First Look: DeWalt’s New 12-in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw
From Black & Decker University, Towson, MD – Yesterday DeWalt launched their new 12-in. sliding compound miter saw. The new tool, model DWS780, is a replacement for the DW718 we reviewed as part of a larger roundup in 2008. So, to put the new tool in perspective, let’s see what’s changed from the old model to the new:
A change in some specs
- Weight – 56 lbs. (3 lbs. heavier)
- Horizontal cross cut capacity – 13 3/4-in. (Same)
- Vertical cross cut capacity – 6 3/4-in. (*1/4-in. better)
- Crown capacity (in nested position) – 7 1/2-in. (**7/8-in. better)
- 75% Dust Collection (not stated on earlier model, but as a point of reference the Milwaukee 6950-20, a competitive saw with excellent dust collection, also claims 75% collection)
- $600 (Not fair to compare with launch price of old model)
*Note: The DeWalt literature claims an increase in vertical crosscut capacity, from the old 6 1/2-in. to a better 6 3/4-in., but in use we quickly found that this isn’t 100% accurate. When the miter table is set to the left, say for a 45 degree cut, the armature that moves the blade guard gets hung up on the top edge of the piece being cut. It will leave a dent in the wood of, you guessed it, about 1/4-in. – the same amount by which the new saw is said to have increased.
**Note: Crown of this size, 7 1/2-in., can be handled by the saw blade, but could barely fit onto the table when in the nested position. To be done safely, a sub-table and fence would be a must.
As part of the launch event, I had a chance to take the new saw for a spin, and a few things stood out during just my short time with the tool.
- The first change is the inclusion of an accessory that DeWalt launched a few years back. Rather than a laser to mark the cutline, DeWalt is relying on an accessory called XPS (Crosscut Positioning System), which shines a light from above the blade, which casts a shadow onto the material being cut to match the width of the blade. It takes a bit of getting used to, especially with blades that have wide/set teeth (yes, the shadow is precise enough to make that matter) but it’s a pretty intuitive concept. The nice thing is that the light doesn’t need batteries, and the shadow it casts will never need to be adjusted for abuse or different blades.
- In use, it was noticeable that the motor had no soft-start, and the slide mechanism was somewhat stiff and jerky; almost gritty. I was hoping it was just an early model we were playing with, but I tried several different versions of the same tool, and confirmed that they were production models. The stiff action was noticeable in any sliding cut, but enough to be a bit anxiety inducing on more complicated cuts like compound bevels with the stock flat on the table.
That’s all I’ll say on this saw for now, but if you have any questions about specific features, post below. I’ll do my best to fill in any blanks for everybody.
What’s on the agenda for today? Hand tools, hammers, and the new line of 18v cordless tools.
Meet the DWS780, DeWalt's new 12-in. sliding compound miter saw
XPS - No lasers, just a shadow