Reviews praise the 12-inch Hitachi C12LDH dual-bevel compound miter saw for accuracy and ease of setting up cuts. Digital readouts and a microadjustment knob make it easy to set miter and bevel angles. The accurate laser guide is not only adjustable but also has a separate switch so you can set up the work without the blade spinning. The 12-inch blade can crosscut up to a nominal 2-by-8, and you can cut molding vertically as high as 5.125 inches against the fence. The warranty is for five years. If you need even bigger capacity, the DeWalt DW716 (*Est. $400) is less convenient but cuts a 2-by-10.
We found an excellent recent comparison review of the dual-bevel Hitachi C12LDH at Tools of the Trade magazine, where it's tested on the job along with seven other 12-inch miter saws. About two dozen owners rate and review the Hitachi C12LDH at Amazon.com, and when this model was carried at Lowes.com, a similar number provided specific ratings for features, design, quality, ease of use and value. The similar but single-bevel Hitachi C12LCH is tested in two earlier comparison reviews at Wood Magazine and Taunton's 2006 Tool Guide, and Woodworker's Journal tests the similar Hitachi C12FCH, which lacks the digital readouts.
1. Tools of the Trade
This review gives first ranking to the Hitachi C12LDH after testing it in comparison with seven other 12-inch compound miter saws, using them on finish carpentry jobs. Londos finds the Hitachi easiest to set up (thanks partly to digital readouts and the design of its laser guide) and praises it for power and dual-bevel capacity.
Review: Tool Test: 12-Inch Miter Saws, Greg Londos, July/August 2008
More than a dozen owners review this Hitachi miter saw here, giving it reasonably high marks except for some bent or broken subfences due to poor packaging. Hitachi customer service gets mixed reviews.
Review: Hitachi C12LDH 15 amp 12-inch Dual Bevel Miter Saw with Laser and Digital Miter Bevel Display, Contributors to Amazon.com
More than 45 owners here give the Hitachi C12FDH high ratings on all counts -- including features, design, quality, ease of use and value.
Review: Hitachi 12 Inch Dual Bevel Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker, Contributors to Lowes.com
4. Wood Magazine
This review compares the similar but single-bevel Hitachi C12LCH, with six other 12-inch compound miter saws, with detailed ratings of each miter saw on 16 separate factors, based on well-documented testing. The Hitachi earns praise for its accurate and adjustable laser, fine-adjustment knob and accurate digital readouts, but it doesn't earn top ranking here. Criticisms include "a slight sloppiness in the miter stops" plus inaccurate 45-degree stops.
Review: 12 Inch Mitersaws Tool Review, Editors of Wood magazine, September 2007
5. Taunton's 2006 Tool Guide
This review of 10 12-inch miter saws includes the single-bevel Hitachi C12LCH, finding its laser accurate but not as convenient as the twin laser guide on the now-discontinued Delta. The reviewers mention no faults on the Hitachi but prefer the front controls on Bosch miter saws.
Review: Untitled, Editors of Taunton's 2006 Tool Guide
6. Woodworker's Journal
This review compares the single-bevel Hitachi C12FCH, which lacks digital readouts, with seven other 12-inch miter saws, recommending the Hitachi for its accurate laser guide, readable scales, excellent bevel-setting mechanism and good dust collection. A minor drawback is a blade slot wide enough to catch slivers.
Review: Bargain-priced Miter Saws: Eight Great Picks, Chris Marshall, July/August 2006