Hitachi C12RSH2 Review: Is it a Great Miter Saw?

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

I’ve always been a loyal circular saw user. Then I ran into a project where I needed a great deal more accuracy than my trusty Makita could offer and decided to give a sliding miter saw a shot.

After some research, I settled on the Hitachi C12RSH2. I was pleasantly surprised with its performance — I wish I’d have given a miter saw a try sooner.

If you’re still fence-sitting about expanding your tool collection, I’ve put together this in-depth Hitachi C12RSH2 review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Presenting… the Hitachi C12RSH2

The Hitachi C12RSH2 is a 15-amp compound dual bevel miter saw with a 12-inch blade. Despite falling on the high side power-wise and using a large blade, it’s surprisingly compact and isn’t excessively heavy as far as miter saws go (59 pounds).

Its compact design and durable construction are its biggest draws. It features a sturdy cast-iron base with pre-drilled mounting holes for improved stability. Its innovative fixed rail slide design eliminates the need for rear clearance, creating a miter saw truly suitable for use in tight spaces.

Hitachi crafted the C12RSH2 with ease of use in mind, creating a saw that performs at a professional level but that is well-suited to beginners. This model requires little to no set-up, and with ten adjustable spot and depth points as well as an accurate laser guide, flawless cuts are effortless.

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Features & Benefits

The Hitachi C12RSH2 is also packed full of features that help it stand out from the competition.

Impressive Cut Ranges

As a dual bevel sliding miter saw, the C12RSH2 offers a fantastic cutting range:

Specs

  • Bevel left and right 0 to 45 degrees
  • Miter right 0 to 57 degrees
  • Miter left 0 to 45 degrees
  • Crosscuts 45 to 90 degrees
  • Positive stops on the left and right at 0, 15, 22.5, 31.6, 45 degrees
  • Sliding fence height of 5-1/8-inches

Laser Guide System

The C12RSH2 comes with a built-in laser guide system that’s easily adjustable via knobs for left or right cuts. The width of the beam can also be adjusted to exceed your blade thickness leaving the marker more visible as you cut. I found it to be spot-on accuracy wise—and many Hitachi C12RSH2 review ratings back up that finding.

Powerful Motor

Coming in at 15-amps (120 volts) with a 4,000-rpm motor, the Hitachi C12RSH2 tops the charts in regard to power. You’ll slice through hardwoods, tile, masonry, plumbing materials — you name it — like butter. All that power does come at the slight expense of portability, as this is not the lightest saw on the market, but if you need something that can handle tough jobs, this model makes the cut.

Blade Brake System

Safety should always be a top priority, and when it comes to miter saws, that means electric brakes. The brake system on the C12RSH2 reverses the blade rotation momentarily, causing it to stop spinning immediately. This feature not only prevents injuries but accidental cuts that could ruin your project.

Dust Bag

If you’re familiar with saws, you’re likely are aware that the dust collection options are usually pretty abysmal. The Hitachi C12RSH2 actually isn’t half bad. It has a large dust collection shroud and comes complete with a dust bag. I found attaching a shop vac maximized the efficiency of this feature, though. Unfortunately, there isn’t an adapter for that option — but that’s nothing a 2-inch coupling, and some duct tape can’t fix.

General User Impressions

Hitachi miter saw reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Most users are satisfied with the cutting accuracy, laser marker, and the noise level in use. Its compact footprint and out-of-the-box usability are big selling points.

Many users are also impressed with its cutting power and affordable price tag, stating it offers the performance of a higher-end saw at half the cost. Couple that with great usability for beginners, solid safety features, and durable construction, and it’s not hard to see why this model sees so many five-star reviews.

On the other hand, some users also complain that Hitachi has some quality control issues to work on, with saws arriving broken (usually the slide handle) or assembled incorrectly (such as backward blades).

The slide system also requires regular lubrication, or it can get a bit stiff, and the motor is brushed, meaning occasional brush replacement is a must (Hitachi does make brush access easy though).

My Opinion

Overall, I loved my Hitachi — and I didn’t expect to. For those new to miter saws, this option is easy to use with a wealth of handy tools to improve both your cut accuracy and speed. I had never used a miter saw before and flew through building a framed-door cabinet set with ease the first time I used it.

The cuts are smooth and easy to align. The dust collection system is more than adequate — albeit with a few MacGyver tweaks. The price tag is superb, especially if you aren’t sure how much you’ll use a miter saw. This saw is a solid choice to expand a home workshop or even a professional shop.

The only instance where I wouldn’t recommend the C12RSH2 is for those who work on the go. This isn’t a saw you want to be lugging from work site to work site. It’s on the heavy side and awkward to carry. Of course, with built-in mounting points, I don’t believe Hitachi was aiming for portability with this one anyway.

