Welcome to my review of the Makita XCU04PT1. Have you ever owned a Makita before? If not, you’re in for a treat. I have great respect for Makita as a company, and they have earned that by consistently delivering quality products that are built to last. Makita is a very old player in the cordless tool industry, with decades of experience developing and improving on technologies that are loved by both homeowners and commercial users. They have the 18V LXT family of tools which is the world’s most popular 18V platform with over 275 products including chainsaws, blowers, planers, miter saws, drills, etc. And Makita tools rarely overheat or stall, thanks to a combination of the STAR computer protection technology and brushless motors. Brushless motors run cooler and draw less power while STAR battery protection technology constantly monitors voltage, current, temperature, etc. to optimize runtime and performance.
Unlike other tool manufacturers, Makita doesn’t abandon support for older products every time a shiny new technology shows up. Case in point- Makita’s 18V LXT battery has been surpassed by their new 40V XGT platform. However, Makita has stated that they will continue to develop and support the older battery system as well as any 18V LXT tools that use these batteries. Plus, there is a new adapter that lets you charge your 18V LXT and 40V XGT batteries with the same charger. So you can continue to use your old Makita tools in conjunction with new purchases.
Makita XCU04PT1 | Perfect Cordless Chainsaw Kit
Who Is The XCU04Z Chainsaw For?
Note: The XCU04Z is a 16” cordless brushless chainsaw, and it’s part of the XCU04PT1 “kit” which contains this chainsaw alongside a charger and four 18V LXT batteries. You also get the 16” Oregon bar + chain, along with a chain cover.
While the XCU04Z chainsaw is indeed an excellent piece of kit, you’ve got to ask yourself if you really need to spend that much on a battery powered saw. For nearly half the price, you could get a 16” cordless chainsaw from WORX or GreenWorks. And you won’t lose out on features such as tool-free chain tensioning. But Makita is different from the rest of the crowd, the only other company that I can think of which rivals them in terms of performance or quality is DeWalt.
Sure, WORX and GreenWorks make nice tools for the average DIYer or home user. But if you want commercial-grade reliability and performance, you must go with a Makita or DeWalt. And Makita’s build quality is truly head and shoulders above the competition. Where they use plastic to cut costs, Makita uses metal alloy. Instead of borrowing brushless motors from a supplier to cut development costs, Makita designs and manufactures their own motors which are optimized for endurance and performance. They also have far superior battery technology compared to the competition.
To make a long story short, if you want quality and the best craftsmanship you go with Makita. The XCU04Z chainsaw is designed for everyone from home users to construction workers, it’s a versatile tool that is both lightweight and extremely powerful. Good luck finding another cordless saw with the same level of performance that doesn’t sacrifice build quality or reliability to get a few extra watts of power from its motor. If you’re in search of a saw for stocking up on firewood for the wood stove, or a saw that can slice through 4 x 4 for hours without stalling or overheating, this is it. You can fell small to medium sized trees with the XCU04Z, and it has enough battery power to completely process a tree. Limbing, bucking, you name it- the XCU04Z will turn a 40 foot tree into usable chunks of firewood on a single charge.
And since the Oregon bar + chain used in this saw are designed for low kickback, you don’t need to worry about safety hazards. This is particularly good for novice users who are purchasing their first chainsaw. Not only is the Makita good from a maintenance standpoint since it is battery-powered, but it’s also fun to use. The narrow kerf width combined with low kickback cutters ensure your saw never jumps up out of the wood and towards your face.
Still, I cannot overemphasize the importance of following proper safety protocols while operating a chainsaw. Wear chaps, and eye + ear protection. Yes, this Makita isn’t as prone to kickback as a regular gas saw but it’s still no toy. Don’t let the plastic exterior and battery powered nature of this tool fool you into thinking that it’s underpowered, it will effortlessly slice through your leg in a heartbeat. Use PPE (personnel protective equipment) and practice on a few logs before you do fell a tree (or ask an experienced user for assistance).
Buying The Bare Tool vs Buying The Kit | Which Is Better?
Unless you’re an existing user of the 18V LXT platform with batteries to spare, I suggest you go for the kit. Makita is giving 4 batteries and a charger at a really good price; you save around 20 to 25% of money when you compare the price of the kit to purchasing these components separately. One thing worth noting is that you don’t get any bar and chain oil with the kit. You can use standard bar oil from other manufacturers like Stihl, Husqvarna, etc. but I recommend you go with the Makita 18119-A which is designed for use with Makita chainsaws.
