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Next to maybe a cordless drill and a table saw, the miter saw is a tool that every serious professional and do-it-yourselfer really needs for his own. Initially, the resistance was a bit tough when you pulled down on the handle, which incidentally, lacks any rubberized grip or coating. There is another adjustment screw for limiting the plunge depth and this was easy to use, as well as bypass with the pivoting lockout. The electrical cord is routed from the motor, along the slide mechanism and then off the back. We measured the angle of wood cut at the notched 90 degree setting, and the saw was nice and square.
The saw sounds really rough when it runs, the opposite of a smooth operation you’d expect from a precision tool. As with any tool that boasts a lot and is priced less than most of the competition, it’s a bit of buyer beware.
When he's not remodeling part of his house or playing with the latest power tool, Clint enjoys life as a husband, father and avid reader.
GuestJim Brock3 months 19 days agoI have a 10# Compound Slide Miter Saw from Harbor Freight and I have a question that someone might have an answer for.
This item will be posted through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. By clicking Confirm bid, you commit to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. By clicking Confirm bid, you are committing to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder and have read and agreed to the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. I have had this saw for several years, and have used it quite extensively and I think I have found, and worked the bugs out of it, more or less. The blade and dust collection issues I noted early on hold as true today as they did then, which is why I built the dust hood.
I also have this saw and I do have to agree with you with your problems, with my saw the miter scale is also off a degree, but I only use it for cross cutting boards to rough length, which the saw does well at. The only tools I have replaced over the years are battery operated hand held drills, a Skil saw that final fell apart, and a drill press that was very cheap and limited in its abilities. Again, talking about La Conner, I purchased a plunge saw as well when I bought the Kapex, and originally thought that I would not be able to fit in a TS. Overall, once the alignment issues and the lousy blade were squared away, I have been happy with the saw. I have the same saw now for a little of 2 years and had the same issues as you and the same fixes and it has been dead on now since.

I suspect that there are many differences between what professional woodworkers versus hobbyist woodworkers do with power tools. I definitely have some cheap power tools that I will outlive, not because they are so wonderful, but because the hours of use will be accumulated slowly. So I suspect dbhost will be able to get by with that Chicago Electric slider, but he will have to do more fussing, and it will probably just take more time to do a job. Don’t get me wrong, there are a TON of reasons I would have preferred the front slide Hitachi over this machine. For a heavy use professional doing large jobs with tons of large, heavy, rapidly repeated cuts I suspect you are going to over stress a light duty saw like this. For me, my budget, and my needs, I am set up well, and will likely at my age, have most of my equipment long outlive me.
Now if I were running a heavy production shop, I would probably break just about every single machine I own in less than 3 months time.
DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ.
Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag. You have read and agree to the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. The item may be missing the original packaging, or in the original packaging but not sealed. While the Chicago Electric 10-inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw from Harbor Freight is a real head-turner for its price, we wanted to know: Could it stand up to other heavy-duty products and hold its own?
There is a hand-adjustable set screw for adjusting the tension, but it takes an Allen wrench to modify the default setting.
There is also a separate maximum depth set screw, but the default setting was fine and it kept the included 60-tooth carbide-tipped saw blade from contacting the base.
We noticed a definite rubbing (wear) point where the electrical cord meets the first plastic guide after the strain relief.
Our guess is that the bearings (which might be needle-type or perhaps just not packed tightly enough) are probably going to stay rough throughout the life of the saw. With the miter saw being, in our opinion, one of the more significant and important tools you can add to your arsenal, we’re not really recommending this tool for anyone who wants to do a lot of work or who intends to use this tool for commercial work. I don’t find the dust collection to be any worse than other sliders I have been around, but it sure could be better.
I honestly would prefer the Hitachi dual bevel 12” slider with the front rails similar to the Kapex.
