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Makita Chainsaw Review: 5 Best Electric and Cordless Models

Makita Chainsaw Review: 5 Best Electric And Cordless Models
In this article, we present our take on which 5 Makita chainsaw models are definitely worth-considering.
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Few things make a man happier than having the right tools. Even better if these tools are absolute beasts! It makes absolute sense, therefore, that chainsaws would be such hot sellers around the world. Powerful, effective and functional, chainsaws are gaining in popularity, with many homeowners even reducing their dependence on professionals and purchasing chainsaws for their own personal and residential uses.

With many brands out there catering to the demand for chainsaws, it’s nearly impossible that all of them can provide the required standard and quality in their products. However, today, we discuss one such brand that has delivered on performance and strongly cemented its position as a leading innovator and manufacturer of power tools with its 100-year history of excellence: Makita.

Starting out in 1915 as an electric motor sales and repair company, Makita is a global brand with a strong presence in over 40 countries. Known for the unmatched quality and durability of their products and for the company’s strong research and development capabilities, Makita is today a common name on job sites as well as homes all around the world.

In this overview, we give you our top 5 Makita chainsaw picks: three battery-powered cordless units and two electrical corded machines. Top 5 picks are followed by a handy buying guide to help you select the right chainsaw for your needs.

Overview of the Best Maikta Chainsaws

ImageMakita Chainsaw ReviewsChainsaw TypeMax Cutting SpeedAmazon Price
XCU02PTBattery-powered1,650 FPMCheck Price
XCU03ZBattery-powered2,900 FPMCheck Price
UC3551AElectric2,900 FPMCheck Price
UC4051AElectric2,900 FPMCheck Price
XCU02ZBattery-powered1,650 FPMCheck Price

Makita XCU02PT Chainsaw: The Best Chainsaw for Convenience

Powered by two 18V LXT batteries, the Makita “XCU02PT” is definitely up for a power-packed performance. With 36 volts of energy, this cordless tool is a part of Makita’s expanding 18V Lithium-Ion series, which means it has the fastest charge time in its category. Ideal for camping trips and for use around your garden, the “XCU02PT” is a battery-driven chainsaw that delivers power and functionality.

Features

  • Makita-built motor that delivers 1650 FPM for increased cutting speed.
  • 2 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries that deliver great power and runtime.
  • Lower noise level at 89 dB(A).
  • Zero emissions.
  • A 12-inch guide bar for increased capacity.
  • Tool-less chain adjustments for convenient maintenance and operation.
Pros
  • Front hand guard that actuates chain brake when the tool is in use.
  • Cordless tool for easier maintenance as this means that there is no need to change engine oil or spark plug, clean the air filter or drain fuel for storage.
  • Lightweight at only 10.1 pounds which makes for easy handling.
  • “Extreme Protection Technology” (XPT) for excellent dust and water resistance despite external conditions.
  • Instant start-up.
  • Includes an electric brake.
  • A rubberized soft grip top handle for easy application of even pressure while cutting.
  • Extremely quiet while in use.
Cons
  • Safety button is difficult to hold comfortably in certain hand positions, especially if you’re left-handed.
  • Occasional chain issues.

Makita XCU03Z Chainsaw: The Best Chainsaw for Power

The Makita “XCU03Z” brushless chainsaw model can cut through trees like a hot knife through butter, and that should give you all the clues as to why we call this one the “best chainsaw for power”. Powered by two 18V LXT batteries so that users can get 36 volts of power and runtime on the 18V-battery platform, the power from this chainsaw is equivalent to what you can get from a gas chainsaw. With a 14-inch guide bar, Makita-built motor with variable speed deliverance (a maximum of 940 FPM), reduced noise levels, zero emissions and reduced maintenance, this tool can give its competitors a serious run for their money!