Makita XCU04PT1 Review — 16″ / 36V
►Makita XCU07Z : If you only need the chainsaw because you already own Makita batteries, this is the model to get.
- No gas, emissions, oil mixing or pull starts with reduced maintenance and low noise levels
- Makita-built Outer Rotor BL Brushless Motor direct-drive system delivers power of a 32cc gas chain saw
- Two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries deliver power and performance without leaving the 18V LXT platform
- “Tool-less” chain adjustment for convenient operation and maintenance
- Variable speed trigger and high chain speed (0-3,940 FPM) for improved cutting performance
- Adjustable automatic chain lubrication with large oil reservoir
- Large oil filling port with view window allows operator to easily add and check bar oil level
- 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
- Rubberized soft grip top handle is engineered for the user to more easily apply even cutting pressure
- Features Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) which is engineered to provide increased dust and water resistance in harsh job site conditions
- Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls to protect against overloading, over-discharging and over-heating
- 3-year limited warranty on tool, battery and charger
- Only use genuine Makita batteries and chargers
I’ve talked about who this chainsaw is for, and whether you should buy the bare tool or the kit. Now, let’s take a look at the actual product itself. How it’s built, what makes it special, etc. To start things off, this is a 16” cordless saw. Because of the bar length, it isn’t too unwieldy while also being perfectly capable of felling medium-sized trees. I can picture someone carrying this saw one-handed while moving through thick brush, because of its compact and lightweight design. Note that all 16 inches of the bar isn’t available for use, about an inch is hidden behind the side cover so you get around 15 inches of usable space.
That’s more than enough to cut cross-ways through a 30-inch log. And thanks to the high chain speed of 3940 feet per minute, you will see performance comparable to a 32cc gas saw just like Makita claims. Chain speed is essential for cutting performance, think of it as the rate limiter on how fast you can cut through a given section of wood. If you have a chainsaw with a really fast chain speed, you won’t have to exert as much downward pressure while bucking logs. Since the saw is removing material from the cut at a high rate, gravity and the weight of the saw will do most of the cutting.
Torque is another aspect of a chainsaw that determines cutting performance. While a fast chain lets you slice through wood at a quick rate, lots of torque ensures that your chainsaw keeps slicing through said wood without stalling. It’s like comparing a V12 sports car with a tractor, the car has plenty of RPM and is excellent at zipping around an asphalt road at high speeds. But the tractor has tons of torque, and its raw muscle lets it pull heavy loads and farm machinery across unpaved paths. The downside? It’s chugs along leisurely at 10mph, compared to the blistering 160mph of the car.
The XCU04Z chainsaw lags behind chainsaws like the M18 FUEL from Milwaukee in terms of torque, which means it won’t perform as well in hardwood. I’m not saying the XCU04Z is BAD at cutting hardwood. Just don’t expect it to chew through 20-inch logs of green oak at high speed. But if you mostly cut wood for DIY projects or fireplaces, this Makita is more than powerful enough. It will also do an excellent job of clearing out any trees blocking your driveway after a storm.
As for the build quality, it’s a Makita product which tells you all you need to know. Metal inserts reinforce the plastic side cover, with thick steel bar studs to support the 16” Oregon bar. The tool-free chain tensioning system doesn’t feel flimsy, and you can get tension levels comparable to traditional bar nut tensioning systems. Basically, you won’t have to fidget around with the tensioner once you’ve set it up the way you want it. With harder wood, you don’t want a loose chain that flops around because it will dull the cutters at a very fast rate. Having a tool-free chain tensioner means you can simply flip up the lever and turn the tension knob by hand without requiring a scrench. This is much easier and faster than conventional chain tensioning with bar nuts and tension screws.
Makita’s electronics are top notch, and you get instantaneous response from the motor as soon as you pull on the trigger. It’s a variable speed trigger, so you can control the rate at which the chain spins. Depending on the wood hardness and angle at which you’re cutting, you might need less or more chain speed. Adjusting this speed becomes much easier when the response has zero lag or delay. This lets you make precise, error-free cuts.