A friend has the 10” version of this saw, so I kind of knew the issues going in and was willing to gamble. And this is even with having to haul it out of storage in the apartment and drag it out to my work area in the parking lot every time I need to use it and then drag it back into the apartment when done.
On a side note I also just replaced my Ryobi 13” 1301 planer with a Dewalt as well, the Ryobi did what it was expected to do but it gave up after 5 years, motor gave out a couple months later after replacing brushes, all of my Ryobi routers have been replaced with Dewalt and Porter Cable. The size, meaning the length and thickness of the pieces of raw material are more likely to be larger for the professional. The best power tools I own are in my vacation home, where space was a premium, and dust collection important.
But if your livelihood depends on a machine, then down time for repairs, or redo’s of some cuts would be costly.
It is inappropriate for a professional that expects it to hold up long term, but VERY appropriate for a professional that needs a slider to get work done where protection and security of the tool itself are questionable on the job site.
I frequently knock out picture frames with it, so my 45s have to be 45, and they are, every time… Spend some time with initial setup, use Loctite and get it dialed in it will stay there. As a hobbyist, I seriously doubt I will ever wear out my Ryobi planer, or my Sunhill jointer, However my old Ryobi router got sold in favor of a Hitachi, for a number of reasons.
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Add to that the slide mechanism, and you’ve got a lot of things to look at and consider when selecting a saw. While the saw came with two replaceable brushes and a blade-change tool, there was no included Allen wrench.
When you raise and lower the blade, there is lateral and horizontal movement that seems like it will eventually cause some wear on the cord and possibly even work through the insulation.
You also have to hold the saw in place while you reach around and pull the locking lever in place for any other angle. Then I attached a hand set to it and used it to predrill holes for small nails that I used to build small plywood items out of nails and glue.
But once I had a temporary bench and band saw purchased, I saw I had a dead corner in my garage shop that would fit a TS with a couple of inches to spare.
I paid $180 for a 12’ dual miter Hitachi (you can still get it on sale for that price once a year at Lowes) that I used for about 4 years. And yes that stock blade is BAD .Thier new model looks to have a smaller motor but it could be as powerful or even more with the improvements in motor designs over the years. The intensity of use, meaning the likelihood that the motors will be stressed is also more likely in the professional. I did have to fiddle with it some to get it dialed in, no big deal, fine tuning power tools is kind of a given for any price point below Festool.
I can’t tell you how many miter saws get stolen per year from job sites other than I hear about it a LOT. We quickly located one and gave it a couple of turns to loosen up the spring and the arm dropped much more smoothly onto the material. The bevel gauge is in 5 degree increments, so it will be difficult dialing in common measurements like 22.5 degrees. If you only have occasional use for a miter saw or are lining up a tool for a single project, this might be tough to pass up when its on sale. He hopes his efforts at PTR will provide builders and contractors with reliable and engaging tool reviews to help them make better tool purchasing decisions. Isn’t there some requirement that manufacturers have to supply parts for their equipment for so many years after it goes off the market? Pulling the bolts, dabbing the locker on, then putting the bolts back in fixed the problem.
Blackie tells us, you are better off with a different grade of machine if you are a professional. While the big boys are priced much higher for this type of product, Harbor Freight’s Chicago Tools line has itself placed smack dab in the middle of a bunch of generic tool names.
This is good and means that the quality control is setting up these saws to provide decent cuts for dimensional lumber and trim pieces. For instance, there was a very large amount of Jatoba used in the remodeling of each of the floors of the older part of our house.
That’s why I always read the comments as well as the review of the power tools I buy.
It’s the now-expected maroonish red Chicago Electric color they share with their reciprocating saw and corded multi-tool. It would be unlikely that a hobbyist would ever mill and cut that amount of a very heavy, hard, and oily wood.
You get more than one perspective when you read the comments, and the comments can be decisive in a purchase. A miter saw may be a dangerous tool, but separate safety switches, as opposed to just making the pull-strength more rigid, is plain silly and inconvenient.

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