Dewalt DCS361M1 review – Should you go cordless?

DCS361M1 Review

James

Dewalt DCS361M1 review
Portability
Durability
Cutting Capacity
Battery Life

Summary

A cordless miter saw with a good cutting capacity is a dream to use on the job site. The DCS361M1 falls right in that category. It’s extremely portable at only 30 pounds. A decent, durable miter saw from a reputable brand.

4.5

Yes. You Should Go Cordless

We’ve all been there, a friend calls you up for a quick job, you head over, unload your fancy but bulky 12” sliding miter saw from your truck, struggle to transport it over and finally have to deal with the cords and worry about finding a socket to plug them in.

The cordless miter saw has been on the market for a few years now but many professionals and hobbyists are still skeptical about them. In this article, I will show you just how good a cordless miter saw can be. 

Allow me to introduce the Dewalt DCS361M1. Let’s see what we get out of the box:

  • 1 x DCB204 20V Max Battery 
  • 1 x DCB112 12-20V Max Charger
  • 1 x 40T Carbide Blade
  • 1 x Material Clamp
  • 1 x Blade Wrench
  • 1 x Users Guide

My Personal Findings

For this review, I borrowed the DCS361M1 from a good buddy and colleague of mine. I brought it to a small cabinet job and ran some quick tests. For these, I tested on red oak hardwood. Right of the bat, I was impressed from the very first cut, the blade spins fast enough and doesn’t burn the wood. 

I was told it came square out of the box (as you’d expect from DeWalt) and has needed little adjustments since, and even so it should only take you a couple of minutes to make everything perfectly aligned. 

The only slight annoyance came when I tried to swap out the 40T stock blade for a finer, 60T one. For some reason, DeWalt decided to use two different bolt types for both the blade and guard (hex and stars). The bolts were also pretty tightly bolted on and not easy to remove.

Cutting Capacity On The DCS361M1

Dewalt DCS361M1 review

As this is a sliding miter saw, it comes with an impressive horizontal cross-cut capacity of up to 8 inches at 90 degrees. However, you can’t do an 8-inch miter cut without flipping the board over. 

This cordless miter saw is not designed to cut tall workpieces as it maxes out at 3 1/2 in vertical capacity. You can get away with many trim jobs as long as the board isn’t very tall. If you do need to cut taller boards than 3 1/2 you’re going to have to lay them flat as you cut them. 

XPS LED light — better than laser

This miter saw features the innovative XPS cut line positioning system you can also find on the corded DWS780. Attached to the blade-head it casts a thin shadow line on your workpiece representing exactly where the blade will cut. 

This lighting system which is only available on a couple of premium DeWalt miter saws is preferred by many over the conventional laser positioning system. Taking into account the thickness of the blade, it’s always in the correct position without having to make adjustments yourself, this makes it both accurate and easy to use. 

While very useful indoors, some users have reported it to be difficult to see on sunny days when operated outside. 

The LED light powers on when you hit the trigger but you can also turn it on/off manually with a designated switch. To preserve power, the light stays on for about 20 seconds. 

How portable is the DCS361M1?

how portable is the dcs361m1

At only 30 pounds the DCS361M1 is a very light miter saw. It comes with multiple carry-handles including two side cast handles which makes carrying it on your side a breeze. 

Being a lightweight, cordless miter saw transportation is not only easy but you also don’t have to worry about the cord-hassle and can easily set up your saw wherever you like. 

The saw features a compact design and is easily folded into itself to make carrying easier.

This is a great saw to put in your track and take to a job site while your bigger Kapex or Bosch is sitting in your shop for the bigger and wider cuts. 

Could This Replace My Corded Miter Saw?

While this a very good miter saw for on the job trims, if you’re used to operating a fancy 12” sliding miter saw you might be getting your hopes up thinking this could fully replace it. It could probably do 90% of your work if you don’t handle too much larger pieces. 

I could definitely see this miter saw becoming a staple in my arsenal of tools.

Battery Life on the DCS361M1

On the box, DeWalt promises 184 cuts on 2×4 pine and 275 on 3-¼ pine baseboards before the battery depletes. For the sake of this review, I decided to test this for myself. I got some 2×4 and tested a fully charged battery until depletion. 

At around 156 cuts I was notified by the XPS LED light which started flashing once the battery was low. After that, I was able to do 6 more cuts until the battery died completely. 

Around 162 cuts are what I ended up with, slightly off from the promised 184 cuts but still acceptable. 

For a full day’s work, I recommend you bring at least two batteries. 

You can get the bare tool as well as the kit

When purchasing this miter saw you get two options, you can get the DCS361M1 which comes with one battery and charger or you can get the DCS361 which is just the bare tool.

It’s nice to get this option at a much lower price for those who already have a compatible battery and charger, or plan on getting a longer-lasting battery.  

This miter saw pairs very nicely with the DWX726 stand. 

PROS & CONS on The DeWalt DCS361M1

Pros

  • Super Portable
  • Cordless
  • XPS LED light ensures incredible accuracy

Cons

  • Slides can be sticky
  • Blade change is a little annoying

DCS361M1 Review – Final Conclusion

I have little bad to say about my experience with this cordless miter saw, the cuts were just as smooth you’d expect from a corded equivalent. The saw is lightweight and compact which makes it very easy to transport. Using a cordless miter saw on the job site changes the whole experience and since this is a relatively cheap one, you can’t go wrong with it.

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