Apart from the excellent variable speed trigger, Makita has some really interesting proprietary technologies that elevate the user experience. The two technologies I like the most in a cordless Makita saw are the STAR protection and XPT. Let me explain what both of these things do:
Makita’s STAR Protection —
Modern tools run on lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have maximum discharge rates which is basically the highest amount of charge they can deliver in a given time. Going beyond this limit will damage the chemistry of the cells and degrade the battery. In extreme cases it can cause overheating and fire hazards. To ensure proper discharge and recharge, manufacturers implement on-board electronics within battery packs that monitor the voltage, current, temperature, etc. Makita’s version of this is their STAR protection system which utilizes a logic board built into each battery pack to monitor crucial data.
This data is processed by a microchip which is programmed to detect overload conditions. If the chip detects any conditions that might cause the battery to overload, it will inform the tool and shut off all current flow within a fraction of a second. This brings the tool to a dead stop, and saves the battery. The same module also communicates with Makita rapid chargers to charge the battery at optimal temperatures. These rapid chargers have built-in fans to cool the battery so it charges faster.
XPT / Extreme Protection
Extreme Protection Technology or XPT is basically Makita’s way of saying “hey, this product is designed to survive harsh conditions”. It isn’t a technology per se, rather a standard of protection built into tools to make sure they are protected from dust and water. The XPT certification informs you that your tool has a network of seals positioned strategically to prevent water and dust from entering into the electronic systems. This way, you can keep working no matter the weather condition.
Even if it’s pouring outside, you can take your Makita cordless chainsaw to cut some piles of firewood. Same with snow- the XCU04Z chainsaw will run even if you’re out in a blizzard. Are you working in a dusty jobsite with a bunch of sawdust flying around? Not to worry- this isn’t a gas saw with air filters that can get clogged up with sawdust. And on that note, you don’t have to worry about swapping out filters in the middle of work since this cordless electric saw has none to begin with.
Usability and Ergonomics
This is a cordless saw, so all you’ve got to do is ensure the batteries are charged. That, and a full tank of bar oil because it’s impossible to run a chainsaw without lubrication for the chain. I mean, you could technically run it with zero lube but it will end up burning out the bar and chain. Not to mention irreparably damaging your chainsaw’s electric motor. With a chainsaw like this, you’d much rather replace the whole thing instead of going through the hassle of installing a new motor and electronics. So while there isn’t any fuel to mix or filters to replace, make sure you do the bare minimum or you’ll end up with a very expensive repair bill.
As for the shape and weight distribution, both are on point. The rear handle is coated with a rubber grip so it feels quite comfortable to hold, cheaper electric saws have basic plastic handles. With those, your hands can slip off if they get too sweaty. Plus, you’ll feel the vibrations more with a solid plastic handle. Yes, electric and cordless chainsaws vibrate. It isn’t as rough as a gas saw with a piston engine but you still need some dampening. A simple rubber grip on the handle provides adequate vibration dampening, and your gloves will provide some more dampening on top of that.
The shape of the handle is ideal- it isn’t too long, nor is the angle too sharp. With the batteries mounted low and towards the middle, you can balance the chainsaw very well with a two-handed hold. It’s easy to pivot the saw around your dominant hand, and you don’t have to press down hard while cutting logs because the saw drags itself down through wood. This is due to a combination of the high chain speed and good ergonomics. Even the safety is positioned in a spot that’s easily accessible, right above the grip. Instead of a thumb switch, Makita uses a lever which you’re bound to depress every time you make a conscious choice to operate the saw. It stays out of your way while you’re working, which is how a good safety should be designed.
|Tech Specs / Makita XCU04PT1||UPC Code : 088381-895330|
|Guide Bar Length : 16″||Battery : 2X 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion|
|Pitch : 3/8″ LP||Power Type : Cordless|
|Gauge : .043″||Handle Type (Chainsaws) : Rear Handle|
|Chain Speed : 3,940 FPM||Form Factor (LXT) : X2|
|Net Weight (with battery) : 11.1 lbs.||Motor Type : Brushless|
|Net Weight (without battery) : 8.3 lbs.||Shipping Weight : 21.74 lbs.|
Visit the Makita site to learn more about this chainsaw and their extensive lineup of tools.
