Hitachi C10FL Tablesaw, Any Good?

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I was browsing through Lowes last night and saw the Hitachi C10FL tablesaw. I only looked at it briefly, but overall I was quite impressed with it's features, and the $500 price tag didn't hurt either. (Keep in mind, I'm currently using a cheap little 20+ year old Craftsman saw I inherited from my Dad).
I liked:
- The motor is inside the cabinet, not hanging off the back. This would let it fit in my garage better.
- The left-tilt mechanism (I don't like right tilts).
- The built-in wheel system for moving it around my garage.
- The fence seemed to move smoothly, it locked down tight, and the "micro-adjust" seemed like it worked well.
- All controls were right up front, no leaning around the side to adjust the bevel.
- The bevel angle is displayed through a little viewer on top of the table.
- It ran off 120V (I don't have 220V outlets available).
The one weakness I saw:
- The max rip width appears to be about 24". Probably suitable for my needs, but it would be nice to go to 30" or so on occasion.
However, I know features aren't everything, so I came home to do some research online. But, I haven't been able to find much feedback on this saw, other than a few comments on the inaccurate horsepower rating (which I figured out on my own at the store). There don't seem to be any reviews on the C10FL, even though it has apparently been on the market for a couple of years now.
So, I'm curious if anyone here has used this saw and what you think of it.
- Does it have any dust collection features?
- Are there any aftermarket accessories available, like zero clearance or dado inserts, longer guide rails to extend the rip capacity, etc.?
I'm not really in the market for a saw now, and $500 is about my maximum budget, but if the saw is really as good as it appears I might just scrounge my penny's together and pick one up.
Thanks,
Anthony
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The current issue of Tools & Shops by Fine Woodworking has a comparison of Hybrid Saws and lists the Hitachi C10LA model. It has a street price of $925. Looks like C10FL. They rate it's cutting power as fair and say it has poor parallelism (required difficult adjustment).
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One of my neighbors is a full time trim carpenter, and he has one of those. He really likes it for a lot of different things, and has found it to be well worth the money except for one thing.
He has occasion to rip 2" oak stock from time to time, and he said it is pretty obviously underpowered for that, which seems to fall in line with reviews of this machine.
Other than that, he likes it.
Robert
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Robert,

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.

My old Craftsman only has an 11amp direct drive motor (induction though), so I suspect anything will be a power increase for me.

At this point, the 24" rip capacity seems to be the biggest limitation for me, but I can only go 25-26" or so on my current saw so I guess that's not much of a difference. I suppose I could always replace the fence system at some later date (like I did on my Craftsman cheapie).
I guess my biggest concern is reliability and how well it's built. My Craftsman, though an obvious cheap junker, has lasted at least 20 years, probably closer to 30 by now.
Anthony
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I think you might be better off reading the Tools and Shop Issue and comparing all the Hybrid saws. The top choice saw for quality and value was the Woodtek Hybrid which they indicate has a street price of a little over $700. The Woodtek was rated as having the most power of all the hybrids. If you really want cheap you can get one of the new Craftsman Hybrids on sale very cheaply and they are much better than their old contractor saws, and favorably mentioned by friends who own them.
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HerHusband wrote: <snip>

It's funny. Sometimes I think I'm the only one with older and lower-quality equipment and tools. Of course I'm not, but I get into that kind of thinking anyway.
I have a very similar saw and while it's frustrating at times, it also gets the job done most of the time.
As time goes on and I get more serious about the hobby, my equipment list grows in size and quality. Never fast enough of course. I guess a table saw is my next thing as well.
Tanus
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I bought te chep hitachi table saw (200) about 2 years at lowes. I must admit that for that much money, I got good value... But still there were some issues: 1. users manual sucked - it was so badly printed some pages were unreadable, and the parts listed in the front were numbered, but in the diagrams letters were used (again and again) 2. The bed of the table had a few small scratches 3. there were extra screws rattling around in the box
I called hitachi, and found them less than responsive. Maybe you would be happier with another company... One thing. Whatever you buy, put a forrest blade in it. you'll be happy
shelly
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I have the C10FL and it is a decent saw for the money but has a few drawbacks. When I bought mine I had to adjust the bevel angle, it was off quite a bit. Not easy. The fence is decent but clamps front and rear and sometimes seems to pinch the wood at the rear of the blade. Dust collection could be better. Had some vibration when running but I put a link belt on and it went away.. I bought a Forrest blade for it and it cuts great. When you move it the legs almost look like they are going to bend, but I put an extension table on it so that's got something to do with it, I sure. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it for the money. No zero clearance inserts available for it.

