Hitachi vs. Bosch vs. Makita: Making the Sliding Compound Mitre Saw Decision

$500 is a lot of money. Laying WAY upwards of half-a-grand for a 12″ sliding compound miter saw is not something you should do every time a wild hare bites you. But if the SMCS bug has bitten you maybe you should at least read this post… and some of the forum threads we link to.

Hey woodworker – get great wood working and power tool resources directly in your inbox by signing up for the email newsletter! CLICK HERE to sign up.

(Here’s a more updated version of this article: Most Used Sliding Compound Miter Saw: the SMCS Showdown)

We had a ToolCrib visitor write in recently asking about sliding compound miter saws. He said:

“I am trying to decide between buying a 12″ hatachi sliding miter saw or the bosch. any tips?”

Here’s the Hitachi C12RSH 12″ sliding compound miter saw:

And here’s the 5412L Bosch 12-Inch Dual Bevel Slide Miter Saw

We rounded up the usual suspects over at WoodNet and FamilyWoodworking to offer their expert opinions.

So here’s what your friendly WoodNetters had to say.

In reading through that thread I get the overall impression that the Hitachi is in fact a better choice, though most folks mentioned getting the 10 incher instead of the 12:

This thread from WoodNet turns out to be in pretty strong favor of the Hitachi.

There were a couple of proponents in WoodNet of the Makita too, which our questioner didn’t ask about at first:

Now take a look at what the Family had to say.

Again, strong support for the Hitachi… but the 10″ Hitachi scms because as Tod notes, and this is just one man’s opinion, “i’d advise against a 12″ saw unless he actually needs the extra deapth of cut for trim work…..10″ saws will usually give a better cut…”

Thanks to everyone who helped out in the forums to make sure our visitors make the best decisions with their hard earned cash!

This entry was posted in Q/A, Tool Debates. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Hitachi vs. Bosch vs. Makita: Making the Sliding Compound Mitre Saw Decision

  1. Blog» Blog Archive » 54% off Makita LS1013F 10″ Compound Miter Saw Deal Ends Feb 12th!

  2. Price Drop + $50 Gift Card! Hitachi C12LSH 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw - Blog

  3. Robb Covey says:

    I have used the makita for 4 years straight and I Love it! It is a very smooth saw that allows you to cut higher angles. I have cut through a 4×4 post with no problem. It has lots of power, it’s a safe saw, with very little kickback when the motor shuts off. when im doing trim work this is the saw thats set up, especially when building cabinets.

  4. Tony Bonaparte says:

    Tony, 42 year old from Huntington Beach california

    I like Hitachi, always have, always will….My friends have the Dewalt, Makita, Bosch, Yadda yadda yadda.

    I can hands down run circles arounbd them with my 15″ traditional Hitachi (ols school) saw. Thats right, the 15″, Its the best saw on Gods great earth.
    How often do you gut over 7″ crown? Well, when you do, break out any of the Hitachi Compound saws and do you thing but again, The 15″ Hitachi compares to none for speed and quality.



  5. Tony Bonaparte says:

    sorry about my typos, im typing in the dark and like you, im a woodworker, lol

  6. Power Tool Deals» Blog Archive » Price Drop + $50 Gift Card! Hitachi C12LSH 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

  7. Dan Breslaw says:

    Hey, what about the Dewalt 12″”? Am I alone in preferring it to the others?

  8. Power Tool Deals» Blog Archive » 54% off Makita LS1013F 10″ Compound Miter Saw Deal Ends Feb 12th!

  9. Jeff Banman says:

    On the basis of warranty alone…

    My Bosch cordless drill went out (after about 60 1.25″ holes into solid walnut) and they sent out a new replacement priority overnight the next day at no cost.

    My Hitachi table saw had a bearing go out and while it was completely covered under warranty, it took 4 weeks just to get the part in. I guess that’s why it has a 3 yr warranty!!

    Both saws are great, I just always had great sucess with Bosch in general.

  10. Elizabeth Musgrave says:

    I am trying to find a mitre saw my boyfriend for christmas but i am not sure what brand or what kind to get. There are so many different ones. Eventually we want to buy our own house and rehab it, but i do not know if we need the bevel feature. I don’t want to spend more than 300.

