Dewalt DWS780 Review – best all-around miter saw?

Dewalt DWS780 Miter Saw review

The DWS780 is widely regarded as one of the best saws for all-around use, that still comes at an affordable price point. It consistently ranks as one of the top contenders in its price range. Let’s review.

DWS780 Review

Review by James

Portability
Cutting Capacity
Dust Collection
Positioning System

Summary

While the dust collection could be improved, for its price tag this is the perfect all-around miter saw with a high-cutting capacity and a state of the art positioning system.

4.3

UNBOXING THE DWS780

The saw comes out of the box fully put together and adjusted. Almost no tweaking should be necessary and even if somehow your saw doesn’t come square out of the box, tweaking is fairly easy and straight-forward. You can refer to the DeWalt manual for this, it’s very clear and easy to use. 

Included in the comes the blade removal wrench, a standard dust bag, the vertical material clamp, and the 12” DeWalt carbide crosscutting blade. 

Cutting Capacity on the DWS780

Where the majority of low-to-mid-range miter saws are limited in the size pieces you can cut, we have yet to encounter an angle/bevel cut that this tool cannot accommodate.

One of its biggest selling points is that this saw is capable of handling a 90-degree cross-cut of up to 16 inches. Its 45-degree miter capacity tops out at 4×8 and the 45-degree bevel cut can go as high as 2×16 against the back fence. 

If you need a refresher on the different cuts we have an article available for that. 

This Flag-Ship DeWalt miter saw comes with a 15 amp motor and a no-load speed of 3800rpm, more than enough power to ensure clean and crisp cuts – even on the fanciest crown molding.  

Speaking of, this saw can handle flat crown molding up to 13-¾ inches and vertically nested up to 7-½ inches. There are stops for crown molding which takes the head-scratching out and gives you perfect geometry ever time. 

The built-in 10 positive stops on the miter detent table are very useful and will increase both the accuracy and productivity of your work. 

A classic DeWalt cam-lock miter handle is present and allows for easy angle locking.

XPS LED LIGHT – Laser who?

The DWS780, just like the cordless DCS361M1 comes with its fancy XPS LED positioning system. The way this works is similar to the laser positioning system. It’s attached to the front of the blade and casts a nice straight shadow of your blade that lines upright with the cut, so there’s no guessing where you are as you would have to do with the laser system. 

This feature is in our opinion even more accurate than its laser-rival. It shows exactly where the blade will cut along with the thickness of the blade, something the laser can’t do. You also don’t have to adjust anything to this system which makes it a pleasure to work with. 

If you want to turn it off, you can as there is a switch for it. The only downside is that the shadow line is tougher the see on sunny days outside. 

It’s always fun to show a colleague or friend who hasn’t heard of DeWalt’s shadow system, they are impressed every time. 

P.S. Did you know there is a cheaper version of this saw available? It’s called the DWS799 and the only real difference it has it that it doesn’t come with the XPS light. 

Portability and Size

For the number of features this saw has, it comes at a relatively low weight of 56 pounds. But in a world with 30-pound cordless miter saws, we can’t exactly call this the most portable miter saw DeWalt has to offer. 

To make this saw that bit more portable, we recommend you invest in a rolling stand like the DWX726 which is an absolute dream paired with the DWS780. The stand is great for working job sites where you have to move around a lot.

If a rolling stand is not in the budget for you, and you need a miter saw that will be easy to move around, you might want to take a look at the DWS715 or even the cordless DCS361M1.

This is a big tool. You can’t just set this miter saw up in a small hallway, due to its dust extraction output, it needs to be several feet away from the wall to get full travel. 

How is the dust extraction on the DWS780? 

If you’ve read some reviews before you landed on this article, you may have seen some mixed reviews on this topic.

The truth is, the dust extraction isn’t great. I may be a bit picky but I find the standard dust bag is quite lacking. Even with a shop vac dust seems to clog up fast in the tube. 

What we like and dislike about the DWS780

On our older model (2013) the fence slides are hard to slide out and not as smooth as they should be. A problem frequently reported in the reviews as well. 

However, this issue has since been resolved in the newer version of this saw. So please beware if you plan to buy it offline. You might be getting your hands on an older type 1 model instead of the newer type 20. Especially if the saw is part of a promotion, they might be trying to get rid of some older models. 

This miter saw doesn’t come with a slow start. When starting you receive a kick, making the blade jump an inch. This definitely takes some getting used to. It took me a couple of days and some ruined workpieces to get the hang of it. Once you do it’s not much of an issue anymore.

To summarize:

What we DO like

  • Cutting capacity is high and makes this the perfect all-around miter saw
  • XPS LED light is accurate and a pleasure to use

What we don’t

  • Sticky sliders (resolved on the newer models)
  • Dust collection could be better
  • No slow start

Conclusion – DWS780 Review: THE BEST MITER SAW?

If an easy-to-use miter saw with a high-cutting capacity is what you’re looking for, the DWS780 won’t disappoint. For an acceptable price, you’ll get the benefits that come with a sliding dual-bevel saw. All its features plus the state of the art positioning system makes it well worth the investment.

While it definitely has its flaws (is there a perfect miter saw?) This miter saw is a great investment – especially when paired with a rolling stand. You won’t regret going for a DeWalt, trust me. The build quality is exceptional and you’ll find yourself with a saw that will keep up for many years.

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