Pros: good dust bag
Cons: an 8.5 inch compound miter is just to limiting
A friend of mine proudly brought out this Hitachi compound miter saw as we began a remodel project in his home. I am sure he was trying to save me some time unloading tools by supplying some of his own. It was a friendly attempt at tool supply but I'm afraid he wasted some money (at least he got my labor for free...)
-For Your Money-
This entry in the field of compound miter saws comes with a 9.5 amp motor, the smallest amps I have had the "pleasure" of working with. For comparison sake, Delta's 10 inch saw has a 15 amp motor and Hitachi's 10 inch version has a 12 amp motor.
Also included with your purchase:
24-tooth, carbide-tipped saw blade
All items one should expect with this type of purchase.
Part of the problem with an 8.5 inch compound miter is its limited cutting abilities. While I prefer using this over using a circular saw, there are so many cuts not possible with this saw that it is rendered almost useless - or at least not worth the money spent.
At 90degrees the cut capacity is: 2 9/16" x 12"
At 45degrees the cut capacity is: 2 9/16" x 8 21/32"
This limits the material you are cutting with this one to 2 x ("two by...") stock or less. Furthermore, to get anything near an 11 inch cut, you must use this one on a straight cut rendering the compound, slide features of this one useless.
Granted, there are a good many consumers who are looking for a saw to cut trim and moulding in which case the saw has more utilization. This, then, is an important consideration: What do you need a compound miter saw for? For finish work, this one may be more useful but if you'd like a more multi-purpose saw it still doesn't make the cut (pardon the pun).
So, I'm doing what I can utilizing this saw during the course of a week and find still more things that drive me nuts along the way. The cord falls in a bad position right across my trigger. Not necessarily a safety issue, but I was constantly trying to push the cord aside or kept glancing at it thinking something else was in the way. It was a nuisance.
The other difficulty here is even more important as it involves number guides. Unfortunately, the numbers utilized for determining miters and angles, though etched nicely in place, are painted the same color as the saw's base. Throw in a pair of safety glasses and some saw dust and it's nearly impossible to read.
I hate to completely negate a saw and there are some good things to say about this Hitachi model.
Weight here is low when compared with other saws. Perhaps it's to be expected because it's a smaller saw, but it's still worth noting.
Accuracy can't be bah-humbugged. It was accurate from the time of purchase and retains its accuracy to date. Contributing to this retained accuracy is the fact that this saw stays home most of the time. When I travel with a compound miter saw I always expect a little tweeking will be necessary thanks to the normal moving in my vehicle when driving.
Dust bag actually worked quite well, keeping most scraps and dust off of the work surface. It was more than adequate for on-the-job work.
It's not a bad saw in terms of construction though layout of numbering and cord renders it a bit annoying - perhaps creating more work for the user. The weight is a plus, but that weight has to do with the small size of the saw so that plus is countered (more than countered) by the limitations imposed by the 8.5 inches. And lest you think it was a great money savings to go with an 8.5 vs. a 10 inch saw you'd be mistaken - certainly the 10 inch Hitachi costs more than this version, but there are 10 inch saws by other makes which actually cost less than this Hitachi.
So, I'm not recommending it. It's not a horrible saw, but I can advise woodworkers of other saws at about the same price which will do much more than this one.
I'm already updating and it's the same day I posted. Seems I haven't said it all yet....
This saw has had multiple incarnations, my memory is telling me about three previous versions have been made but don't quote me there. This particular incarnation has an improved blade guard - previous owners probably found the guard was a bit of a nuisance and tended to stick in place. So for past users note this has been improved.
That said, in the past the cord came out the side of the unit and a gromet was attached at the top to keep the cord well out of the way of the user. Why they thought this needed improving is beyond me.
And finally....note that I'm not recommending this one mostly based on a general appraisal of the saw as a one-saw purchase for a typical consumer. If you are a finish carpenter or happen to be looking into a miter saw strictly for trim work, the Hitachi is not a bad way to go because it's easily mobile and you don't need a bigger size for trim.
Hopefully I have now completely confused you with that recommendation - or lack of recommendation - whichever the case may be.
One year warranty
This epinion is part of the first annual FOIL right off, celebrating the logorrhea of words hat holder in the Home & Garden/Pets category regularly share as compared to the verbage of the Wellness & Beauty hat holders. It's a show-down...may the biggest mouths win....