Makita X2 LXT 14″ Top Handle Cordless Chainsaw Review

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Makita X2 LXT 14″ Top Handle Chainsaw Model XCU08 Review

Makita X2 LXT 14" Top Handle Chainsaw

18V X2 (36V) LXT® Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 14" Top Handle Chain Saw, Tool Only

Manufacturer: Makita
Model number: XCU08Z
Price: 339.00
Power source: (2) 18V LXT Batteries
Weight: 10.2 Lbs. With Batteries

Makita has expanded their battery powered outdoor power equipment line with their new X2 LXT 14″ Top Handle cordless chainsaw. Any arborist, tree cutter, or landscaper will tell you the benefits of a compact top handle chainsaw. They are second to none when it comes to cutting in adverse positions or confined spaces. Makita’s newest offering uses their proven X2 18V LXT technology and combines it with professional grade features to create a top handle chainsaw that is as powerful as a comparable gas saw. It is also perfectly suited to a wide variety of timber cutting tasks. Be warned, this review may have you buying another teal colored tool and dropping every sapling in a three block radius.

Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

Makita XCU08 Specifications

  • Chain Pitch: 3/8″ LP
  • Chain Gauge: 0.043″
  • Guide Bar Length: 14″
  • Chain Speed: 3,940 FPM
  • Net Weight W/O Battery: 7.4 Lbs.
  • Net Weight W/ Battery: 10.2 Lbs.
  • Warranty: 3 Year Limited
Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

The push button flip cap design on the Makita is easy to use and stores down in the folded position when not in use.

Makita XCU08 Features

  • Makita-built outer rotor BL™ Brushless Motor direct-drive system provides power equivalent to a 30cc gas chain saw
  • Low noise level and zero emissions for operator comfort
  • Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls™ to protect against overloading, over-discharging and over-heating
  • Features extreme protection technology (XPT™) which is engineered to provide increased dust and water resistance in harsh job site conditions
  • Variable speed trigger and high chain speed (0-3,940 FPM) for improved cutting performance
  • Torque boost mode powers through thick or hard branches
  •  Captured bar nut and lateral chain tensioning for convenient operation and maintenance
  •  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 after 60 seconds for extended battery life
Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

The oiler adjustment screw is recessed with a rubber sealing cap. It is also located on the top of the saw and easy to access.

Standout Features of the Makita XCU08 Chainsaw

Describing this saw as feature packed would be an understatement. Makita incorporated design elements into the XCU08 chainsaw that are only found on professional grade gas powered saws. Makita is also no stranger to building powerful cordless tools and the X2 LXT system delivers on that lineage.

Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

A rear view of the saw. A push button power gauge that clearly shows the life of the two (X2) Makita LXT batteries. Also a folding lanyard loop.

The BL brushless motor system that is designed and built by Makita delivers more power and torque than I expected. Using it reminded me of my Makita XSR01 circular saw with the lack of felt vibration. The power of the Makita top handle cordless chainsaw stood out in all types of different materials. From dimensional framing lumber, to small tree limbs, and even larger diameter frozen firewood.

Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

The first power setting or normal mode of the saw. This is the mode the saw defaults to when powered on.

For high demand cutting tasks, engage the Turbo mode. Makita included a second high torque output cutting mode on the XCU08. By using the main power push button controls, the saw can be toggled over to Turbo mode. Hold down the button to get two green lights then hold on. The Makita’s Turbo mode was outstanding while cutting through seasoned lengths of frozen hardwood trees.

Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

Power setting 2 or Turbo mode for high demand cutting applications. Turbo mode provides additional torque.

Attention to Detail With the X2 Top Handle Chainsaw

Makita is well known for their attention to detail and consistent quality. This is immediately apparent with the X2 top handle cordless chainsaw. The side cover plate of the saw features a captive bar nut that won’t get lost during chain swaps. The tensioner is also easily accessible.

Makita XCU08 Chainsaw

The Makita features a single bar stud with captive bar nut and chain tension adjuster built into the side cover.

