Dewalt DWS780 Review: Is it really as good as they say?

I prefer working with a sliding compound miter saw instead of a non-sliding model. The sliding function allows me to more easily cut larger wood pieces. This useful function is included on the Dewalt DWS780.

It also comes with a double bevel which allows you to cut bevels without needing to flip the work piece over.

For these reasons, I decided to review this particular miter saw model to see if it can lay claim to be the best-rated sliding miter saw.

​The Dewalt DWS780 is a versatile compound miter saw that is perfect for amateurs and professionals alike, and everyone else in between. It is precise and powerful enough to handle a wide range of cutting jobs from fine woodwork all the way to deck building.

Two of its best features are its advanced LED light and powerful 15-amp motor, which allows the miter saw to cut through wood at a speed as high as 3800 rpm.

Let’s take a closer look at all that is offered by this miter saw.

What comes in the box?​

When you purchase this product you will get the following:

  • Dewalt DWS780 12-inch double bevel sliding compound miter saw
  • 60T Carbide blade
  • Blade Wrench
  • Dust bag
  • Vertical Material Clamp

Larger Capacity​

Having a versatile miter saw is a necessity if you work on many different kinds of woodworking projects the way I do. This is especially true when larger pieces need to be cut. With a majority of mid-range miter saws you are limited to which size pieces you are able to cut.

However, the DWS780 can cut pieces at a 90 degree angle that are up to 16 inches. That is impressive, and makes this a very versatile miter saw that you can use for many different jobs.

​One of this model’s most impressive features is its ability for cutting vertical bevels and horizontal miters simultaneously. This feature helps to make more complicated cutting jobs more manageable and faster. Due to the model’s sliding feature, the cutting width is increased as well.

​Better Than Laser?

​The DWS780 had been designed by Dewalt to include an ultra-bright LED light. The LED light is located in the XPS cross-cut alignment system and works to cast a shadow of the blade of the miter saw onto the work surface.

This allows you to see precisely where the blade is going to cut. Many consider this innovative feature to work even better than laser guide system.

Typically a laser shows a line one just side of a blade. However, with the XPS system, a shadow of the blade is cast to show you exactly where the cut is going to be made. This makes it much easier to use the saw effectively.

Something I like about the alignment system even more is that you don’t have to do any recalibration when changing blades, unlike with a laser guide system.

Repeat Cuts Are Accurate​

Anytime I am cutting common angles, like 22.5 or 45 degrees, I find that the task is a lot easier if I have preset miter and bevel stops. This product comes standard with 10 positive stops for easy adjustment.

This is especially helpful making making repeat cuts using the same angles. After choosing the angle you want, just use the cam-lock miter button to lock it in.​

In addition, there is a miter detent override feature there is very handy. You can use this to adjust the angle accurately. Also, since it is a dual bevel machine, you don’t need to flip your work piece over when you are cutting bevels.

Instead all you need to do is flip the saw to either the left or right. That saves you time and also helps you make more accurate cuts when you are cutting things like crown molding and other items.​

How easy is it to use?

It really irritates me anytime I am busy working and the blade guard continues to pop down and interrupt my view. Many models are plagued with this problem. However, the DWS780 design features a fence that allows you to see through it.

That makes it a lot easier to see what it is you are cutting and use the machine. The blade guard is an excellent safety feature that really does a good job and allows you to allow perform your job much more efficiently.​

I don’t attempt to move the 56-pound machine on my own. However, for those of you who can lift that kind of weight, there is a handle on top of this machine to make it easier to lift. It is also a lot easier to change the blade on this model than on many others, particularly ones that are a similar size. You just need to loosen two bolts before the blade can be removed and changed.​

The double bevel design is another feature that makes it easy to use the DWS780. It allows you to adjust angles easily on a high-visibility scale. There are clear black markings on the scale that appear on a chrome colored surface. That allows you to really see what you are doing. You can clearly see the bevel angles because they are clear. This makes is easier to get them set before you start cutting.​

I would recommend pairing it with a good miter saw table for best results.​

Comparing the Dewalt DWS 780 vs 782​

There is a little bit of confusion in the marketplace with regards to the differences​ between the 780 and 782. Basically the 782 is a cheaper, scaled down version of the 780.

The first difference is that the 782 does not come standard with the XPS Cross-Cut Alignment System (the bright LED light casting the shadow of where the blade will cut).

The 2nd difference is that the 782 comes with a 32T blade, instead of a 60T blade.

The third difference is the lower price of the 782, which can be expected with the exclusion of the XPS. Buying a 782 will cost you almost $200 less.

Which is better between the Dewalt DWS780 vs Bosch GCM12SD?

The Bosch miter saw initially sold for about $200 more than the Dewalt, but recently the two have been selling at very similar prices.

The GCM12SD glide action is very smooth, much more so than the Dewalt. The Bosch is also heavier by 9lbs and taller by about 4 inches.

The Bosch has no rail, effectively saving up to 10 square feet of space which can be a big deal to some.

If portability is a big thing for you, go for the Dewalt.

If a smooth glide is more important, the Bosch is the right miter saw for you.

Product Images

Dewalt DWS 780 Videos​

Anything not to like?

The Dewalt DWS780 gets marketed as being suited for fine woodwork. However, if you will be using it for that purpose you will need a different blade. The blade that the miter saw comes with is a durable 60-tooth 12-inch blade. It is better suited to be used with general construction tasks, and framing lumber.

You will need to buy a higher quality blade if you will be needing fine finishes. My suggestion would be to go for a 90 or 100 tooth full kerf.

Some users have reported problems with the slides being sticky. While this saw is definitely not as smooth as the Festool Kapex KS 120, regular cleaning and oiling will improve the smoothness a good deal.

For those concerned with where a product is made, you might be disappointed to hear this saw is made in Asia.

Where to buy at the best price?

For regular readers it will come as no surprise that I recommend ordering through Amazon.com. They regularly offer these on sale, and their return policy and service is top notch.

When you buy from Amazon, or any other retailer, this saw comes with the standard Dewalt warranty (90 day money back guarantee, one year service, three year limited warranty).

The final verdict

My favorite features on the Dewalt DWS780 miter saw are its capacity for cutting up to 16 inches and the XPS cross-cut alignment system. Having the ability to be able to cut as much as 16 inches allows me to take on more jobs compared to what I can with the current miter saw I have. It is also very valuable to have an advanced LED light for helping to make cuts more accurate.

I’m somewhat disappointed that the miter saw’s blade isn’t well-suited for fine finishes. However, I have a really nice 90-tooth blade already for those types of jobs that I can just pop on.

The Dewalt DWS780 overall is a good saw. Weighing in at about 56 pounds, it is on the heavy side. However, its performance and power more than makes up for the added weight.