Hitachi C12LSH sliding compound saw - A tale of woes

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Review by WhittleMeThis posted 04-24-2009 05:00 PM 25311 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hitachi C12LSH sliding compound saw - A tale of woes No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was shopping for a new Sliding Compound Miter Saw and looked at all the offerings from the major tool manufacturers. I came across the Hitachi 12” sliding compound saw and, being somewhat of a gadget person, I found the digital miter gauge and the laser guide compelling features along with the short  rear footprint requirement (sliding saws are notorious for requiring a huge amount of space behind the saw for slide travel). Having my interest peaked I read some reviews from a few of the major magazines that had looked at a broad selection of sliding compound saws and had given  the Hitachi C12LSH sliding compound saw a good to excellent rating. With the features and rating in mind, I set out to get my hands on the saw to get that first hand experience. One of the local box stores had the Hitachi C12LSH in stock and my first impression was that, ‘this was a substantial machine which looked solidly built’. I was sold.

The Box. The box is huge, as is the machine, and opening the box I was surprised there was little to no packing material. The saw just sat in the box with a thin panel of cardboard above and below the saw. Surprised, but not dissuaded in any way, I continued to excitedly unpack my new tool. All parts accounted for, I began the process of mounting the saw to my bench, the saw is very heavy and I could not imagine using this saw as a site saw and hauling it around a job site, but I was permanently mounting the saw so weight was of no concern. The saw mounted and plugged in, instructed read, bevel and miter set to zero, selecting a wide scrap piece of plywood, I made my first cut.

First cut. The good: The Hitachi included a blade and cut a very clean cut with almost no tear out anywhere along the cut on both sides; for a stock blade I was very impressed. The slide mechanism operated very smoothly and the saw was somewhat quieter then my Dewalt compound saw.
The bad: The cut was not square to the fence or perpendicular to the blade. So I set about to correct the small errors which is typical on a new tool as some tools are bumped around a lot during shipping and may lose their factory setting. Getting the saw perpendicular to the turntable (base) was very easy, but square to the fence well was a different story. Upon close inspection I could see the slide was not parallel to the blade so the blade would travel at an angel across the length of the slide. Fixing the fence was no longer an option as the blade would track on an angel regardless of the fence setting. The manual does not address this type of problem nor are there any visible ways of making this adjustment; I would need to call technical support at Hitachi.

Technical support immediately told me that Hitachi was having similar problems with many of these saws and that I would need to take it to a service center for repairs. Since the saw was new I returned to the big box store to make an exchange. Before bringing the new saw home I examined the fence and slide, unfortunately the potential replacement saw had the same issue. So, no Hitachi for me. Further research showed that many customers experience similar issues with the Hitachi C12LSH saw.
In Summary:
Deal Makers
Great Features:
Digital Miter
Laser fully adjustable
Rack and pinion bevel
Great stock blade
Very good customer service, prompt return of emails and calls, short hold time

Deal Breakers

No method for squaring the blade to the slide without the use of a service center.
Quality control for this particular saw seems to still have some bugs that need to be worked out.

View WhittleMeThis's profile


125 posts in 4176 days

7 comments so far

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

731 posts in 4422 days

#1 posted 04-24-2009 06:22 PM

Good head’s-up….Thanks.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3387 posts in 4241 days

#2 posted 04-24-2009 07:44 PM

Great review.. no complaining. Just the facts. This is what’s good and this is what isn’t. Now if I was in the market for a saw like this I’d know what I was in for.

BTW…. I’m about 8 months into a Bosch 12” sliding compound miter saw… nice. You might look into it. Believe it or not, the very best price I found was an online order from Sears. At the time the price was lower than most others and this saw is usually higher than the average. No complaints except the laser thingy that spins on the hub eats up batteries much to fast.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5109 days

#3 posted 04-25-2009 12:41 AM

nice review. Considering a miterslide and this helps. I did not know I needed to watchout for that.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4129 days

#4 posted 04-25-2009 02:43 AM

Great review. I have been kicking around buying a new 12 inch slider when I get some big tool things out of the way. Thanks for the heads up !!!

-- Don S.E. OK

View DocK16's profile


1198 posts in 4890 days

#5 posted 04-25-2009 05:19 AM

Yeah I too have considered this very saw to replace an older Makita. Appreciated your staight forward review.

View a1Jim's profile


118080 posts in 4380 days

#6 posted 04-25-2009 07:20 AM

To bad I’ve read good reviews on this saw. I own a Bosch 5412L works well I also have a rigid 12” slider (in my shop) talk about heavy and bulky but it works well. and I’ve had the dewalt and it was heavy and worked well. Most of these saws are not accurate enough to do mitered corners. The only slider that is suppose to be accurate is the is the new festool @$ 1200 plus about $800 for it’s accessory’s. That’s about what a contractor style SAW Stop cost. If accuracy has to be very close ,you might use your table saw with well tuned jigs or spend the big bucks and see if it’s worth the investment to you.


View halhoyle's profile


3 posts in 4083 days

#7 posted 06-05-2009 09:16 AM

I own this saw, and do not experience any of the same complaints expressed.

-- Rick in Sunny AZ

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