12" Miter Saw decision time, so many choices, no real winner

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by BryanC posted 06-15-2014 11:27 AM 9246 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BryanC's profile


3 posts in 1675 days

06-15-2014 11:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dewalt dw715 hitachi c12fdh ridgid r4120 miter saw question

Hello all, I am an amateur woodworker. I have only had 2 real projects so far. I’ve built a 10 person poker table and a dresser. This summer I am building a bunk bed for my daughters. I want to do more projects and more often so I also decided to build myself a workbench and plan to use Ron Paulk’s Total Station as a guide. The biggest problem is that I don’t have many tools… Circular saw, drills, sander, kreg jig, and that’s about it.

With all of this in mind I then go out shopping for some tools, and at this point I don’t want to rent a miter saw anymore. I end up at home depot and I buy the Ridgid R4120 for $299. It felt a little pricy but it has a lifetime warranty and included a laser. It was only single bevel but that isn’t a show stopper for me, I don’t mind flipping a piece over lol. However, when I got home I just happen to stumble on some good deals at Amazon.

$199 – DEWALT DW715 15-Amp 12-Inch Single Bevel Miter Saw Type 3 (free shipping, 3 year limited warranty) and

$229 – Hitachi C12FDH 15 Amp 12-Inch Dual Bevel Miter Saw with Laser (free shipping, 5 year warranty)

Much cheaper and from what I’ve read better brands.

DEWALT DW715 concerns – I see nothing but good reviews, however, the DW715 being produced is currently Type 3. I’m not sure if the reviews I see are about the Type 3 or its previous versions. I hear that the Type 3 is made out of much cheaper parts and is lower quality… which makes sense for it’s price to be lower. Even the DW713 10” is priced at a higher price of $260. Also the type 3 has compatibility problems with the accessories. For instance the laser and the led light are not compatible with it.

Hitachi C12FDH concerns – Whenever I see any rankings of saws in the 12” miter saw category, this saw isn’t ranked very high. I’ve seen mix reviews about it. I’ve heard someone say their engine blew out from cutting a 4×4. I also heard that the fence has problems and leads to accuracy issues. On the other side I’ve heard great reviews saying that it works great and cuts are very precise. Of course every saw will have good and bad reviews, but the Ridgid at least has a lifetime warranty just in case.

I think in the end I would like a long lasting 12inch saw that does great precise cuts every time and is easy to maintain and work with.

Should I keep the Ridgid (still in the box), or are one of these saws a better option and could save me some money? Really not sure what to do and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

33 replies so far

View SuperCubber's profile


1047 posts in 2518 days

#1 posted 06-15-2014 11:44 AM

Isn’t the R4512 a table saw?

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View ChefHDAN's profile


1227 posts in 3083 days

#2 posted 06-15-2014 11:48 AM

Bryan, I’ve been working with the Ridgid MS for the past 10+ years I’m on my second set of brushes and maybe my 3rd or 4th ZCI. No real complaints with the saw, my doesn’t have the laser, but a laser is really useless for furniture making anyway. I bought mine for $300 and got a free stand with it, so $300 ten years later is a decent price. You’ll need to look for a finer blade for furniture work, I run a freud pro 90 tooth. You’ve got a good saw for the money, and the only other real choice would be to maybe sit on the fence a bit longer and watch craigslist.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View knotscott's profile


8172 posts in 3609 days

#3 posted 06-15-2014 12:30 PM

”Isn’t the R4512 a table saw?”

Indeed….$299 would be an awesome buy too!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 1782 days

#4 posted 06-15-2014 12:42 PM

I’ve had my Dewalt 12” single bevel ms for 15-20 years. I bought it when HD first started selling it locally. I’ve never had one problem with it, never had to replace a part.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2810 days

#5 posted 06-15-2014 02:23 PM

The Dewalt would be my choice. I have a 10” Hitachi I may eventually replace with a 12”, and when I do it will be with the Dewalt.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View BryanC's profile


3 posts in 1675 days

#6 posted 06-15-2014 02:27 PM

Sorry I meant Ridgid R4120. I wasn’t sure if it was okay to buy tools used. I figured the warranty might be expired and I don’t have enough experience to know if there is an issue. On craiglists, there is a DW 708 for sale here in Las Vegas for $280 and a DW 706 for $160.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2182 days

#7 posted 06-15-2014 02:56 PM

I dont know about the category 3. I can say the older models are like a late 70’s early 80’s chevy truck. They are a no frills workhorse. The are not spectacular, but very dependable and seem to last forever. I really recommend the dw716. I had the c-man version and after 10 years of abuse and being drug from job to job I replaced it with the dw716 and love it.

