Last year, my brother Steve called, asking for advice on a new table saw. He had a massive old Craftsman saw (doesn’t everybody?), which still worked fine. He doesn’t use it often, though, and it takes up a good bit of real estate in his one-car garage. He wanted a pro-grade saw that could handle a big project when he was feeling motivated, but which could live quietly in a corner somewhere when he wasn’t. About this time, a Hitachi C10RJ portable jobsite saw rolled into HomeFixated’s driveway (more on that shortly); we’ll take a look, and see if it would be a good choice for Steve – or anyone looking for a portable pro-grade table saw.
The list of features on the Hitachi C10RJ is impressive. The saw comes with a 10” 40-tooth carbide tipped blade, capable of cuts up to 3-1/8” at 0°, 2-1/4” at 45°. The blade is powered by a direct drive 15 amp motor, with a no-load speed of 4,500 RPM, and a soft-start feature. The saw also features auto shutoff, to protect it from damage due to power overloads.
Cut capacity on the Hitachi C10RJ is excellent; the telescoping supports allow you to make rip cuts up to 35” to the right of the blade, 22” to the left. There’s also a slick flip-down support built into the fence, which is helpful for wider cuts. Here’s the full list of features and specs, followed by a short promo video from Hitachi:
• Direct drive universal 15 Amp motor produces 4,500 RPM to power through the toughest ripping applications
• Soft start function reduces noise and recoil at start-up
• Electric brake halts the rotation of the blade within seconds for added safety
• 10″ 40-Tooth carbide tipped blade included for high cutting capacity
• Bevel range of 0 degree to 45 degrees for cuts ranging from 3-1/8″ (at 0 degree) to 2-1/4″ (at 45 degrees)
• 28-3/4″ x 22″ working table top with out feed support of 28-3/4″ x 2″ for easy and stable material support
• Telescoping table extension supports 35″ of ripping capacity to the right and 22″ to the left
• Both the bevel scale and bevel height adjustment knobs for the blade are situation on the front of the cabinet for easy access and viewing
• Equipped with a 3/4″ 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 allows for easy access to needed items and convenient storage while not in use
• 8 x 13/16″ Dado capacity allows for simple dado cuts
• Easy adjustments for blade height or angle, as well as simple fence adjustments to adhere to the cutting material
• Stable and durable fold & roll stand for easy set up and breakdown, providing stability while in use
• Large 8″ rubber, all-terrain treaded wheels that ensure the end user can maneuver the saw to/from and around the jobsite with ease and convenience
• Overload protection automatically shuts off the motor in a possible current overload situation to help prevent damage to the saw
• Riving knife ensures cutting material does not bind and/or kick-back during operation
• Oversized power switch with emergency off safety cover is designed at knee level for immediate shut down as an added safety feature
• Dust port located at the rear of the base measures 2-1/2″ and can connect to a shop vac or dust collection system for a cleaner work environment
• Covered by Hitachi’s 2-Year Limited Warranty
• 10″ 40-Tooth Carbide Tipped Blade (371495)
• Blade Guard Assembly (371647)
• Anti-kickback Pawl Assembly (371648)
• Miter Gauge Assembly (371651)
• Push Stick (371532)
• Rip Fence Assembly (371649)
• Outfeed Support Assembly (371650)
• (2) Blade Wrenches (371633)
• 5mm Hex Bar Wrench (371644)
• 4mm Hex Bar Wrench (371645)
• 2.5mm Hex Bar Wrench (371646)
Blade Size: 10″
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″
Outfeed Support Size: 28-3/4″ x 2″
Max Rip Capacity Right: 35″
Max Rip Capacity Left: 22″
Max Cut Depth @ 0 Degrees: 3-1/8″
Max Cut Depth @ 45 Degrees: 2-1/4″
Max Width of Dado: 8 x 13/16″
Dust Port Size: 2-1/2″
Fold & Roll Stand Included
Tool Weight (Assembled): 96 lbs.
Making The Hitachi C10RJ Portable
Before you can start slicing and dicing and spewing sawdust, the Hitachi C10RJ requires a bit of assembly. It comes in a box, and the box is large and heavy; if you buy it from a store, they’ll help you load it. If you have it shipped, like we did, it will end up in the middle of your driveway, strapped to a pallet, with a total weight around 140 lbs. If you have no garage or workshop to drag it into, either have a friend available to help schlep it inside, or enjoy a little fresh-air assembly in the driveway, like I did.
