Makita XCU03Z 18V X2 (36V) LXT Cordless Electric Chainsaw (Review)

Makita XCU03Z is battery powered electric chainsaw that runs on two 18V batteries simultaneously. It features 14” bar and chain and is powered by outer rotor brushless motor with direct-drive system.

XCU03Z is currently one of the best selling electric chainsaws in North America. So what makes it such a popular choice?

Cutting performance

Makita XCU03Z is pretty powerful – not quite gas chainsaw powerful but plenty powerful for most of the stuff your average homeowner would want to cut.

Considering the power, size and weight it excels at limbing and taking down 10” trees and sectioning them (including hardwoods). It can handle thicker trees quite well too but bigger and more powerful units are more adequate for such jobs.

How does it compare to other electric chainsaws? Quite well actually. It’s more powerful than most electric chainsaws but it’s not quite among the very best albeit it’s not far for them.

If you push XCU03Z too hard it might stall since it has overload and overheat protection. If it’s overloaded chainsaw will stall and power lamp will blink – in this case you can just restart the unit and keep cutting but with less force. If the unit overheats it will stop too but in this case battery indicator will blink – in this situation you have to let the unit cool down before turning it on again.

Build quality

Overall build quality seems good in a sense that chainsaw feels sturdy and well made other than tool-less tensioning system which doesn’t feel as robust as the rest of the unit but is still probably solid enough to last.


Makita XCU03Z has tool-less chain tensioner which is very easy to use. When you receive the chainsaw bar and chain won’t be attached so whether you want it or not you will have to learn to do it yourself if you already don’t (which is not a bad thing).

Whereas tool-less chain tensioner is quite common nowadays XCU03Z has bucking spikes that allows you to really dig into trees – feature that many electric chainsaws don’t have.

Another feature it has that many electric chainsaws don’t is variable speed trigger – in other units trigger often works as on/off switch where you get either all or none of the power.

Makita XCU03Z also has basic safety features like safety handle as well electronic and mechanical chain brake – if a kickback happens you will push front hand guard forward which will mechanically make chain stop immediately.

One feature that can be annoying at times is auto power-off function – if you don’t run chainsaw for 4 seconds it will turn off.


Makita XCU03Z runs on two 18V batteries simultaneously. Batteries of different capacities are available (like 5.0Ah and 6.0Ah) so it’s up to you to decide which ones you want to get unless you already have some since XCU03Z is compatible with 18V batteries from other Makita products.

If you have two sets of batteries (4 in total) you will likely charge two of them faster than deplete the other two with normal use. For example 5.0Ah batteries takes 40-45 minutes to charge from completely depleted to fully charged and you can expect them to last 45-60 minutes of normal use.

There are battery charge indicators on batteries and chainsaw itself.

─── Related Article: Best Electric Chainsaws (click here to read) ───

Ease of use

Ergonomics are great and it’s one of the easiest and comfortable electric chainsaws to use.


Makita XCU03Z is one of the best battery powered chainsaw you can buy today and it has better consumer feedback than some of the more powerful units.

Makita XCU03Z 18V X2 (36V) LXT Chainsaw Details/Specs:

  • Type: Electric (battery powered)
  • Motor: Brushless 2x16V (36V)
  • Chain Speed: 3,940 FPM (~65 ft/s)
  • Bar length: 14”
  • Chain pitch: 3/8”
  • Chain gauge: 0.043”
  • Weight (without battery): 8.2 lbs
  • Weight with battery: ~11 lbs (depends on battery)

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