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Makita XCU03PT1 chainsaw review

The Makita XCU03PT1 shows that battery powered chainsaws have come a long way.

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

Our 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.

For

  • Low maintenance
  • Low noise
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Top-of-the-line safety features

Against

  • Needs additional batteries

The Makita XCU03PT1 is a cordless, battery powered chainsaw from Japanese power tools manufacturer Makita. With a 14-inch bar perfect, it's one of the best chainsaws for residential projects. And make no mistake: although it's battery powered, this is a professional-grade chainsaw. 

Providing you have battery back-up, this chainsaw can handle all the small to medium trimming, pruning and tidying jobs, plus some of the larger, commercial grade jobs. The engine offers you equivalent power to a 32cc gas powered model, while still being light and not prone to kickback.

The standout features on this Makita cordless electric chainsaw are related to safety, which makes it a perfect family saw. Little fingers will struggle to accidentally turn this on. In fact, they will struggle to deliberately turn it on. With the Makita hold-down safety switch, it’s almost impossible for accidental injury to occur.

Makita XCU03PT1 review: 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 review: 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 specs

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

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

Makita XCU03PT1 review

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

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 the comfortable hold and ergonomic design that makes this a great saw for difficult jobs that need higher maneuverability.  

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?

Makita XCU03PT1 review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

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.