Makita vs Black and Decker

In this article I’m going to talk about the relative merits of two of the most popular battery operated chainsaws currently available. Both Makita and Black and Decker are big players in the power tool market and each has a number of platforms where a particular rechargeable battery can be used in a number of devices. So let’s look further at the Makita XCU02PT and the Black and Decker LCS1240 battery powered chainsaws.

These two chainsaws share many features and on the face of it are similar in many respects. In this article we’ll take a look at both their similarities and what sets them apart. By the end of this article, hopefully you will have a better idea of how they compare and which one is right for you.

In truth, it’s hard to go wrong with either of these saws. Both have excellent customer ratings so buyers are onto a winner. I like to compare saws side by side as it makes it easy to see the differences at a glance. Have a look at the table below which will hopefully answer any questions you may have.

 Black and Decker LCS1240Makita XCU02PT
Battery TypeLithium-IonLithium-Ion
Battery Voltage40V36V (2 x 18V)
Battery Amp Hours2AH5AH
Battery Charge Time4-5 hours45 minutes
Bar Size12 inches12 inches
Oiling System TypeAutomatic - Fixed FlowAutomatic - Adjustable
Tool-less chain tensionYesYes
Chain Pitch3/8"3/8"
Chain Gauge0.043"0.043"
Chain links4546
Chain speed5 m/s8.3 m/s
DesignRear handleTop handle
ReviewClick hereClick here

Both saws have 12 inch blades which makes them ideal for carrying out light cutting duties around the home. The chains are also very similar, both being low-profile with particularly narrow gauges (thickness of the drive links). This helps to make the chains lighter than some of the larger gauge chains, though not quite as robust. Both chains are low kickback and meet the standards of ANSI B175.1.

In terms of the batteries, the LCS1240 has a single 40 volt battery, whereas the XCU02PT is powered by two 18 volt batteries, providing a total of 36 volts. A higher voltage usually means a greater capacity for work resulting in more power but the difference here is so small as to not really make a difference.

Where the two products do differ is in terms of how much load the battery is capable of delivering. This is measured in amp hours and as you can see from the table above, the Makita is capable of delivering a much higher load. In this case the batteries will deliver a load of 5 Amp hours, which means that they can deliver a load of 5 amps continuously for 1 hour or 1 amp for 5 hours and so on. In theory the 5AH battery would run for two and a half times as long as the 2AH battery, although in practice this isn’t always the case and the runtime might be slightly more or less depending on how the battery has been designed. What we can say, however, is that you will get more runtime from the Makita.

When it comes to charging the batteries, the Makita also offers superior performance. With the dual-charger which comes with the saw, you will be able to fully charge both batteries in around 45 minutes, compared to 4 or 5 hours with the Black and Decker. Note, you can upgrade the Black and Decker charger which will charge the battery in around one and a half hours but this will cost around $70.

Overall, the Makita batteries offer more power and are able to deliver chain speed of 8.3 meters per second, compared to the LSC1240’s 5 meters per second. All other things being equal (such as chain condition), this should offer better cutting performance.

In terms of the oiling systems, the XCU02PT has an automatic adjustable flow oiler compared to the LCS1240’s automatic fixed flow version. Both types of oiler work perfectly well, although adjustable flow oilers do allow the user some flexibility to change the rate of flow to match the cutting conditions.

So, how do these two products compare when it comes to design and construction? They both have metal and plastic components but of the two the Makita has a slightly more robust and durable feel. That said, neither saw is designed for heavy duty cutting and both are able to stand up to the demands placed on them.

On the XCU02PT the two batteries are positioned at the back of the saw, whereas on the LCS1240 the battery slots into the side, which may impact slightly on the balance of the device. The Black and Decker has a traditional rear handle, whereas the Makita has a less popular top handle. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between the two, except that rear handle models tend to be easier to control and are therefore more suited to inexperienced users. Some people also find top handles uncomfortable to use so it’s really a matter of personal preference.

When it comes to weight, the LCS1240 is around 1½ pounds lighter than the XCU02PT, which may make it easier to handle for some people.

Consumer Ratings

There are over 500 reviews on-line for the LCS1240 and over 200 for the XCU02PT and both products have excellent ratings.

In both cases, around 90% of buyers have rated the saw as either good or excellent which, given the number of reviews, is an excellent endorsement of the products. In terms of consumer feedback, it is impossible to separate the two products.


In terms of price, the Black and Decker wins hands down. Currently, it is around $200 cheaper than the Makita.


If you are looking for a portable non-gas chainsaw to carry out a range of light cutting duties, either of these products would be suitable and they are both excellent value for the money. They are easy to use and offer great performance.

Consider the Black+Decker if:

  • You already have power tools in the Black and Decker 40v Max range

  • You want the cheaper saw

  • You want the lighter product

  • You want a rear handle model
black+decker lcs1240 cordless chainsaw

Consider the Makita if:

  • You already have other power tools in the Makita 18v LXT platform.

  • You are happy to pay extra for additional features, such as quicker charging, more power and adjustable oiler.

  • You want a slightly more robust saw

  • You want a top handle model

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