Tool Review: DeWALT DWS779 12″ Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
Out of the Box
What you get:
- DWS779 miter saw + 12″ saw blade 32T (already installed)
- Blade wrench
- Material clamp
- Instruction Manual
The DeWALT miter saw comes fully assembled and ready to get to work right out of the box. The only thing you need to do is remove the Styrofoam, plug the saw in and pull the lockdown pin and you’re ready to roll. Push down a little on the handle and pull out the pin and the head will release.
The first thing that I noticed is that pushing down on the handle is really easy. The motor is mounted right above the hinge, and it has a V belt drive to the blade. Also, this saw is fairly heavy, not that bad, but I wouldn’t want to be lugging it around a lot. If you plan to move it around for work or home use, consider a mobile work stand or a miter saw station.
The only thing that I need my miter saw to do is cut straight and that’s what I love about this saw, everything is adjustable. I cut a piece of plywood the maximum cut length (13 3/4″) and used a square to check the accuracy out of the box. On the right side of the blade, it was perfectly square. The left side of the blade cut was a hair off, like maybe 1/64″.
I can leave it be or split the 1/64″ between the sides. There is an included blade wrench that also has a star head to loosen the adjusting screws on the miter scale/detent plate. To adjust the miter angle accuracy, loosen the 4 screws and adjust it until it cuts square.
Once the miter angle is squared up, and with the saw in the 0 deg detent slot, adjust the red miter pointer to be right on 0 deg. I also checked the bevel angle and it was true. It can be adjusted if needed too. It is so nice to have a saw that you know will cut at the angle you are expecting. Kudos to you DeWALT.
The DWS779 DeWALT miter saw is simple to use, pull the trigger and let the blade get to full speed and smoothly lower down to cut the board. The widest board I could cut at 90 deg cleanly is 13 3/4″, this is without the ‘special setup’ to get a 15 3/4″ crosscut. When cutting wider pieces pull the saw out toward you, lower the saw down toward the board, and slowly push the saw back to make the cut. The rails run really smooth on this saw.
Changing the miter angle is simple, press down on the button in front of the handle. The miter angle can go up to 60 deg on the right side and 50 deg on the left, that is pretty generous. The miter scale has convenient detents (the notches) for common angles. The small level on the side of the button will bypass the detents. Once the miter saw is turned to the angle that you want to set it at, simply press the handle down to lock it.
Adjusting the bevel angle is also easy, simply loosen the bevel lock knob and rotate to the angle desired and tighten up the knob.
The bevel angle will automatically stop at 45 deg, but there is a small lever that you can pull to continue rotating the head to 49 deg. If you need the bevel angle to go in the other direction, there is another knob to pull out and it will pass through 0 deg and keep rotating.
A feature I love for half lap joints is the depth stop that will control how far down the saw blade will cut. The little thumb screw can be adjusted for the cut depth desired and it rests against the depth stop. Flip the depth stop out of the way to go back to normal cutting.
The cutting capacity is quite impressive:
In addition, it is capable of cutting baseboard moldings held vertically 0.8″ thick by 6 3/4″ tall on a 45º right or left miter.
Bevel Angle Stops
This saw also has some angle stops (pawls) built in for easy and repeatable bevel angle cuts on both the right and left side bevel.
The tall double fence system is very convenient and easy to use. There is a knob to loosen the screw and the upper fence will slide left and right.
So far I really like using the DeWALT DWS779, it’s worked like a champ on some pretty complicated angles. But there’s always a few things that aren’t perfect.
Features to Upgrade
The 32T saw blade that is included isn’t the best for fine woodworking, it’s ok for construction work. If you plan on cutting molding and nicer wood consider upgrading to a finer tooth blade.
The dust collection on this saw is ok, according to DeWALT it captures 75% of dust. When in the shop, I remove the bag and attach a small shop vac to the dust tube, this helps a lot!
Who Will Benefit From This Tool
The DeWALT DWS779 miter saw is simple enough to operate that a beginning DIY’er will have no problem using it, but it has enough add-on features and convenience that the pro will love it. For those that are using the saw for cutting trim, molding and fine woodworking, I would consider upgrading the blade to 60T or 80T.
There is a reason why the DeWALT DWS779 12″ dual bevel sliding compound miter saw is top rated in miter saws. It is easy to use and a power horse. The cutting capabilities are impressive, 13 3/4″ wide cross cut, 50-60 deg miter angle cuts and up to 49 deg bevel angle cuts. It includes so many convenient features like depth stop, bevel angle stops, miter angle detents, tall fences and easy accuracy adjustments. If a miter saw is on your tool wish list, you can’t go wrong buying the DeWALT DWS779 especially at $349.
Differences between DWS780 and DWS779 miter saws
So if you’ve been shopping for miter saws you may have come across the DWS779 and the newer DWS780, here are the differences that I’ve found.
- Comes with XPS CUTLINE blade positioning system (light that shines a shadow on the board)
- 56 lbs
- Comes with 60T blade
- No cutline
- 67 lbs
- Comes with 32T blade
- Price is about $200-$250 less than DWS780
Honestly, I almost never use the cut line feature of the 780, I always line my blade up with the mark on the board.
Whichever you choose, you are getting a great saw!