Hitachi C10FCE2 is a perfect blend of budget vs performance, and with a decent range of miter stops. Lightweight compound saw that cuts accurately, and is perfect for jobs where you don’t need the size of a 12″ saw.
Hitachi C10FCE2 10-Inch – Economical & Best Compound Miter Saw for Beginners
If you’ve been looking for a miter saw to add to your workshop, you might be overwhelmed with information. There are so many options and so many models of miter saws with slightly different variations on each of these. Should you get a compound saw? Should it be single or dual? Do you need a sliding saw? Does it need to be portable? How about vertical capacity? What type of material will you use?
Although you might be tempted to go overboard with your first saw purchase – after all, there’s probably some time that you’ll need all the extra functionality – the basic workshop doesn’t need much more than a compound miter saw. Table saws are preferred for large pieces of lumber, but for trim work, frame-making, crown molding, furniture legs and supports, a compound miter saw will do everything you need.
If you’re watching your budget, the Hitachi C10FCE2 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw should be on your list. This saw strikes a nice balance between budget and performance with a compact design, consistent performance, and just enough extra functionality and presets to nudge it to the next level.
Best basic compound miter saw available
It’s hard to categorize the Hitachi C10FCE2. Is it the star of the basic saw class, or the most budget-friendly of the next class up? Either way, it’s an excellent choice for a beginner’s workshop or as a secondary saw when the 12-inch dual bevel sliding compound is just too big and bulky for the job. Hitachi has stripped this saw to the bare bones, and then they added back functionality piece by piece until they had the ideal combination of highly-usable features with none of the extra cost. This saw features:
- Powerful motor for higher rpms and clean cuts
- Pivoting fence for height and length when needed.
- Usable array of positive miter stops, decent bevel range
- No unnecessary stuff to increase weight or price
Large motor and small blade for power
The Hitachi C10FCE2 has the same 15-amp motor that’s standard on a 12-inch miter saw, only with a 10-inch blade it can run up to an impressive 5,000 rpms. This is important for two reasons: one, faster rpms give you a smoother cut surface with less tear-out, and two, you can lose a substantial amount of rpms when working with tougher material and still maintain cutting efficiency.
Unique fence design for versatility
If you’re cutting crown or tall, thin stock, you need a good fence support, the higher the better. Although the Hitachi C10FCE2 is quite compact, it still offers a tall, lengthy fence. How is this possible? This model uses a special hinged fence design that swings shut for portability and height support close to the blade. The upper portion of the fence swings out and around to accommodate the saw angle when cutting bevels, and add extra fence length. It’s an unusual but ingenious design that gives you options without the bulk.
Basic but sufficient miter and bevel ranges
The Hitachi C10FCE2 isn’t going to win any awards for number of positive stops or total angle range, but it’ll get the job done. The miter range swings to 52 degrees on either side, with positive stops at 0 and 15, 22.5, 31.6 (crown), and 35 on the left and the right. The preset crown stop is quite convenient since the gauge isn’t the easiest to read through miter viewfinder. The saw tilts left for a bevel from 0 to 45 degrees (on the left only) but unfortunately, there aren’t any stops. The bevel gauge, however, is big and shiny with a very precise marker, and the crown bevel (33.9) is clearly marked.
Nothing unneeded – including size, weight, or cost
Although the Hitachi C10FCE2 has the full range of a compound miter saw, it weighs only 26.3 pounds – possibly the lightest compound saw on the market. This was made possible by replacing some of the previously machined parts with strong plastic, which not only cuts down on the weight but also the cost. There’s no need to worry about the quality, though, since there have only been a handful of complaints about the same piece. This is the piece that surrounds the gutter where the blade goes through the table. It can get knocked out of whack during shipping, so if you don’t adjust it, you’ll slice slivers of plastic off of it when you make your first few cuts. No big deal either way, and imagine what would happen if that piece were metal!
Customer Reviews and Recommendations
Don’t be thrown by the poor reviews on the internet. A lot of those come from customers upset at being sold reconditioned units at retail price on a certain website. By and large all the folks who have actually used the Hitachi C10FCE2 and aren’t mad at the retailer have wonderful things to say. On Amazon, where hardly anyone’s ever mad at the retailer, it earned 4.4 out of 5 stars.
- “It’s a great saw, really smooth and comfortable to use. Works great for cutting trim boards, but I’ve also used it as a chop saw to cut 2×6’s, it doesn’t bog down one bit when cutting larger stock.”
- “The motor is nice and powerful and can easily cut through pressure treated 4×4 posts, 2x4s, you name it – it cuts through it with ease. And the saw itself adjusts to pretty much any angle and beveling degree you can possibly need.”
- “This saw is unusually well made, sturdy, powerful, and accurate. I am a retired building contractor and this is one of the best values I’ve seen.”
- “The saw is fairly light and lugging this thing around the job site is easy. The carrying handle seems well balanced. Overall a good purchase and foray into an entry level chop saw for weekend warriors.”
- “This is a GREAT saw, and it takes anything I throw at it. A definite keeper. I especially like the blade guard; when chopping repetitive pieces it makes me feel a lot more comfortable than my old saw did.”
There’s a model of this saw that comes with a built-in laser, but if you buy the C10FCE2 and a separate laser guide, you’ll get a better deal. You’ll probably also want to get a new blade before trying to do any decorative work with this saw; the stock blade is only 24 teeth, which results in a lot of jagged cuts and tear-out, which is fine for construction but not for trim.
Where to get it
We have found that the cheapest price available is at Amazon, and they have a good return policy if you’re not happy with your purchase.