Other Cordless Chainsaws To Consider
If you’re in the market for a powerful cordless chainsaw but don’t have the money to spend on a Makita XCU04PT1 kit, there are lots of cheaper alternatives. Brands like EGO and WORX make products that stand up to everyday use while still packing features like lightweight design, tool-free chain tensioning, etc. Makita’s quality and battery technology can’t be beat, the only other company that even comes close is DeWalt. I am going to review a DeWalt 60V cordless chainsaw to see how it compares against the exceptional Makita XCU04Z.
There is an EGO and WORX chainsaw review in here too, think of these as the budget, homeowner-oriented alternatives to DeWalt and Makita’s more prosumer/ commercial grade products. You get chainsaws that are fairly durable but not quite suited for work on jobsites or farms. Then again, you’re spending a fraction of the money so there really isn’t much to complain about.
And finally, I decided to throw in a Craftsman 16-inch brushless chainsaw. This one is sort of an outsider because Craftsman is known for their gas saws. They make cheap yet reliable saws for homeowners who just want a light, easy to operate machine for some firewood. But are their cordless electric chainsaws worth buying? I’m going to help you decide.
Here are the 4 cordless chainsaws I’m reviewing:
- EGO Power+ CS1804
- DeWalt 60V Flexvolt cordless 16” chainsaw kit (model DCCS670X1)
- WORX WG384 40V
- Craftsman V60 CMCCS660E1 16” cordless chainsaw kit
Review : EGO Power+ CS1804 / 18″ cordless chainsaw
- Auto Tensioning system: tightens the chain with the twist of a dial
- 18” Oregon Bar and Chain
- 11,000 RPM’s: For Efficient Clean Cuts
- Brushless Motor: Extends the life of the tool
- Bright LED Lights: Illuminate your work area
- 5 Year Tool Warranty, 3 Year Battery Warranty
“Perfect little tool for when you need to clear a fallen tree from your driveway or chop up some wood for the fireplace. It is light, feature-packed, and driven by a brushless motor which spins the drive sprocket at 11600RPM for performance equivalent to a small gas saw.”
EGO makes some really tall marketing claims with this one, including comments such as “power & performance of a 45cc gas chain saw”. Now, I don’t know which 45cc gas chainsaw they’re talking about and how they tested it against the CS1800 to determine relative performance. But I can tell you right now, there’s no way this cordless saw even comes close to matching a Stihl MS 250 or Husqvarna 440. Its zero-load RPM is impressive for a cordless electric saw, and the brushless motor that EGO is using will beat a really small gas engine (35cc or lower). But it doesn’t have the torque of a mid-sized consumer gas chainsaw. Let alone professional 45cc and above models.
The CS1800 (which is the actual chainsaw itself, CS1804 is the kit) packs an 18-inch low kickback Oregon bar + chain combo. The powerhead is built from durable plastic with metal inserts for reinforcement. An auto chain tensioning system means you don’t have to carry any tools. In terms of cutting performance, the CS1800 will zip through 10 or 12 inch thick logs of green hardwood without any hiccups. It rarely stalls, and when it does, all you have to do is reset the trigger and safety. Then it’s good to go. Stalling only happens if the chain gets pinched while cutting a thick log, or if the wood you’re cutting is really dirty.
One thing that makes the EGO Power+ stand out from the rest of the competition is its unique ergonomics. This chainsaw is a like a hybrid of a top-handle and rear-handle chainsaw. It has the rear handle raised and further front compared to most other rear-handle saws, and that’s because the battery is located underneath the handle and towards the back. This allows an even 50-50 weight distribution with the battery in the rear and the motor in the front. Which is why you can easily swing the Power+ around without straining your wrists. Plus, it has a nice rubber coating on the grip which prevents the saw from slipping and provide some vibration dampening while cutting.
Metal bucking spikes keep it steady while sawing through larger logs, and an easy to engage inertial chain brake prevents kickback accidents. I really like the fact that EGO colors the bottom hinge of their chain brake. Red means it’s locked, on safe. Black means it’s unlocked and the chainsaw is good to go. EGO even built an LED flashlight into the top of the saw, right above the side cover so you can see what you’re cutting even in low light conditions. Additionally, you can use it as a flashlight (it even has two brightness levels).
