The marketplace determined a while back that professional job site table saws should feature 10-inch blades powered by 15-amp motors with convenient, folding stands with wheels for transport and storage. There are exceptions to the rule but, by-and-large, that’s what you’ll find. Yet Pro table saws are different in rip capacity, fence design, build quality, RPMs, and several other features. The newest Hitachi table saw is the Japanese company’s solution to job site cutting needs. It appears to be a contender for all-around table saw excellence, but can it really live up to the hype?
Those of us familiar with the major manufacturers’ table saw offerings will be quick to say, “Hey! That Hitachi saw looks like a carbon copy of the Dewalt DWE7499…what gives?” It’s true – there are some major similarities, but let’s see if they really are the same saw.
As I mentioned, the C10RJ Hitachi table saw is powered by a direct drive universal 15-amp motor with soft start function and an electric brake. It pumps out 4,500 RPM compared to the 4,800 from DeWalt; 3,650 from Bosch’s 4100-09; 4,400 from Ridgid’s R4513; and 5,000 from Kobalt’s KT1015. An overload sensor protects the motor from damage. An oversized power switch featuring an emergency off safety cover protects everything else.
Blade, Table, & Beveling
The mid-range RPMs coupled with the 40-tooth carbide tipped blade suggests that Hitachi meant this saw to do more than just rip rough lumber but instead gave it the chops to do harder wood and cleaner finishes. In fact, woodworkers will appreciate the 8 x 13/16-inch dado capacity.
The table also has the ability to support pieces much larger than a lot of its peers. A 28-3/4-inch x 22-inch working table top extends to a very wide 35-inch rip capacity (to the right) with the help of a rack-and-pinion system and rotating fence that echoes DeWalt’s. What’s more – there’s an outfeed extension of 28-3/4 x 2-inches. Dewalt’s saw allows a 32-1/2-inch rip capacity, Bosch and Ridgid a 25-inch capacity, and Kobalt a 30-inch. A riving knife and anti-kickback pawls keep the user safe while cutting.
Although the miter gauge is often a cheap afterthought on most saws, the Hitachi 10-inch Job site table saw’s T-slot miter gauge has convenient detents 0°, 15°, 30°, 45°, and 60° on both sides. The bevel range is 0° to 45° for cut depth ranging from 3-1/8-inch (at 90° ) to 2-1/4-inch (at 45°) and the scale and height adjustments knobs are in the traditional locations.
Fold/Roll Stand and More
Perhaps the standout (or more appropriately, stand-up feature) of this Hitachi table saw is the fold/roll stand. It forms the bones of the saw, allows for accessory storage, houses the folded legs, allows the saw to transform into an upright cart to roll on its 8-inch all-terrain rubber wheels, and stabilizes the upright saw for storage.\
There’s only one dust port on the Hitachi like most job site table saws. DeWalt stands out with one above its removable blade guard. Finally, the saw is covered by Hitachi’s 2-year limited warranty. Now let’s cut some stuff up!
My 10-year old table saw bit the dust shortly before the opportunity arose to review the new Hitachi table saw. So not only was I eager to see what the last decade of technological advancement could do, I simply needed a new workhorse to get jobs done. I opened the box and found there’s quite a bit of assembly required – I guess there’s no surprise there. Be prepared to assemble the stand, the riving knife, the outfeed support, the rack-and-pinion fence, along with the smaller things like the blade guard. Then the fun can start as you unfold the stand and get down to business.
Make A Stand
The stand has a wide stance which gives you a sense of stability. Many table saws are designed with the legs too close together such that there’s a danger the saw could tip, especially when you’re cutting a long board or sheet. And you don’t always have the luxury of being on a hard surface – many our jobs start from scratch so you’re working outside in the shifty Florida sand, so the more stable the saw can be, the better. When you’re ready to move to the next job or at least pack up your tools – which I do each day – folding the legs down, tipping the saw up, and rolling to the truck, and even lifting the 96-pound saw can be accomplished by one guy.
Table It For Now
A big working table top and the even bigger 35-inch rip capacity is a big deal. It’s obvious that the more of the surface of a sheet good that’s supported during the cut, the more precise and safe the operation. The much-loved rack-and-pinion fence extends 2.5-inches further on this model than DeWalt’s and seems to stay quite square. The fence rotates around to form an edge level with the table top to facilitate the big rips. The outfeed extension helps to distribute and stabilize the weight of the material. Of course, more surfaces in contact with each other means more resistance, which is again why the stability of the legs is so important.