  11. J. Zeidman says:

    Depending on what you are doing…the best bang for the buck is the Dewalt, hands down. It is also the only saw I would recommend for outdoor use. The dust collector on the newest version simply does NOT work, however, so indoor users cutting in solid wood take note. It may work for MDF, but I only work in hardwood. I have also owned and used the Makita for years. Unfortunately, the Makita does not weather wear, the bevel and mitre locks both wear quickly, and make for a lot of frustration. Additionally, the ball-bearing detent system exclusive to the Makita on the bevel setting precludes slightly off perpendicular adjustment, the saw wants to lock into perpendicular too much. Back off the ball bearings and you lose the positive lock on perpendicular. The Makita and the old style Hitachi are the best machined, but if you need finesse on the bevel, the Makita is out. The Hitachi fails buy having the long cut mitres on the right. Any right handed user will have their material long to the left of the blade, so your long cuts will be against the grain. For the occasional user this isn’t a problem, but for the professional it is an extraordinary, and mildly unsafe, inconvenience. Again, generally well-machined, but with a critical design flaw. The new Hitachi looks like a spaceship, and I wonder about its durability. I will buy one tomorrow to try it out, but frankly I expect to return it…Haven’t tried the Bosch, but again, too much plastic. A durable tool is metal, not plastic. I have heard only 1 review from another carpenter, and he liked the conveniences of the all forward controls. Can’t say I’d take that over the old-style DeWalt 3handled screw lock on the back. Now that was a positive locking system, and simple durable design. Anyways, I am surprised to say I favour the DeWalt these days, although my lungs and nose can’t believe Dewalt doesn’t know how to design a dust collector. But the Dewalt uses positive stops on the bevel, it actually allows for very accurate cuts and minute adjustments, a very sensible design for the mitre adjustments with the cam lock. I prefer the older models bevel adjustments though. The new one is stiff, and yet doesn’t tighten sufficiently imho. Ridgid, you gotta be kidding me. It’s a poorly machined toy.

  12. J. Zeidman says:

    Btw I refer to 12″ saws. In 10″, I want to recommend the Hitachi, I really do. It is beautifully machined, and they should have stuck with that design instead of the spaceship they are now going for. Just cast a new base so the long cut mitre is off to the left, and give me a taller fence pls, and you have the near-perfect 10″ saw.

  13. Most Used Sliding Compound Miter Saw: the SMCS Showdown - Blog

  14. jack says:

    I’ve had my Makita for a year and wish I’d have gotten it sooner. I’m sure by now you’ve seen a recent article about miter saws in one of the wood magazines. They loved the new Festool for $1100 . The interesting thing is that the Makita came in second (by 3 points) for hundreds less. You could actually buy 2 Makitas for the price of the Festool and have money left over…

  15. Murtaza/Omar says:

    Extuse f…… me!Ihave an objection! you cannot compare bosch with crap. who
    so ever made the website should have good knowledge about tools and should know that BOSCH was pioneer of power tools. ill make it easy for you guys say for eg. Son: daddy i’ll teach you biology/reproduction.
    DAD/BOSCH: who’s yo daddy !!!!!!!
    (electromechanical engineers)

  16. Sir Handsomebod Hotface says:

    I would only, ONLY, recommmend Bosch, Makita, or Hitachi. Black and Decker…I mean DeWalt…can make an ok tool but they spend more money on advertising and promotions than making a quality tool and keeping their customers happy. If you’re not using it constantly and don’t care about the quality of your cuts then take a look at Craftsman, Rigid, or Delta.

    The Hitachi “Deathstar” looking saw is way too top heavy. The base is small and makes it real easy to tip over while using. The Makita is lacking a few features tha make it a truly awesome saw.

    The Bosch 10″ has been consistantly rated as the top saw in the market. Up front controls mean no reaching behind your work to adjust your bevel, the base is wide and stable, the miter detents are angled so they never gt loose after years of wear, the angle guide is raised and cast onto the base so it won’t scratch or wear off like a sticker will, and it has a fine adjust setting which can give you 2 degrees of play for any of the miter detents.

    If you want to play, buy a toy. If you want to work, buy a Bosch.

