DeWalt DWS780 Review: #3 of Things We Liked Will Surprise You

dewalt miter saw dws780

DeWalt DWS780 12 Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw


The sliding mechanism along with the bevel adjustments are consistent


Compared to other saws in its class, the price point is comparable 


The XPS work light is drastically improved over a laser line

Summary: The DWS780 saw is a 12-inch double bevel sliding compound miter saw that can quickly make crosscuts in wood as well cut plastic and aluminum material with the appropriate blades. 
It can also be adjusted to cut angles horizontally and vertically at the same time. This allows you to make a complex cut with just one operation.
Plus the sliding mechanism helps to increase the width that you can cut in comparison to non-sliding saws.

We Like

  • Works well right out the box
  • Makes very accurate and clean cuts at any angle
  • Well built machine with accurate and solid positive locks

We Don't Like

  • You have to use spacers when using the depth stop because the blade doesn't cut all the way to the fence
  • ​The slide functionality is a little sticky for some users
  • Dust collection design is ackward

When you work with wood, you find that you end up relying on saws that do quick and precise work like compound miters saws. You need a saw that is calibrated precisely, has a large cutting capacity, and that has a strong and smooth operation.

When looking for a saw that can help satisfy this list, many woodworkers turn to compound miter saws that allow you a lot of versatility and is a good choice for either a professional or a do-it-yourselfer.

The DWS780 DeWalt is a 12-inch double bevel sliding compound miter saw that has a lot of parts and features. This is a miter saw you definitely want to check out if you're in the market for a compound miter saw.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Whether you're just starting out or have a fully functioning workshop, a sliding compound miter saw is a great tool for you. Designed to cut door frames, picture frames, crown molding, and window casings, a miter saw can also make regular straight cuts for those general do-it-yourself woodworking projects.

There are three main types of compound miter saws on the market that have some of the same basic traits, but also differ with a few key features that address specific needs.

Types of Compound Miter Saws

Compound Miter Saws – Allowing you the ability to cut at a variety of angles, a compound miter saw tilts to the left allowing you to bevel cut which can be helpful when you need to cut two different angles like for crown molding.

Dual-bevel Compound Miter Saws – As with the compound miter saws, the dual-bevel compound miter saw can tilt both to the left and to the right. This allows you to cut bevels and angles without having to flip your workpiece over.

Sliding Compound Miter Saws – With the sliding compound miter saw, you have a sliding feature that lets the saw move forward and back which allows you to cut wider pieces of wood.

Things to Know When Buying a Compound Miter Saw

Depending on the size of the compound miter saw, some are better for professional contractors than others. A 12” double tend to be on the larger size and is a great option for the professional contractor while the 10" sliding compound miter is a great fit for most of the DIYers.

Both of these saws have powerful 15-amp motors and are less expensive to purchase and maintain. You can interchange your 10" miter saw blades with blades from your table saw, so it doesn't require additional blades to be purchased.

If you need more portability, the smaller 7 ¼" cordless compound miter saws run on the same sized batteries that use would use for other tools. They have a lot more cutting power than you expect, but it'll limit the type of stock you will be able to cut.

DeWalt DWS780 Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Large Cutting Capacity

With a versatile miter saw, you can work on a lot of different types of woodworking projects. And it's especially handy when you need to cut larger pieces. With a mid-range miter saw, you tend to have limitations with the size of the pieces you can cut.

The DeWalt DWS780 miter saw allows you to cut pieces up to 16 inches at a 90-degree angle making it very versatile and useful for a lot of different projects. Plus, it’s most impressive feature is its ability to cut a vertical bevel and a horizontal miter at the same time.

This makes your ability to cut complicated jobs faster and more manageable. Plus the DWS780’s sliding features helps to increase its cutting width as well.

Ease of Use

One of its best ease of use features is its fence that you can see through since it can be really annoying to have a blade guard fall down and interrupt your view. A fence you can see through allows you to see what you're cutting and makes it easier to use the machine.

A blade guard is an important safety feature, but its design on the DeWalt DWS780 double bevel sliding compound miter saw design allows you to be more efficient as you do your job.

Even though it weighs 56 pounds, it does have a handle on the top of the machine so that you can lift it and take it out to your worksite. It's also very easy to change the blade on the DeWalt DWS780 in comparison to other similar sized saws. All you have to do is loosen two bolts and you can easily change or remove the blade.

You can also easily adjust angles on a high-visibility scale with the double bevel design on the DWS780. With clear black markings on the scale of the chrome colored surface, you can easily see what you're doing, see the clear bevel angles, and set them before you start cutting.

Cut Capacity

When you're cutting angles that are common like 45 degrees, you'll find that you're more efficient when you have preset miter and bevel stops. The DeWalt miter saw DWS780 that comes with 10 positive stops that are already present for easy adjustment.

You'll really appreciate this when you need to make repeat cuts at the same angles. And when you have chosen the preset that you want, you can use the Cam-lock miter button to lock it in.

