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DEWALT DW717 Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Review of the DEWALT DW717 10-Inch Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Large Cutting Projects Just Got Easier!

Every now and then I take on a project that requires cutting large pieces of wood, so I wanted to take a look at the DEWALT DW717 because it was designed specifically to do these kinds of jobs. It’s packed with features designed to accommodate cutting larger pieces, but I wanted to find out is if the accuracy of the cuts is as good as on the models designed for mid-range cutting jobs.

The DEWALT name is synonymous with quality and durability, so I expected the DW717 to be a well-made, high-performance miter saw. It has a great capacity, being able to cut through up to 14 inches, so it can be used for a wide range of crosscutting and miter cutting jobs. So I took a look, and here’s what I found in regard to its features and its shortcomings.

All About The Fence

In my opinion, the feature that most distinguishes the DEWALT DW717 from a run-of-the-mill miter saw is its tall sliding fence. When you are working with really long pieces of wood, a miter saw with a short fence just won’t cut it (“won’t cut it” – see what I did there? Funny, right?). The fence on the DW717 will accommodate crown molding up to 6.25 inches, which is quite a lot. You can even use it to cut base molding as thick as 6 inches, which is about double what most other miter saws on the market can handle. I don’t normally work with moldings of that size, but for those who do, the DEWALT DW717 seems like a viable option.

When working with those large pieces of wood, the miter saw’s stability is especially important. The work table on the DEWALT DW717 is a sturdy 22 inches wide and you can extend it by fully opening the two aluminum fences to get a whopping 37 inches of supporting surface to work on. There are even holes in the fences for you to add taller back supports if needed. And, if you need more room for the saw to make deep bevel cuts, you can also adjust the upper portion of the fences by sliding to the left or right.

Double-Bevel Sliding

This double-bevel sliding compound miter saw can be used make a really wide range of cuts. Its range of flexibility allows you to really get your creative juices flowing when doing woodwork. There are just more possibilities in terms of what you can do with your wood.It will make bevel cuts up to 48 degrees, which is more than enough for almost any woodwork project. Add that to the fact that you can flip the saw, rather than the wood, when cutting bevels and you can understand why the DEWALT DW717 is a favorite among woodworking professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. For making repeated bevel cuts, a double bevel sliding miter saw like this one will definitely save you lots of time and help you to maintain consistency with your angles. I find the sliding function on a miter saw to be especially helpful when I am cutting through wider pieces of wood.

Precision Cuts

Another impressive feature of the DEWALT DW717 is the bevel detent system with 7 positive stops, which simplifies the process for making accurate repeat cuts. There are also 11 positive stops on the stainless steel miter detent plate that can be easily adjusted. This helps increase both your productivity and precision. The cam-lock miter handle can be used to easily adjust the miter, and there is also a convenient detent override that allows you to change the miter setting without letting the saw slip into the miter detents.

There is no laser cut guide on the DW717 (although you can purchase a compatible one separately), but it hardly seems to need a laser with all the other features it has to increase and maintain accuracy. Another one of these features is the innovative clamping mechanism that has linear bar bearings and dual steel rails, which ensures your cuts are accurate every time.

About the Blade

The blade that comes with the DW717 is an ATB 40 tooth general purpose blade. This is a good all-around blade, but for projects that need a finer finish like carpentry or furniture making, you’ll want to get a blade that’s made for that kind of work (I use a 90 tooth finish blade for jobs like this). On the bright side, the DEWALT DW717’s blade is relatively easy to change once you know what to do. Just loosen the guard bracket screw enough that you have enough room to remove the blade without completely removing the screw (it’s a pain to put it back in if you do). The blade can be changed in as little as three minutes once you get the hang of it.

Final Thoughts

I like that DEWALT DW717 comes ready to use right out the box and that it can be used for such a wide variety of crosscutting and miter cutting projects. I think of myself as a creative wood artisan and the things that are possible with this very versatile tool excite me. Carpenters, cabinetmakers, home builders and furniture makers can all put the DEWALT DW717 to good use. I find the blade to be a bit of a disappointment, but the saw itself is a very well made machine that should be making great cuts many years from now.