Features

  • Zero emissions.
  • Reduced noise levels.
  • Makita-built “Outer Rotor Brushless” motor that delivers variable speeds (a maximum of 940 FPM).
  • Reduced maintenance.
  • Features “Extreme Protection Technology” (XPT) and “Star Protection Computer Controls”.
  • Variable speeds for easy operation.
  • Built-in LED switches.
  • Automatic shutdown of the saw if an operation is delayed, thereby protecting battery life.
  • Powered by 2 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries for power and runtime.
  • Built-in lock-off lever that prevents the blade from accidental engagement.
Pros
  • Increased cutting time due to the power of two batteries.
  • Highly durable and powerful.
  • Easy to start.
  • Variable speed control.
  • Automatic shutdown.
Cons
  • Batteries and charger aren’t included in the price of the product.
  • Some users noted that they received defective pieces on delivery.
  • Some users also noted that the tool had insufficient safety features and safety defects in the features that were there.
  • A tendency to overheat.

Makita UC3551A Electric Chainsaw: The Best Heavy-Duty Chainsaw

The Makita UC3551A, equipped with a 14-inch bar, is designed to be a tool for fast cutting, efficient operation, and easy maintenance without having to worry about the hassles of a gas engine. With a chain speed of 2900 FPM, the tool has a motor with a built-in current limiter to protect against motor burn out. It does this by reducing power when the saw is overloaded and also includes an electric chain brake for amazing productivity. The chainsaw also has an automatic chain oiler and a view window on the oil tank to continuously monitor oil levels. Great comfort, ergonomic design, and a hassle-free startup make this tool one of the best heavy-duty electric chainsaws out there.

Features

  • Automatic chain oiler for continuous heavy cutting.
  • Electric chain brake for increased productivity.
  • Zero emissions.
  • Large metal spike bumper on the bar for good grip.
  • Tool-less blade and chain adjustments for easy operation and maintenance.
  • Large trigger switch for easy startup.
  • Rubberized soft grip handle for comfort and convenience while using the saw.
  • Built-in current limiter to protect the motor from burning out.
  • View window to check oil level continuously.
  • 2900 FPM.
Pros
  • Low maintenance.
  • Reliable.
  • The built-in current limiter to protect the motor increases the life and durability of the machine.
  • The 2900-FPM chain speed results in excellent heavy-duty cutting.
  • Hassle-free startup.
Cons
  • The product only comes with a 12-month warranty.
  • Can be quite heavy and hard to handle.
  • Inadequate information in the instruction manual.
  • Not ideal for beginners or amateurs; requires experience and prior knowledge of chainsaws.

Makita UC4051A Electric Chainsaw: The Best Value for Money

The Makita UC4051A is powerful, reliable, easy-to-start, and easy to maintain. A great electric chainsaw, this product gives you great value for your money, being highly affordable and delivering on great performance. With a 16-inch bar, this chainsaw is similar to the UC3551A in terms of motor speed and efficiency in cutting, as well as some great features such as the tool-less blade and chain adjustments, built-in current limiter, and the view window for the oil.

Features

  • Tool-less blade and chain adjustments for easy operation and maintenance.
  • Rubberized grip handles that are ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip.
  • Large trigger switch for hassle-free startup.
  • Built-in current limiter to protect the motor.
  • Large oil reservoir with a view window to easily monitor oil level.
Pros
  • Easy to start, like the UC3551A.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Automatic Oiler.
  • Efficient cutting.
Cons
  • The product has only a 12-month warranty.
  • Some users reported having received defective products on delivery, particularly the assembly of the chainsaws.

Makita XCU02Z Cordless Chainsaw

This 12-inch battery-powered chainsaw has received rave reviews and all for good reasons. With exceptional power for its weight and bar length, this chainsaw may not be ideal for professionals and job sites but has been endorsed by them nonetheless! Easy-to-use and requiring no maintenance, this chainsaw is a great buy!

Features

  • Makita-built motor delivers 1,650 FPM for increased cutting speed.
  • Two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries to deliver the power and runtime.
  • Noise level at only 89 dB(A).
  • Zero emissions.
  • A 12-inch guide bar.
  • Tool-less chain adjustments for convenient operation and easy maintenance.
Pros
  • Zero emissions.
  • Extremely quiet.
  • Low maintenance.
Cons
  • Requires the power of two batteries.
  • The batteries and charger are not included in the basic product package but are available at extra cost.
  • Restricted by battery life.
Best Battery-Powered Chainsaws Compared
If you are looking for the best cordless gasoline-free options for cutting wood, be sure to check out our overview of the 8 top battery-powered chainsaws on the market today.

