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DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Sliding Miter Saw

Review of the DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Easy To Use, Durable and Precise!

I prefer to work with sliding compound miter saws rather than non-sliding models, as the sliding function lets me cut larger pieces of wood more easily. The DEWALT DWS780 has this useful sliding function and it has a double bevel which lets you cut bevels without having to flip your work piece, so I decided to add it to the list of miter saws I wanted to review.

Considered to be a versatile compound miter saw ideal for professionals, amateurs and everyone in between, the DEWALT DWS780 promises to be powerful and precise enough to handle cutting jobs ranging from fine woodwork to deck building. The powerful 15-amp motor which cuts through wood at speeds of up to 3800 rpm and the advanced LED light are just two of the features that should help the DEWALT DWS780 deliver on its promises. Let’s have a more detailed look at what this miter saw has to offer.

Larger Capacity

If you work on a wide variety of woodworking projects like I do, a versatile miter saw is pretty much a necessity, especially when you need to cut larger pieces. Whereas you’re limited by the size of pieces you can cut with most mid-range miter saws, the DEWALT DWS780 will cut up to 16 inches at a 90 degree angle. That’s pretty dang impressive, and makes it a truly versatile miter saw that can be used for a wider variety of jobs.

One of the features that impressed me the most on this model is its ability to cut horizontal miters and vertical bevels at the same time. This feature should make more complex cutting jobs much faster and more manageable. The cutting width is also increased with this model due to its sliding feature.

Better Than Laser?

DEWALT designed the DWS780 with an ultra-bright LED light in its XPS cross-cut alignment system. The LED light works by casting a shadow of the miter saw’s blade onto the work surface so you can see exactly where the blade will cut. This innovative feature is considered to be even better than a laser guide system; a laser will typically show a line on one side of the blade, but the XPS system casts a shadow of the blade showing you precisely where the cut will be made. What I like even more about this alignment system is the fact that, unlike a laser guide system, it does not require any recalibration when you change blades.

Accurate Repeat Cuts

Whenever I cut common angles such as 45 or 22.5 degrees, I find that having preset bevel and miter stops makes the task that much easier. The DWS780 comes with the most common miter and bevel positive stop, which is particularly helpful when you are making repeat cuts with the same angles. Once you select the angle you need, you simply lock it in with the cam-lock miter button. There is also a handy miter detent override feature that can be used to accurately adjust the angle. In addition, with this being a dual bevel machine, there is no need to flip the work piece when cutting bevels, you just flip the saw to the left or right instead. This saves time and helps you achieve more accurate cuts when cutting things like crown molding.

Easy To Use

It irritates me immensely when I’m working away and the blade guard keeps popping down and interrupting my view, and a lot of models have this problem. The DWS780, howeer, was designed with a fence you can see through, making it easier to use the machine and see what you’re cutting. This blade guard is a great safety feature that does its job well and lets you do your job more efficiently as well.

Although you won’t find me trying to move this 56-pound machine by myself, for those of you who are able to lift this kind of weight, there is a handle on the top of the machine to facilitate easier lifting. Changing the blade on the DWS780 is also much easier than on some other models, especially ones of similar size. There are only two bolts that need loosening before you can remove the blade and change it.

Another feature that makes the DWS780 easy to use is the double bevel design that lets you easily adjust angles on a high-visibility scale. The scale has clear black markings on a chrome colored surface, so you can actually see what you’re doing. The bevel angles can also be clearly seen and because the angles are clear, it is easier for you to set them before starting you cuts.

Not So Fine

The DWS780 is marketed as being suitable for fine woodwork, but you’ll need to get a different blade if that’s what you are going to be using it for. The blade that comes with it is a very durable and efficient 12-inch 60-tooth blade which is better suited for more general construction jobs. If you need fine finishes, you will find yourself purchasing a higher quality blade. Although the blade that comes with the DWS780 isn’t ideal for fine finishes, you will still be able to find many uses for it. It’s not uncommon for woodworkers to have more than one type of blade at their disposal, though, so just be sure you make sure you get a blade best suited for your projects.

My Conclusion

The features I like best on the DEWALT DWS780 are the XPS cross-cut alignment system and the saw’s capacity to cut up to 16 inches. Being able to cut up to 16 inches means that I could tackle a lot more jobs than what I can with my current miter saw. I can also see the value in having an advanced LED light feature to assist with making more accurate cuts. I am a bit disappointed that the blade isn’t suitable for fine finishes, but I already have a very nice 90-tooth blade for those kinds of jobs, so I can just pop that one on. Overall, the DEWALT DWS780 seems like one heck of a machine. Although it is on the heavier side, weighing in around 56 pounds, it appears that it is more than worth its weight in power and performance.