Top 10 Best Makita Saws

What Real People Are Saying About The Makita XCU03PT1

Makita chainsaw does the job

I've owned a couple of my own chainsaws. And used some higher end Stihl models. All of them are insanely maintenance intensive. If you're smart, you take them into a maint shop at the beginning of the summer and sometime around the fall. Most of the fire departments I know own half a dozen Stihls, and a couple are in the shop at any given time. It's just how chainsaws are.

This? This is "put charged batteries in chainsaw, make sure the chain is on, fill bar oil tank, you're good". It starts instantly. Always. Doesn't matter of it's cold. No mixing gas and oil. No futzing around with the carb. No worries about leaking gas. You can leave this in your car and not worry.

It has enough power to cut through trees at least two feet wide. I'm tend to work slowly and cautiously, so I don't need more than that. Typically a battery will last me 2-4 hours of work. If I was operating flat out cutting continuously, it lasts about an hour. As I own 4 pairs of batteries, it's not a concern for me.

People complain about the button thing. It's not a big deal. You get used to it, and it's a safety function. People very used to gas chainsaws complain up a storm, because they're used to idling the chainsaw and the chainsaw being more than loud enough to tell you it's ready to go. Electric chainsaws don't have any noise to tell you it's live. So yes, you have to hit the idiot button to make it live. If you work with gas chainsaws every day for decades, it probably is annoying as it's very different. If not, it's not a big deal. And certainly not "zOMG dangerous" safety feature. For a normal person that used a gas chainsaw regularly but not daily, it'll take you 10 minutes to get used to it.

Oregon bars fit perfectly. The Oregon chains work well, but tend to get thrown more often than I'd like. It'll take you a bit to figure out how to tension the bar perfectly. I threw more chains than I'd care to admit working it out. Weirdly, Power Care (cheaper brand) chains seem to working better for me than the more expensive Oregon chains.

I've dropped couple dozen trees, limbed them and then sectioned, no issues.

If you're going to be using a chainsaw daily, stick to gas Stihl. If you use chainsaws once in a while or just on the weekends, buy this. I only wish I had done so years ago.

Another professional grade tool from Makita...

Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT Cordless 14" Chain Saw Kit with 4 Batteries (5.0Ah)

I use this saw to trim and cut down small trees on our home lot, but almost didn’t buy it because some reviews were highly critical of how you start the saw.

THREE switches are used to turn the saw on:

1. Depress the main power button and a green light shines; it’s above the trigger (see Amazon photo). You have 3 seconds to begin using the saw or the power shuts off.

2. Push the lock-off lever (top side of handle from trigger) down flush – i.e., grab the handle.

3. Pull the switch-trigger to instantly start the saw – begin cutting.

When you stop cutting:

... if you release the lock-lever, power will shut off in 3 seconds; start with #1 above to use the saw again

... if you hold the lock-lever down, saw will activate with the trigger.

The power button’s light becomes more difficult to see when wearing gloves. The problem is that you should always wear gloves when using a chain saw.

Picture felling a 12" diameter tree with a hundred branches that need removing and cutting up. As you make your way to each branch you’ll likely release the lock-lever to carry the saw plus more than three seconds will pass, so it’s back to step #1 each time. For big jobs, these safety steps will be frustrating. However, this feature is important for users such as teenagers, or my wife, and those not as familiar with the saw.

[Some reviewers suggest taping the lock-lever down, so the saw is ready with only a trigger pull – but that bypasses safety features designed to prevent personal injury.]

- seems about as powerful and quick-cutting as a small gas chain saw – the kind arborists carry up trees for trimming.

- very quiet – we can start early in the morning and not wake the neighbors.

- the oil tank (for the chain’s auto-oiler) doesn’t leak if you tighten the cap, so there’s no need to drain the tank between uses and it won’t leak on your truck bed. If the chain isn’t getting sufficient oil, use the adjusting screw to increase the oil flow.

