Yeah, I'm opinionated. And I really dislike being told I'm
wrong or misguided or misinformed (or a cranky 'ol complainer). This
opinion, however, is based on actual (unpleasant) experience.
My first saw was a gift. Actually the gift came as encouragement to go
ahead and buy one for my birthday (72nd). Being the consummate
tight-wad, I looked at price before querying about quality...and for that
little quality determination, I trusted the salesperson at Lowe's. I
know...two gigantic errors. (Believe it or not, one of my favorite
quotes is, "you get what you pay for!") Sadly,
too true in this case.
I checked the flimsy little machine they had at Sears...and quickly
turned away. Next came Lowes. Wow, I thought, this one is
cheaper...and actually looks tougher. Hitachi.
I paid the hundred-and-twenty-some dollars, bought a fistful of blades, took
it home, set it up...and, over the next week or so, cut out about a
dozen simple 3/4" thick pine puzzles.
Then the light fell apart. So I managed to get it back together --
of. About 2 hours later it fell apart again. This time I had to
reassemble it with electrical tape because the cheap little assembly
is very rough-molded plastic with sloppy threads...and wouldn't stay together.
Then, inside of a month, the on/off switch went. That one I couldn't
fix. I know, I know... I should've hauled the thing back to Lowe's or
hounded the company (Hitachi) for a replacement part...but I didn't.
Instead, I plugged the wretched thing into a power strip with it's own
switch -- which actually worked out better because I could now flip
one switch that turned on the saw, the bandaged light, and my homemade dust-
collection system. It didn't stop there. Next came the sawdust
It did come with a little flexible blower to (theoretically)
keep the lines on the work piece clear of sawdust, and for that first
month or so it more or less worked...if I adjusted it to a little over
a quarter-inch away from the cutting point. As time went on, however,
I found myself almost hyperventilating and actually becoming dizzy
from blowing the sawdust away myself every quarter-inch or less of cut.
The only way to solve that was to break it down and add a piece of
foam rubber to the top of the now-totally-ineffective (and incredibly
well hidden) bellows that was supposed to puff a small blast of
air near the blade with every stroke of the arm. That worked for a
Then the little flexible segmented blower tube grew increasingly more
flexible until finally, while the saw was running (and vibrating), the
tip of that tube would sort of go limp...and end up getting itself
stuck in the next convenient fretwork opening. The first time it
happened, it ruined about two
hours worth of work. More electrical tape.
Of course, as it became ever-more sloppy-flexible, air began leaking
through the now-weakened joints....and I'd end up dizzy again blowing the
dust off the work piece.
The final straw came as the thumb-screw that was supposed to
lock the lower end of the blade fell apart...so, from then on I used a
philip's-head machine screw and a corresponding screw-driver.
Mind you, this all went on during the space of about 5 months.
(Yes...yes...I know I should've taken it back and dumped in in the
store manager's lap. But I didn't...mostly because I used to work
there and the manager had been good to me on more than one occasion.)
What a bunch of junk! Bottom line? If you're ever tempted
to go for the least-expensive tool, don't.
Especially if it's one of those
slapped-together-using-the-cheapest-materials! Quickly turn
around and run!
You do, indeed, get exactly what you pay for.
The new saw I purchased to replace the Hitachi? A $600 Delta...that
works like a dream...with the possible exception of a little