black and decker lcs1240 40V chainsaw review

Based on ratings alone, the Black and Decker LCS1240 40v Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw is definitely worth consideration. When ninety percent of consumers rate this chainsaw as either good or excellent, you just have to sit up and take notice, right?

Produced by this world leading power tool brand and coming in at well under $200, this powerful little saw has got plenty of plus points.

Carry on reading this review and decide for yourself if the ratings are justified.

Great performance, easy to handle

The LCS1240 has been specifically designed for pruning branches and cutting fallen limbs. As well as this the manufacturer states that it is suitable for cutting logs up to 12” in diameter.

So just what is this saw like to handle and exactly what are its capabilities? For starters, this a lightweight saw and very easy to control. If you have never owned a chainsaw before and are looking for something to handle all those small jobs around your property, the 1240 is ideal. User feedback suggests that it particularly popular with women and seniors. If you have ever suffered from an injury, perhaps to the back, which makes it difficult to lift heavy objects this saw ticks most of the boxes.

As the manufacturer states, the saw is particularly suited to pruning and light cutting. If you need to tidy any small overgrown trees and shrubs, clear brush from the yard or fell small trees and cut light firewood, this saw is a great choice. If you need something to take down a 16” tree, the 1240 will simply lack the battery power.

In terms of log size, the general consensus is that the saw operates at its best cutting wood with a diameter up to 8 inches. Many users have indicated that they have used it for cutting logs and felling trees with diameters up to 12” and that the saw has performed well – with the only downside being that it uses battery very quickly. For larger jobs it may therefore be prudent to have a spare battery with you.

There are a couple of notes of caution which users should be aware of when using the saw. Firstly, when it comes to cutting small brush and saplings, extreme care should be exercised. Occasionally slim material can catch the chain and either pull you off balance or be whipped towards you. Secondly, the saw has a tendency to bounce on slender and small branches at the start of the cut. Provided you are aware of this it shouldn’t be an issue.

Starting the 1240 is a breeze. You simply need to engage the lock out button with your thumb, press the trigger switch and away you go. This beats all the priming, choke adjusting and fighting with starter cords that you get with gas saws.

To summarize, this is a lightweight saw which you can just about take anywhere. Although you should avoid using it in wet weather and in temperatures above 40° (such as in metal buildings and sheds during the summer) to avoid issues with the battery, this portable saw is perfect for use where there isn’t access to a power point. In addition, operators needn’t worry about working round long extension cords. Check out the video below to learn more.

Efficient cutting equipment

The Black and Decker LCS1240 comes equipped with a 12” low kickback Oregon bar and chain. As you would expect from this quality bar and chain manufacturer the saw has excellent cutting efficiency.

The guide bar is reduced kickback, which means that it has been tested and shown to significantly reduce the number and seriousness of kickback events. Attached to the bar is a low-kickback chain which meets the kickback requirements of ANSI B175.1 2012 – the recognized standard in relation to this. You should note that even despite these reassurances and the fact that this is a small saw, kickback can still occur and cause problems if the saw is not handled properly. For example, this will occur if the tip of the moving chain comes into contact with the tree.  Fortunately, this is a light saw so operators should easily be able to cope with any kickback events, provided the saw is being handled correctly.

Maintaining a properly tightened chain is important for cutting performance and with the LCS1240 this is simple thanks to the large chain tensioning knob on the side of the saw. No tools are required. Just remember that chain tension should be checked on a regular basis with the motor stopped. The chain itself runs at 5 meters per second, providing enough speed to ensure decent cutting performance for small jobs.

Just as important as a correctly tensioned chain, is one which is sharp. You should ensure that the chain is kept sharpened by maintaining it on a regular basis using a 4.5mm file and file holder. Sharpening kits can be bought for under $10. Alternatively, you can pick up a new chain for less than $15 if you don’t feel confident doing this.

Some users mentioned that they had experienced difficulties finding a replacement bar and chain. The manufacturer advises that the replacement chain is #RC1200, service part number 90586162. The bar is RC1200, service part number 90614272.

Design and Construction

The LCS1240 is pretty much identical in design to the LCS1020 model.

It has the same lightweight plastic and metal construction and although it is solid enough, it isn’t as robust as a gas powered saw. If you’re used to large gas powered saws this may feel like a bit of a toy but the 1240 has not been designed to take on heavy duty tasks.

The rear handle has a rubberized grip for comfort and a guard to protect the right hand. The trigger switch is on the underside of the handle and the lock-off button on top.

There is a half-wrap front handle situated just behind the front handguard. Unlike other chainsaws, this front handle is there for protection only and doesn’t act as a chain brake. This isn’t really an issue given the size of the saw where the severity of kickback incidents is likely to be less than with larger machines.

On top of the power unit there is a large screw off cap for the oil reservoir. This is easily accessible and the unit can be filled straight from the bottle without need of a funnel. Just below the oil cap is the reservoir’s transparent window, which is useful for gauging the level of chain oil in the unit.

On the right hand side of the saw you will find the sprocket cover, bar adjust locking knob and chain tensioning knob. As the saw comes unassembled, the bar and chain need to be fitted. This is carried out by removing he sprocket cover – which is done by unscrewing the bar adjust locking knob. Fitting the bar and chain is a simple process which doesn’t’ require tools. Full instructions are provided in the manual and there is also a diagram on the sprocket cover providing helpful tips. Another plus mark for Black and Decker.