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Jimmy,
Thanks for sharing your experiences with the C10FL.

I would expect to have to adjust any saw I purchase. It would be nice if it was an easy task, but as long as it holds the adjustments I set it won't be too much of an issue.

Is the fence adjustable to avoid that? Or is it clamping down differently each time you tighten it?
I was actually impressed by how firmly the fence on the store model locked down. In general, is it a bad thing to have the fence clamp down in back too?

Can you explain this more? I assume dust will still come out the top and whatnot, but is it keeping the inside of the saw clean?
My current saw has NO dust collection, so again, it would be an improvement.

Vibration? HA! You ain't seen vibration till you've seen my saw running. :) Anything sitting on top will vibrate along the top until it falls off onto the floor. A new saw couldn't get much worse and still stay in one piece. :)

I read that in a couple of other online posts too. I'll have to give the store model another look and see how bad it is. Though I wonder if the legs could be reinforced with brackets or plywood panels?

Hmm... Odd. That's one of the gripes with my current saw, everything is non-standard so upgrading is a real pain. Can you tell how difficult it would be to make custom inserts for the Hitachi?

I don't have a lot of room in my garage shop, so one of the things that has turned me away from most $500 saws is the big motor sticking off the back of the machine. And most "hybrid" saws are well out of my budget. So, the Hitachi's internal motor caught my eye immediately as a plus. There seemed to be lots of things to like about the Hitachi C10FL, but it really makes me nervous that there is so little information about it and apparently no accessories. I'll have to look it over in more detail at the store. Thanks for your input!
Anthony
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I have this Jet and I love it. It the motor can be re-wired for 220 but I haven't done that yet because I have been too lazy to string a 220 line! It is heavy, stable, doesn't vibrate, has the motor underneath, and you can find a lot of "standard" parts.
And Rockler has it on sale for $399.99 (regular 699.99). I hope you are near a Rockler or something, though, because shipping can be a killer.
Here is the link: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?Offerings_ID 903
One thing I am not thrilled to death about is the fence butt here are enough aftermarket ones that I can get when I feel like dishing out the cash.
All in all, I am very pleased with it.
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Looks like a nice saw and a great price, but it's apparently a right-tilt which is a deal-breaker for me. I'm only interested in left tilt saws.
Thanks,
Anthony
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I have a 12" Hitachi miter saw and after less than 6 months of very light hobby use, the on-off switch is sticking on. Also the laser beam does not line up with the cut line. (I've adjusted it many many times) I contacted Hitachi and had very unfavorable results. This was not a cheap saw. I'll never buy another one of their tools.
Ron

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On the cheap one I have, it's impossible - the insert is very thin, and has connections to the table that are at different heights,
shelly
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just had a thought... for to lowes, and look at the insert. I'll bet it's crappy
shelly
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Shelly,

I stopped by Lowes today and took another look at the C10FL. It still looks like a nice saw, but I wasn't as impressed today as I was the first time I saw it. So for now, I think I'll pass on it.
I picked up a copy of Fine Woodworkings "Tools & Shops", and became interested in the Jet JPS-10 saws. They seem to be more widely available and a few positive reviews are out there too. But, it's a ways out of my budget, so I may not be purchasing anything... :)
Anthony
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While a little less room is taken up the moror is probably a universal motor with brushes. It will probably be considerably louder than an induction motor that typically hangs out of a contractor saw.

I agree.

Handy
The real thing to consider here is how well the fence holds its position during use and does it lock down parallel to the blade every time. Are measurements repeatable using the saw's fence rule? Typically use will be the indicator.

This may or may not be an advantage. Some times these more conveinent control positions are not as reliable, easily adjusted, and or as accurate.

I would use that scale only for indicating when you are close enough to use an acurate measuring tool to actually set the angle.

Many contractors saws also run off of 120.