Buying the Right Chainsaw

Picking the right chainsaw may seem like a hard task, especially if you’re looking to buy your very first chainsaw or are making a switch from your old, loyal, trusty chainsaw to a new one; the amount of information online and the number of choices available can make anyone’s head turn! To clear things up, we’re giving you a low-down of everything you need to make your task of buying a chainsaw easier.

Contrary to popular belief, chainsaws aren’t just used to by modern-day woodcutters. The point we’re trying to drive home is that chainsaws aren’t just for the professionals; a wide range of people use them such as homeowners, gardeners, landscapers, firefighters, loggers, carpenters and even chainsaw artists! (Yes, that’s an actual thing!) Basically, anyone with a need to trim or cut trees can benefit from a chainsaw.

However, do remember that buying a chainsaw depends a lot on your budget, your physical capabilities and what you intend to use your chainsaw for. Thus, chainsaws should never be bought on estimation but by actual judgment and assessment of your needs and some of the factors we discuss below:

Questions to Consider While Buying a Chainsaw

  • What is the engine power?
  • What is the weight of the chainsaw?
  • What is your physical stature?
  • What is the chainsaw powered by?
  • What is the length of the bar?
  • What will you be mainly using it for?
  • What are the characteristics of the wood that you will be cutting with it?
  • How often will you use your chainsaw?
  • What environment will you use it in?
  • What time of the year will you use it in?
  • What safety features does the chainsaw have?

The answers to these questions will influence the type of chainsaw you buy. For example, if you’re a homeowner who only intends to use your chainsaw occasionally, an electric chainsaw may suit you be better than a gas chainsaw as the latter requires more maintenance. However, if you’re looking to trim or fell thick, hardwood trees that are medium-sized, gas chainsaws are a better option, and trimming them in winter will require heated blades and heated carburetors. Electric chainsaws are also less noisy, making them more suited for use in neighborhoods or closed areas, whereas gas chainsaws can be used in the woods or open areas for their noisiness as well the freedom of mobility they allow.

Additionally, if it’s your first chainsaw, considering buying a small chainsaw with a bar length of 18 inches or less, depending on your project needs.

There are two more important things to discuss with chainsaws: kickback and the eternal “gas vs electricity debate”.

A Word on “Kickbacks”

Kickbacks occur with blades or bars of long lengths when the tip of the bar hits another object causing it to reverse its movement direction. The severity of a kickback is determined by the force of the chain’s stoppage and where it occurs. The more sudden the stop, the more severe the kickback.

Following some ground rules like not touching the bar guide tip to other objects, not cutting more than one piece of wood at a time, keeping the saw at full power when in use, maintaining the correct chain tension, checking the safety features on your device and even using an anti-kickback chain can prevent kickbacks.

Gas vs Electric Chainsaws

Both types of chainsaws come with their own pros and cons. However, the main difference lies in what they’re best used for. Hard, thick and large or even medium-sized trees require gas chainsaws for their power and versatile features and uses, such as anti-vibration features, automatic chain oilers, chain brakes, mufflers, bumper spikes, tool-less chain adjustment, exhaust air-cleaning system, stop handles and hand guards, and adjustable oil pumps, to name a few. They also give you more mobility as they aren’t restricted by battery life or cord length. However, they can be extremely noisy.

Electric chainsaws are best for trimming small trees and are ideal for neighborhoods, suburbs, residential spaces, and spaces where loud noises are banned. However, these are expensive, less powerful than gas chainsaws, and are limited by battery life and cord length.

The Final Word

Like we said earlier, chainsaws need to be picked based on your physical stature, your needs, and the weight of the tool. It is also always helpful to keep in mind the other questions and factors to help you make the decision of picking the right chainsaw. Whether for professionals or amateurs, Makita offers a little something for everyone, making them truly a leading brand in power tools.

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