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BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX Review

This gets small jobs done with ease but lacks power
BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX
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Price:   $275 List | $135 at Amazon
Pros:  Light, quiet, small, cheap
Cons:  Lacking performance, weak battery, no chain brake
Manufacturer:   BLACK+DECKER
By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 25, 2019
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 12
  • Saw Performance - 35% 5
  • Ease of Use - 30% 6
  • Battery - 25% 3
  • Noise - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX is not a high-performance chainsaw, but that's not what it was designed for. This model would be a good option for someone who is looking to make cuts through smaller diameter branches and rounds every once in a while. If you're used to using a hand saw for small jobs around the back yard, this is a huge step up. It does have a few advantages over the high-performance competition — In the weight category, it is one of the lightest chainsaws on the market. Also, it's very quiet so if you're worried about disturbing neighbors or nature this saw is a good option. The MAX is quite the bargain. If budget is an issue this might be the right saw for you.

Compare to Similar Products

 
BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $275 List
$134.99 at Amazon
$350 List
$349.00 at Amazon
$400 List
$349.00 at Amazon
$550 List
$349.81 at Amazon
$270 List
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Pros Light, quiet, small, cheapTop-notch cutting performance, long-lasting battery, easy chain tensioning system, many other tools that use the same batteriesExcellent sawing power, good battery life, relatively inexpensivePhenomenal charge time, long bar, metal bucking spikesSpectacular battery life, two chain speed settings, barely consumes bar and chain oil
Cons Lacking performance, weak battery, no chain brakeSo-so wind-up timeHeavy, noisy, one battery size, limited line-up of other toolsHeavy, noisyNot the strongest cutting power, plastic chain tensioning system, electronic controls slow down sawing
Bottom Line Overall, this saw is perfectly fine for small jobs and occasional use, but it’s lacking features in comparison to the other models in our reviewIf you want an easy-to-use cordless electric chainsaw with a long-lasting battery and a long bar this is the oneWe highly recommend this model if you are looking for the best you can get in a cordless chainsawIf you want a saw with a battery that charges in a matter of minutes, then this is the oneFor a reasonable price, this model performs well although it does not quite contend with the top-ranked models
Rating Categories BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX EGO Power+ CS1800 ECHO CCS-58V4AH Greenworks Pro 80V Husqvarna 120i
Saw Performance (35%)
5
9
9
9
6
Ease Of Use (30%)
6
8
8
6
6
Battery (25%)
3
8
7
8
8
Noise (10%)
8
6
6
6
7
Specs BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX EGO Power+ CS1800 ECHO CCS-58V4AH Greenworks Pro 80V Husqvarna 120i
Model Number LCS1240 CS1800 CCS-58V4AH GCS80420 120i
Bar Length 12 inches 18 inches 16 inches 18 inches 14 inches
Measured Weight w/ Battery 8 lbs 6 oz 12 lbs 4 oz 14 lbs 4 oz 15 lbs 2 oz 10 lbs 11 oz
Measured Battery Weight 1 lb 5 oz 3 lbs 8 oz 4 lbs 3 lbs 8 oz 2 lbs 12 oz
Included Battery Size 2 Ah 5 Ah 4 Ah 2 Ah 4.2 Ah
Nominal Voltage 40V 56V 58V 80V 36V
Measured Runtime 18 minutes 60 minutes 34 minutes 27 minutes 40 minutes
Measured Run Time Eco Mode n/a n/a n/a n/a 54 mins
Measured Battery Charge Time 3.6 hr 1.5 hr 1 hr .5 hr 2 hrs
Measured Average Cutting Time 35.53 seconds 5.876 seconds 6.136 seconds 5.32 seconds 13.486 seconds
Measured Wind Up Time 1.75 seconds 1.25 seconds .5 seconds 1.15 seconds .5 seconds
Measured Decibel Reading at 48in 83.3 dBa 88.8 dBa 87.5 dBa 86.8 dBa 85.9 dBa
Control Type Thumb safety Side safety w/ chain brake Thumb safety w/ chain brake Electronic button, side safety, and brake Electronic button, side safety and brake
Chain Replacement and Tensioning Type Tool free Tool Free Included Tool Tool free Tool free
Metal Bucking Spikes No Yes No Yes No
Oil Conservation 4 8 8 6 8
Bar & Chain Tank Location and Type Top, Screen Side, Screen Side Top Side, flip-up
Measured Body Dimesions 15x8.5x7 inches 16x9x8 inches 16x8x9 inches 14x9x7.5 inches 19x7x7 inches

Our Analysis and Test Results

There are two things about the BLACK+DECKER that make it stand out from the others — it's extremely light and produces minimal noise. This model scores low in our review compared to the others, but only because we are testing products that are designed to operate at the highest of levels. It is still a great addition to your personal collection of yard tools.

The BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX is cheap, light, and quiet but doesn't...
The BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX is cheap, light, and quiet but doesn't offer the best performance.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison



Likes


Although it doesn't have much power, the BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX can easily handle light-duty jobs. As long as you aren't in any hurry, it cuts through logs that are smaller than the bar length.

The BLACK+DECKER takes a long time to make a cut, but it eventually...
The BLACK+DECKER takes a long time to make a cut, but it eventually gets through medium-sized logs.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

One thing that we love about the MAX is that it's light.


The BLACK+DECKER is also incredibly quiet. With a measured volume of only 83.3 decibels, it is one of the friendliest saws to have to listen to. Chainsaws are very loud, it is nice that this model isn't quite so harsh on the ears.


Dislikes


The MAX battles to make cuts through larger rounds of wood. If you find a bigger job that this saw can handle, the battery does not last long, and once the battery is done it takes a ridiculously long time to charge. The run time was one of the very shortest during our tests and it takes more than three hours to get the battery back to full charge.


The BLACK+DECKER has an awkward battery compartment location that throws off its balance.

We aren't fond of the battery action or location of the BLACK+DECKER...
We aren't fond of the battery action or location of the BLACK+DECKER model
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Despite its weak battery, sub-par performance, and comfort, its worst trait is the lack of a chain brake. Although a kickback is unlikely due to the lack of power, it's still possible. A chainsaw kickback without an inertia-triggered chain brake could potentially cause a very bad situation.

Value


The BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX is very cheap, but with its low cost comes very low performance when set side by side with the other saws in our review. That being said, if you're looking for a cordless chainsaw for light-duty projects, the cost of the MAX is well worth it.

The BLACK+DECKER hardly emits noise when compared to other models...
The BLACK+DECKER hardly emits noise when compared to other models tested.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The positive aspects that the MAX has going for it are that it's cheap, it's quiet, and it's light. Other than that, unless you only need a cordless chainsaw for light duties, we recommend that you spend the extra cash to get a tool that does a better job.

Ross Patton