The lack of a bulky gas engine allowed Makita to move the clutch assembly inboard. This is a desired feature in professional grade saws. An inboard clutch will allow the powerhead to be removed easily if the bar becomes pinched or stuck.

Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

The space saving electric motor allowed Makita to use an inboard clutch design. Very handy should you accidentally pinch or bind up your bar. The adjustable chain tension can also be seen.

Makita included a well known Oregon brand chain with the top handle cordless chainsaw. Often times OEM chains on tools are questionable, but not with the XCU08. The bar is also of quality laminate construction with a sprocket nose.

Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

Makita includes a high quality laminated bar as well as plastic bar cover and a Oregon brad chain. No guessing on what OEM parts were used.

Cutting With the Makita X2 Top Handle Chain Saw

The balance of this saw is somewhat rear end heavy due to the double battery system, but the large side handle bar helps balance it during use. The ergonomic handles, responsive throttle trigger, and fast acting chain brake of the Makita XCU08 allow for enhanced safety of the user.

Makita X2 LXT XCU08

The Makita relies on speed and balance for cutting tasks. It is not meant to be leaned on heavily and would not be well suited as a dedicated firewood saw. The traditional style Makita cordless chainsaw would be a better option for a task such as firewood cutting or cleanup.

Who is This Saw Designed For

The Makita X2 top handle cordless chainsaw is a tool perfectly suited for the landscaper or treecare professional that wants powerful performance and reduced noise. Combine this with the fact that no mixed gas is necessary to get a saw as powerful as your average 30cc chainsaw. The performance and power of this saw would make it right at home in a bucket truck or attached to a climber’s harness.

Makita X2 LXT Top Handle Chainsaw

Let’s not forget about carpenters! The compact overall profile and easy maneuverability would make this saw a great addition to any job site with large timbers or dimensional framing lumber. If you are currently using the Makita 18V LXT platform, this saw will take up less space in your trailer or tool boxes and will still offer outstanding performance.

The Makita XCU08 is above and beyond for the average homeowner and takes practice to use safely. For a property owner or land/ranch owner this saw would excel at clearing brush and saplings as well as smaller diameter trees.

Price and Availability

The Makita X2 cordless top handle chainsaw is currently available. Pricing on a bare tool is $339.00, while a kit with dual battery charger and two 5.0Ah batteries is available for $449.00. The kit pricing is a tremendous value for the extra batteries if you are currently a Makita user.

Our partnered retailer ACME Tools will be receiving the Makita XCU08 soon and is offering special promos on Makita tools now. Follow the link below to view this tool as well as other.

18V X2 (36V) LXT® Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 14" Top Handle Chain Saw, Tool Only

Final Thoughts and Overall Impression

After the review process was complete, I realized that this is the type of tool that makes me happy to be a Makita cordless user. The Makita cordless top handle chainsaw combines power and performance into a compact overall package. It’s extensive features list reads like the spec sheet on a lumberjack’s dream saw. Makita’s knack for creating remarkable cutting tools shone through in the form and function of this saw. If you make wood chips for a living or just enjoy leveling mother nature a bit, then the Makita model XCU08 cordless top handle chainsaw is worth a look.

About the author

Wes Bartosik

Wes Bartosik is a Connecticut native with strong family ties to the construction world. Wes’ father and grandfather both were builders and developers and taught Wes the values of doing things right from an early age and getting hands on experience with every facet of the construction industry. Wes apprenticed with a carpenter throughout high school and would later attend Central Connecticut State University earning a bachelor’s degree in construction management all while working for a large excavation contractor throughout. Wes would go on to work for a local heavy-highway construction company and gain further experience with all the skilled trades associated with large civil engineering and utility projects. Though working as a manager now, Wes’ true passion is working in the field alongside the tradesman and laborers on site. Wes has been involved in community based service projects throughout his life as well as emergency services. In his spare time he takes on serious DIY projects for himself, friends and family. He is a firm believer that with a quality tool in your hands and some grit, you can accomplish anything.

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