Makita XCU03PT1 chainsaw review

The Makita XCU03PT1 is an environmentally friendly, low-maintenance chainsaw with top safety features.

5 Star Rating
Makita XCU03PT1 chainsaw review
(Image: © Makita)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

A chainsaw for the 21st century. Environmentally friendly, low noise and vibration, safest on the market. If you're looking for a chainsaw, this is an investment worth making.


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    Low maintenance

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    Low noise

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    Environmentally friendly

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    Top-of-the-line safety features


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    Needs additional batteries

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The Makita XCU03PT1 is a cordless 14-inch Lithium-Ion battery-powered, professional-grade chainsaw by Japanese manufacturer Makita. It is a great advancement in saw technology and is one of the best chainsaws for domestic tasks and residential projects.

Makita XCU03PT1: Key specs

Type: 36v battery power – four 18v batteries supplied
Size: 14” bar
Weight: 11.5 lbs
Safety: Additional safety features
Noise: Low vibration and low noise      

This is a great tool for clearing debris and recommended for occasional use. It is relatively quiet, making it ideal if you have an early start and don’t want to wake your neighbors. It is also powerful and lightweight.

One of its standout features is the hold-down safety switch which should avoid any accidents and is perfect for handling trimming, pruning and tidying chores. Additional battery back-up will be required for some of the larger, commercial-grade jobs.

So, is this the right chainsaw for you? Read our full review to find out.

Makita XCU03PT1: Features

The Makita XCU03PT1 offers a variety of safety features, including an instant chain brake, and a safety button so you can’t start the chainsaw by accident. It’s also really comfortable to use with low vibration and noise.

Makita XCU03PT1 review

The Makita XCU03PT1 in action (Image credit: Home Depot)

In order to operate the saw, you need to keep the safety button engaged at all times, which means injury is almost impossible. It also has a built-in lock off lever to prevent the chain from accidentally engaging. This makes it one of the safest medium-sized chain saws on the market, and a good choice for a family home where little hands might be a bit too inquisitive at times.

The Makita comes with four batteries to make sure you’ve got enough pump to finish the job at hand. Each battery lasts for about 30 minutes, and charges within 2 hours. However, if you are a contractor, you may need additional batteries. Or, consider carring a gas-powered chainsaw as well for larger jobs or in case your Makita batteries run out.

If you replace the chain with the Oregon AdvanceCut chain, you can increase the power of the Makita saw. It also offers a very precise cut perfect for those fiddly jobs. It's a very durable, high quality chainsaw. 

Makita XCU03PT1: Performance

Kenny Koehler at ProTool Reviews highly rates this saw, commenting that it would be well-placed in a professional equipment collection as it's perfect as a support saw for limbing. He notes the good quality metal bucking spikes, the excellent safety features, and the power comparable to that of high voltage saws he has used.

The team at Chainsaw Expert also speaks highly of this product, especially praise the comfortable hold and ergonomic design that makes this a great saw for difficult jobs that need higher maneuverability.  

Makita XCU03PT1 review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Makita XCU03PT1: Price

Electric chainsaws have been seen in the past as budget or entry-level options – but no so with the Makita XCU03PT1. Priced around $380 for the chainsaw and four batteries, it's an investment, but well worth the price. For the average homeowner, it's the only chainsaw you'll ever need.

Makita XCU03PT1: User reviews

Overall, Home Depot customers have rated this chainsaw 4.6 stars out of 5. Reviewers note that it is unexpectedly powerful for an electric chainsaw, with some commenting that their previous gas-powered chainsaw was not as strong. Users also like the fast recharge time for the batteries, so you can take a lunch break and get back to work in no time. The negative reviews are from people who have received genuinely faulty batteries, which should be easy to replace. Some people also don’t like the additional safety features.

Should you buy the Makita XCU03PT1?

If you want to invest in a good quality, environmentally friendly and exceptionally safe chainsaw that can handle all your small to medium domestic jobs - and some larger jobs as well - then the Makita XCU03PT1 is a great choice. This is a chainsaw that will last, is low maintenance and is very adaptable for a variety of tasks.

If this product isn't for you

The Oregon CS1500 electric-powered chainsaw at the larger end of the domestic market offers a unique self-sharpening chain system. It is a great medium power chainsaw with enough power to do most domestic tasks. It is a safe, easy-to-maintain electric saw for the larger urban or suburban garden.

For the novice user who wants a lightweight chainsaw that’s easy to maneuver and maintain, the Kobalt KCS 120-07 40 Volt Cordless Chainsaw is the perfect choice. Takes care of tasks like pruning or cleaning up small fallen boughs from a storm. It’s cordless so you can take it right to the bottom of the garden without worrying about an extension cable.

The Greenworks 60-volt Lithium-Ion Chainsaw is another environmentally friendly, low noise, versatile, high-powered, electric chainsaw that can compete with some of the mid-range gas-powered models. It is lighter than its gas-powered equivalents and is a great chainsaw to graduate to if you are looking for something a bit bigger but don’t want the maintenance and mess associated with a gas-powered saw. It's also long-lasting and can do up to 180 cuts on a fully charged battery. 

Jai Breitnauer

Jai Breitnauer writes regularly for a variety of business and consumer publications including NZ Retail magazine and Idealog, the home of business innovation in Aotearoa. She has edited books about accounting and business journals for the optics industry. She works for Top Ten Reviews by doing reviews of chainsaws and other garden equipment.

With contributions from