Makita XCU02PT Chainsaw Review 2024


I’m always on the hunt for the perfect blend of power, efficiency, and user-friendly design. And it’s safe to say that the Makita XCU02PT chainsaw checks all these boxes and then some. As I delve into the details of my personal experience with this fantastic tool, you’ll see why I’ve been so impressed by what Makita has to offer.

Product Specifications

  • Power Source: 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries
  • Motor: Brushless motor
  • Bar Length: 12 inches (30 cm)
  • Chain Speed: Variable speed trigger (0-940 FPM)
  • Chain Brake: Yes
  • Automatic Chain Lubrication: Yes
  • Chain Tensioning: Tool-less chain tensioning system
  • Weight: Approximately 10.1 lbs (4.6 kg)

Personal Experience

I understand the importance of firsthand experience with the tools I recommend, and the Makita XCU02PT is no exception. I’ve used this chainsaw extensively in various environments and for different types of tree care jobs, from light trimming to more significant cutting tasks.

One of the most striking features I’ve noticed during my use is its impressive battery life. The dual 18V LXT batteries provided sufficient runtime to complete most of my tree care tasks without necessitating a recharge. Of course, for more demanding jobs, it is essential to plan for battery recharging. Having access to the rapid optimum charger included in the kit helped me optimize my workflow effectively.

The noise, or rather, the lack of it, was another pleasant surprise. Being accustomed to the roaring gas chainsaws, the Makita XCU02PT’s quiet operation was a refreshing change, especially when working in noise-sensitive areas.

In terms of handling, this chainsaw is a real winner. It is lightweight, and the ergonomic design really shines when you’re maneuvering through complex cuts or working for extended periods. The tool-less chain adjustment feature was another handy aspect that made my work easier.

However, it’s not all roses. For heavier, more demanding tasks, I noticed that the Makita XCU02PT does struggle a bit compared to its gas-powered counterparts. While it did not halt my work, it required a bit more patience and careful planning.

Lastly, I must comment on the lack of emissions with the Makita XCU02PT. As an arborist, I feel a deep responsibility toward preserving the environment, and using a tool that shares this commitment was gratifying.

Price Comparison & Value

While the XCU02PT is not the cheapest chainsaw on the market, it is certainly a strong contender when it comes to value for money. It costs a bit less than competitors such as the Husqvarna T540i XP but provides a lot of power and convenience features that more expensive models have.

Evolution from Previous Models

In the ever-evolving world of arborist tools, Makita has remained at the forefront, keenly embracing user feedback and technological advancements to refine its product line. The XCU02PT is a shining example of this commitment to progress.

Compared to its predecessors, the XCU02PT features a brushless motor that not only extends its battery life but also reduces the wear and tear on the engine, resulting in a longer lifespan for the chainsaw. This is a significant improvement over the brushed motors used in older models, which can wear out more quickly due to the friction generated between the brushes and the commutator.

The XCU02PT also benefits from Makita’s advancements in battery technology. Utilizing two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries, the XCU02PT delivers consistent power and extended run time. This is a noteworthy upgrade from previous models, allowing arborists to work longer without worrying about frequent battery changes.

Perhaps the most striking evolution is seen in the chainsaw’s design. The XCU02PT embodies a more user-centric approach, with its lightweight, balanced form and ergonomic handle making it easier and more comfortable to use. This design evolution focuses not just on performance, but also on the user’s comfort and safety, a feature that any arborist will appreciate after long hours of work.

Comparison with Competitors

When compared with other chainsaws, such as the STIHL MSA 200 C-B, the Makita XCU02PT holds its own. While it may lack the sheer power of some gas-powered models, it offers a compelling combination of ease of use, quiet operation, and no emissions that make it ideal for many arborists, including myself.

Pros and Cons

In any discussion about a chainsaw, the conversation naturally gravitates toward the balance of power, usability, and reliability. The Makita XCU02PT makes a compelling argument with its cordless operation, a feature that offers unrivaled freedom and maneuverability. There’s nothing quite like being able to move around unencumbered, making cuts from odd angles without worrying about a power cord.

The brushless motor is another standout feature. The motor’s efficient design reduces power loss, delivering a longer run time and extending the overall lifespan of the chainsaw. With lesser wear and tear, this translates to lower maintenance costs and more operational hours – all leading to better productivity.