Review : DeWalt DCCS670X1 60V / 16″ cordless Chainsaw
- Tool-free chain tensioning for quick and easy chain adjustments
- Auto-Oiling for continuous lubrication. Quarter-turn oil cap for quick oil re-fills
- Chain brake for kick back protection
- Up to 70 cuts per charge* *on a 6 in. x 6 in. pressure treated pine wood
- Combination tooled/toolless bar retention knob for proper bar clamping force
“With a nice balance of RPM and torque, the DeWalt 60V Flexvolt chainsaw is a very flexible tool. It fits right in the collection of any DIYer or woodworking hobbyist. While originally designed for professional use by linemen, tree care professionals, etc. this is still very easy to operate for the average homeowner who has never used a chainsaw in their life.”
DeWalt prides itself on offering commercial-grade tools at consumer-grade prices, and their 60V cordless chainsaw is no different. It costs more than a cheap 35 or 40cc gas saw, yes- but the benefits you get are tremendous. No fumes, no mixing of gasoline and engine oil, no fire hazards, etc. And forget the mess of having to change air filters on a jobsite. The only bit of maintenance you have to do on this chainsaw is changing the bar oil and cleaning it after you’re done cutting wood. Even chain tension adjustment requires no tools, you just have to turn a knob on the side cover.
Its 3Ah 60V Flexvolt battery packs enough juice to make 70 cuts on 6 x 6 pressure treated pine. I like how specific DeWalt is in their marketing material regarding the runtime of this chainsaw. Often manufacturers will make vague claims like “300 cuts on one charge”. Ok, what type of wood? Is it seasoned or green? Green wood is a lot tougher because it’s packing much more moisture. Seasoned means the wood has been left out to dry for months. Pressure treated is what’s used for construction work because it is more resistant to mold, rot, insect infestation, etc.
DeWalt designed this chainsaw for construction workers, plumbers, linemen, etc. so it makes sense to talk about runtime in terms of how many cuts it can make it 6 x 6 beams of pressure treated pine. If you’re using it on oak or maple, expect runtime to fall by 40 to 50 percent, since those woods are much harder. Still, the saw itself is powerful enough to slice up 20 inch logs of hardwood. It will struggle a bit with the really large ones, especially if they are dirty or have knots. But you will rarely run into a stall or situation where the motor overheats.
In terms of build quality, this DeWalt chainsaw is pretty durable with a comfy rubber grip on its rear handle. The combination tooled + toolless bar and chain adjustment system gives you options. Want convenience and the ability to adjust chain tension on the fly? Use the tool-free adjustment, all you have to do is turn one knob for the bar and another for the chain. Want tighter, more robust tension adjustment? Remove the tool-free system and use a scrench.
The DeWalt DCCS670X1 comes with a 60V Flexvolt battery. Flexvolt means you can use the same battery to run 20V and 60V tools from DeWalt. In its 60V mode, the battery is set to 3Ah. In its 20V mode, it bumps that number up to 9Ah. Either way, you’re getting a 180Wh battery (Capacity is measured in Wh = Ah x V).
The only major gripe I have with this chainsaw is the fact that it doesn’t have an inertial chain brake. Kickback is very unlikely to happen on an electric cordless chainsaw such as this one, but it CAN happen. Which is why it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The low kickback Oregon bar and chain compensate for the lack of a dedicated brake, and the chainsaw itself stops immediately as soon as you let go of the trigger. This isn’t a gas saw where the chain spins for a bit even after you let off the throttle.
Review : WORX WG384 14″ Cordless Chainsaw Kit
Includes : 2x 20V Batteries and 1 hr Fast Charger
- High-efficient brushless motor design for long-lasting power and performance.
- Quick-stop chain brake, to help prevent accidental cutting.
- Automatic, tool-free chain tensioning system for extended bar & chain life.
- Automatic chain lubrication for continuous easy use.
- 40 volts of total power delivered by two 20V Power Share batteries.
- On-board battery indicator so you know exactly how much charge is left.
- DYNAMIC BRUSHLESS MOTOR : Designed for long-lasting power
- QUICK STOP CHAIN BRAKE : Prevents accidental cutting.