The instruction manual for the Hitachi C10RJ is large and well-written. Assembly was fairly fast and easy; the blade was already installed, so I just had to attach the handles, legs, wheels and axle. And get the pallet out of the driveway.
Once assembled, it’s easy for one person to maneuver the Hitachi C10RJ around. The 8” rubber all-terrain tires make it easy to navigate uneven ground, and even to schlep the saw up and down stairs. Unless you have a ramp, though, you’ll definitely want to grab a buddy when it’s time to load it into the truck. A handle on each end of the saw makes that an easy two-person task.
The Hitachi C10RJ Assumes The Position
Once you get ready to start making sawdust, getting the Hitachi C10RJ set up is fast and easy; one person can do it in about ten seconds. Just stand the saw up on its end, unfold the four legs, and yank it up into its full upright and locked position. One leg has an adjuster at the bottom to eliminate wobble on uneven surfaces. Once set up, the saw is very stable, even when cutting large sheet goods or long boards.
All the accessories stow securely onboard the saw, so you’ll be sure to have your blade wrenches, blade guard, push stick and other safety goodies when you get to the site.
The controls on the Hitachi C10RJ are well laid out, and are easy to access and use from the smart side of the table. The controls for adjusting the bevel and blade height are intuitive and easy to use. The oversized OFF switch cover makes it easy to shut the saw down quickly, even by bumping it with a knee if necessary.
Up top, there’s an adjustable 3/4” T-slot miter gauge with positive stops at 0, 22.5 and 45 degrees to the right and left. A built-in riving knife on the Hitachi C10RJ helps eliminate binding and kickback. Installing the safety features on the Hitachi C10RJ is fast and tool-free. Just liberate the anti-kickback pawl and blade guard from their storage areas under the saw, and they snap into their designated slots on the riving knife.
The gauge to measure cut width is easy to read, and was very accurate on our saw. The fence moves quickly and smoothly along the rails, and a lever locks it tightly into position once you’ve reached your desired width. When the fence is extended beyond the edge of the table, it flips over and forms a little support ledge, a handy feature.
Making Some Sawdust With The Hitachi C10RJ
Over the past few months, I used the Hitachi C10RJ on a variety of projects, allowing it to taste several flavors of sawdust. The 40-tooth blade made smooth cuts in melamine, plywood, dimensional lumber, Pergo XP flooring, and oak. Lots of oak.
It always felt like there was plenty of power; even when making long rip cuts in 3/4” oak flooring or bevel rips in pine 2x4s, the saw never bogged down. And here’s a special HomeFixated foul-language-reduction tip: Remove the anti-kickback pawl before cutting any type of trim or flooring, unless you’re after that special “distressed” (aka “scratched”) finish.
The electric brake on the Hitachi C10RJ works very well. When you hit the big red OFF switch, it stops the blade after about two seconds, which is pretty impressive considering it spins at 4,500 RPM. The saw does a great job of directing sawdust to its 2-1/2” dust port, so if you want to lighten your cleanup load, connect it to a shop vac.
Ready To Fold And Roll Your Own Hitachi C10RJ?
I was very impressed with the Hitachi C10RJ. It seems to be very solidly built, it has plenty of power, and it worked flawlessly during all our testing. It comes with everything you need to get it up and running, and the manual is actually useful. It’s very fast and easy to get it into action, and to fold it back up for storing or transporting when you’re finished for the day (or the month). And the small footprint means you’ll only put a small dent in your storage space.
My only quibble? I sometimes make custom trim, and was happy to see that the Hitachi C10RJ can handle an 8” dado stack up to 13/16” wide. Only trouble is, tracking down a dado insert for that dado stack might be tougher than keeping a job at the White House. I couldn’t find one in stock anywhere, which is pretty frustrating. If Hitachi doesn’t provide one with the saw, they should at least make sure they’re available. End rant.
Other than that, the saw should very easily meet the needs of most contractors or DIYers. It has a very good set of features, and the capacity to take on most materials the average user is likely to feed it. The Hitachi C10RJ Jobsite Table Saw is backed by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty. And no, Steve, you can’t have it.
Buy from Lowes for around $399: