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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 | $103.98 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
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
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 Best Buy Award  Editors' Choice Award 
Price $275 List
$103.98 at Amazon
$350 List
$349.00 at Amazon
$270 List
$279 at Amazon
$250 List
$199.00 at Amazon
$130 List
$99.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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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 batteriesSpectacular battery life, two chain speed settings, barely consumes bar and chain oilBarely consumes oil, good performance, weather-resistantCompact, light, quiet, affordable
Cons Lacking performance, weak battery, no chain brakeSo-so wind-up timeNot the strongest cutting power, plastic chain tensioning system, electronic controls slow down sawingSlow wind-up time, no battery level indicator, no bucking spikesMediocre battery life, slow at making cuts
Bottom Line This gets small jobs done with ease but lacks powerOne of the best options if you're looking for bar length, battery life, and tool-free chain tensioningA good degree of performance and an exceptional battery life at a reasonable priceNot a bad choice for an efficient cordless chainsaw that offers a high level of performanceThis cordless electric chainsaw is our favorite 20V model
Rating Categories BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX EGO Power+ CS1800 Husqvarna 120i EGO Power+ CS1400 Worx WG322
Saw Performance (35%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Battery (25%)
3.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Noise (10%)
8.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
Specs BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX EGO Power+ CS1800 Husqvarna 120i EGO Power+ CS1400 Worx WG322
Model Number LCS1240 CS1800 120i CS1400 WG322
Bar Length 12 inches 18 inches 14 inches 14 inches 10 inches
Measured Weight w/ Battery 8 lbs 6 oz 12 lbs 4 oz 10 lbs 11 oz 11 lbs 10 oz 6 lbs 10 oz
Measured Battery Weight 1 lb 5 oz 3 lbs 8 oz 2 lbs 12 oz 2lbs 14 oz 1 lbs 10 oz
Included Battery Size 2 Ah 5 Ah 4.2 Ah 2 Ah 2 Ah
Nominal Voltage 40V 56V 36V 56V 20V
Measured Runtime 18 minutes 60 minutes 40 minutes 24 minutes 22 minutes
Measured Run Time Eco Mode n/a n/a 54 mins n/a n/a
Measured Battery Charge Time 3.6 hr 1.5 hr 2 hrs .75 hr 3 hr
Measured Average Cutting Time 35.53 seconds 5.876 seconds 13.486 seconds 9.452 seconds 38.382 seconds
Measured Wind Up Time 1.75 seconds 1.25 seconds .5 seconds 2.5 seconds 2 seconds
Measured Decibel Reading at 48in 83.3 dBa 88.8 dBa 85.9 dBa 85.3 dBa 80.0 dBa
Control Type Thumb safety Side safety w/ chain brake Electronic button, side safety and brake Side safety w/ chain brake Thumb safety
Chain Replacement and Tensioning Type Tool free Tool Free Tool free Tool free Tool free
Metal Bucking Spikes No Yes No No No
Oil Conservation 4 8 8 8 8
Bar & Chain Tank Location and Type Top, Screen Side, Screen Side, flip-up Side, Screen Top
Measured Body Dimesions 15x8.5x7 inches 16x9x8 inches 19x7x7 inches 16x9x8 inches 13x8x7.5 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