View jonah's profile


1966 posts in 3532 days

#8 posted 06-15-2014 03:51 PM

Honestly, and this comes from the owner of a 12” non-sliding miter saw, I would stay away from 12-inchers. The blades are more expensive, the cutting capacity not that much more, and there’s not really all that much of a step up in price to get a 10” sliding CMS.

I like the Ridgid 12” CMS I have, but if I had to do it over again I’d have spent another ~$150 to get a 10” slider.

There is virtually no reason to get a 12” slider. Worst of all possible worlds IMO, unless you have the need to cut large timbers frequently.

View jonah's profile


1966 posts in 3532 days

#9 posted 06-15-2014 03:58 PM

See my review of the predecessor to the one you’re looking at.

Again, if it were me, I’d spend the extra to get a 10” slider. It looks like it’s about $200 more. Not cheap, but worth it IMO. You’ll save that $200 on blades if you keep the thing for 10 years.

View TheDane's profile


5573 posts in 3896 days

#10 posted 06-15-2014 04:05 PM

I have a Hitachi C12RSH ( ) ... bought it about a year and a half ago.

It is a terrific saw … I have used it for everything from cutting framing stock to breaking down hardwoods to cutting segments for turning projects. Even used the depth-cutting feature to cut grooves when I built my ShopDog sawhorses.

No complaints at all … the only downside is it is not a job-site saw. At 65+ pounds, it is not exactly portable! Mine is installed on a flip-top stand (with my DW733 planer on the other side).

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

608 posts in 1703 days

#11 posted 06-15-2014 08:55 PM

Ever since I saw this, I’ve wanted one. Not very practical for a shop tool but for anyone that goes to customer’s houses to install or do finish work it seems like it would be great.

EDIT: here’s a video. downside is that they’re about $800-900.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View BrutalForce's profile


41 posts in 2522 days

#12 posted 06-15-2014 10:05 PM

I have a Rigid 12” CMS and while it is a great saw, I find that for the things you listed above, you would be better off putting that money towards a Table Saw.

To me a Miter saw, compound or not, is really just for rough work. In which case you already have a circular saw. You have also not mentioned that the bench, bunk beds, dresser or table will have compound miters on them, or for that matter any miters.

If you need to cut 45 degree miters, you could do that with a circular saw and get about an as accurate cut as you would with the miter saw.

If you wanted ACCURACY, then get a TS and build a few inexpensive jigs and you are good to go.

Personally, I have both a Rigid Table saw and 12” CMS and feel like I should sell the CMS. I keep it because it comes in handy when rough cutting long 2×4s. Really, I think if the wood you will be working with is 8 foot or longer and there is a lot to cut at angles (think moulding or framing), then that would be the good argument for a Miter saw.

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 1782 days

#13 posted 06-15-2014 10:38 PM

Brutalforce Are you kidding me? Mitres on a circular saw? A circular saw is about as accurate as a mitre saw. Wow, you can’t make this stuff up. lol

View dawsonbob's profile


3137 posts in 1989 days

#14 posted 06-15-2014 11:39 PM

I’ve heard a lot here on LJs, but, well…

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View BryanC's profile


3 posts in 1675 days

#15 posted 06-16-2014 12:35 AM

I think at this point I’m trying to decide between the:

$229 – Hitachi C12FDH 15 Amp 12-Inch Dual Bevel Miter Saw with Laser (free shipping, 5 year warranty)


$348 – DEWALT DW716 15 Amp 12-Inch Double-Bevel Compound Miter Saw (free shipping, standard DeWalt warranty)

From all the reviews I read you can’t beat the DeWalt, its just solid, but it is $110 more. The Hitachi has more power 4,000 VS 3,600 and comes with a laser. I heard a lot of great things about the laser. From what I’ve read it is actually useful which is very different from other lasers you find on miter saws. The Hitachi has less cutting capacity compared to the DeWalt as well. Hitachi is also a good brand.

Am I crazy for spending $110 more for a DeWalt?

showing 1 through 15 of 33 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics