Hitachi corded circular saws have had a reputation for robust construction, power, and reliability that stretches back for decades. I still see 20-year-old examples of these tucked into the back of builders’ vans now.
Perhaps they aren’t used as often due to the cordless revolution, but they will be called upon as a back up, when a seriously demanding job is in the offing, writes PETER BRETT.
What are the USPs of the C7UR?
The USPs are few and quite simple, and perhaps betray a little of what I mentioned above. There are still times when mains power is needed, not only for a more powerful mains motor, but also for the extra speed of cutting.
Cordless is perfect for boards and such like, but sometimes the slow feed rate of a cordless motor cutting roof timbers, for example, simply will not do, as it holds up the job.
Power and Speed – the Main Features
The brushed motor on the C7UR features 1800W of power and a high RPM of 6,800 – so it is not only powerful, but fast. Compared to smaller and brushless motors we are becoming used to, it feels like a brute.
There is a definite torque kick when you press the trigger, and the noise level feels old fashioned as it runs. However, there is no doubt that the speed and power make for very efficient cutting.
One of my tests was cutting slices off a piece of 50mm thick brown oak. The motor didn’t slow at all – it simply sliced on through. It was even easier on some treated 50 mm thick softwood rafters.
However, I do miss some features I have got used to – I would like a motor or blade brake to stop the blade quickly after releasing the switch. This is perhaps where the role of the lower blade guard comes into the equation – see below.
The trigger switch arrangement is unusual too. There is a well-textured loop handle, with a space for a forefinger only.
The rest of the fingers fit into a separate aperture behind it, while the thumb goes over to meet the forefinger. The switch is a simple click for ‘on,’ and then release for ‘off’.
There is no safety release button or lever that is commonly found on circular saws - mains or cordless - these days. I pondered this a while, because the arrangement feels a bit retro.
The fact the forefinger has to find its own specific place to find the ‘on’ switch, helps to keep all intentions with the saw deliberate. It also helps there is a large and well-placed auxiliary handle in front of the main one.
For good guidance of the cut it is used a lot, and that helps keep both hands well clear of the blade.
As standard, the saw comes with an 18-tooth TCT 185 mm diameter blade. The blade has large gullets for clearing waste quickly and is also only about 2mm thick, so the resulting thin kerf also aids speedy cutting.
There is also the very nice feature of a powerful dust blower right over the cutting line, that helps keep it clear and visible.
Back to Base
Like many of its other saws, Hitachi has decided to use a solid alloy baseplate. At about 4mm thick it is rigid and squarely accurate, and there are eight countersunk screws to attach the saw and its adjustments, so that they don’t move.
They are therefore also easy to service. On the front and right hand side of the base measurements are marked in inches, betraying the fact the larger market is the US.
My guess is they will rarely be used by British and continental workers, except as a rough guide. A simple steel fence is included, with the kit for basic guided cuts.
Guarding the Blade
Another important feature is the cast alloy lower blade guard. This is robust, and the strong coil spring ensures that it quickly springs back to cover the blade at the end of a cut, thus partly answering the query I had above, about the need for a blade brake.
There are a couple of options here that need to be decided. Out of the box, a longer lever is fitted as standard for raising the lower blade guard.
It reaches fully to the top of the fixed upper blade guard, and therefore is easy to reach. It also keeps your fingers well away from the blade. Safety First indeed.
The downside to this is that the dust port on the upper guard, carefully designed to deposit a long, neat pile of dust alongside the base while cutting, can also be very messy, especially if it is a little windy on site.
For users who need good dust collection, they have the option of attaching the robust dust spout, (one screw only needed) that does indeed up the dust collection game quite considerably. When attached to an M-class extractor, there is not much cleaning up required at the end of a working day.
But in order to attach the dust spout, the longer guard-raising lever needs to be removed and replaced with a smaller one.
The downside is that when you need to lift the guard to start a cut, your fingers are closer to the blade – not dangerously close, but needing-to-be-careful close.
When it comes to adjustments the C7UR is spot on. Depth of cut and blade mitre angles are all achieved with cammed levers that are large enough to work easily and lock positively.
A nifty arrangement on the angle setting allows users to select 45 degree cuts, but if you need to select angles of 45 to 55 degrees, simply click the stopper out of the way and select the angle on the well-marked quadrant.
Blade changing is quick and easy via the hex key kept on the body and the spindle lock on the front of the motor, and I did appreciate the handy cable holder at the base of the main handle.
This helps to control the cord and prevent it accidentally going near the blade while cutting.
Why Choose the C7UR?
I suspect this saw will appeal to trades for the same reasons that older Hitachi models did. It is robustly built, powerful and simple to operate, as well as having the virtue of having a long service life – for example the brushes are located for easy replacement.
But is it also faster cutting and more powerful than its predecessors, and therefore it fits the current preoccupation with productivity and efficiency.
Aimed at: Pros and demanding amateurs, because it is well priced and tough
Pros: Fast cutting and powerful, strong and reliable
- Well priced
- Quicker cuts
- Easy adjustments
- Cable holder for safer use
- Big stable base