Most every major brand of tool manufacturer, and then some, makes miter saws. How can you know which one is the best? Obviously, the best can be subjective, as what’s best for one may not be best for another. Researching the tools and visiting your local home improvement store to inspect them will help you to decide.
The Hitachi Miter Saw
The Hitachi 15-Amp Corded 10” Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw is a workhorse of a machine, chewing through the material with aplomb while also maintaining decisive control. The saw has a 52° mitering swing to the right and the left which couldn’t be simpler to set by loosening the handle, pressing a thumb switch, and tightening it back up at the desired spot. It also has stops at typical angles such as 15, 30, and 45. The single bevel tilt is up to 45° and it tilts to the left as you face the tool. The saw has a generous sized table, a dust collection bag at the back, and, in the case of my particular saw, a laser line for guidance. At just barely 24 pounds, it’s light enough to transport around easily.
- Simple to use
- Incredibly precise
- Lightweight to be portable
- Handles many different widths and thicknesses of wood with ease
- Affordable yet high quality
- Dust collection at back doesn't function well
- Laser line doesn't always seem accurate
Who is Hitachi?
As it turns out, Hitachi is changing their name to Metabo HPT, a German to-the-trade tool company that Hitachi had purchased in 2018. No need to panic though as it is merely a name change and no other aspects will be altered. The two brands will remain separate in fact, the companies are not merging, and the focus for each will remain the same as it has been. It all sounds a bit strange but in the near future, this miter saw will be known as a Metabo HPT rather than Hitachi, though it’s been stated that it will remain the same excellent tool that it is today.
Hitachi is well known for its outstanding quality and is built with durability, comfortable usage, and safety in mind. They have an extensive line of professional grade tools which includes various types of saws, grinders, routers, drills, staplers, and air compressors, just to name a few. And, generally speaking, their tools are well within an affordable price range.
What is a Miter Saw?
Miter saws make quick work of cross-cutting materials such as stick lumber or flat stock, as well as mitering angles in trim such as crown moulding or baseboards. Cross-cutting is a type of cut that goes across the grain of the wood rather than with the grain. For cuts along the grain, a table or circular saw is used.
There are several different types of miter saws, beginning with the basic cross cutters that also miter angle cuts, moving into compound miter saws that will crosscut, miter, and also tilt or bevel (hence “compound” meaning more than one angle in each cut), all the way up to various combinations of sliding and double bevel. Double bevel miter saws can tilt both directions, left or right, as opposed to a single bevel which tilts in only one direction. Some miter saws are even cordless.
Added features can include laser guidelines, vise or clamp attachments for consistent repeat cuts, outriggers for material support, or dust collection bags, and vary depending on the brand.
Miter saws are incredibly handy tools that easily cut project materials to size accurately and straight. The saw is easy to set up, move from location to location, and reliably cuts 90° perpendicularly. The miter angles allow the user to cut pieces for building picture frames for instance or cutting trim or moulding to fit perfectly in or around corners. A compound miter saw will, as mentioned above, allow the user to create more complex cuts such as 45° straight down plus say, a 30° bevel. It’s a math mind-bender but it’s an incredibly useful aspect that can otherwise be quite difficult to accomplish by hand.
Choosing the Hitachi Miter Saw
There are indeed many types and brands of miter saws available. It’s hard to choose and ultimately what’s right for one person may not be right for another. This Hitachi miter saw has been a solid performing, incredibly reliable, easy to use powerhouse of a saw that has rarely let me down.
Right out of the box it’s ready to go and is incredibly simple to use, even for a first timer. Once the saw is set on a sturdy work surface and plugged in, it’s merely a matter of placing the material to be cut on the generously sized steel work surface, putting on the safety glasses and ear protection, squeezing the handle of the saw to turn it on, and lowering the saw smoothly downward. It truly is as simple as that. Granted, it will only crosscut a certain width of material perpendicularly, up to about 5 ½” wide, but wider material can still be cut by flipping the piece over, carefully aligning the blade with the first cut, then slicing through the remaining material.
The clamping vise attachment is very handy, making it a cinch to cut the same size piece repeatedly and accurately without having to remeasure each time. Nicely, it’s effortless to attach and remove and can be placed on either side of the blade. The power cord is long enough, but not too long that it’s unmanageable. Changing angles is as straightforward as unscrewing knobs, tilting or rotating the saw, then tightening the knobs back up again.
The only time this Hitachi saw has struggled for me was with a piece of astoundingly hard, dense ¾” thick hickory, but it still eventually made it through using the original blade.
I love that this tool is lightweight enough to move from its tabletop shop location to outside, for instance, or to a different floor of the house without a struggle and without having to check it or reset it. I know that it will remain true and, in woodworking, that’s priceless. Despite any location change or rattling around, the saw still cuts reliably.
In general, there’s been little to not like about this particular saw. In all the years and in all the cutting, I’ve never had to empty the dust collection bag as that aspect doesn’t seem to work unless I’ve missed something in the setup. Rarely do I used the laser line much anymore as it seems to be off the mark but that’s inconsequential.
Be a Happy DIY’er with Hitachi
Purchasing a power tool is an investment and, depending on what you buy, it can be a big investment. It’s important to get one’s money’s worth with a tool that will be reliable, durable, and last through the years. Finding the right one for you will take some research and time, though you can easily cut to the chase by choosing this well-built workhorse.
This saw has definitely changed the game when it comes to projects around my house, making every task simpler, faster, and far more accurate. I wish I had purchased one sooner. I’ve been able to tackle home improvement projects from replacing trim and cutting framing, to building various types of cabinets as well as making more crafty projects like building a headboard of wood blocks and a pie carrier, all projects that would have been far more difficult to complete by hand, if not prohibitive. Overall, this Hitachi compound miter saw is hands down a major winner in my book and I would heartily recommend it every day of the week.
Next time you’re out shopping for power tools, be sure to give this Hitachi compound miter saw a good solid look. It’s a tool that is sure to please at a very affordable price!
Written for the Hometalk community by: Becky | Flipping the Flip