The Makita 18V LXT cordless tool range is synonymous with top performance and extreme durability. Cordless chainsaws need more power than the average battery-powered tool. To provide the efficiency needed for that extra grunt, the Makita XCU03Z 14” chainsaw uses two 18V LXT batteries connected series. With a 36V brushless motor, this is a cordless chainsaw that can hold up to some of the best gas-powered machines. Or can it? This review will help you determine if the Makita cordless chainsaw makes the cut.
Makita power products are not cheap. They are hardy machines, amongst the toughest you’ll find. The Makita XCU03Z is a worthy rival to the DeWalt DCCS670X1 16” 60V chainsaw. The 60V MAX DeWalt chainsaw is more powerful and can handle a longer bar, it is as close as any cordless chainsaw can get to a professional-grade gas chainsaw. The 20V DeWalt DCCS620P1 12” is more popular amongst home users. It is cheaper, but less capable, with a 12” maximum bar length. The Makita XCU037 is positioned between these two DeWalt models. Not quite up to the 60V DCCS670X1, but a cut above the smaller DCCS620P1. I think Makita has captured a good market segment with this amazing 14” cordless chainsaw.
The cordless chainsaws I’ve mentioned are all in the higher price ranges. You may not need to spend this much on a chainsaw used for occasional tree felling around the yard and cutting firewood. If you want a more affordable cordless chainsaw for occasional domestic use, you have plenty of options. Though, I’d think twice about buying the very the cheapest products. You want a decent machine.
For those looking for a good quality cheap cordless chainsaw, I’ll be reviewing two great options following the Makita XCU03Z review. The Black & Decker LCS1020B 20V, 10” cordless chainsaw is possibly the most popular for light to medium-duty home use. This would be my first choice for a cheap cordless chainsaw to use around the yard.
The Greenworks 20262 cordless chainsaw is a little more expensive than the Black & Decker 10” model but is a more accomplished machine. This is a 40V 12” cordless chainsaw, giving you an improved cutting capacity. It doesn’t have quite the same cutting capacity as the Makita XCU03Z but offers an extra 2-inches bar capacity when compared to the Black & Decker.
Makita XCU03Z 36V LXT 14” Chainsaw Review
- Makita-built outer rotor BL Brushless motor direct-drive system provides high power efficiency Equivalent to 32cc gas chainsaw.
- Variable speed trigger (0-3, 940 FPM) For easy operation.
- Built-in L.E.D. On/off switch with auto power-off function; automatically shuts the saw off when operation is delayed for extended Battery life.
- Two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries deliver power and performance without leaving the 18V LXT platform.
- Built-in lock-off lever helps prevent the blade from accidentally engaging.
The Makita XCU03Z is a fantastic alternative to a gas chainsaw for contractors and landscapers. It’s a super-tough, industrial-grade chainsaw with heaps of power. Because it is battery-powered, the Makita 36V LXT chainsaw is way more convenient. It’s much lighter than a gas equivalent, only 11.36 pounds (without the batteries). Not having to contend with gas and all the extra service required, is not only convenient, it will save a pile of cash.
This is certainly a durable chainsaw. The Makita XCU03Z utilizes their Extreme Protection Technology (XPT). It prevents sawdust from reaching the gears and motor, prolonging lifespan, and reducing maintenance. A big plus for a hardworking chainsaw. Reliability and longevity are two major reasons why I’ve been such a longstanding fan of the Makita brand.
Some great design features have gone into the Makita XCU03Z. I like the way the base of this chainsaw is wide and flat. You can place it on the ground without worrying if it will tip over. A large safety trigger has been placed at the top of the handle. This means you can’t accidentally start the machine. Your hand has to grip the handle in a working position. At the same time, there’s no tricky procedure involved. As soon as you grab the handle, in a natural working position, the chainsaw is ready for use.
Using 2 X Makita LXT 18V lithium batteries extends working time. Additionally, the 36V brushless motor is as efficient as a chainsaw powerplant can be. It provides optimum performance, using the least electricity. A winning combination.
The Makita XCU03Z is fitted with a fantastic 14” bar and chain. The chain is lubricated automatically, and the oil reservoir has a wonderfully large filler for the easiest oil top-ups. It also has a large dial for tensioning the chain, totally hassle, and tool-free. The variable speed trigger makes the Makita chainsaw a breeze to use. You have precise speed control from 0 to 3940 FPM.
Both front and rear handles are well-designed. They offer a secure and comfortable grip on the Makita chainsaw, for all working positions. The rubber padding offers good protection from vibrations and is very durable. The large chain guard also serves as an emergency stop if you encounter a kickback situation.
