New Harbor Freight Hercules 12″ Sliding Miter Saw

Shown here is the new Harbor Freight Hercules Professional 12″ double-bevel sliding miter saw.
Harbor Freight is touting their new saw as being professional-grade, with emphasis on competitive accuracy, capacity, and durability, but at lower pricing.
The Hercules miter saw is $399, or $390 with coupon, and it comes with a Hercules 60-tooth blade, which they boast as being a $45 blade included for free.
The new Harbor Freight Hercules HE74 miter saw looks to have been heavily inspired by the Dewalt DWS780 sliding miter saw. The DWS780 is currently $599 at Amazon.
Features and Specs
12″ blade size
14″ cut capacity at 90°
7-1/2″ nested crown molding capacity
6-3/4″ base board vertical capacity
LED-shadow blade guide system
15A motor
4100 RPM
Miters 60° right and 50° left
49° bevel angle, left and right
Weighs 56 lbs
Price: $590 after coupon
Buy Now(via Harbor Freight)Compare(Dewalt via Amazon)Compare(Dewalt via Acme Tools – save $50 thru 3/31/18 with code MARCH)
Promo Video:

First Thoughts
I was seriously hesitant about Harbor Freight’s new Hercules lineup. When they first came out, the new Harbor Freight Hercules drills and impact driver looked to be heavily inspired by Dewalt’s models, down to the shape of the handles.
I spoke with a VP at Harbor Freight, and it made me quite excited about the Hercules lineup, and what we might see.
With this Hercules 12″ sliding miter saw, Harbor Freight is aiming to offer a pro-grade model that compares with popular industry leaders, but at a substantially lower price.
I bought a Harbor Freight drill and impact driver, but have been dragging my feet with the reviews and comparisons. Yes, it seems like they’re making a strong and genuine effort at offering pro-grade tools at lower prices.
But there are minor touches that suggest they’re still learning how to fine-tune a better product.
If I were in the market for a 12″ sliding miter saw, would I buy this one? I don’t think so. Even if they did pull out all the stops and seek to make this an accurate, capable, and durable model, its price is a little too high to take a risk on. I wouldn’t want to be an early adopter.
Plus, certain times of the year, the Dewalt DWS780 is bundled with a free miter saw stand, increasing the value you get for its $599 price.
That all said, I am completely convinced that Harbor Freight is aiming for this to be a pro-grade saw. I think that it is their full attention for it to be compared head to head with Dewalt’s leading saw, and that they designed it to be competitive.
My hesitation comes from the fact that established pro-grade tool brands sometimes have problems with tools right out of the gate. With Harbor Freight and their Hercules brand being quite new, there are perhaps greater chances for problems.
My advice would be to wait a few months, until some user reviews start hitting the product page or YouTube.
If it can offer as much as it claims to, then this might be a good buy.
Imagine if this same tool was just announced by Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee, Ridgid, or another such long-established sliding miter saw brand. Would we view it with the same hesitation as we do now because it bears Harbor Freight Hercules branding? Probably not.
I find myself feeling optimistic, but hesitant.
$390 for Harbor Freight Hercules, $500 for a Ridgid 12″ slider, or $599 for the Dewalt – which would you go for?

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