- chain tightening is simple. Back off on the hand screw securing the bar; rotate the tiny wheel below that toward the bar’s tip until the chain isn’t loose (rotator wheel is small to prevent over tightening of the chain); retighten the hand screw. Check chain tension every half dozen cuts at least, because it can loosen. Cutting with a loose chain, especially if cutting on the bar’s top by pushing up on a limb – can throw the chain off the bar, possibly ruining it and the drive gear.

- Replacement chain: Oregon 90PX052 with a suffix of XMA, G, or CK.

- needs no pull-rope for starting like a 2-cycle engine does; no “can’t start” issues; no mixing gas/oil, no ear-shattering noise – humans will appreciate the quiet.

- as I own several other Makita 18v tools, the deal with the four 5ah batteries was a no-brainer. I’ll rarely run-down the batteries on any given job, but will have spares if needed.

- The handle guard (just forward of the front handle) is also a chain brake. If your hand slips off the handle while cutting, the theory is, that will push the handle guard toward the bar, locking the chain – another safety feature. The handle guard must be in the rear position to start the saw.

- Makita offers several dozen of tools using these same (18v) batteries. So, once you own a charger and multiple batteries, you can buy the “tool only” version of 18v Makita models and save big money.

The key to how frustrating the safety switch is, depends on the size of your cutting tasks; and your patience. For occasional small jobs around the house, it’s not bad. But, if you’ll use the saw for hours at a time, it could be a royal pain in the arse.

All in all, though, another professional grade tool from Makita.

If you are happy knowing you could process a 20ft tree that fell ...

Seriously this saw is incredible If you can set your expectations based on it being electric. If you are a 240 lb 6’ 4” lumberjack used to 36”* Bar and ripping through a 16” diameter log in 6 seconds it’s definitlely not for you. If you are happy knowing you could process a 20ft tree that fell over on your property with minimal noise, no pull starts and no extension cord then this thing is for you. I have easily cut through 12” diameter trees in 20-30 seconds. Anything smaller and this thing will just chew it right up. Great tool to keep in your truck for clearing debris and fallen limbs. Good for 10-20 minute chunks of work. Double if you have extra battery set. If you do chainsaw work for hours on end it’s not for you. For the other 80% this thing is enough of what you need with a lot less hassle. Also when cutting large limbs or logs just keep the trigger/throttle fully depressed to maximize torque and let the weight of the saw do the cutting with minimal downwards pressure. Have fun!

Makita 2x 18v chainsaw does the job.

I have been buying Makita 18v tools for a while as a professional woodworker and the idea of a cordless chainsaw seemed like it might be a bit too much for the battery technology, but the dual lithium ion 5 Amp-hr batteries deliver. I wanted to put the tool to the test before I wrote a review, this past weekend I spent nearly 2 hrs clearing brush, taking down tree limbs (up to 6") and cutting down 3 dead trees and bucking them up. This saw ran right to the end of the session, about the same as my 18"gas Sachs-Dolmar. No gas, no choke, no pulling my arm out starting, no noise, no earmuffs. The action/torque is not quite the same as the gas saw, but the variable speed trigger does allow for fine controlled cutting for pruning. I also bought the leaf blower so I have two chargers, 4 batteries for continuous work if needed. While the price seems a bit steep initially, this is a professional tool with some heft, so it should last like the other Makita tools that I use on the jobsite. The charger and two 5 AH batteries are selling for $309, so adding $75 for the saw and a grinder makes it a deal. I wish Makita offered a choice of the bonus tool as I now own two cordless grinders, I would have taken a multi-tool or another impact driver.

I waited to post this review - but couldn't wait any longer. THIS THING IS A BEAST. What amazing technology. Out cuts my Stihl.

