Hitachi Miter Saws page index:
Since their initial development, Miter Saws have evolved into more versatile tools. Originally designed for just simple and basic miter cuts, manufacturers soon began offering compound miter saws that enabled the saw to bevel and miter at the same time. The latest advancement in miter saw technology has been the introduction of the sliding compound miter saw wherein the saw rides on a sliding mechanism, allowing you to cut extra-wide stock. Hitachi has been at the forefront of this evolution (since the mid 1980's) and continues to innovate with features like an LCD read out of your bevel and miter angles and laser markers.
The biggest limitation of a Compound Miter saw is that you can only cut wood up to the diameter of the saw blade; the Hitachi Sliding Compound Miter Saw eliminates this problem. The entire blade assembly is mounted on a sliding carriage, giving the saw much greater cutting capacity. This ultimately allows you to keep your saw compact, while do a cutting job that used to require a blade twice the size.
The beauty of a Compound Miter Saw is that it bevels and miters at the same time. The bevel scale allows you to tilt the saw away from vertical and the miter scale makes it easy to cut up to 52 deg. in either direction on the horizontal plane. As opposed to a circular saw, which is primarily used for cutting sheets and with the grain of wood, a compound miter saw is ideal for cutting across the grain of a board. Hitachi prides itself as an innovator in this market and their saws speak for themselves.