It also comes with a handy override feature on the miter detent that allows you to accurately adjust you angle. Plus, with the dual bevel feature, you'll not need to flip the piece you're working on to cut bevels.

You only need to flip the saw either to the right or left which saves you a lot of time and helps you to make more precise cuts accurate cuts. This is helpful when you're cutting things like crown molding.

Miter Adjustment

The DeWalt 780 comes with positive locks at all the common miter angles, plus it has an override lever that allows you to set the angle to any position you prefer.

Bevel Adjustment

This saw is also designed as a double bevel model so that it can tilt either to the left or right. The  DeWalt DW780 makes it easy to cut those complex angles you need for crown molding.

You'll find that there are two fold-away pawl on each side that gives you bevel stops at 22.5° and 33.9°. Plus a 45° override that lets you easily adjust your bevel angle to just past this setting in either direction.

Towards the back of the saw, the 3-wing knob can be used to lock and loosen the bevel adjustment. With this yellow cam-action switch, you'll have a 0° bevel stop that can be rotated or pulled out to allow the saw to bevel to the right.


Depth Stop

With a depth stop, you can limit the blades cutting depth to give you more control on cutting grooves and on taller workpieces. A depth stop consists of a depth adjustment screw, a wingnut, and the stop itself.

XPS Work Light

In an effort to help you align your cut line with the blade, Dewalt’s XPS work light will cast a shadow of the saw blade onto the piece you are working on. This feature works a lot better than a laser as the shadow that's cast is the precise width of your saw blade’s thickness.

The DeWalt 780 miter saw has designed a very bright LED light that's found on its cross-cut alignment system. This feature can show you exactly where the blade will cut instead of how a laser works which just shows a line on just one side of the blade.

This alignment system also doesn’t require that you do any recalibration after you change the blades which are necessary with a laser guide system. Plus, a laser alignment system always projects a laser line that is the same width, not necessarily the thickness of the blade. Which requires you to do a lot of trial and error to set up your cut perfectly.

dewalt dws780 double bevel sliding compound miter saw

Dust Collection

The Dust Collection Chute on the Dewalt DWS780 is reported to collect over 75% of dust that is generated. Keep in mind the dust bag that is included is pretty small, so you will be spending a lot of time emptying it.

Blade and Accessories

Along with the DWS780 DeWalt miter saw, you'll get a 12-inch 60-tooth fine finish blade that's a good decent starter wood-cutting blade. It's designed for basic construction tasks.

If you plan to do fine woodworking, you'll want to upgrade to premium blades that'll give you cleaner cuts. You'll also want to make sure that you match blades with the type of material you plan to cut.

Dewalt also includes a robust hold-down clamp with your miter saw, but remember that there are no other supports that are included as most people will use the saw with a stationary stand or as a portable tool.

dws780 dewalt

Portability and Size

With a handle at the top of the saw and practical hand grooves on each side, this is considered a portable saw even if it weighs 56 pounds. This doesn’t mean this is a tool you want to move around a lot, but it can be done if you need to move it.

It has a larger footprint than its non-sliding 10-inch counterpart, plus it has more functionality and cutting capacity.

​You can purchase the DeWalt DWS780 with stand if you'd prefer. This is a great feature if you need portability. 

Performance, Precision, and Conclusion

It's easy to access and use all of the levels, knobs, and adjustments on the DWS780. Also it's easy to figure out what the knobs do as they are clearly documented in the DeWalt DWS780 manual.

It comes perfectly aligned right out of the box. This is unlike less expensive homeowner and DIY-oriented saws which usually need adjustments and tweaking before you can use them. With the DeWalt Model DWS780, you can take it right out of the box and start to work right away.

The miter saw allows you to cut plastic, PVC, thicker wood materials, and aluminum extrusions. It has a 15 amp motor with 3,800 RPM.

It definitely needs a little bit more space around the saw when it's in use. But it does fold down and becomes pretty compact when you need to place it on a shelf.

Social Proof of the DeWalt Miter Saw DWS780

So, just to see what real users have said about the DeWalt miter saw 780, we've scoured the internet for some user reviews. Here's what they have to say:

A Reviewer From Northern Tools

dewalt dws780 manual

A Reviewer From Home Depot

dewalt dws780 review

A Reviewer From Lowes...

dewalt dsw780 with stand

Alternatives to the DWS780 DeWalt

​To give you a true review, here are three comparable double bevel sliding compound miter saws on the market today.

Bosch GCM12SD

Delivering precision and durability, the innovative Bosch GCM12SD Glide Miter Saw works well in a compact workspace and is incredibly smooth. It also features a patented Axial-Glide system that works with a folded articulated arm that's flush with the back of the saw.