Making The Cut
I started cutting dimensional lumber on a remodel job and found the initial cuts to be straight and accurate. The ruler on the edge of the table allows you to make quick measurements and the plastic marker – once dialed in – ensures you can get very accurate when you’re doing finish work where you can’t have gaps or shadows. The Hitachi table saw certainly has the power and precision to do the work you need it to do, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a blade heel problem other reviewers have uncovered. The adjustment to make the blade parallel with the miter slots and fence isn’t mentioned in the manual and requires you to remove a pair of bolts under the table to make the adjustment.
That seems like a lot to go through, however, the manual provides instruction on how to adjust the fence, riving knife, and bevel to the blade’s current position if it’s slightly out. I’d start with those much easier to access adjustments to get your blade square first. I’d only go underneath to make the adjustment in a worst case scenario if the others don’t work.
Make sure you’re supplying the right amount of amps to the saw – just because the motor runs on 15 amps doesn’t mean the cord is supplying it. If you’re starving it for amps, it’s going to bog down or burn up.
The Next Bevel
Assuming the blade, miter gauge, and fence are all in the same plane, all of your cuts – including bevels – will be accurate. The bevel/height adjustment wheel works like any other table saw you’ve seen, so there’s nothing novel there. The bevel lock lever is a plastic-to-metal connection that can slide right off and may potentially wear down. It’s not terribly uncommon for this class and an area I’d like to see some improvement across the board.
Tap The Brakes
The blade brake is an excellent safety feature. It’s also convenient. Waiting on the blade to stop before moving the material is annoying. A spinning blade can cause kickback, damage to your work, and injury. It’s good practice to act around blades as if they don’t have brakes. But in any event, the brake saves us time and potential damage. Also excellent is the onboard storage for the push stick, blade wrenches, and cord wrap, but the miter gauge is a little wobbly. It actually fell out a couple of times in transport, so just be sure it’s secure.
The Bottom Line
The stable and powerful Hitachi table saw is packed with features that any Pro should love, including the largest rip capacity in its class. It’s built for soup-to-nuts work from dimensional lumber to sheet materials. The cutting, folding, and transporting features work remarkably well.
It’s not without its weaknesses, however. It’s difficult to heel for all but the most patient and experienced guys, the miter gauge can’t be stowed securely, and the bevel lock lever is quite flimsy. While the blade heeling is definitely the standout among those areas for improvement, other adjustments are integrated into the saw’s fence, riving knife, and bevel to avoid having to go the difficult route.
At $688.22, the new Hitachi table saw comes in a bit below DeWalt’s $580 machine, which the Hitachi could be mistaken for at a glance if it wasn’t for the colors. Still, there are material differences that might convince a Pro to choose one over the other. But for the price, the feature set is quite attractive and it will undoubtedly prove to be more than enough saw for many users.
Hitachi Table Saw C10RJ Features
- Direct drive universal 4,500 RPM 15 Amp motor
- Soft start function reduces noise and recoil at start-up
- Electric brake
- 10-inch 40-Tooth carbide tipped blade included
- Bevel range of 0 degrees to 45 degrees for cuts ranging from 3-1/8-inch (at 0 degrees) to 2-1/4-inch (at 45 degrees)
- 28-3/4-inch x 22-inch working table top with out feed support of 28-3/4-inch x 2-inch
- Telescoping table extension supports 35-inches of ripping capacity to the right and 22-inches to the left
- Front bevel scale and height adjustment knobs
- Equipped with a 3/4-inch T-slot miter gauge that features a large scale with adjustable positive stops at 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 degrees to the left and right to help guide material accurately for a truer cut
- On-tool accessory storage
- 8 x 13/16-inch Dado capacity
- Stable and durable fold & roll stand
- Large 8-inch rubber, all-terrain treaded wheels
- Overload protection
- Riving knife
- Oversized power switch with emergency off safety cover
- Rear-positioned 2-1/2 inch dust port
- 2-year limited warranty
Hitachi Table Saw C10RJ Specifications
- Model Number: Hitachi C10RJ
- Blade Size: 10-inch
- Motor: 15 Amp 120V – 60Hz
- No-Load Speed: 4,500 RPM
- Blade Type Included: 40T Carbide Tipped
- Table Material: Aluminum
- Working Table Size: 28-3/4 x 22-inch
- Outfeed Support Size: 28-3/4 x 2-inch
- Max Rip Capacity Right: 35-inch
- Max Rip Capacity Left: 22-inch
- Cut Depth @ 0 Degrees: 3-1/8-inch
- Max Cut Depth @ 45 Degrees: 2-1/4-inch
- Max Width of Dado: 8 x 13/16-inch
- Soft Start: Yes
- Electric Brake: Yes
- Dust Port Size: 2-1/2-inch
- Fold & Roll Stand: Included
- Tool Weight (Assembled): 96 lbs
- Warranty: 2-Year
- Price: $688.22