Chicago Electric is a staple name in every household. Even so, not much is known about the company other than its budget-friendly prices.
We’re here to discuss everything you need to know about the company in this Chicago Electric Miter Saw review, along with all the essential specs and features worth noting about their miter saw, so stick around!
Chicago Electric Power Tools Company Overview
Chicago Electric is the sister company of Harbor Freight, a well-known tool, and equipment retailer that operates over 1,000 stores across 48 states.
Founded in 1977, Harbor Freight prides itself on its excellent selection of quality tools and unmatched consumer value.
For decades, Harbor Freight has become the go-to location for home power tools. To this day, the company continues to grow and brings in approximately $5 billion in revenue every year.
Thanks to their state-of-the-art testing labs, where employees put Harbor Freight tools into a long list of rigorous, punishing tests, Harbor Freight ensures a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of their products.
Their no-hassle return policy and a lifetime warranty on all their hand tools are a plus, too.
In terms of quality, Chicago Electric is a mid-range brand. They’re not the most powerful nor the most durable, but they’re safe and functional and get the job done just fine.
Chicago Electric’s tools are primarily made in China and Taiwan and sold relatively cheaply.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does Chicago Electric sell?
Chicago Electric offers a wide variety of tools. If you need it, they have it!
Most of the tools they manufacture are targeted to carpenters, builders, mechanics, and DIY homeowners.
Among Chicago Electric’s most notable tools are:
● Their electric/compound miter saw
● Circular saw
● Reciprocating saw
● Tile/brick saw
● Oscillating multi-tools
● Reversible drills and hammer drills
● Die grinders and angle grinders
● Impact wrenches
● Planers and polishers
● Saw stand
Along with the tools mentioned above, Chicago Electric also sells accessories and sharpeners to aid users with their projects. At the time of writing this review, Chicago Electric offers over 200 different tools and accessories fit for every occasion.
Are Chicago Electric miter saws any good?
In terms of quality, Chicago Electric is comparable to SKIL, Ryobi, and B&D. They’re not made for heavy-duty jobs or construction sites.
If you’re searching for a brand that will last for a lifetime, like Craftsman, Makita, and Hitachi, you might want to avoid Chicago Electric.
They’re ridiculously cheap, which makes some, understandably, hesitate.
However, if you’re searching for something to use on light, semi-regular jobs, Chicago Electric is a brand you should certainly consider.
Chicago Electric isn’t as durable as Makita or Milwaukee, but they do get the job done cleanly and efficiently enough.
How do I change the blade on my Chicago miter saw?
First, use the wrench that came with your saw to loosen the bolt that secures the blade in place. Then, remove the old blade and replace it with the new one. Finally, tighten the bolt and you’re ready to go. With fresh blades, your miter saw will be able to handle whatever you throw at it.
How do you unlock a Chicago Electric 10 miter saw?
Unlocking a Chicago Electric 10″ miter saw, or any other brand of miter saw, typically involves disengaging a lock pin or lever that holds the saw in the down position for storage and transport. Here’s a general procedure to unlock a miter saw:
Locate the Lock Pin or Lever: This is usually situated at the pivot point or hinge of the saw, where the saw arm meets the base.
Press or Pull: Depending on the design, you might need to press down slightly on the saw handle to relieve tension on the lock pin or lever. Then, either pull out the pin or disengage the lever to release the saw arm.
Raise the Saw Arm: Once the lock is disengaged, you can lift the saw arm to its upright position.
Rotate the Table: If you also need to unlock the table for angle cuts, look for a knob or lever at the base of the saw. Loosen this knob or lever to allow the table to rotate.
Always Check the Manual: It’s essential to refer to the user manual specific to your Chicago Electric 10″ miter saw model. The manual will provide detailed instructions and safety precautions for your specific saw.
