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Bargain Tool Review - HF 10" Sliding Miter Saw (Chicago Electric)

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Review by SchottFamily posted 07-01-2012 05:47 PM 16779 views 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bargain Tool Review - HF 10" Sliding Miter Saw (Chicago Electric) No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For the past three weekends, I’ve been cutting down some melamine sheets to use for cabinet cases. I happened to notice that my June 20% HF coupon was about to expire and I’ve had my eye on the 10” sliding miter saw for a few months. I already own the 10” miter saw (it was a gift from my in-laws – cool, huh?) and I’m very happy with the performance of that tool when used with a Freud cross-cut blade and a zero clearance plate. I was able to convince the wife that since I already had a Freud 10” melamine blade, this would be the perfect tool for the job of cutting the shelves and sides down to final size. It proved to be just that.

This saw has a 15amp motor that sliced through everything that I threw at it with no issues. The action of the slide and is very smooth. Though I used it only for 90 degree cuts, the table movement and compound movement were very smooth and didn’t move at all when set and tightened. Right out of the box, the saw was close to perfect, though drenched in assembly oil. Once I got it cleaned up, I tweaked the fence and the depth stop screw a little. For the life of me though, I could not break that arbor nut free. I used the supplied wrench and an impact gun and nothing. After about 45 mintes of messing with it, I decided it was getting too hot and late in the day so I was going to give the stock blade a go – it’s a 60 tooth carbide tipped and branded Chicago Electric (the saw’s MFG), so I have no idea who made it. I was pretty surprised that there was no chip out what so ever. First thing I did after setting up the saw was to build some 3’ extension wings on both sides out of 3/4” pine with 1/4 hard board across for my zero clearance backing.

After the sale price and my 20% off coupon, I paid $90 for the saw. I couldn’t be happier. I was able to do the final trim on about 60 shelves and sides (3 cuts per board.) in maybe 2 hours. Everything came out great, true and square – no issues. My only complaint about the saw is the dust collection port. It’s useless when hooked up to my shop vac. I’ve never used a high end saw, but I imagine it’s the same. Without a hood, there’s dust on EVERYTHING.

Unrelated to the tool – here’s a piece of advice. When milling melamine, do it outside in the open air if you can and wear a mask. That stuff is nasty!

-- IZZZZZI BoB IZZZZZI




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SchottFamily

105 posts in 1149 days



22 comments so far

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dbhost

5385 posts in 1889 days


#1 posted 07-01-2012 06:00 PM

Dual bevel?

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View SchottFamily's profile

SchottFamily

105 posts in 1149 days


#2 posted 07-01-2012 06:23 PM

Nope, you’re right. I had to go out and check. I thought it was for some reason – maybe because the other 10” HF I have is. Thanks!

-- IZZZZZI BoB IZZZZZI

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1580 days


#3 posted 07-01-2012 11:14 PM

Not going to be much use if you can’t put another blade on it. Not trying to be a smart ass but are you trying to loosen it in the right direction?
I’ve looked at that saw and frankly don’t see any problems with it for what I would use it for. Glad you like it.

-- Life is good.

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dbhost

5385 posts in 1889 days


#4 posted 07-02-2012 12:35 AM

Not sure, but you might have been turning the bolt the wrong way… I have the Freud 80t on my 12 inched…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

494 posts in 1974 days


#5 posted 07-02-2012 12:39 AM

I just read the product manual online for this saw, and it says to loosen the retaining bolt by turning it clockwise. “While holding in the Arbor Lock Button, use the Wrench to loosen the Arbor Bolt by turning it clockwise.”

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

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Howie

2656 posts in 1580 days


#6 posted 07-02-2012 08:53 AM

loosen the Arbor Bolt by turning it clockwise.”

Which would be opposite of the normal “lefty lucy righty tighty right?

-- Life is good.

View SchottFamily's profile

SchottFamily

105 posts in 1149 days


#7 posted 07-02-2012 06:46 PM

Don’t worry about being a smart ass – I’m not the sensitive type. ;) I’m pretty sure I tried it both ways, but I’ll try it again tonight going clockwise. Thanks for the help, all. I’m constantly amazed with what a great community woodworkers are – and yet again with all of the folks who looked up the manual to make suggestions. Very cool! Thank you!