The battery itself is positioned on the saw on the left hand side of the unit. This simply slots in an out and doesn’t require the use of any tools.

Powerful Black and Decker Battery

Black and Decker LCS1240Power to the 1240 is supplied by a 40v 2 Amp Hour Lithium Ion battery which the manufacturer states can hold its charge for up to 18 months. The battery is part of Black and Decker’s 40V Max* Outdoor system which means it is interchangeable with other products in the 40v range. This is great if you already own other B & D 40v power tools.

So what does this mean in terms of cutting life? Black and Decker state that it will provide over 60 4×4 pine lumber cuts on average per single charge. The length of time the battery will last before requiring a recharge depends on the intensity of the cutting task. You should, however, expect that on average it will provide around 30-45 minutes of cutting time. For particularly large jobs that you need to complete in a single session you may therefore need more than one battery.

You should note that only the Black and Decker 40v battery will fit this machine. So if you have another 40v, say from a Dewalt power tool, you will not be able to use this as a spare. The battery itself has no memory effect, which means you don’t have to wait until the battery has completely run down before recharging.

A battery charger is supplied with the product. Although this is perfectly adequate, you should note that this is not the fastest charger in the Black and Decker range and you can expect it to take between four and five hours to fully charge the battery. If you want the ability to charge your batteries more quickly, you could invest in the LCS 40 Fast Charger which will do the job in around one and a half hours and costs just under $70. Unlike with corded chainsaws, you do, however, always need to plan your schedule in advance and ensure your batteries are fully charged.

On a final note, unlike gas machines, the fact that this is battery operated makes it a pretty quiet saw to operate. Expect noise levels around 90dB, which is similar to hearing the sound of a motor cycle from 25 feet away. At these noise levels you would need constant exposure of up to around eight hours for this to be a problem.

Chain Oil System

The LCS1240’s automatic oiling system ensures that there is a constant flow of oil to the bar and chain. This means that you don’t have to remember to manually release the oil whilst using the saw. There is no means to adjust the flow rate of the oil which means that it is released at a constant rate no matter what the conditions are or the nature of the task being undertaken.

In terms of how much oil the saw will hold, the capacity is around 3.7 oz. A quart of chain oil costs around $10, which will fill the reservoir nine times. Regular checks of the oil level should be made and the transparent window makes this easy. If the level falls below a quarter full the reservoir should be topped up. A high quality bar and chain oil should be used and a vegetable based oil should be used when pruning to prevent harm to the trees.

User feedback suggests that the automatic system works well but you should expect it to get through a fair amount of chain oil. You may need to refill the reservoir every five to ten minutes so you should always remember to keep your chain oil bottle handy. As mentioned earlier, filling the reservoir is simply a case of unscrewing a cap and pouring.
One final point, oil will continue to leak from the blade and reservoir during storage. This is a common issue with many chainsaws. You may, therefore, wish to store it in a plastic tub or on some plastic trash bags.

Safety Features

This saw has a number of safety features commensurate with its size and purpose.

Thanks to the lock-out button, the 1240 can’t be started accidentally by squeezing the throttle switch.

It is fitted with a reduced kickback guide bar and low kickback chain. The chain should always be properly maintained and kept sharp to ensure that these features are maintained.

There are rear and front guards which provide protection to the hands from flying debris and possible contact with the chain.

The saw is not equipped with a chain brake. This is not an issue given its size and ease of handling, as well as the fact that the chain comes to a stop quickly after the throttle is released.

Dimensions

As indicated earlier, this is a lightweight saw and has an operating weight of 8.4lbs. This makes it very easy to handle.

Accessories

As well as an operator’s manual, the saw comes with a battery charger and bar scabbard. The saw doesn’t come with a carry case but will fit into a sports hold all should you need something in which to transport it.

Pros

•    Lightweight and easy to handle
•    Easy to assemble
•    Excellent cutting performance
•    Portable
•    Quiet operation

Cons

•    Oil reservoir needs to be checked and refilled on a regular basis
•    May need additional batteries for large jobs

Consumer Ratings for the Black and Decker LCS1240 40v Max

Based on the hundreds of online consumer reviews this saw is most definitely a winner. Around 90% of people have rated the product as either good or excellent which is a resounding endorsement.

Consumers are particularly happy with the price, cutting performance and how easy it is to handle.

In terms of negative reviews, some consumers weren’t happy with how much chain oil the saw uses, but this wasn’t an issue for the majority of people so this is down to personal preference. Some users weren’t happy with how long the battery charge lasted but again these views were in the minority.

You should consider buying this saw if:

•    You are a first time chainsaw user.
•    You want a lightweight saw which is easy to handle.
•    You want a saw which is easy to start and maintain.
•    You want a portable saw to carry out work away from the nearest power point.
•    You don’t want to worry about manually releasing chain oil.

You should not buy this saw if:

•    You are looking for a saw capable of handling more than light duty work.
•    You want a high quality, robust saw

Black and Decker LCS1240 40v Max Price

This is a very reasonably priced saw which falls in the $100 – $200 price range. The battery alone costs just under $100, so if you are looking for a Black and Decker spare 40v battery you could buy the chainsaw. In this way you would get your battery and the saw itself would cost less than $40! Either way this saw represents excellent value for the money.

Warranty

Black and Decker provide a limited 2-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

black and decker lcs1240 40V chainsaw

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