You’re probably well aware of how versatile a miter saw is. If you need to cut crown molding, there’s no better tool to use. That is unless you’re including other types of miter saws, then a compound miter with a pivoting head is by far the better tool for cutting one multiple planes at ones.
Finding the right compound miter saw can be tricky considering there being so many different models available. In this article, we’re going to compare two highly favored compound miter saws – the PM303A from TACKLIFE and the C10FCH2 from Hitachi. The latter is the more popular tool among woodworkers, but does popularity mean better qualityThat’s what we’re going to find out today.
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The size of the blade determines how deep the saw will cut. A larger blade will dig deeper regardless of at what angle it pierces the surface of the stock. The TACKLIFE comes with a large 12-inch, 40-tooth that cut a little more than 4 inches deep. This means you most likely won’t need to flip the board over the complete the cut.
The Hitachi features a tinier 10-inch, 24-tooth blade that has a maximum reach of about 3-1/2 inches at 90°. This would be the ideal size for working on picture frames and thin boards. However, you’ll most likely need to flip the board over to finish the cut when making compound cuts.
Conclusion: There’s an obvious benefit of having a larger blade mounted on the saw head, but the ideal blade size depends on what sort of projects you’re doing. Also, if you don’t mind rotating and flipping boards from time to time, a miter saw with a smaller blade may be the more cost-effective alternative.
Motor Power and Speed
The TACKLIFE uses a 1700W motor that spins the blade at a maximum no-load speed of 3,800 RPM. This isn’t the beefiest motor nor the fastest speed available in compound miter saws, but it works beautifully for most projects you could imagine. We can’t blame the TACKLIFE for its slower RPM since it comes with a wider, heavier 12-inch blade than the Hitachi.
As for the Hitachi, the tinier compound miter saw features a larger motor of 1800W that can reach a speed of up to 5,000 RPM. The cutting speed is important in miter saws since it can determine just how cleanly the blade cuts through the stock. In general, faster is better, and the Hitachi is all about speed.
Conclusion: Although speed is an important factor, we also have to take into account the size of the blade. As long as the motor is capable of driving the blade at speeds of over 3,000 RPM, there’s nothing to complain about. Taking everything into account, the larger TACKLIFE has no advantage over the smaller Hitachi and vice versa.
Anybody who’s ever been around a miter saw knows how much dust comes flying out of the tool. The dust bag is located just behind the saw head, and the suctioning system is rated at 70% dust-collection efficiency. That may not seem like much, but if you connect a shop vac to the dust port, you can increase the efficiency by much more.
Remember how we said that 70% efficiency isn’t muchWell, it’s worlds apart compared to the Hitachi’s lackluster dust management system. Using a collection bag, this compound miter saw suctions up roughly 50% of dust. At best. Yeah, it’s nothing to be proud of, and we recommend using a shop vac to keep your floors and worktable clean if you get this model.
Conclusion: If you have a shop vac at home, then there’s no difference in dust-cleaning efficiency between the two saws. However, if you rely on the dust collect bag that comes with these models, then the Hitachi’s 50% efficiency is truly a disappointment. A clean workstation is key to safety, and the 20% disparity in dust management is too much to ignore.
Here’s something that makes the TACKLIFE a wonderful compound miter saw – the sliding head feature. The PMS03A can be considered a sliding compound miter saw because of it. The sliding head means you can cut wider stock with a single pass. Simply pull the head, plunge it into the material, then push it back to its original position. The sliding head adds more than 4 inches to its crosscutting capacity.
As an original compound miter saw, the Hitachi does not have a sliding saw head. This isn’t the biggest of deals, especially when working with smaller stock, but if you’d like to up your miter saw game, a sliding head is a must-have feature.
A sliding saw head feature on a compound miter saw is all about convenience. In most cases, there’s no need to rotate boards or flip them over to finish the cut, making the TACKLIFE a much more convenient and versatile miter saw compared to the Hitachi. Just remember that the “best” miter saw is determined by whether it can do everything you need it to, not by how many additional features there are.
Like most standard compound miter saws, the TACKLIFE’s sawhead can pivot up to 45° to the left and right. For most jobs, that’s all you’d ever need. It also has positive stops at 22.5° and 45° to quickly set the saw up for making repeated compound cuts.
But if you need a more specialized compound miter saw for perfecting the spring angle in crown molding; then you may need a tool that can bevel up to 52° in both directions – something that the Hitachi, not the TACKLIFE, can do. With the thumb-actuated positive stop, you can set up how far to pivot the head for producing identical cuts along the length of crown molding without further adjustments.
Conclusion: Although you may not need more than 45° for a majority of your projects, having more than that offers flexibility that you never know you may need in the future. It’s entirely possible to cut 38° with the TACKLIFE simply by flipping the workpiece over, but without a positive stop, you’ll need to work as carefully as possible to complete the intricate compound cut.
Tacklife vs. Hitachi – Which is the better Compound Miter Saw?
The Tacklife is superior to the Hitachi in several departments, but the Hitachi has its moments in the sun. We feel that the TACKLIFE’s 12-inch blade, deeper cutting capacity, and better dust management system, and sliding head make it the more versatile miter saw of the two. Essentially, whatever the Hitachi can do, the TACKLIFE can do. The sliding head is the most astounding feature on the TACKLIFE since it almost doubles its crosscutting capacity.