Lasers have proven to be a wonderful way to add safety and accuracy to miter saws. Now Hitachi has taken ease-of-use to a new level by adding both a laser and a digital readout to its C12LCH 12-in. single compound miter saw, $369. The laser casts a line down either side of the saw blade and can be fine-tuned for accuracy. The digital readout shows the chosen angle and bevel settings. Good quality miter saws typically have easy-to-read angle and bevel scales, but you can't beat the simplicity of a digital readout. What a great way to guarantee that you're hitting the correct angle every time! The digital readout is in 0.05-degree increments. The numbers are large, are easy to read and can be backlit when you're in a low-light area. This saw's capacities are great enough—3-7/8-in. thickness and 7-7/8-in. width—to allow easy cutting of crown moldings. Hitachi hopes to improve the digital readout to 0.02 degrees in the near future. Conventional positive stops on the saw at 0, 22.5, 31.6 and 45 degrees (left and right) set up angle cuts. The saw also has positive bevel stops at 0 and 48 degrees and a fine-tune mechanism to simplify tweaking bevel angles.
This machine is slightly more expensive than other saws that include a laser but no digital readout.
Hitachi, (800) 829-4752, www.hitachi.us/powertools.com, 12-in. compound miter saw, C12LCH, $369.