- Worx Power Share batteries are compatible with all Worx 20v and 40v tools
- TOOL-FREE CHAIN TIGHTENING : Automated chain tensioning makes for more efficient, quick cuts. You’ll always have the right tension and torque for each job, automatically
- AUTOMATED CHAIN LUBRICATION :So your blade always has the optimum amount of oil. Slice through logs with a smooth-running chain. Extends the life of the tool, the blade, and the chain
- TWICE THE POWER : Two 20V PowerShare batteries give you 40V of power
- BATTERY LEVEL INDICATOR : Keeps you informed at battery power level
- INCLUDES : 14” Chainsaw, Chain, (2x) 20V 2.0Ah Batteries, Chain Bar, Blade Protection Cover, 20V Dual Charger
“It’s certainly not a very powerful cordless chainsaw but you don’t need much power to do what this saw is intended for pruning and limbing. This is the kind of saw you pick up and throw in the back of your 4 x 4, to be used if you come across a fallen tree blocking the trail. It also serves well as a limbing/pruning saw in addition to your main chainsaw which may be a gas saw used for felling trees.”
WORX designed the WG384 to be a light, nimble saw that works as a substitute for pole saws if you just want to prune trees in your yard. It is larger than a 10 or 12 inch cordless chainsaw, but it works as a nice compromise between dedicated pruning saws and firewood saws. The 14” bar length is ideal for mobility. If you’re carrying this around by hand, you won’t even feel the weight. That’s how light it is. And since it isn’t very long, it won’t get tangled up in branches while you’re limbing a fallen tree.
The WG384 kit includes the 14-inch brushless chainsaw along with a pair of 20V 2.0Ah batteries. Similar to Makita’s X2 system, these 20V batteries combine to power the 40V chainsaw. You also get a dual port charger so you can charge both batteries at the same time. Runtime is decent, expect to fell and delimb a 30-foot tree without having to recharge the batteries.
This little cordless saw is also useful in home improvement projects. Maybe you want to cut up some wood for a new cabinet or construct some fence posts. Or perhaps cut off the branches from that one tree growing too close to your home’s windows. It is small and light enough to toss in the back of an ATV, so if you ever find a tree blocking your path all you have to do is pull out the WG384 and the obstruction will be cleared within minutes.
I find it quite amusing that a 14” cordless saw such as this cheap WORX has an inertial chain brake, but the far more expensive and powerful DeWalt 60V saw lacks one. As a result, the WG384 is actually a safer chainsaw to operate in my opinion. Especially for novices, because not only does it have a chain brake to prevent kickback related accidents, but it’s also lighter and smaller. You can easily swing this thing around without even trying, which is both a pro and a con. The lighter weight makes it excellent for women and anyone who is new to chainsaws, but it also makes the kickback response a lot more sudden. Lighter saws kickback faster since there isn’t as much inertia holding them down.
|WORX WG384 / TECH SPECS|
|Rated Voltage 40V MAX||Weight : 10.4 lbs.|
|Oil Tank Capacity 5.4 oz.||Chain Speed 26 ft/s|
|Chain Drive Links 52||Chain Gauge 0.043 in.|
|Machine Weight 10.4 lbs.||Chain Pitch 3/8 in.|
|Adaptive Chain Type QR: A0 (T)-52E / OREGON: 90PX052X||Adaptive Bar Type QR: P014-43SR(T) / OREGON: 144MLEA041|
|Charging Time 1 hr.||Warranty 5 yrs.|
Review : Craftsman V60 / 16″ cordless chainsaw kit
- EXTENDED RUN TIME: Brushless motor with high performance 60V 2.5 Ah battery pack for long runtime
- PRECISE CUTTING: Bubble Level allows for precise and level cutting
- MINIMAL MAINTENANCE: Auto oiling with tool free tensioning for minimal maintenance
- LOW KICKBACK: 16-in. low kickback bar and chain
- VERSATRACK™ COMPATIBLE: Use the integrated hook to hang this tool directly on the VERSATRACK™ Wall Organization System (sold separately)
“If you want a reasonably well-built 16 inch cordless saw for a cheap price, this Craftsman is hard to beat. From a company known mostly for its gas saws, this 60V chainsaw with a brushless motor is quite the surprise. It can handle firewood just fine, even if you use large amounts every winter season. And it can fell small to medium-sized trees. There is ample power to cut through hardwood such as cherry or maple, and the rear handle placement makes this saw very easy to maneuver.”
