Tool Test: Hitachi C12LCH Digital Readout Compound Miter Saw

By David Thiel
Page: 25

From the June 2005 issue #148
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Not having to decipher hash marks to determine where your miter saw is set to cut? Priceless. (Well, actually it’s $370.) Hitachi now offers a 12″ compound miter saw with digital readouts for both the miter and bevel settings, right up front, where you need them. But wait, there’s more! The C12LCH also has a laser to guide your cut!

OK, enough marketing. We found the saw in good condition out of the box, but we needed to tweak the fences to align them with one another and with the blade. This wasn’t a crisis because the fences are separate castings and are easily adjusted independently.

From the June 2005 issue #148
Buy this issue now

11 thoughts on “Tool Test: Hitachi C12LCH Digital Readout Compound Miter Saw

  1. Matt Stauffer

    I couldn’t wait for Stanley. Lie-Nielsens on the way. I have been eyeing their chisels for more than a month.

  2. Ray H.

    I wonder if the concerns are based on factory made chisels and those hand made. Obviously the fineness of the details of Lie Neilsen chisels are very nice. It will be interesting to see the production pieces from Stanley.

    Ray

  3. Mark

    Clay, your point about nationalist pride is a valid one that I think most would agree with however, the fact is there are several excellent manufacturers of tools, Lie-Nielsen being one, that are made right here on American soil using American raw materials and employing American citizens. There are others, some of whom are solo craftsmen working in their own shops making small batches or even one-offs. Generally, having a larger variety of any item to choose from is a good thing for woodworking as you say however, IMHO, Stanley was once a fine company and produced some excellent tools in their time. They abandoned much of their history and opted to mass market inferior products. The result? American hand tool quality plummeted to laughable levels because the market leaders had many believing they had no other option and that this was the best that could be had. Along comes the new wave of tool makers who did their homework, made the investment in tooling up and growing their companies and once again offered American craftsmen accessibility to good tools. I have to ask, is there anything innovative in Stanley’s new chisels, or planes for that matter? Or are they simply riding (belatedly), on the hard work of others? Surely, Stanley still knew how to make a good chisel in 1990. Why then did they not make one? If it’s American jobs and busineses that we want to support, then I say who better than the companies that have been leading the charge against shabby tools over the past twenty years? They’ve worked hard, produce excellent tools and deserve our loyalty. As for Stanley, I’m not sure where they manufacture their chisels but last I heard, their planes were being made in Mexico, though perhaps that’s changed. I’ve been fortunate to meet quite quite a few tool makers over the past year, many at WWIA. They’re an amazing group. If Stanley cared so much about us, where is their representation? They certainly have greater resources than the smaller companies to get the word out. I was hopeful when they issued their new planes a while back but they were rightly called out on the poor workmanship here and elsewhere. That’s strike two so, I think some skepticism is justified when it comes to Stanley. I’m not saying Stanley’s products are unusable and in fact, for some they may be a best option. For myself, I’ll forgo buying a tool and wait a few paychecks until I can get the quality piece before I buy another tool that disappoints.

  4. Clay Dowling

    I think the discrepancies in the apparent side thickness have more to do with the photo angle, and the fact that the reflection from the sides blends in to the white background.

    As for the point, it’s a good thing to have more manufacturers of quality tools. If we can get quality, widely-available tools in stores it’s good for woodworking.

    Speaking purely from nationalistic pride here, if we can get them made in the U.S., it’s a very good thing for the U.S. economy. Manufacturing quality tooling here is a good foundation for economic recovery.

  5. Mark

    I hate to sound like the village grouch but what’s the point here? We already have several excellent makers of chisels, not to mention other fine hand tools. The Stanley’s aren’t likely to sell at a significantly lower price such that it’s going to matter to most people. And they haven’t even hit the streets yet and people are already finding potential flaws based on pictures alone. Do we really care to critique Stanley Corporations latest efforts to revive past glories? I don’t think so. They’re quite a bit more than a day late and a dollar short.

  6. DW

    Hopefully they won’t come with the hardware store sides that show up in the first picture.

    They look like they probably weigh the same thing as the LNs, but are longer. It would be nice if they could’ve kept full thickness at the socket, but maybe they can’t harden them as easily if they’re thicker.

    Why is it hard to just do something right for once instead of taking shortcuts or making bad design decisions?

  7. Sean

    I still think they look about 3/4" too long to be well balanced all-purpose bench chisels. They look more like 720s than 750s – quasi paring chisels.

  8. Chris Kenney

    It also doesn’t look like there is a gap between the socket and the flare in the handle. That could be a problem if the wood shrinks; no way to seat it any further without returning the handle.

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