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Problematic Hitachi CW-40

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Review by solidoak posted 1694 days ago 5465 views 1 time favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Problematic Hitachi CW-40 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Let me perfectly honest and up front here. I have owned the Hitachi CW-40 for about a year now. In some categories it performs very well. For instance, I like the soft start feature and the saw has very little vibration. But I consider there to be at least 2 MAJOR PROBLEMS with this saw.

1. The first problem is that it will not accept a spiral pinless blade. I have tried just about everything to install a spiral blade in this saw, but nothing I do works. The blade kinks, or breaks, or slips, every single time. I have ruined numerous blades trying to get them to work. The Hitachi owners manual says the CW-40 will accept pinless blades, but I have found this to be less than truthfull. This means that when trying to do inlay or marquetry where where a spiral blade is needed, that the Hitachi CW-40 is just about completely useless. At the present time I use the saw only occasionally, for simple curves and cutoffs.

2. The second problem is a lack of help and concern from Hitachi. I contacted a Hitachi Rep, asking if there was some sort of retrofit kit to alleviate the problem with pinless blades or to if he had any suggestions on how to make spiral blades work. His answer was NO and NO. He simply told me to contact a repair facility.

I have still to this day not found a satisfactory solution to the spiral blade problem. Although, this machine scores well in other areas such as low vibration, I am not able to use it for some very simple scroll saw tasks, due to the poor design of the machine. This coupled with the lack of help from Hitachi scores it a grand total of 2 stars in my book.




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solidoak

10 posts in 1694 days



32 comments so far

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solidoak

10 posts in 1694 days


#1 posted 1694 days ago

Hi 3finger,
The Hitachi CW-40 is my 3rd scroll saw. My first one was a small Delta. The Delta was not a bad saw, but had a lot more vibration than the Hitachi. I also had a Ryobi for about 2 days. The ryobi had immense vibration to the point where it self-destructed after only a few hours of use. It is a shame that the Hitachi will not accept a spiral blade or it might be a decent saw.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1734 days


#2 posted 1694 days ago

I’m curious. Have you examined other brand saws that are known to work well with the blades you’re trying to use? There has to be a slight difference or engineering issue that might be correctable by doing so. I would think this should solve the problem.
I wonder if manufacturers realize the snowball factor of inattention or the lack of addressing a customer issue. Stories like these in todays times, like having the internet, blogs, forums, etc., can be disastrous to future sales. These attitudes and indifference can take a good overall product and destroy interest/sales in a very short time.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2383 posts in 2073 days


#3 posted 1694 days ago

I reviewed this saw several months ago. Back then and to this day it holds pinless blades well. I’ve only broken one and haven’t used any pin blades at all. I have not used spiral blades though. I still think the saw is a great alternative choice for those not being able to pay for a dewalt yet wanting something a step up from the low end models.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1467 posts in 2201 days


#4 posted 1694 days ago

Could be the luck of the draw, sometimes after unsuccessful call to customer service, I will call back and receive a better result after talking to another person.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

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solidoak

10 posts in 1694 days


#5 posted 1694 days ago

Craftsman- Try a spiral blade. Break a few. Frustrate youyrself a little. Then let me know what you think. If you can give me some insight on how to make a spiral blade work on a CW-40 I would love to hear it. Thanks for the comments.

Skarp- I am not a huge fan of spiral blades as they can be a little tricky at times, but they do have their advantages such as being able to manuever larger pieces of material a little more easily and making extremely sharp turns.

Jim- I was able to use spiral blades on a cheaper model Delta without issues. And yes, I agree with you. It is a shame that I even have to post a negative review on a product that does have some nice features. The snowball effect can be devastating. Currently, only a little over 7 hours after my post over 100 people have viewed me review. But if it was not for such poor customer service, chances are I would be a happy Hitachi customer and would have given it it way better marks. To me, poor customer service is inexcusable. Hitachi made their bed. Now, let them lie in it.

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woodnut

389 posts in 2688 days


#6 posted 1694 days ago

I also have this saw and do use pinless blades including the spiral blades in it. Although I do not use them very often because I have trouble using them. It is alot harder for me to stay close to the line with the spiral blades I know they have there purpose I just seem to like the straight blades better. Sorry to hear about your problems with the saw, so far I am pleased with mine.

-- F.Little

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Karson

34870 posts in 3036 days


#7 posted 1694 days ago

Thanks for the review and the discussion.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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JRickey

9 posts in 2414 days


#8 posted 1694 days ago

I have this saw and have use pinless blades with good results. I have not uses a spiral blade.

View solidoak's profile

solidoak

10 posts in 1694 days


#9 posted 1694 days ago

Hi Rickey- Try a spiral blade and you will see what I mean.

Woodnut- I know of zero ways to install a spiral blade on a CW-40 without it slipping, breaking or kinking. Are you able to give me any advice on how to do it? The Hitachi rep was useless. I am open to suggestions here.

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Dovetail

27 posts in 1749 days


#10 posted 1693 days ago

I think two stars are generous. I’d give it one star for such poor customer service and lack of support. Perhaps a letter to Hitachi corporate headquarter is called for with a narrative of the lack of service from the regional rep.

Both positive and negative reviews of tools are necessary. I personally find the negative reviews more helpful, especially those that are well written and come from experienced users.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Dovetail

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solidoak

10 posts in 1694 days


#11 posted 1693 days ago

Thanks Dovetail – I agree. If I wanted to be vindictive I could have easily given the product zero stars. The saw does have some good features as I said in my review and that is why I gave it the 2 stars that I did. But let’s face it, this is not a 5 star saw even if the customer service was adequate and it accepted the spiral blades. It is a 4 star product at best. Deduct another star for the spiral blade issue and deduct still another star for the customer service problems. That brings the total to 2 stars. By the way, in an attempt to be fair to Hitachi I have written to them again letting them know about my negative review

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1734 days


#12 posted 1693 days ago

Solidoak,

Your review and star rating was more than fair.

I hope you directed them to “lumberjocks” and asked them to search “Hitachi scroll saw”
That might get their attention.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View solidoak's profile

solidoak

10 posts in 1694 days


#13 posted 1693 days ago

In my quest to make a spiral blade work in my CW-40 I have run across a few people who are having the same issue as I have been. At least a couple of these people beat their spiral blades with a hammer to flatten them out enough for them to tighten down properly. It has also come to my attention that Olsen and Flying Dutchman carry “Flat End Spiral” blades. I suppose it would be too much to ask that Lowe’s stock the proper blades to fit a saw that they carry. But, a person has to think that Hitachi would at the very least pass along enough information about flat end blades to their reps to solve a simle customer issue. Major ball drop here.

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woodnut

389 posts in 2688 days


#14 posted 1693 days ago

solidoak, I did not understand completely what type of blade you were trying to use. The ones I bought from woodcraft do have the flat ends. Sorry if I miss lead you in any way. If I make it to the shop tonight I will get you the exact make and number on the blades I have.

-- F.Little

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solidoak

10 posts in 1694 days


#15 posted 1693 days ago

woodnut- Thank you. If the blades are available at Woodcraft, there is one here locally. I appreciate the help. The blades that I originally purchased I bought at Lowes because Lowes is where I purchased the saw. They are what I would consider to be standard spiral blades and they do not have flattened ends. The CW-40 came with a few blades but they were all pin type and no spirals were included. Thank you again.

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