-- IZZZZZI BoB IZZZZZI

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dbhost

5385 posts in 1889 days


#8 posted 07-02-2012 07:13 PM

Okay I looked it up…

The manual is http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/98000-98999/98199.pdf
There is an Arbor Lock on the right hand side of the blade shroud on your model, just beneath the handle (see diagram on page 8).

Your arbor bolt is left hand threaded meaning righty loosey, leftey tighty.. So when you get to the the point of unbolting the flange bolt, push in the arbor lock, and loosen the arbor bolt clockwise, or to the right. Again, make sure the arbor lock is pushed in, or you will just end up spinning the motor and all and not loosening up the arbor bolt. On saws that do not have that feature, I typically put something in the gulley of the blade to jam it in place so that I can get the arbor bolt out of there.

If I were unable to remove the OEM blade from my HF 12” slider, it would have made an express trip back to Harbor Freight. My OEM blade was so bad it was scary…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4330 posts in 1705 days


#9 posted 07-03-2012 12:39 AM

I had the same saw ( twice) I was very happy with it but when I broke the blade guard I never could get a replacement

-- Bert

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SawTooth1953

279 posts in 1963 days


#10 posted 07-03-2012 11:53 PM

I find that it is too easy to twist the entire movable upper half while bringing the blade down… I have to be extra cautious to not end up with a cut that is not 90 degrees even though the blade is set at 90 degrees. You can’t just grab the handle and push down… there is a natural twist in the wrist as you do this and this saw doesn’t resist it. Until I figured out what it was, it ruined several cuts that needed to be 90 degrees. All cheap sliding saws have this problem. If you’re cautious about this one aspect, this saw is a lot of bang for the buck.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

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Alexandre

1417 posts in 848 days


#11 posted 07-04-2012 12:03 AM

Hopefully that OEM blade is running true.. Thats why many people change their blades.
Rubbish cuts,
Not running true
Rubbish blade.

-- My terrible signature...

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1171 days


#12 posted 07-04-2012 01:04 PM

I’ve had one of these for years, bought back when they were yellow. After changing the blade, the only problem I had is I have to keep the slider well oiled, something about the bearing in there that sticks a little.
Other than that, it has done everything from a crown molding job in a high end condo to cutting 45’ 2X4 for fencing. Never a problem, and always seems true. I don’t know who built mine, the yellow changed a couple years later. Mine was $99 with no discount, if I remember right.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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ATLJack

27 posts in 941 days


#13 posted 07-05-2012 07:16 PM

Thanks for the review, I have been thinking about picking one up for a while. Its hard to go wrong for $90.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3409 posts in 1169 days


#14 posted 07-09-2012 11:33 AM

It’s a clock wise thread and only a single bevel, I hate to be a rain on this party but, I’ve had the 10” sliding my dad has the same saw as well, both had their issues mine was never true on the table it was about a 16th off center in which I was continually having to square the fence to the blade ignoring the marker on the table when doing 45s, my dads guard got to the point over time it didn’t track up or down when lowing the blade onto the wood causing rough cuts but for what he uses his for he doesn’t need accurate cuts. Though the review seems strong with my experience they’ve proven to fail thus I’m slowly weeding my shop of any HF tools. I just swapped the HF 10” slider to a dewalt 717 sliding 10” and so glad I did, the way I see it you’ll spend less up front “yes”, but more in the end as you’re most likely to be replacing them sooner or later upgrading to better equipment thus spending more in the end. I still have a couple things left from HF but they too will be gone sooner or later the DC and a 4” belt sander, both of those are still working but the sander is lacking on HP doesn’t take much pressure to stop the belt.

No thanks no more for me as I mentioned it’s costed me more on the total cost if I’d just bought the right stuff to begin with.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

494 posts in 1974 days


#15 posted 07-09-2012 03:26 PM

Blackie, you should write a review like SchottFamily did.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

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