Ergonomics also play a crucial role in any power tool, and in this regard, the XCU02PT shines. The chainsaw’s lightweight design, combined with well-balanced weight distribution, significantly reduces user fatigue. This aspect is essential when working on extended tasks or in situations where precision is key.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with the XCU02PT. While it handles light to medium-duty tasks admirably, it starts to show limitations when it comes to heavy-duty tasks. The power output, while decent for a battery-powered chainsaw, doesn’t quite match the raw performance of a gas chainsaw. If your work involves a lot of thick, hardwood cutting, this could be a potential drawback.

Moreover, while the freedom of a cordless chainsaw is liberating, it also means you’re reliant on the batteries. The XCU02PT does have excellent battery life, but if you’re working in a remote location or for an extended period, you’ll need to plan for battery recharging. Without access to a power source, you could find yourself in a pickle.

In summary, the Makita XCU02PT is a brilliant tool, offering many advantages with its cordless operation, efficient motor, and ergonomic design. However, it does have its limitations, particularly when it comes to heavy-duty work and reliance on battery life. Like any tool, it’s about understanding these pros and cons and making a decision that best suits your specific needs and circumstances.


The Makita XCU02PT is not merely a cordless chainsaw; it’s a statement of the evolution and potential that the world of cordless arborist tools has to offer. Its ability to bring together power, efficiency, and a design that puts the user first is commendable, and it’s these attributes that have significantly enhanced my day-to-day tasks as an arborist.

The raw power it houses for a battery-operated chainsaw is impressive. It has enough punch to tackle a broad range of tasks, from trimming branches to cutting down medium-sized trees. This level of versatility makes it an excellent ally in the field.

Its brushless motor exemplifies efficiency, reducing power loss, and thereby extending the chainsaw’s run time and longevity. Over the years, I’ve seen this feature save precious time and energy, contributing to the overall effectiveness of my work.

The user-centric design of the XCU02PT has also been a key highlight for me. It’s lightweight, well-balanced, and easy to maneuver, even in awkward cutting positions. This not only reduces fatigue but also enhances safety, a critical aspect for any arborist.

But of course, it’s not the ultimate tool for all situations. It struggles when it comes to heavy-duty tasks, where the power of a gas chainsaw is usually required. Also, the need for battery recharging can potentially limit its use in remote areas or for extended periods. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate your specific requirements before investing.

But all things considered, I find the Makita XCU02PT to be a game-changing asset in my arborist toolkit. For many arborists who are looking to balance power, efficiency, and usability, this chainsaw could very well be a significant upgrade.

As we continue to explore the vast world of arborist tools, the journey will be filled with unique challenges and innovative solutions, one chainsaw at a time. So, stay connected as we delve deeper and uncover more about these indispensable allies in our profession.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How well does the Makita XCU02PT perform compared to gas chainsaws?
    While the Makita XCU02PT provides ample power for most arborist tasks, it may not match up to gas chainsaws for very heavy-duty work. It excels at tasks like trimming and cutting medium-sized trees.
  2. How long does the battery last on the Makita XCU02PT?
    The Makita XCU02PT uses two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries, and the actual runtime will depend on the specific task and the power demand. However, it’s worth noting that the brushless motor optimizes battery use to extend run time and increase the overall life of the chainsaw.
  3. Is the Makita XCU02PT easy to handle?
    Yes, the XCU02PT is lightweight and well-balanced, making it easy to handle even in awkward cutting positions.
  4. Can I use the Makita XCU02PT for long periods?
    With its brushless motor and twin-battery design, the XCU02PT is designed for extended use. However, the actual usage time may vary based on the intensity of the work and the need for battery recharging.
  5. What maintenance does the Makita XCU02PT require?
    As with any chainsaw, regular maintenance such as chain sharpening, tensioning, and oiling is needed. However, being battery-powered, it requires less maintenance than a gas chainsaw, as there’s no need to worry about fuel, spark plugs, or air filters.
  6. Is the Makita XCU02PT environmentally friendly?
    Yes, as a battery-powered chainsaw, the XCU02PT doesn’t emit harmful gases, making it an environmentally friendly choice. This also allows it to be used in emission-restricted areas.
David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


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