If you can see the need for 30" capacity now you will probably outgrow this saw sooner than you want. Personally I'll never go less than 50" again.

It will better than a portable circle saw but proabbly less than the typical contractors saw.

Really and truely that would be the least of my concerns. Accurcy and power should matter the most followed by capacity.

If you are getting a replacement saw you should really only consider a contractors saw or better. I think you will soon out grow this saw unless you only need something marginally better than a Skill saw.
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OK, Nevermind, I though t we were talking a bench top. This does in deed have an induction motor. Not a problem here AFAIK.
Snip

Ok, again, ;~) this does appear to be in the contractors saw catagory better than a bench top that I was thinking about.

This saw should be a step up.
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Leon,

According to the Hitachi web site, it is a 15 amp "induction" motor.
Even my old Craftsman saw has an induction motor, though it is a direct drive.

That's one of the reasons I was hoping to hear real world experiences with the C10FL saw. Features are nice, specs are fine, but what matters most is how it holds up in actual use.
I'm surprised there's so little feedback on this saw, considering it's available at any Lowes and has been around a couple of years. Although, the fact that there aren't any real complaints posted either is kind of positive sign. People post a lot more about things they are unhappy with than things they like. :)

Again, that's the real world experience I was hoping for.

That's the approach I use now, since the indicator on my saw is a flimsy metal pointer that can be bent out of position easily. The indicator on the Hitachi looked like it would be a more accurate pointer, with less likelihood of being bumped out of place.

Contractor saws usually have the protruding motor, or else they have the noisy universal type motor.

Without lots of support tables around the saw, I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to maneuver a large sheet of plywood across the saw like that. I wouldn't have room to do that, even if I wanted to. I find it much easier to use a straight edge and a circular saw to cut down large sheets.
As for capacity, there have only been a few instances where I wish I had more than the 24" rip capacity. Most of the time, I simply measure from the other side of the sheet and cut "backwards" (i.e. cut off the part I want to keep, instead of cutting off the waste)
I'm sure I would end up cutting more on the tablesaw if I had the extra capacity, but I don't miss what I've never had... :)

I just bought a dust collector, so dust collection is currently high on my wish list. :)
And yes, the C10FL has a dust port on the bottom. Probably not real efficient collection, but it's better than nothing.

From what I can tell, the Hitachi C10FL appears to be placed somewhere between a contractor saw and a hybrid saw.
I wasn't really in the market for a new saw, but the $500 price tag is attractive for a saw that "appears" to have the features I'm interested in. What really matters to me is what this saw can do that I can't do with my current saw.
Despite the shortcomings of my current old Craftsman saw, I've built many, many projects. But things like the small table top, excessive vibration, height and tilt adjustments that don't lock in place, lack of dust collection, etc. are reasons I wish I had a new saw.
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

I second the motion to invest a couple of buck in the recent Fine Woodworking issue which has an excellent comparison test of hybrid table saws.
Take the time to save up and move up to something more capable like the Woodtek.
The problem with buying an eh-ok tool is that it consumes the space and much of the money which could have been used to get something better.
Another issue with the Hitachi is that it is an uncommon beast which will be harder to gets parts and accessories for than some others in the future.
John
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John Horner wrote:

If that's the one in "Tools and Shops 2008" it strikes me as falling far short of being "excellent". There's 4 paragraphs of discussion. They say very little about any of the saws--the main issue they discuss in the description of each is "parallelism", which is something that I would expect to adjust as part of the initial set up on _any_ saw. Some discussion of how easy or hard it was to adjust (other than "simple" or "easy") would have been very helpful. Their measurement of the change from 0 to 45 degrees is suspect too--the Craftsman had one of the largest changes, the Steel City (which is the same saw under a different label) had one of the smallest, leaving one wondering if they are seeing differences between individual saws rather than a characteristic of the design. Other than flex they don't say anything about the fences. They don't say what the table material is or anything about the flatness. There's no discussion to speak of of what's included in the way of extras.
They didn't like the Hitachi because of lack of power and because the alignment was difficult--that's useful in ruling it out but the article doesn't really give enough information to choose between the others. The Woodtek looks good on paper but they don't seem to have much of a dealer network, so it's buying unseen.
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--John
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