Around 2004, I bought the best-ever Hitachi 10 inch sliding compound miter saw, model CF10FSB, made in Japan. That saw was one of the awesome-est (!) tools I owned, and so it was with great chagrin when I discovered it stolen from a job site several months ago. Thankfully the thief did not bother taking the deWalt stand. Anyhoo, this post is not about the saw that was stolen but about the saw that replaced it.
Since I was not willing to shell out $700+ to replace the CF10FSB and all I needed was a simple miter saw, I looked at the C10FCE2. For little more than $110 plus tax, and after reading many good reviews, I decided to sign up.
This Hitachi seems like a decent saw. Not as heavy-duty as the beast I lost, but still functional and fairly precise. The cut is not as square as it could be, so I need to do some fine-tuning. I decided to also buy a third-party laser, the Oshlun LG-M01. It installs quite easily, but is not as bright as the stock model that came with my old saw. In direct sunlight you will not be able to see it; however, as long as you are in the shade it should serve you well. Getting a pair of shades designed to see laser lines better may also be helpful. The alignment of the laser line with the left side of the saw blade is perfect.
I mounted the saw to a chunk of plywood to gain a more stable footing. This ply will get bolted to the DeWalt kit that allows it to be mounted on the old DeWalt stand I still have. As an aside, I was working with Smith’s Clear Epoxy Sealer when I received the saw, so I coated the plywood on all sides with this stuff. Should make it last awhile!
The design flaw I referred to earlier is this: when I started making a lot of cuts, I noticed a great deal of saw dust collecting around the saw and hardly any in the dust bag. When I removed the bag and peered into the exhaust port, I saw it was completely plugged up. After I removed all the dust, I saw that the port has a small divider in the center of it. Check out the photo.
I suspect this is a safety feature that prevents larger chunks of material from flying out of the saw when there is no bag installed. At the same time, it seems like a no-brainer that this thing would obstruct the flow of debris, especially if the wood being cut is wet. Long story short, it was clear that the divider’s days were numbered. I jammed a large, flat-bladed screwdriver in there, turned it clockwise until the divider broke. It seems to have been made out of cast aluminum, so breaking it does not take much effort. Ever since then, no more backed-up saw dust, and the dust bag is doing its job. Making this modification will probably void the manufacturer’s warranty; something to consider before you commit Screwdriver Fu on this tool.
The support extension, shown on the left side, I found it too small to be useful. There is no option to slide it under the saw when I am packing up, so each time I have to remove it, or leave it on and deal with greater bulk. You are better off building your own out of some plywood in the shape of an inverted T. Or use a stand that has its own supports. This saw also comes with a clamp, although I never use it. The handle of my old saw included a small, removable button on the left side. It had to be pressed at the same time as the on/off switch before the saw would start, which was a nice safety feature. This new saw does not have that, but hey, what do you want for half the price of an iPhone? The unit is double insulated, so the cord comes with a simple two-prong plug. This is especially handy if your remodel is in an older building that does not have grounded (three-prong) receptacles.
All in all, if you are looking for a basic, affordable compound miter saw from a reputable manufacturer, this is it. Just buy it and be happy. Frankly, I am surprised that something like this can be manufactured, shipped overseas, and sold at a profit for $110. I got mine from Amazon, and they can also be found refurbished at even lower prices, especially when you can get it tax-free and/or with free shipping. At this price, everyone with even the most basic home shop should own one. Good luck, and be sure to get an oil-based marker so you can write your name all over it. I sure did!