Hitachi C12RSH2 Review Summary

Pros

  • Compact sliding system
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Extremely sharp blade
  • Adjustable laser guidance system
  • A ton of tools for accuracy
  • Dust removal bag

Cons

  • Not portable
  • Heavy and loud
  • The blade guard is tricky to adjust while cutting
  • Dust collection shroud can sometimes block your view

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Sliding Miter Saw

Are you a professional carpenter or a hobbyist like me who likes to experiment with building furniture? A miter saw can offer unsurpassed accuracy for crosscuts and — as I’ve now discovered — is a must-have if you’ll be doing a good deal of trim work.

However, miter saws are definitely specialty tools. They don’t have the all-round use you’ll get from a circular saw. If the types of projects you do don’t require a fair level of angled cuts or precision, a miter saw might end up being a dust magnet for you.

Here’s everything you need to know before you shop.

Miter Saw Types

The Hitachi C12RSH2 is a sliding dual bevel miter saw — but what does that mean? There are three primary types of miter saws: stationary, sliding, and sliding dual bevel compound.

A stationary miter saw can only pivot from side to side and tilt in one direction, while a sliding miter saw improves on that a bit, adding the ability to slide the saw forward and back along a set of rails. A sliding dual bevel does all the above as well tilts in two directions.

A compound slider is going to offer the most versatility but also cost the most.

Power

Miter saws are rated in amps. Higher amperage ratings are better for power-intensive projects, such as cutting hardwood, but they add weight. That’s why it’s important to consider how you’ll use the saw you buy. Most users will find a 10-amp saw more than ample, but 12 and 15 are also common ratings.

Blade Size

The most common miter saw blade sizes are 8-, 10-, and 12-inches, but you can also find models with 7.5- or 8.5-inch blades. The larger the blade, the longer, deeper cuts you can make, but, again, larger blades make for a heavier tool. They also draw more power.

Keep in mind that miter saws are designed to work with a particular blade size. You can’t, for instance, use a 10-inch blade in a saw designated for 12-inch use.

Extra Features

Beyond type, power, and blade size, miter saws also differ in the features they offer. The most common of which include:

Specs

  • Electric brakes allow you to stop the saw quickly
  • Blade guards are an excellent safety measure
  • Positive and depth spots are pre-calibrated cutting settings for quick cuts
  • Laser guides help you to keep your cuts straight
  • Dust chutes, bags, or blowers make clean up easier by directing or catching sawdust
  • Digital displays make checking your settings fast and easy

Product FAQs

What Is The Difference Between A Miter Saw And A Circular Saw?

Circular saws usually have a smaller blade (7 inches) and are handheld. They are extremely versatile in that they can go anywhere and cut anything. However, they aren’t known for being precise and often result in sloppy angled cuts. That’s where a miter saw comes in.

Miter saws are mounted, rarely portable, and more typically have larger 10- to 12- inch blades. They are used only for angled cuts but provide very high accuracy at their specialty.

What Wood Sizes Can I Cut With The C12RSH2?

It can handle all common wood sizes, such as 4 x 4, 6 x 6, and 2 x 6 — up to 12 inches with 90-degree cuts. You can also cut crown molding vertically up to 7.5 inches, thanks to the high sliding fence height.

Does It Require Batteries?

The Hitachi C12RSH2 does not run on batteries, no. There are a few miter saws these days that do, but given these tools are rarely portable, there’s not a huge market for cordless models. The laser guide also does not require batteries.

How Much Space Does The Hitachi C12RSH2 Take Up?

This saw requires no wall clearance — a big advantage of its design as you can place it snug up against a wall. It measures 25 X 35 X 28 inches and weighs 59 pounds. Given that weight, remember to have a sturdy workbench to mount it to.

Does It Come With A Warranty?

Hitachi offers a five-year limited warranty on all their miter saws. The C12RSH2 also includes a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. For warranty claims, you must have purchased your saw new from an authorized dealer and have proof of purchase.

Final Thoughts

Miter saws are limited in use. Whether you’ll get your monies worth out of the C12RSH2, or any miter saw for that matter, really depends on the type of projects you need a saw for. If you need high accuracy and make a good deal of cross, bevel, or angled cuts, a miter saw is a massive time saver, and the Hitachi C12RSH2 is an excellent miter saw.

For such a specialty tool, it offers more versatility than most of its competitors, comes in at an affordable price, and offers a good deal of useful extra features. Hitachi C12RSH2 reviews are also mostly positive — including this one — and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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