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Makita UC4051A Medium-Sized Electric Chainsaw Review

The Makita UC4051A is a medium-sized electric chainsaw that will be too small for some, just right for others. As a corded model, it won’t be useful in the middle of a forest. But for work near the home, its high torque and light weight make it a very handy tool.

Makita UC4051A Features

Motor & Power

The company doesn’t volunteer a horsepower rating for the Makita UC4051A, but the 15 amp power plant suggests it will deliver somewhere around 3.5 HP. That’s ample beef for an electric chainsaw, and real-world use shows that the torque is substantial. This thing will tackle real felling and bucking jobs.

Those jobs are limited, however, by the fact that this is a corded model. That design works fine for anything near the house, where you have access to a standard 120V outlet. That said, it can be an inconvenience if you’re working high in a tree. For those tasks, I recommend a pole saw anyway.

Makita UC4051A
Makita UC4051A

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Chain speed is another way to rank an electric model and the 2,600 fpm (feet per minute) of this unit implies it will make quick work of thick logs. Not as fast as some other models but good enough.

One sign of thoughtful design is found in the built-in current limiter. Provided you connect to an adequate extension cord, you won’t have to worry about the motor overheating.

That can happen on any unit when the chain gets bound. A not-uncommon problem with electrics, which tend to be lower powered and used by less experienced operators. Here, the motor is designed to allow for that possibility without suffering damage.

Likewise, you won’t notice any undue heating when you push the UC4051A hard. It’s an electric, so I wouldn’t use it as I would a Farm & Ranch gas model. The bar is a little thin for that level of duty. But for an electric, used in the situations it’s designed for, it stood up well during some pretty vigorous cutting sessions.

Bar & Chain

That “serious work” theme is borne out also by the bar and chain. There we see both the benefits and the limitations of this model.

The bar measures 16″ – not too short but not long enough for professional-level work, either. That’s not a slam; this unit is clearly not intended for pros. But it does provide a useful comparison since it means you can’t really expect to go after a 12″ tamarack or oak with this saw. You could, but it would not be the ideal tool in that situation.

The pitch and gauge – 3/8″ and 0.050″ – are fairly standard. That is an indication the designers intended this for serious cutting around the house. Real use bears that out as well. An 8′ log will slice down to 18″ firewood in no time.

It’s great that the design incorporates the newish tool-less chain tensioning feature. Users have come to expect that and this one doesn’t disappoint. It really is easy.

One aspect I like better than the otherwise-fine Worx 303.1 is the specific design of the tensioner. The one on the Worx model sticks out a bit. This one isn’t flat but it’s integrated into the body a little nicer. It’s behind a cover, which can be a benefit or drawback, depending on your point of view. Personally, I like it, but some might find it less convenient for quick use.

Ergonomics – Operation

Buyers expect a hefty, gas-powered chainsaw to be moderately hard to handle. One reason for opting for an electric model is to get something much easier to hold and use. The UC4051A complies nicely with that desire.

At 9.7 lbs (11 lbs with blade and guide bar), it’s not the lightest electric around but those featherweights typically offer much less power and shorter bars, limiting the situations in which they can be used comfortably.

Despite the modest heft of this model, it will tackle a cord worth of logs and not cause excess arm fatigue. It helps that the grip handles are rubberized and the trigger is well-placed. It has a nice balance, too, a little surprising given the bar length and weight.

A good oil-reservoir design adds to the convenience. The window is ample, making it easy to see when it needs to be refilled. The unit sports an automatic oiler. That’s becoming standard equipment but it’s not universal, especially with corded electric models. Nice to see it here.

One feature that is not standard on electrics is found here: an automatic chain brake. Many units will simply rely on the operator to release the trigger, which shuts off the motor. The chain slows to a stop almost at once naturally. Here, Makita went the extra mile and added that useful safety feature.

It has another feature that should be on every electric but isn’t: a clip to keep the short, integrated cord solidly connected to the extension cord. I typically end up tying a loose knot with the two cords when I use an electric, to prevent them coming apart when tugged. Thank heavens, that technique isn’t needed here. Well done, Makita.

Makita UC4051A 16" Electric Chain Saw
Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chain Saw

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The Makita UC4051A is unlikely to make buyers go “wow”. It’s neither super light nor exceptionally powerful. Its features are straightforward. But Makita makes a good chainsaw and, if you’re interested in a corded electric, this model bears a good look. The one serious downside is that it is considerably more expensive than competing models with essentially the same specs.

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