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I’ll be honest, I’ve been wanting to review one of these DeWALT miter saws ever since I was tiling my sister’s house back in 2013 and the builder was using it to do all of the nice trim work. Maybe the saw was up sitting on it’s pedestal (stand) gleaming in the sunlight, but it’s been on my wishlist ever since. Needless to say, I had high expectations for this saw and it did not disappoint.
Tool Review: DeWALT DWS780 12″ Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
(say that 3 times fast 🙂 )
Out of the Box
What you get:
- DWS780 miter saw + 12″ saw blade 60T (already installed)
- Blade wrench
- Material clamp
- Instruction Manual
The DeWALT miter saw comes fully assembled and ready to get to work right out of the box. The only thing you need to do is plug the saw in and pull the lock down pin and you’re ready to roll. Push down a little on the handle and pull out the pin and the head will pop up.
The first thing that I noticed is that pushing down on the handle is really easy. The motor is mounted right above the hinge, and it has a belt drive to the blade. Also this saw is fairly heavy, not that bad, but I wouldn’t want to be lugging it around a lot. (I’ll be building it a mobile miter saw station for my shop).
Really, the only thing that I need my miter saw to do is cut straight, is that so much to ask? Not for this saw, everything is adjustable. I used a square and held it up to the fence and blade, I did this on each side and the miter angle was just slightly out. I cut a maximum width board and checked the square, it was out about 1/32″.
The included blade wrench also has a star head to loosen the adjusting screws on the miter scale/detent plate. I loosened the 4 screws and adjusted it slightly until it cut square.
Once the miter angle was squared up, and with the saw in the 0 deg detent slot, I adjusted the red miter pointer to be right on 0 deg. I also checked the bevel angle and it was true. It can be adjusted if needed too. It is so nice to have a saw that you know will cut at the angle you are expecting. Kudos to you DeWALT.
The DWS780 DeWALT miter saw is simple to use, pull the trigger and let the blade get to full speed and smoothly lower down to cut the board. The widest board I could cut at 90 deg cleanly is 13 3/4″, this is without the ‘special setup’ to get a 16″ crosscut. When cutting wider pieces pull the saw out toward you, lower the saw down toward the board, and slowly push the saw back to make the cut. The rails run really smooth on this saw.
Changing the miter angle is simple, press down on the button in-front of the handle. The miter angle can go up to 60 deg on the right side and 50 deg on the left, that is pretty generous. The miter scale has convenient detents (the notches) for common angles. The small level on the side of the button will bypass the detents. Once the miter saw is turned to the angle that you want to set it at, simply press the handle down to lock it.
Adjusting the bevel angle is also easy, simply loosen the bevel lock knob and rotate to the angle desired and tighten up the knob.
The bevel angle will automatically stop at 45 deg, but there is a small lever that you can pull to continue rotating the head to 49 deg.
If you need the bevel angle to go in the other direction, there is another knob to pull out and it will pass through 0 deg and keep rotating.
CUTLINE LED light
This miter saw is packed with handy features. The first is my favorite, the CUTLINE LED worklight. There is a switch on top of the saw to turn on a light that will cast a shadow of the blade onto your board so you can see exactly where it will cut. This feature works great on straight and angle cuts and makes it super easy to see where the cut will be made. (Remembering to turn the light off may be an issue 🙂 ).
Another handy feature is the depth stop that will control how far down the saw blade will cut. The little thumb screw can be adjusted for the cut depth desired and it rests against the depth stop. Flip the depth stop out of the way to go back to normal cutting.
The cutting capacity is quite impressive:
In addition it is capable of cutting baseboard moldings held vertically 0.8″ thick by 6 3/4″ tall on a 45º right or left miter.
Bevel Angle Stops
This saw also has some angle stops (pawls) built in for easy and repeatable bevel angle cuts on both the right and left side bevel.
The tall double fence system is very convenient and easy to use. There is a knob to loosen the screw and the upper fence will slide left and right.
So far I really like using the DeWALT DWS780, it’s worked like a champ on some pretty complicated angles. But there’s always a few things that aren’t perfect.
Not So Great Features
The saw blade that is included isn’t the best for fine woodworking, brand new it will tear out wood on a cut. It is perfectly fine for general contracting, but I’ll be upgrading to a finer tooth blade.
The worktable is small, not that it’s been a problem.
The dust collection on this saw is much less than stellar. You can see how dusty it is around the saw in my pictures, and that is only from a few cuts. The dust is suppose to enter a small port, travel down a long tube into a small collection bag. I need to tinker around with a vacuum set up and see if I can get it to work better.
These few not so great features are very small compared to great features the saw has.
Who Will Benefit From This Tool
The DeWALT DWS780 miter saw is simple enough to operate that a beginning DIY’er will have no problem using it, but it has enough add-on features and convenience that the pro will love it. For those that are using the saw for cutting trim, molding and fine woodworking, I would consider upgrading the blade to 80T or 100T.
There is a reason why the DeWALT DWS780 12″ dual bevel sliding compound miter saw is top rated in miter saws. It is easy to use and a power horse. The cutting capabilities are impressive, 13 3/4″ wide cross cut, 50-60 deg miter angle cuts and up to 49 deg bevel angle cuts. It includes so many convenient features like CUTLINE LED light, depth stop, bevel angle stops, miter angle detents, tall fences and easy accuracy adjustments. If a miter saw is on your tool wish list, you can’t go wrong buying the DeWALT DWS780.
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