  17. Matt says:

    If you are a tradie and you have to move the saw around a lot you must consider the weight I have a 12′ makita and it is great i move it in and out of my van every day with little effort. The Bosch is a beautiful saw but it is far heavier and bulkier the Hitachi Dewalt are quite bulky as well and when your trying to fit all you tools in you trailer or van they do take up quite a bit of space. I think if i brought a new saw it would prob be a 10′ because you can still cut around 200mm high if you roll the timber around.

  18. Joey says:

    Stumbled accross this forum and find all of this amusing. Hitachi and Makita are fine saws. I personally like Bosch- it’s heavy as hell but I’ve had my 10″ sliding compound going on 12 years now and it’s still running strong and true(with periodical adjustments) as the day I purchased it. Love this machine!

  19. Anthony says:


    I’m a Finish carpenter in and have used a number of different saws and have ruled out two as the best if used in a professional setting.

    Before I begin I would like to get something out in the open. I think Dewalt is good but I AM BY NO MEANS A DEWALT ENTHUSIAST SO MY COMMENTS ARE NOT BIASED.

    I currently own 3 Dewalt miter saws and they have gained my approval for a few reasons.

    Reason 1. They are light
    Reason 2. They are strong
    Reason 3. They are very accurate (one piece fence)
    Reason 4. They have more parts on them that can be calibrated than any other miter saw
    Reason 5. No ball bearings, only detentes
    Reason 6. Highest standing cut capacity and very tall fence (6 1/2″)
    Reason 7. The least cumbersome saws I have ever used
    Reason 8. They are yellow

    The last reason may seem kind of laughable but at the end of a 10 hour day of work it’s kinda nice to look at a colour that’s nice to look at.
    I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE BOSCH. The reason that I did not purchase Bosch miter saws, is because the Dewalts’ were on for better deals at the times I purchased my saws. HANDS DOWN, the Bosch miter saws are the toughest and easiest to use, but they are also the heaviest. I will share some features of the Bosch saws that are quite good.

    Feature 1. They have cast iron bases
    Feature 2. They have very thick heavy-duty rails
    Feature 3. The controls are all up front
    Feature 4. They are also a nice colour



    Now to make things clear I have NOTHING AGAINST HITACHI or MAKITA. Further, I have used both Hitachi and Makita saws extensively. I have never used a Milwaukee saw although.
    I might get a new style 10″ Makita slider but I probably wouldn’t get any of the others. WHY?

    Reason 1. Too cumbersome
    Reason 2. Not a high enough fence, nor a high enough cut capacity (not true for their new 10″ slider although)
    Reason 3. Direct drive motor (belt drives absorb vibration in the belt)
    Reason 4. Only on the later models is there a slit where you can see your cut-line through the guard
    Reason 5. Both fence pieces on the guard do not slide out on the 12″ slider

    All of this being said Makita, to me, has the nicest color.

    I used to own a Hitachi, it performed very nicely but these are the reasons that I probably wouldn’t buy another Hitachi.

    Reason 1. Can’t see through the blade guard (constantly have to lift the guard to see the cut-line)
    Reason 2. Not a High enough fence, nor a high enough cut
    Reason 3. Too top heavy
    Reason 4. Does not have Universal holes for all miter-saw stands

    One thing I love about Hitachi although is that the 12″ slider can be right up against a wall and still cut like normal with the ingenious zero clearance slide system. (Totally Awesome!) I, despite what others say, quite like their psychedelic spaceship design.
    I Almost bought a Milwaukee Before but changed my mind when I found out that it only cut 4 1/2″ high. Also, both fence pieces do not slide out. Seemed a little gimmicky as well (LED light and digital miter gauge). Quite heavy too. With the Bosch, it’s features out-way its heaviness. Not so with the Milwaukee.



    I shouldn’t even have to explain.

  20. Anthony says:

    I would like to also add a good feature that I forgot to mention about the Bosch miter saw. There is a slit cut into the blade guard that allows you to see the cut line.

    I also forgot to mention that I used to own a Rigid miter saw and liked most features, but it did not have that professional toughness and accuracy that is required for someone who uses it all the time. In other words, there is a good reason why they are less expensive than other miter saws. Nice colour though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>