It was 20 years ago today – OK, maybe not today, exactly, but it was 20 years ago when Hitachi came out with the first sliding compound miter saw. Like the ubiquitous commercials of that era touting the wonders of combining peanut butter and chocolate, they combined the back-and-forth sliding power of a radial arm saw’s dual rails and the accurate bevels and miters of a miter saw.
This year, they’ve upgraded that idea for the 21st century. The C8FSE and C8FSHE 8-1/2-inch sliding compound miter saws, like today’s tiny tech devices, are all about the portability. They weigh in at 31 and 32 pounds, respectively — about the weight you might expect when toting a three-year-old child. (But with less wiggling.) This means you can tote them to a job site, where they’ll retain their accuracy.
Both saws have thumb-actuated positive stops at 15, 22.5, 31.6 and 45 degrees both left and right. Their bevel range is 48 degrees to the left and five degrees to the right, while a pivoting section extends the length of the fence. How much wood can these saws cut? They can handle material up to two and 9/16 inches high and 12 inches deep in a 90 degree crosscut.
To keep you comfortable while you’re using them, both saws have a vertical handle made from a material that is meant to absorb vibration, so that your hand doesn’t get too shaken up.
The difference in the two saws is that the C8FSHE comes with a few more modern tool-techy goodies, like a laser marker system to help with aligning the blade and a fully adjustable LED worklight to illuminate the project you’re working on.
The C8FSE sells for $349; the C8FSHE for $379. For more information, visit www.hitachipowertools.com.