Makita XCU04PT LXT 18V X2 (36V) Electric Chainsaw Review


Makita XCU04PT LXT 18V X2 (36V) is top tier battery powered chainsaw that runs on two batteries simultaneously. It’s fitted with 16-inch guide bar and chain.

So how far has technology come exactly? Can the best electric chainsaws of today compete or even outperform their gas counterparts?


Cutting performance

Cutting performance is definitely comparable to gas chainsaws as it even outperforms some STIHL or Husqvarna units of similar size. It has brushless motor that allows chain to move at 65.6 feet per second – to put things in perspective chain of Husqvarna 455 Rancher moves at the same speed. Most electric chainsaws move their chain somewhere in the range of 20 to 40 feet per second.

Makita XCU04PT is perfect for taking down trees and cutting logs or trunks of 8-16 inch diameter including hardwoods like oak. It also handles heavier duty jobs well and cuts 20+ inch trees well.


Batteries

Makita XCU04PT LXT comes with two 18V lithium-ion batteries and runs on both of them simultaneously, i.e. it won’t run if you only insert one.

On full charge they last about 30-60 minutes of nearly continuous cutting depending on how and what you cut. They recharge from fully depleted to fully charged in about 45 minutes. Whether you need an extra battery pack or not is up to you to decide given the information I provided you with.

There are built-in indicator lights on the chainsaw and batteries to show you how much charge is left. Very useful feature as you don’t have to never wonder whether you are about to run out of juice or not.


Ease of use

Makita XCU04PT LXT is rather lightweight – it weighs just 11.1 lbs with battery included which is less than most other chainsaws, both electric and gas of similar size and performance.

It’s also almost perfectly balanced with good ergonomics making it easy and comfortable to use and handle.


Features

Makita XCU04PT LXT has auto oiling system and even adjustable oil pump feed rate. Of course it also has front hand guard chain brake which works flawlessly and stops chain super fast.

Like many modern chainsaws Makita XCU04PT also has tool-less chain tensioning system which works well and is simple to use (just loosen the housing with lever located on sprocket cover and then use adjusting dial to adjust tension).

Makita XCU04PT has metal bucking spikes indicating it’s designed for serious cutting. They allow you to really dig into trees nicely. Most of electric chainsaws don’t have any bucking spikes at all.

Makita XCU04PT also has auto-turn off feature – if you stop cutting it will turn off after a while and you will have to press main power switch before you can start cutting again. In older Makita chainsaws this feature was annoying because chainsaw turned off 4 seconds after you released the trigger but seems like Makita has listened to customers and now it stays on for about a minute.


Electric chainsaw advantages

Electric chainsaws have multitude of advantages over gas chainsaws. They are a lot quieter, usually lighter, require less maintenance (no tune-ups or mixing oil with gas), they don’t emit any fumes that are bad for your health and they are easy and fast to start.

Despite these advantages many still stay away from electric chainsaws because they heavily underestimate how well some of them can cut.


Conclusions

Makita XCU04PT LXT is amazing chainsaw. Not only it’s arguably the best electric chainsaw currently produced but it can compete with gas chainsaws and outperform some of them while retaining advantages of being electric unit.

It’s not quite the chainsaw you would buy for commercial use, not as your main unit at least, but for many homeowners it will be a better alternative to gas chainsaw.




Makita XCU04/XCU04PT/XCU04Z Details/Specs:

  • Type: Electric (battery powered)
  • Model: XCU04 / XCU04PT / XCU04Z
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Batteries: 2x 18V (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion
  • Chain Speed: 65.6 ft/s
  • Guide Bar and chain length: 16-inches
  • Chain pitch : 3/8″
  • Chain gauge : 0.043″
  • Oil tank capacity: 200 mL
  • Weight:
    • Without batteries: 8.3 lbs
    • With batteries: 11.1 lbs

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