Makita XCU01Z vs XCU02Z vs XCU02PM vs HCU02C1 Review

Battery-powered chainsaws are a great choice if you prefer to work without the noise and fumes of a gas-powered saw. Lithium-ion batteries can provide plenty of power without adding a lot of weight. Plus, you can use the same batteries in your other cordless tools. Let’s take a look at four models from Makita to see which one is the best for you.

Makita XCU01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 4-1/2″ Chain Saw (Bare Tool Only)

Makita XCU01Z
Makita XCU01Z

The compact and lightweight 18V Makita XCU01Z cordless chainsaw weighs only 5.4 pounds (with a battery). The 4-1/2-inch guide bar has just enough chain for limbing trees and shrubs on your property. It’s a handy tool for cutting kindling for firewood, too.

It’s impressive that a battery-powered saw can cut up to 980fpm. You don’t have to worry about working it too hard because it comes with Makita’s Star Protection Computer Controls against overheating and overloading. The electric brake stops the chain when you release the trigger. This saves the battery and protects you from accidents.

Although it’s battery-powered, you’ll still need to lubricate it. There is a view window set in the oil tank so you can keep an eye on the amount of lubricant remaining.

If you’re up on a ladder working, you can hang the saw from its retractable metal hook to keep your hands free for climbing. The whole saw itself measures 16-5/8-inches long so it doesn’t take up much room at all.

Although the XCU01Z doesn’t come with a battery, it uses the same slide-on 18V LXT battery that Makita cordless drills and other power tools use. You don’t need to go buy something special. And you won’t need any new tools to adjust the chain, either—it’s tool-less.

More features of the Makita XCU01Z cordless chainsaw:

  • Comes with no battery or charger—bare tool only
  • Covered by Makita’s 3-year warranty
  • 3/8-inch chain pitch, chain gauge .043”


Makita XCU02Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Cordless Chain Saw (Bare Tool Only)

Makita XCU02Z
Makita XCU02Z

Perhaps you want a larger, more powerful chainsaw than the XCU01Z. In that case, step up to this one, the XCU02Z, also known as the X2. Although this one is also sold as a bare tool, it runs off two 18V LXT batteries. Those are the same ones that power other Makita cordless tools like drills and leaf blowers.

More batteries means more power. This saw uses 36V and puts out up to 1650fpm for almost double the cutting speed of the XCU01Z. The guide bar is 12 inches long, perfect for anything from limbing to cutting kindling and clearing brush.

Even though it’s a faster, more powerful saw, the XCU02Z only makes 89dB(A) of noise. That’s not something you’ll want to listen to all day, but it skirts the edge of requiring you to use hearing protection.

You won’t need tools to adjust the chain on this saw. Besides this nice touch, it has a rubberized soft grip top handle to reduce vibration and a chain brake that activates with pressure on the front hand guard. It weighs only 10.1 pounds with the batteries onboard.

While you’re working hard, the Star Protection Computer Controls keep the motor from burning out on tough jobs and extend the life of your batteries. The XCU02Z is also protected from dust and moisture by Makita’s XPT, or Extreme Protection Technology.

More features of the Makita XCU02Z cordless chainsaw:

  • Comes with no battery or charger—bare tool only
  • Covered by Makita’s 3-year warranty
  • 3/8-inch chain pitch, chain gauge .043”


Makita XCU02PM 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Cordless Chain Saw Kit

Makita XCU02PM
Makita XCU02PM

The Makita XCU02PM kit comes complete with the batteries and charger you need to power it. Unfortunately, this kit was discontinued by Makita. But it’s still available for sale, so you may be able to find it at a discount.

The XCU02 cordless chainsaw is the same one described above as a bare tool. It uses 36 volts from two 18V lithium-ion batteries to power its chain up to 1650 feet per minute. Since it has Makita’s XPT protection against dust and moisture, you can work outdoors without worrying about a little rain.

You will need to lubricate it, but it’s easy to keep an eye on the oil level in the tank. You won’t need any tools to refill it or to adjust the chain.

The 12-inch guide bar is a good size for light duty work like removing limbs, pruning, and clearing out small trees and shrubs. With the batteries onboard, it weighs only 10.1 pounds.

The 4.0Ah batteries in this kit recharge in about 40 minutes on the included charger so you can take a lunch break and get back to work on time. You can also use other Makita 18V batteries from other cordless power tools like drills and impact drivers.

More features of the Makita XCU02PM cordless chainsaw kit:

  • Comes with two 4.0Ah lithium-ion 18V batteries and DC18RD dual battery charger
  • Covered by Makita’s 3-year warranty
  • 3/8-inch chain pitch, chain gauge .043”
  • Oil level visible so you can track lubricant level


Makita HCU02C1 LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw, 36-volt

Makita HCU02C1
Makita HCU02C1

The final cordless chainsaw in this review comes in the Makita HCU02C1 kit. It’s equivalent in power, size, and weight to the XCU02 chainsaw described above. This means it has a 12-inch guide bar for trimming branches and pruning. The chain works at speeds up to 1650fpm, but the Makita Star Protection Computer Controls keep it from overheating and burning out. The whole saw with the battery onboard weighs about ten pounds.

The same software keeps the 36V battery from over-discharge and protects it while it refills on the charger. Speaking of 36V batteries, why would you want to invest in a whole new voltage lineup when the other chainsaws can run off the batteries you use on your other power tools? Makita only has a few other cordless 36V tools, like a leaf blower, rotary hammer, and hedge trimmer. But if you use any of those, that’s a great reason to get this chainsaw instead of the others.

While there is no XPT protection against dust and moisture on the HCU02 saw, it has good features for protecting the user. One is the electric brake that engages when you release the trigger. That saves battery life and reduces the likelihood of accidental cuts. Pressure on the front hand guard actuates the chain brake, too. The rubberized soft grip on the handle keeps vibration down. And the saw itself only makes about 89dB(A) of noise while it’s in use.

More features of the Makita HCU02C1cordless chainsaw kit:

  • Comes with 36V battery and charger, blade cover, and chain oil
  • Covered by Makita’s 3-year warranty
  • Also known as the X2 chainsaw
  • 3/8-inch chain pitch, chain gauge .043”
  • Measures 24-5/8-inches long



Why would you want a battery-powered chainsaw? There are many good reasons. You’ll spend less to power it because you won’t need to fill it with gas. It won’t need a tune-up to replace a spark plug or an air filter. In fact, these four Makita chainsaws don’t even need tools to adjust the tension on their chains. All they need is lubrication just like any other chainsaw.

A battery-powered chainsaw doesn’t make as much noise or create as much pollution as one that runs on gas. Of course, gas-powered chainsaws are needed on big jobs felling trees. But if you’re a homeowner with branches to prune and brush to clear, a small size chainsaw is all you need.

If you have small pruning and limbing jobs, consider getting the Makita XCU01Z bare tool saw with the 4-inch guide bar. It runs on just one 18V Makita battery so you can power it with one from a drill or impact driver.

If you have larger cutting jobs, consider getting one of the other three Makita chainsaws. If you have 18V batteries on hand already, you can save money by purchasing the bare tool XCU02Z.

If you prefer to get a chainsaw with batteries included, get the Makita XCU02PM or the HCU02C1. They are equal in power, but use different power sources. The XCU02PM runs on two 18V batteries while the HCU02C1 uses a 36V battery pack. The XCU02PM also has Makita’s XPT protection against dust and damp.

The HCU02C1 would be an ideal purchase if you have, or plan to get, other 36V Makita tools like a hedge trimmer or leaf blower.

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