Is it going to rock your world? No. But the V60 is a handy little tool for Joe homeowner who just wants to cut some firewood that he purchased from a delivery service. Or people who want to trim and prune trees in their backyard. If you ever need to do some post-storm cleanup work like chopping up a tree that’s fallen on your driveway, this saw will handle that task just fine. However, don’t expect it to keep up with the likes of Makita or DeWalt in the endurance and build quality department. Because you get what you pay for, and in the case of this Craftsman that’s a decent homeowner/ DIY chainsaw which is meant to be used a couple times every year.
The ergonomics aren’t bad at all, in fact I was surprised to see the V60 using a similar design to the EGO Power+ 1800 chainsaw where the rear handle is raised and pulled further to the front. Kind of like a top handle saw, but it’s not designed for one-handed use. So don’t try to be an acrobat by one-handing this saw while on a ladder, else you’ll end up with a few missing limbs. In terms of comfort, the rubber grips and good weight distribution keep user fatigue to a minimum even after extended periods of usage.
In terms of pricing, it’s pretty much on par with the WORX WG384. You do get an extra 2 inches of bar length, however the difference in power isn’t enough to justify the added bar length. This chainsaw will choke if you try to cut logs that are more than 20 inches in thickness, similar to the WORX WG384. In terms of cutting speed, its RPM and torque are on par with the WORX. I feel the V60 is best used as a DIY project saw or firewood saw. It has decent runtime with its 60V 2.5Ah battery, but not enough to do any serious work with. Expect to get around 12 to 15 cuts on a 10” log of hickory with a single charge. The included charger will recharge this battery in about an hour, which isn’t very fast for a 2.5Ah battery.
If you’re planning to go into the woods with this chainsaw for some real firewood cutting, I recommend buying an extra battery or two. And while you’re at it, get a better chain. The included Oregon low kickback chain isn’t a slouch, but it’s optimized for safety and stability rather than cutting speed. If you are going to cut a lot of wood, invest in a more aggressive chain. The V60 does have an electric brake, which means it will stop the chain within milliseconds of you releasing the trigger. However, the front hand guard is not an inertial chain brake even though it looks like one. The design of the handguard is similar to DeWalt cordless saws, and the tool-free chain tensioning system also uses a mechanism found in DeWalt cordless saws.
Makita vs DeWalt | Which Brand Is Better?
Both Makita and DeWalt make quality products at premium prices for prosumer usage, although DeWalt tools are slightly more affordable compared to Makita tools. Both have excellent motors and high quality lithium ion batteries which last longer than the rest of the competition from companies like WORX, EGO, etc. But which manufacturer has the edge? Look, I’ll be honest- there is no “best” cordless chainsaw. Only the one that suits you more, depending on your budget and needs. Both Makita and DeWalt have their strengths as well as weaknesses, even though I would consider them equals in terms of innovation and craftsmanship.
Makita in my opinion has the better battery platform with their LXT and new XGT lineup. DeWalt’s Flexvolt system is good, but it doesn’t have the same level of endurance as Makita’s batteries which are equipped with STAR protection technology. STAR technology keeps Makita batteries in top shape for longer, and speeds up charging time. DeWalt does have rapid chargers, but Makita’s rapid chargers are just more… rapid. The faster charging times on Makita means you have less downtime between shifts and can get more work done.
DeWalt does balance torque and chain speed better than Makita since the latter emphasizes RPM more than torque. This means DeWalt is slightly better at cutting hardwood, but Makita will perform better in seasoned lumber or softer wood. Makita also has a better safety switch design, unlike DeWalt which has a thumb safety located far away from where the trigger is. Makita’s tool-free chain tensioning also feels more robust compared to DeWalt’s solution, however DeWalt does give you the option to go for conventional chain tensioning if you want.
Makita is my personal choice because of their history and support for older battery platforms. DeWalt shifts to newer battery platforms more frequently, abandoning the older ones in the process. This leaves customers stranded with no guarantee of future support for their older tools. Makita has been running the 18V LXT lineup of battery tools since the early 2000s, and they still support it to this date even though they have the new 40V XGT system. Makita even plans to release new 18V LXT tools later this year. Innovation is good, but planned obsolescence isn’t. In that regard, Makita wins out over DeWalt.