Are Craftsman Chainsaws Junk? My Review of the Model 34195

My Review of the Model 34195 Craftsman Chainsaw

Craftsman sent me the Model 34195, 42 cc, 18 inch Chain Saw a while ago to test and I’ll be honest I was not very interested in demoing a “homeowner” saw.  When I first started the landscape business back in the 90’s I bought homeowner saws because they were cheap. I had nothing but problems with them. They wouldn’t start half the time, they had no power and after about a year I threw them away and bought a couple of commercial saws.

34195 But when Consumer Reports gave this Craftsman’s twin, the 34190 a Best Buy for the Light-duty gasoline chain saw class I remembered Craftsman had sent me this one so I dug it out of the storage shed and put it where I could remember to use it this fall.

This is the first time I used the saw. I made up a 1 gallon mix of 40/1 synthetic oil, 2 cycle gas with 2 tablespoons of SeaFoam.  I took the chainsaw out of the box and read through the manual. I looked it over to make sure everything was put together correctly, filled it with bar oil and fuel. I followed the starting instructions and it started right up. (It continues to start right up. In fact it is easier to start than my 5 year old Poulan Pro)

Be sure you read the starting instructions in the manual and follow them exactly. The new 2 cycle engines do not start the same way as your old trimmer or chain saw. (Most use an easier starting procedure) Talking to the sales associates at Sears and my local L&G dealers the majority of issues that owners of brand new 2 cycle engines have is not following the starting instructions.  


Consumer Reports made a comment about the 14 lb. weight, but I didn’t notice that it is too heavy. It is balanced well and after 30 minutes of use I still feel I can use it all day long.  It is a lot lighter than the Poulan Pro I normally use.

Ok, I am going to have to change my opinion of this saw. It cut well and cut fast for a $180 saw. I noticed as I watched the video that the saw sounded like it was bogging down but I did not notice that when I was using it. When you are cutting trees and limbs around your property the different densities of the wood take more or less power and this is normal. I would have complained about the power if I thought the saw was inadequate. It’s not. For what I use a saw for around here it could be a great addition to my tool shed. I’ll cut the rest of the Walnut down next week and if my opinion changes, I’ll let you know.

Please ignore any safety issues that you may see in the video. I do wear leather shoes, a heavy pants, gloves and glasses. I suggest if you are new to chainsaws to read and follow all safety instructions.

If you don’t know how to use a chainsaw find someone who can train you. Remember, a tree limb is a lot tougher to cut than your arm, leg or foot. A chainsaw will cut through a boot and your foot in less time than you can react. BE CAREFUL! 

Buy Here: Craftsman 18-in 42cc Gas Chain Saw with Extra 14-in Bar & Chain

Note! If the item is in stock at your local Sears you can order it here and within 30 minutes pick it up. If the item is not stocked you can order it here and it will get to the store in about 5 days. You can have it shipped right to your home!

The Saw Consumer Reports rated is the same except it does not come with the extra 14 inch bar. If you want the saw without the extra bar you can buy that here: Craftsman 18-in 42cc Gas Chain Saw

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