Makita is a company well known for its gas powered chainsaws, as well as a range of other professional grade power tools.
However, not every home owner demands a gas saw, and may be better suited to purchasing an electric model. If you’re in this situation, then the company may have you covered with the Makita UC4051A electric chain saw.
This is a relatively small and lightweight saw, that has been designed for domestic tasks. Let’s take a look at the in depth review to find out if this saw will be able to meet your needs.
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What is this Chainsaw Best At?
Makita has designed the UC4051A to be an easy to use homeowner chainsaw. It has a high speed chain that makes it perfect for clearing tree limbs, cutting smaller trees, and breaking up firewood for domestic use.
It’s electric powered, so the maintenance requirements are low, and it is well suited to homeowners who haven’t used a chainsaw in the past.
Is it Designed for High Frequency of Use?
Because this Makita UC4051A chainsaw is mains powered, you won’t need to worry about recharging a portable battery for long work sessions. The Makita UC4051A also has a similar advantage in that it doesn’t require fuel top ups for operation.
This means that cutting up a full cord of firewood can be done quickly and more efficiently, and you can basically pick it up and go for any light-duty tasks that you might have.
Is it a Portable Chainsaw?
The Makita UC4051A chainsaw is lightweight, coming in at a total of just 12.3 lb. In this sense, it is easily portable around your yard, however, you will need to keep in mind that this is a mains powered saw, which means that you won’t be able to go beyond the recommended maximum cable length of 100 ft.
This may be limiting for some owners, depending on the size of their property, and it means that this saw won’t be useful out in forested areas or for track clearing. If you would prefer a low maintenance electric saw but don’t want to be tethered to a power outlet, then you could consider a battery powered electric saw like the Black & Decker LCS1240.
What are the Power Requirements?
Thorughout our Makita UC4051A review, we found the power requirements for this unit to be quite specific. This is true to all corded electric saws, and it’s important that you keep to the recommendations if you want to get the best performance.
It draws up to 13 amps of power at maximum load, which means you’ll need to run it from a circuit that exceeds this rating. There should be no other large appliances or power tools running from the same circuit, to prevent tripping your circuit breaker.
Virtually every use case scenario will require an extension cable, and you can use one up to a length of 100ft. As length increases, so does resistance, so you’ll need to make sure that you use a high quality cable that is matched to the amperage draw.
For a 50 ft. cable, you’ll need 14 gauge cable, and for a 100 ft. cable, you’ll need to have one that meets 12 gauge AWG specification. The cables you use should be rugged and designed for outdoor use, which will prolong their life and prevent breakages that could be hazardous.
How Does It Perform and Does It Have Good Cutting Speed?
Cutting speed is not just down to the saw, but also to the material that you’re working with, and your cutting technique. In short, this saw has excellent power that is comparable to a 2 horsepower gas saw. If you are cutting small pieces of timber or dry logs, then you will have no problems getting through your material.
If you are cutting hard wood, then you will get better speeds when you are cutting at an angle. For basic limb clearing, firewood cutting, or breaking up logs from fallen trees, this saw will be as fast as any comparable gas model.
If you need to cut large trees, then the work could take longer than usual, particularly if you need to cut straight through the timber.
Check the video below to see the unboxing of the Makita UC4051A and how it handles in action!
Is it Easy to Handle?
Handling is an important consideration for any chain saw, particularly when it is designed for homeowners who will have less experience than professionals. If you’ve been concerned about buying a chainsaw because of any perceived handling difficulties, then you can take confidence from knowing that the UC4051A is particularly easy to hold and operate.
The weight is balanced nicely, and it has some great features, such as the soft start motor. This means that there is no heavy jarring when powering it up for the first time. Vibrations are also reduced while operating this saw, and there is no idling vibration, due to it stopping completely when the trigger is released.
All in all, this shares the same easy handling characteristics of most electric chainsaws.
What is the Guide Bar Length?
The guide bar is 16 inches in length, and although it’s not the longest bar on an electric chainsaw, it is well suited to most domestic tasks. Professionals will agree that a chainsaw should be able to fell a tree that is twice its bar length in diameter, which means that with some time and work, you could do the same with the Makita UC4051A.
The length helps with the saw balance, and also makes it easy to carry and store, especially when compared to slightly longer 18 inch models.
Included Safety Features
The chain included with the Makita UC4051A chainsaw has been designed to provide minimal kickback, which is an important feature for first time users. The low weight and reduced vibrations also make the saw safer, because fatigue will be reduced when operating it for extended periods.
An electric design means that the motor disengages almost instantaneously when releasing the trigger, which is another important safety aspect of this saw.
With all of this in mind, you should always remember that any chainsaw is potentially dangerous, so you should always adhere to the safety warnings which can be found in the user documentation.
Are There Maintenance Requirements?
An electric saw means that there will always be less maintenance when compared to a gas saw, and in our Makita UC4051A review we found that this model has some extras which make it even easier to take care of.