I waited a while before I posted this review. I did not buy this blindly, having read and watched many reviews of this cordless electric chainsaw. I have a good gas powered Stihl chainsaw. I am not even a weekly wood cutter. Occasional use. Perhaps cut down 3-4 trees a year & buck them for splitting. More often its something small or limbing a tree of dead limbs. Don't get me wrong, I love my Stihl, but always store it empty with all fuel run thru. I also don't like to store a lot of premix, since it will go bad in 6 months and can gum up my carb, even with stabilizer. So for a small job, I gotta mix fuel, fiddle with the start sequence (my Stihl starts & runs great), get her going and warm it up. So much easier to grab the Makita, pop in 2 18V LXT batteries and away I go! And man does this Makita XCU03 cut wood. Wow.

And lemme tell you from prior experience with Makita 18V LXT Lithium Ion batteries, these things last much longer than you think. having used cordless power tools back into the Ni-Cad days, Li-Ion is way different. Yep I still have an old cordless Mikita drill driver from the 90's with Ni-Cad stick batteries and YES it still works. But this Ni-Cads go down pretty quickly under load. The 18V LXT x 2 give you 36 volts of electric motor torque you have to try to believe. Sure you can bog it down, but you can a small gas chainsaw too. I bought the kit with 4 batteries since it is SUCH a good deal. The batteries are expensive. Get them this way and the extra 2 are like half price

A little TEST: I put brand new chainsaw blades on both this Makita XCO03 and my Stihl 025. Similar size chainsaws, but my Stihl is a 16" bar vs this Makita 14". So I chose about a 10"-11" log. To my amazement, this Makita XCU03 Lithium Ion out cuts my gas powered Stihl. Bucked about a 20 foot log and was still showing 3 bars of power on my battery check meter. WOW. I still will use my Stihl for some jobs, or with 2people cutting, but we will be fighting over the Makita XCU03.


People's Choice

These Are Some Of The Highest Rated Makita Saws Available Today
Makita XCU02PT1 featured image

2. Makita XCU02PT1 Chainsaw

  • (280 Ratings)

The Makita XCU03PT1 was undoubtedly our preferred Makita Saws. Having said that, there were a range of other very high quality Makita Saws we wanted to show you here that only just fell short.

The next in our tool break down is manufactured by Makita known to be a very credible tool supplier. Makita's Chainsaws are among their leading products. I was excited to try out the model XCU02PT1 and I was not disappointed!

The Makita XCU02PT1 Chainsaw, at $319.00 is a particularly exceptional Saw for the price. The Makita XCU02PT1 is definitely a solid option. Of you are unsure about our number one choice, I'd advise to select this Saw.

Full Makita XCU02PT1 Review

Makita XCU02PT1 Features

"Tool-less" Chain adjustment for convenient operation and maintenance

12" Guide bar for increased capacity

Makita-built motor delivers 1, 650 FPM chain speed for faster cutting

Uses two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries to deliver 36V power and performance without leaving the 18V LXT platform

Low NOISE level at only 87 dba) and zero emissions for operator comfort

In addition to the selections we already included, I would definitely take a look at the Makita UC4051A and the XCU04PT by Makita. Both these tool manufactures are considered some of the best makers of high quality Saws. Each of these two options enjoy very good buyer reviews as well. The Makita advertises a user rating of 4.5/5 when contrasted against the 3.8/5 star rating received by the Makita XCU04PT.

The UC4051A by Makita has a couple of features you might not get on competing Chainsaws. One example is "Tool-less" blade and chain adjustments for convenient operation and easy maintenance. The Makita XCU04PT although, is tough to beat offering Makita-built outer rotor BL Brushless motor direct-drive system provides high power efficiency Equivalent to a 32cc gas chain saw plus Variable speed trigger and high chain speed (0-3, 940 FPM) For improved cutting performance.

Each of these two options are a terrific option for someone whose shopping for Makita Saws

Honorable Mentions

If the Makita Saws we rated above fail to do it for you, here are several additional selections that may likely offer a more suitable fit. We found quite a few terrific Saws throughout our research. The Saws we graded above are the best we could find. Read on however. We ranked several more fantastic Makita Saws.