only 136 cubic centimeters, as compared to other models that have engines that are 200 cc or bigger. As a result, it does not quite have enough power to easily handle heavier, slushy snow, and will also have a lot of difficulty getting through snow that has been allowed to freeze.
  5. The body is not made from very durable parts : Along with the fact that the body is made of plastic, as opposed to stamped metal, a number of other parts of the Poulan Pro PR521 are made from parts that may not be as durable as one might like. While this will not necessarily inhibit its ability to deal with average suburban driveways with occasional use, it may affect its durability over the long term if it is used very often over the long term on big jobs.

I do not think that any of these Cons are particularly alarming or that they will drastically affect this snow blower’s ability to handle the average suburban driveway effectively. While it is big, loud and not fuel efficient, it still performs well under normal circumstances. The fact that the body and other parts are plastic is a concern, but if you take care of the snow blower it should be fine over the long run.

Product Comparison

review comparisonWhen you compare the Poulan Pro PR521 to similar machines in its size and weight class, it definitely stacks up in a lot of areas. It has a higher than average clearance width and an impressive snow cut depth, and while it is one of the bigger models, it does not weigh as much as many other machines, which is a definite advantage. The following table compares the product specs of the Poulan Pro PR521 with those of the Murray 1695885 and the Power Smart 7653.

  Poulan Pro PR521Poulan Pro
PR521
Murray 1695885Murray
1695885
Power Smart 7653Power Smart
7653
Type Single-Stage Single-Stage Single-Stage
Dimensions 26.5 x 31.2 x 24.5 inches 22 x 36 x 22 inches 22 x 29 x 23 inches
Start Button push Button push Button push
Engine Manufacturer Poulan Pro Briggs & Stratton Power Smart
Engine 136 cc – OHV 205 cc – OHV 208 cc
2-cycle / 4-cycle 4-cycle 4-cycle 4-cycle
Clearing Width 21 inches 22 inches 21 inches
Snow Cut Depth 13 inches 12.5 inches 10 inches
Capacity / Minute Up to 1100 pounds Up to 1100 pounds Up to 900 pounds
Throw Distance Up to 25 feet Up to 30 feet Up to 25 feet
Drive Manual push Manual push Manual push
Handle Ergonomic Ergonomic Ergonomic
Chute Control Manual 180° Manual 200° Manual 180°
Wheels Compact wheels Compact wheels Compact wheels
Weight 81 pounds 106.9 pounds 95 pounds
Warranty 2 years 2 years 1 year

Of the three snow blowers, the Poulan Pro PR521 has the smallest engine at 136 cc, but it still has one of the higher per minute capacities at 1100 pounds. It has a comparable clearing width to the other two models as well as the highest snow cut depth, at 13 inches. The Poulan Pro PR521 has the biggest overall footprint, but it only weighs 81 pounds, where the other two machines are both over 90 pounds.

Conclusion

review conclusionIf you have a large driveway and live in a region that experiences a fair amount of snow fall every winter, you want a snow blower that will be able to provide the kind of power and performance you need to keep your property clear. While the Poulan Pro PR521 does have some drawbacks, in most of the important areas it really delivers. Let’s take another look at the Pros and Cons for this machine.

Conclusion Pros

  1. 136 cubic centimeter, 4 cycle engine.
  2. Auger driven speed drive.
  3. 21 inch clearing width.
  4. 13 inch intake height.
  5. Ergonomic and easy to use.

The Poulan Pro PR521 has a 136 cc engine that provides a lot of power and requires less maintenance than a 2 stroke engine would. It has a wide auger with a speed drive and a 13 inch snow cut depth. And the snow blower is designed to be ergonomic and very simple to use.

Conclusion Cons

  1. Fairly loud, even for a gas snow blower.
  2. Not environmentally friendly.
  3. Has a fairly large footprint.
  4. May have trouble with wet, slushy snow.
  5. The body is not made from very durable parts.

The overhead valve design on the Poulan Pro PR521 makes it a rather noisy snow blower, and it is not fuel efficient and produces a lot of emissions. It is a pretty big machine, which could present minor issues with storage. It has trouble with overly wet or frozen snow, and crucial components are made of plastic.

Final Word

If you have a property with a larger driveway on it and you live in a region of the United States that gets a fair amount of snow fall over the course of the winter each year, you want to make sure you have a snow blower that has enough power to reliably get the job of clearing snow done every time. For that, you need something with a powerful engine, wide clearance and high snow cut depth. The Poulan Pro PR521 has a powerful 136 cubic centimeter four stroke engine that provides enough power to move up to 1100 pounds of snow per minute. It has an above average 21 inch clearance width so you can clear your driveway more quickly and efficiently. And its 13 inch snow cut depth enables you to be confident that you will be prepared for whatever inclement weather and heavy snow fall might come your way.

Best Price

review pricesThe pricing for the Poulan Pro PR521 generally falls into the middle of the price range for gas powered single stage snow blowers with similar clearance widths and snow cut depths. It is not the cheapest single stage snow blower out there, but neither is it the most expensive. Because of this, I think it is a rather solid purchase – you are getting a wide clearance and a rather high snow cut depth, along with an engine that provides high clearance capacity per minute. All things considered, I think this is a fairly solid snow blower at a reasonable price.

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