There’s an automatic blade oiling system, so all you’ll need to do is make sure that the oil is topped up. Like a number of other electric saws, it also includes a tool-free tensioner on the side of the housing, so you won’t even need to disassemble the saw to make sure the blade is at its optimal setting.
How Easy is it to Use?
So far you will know that the tool is light weight, it is easy to handle, and there are very few maintenance requirements. In terms of ease of use, it is on par with other leading electric chainsaws. With study of the manual and a good understanding of cutting techniques, you will find that this saw has a relatively small learning curve that will help you to operate it safely and efficiently.
This means that it is vitally important to remain focused and alert when using the saw, as its ease of use can sometimes make you forget that you’re handling such a powerful tool.
Plastic is used throughout the housing, which is sometimes seen as a downside on an electric chainsaw. However, Makita has used steel reinforcement throughout the chassis and on the most important components.
One example is the tensioning system, which uses all-metal internals. This should help to prolong the life of the product, and make it a better investment when compared to some more affordable electric saws.
If you are familiar with Makita’s overall quality, then you won’t be disappointed with this chainsaw.
Are Accessories Included?
The UC4051A comes packaged as a bare tool with a simple guide bar cover, so you’ll need to invest in some of the most common accessories to get the most out of this unit.
If you will be storing it inside, you won’t necessarily need a storage box, but you will need some basic safety accessories like goggles and gloves. Because this saw operates without typical engine noise, you shouldn’t need hearing protection in most outdoor situations.
Important Product Features
- 5 Amp total power rating.
- 16” guide bar.
- Chisel type blade for low kickback.
- Soft start feature.
- Current limiter on motor to prevent damage.
Makita provides comprehensive documentation for the saw, which includes specifications, safety precautions, cutting guides, a parts diagram, and breakdown/assembly instructions.
The manual covers everything that you would need to know upon purchasing a new chainsaw, and the quality information is helped by plenty of illustrated diagrams.
- The saw is lightweight and easy to handle.
- The soft start feature is an important safety addition that makes the saw easier to use.
- Step up in construction from most electric saws.
- Tool free adjustment for blade tensioning.
- Cord hook on the power cord prevents disconnection during use.
- Leading power for an electric saw.
- Relatively high price for an electric chain saw.
- Some may prefer the longer blade included on competing electric saws.
Tips for New Owners
New owners should be sure to read the instruction manual completely, particularly when it comes to setting the right blade tension.
The chain can become slack over time, which can cause it to come off of the bar guide. Always manually check the tension while the saw is unplugged, before using the tool free tightening dial.
Consumer Ratings & Reviews
This saw currently has a near flawless rating on the largest online retailer site, with 4.8 / 5 stars from users. This is a reflection of its overall quality and performance. Praise has been given for its ease of use as a ‘pick up and go’ chainsaw.
Owners like the fact that there is no need for gas, there are no emissions, and it operates without the typical noise of a gas chainsaw.
Negative reviews do exist, but have mostly been focused on defective units. Even with the protection circuit, some users have experienced motor burnout and have had to go through the Makita warranty claim process.
How Much Does It Cost?
For most people, price is one of the most important factors when choosing a power tool.
This saw can be purchased online for under $250, which makes it around twice the price of some other electric chainsaws, and still significantly more than some comparable models, such as the Black & Decker LCS1240.
Click on the link below to check the latest price on Amazon.
Extra Accessories Recommended for New Owners
If you purchase one of these saws, make sure you invest in some quality bar oil, because you’ll be needing it if you plan to do a lot of cutting.
Makita makes their own recommended oil which is a good starting point. If you will be using the tool a lot, then it would be a good idea to invest in a backup chain.
Oregon produces a direct replacement 16” chainsaw blade, which is highly affordable.
Shipping & Packing
No complaints have been made about the packaging and shipping of this tool, and the protective box will keep the unit in top condition when handled properly.
Manufacturer Support & Warranty
Makita offers a one-year warranty, and customer feedback has indicated positive dealings with the company when making claims. Makita is a well-known and respected brand, with a history of good customer service.
Chain Speed 14.5 m/s
Chain Gauge 0.050”
Chain Pitch 3/8 “
Nose Level 90.8 dB
Total Weight 12.3 lb.
Oil Pump Type Automatic
Oil Capacity 200 ml
Input Wattage 1570 @ 110v
Origin – Where is it Made?
The unit is manufactured and assembled in China.
Total shipping dimensions are 24.2 x 10 x 10.5 inches.
Our Makita UC4051A Review Final Thoughts
Considering the price, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect this to be one of the best electric chainsaws on the market.
In actual testing, this is revealed to be the case, and the solid construction quality is another bonus that you get on top of the great performance. It feels more solid than a saw that is half of its price, and its performance is on par with some smaller gas saws.
If it fits within your budget, this would be a great long term investment. However, if your budget is tight and you can make some performance and durability compromises, then you could consider some more affordable units from WORX, or GreenWorks.