This can save you up to a foot of workspace when comparing it to the traditional sliding compound miter saw. This allows you to operate it without having anything behind it which is quite an advantage for cramped workshops and job sites.

dewalt model dws780

The increased cutting capacity of the Bosch GCM12SD includes a 6 ½ inch vertical, 14-Inch horizontal, and a 6-1/2-inch crown capacities. Also, it's easy to read stainless steel and bevel miter scales that have marked roof pitch and detent angles.

The Bosch GCM12SD also features a highly precise Squarelock fence that aligns your fence 90 degrees to the table and doesn’t require any adjustments. In addition, it has a slide fence that is one-touch lock and unlock for additional support.

The Bosch GCM12SD is strong competition with the DeWalt DWS780, so make sure to check them both out as you do your research.

Comparison List
- Has an articulated arm flush instead of the traditional sliding compound miter saw allowing you to operate it without anything behind you.
- Traditional fence versus the see through fence on the DeWalt DWS780.
- The Bosch has a slightly smaller cutting capacity than the DWS780.

Milwaukee 6955-20

Featuring a miter angle with a fine adjust and detent override, the Milwaukee 6955-20 Miter Saw makes it easy to set precise miter angles. This feature is helpful in allowing the user to adjust quickly to a non-square environment. This also allows for single hand operation including making fine adjustments.

The Milwaukee 6955-20 also features a self-zeroing system that works for the whole miter angle range. It also features job site lights that can completely light up your project and your cut line on each side of the blade.

dws780 saw

This makes it easier for you to see the blade as it enters the material. This also helps in removing the need to have extra lighting.

The 15 Amp Milwaukee 6955-20 also features an electronic soft start that lets you slowly get up to the cut line without damaging your project by taking less than two seconds to get the tool up to full speed.

It also has constant power technology that gives you constant speed under load.

Like the DeWalt, the Milwaukee 6955-20 also features an integral dust channel that's able to capture almost 75% of the dust and debris. it does this by collecting dust on both sides of the blade and sending it to the back of the saw.

Plus, it includes nine positive bevel stops that let you easily bevel in both directions 0 degrees to 48 degrees. The Milwaukee 6955-20 is worth doing a side by side comparison with the DeWalt DWS780 to see how they measure up.

Comparison List
- Features 9 positive bevel stops in comparison to the DeWalt's 10.
- Both include dust collection of 75% and have a 15 amp motor.
- Includes job site lights that show a cut line on either side of the blade while the DWS780 DeWalt features an XPS Work Light that casts a shadow of the saw blade that's the precise width of your saw blade's thickness. 

Makita LS1216L

The Makita LS1216L 12" dual slide miter saw gives you one of the largest crown cutting and crosscutting capacities in its class. With a patented 4-Steel Rail Sliding System, it helps to increases the rigidity of the project giving you superb cuts.

In addition, it features an exclusive six linear ball bearing design for adjustment-free, smooth and precise cuts. The Makita LS1216L is perfect for job site and benchtop use, plus it works well in manufacturing and high-production settings.

dws780 dewalt miter saw

The Makita LS1216L also makes accurate miter and bevel cuts with four sliding fences that feature both upper and lower fence adjustments. This gives you more accurate miter and bevel cuts to work with a variety of cutting projects.

It also features an easy one-touch miter lock system that was created to make precise adjustments with increased efficiency.

For ease of use features, the Makita LS1216L includes a patented 4-Steel Rail Sliding System that needs less rear space than its dual sliding miter saw counterparts.

Like the DeWalt, it also features a see-through blade guard system giving you better visibility of both the blade and cut line of cut. Plus it also has a one-step blade change process to improve your efficiency.

The Makita LS1216L also has a 15 AMP direct gear box motor that doesn’t bog down, slip, or need required maintenance. It also has a soft start feature that gives you smoother startups. In addition, it also has an Electronic Speed Control that maintains a constant speed under load that gives you smoother and higher-quality cutting.

Make sure to check out the Makita LS1216L and see how it compares.

Comparison List
- Doesn't include a lighting system that lights up the cutline like the DeWalt DWS780 miter saw.
- Both have a 15 amp motor and a see-though blade guard system.
- Doesn't feature a dust collection system like the DWS780 miter saw.

Wrapping Up the DeWalt DWS780 Review

Woodworkers understand the importance of having a compound miter saw that can provide with a large cutting capacity and precise calibrations. One that'll give you a smooth and strong operation is a plus.

The DeWalt DWS780 compound miter saw can give you the versatility you need whether you are a professional or do-it-yourselfer. With the many parts and features of this tool, you'll definitely want to check out all that this DeWalt DWS780 12 inch double bevel sliding compound miter saw has to offer.

Let us know what you think of the DeWalt DWS780 review in the comments below. Agree or disagree, it'll help other readers out there looking.

About the Author

Founder of Woodworking Fuel, proud father of two, happily married to a wonderful wife, and passionate about woodworking for a fulfilling hobby!

Leave a Reply 0 comments

Free Plans diagram

Download 40+


Woodworking Plans