Dewalt DW717 Review: Is this the right miter saw for you?
While definitely not a beginner’s saw, the Dewalt DW717 boasts an impressive range of features for more experienced woodworkers, and is especially noteworthy for its ability to tackle large wood pieces.
Is it the right saw for you?
Let’s find out with my in-depth Dewalt DW717 Review!
Specs out the box
The Dewalt DW717 is a 10-inch, double-bevel sliding compound miter saw. The big brother to the DW715 and DW 716 from the same manufacturer, it features a powerful 15 amp motor which delivers a no-load speed of 4,000 RPM, adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate with 11 positive stops.
The DW 717 features a tall sliding fence for work with crown and base moldings, four hardened steel bevel stops on each side for versatility, and two steel horizontal rails for accurate blade travel. Able to cut up to 14 inches, this miter saw will deliver results across a wide range of miter and crosscutting jobs.
What I love about the DW717
Dewalt has built a reputation for getting that tricky balance between a durable, great quality piece of equipment and an affordable price tag just right – and the
The DW717 sliding miter saw is no exception.
This saw’s defining feature is the ease with which it tackles long pieces of wood – made possible by the tall sliding fence which will accommodate a crown molding of up to 6.25 inches. Even cutting base moldings as thick as 6 inches is doable, which is about twice what your average miter saw would manage.
Bevel cuts measuring between 0 and 48 degrees to the left and right are also a breeze with the DW 717, which is excellent news for large jobs where it is easier to flip the saw than the material.
Finding and setting the bevel angles is also simple with several bevel stops provided, and the unique back fence design allows it to deliver clean, 45 degree bevel cuts through dimensional lumber up to 2 by 14 inches.
The overall design is solid, offering plenty of power and cut capacity in a portable package – ideal for general carpenters, framers, home builders, cabinet and furniture makers, exterior trim and siding installers, as well as the more enthusiastic and experienced DIY-er.
The large miter capacity – 0 to 60 degrees to the left and 0 to 52 on the right – adds versatility, while the adjustable miter detent plate featuring 11 positive stops adds precision and efficiency to the mix. The cam-lock miter handle is easy to adjust and delivers accurate miter angles, and the convenient detent override allows you to adjust the miter setting without the saw slipping into the miter detents.
With the two aluminium fences extended, the Dewalt DW717 work table gives a very impressive 37 inches of supporting surface – more than sufficient for your average carpentry job. And if you do need extra room, holes in the fences even allow you to add taller back supports.
Despite all these features, the saw remains compact thanks to clever sliding saw dual horizontal steel rails. Linear ball bearings and an innovative clamping mechanism lead to improved durability and accuracy.
What I don’t like so much
All this being said, there are a few areas that let the Dewalt DW717 down – and the blade is one of them – especially for projects which require a finer finish. Luckily this issue isn’t too difficult to solve as it is relatively simple to change the blade out once you’ve mastered the technique. It will take a bit of practice at first, but the trick is to loosen the guard bracket sufficiently so you can change the blade without entirely removing the screw.
Issues with dust collection are a common complaint with miter saws, and this unfortunately holds true with the DW717, so consider investing in a dust extractor if you’re going to be tackling messy jobs.
While the slide is reasonably smooth, the blade can jar slightly at the beginning and end. Luckily this is easily remedied with a few rubber o-rings to act as bumpers.
Where to buy at the best price
While the DW717 isn’t the most expensive on the market, it’s still a pretty large investment – so make sure you purchase under at least a 3 year warranty.
While you can certainly check out your local Lowes or Home Depot, we recommend buying through their Amazon portal so you have access to the experts, are covered by a 90 day money-back guarantee and of course, get your new favourite toy as soon as possible!
The Final Verdict: Worth the money?
A solid workhorse from a reputable brand at a great price – what more could you ask?
Then again, if you’re new to miter saws, this probably isn’t the one to start with, unless you have a local shop where they can help you out if you get stuck.
But if you want ample power, accuracy, and the ability to tackle large projects – the Dewalt DW717 delivers!