Hitachi C8FSE Miter Saw

A friend just gave me a new Hitachi C8FSE Sliding Miter Saw. The reviews on Amazon are not very good. It appears that this saw may have quite a few problems.
As a novice woodworker wannabe, what should I be looking for to determine whether this saw is a defect or return? When I start cutting with it this weekend, I'll check to make sure the cuts are accurate. One report said the cuts across a 12" or larger board are not square.
Not knowing how to set it up like a pro will be a disadvantage to early testing, but hopefully with enough practice, I can get an idea of whether this gracious gift is a loser.
Do you have any helpful suggestions for testing it out or what to look for?
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On 8/1/2013 6:01 AM, mcp6453 wrote:

Suggest that you DAGS on the model number of your saw plus "manual". This usually works.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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On 8/1/2013 9:52 AM, jo4hn wrote:

IAHAM
Thanks.
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On 8/1/2013 8:01 AM, mcp6453 wrote:

I would say don't look a gift horse in the mouth, especially since you have indicated that you are a novice woodworker wannabe.
Chances are that your technique might be worse than the saw.
Included instructions will surely detail how to square the saw if it is not already so. Learn on this one and determine what features you might like to have on your next saw.
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On 8/1/13 11:28 AM, Leon wrote:

Sometimes it's hard not to, especially if the horse is biting your hand at the time. :-)
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On Thursday, August 1, 2013 6:01:32 AM UTC-7, mcp6453 wrote:

on

I find Hitachi saws to be generally good although they sell a lot more now and you never know what happens once things ramp up and quality can go dow n.
With sliding miter saws there are two basic things to watch for.
1. Most saws can be set up to be very square but cheap saws won't hold the settings very well and will go out of adjustment after just a little usage.
2. Cheap miter saws will setup square an accurate for one configuration and then be bad on another. For instance, get it set square on a straight cros s cut for horiz and vert. Get it square for a straight cross cut and 45 bev el. Then swing to 45 bevel and 45 miter and it is out. Or even worse a righ t bevel miter is correct but left miter is out.
Just find the manual and go through the setup process. Then watch it for a few weeks as you use it and see if it holds. In my opinion most complaints come from people who never set it up correctly but a bad saw will easily lo se a good configuration.
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On 8/1/2013 9:01 AM, mcp6453 wrote:

Generally the fence is adjustable to compensate for out of square.
Also be careful of opinions, I find so many berate a product when they clearly don't know what they are doing.
--
Jeff

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Strangely enough, getting accurate results out of an $89 throw-away Ryobi miter saw, that literally stows behind the seat of the truck, for quick and dirty crosscuts onsite:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-7-1-4-in-Miter-Saw-With-Laser-TS1142L/202078684#.Ufskjcu9KSM
Biggest drawback is the absolute limit of a 2x6, and then you have to lift the board slightly at the end of the cut, but you can adjust in any angle and it holds it until reset. Even used it to trim in a door the other day.
Plastic fantastic ... go figure.
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