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Makita XCU04Z vs XCU03Z Review

Gas-powered chainsaws can be a hassle with all their required maintenance so many people are turning to battery-powered units as a great alternative. Makita is well-known for its high-quality products and offers two excellent battery-powered chainsaws, the XCU04Z and the XCU03Z. We will base our recommendation on project needs.

Makita XCU04Z

Makita XCU04Z

The Makita XCU04Z chainsaw has a 16-inch guide bar and features a brushless motor with direct drive. It has speeds up to 3,940 FPM, which provides fast and clean cuts for all your trimming and cutting applications.

This chainsaw, when compared to gas-powered chainsaws, offers you very few maintenance tasks as it has no requirements to replace spark plugs, the engine oil, or the air filter. It is battery powered, requiring two 18 V batteries. Even with both batteries attached, the chainsaw only weighs 11.5 pounds.

It features an LED on/off switch that also has an automatic power-off function. This shuts the chainsaw off if you have to delay operation. When you’re ready to operate the chainsaw again, just push the power button back on. This feature is great for extending battery life because it will not drain the batteries while the saw sits idle.

You can adjust the chain without tools and the chainsaw features an automatic adjustable chain lubrication mechanism with a large oil reservoir. It has a clear view window that allows for easy checking over the oil level without having to open the filling port.

Additionally, the front handle is comfortable with a rubberized grip, allowing for ergonomic handling of the chainsaw as well as the ability to apply even pressure when cutting. The position of the handle also allows the electric chain brake to actuate when kickback triggers the guard.

The Makita XCU04Z has a variable speed trigger that offers easy operation. It also offers a built-in lock-off lever that helps prevent the chain from engaging accidentally.

Makita XCU03Z

Makita XCU03Z

The Makita XCU03Z has amazing cutting ability straight out of the box. While it comes with a 14-inch guide bar, it can easily accommodate a 12-inch or 16-inch guide bar instead, making it great for felling small trees or limbing tasks. The chainsaw also comes equipped with metal bucking spikes.

Like the XCU04Z, this model features a direct drive system with a brushless motor. However, the XCU03Z comes with a 14-inch guide bar instead of the XCU04Z’s 16-inch guide bar.

You’ll be able to easily access the chain for maintenance or replacement. The processes for accessing the chain as well as that of chain tightening are both toolless.

Additionally, the chainsaw has three major safety features. The power button must be pressed to engage the motor. This button resets relatively quickly once you take your finger off it, preventing accidents. It also features a hand guard that trips the brake, preventing the saw from starting up when it’s in the lock position. Finally, there is a chain brake that will stop the chain quickly when you release the trigger.

This chainsaw requires two 18 V batteries to operate. It features a built-in LED on/off switch that has an auto-off function to automatically shut the unit off when the operation is stalled to extend the life of the battery. When the chain brake is engaged, the front hand guard is designed to actuate it. The rubberized soft grip ensures more evenly applied cutting pressure.

It offers very minimal operational noise levels and absolutely no emissions, ensuring the utmost in operator comfort. The chainsaw has Extreme Protection Technology which provides increased dust and water resistance in the harshest jobsite conditions.

The chainsaw features automatic chain lubrication.The system has a large oil reservoir and filling port with a large view window for easy checking or the addition of oil. Its chain speed is 3490 FPM.

Our Recommendation

Clearly, both chainsaws offer excellent features and are very reliable. We are going to complete one final delineation between the differences before you make your ultimate purchasing decision. The XCU04Z offers minimal maintenance requirements, ergonomic and comfortable hand grips, and an automatic chain oiling mechanism.

On the other hand, the XCU03Z also offers minimal maintenance, an automatic chain oiling mechanism, and excellent safety features. Both chainsaws are great options for professionals and homeowners alike.

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