The Poulan Model 3400 Counter-Vibe chain saw is a lightweight, gas-powered outdoor wood-cutting machine. This model, painted in Poulan's lime-green color scheme, was introduced in 1979 by Beaird-Poulan of Shreveport, Louisiana, for general home and farm use. Poulan was a division of Emerson Electric when the Model 3400 was introduced but subsequently was bought by Swedish toolmaker Husqvarna. The Model 3400 is no longer in production.
The Poulan 3400 powerhead features a 3.4-cubic-inch, single-cylinder, air-cooled, two-cycle engine. The powerhead weighs in at 13.5 pounds. It is constructed of die-cast magnesium and aluminum parts, with a chrome-plated, ported piston. Two-cycle means the engine crankshaft's caged needle roller bearings and the cylinder walls where the piston slides are lubricated by the engine's gas-oil fuel mixture.
This chain saw uses a Phelon-made, solid-state, breakerless electronic ignition, a Walbro-made carburetor and a flocked wire-screen air filter. It comes with a Champion CJ8Y spark plug with a gap set at 0.025 inch. This saw has Poulan's Counter-Vibe anti-vibration system using five isolator mounts to prevent engine and cutting-bar vibrations from fatiguing the user.
The Model 3400's engine runs on 87 octane regular-grade gasoline mixed with two-cycle chain saw engine oil. The 3400's manual warns against using any gasoline blended with alcohol, but according to Poulan's current website, chain saw gas can have a maximum of 10 percent alcohol. The 3400's manual says that when using Poulan-brand two-cycle oil, you mix fuel at a 32:1 ratio of gas to oil, equivalent to 4 ounces of two-cycle oil to 1 gallon of unleaded gasoline. The manual says that when using other brands of oil, the mix is 16:1, or 8 ounces oil per gallon of gas. The fuel tank holds 19 ounces of mixed fuel.
Poulan's current website says you can mix chain saw fuel at a 40:1 ratio, or 3.2 ounces of Poulan-brand oil per gallon of gas. It draws no distinctions among Poulan chain saw models and is silent regarding fuel mixes with other oil brands. But some other two-cycle oil makers claim to have a single universal product formulated to properly lubricate any two-cycle engine, eliminating the need to keep on hand different gas-oil mixes for different engines. These universal two-cycle oils supposedly can lubricate engines running anything from 16:1 to 100:1 fuel-oil mixes. You add one premeasured packet of universal oil to 1 gallon of regular-grade gasoline.
Bar and Chain
This chain saw could be ordered with a chain guide bar of 16, 18 or 20 inches long. It uses a saw chain with a 3/8-inch spacing between the chromed cutting teeth. The engine drives the chain through a sprocket connected to the engine via a centrifugal automatic clutch. The clutch engages the sprocket as the engine speeds up. Chain lubrication is by an automatic oil pump from a 12-ounce reservoir of bar-and-chain oil. If special bar-and-chain oil isn't available, Poulan recommends use of SAE 30W motor oil in summer and SAE 10W motor oil in winter.
Herb Kirchhoff has more than three decades of hands-on experience as an avid garden hobbyist and home handyman. Since retiring from the news business in 2008, Kirchhoff takes care of a 12-acre rural Michigan lakefront property and applies his experience to his vegetable and flower gardens and home repair and renovation projects.