Chicago Electric Miter Saw Review
- 12 in. Horizontal Cutting Capacity, 2-3/4 in. Vertical Cutting Capacity, 1-9/16 in. x 12 in. Straight Bevel Cuting @ 45°
- 120 AC Volts power supply, Powerful 15 amp motor, 10 in. Blade size, 5/8 in. Arbor size, 4800 RPM maximum speed
- 0, 15, 22.5, 30 and 45 Miter stop (deg), 2-3/4 in. x 8-1/4 in. Miter capacity
- Makes precision cross, bevel and miter cuts, Dual linear slide rails for stability and smooth, precise cuts, 45° left bevel design, Rotating lockable table
- Product Height of 22 in., Length of 35-1/2 in., Width of 17-3/16 in., Weight of 32.56 lb., Shipping Weight of 39.60 lb.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the Chicago Electric 10-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw. It retails for less than $300, making it one of the best value-for-price units on the market today.
Chicago Electric Compound Miter Saw Features
The Chicago Electric Miter Saw is praised for its power, versatility, and durability. Let’s take a look at the features that make this miter saw worth the attention.
Power and Cutting Capacity
One of the essential features of a miter saw is its power. Without enough power, a miter saw is basically useless.
Luckily, the Chicago Electric Miter Saw doesn’t disappoint in this area.
Driven by a powerful 15 amp motor, the Chicago Electric Miter Saw has a generous 10-inch cut miter range suitable for several applications.
This unit has a 45-degree double bevel design and dual linear ball bearing rails to ensure smooth, precise cuts.
It also has five left/right positive stops at 0, 15, 22.5, 30, and 45 degrees.
On top of that, it operates at a maximum speed of 5,000RPM, fast and strong enough to cut through even the hardest boards!
The Chicago Electric Miter Saw has a cut capacity of 2-3/4 inches x 12-3/16 inches at a 90-degree depth.
The machine must be plugged into a 16 gauge or better power cord to fully reap its benefits.
Some users complain about the unit’s cutting speed, stating that it’s far less than 5,000 RPM.
However, it’s likely that they weren’t using the correct gauge or an old power cord.
As such, make sure to plug the Chicago Electric Miter Saw in a proper cord.
Ease of Use
One of the best things about the Chicago Electric Miter Saw is its easy-to-execute operation and incredibly precise performance.
At just over 30 pounds, this miter saw is lighter than most 10-inch units, making it quite portable and easy to move around.
Aside from its mobility factor, the Chicago Electric Miter Saw has a simple, one-touch (push in and turn) system and dual bevel lock on the rear handle, enabling users to adjust the machine’s blades quickly and easily.
The easy-access brushes are a great plus as well.
The Chicago Electric Miter Saw weighs just over 30 pounds (32.56 pounds, to be exact), giving it a decent amount of heftiness and stability. It’s light enough to be portable but heavy enough to handle rigorous cutting jobs.
The Chicago Electric Miter is best used when bolted into a piece of plywood above your workbench to avoid potential accidents and increase the machine’s stability.
Either that, or you can clamp it down onto the table to ensure it’s 100% safe and secure.
If you’re cutting a particularly large or long piece of wood, we recommend placing a support block at either end of the wood. This allows you to extend it out of your table or workbench.
Doing so prevents the machine from tilting, enabling you to cut more precisely and evenly.
Chicago Electric takes safety extremely seriously. Power tools, after all, are dangerous when mismanaged.
The Chicago Electric Miter Saw has several safety measures to ensure the machine doesn’t cause any undue accidents while working.
The guard plate bolt is a safety feature of the Chicago Electric Miter Saw. This bolt is found on the side of the machine and is bright yellow in color.
It acts as a stop mechanism that prevents your saw from going further down than you want.
If you want to cut some dadoes or rabbits, you can adjust the knob to your preference by removing the arbor bolt and turning it clockwise.
On top of that, the Chicago Electric Miter Saw has a power loss reset feature, preventing the blade from spinning after a power outage.