Unless you actually need the brutish power of a huge and heavy gas-powered chainsaw, cordless electric is the best way to go. No fumes and less noise. The Makita XCU03Z is about as loud as a shop vac. A great advantage when comparing gas vs cordless chainsaws is that maintenance is greatly reduced, saving you both time and money.
If you have your mind set on a commercial-grade cordless chainsaw, the Makita XCU03Z is one of your best options. This is a top brand for power equipment, offering high-grade material and expert engineering. To this end, you get an amazing 3-year warranty on the Makita XCU03Z.
Black & Decker LCS1020B 20V 10” Chainsaw Review
- 10″ Bar and chain designed for smooth and fast cuts.
- Tool-free chain tensioning for fast and easy adjustments.
- 10″ Cut capacity for a wide range of cuts.
- Oiling system for lubrication of bar and chain.
Black and Decker is, in my unwavering opinion, the top brand for DIY power equipment. While not in the same commercial-grade league as the Makita XCU03Z, the Black & Decker LCS1020B is a good quality product. The compact lightweight design, and 10” bar, make it a fantastically easy chainsaw to use. Ideal for the home user who may not be as adept as the professional.
For a light to medium duty chainsaw, the Black & Decker LCS1020 displays a level of engineering that is quite outstanding. The use of an Oregon bar is evidence that this is not simply a cheap Mickey Mouse chainsaw. It also has some great features to make this a convenient tool to use around the yard.
The Black & Decker LCS1020B has automatic chain lubrication and tool-free chain tensioning. Keeping things simple. The handles offer a comfortable, safe hold over the machine. The chain guard, which also acts as an emergency stop, is easily within reach of the front handle. It has an easy squeeze trigger with a lock at the top of the handle. Like the Makita XCU03Z, the base has been designed so that you can safely place the Black & Decker down without it falling over.
The Black & Decker 20V MAX tool series includes a bunch of garden and power tools for the home. This means you can buy all the cordless tools you need, without the extra expense and clutter of a bunch of different batteries. A good reason to consider the brand as your number one choice.
I reckon a 10” chainsaw is perfectly adequate for felling trees around the yard and cutting firewood. The Black & Decker LCS1020 is certainly much more pleasurable to use than a big heavy commercial chainsaw. Above all, it is priced at a point that is more acceptable for general use. Yet not a cheap and flimsy machine. Black & Decker offer a 2-year warranty on their cordless chainsaws. So you know you have the assurance of a recognized brand moving forward.
Greenworks 20262 40V 12” Cordless Chainsaw Review
- 12″ bar and chain, perfect for cutting branches and limbs with ease.
- Tool-less chain tensioning for quick adjustments
- Hassle-free push-button start.
- Automatic oiler applies oil to the bar and chain to ensure durability and extend the life of the chain.
- Translucent oil tank for a clear view of oil level.
- Includes one 40V 2.0 Ah battery and charger.
- 3 Year Limited Tool & Battery Warranty.
Greenworks tools have earned the respect of many homeowners. It is a good brand for relatively cheap battery-powered garden equipment. As much as I like the Greenworks 20262, it wouldn’t be my first choice. Not that this is a bad machine, it’s just a little chunky in its design. When it comes down to it, I will always choose a higher quality tool, like the Makita XCU03Z.
Having expressed my opinion on the matter, I should be clear. Anyone wanting to buy an affordable 12”, domestic cordless chainsaw will not be disappointed by the Greenworks 20262. Take one look at the Amazon customer reviews and you’ll see what I mean. This is an extremely popular cordless chainsaw. With over 3,000 reviews on Amazon, the Greenworks 12” 40V chainsaw has earned a mighty impressive 4.5 stars.
This is certainly an easy machine to use, with all the modern conveniences. It weighs only 6-pounds, with really comfortable padded handles. You have the same cool design features found on the Makita ZXC03Z and Black & Decker 20V chainsaws. This includes a tool-free chain tensioner and automatic chain lubrication. The chainguard/emergency brake is huge and easy to access in an emergency.
The 40V battery is of a high quality standard and the motor is pretty efficient. I don’t think the working time is as good as the 36V Makita chainsaw. Then again, few can match the excellent Makita LXT battery and brushless motor setup. Realistically, Greenworks, which is a much cheaper brand, cannot compete with the likes of Makita, DeWalt, and Milwaukee when it comes to top grade battery technology.
When all is said and done, the Greenworks 20262 has to be one of the best cheap cordless 12” chainsaws. You might find cheaper, but I wouldn’t feel too confident buying any of the really cheap options. The Greenworks brand has, in a relatively short time, garnered huge admiration. Their warranty can match any of the top brands – 3-years.
Greenworks 20262 Downloads: