I went on a bit of a spending spree in the summer of 2010. The table saw was the most money I had spent at once for the shop, even at the low price of $300. I bought a nice little vise that I still get regular use out of. I built my current router table. I lucked into a floor drill press and a planer. Some decently nice router bits came into the shop. But what kicked off that minor spending spree was the addition of the miter saw.
This was almost a complete impulse buy. I watched the NYW episode where he built a miter saw station and decided I wanted one. I saw the Hitachi at Lowe’s one Saturday and bought it. Returned it when I found out Amazon had it for $20 cheaper. I wasn’t aware of Hitachi as a brand in consumer tools, so I thought I’d take a chance.
There’s really no good way to summarize the last two years with this tool, so I’ll just say that I’ve been very happy with the operation. Blade changes are easy. I put together two picture frames this weekend (link coming) and the miters were almost dead-perfect, and that’s on the preset stops two years on with no adjustments.
One of the few things I have bad to say is the stock hold-down mechanism. It’s adequate, barely. Worse is the fact you have to remove it in order to swing the fence extension up. It can then be replaced, but it’s a unnecessary process. The little stock extension arms got tossed perhaps two seconds after they emerged from the box. The bolt holes are just a little too close to the body to comfortably use a socket on. All these are but minor nibbles though. I’ll take all of these over having to find where a true 45º is.
Unfortunately it is only a 10″ CMS, and has the drawbacks that they all do: relative lack of cutting width. I have been looking longingly at the Hitachi 12″ slider, but it’s simply too big for my space. A larger saw will have to wait for a larger space, and I’ll be happy to keep using my Hitachi for as long as it works. Four and a half stars.