It’ll only turn on when the “ON” button is pressed, which is covered by a safety flip cover.
The Chicago Electric Compound Miter Saw has a dust collection bag, extension bars, and table clamps.
As the name suggests, the dust bag catches dust and wood particles that fall off the wood while cutting.
It also keeps sawdust and other debris from flying into the air and into your eyes, nose, and mouth while you work.
The right and left extension bars are specifically designed to increase the workpiece’s support.
Once you’re done using them, the extensions can be retracted into the saw, so you won’t have to install them when needed constantly.
Table clamps are added for extra stability. These clamps ensure that the machine is securely attached to your workbench so you can freely cut without having to worry about your safety.
- Amperage (amps): 15
- Miter stop (deg): 0, 15, 22.5, 30 and 45
- Length: 35-1/2 inches
- Weight: 32.56 pounds
- Width: 17-3/16 inches
- Height: 22 inches
- Vertical cut capacity vertical: 2-3/4 inches
- Horizontal cut capacity: 12 inches
- Miter capacity: 2-3/4 x 8-1/4 inches
- Straight bevel cut at 45 degrees: 1-9/16 x 12 inches
What We Like
- Powerful motor
- Relatively lightweight
- Solid construction
- Almost fully assembled right out of the box
- Inexpensive replacement parts
- Creates a very accurate cut, particularly when it comes to crown molding
- Great value for money
What We Don’t Like
- Not the most durable
- Doesn’t come with the blade
- The warranty could be better (only 90 days)
Chicago Electric Miter Saw Parts
Chicago Electric offers several miter saw replacement parts online and in Harbor Freight stores.
This includes a miter saw lower guard, miter saw stands, rip fence assemblies, motor brushes, and different types of bolts, switches, and knobs.
Harbor Freight has a full PDF list of all the available Chicago Electric miter saw parts, including their diagram reference and price.
How to Change Blade on Chicago Electric Miter Saw
The blade on the Chicago Electric Miter Saw is surprisingly easy to change. With just five simple steps, you can replace the unit’s blade and start cutting!
Step 1: Unplug the Saw
Perhaps this goes without saying. For security purposes, make sure the machine is fully unplugged, not just turned “OFF”.
Once you unplug the saw, pull the blade up and depress the spindle lock button.
Step 2: Remove the Blade Cover
Raise the guard cover and remove the plate bolts found on one side. You can use the Allen key in the box or your own personal wrench.
Take the screws out and keep them aside. As soon as the screws are out, remove the outer flange and dull saw blade.
Step 3: Lock the Spindle Lock
Lock the spindle lock (found on the right side of the machine) using the key that came with the miter saw using a clockwise motion to keep the blade from moving.
Now, take the bolt, washer, and retainer out and place them aside.
Step 4: Insert the Blade
Insert the blade with the teeth facing down, so it’s a clockwork rotation. Then, screw in the arbor hold, washer, and retainer back in place.
Tighten it completely with the same Allen key you used before. Once done, hold the spindle lock once more until it locks.
Step 5: Finishing Up
Pull the blade guard and center cover back down. Tighten the fixing bolt you’ve removed earlier and release the locking pin.
And that’s it, you’re good to go! You can now start cutting with a sharp, new blade.
Wrapping it Up
While Chicago Electric tools aren’t as durable as the more well-known brands, they can survive years of use until they need to be replaced- especially if it’s well maintained and taken care of.
Plus, the prices are simply out of this world.
We recommend checking out some of Chicago Electric’s tools if you’re operating on a tight budget and only need to do standard DIY projects and household maintenance and repair.
We hope that this Chicago Electric miter saw review has shed some light on the unit’s functionality and performance.
Along with super precise, awesome safety features, and high power performance, the Chicago Electric Miter Saw gets the job done right.
It’s ideal for hobbyists, homeowners, and anyone who’s fond of DIY woodwork!