Hitachi C10FCH2: Laser Guided M....
Mar 28, 2009 (Updated Apr 3, 2009)
Review by theuerkorn
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Built-in Laser guide, 15A, easy transport and storage, easy setup, miter presets for 45/38deg molding
Cons:no slide (x-cut), single sided bevel angle (left) only, no legend for symbols on saw
The Bottom Line: Maybe not perfect, but pretty close in that price range.
There are many specialized tools theses days and some of them are hardly justifyable as a standard tool typicall can achieve the same with just a bit of practice. However, everyone who has done custom molding or tried to do cut a standard 45 degree angle onto a board's end, knows that angles and especially compounding angles are very difficult. Of course one has choices and here it ranges from using wood filler to repeating a lot ... sometimes even a combination of both. A miter saw is almost mandatory for those cases and while there are manual fixtures, this type of saw is an invaluable helper to those with larger projects or little patience.
Recommend this product?
I must admit that I kept strolling through the miter saw section and infrequently came really close to actually purchasing one (to finish all those molding projects). It wasn't until recently that the offers were simply irresistible and this particular saw changed chands for a mere $126 (down from $190). So here it is, and the inevitable review.
IN A NUTSHELL
Let's just say that despite the cool looks this isn't the fanciest saw or most powerful one in the market but it's one of the best compromises between price and performance. It's easy to transport and simple to set up. A proper table is highly recommended (not included).
The 10" blade is fairly standard and the 15 Amp "Power" (that would technically be 1800W) are adequate for most jobs. Standouts in this price range are the laser guide and overall solid design. The miter cut is bi-directional (-52 to 52 deg) while the bevel cut is uni-directional (0 to 45 degree to the left).
Setup: [****-] The C10FCH2 comes nearly fully assembled and only a few things like the dust sack, sub fence and vise post have to be put in place by the user. The Saw is easy to transport with the arm locking in place and a dedicated handle for carrying. The included 20T blade gets you going out of the box, but a 60T blade or better is highly recommended for any kind of molding (= cleaner cut). Setting up both miter and bevel angle is achieved by loosening the respecitve clamp ans setting it to the desired angle on the included scale. It is highly recommended to set up and adjust the laser marker to make sure it's accurate relative to the actual cut. Mine was set to center of the blade, while I prefer left edge. Either way, it's to make sure you know where the cut will end up relativ to your line.
Performance: [*****] General parameters like blade diameter (10" / 254 mm) and motor strength (15 A, 1800 W) are somewhat standard, just like the automativ blade cover. The blade naturally limits the maximum work piece size to about 3.5" (89 mm) and with the bevel set to 45 degree the thickness is reduced to 1 5/8" (41 mm). Both the maximum 5000 rpm and overall angle settings (52 deg miter, 45 deg bevel) fall into the standard range while the laser is a bit of special feature in this price range.
Usability: [****-] Given that size and angles are fairly standard, one should not expect wonders regarding the range material to be cut. Of course it can't be held against it either that those ranges are smaller than a 12 inch saw and not as universal as a miter saw with a slide to mimic the usability of a table saw (to a certain extend). Aside from that, the C10FCH2 is an excellent table saw that's easy to use and transport. It follows standard ergonomics and is an overall solid implementation. The noise level is relatively low (for a saw) and the handle is ergonomically correct in horizontal position (with integrated trigger switch). Generally, combine the 5000 rpm with a fine blade (at least 60 teeth) and the result is a very fine edge that's quite usable without clean-up. The miter scale provides snaps at the predetermined positions for typical angles for repeatability. (Those settings are marked by the typical triangle and circle symbols.)
Extras: [***--] While there isn't much that's extra for a miter saw, little details like the included storage for the blade key and the laser adjustment wrench are nice to keep organized. Unfortunately, to change a blade one also needs a philips head screw driver to remove the cover plate and there is no place to store a proper tool for that. The laser is an obvious extra that's very useful, while the dust bag is not that essential but surprisingly effective relying only on the strategic positioning rather than "suction". Crown molding stoppers and an angled vise are sold separately. However, the special marked settings for flat cutting of molding angles (very complex compounding angles) make it easy to achieve perfect cuts for the common 45 deg and 38 deg molding without complicated math. A legend for the triangle (38 deg) and the circle (45 deg) symbols would be good though along with a left/right setting reminder.
Value: [*****] Granted, this saw was originally $189 and it wasn't until a permanent markdown to $149 and an additional 15% discount reduced the price to $126. Enough to give in and take this saw home. All current offers considered, the laser model C10FCH2 is a mere $9 more expensive than the same model without the laser (C10FCE2). Given the complexity of compounded miter cuts, the $9 are well spent and the overall price buys a lot of saw. (Universal laser marker additions to the blade fixturing are available and cost typically around $29.)
© 2009, theuerkorn
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