DeWalt DWS780 Compound Miter Saw Review


Having been involved in various woodworking projects over the years, I’ve become quite intimate with the hum and buzz of many tools. Among those, miter saws have always been a cornerstone in my workshop. After months of rigorous use, Here’s my detailed take on the DeWalt DWS780 12-inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw.


  • Model: DeWalt DWS780
  • Motor: 15-amp, 3800 RPM
  • Max cross-cut (90°): 2×16 in
  • Max cross-cut (45°): 2×12 in.
  • Miter detents: 10
  • Cam lock miter handle with detent override
  • Dual horizontal steel rails
  • Belt-drive
  • Back fence design
  • XPS cross-cut LED positioning system
  • Weight: 56 lbs.
  • Price: $599

My Experience with the DeWalt DWS780: A Deep Dive into its Performance

Cutting Capacity
DeWalt DWS780 Compound Miter Saw

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had embarked on a deck-building project in my backyard, a challenging venture I had been putting off for a while. The primary concern? Handling the larger pieces of lumber with precision. Enter the DeWalt DWS780. The very first time I powered it on, I could feel the potential. And as I began, the 12-inch blade didn’t disappoint. Imagine trying to slice through a buttery loaf with a heated knife – that’s exactly how it felt cutting through 2x16s at a 90° angle. Even the tricky 2x12s at a 45° angle were handled with surprising ease. What could’ve been a long day’s work was wrapped up significantly sooner, all thanks to this machine’s impressive cutting capacity.


DeWalt DWS780 Compound Miter Saw

In woodworking, the devil is in the details. After the deck, my next project involved crafting some intricate moldings for my living room. Precision was the name of the game here. I had heard a lot about the DWS780’s XPS cross-cut positioning system and was slightly skeptical. I mean, how much of a difference could a shadow make? But boy, was I proven wrong. The first few cuts were like a revelation. The shadow system was not merely a gimmick – it was my guiding star. With every molding I crafted, I found the lines to be sharp and precise. Out of curiosity, I kept a count, and I realized that roughly 95% of the time, the cuts were spot-on, eliminating the need for those annoying adjustments.


Every craftsman knows that while precision is key, efficiency can’t be compromised either. And this is where the DWS780’s 15-amp motor, boasting 3,800 RPM, truly shines. It’s like having a sports car in your workshop. During one particularly busy day, I had a series of cuts lined up. As I marked and measured the lumber, I found a peculiar rhythm – by the time I finished measuring and aligning the next piece, the DWS780 was raring to go. It was a dance of sorts, with me as the choreographer and the saw playing the perfect partner, maintaining a pace that left me both exhilarated and efficient.

Comparables to Consider

Throughout my woodworking journey, I’ve had the chance to befriend a few miter saws, each with its own charm and quirks. Let’s dive deep into my experiences with the trio: the DeWalt DWS780, Bosch GCM12SD, and the Makita LS1219L.

The very first time I laid eyes on the Bosch GCM12SD, its Axial-Glide system caught my attention. It promised wider cross-cuts, and boy, did it deliver. There were instances when this glide system saved me from potential reworks. However, love has its challenges. The GCM12SD’s larger frame often played hard to get in my relatively cozy workshop. On days when I needed to shuffle things around or move the saw for specific projects, I could feel its bulk. It was like trying to waltz with a partner who’s a tad bit too enthusiastic – manageable but definitely demanding.

Ah, the Makita LS1219L. Our relationship can best be described as a summer romance. What initially drew me to it was its laser marker. Those initial projects were a breeze, with the laser guiding my every move, almost like a lighthouse for a sailor on a dark night. Yet, as time passed and projects became more intricate, I started missing the consistency I had found with the DeWalt DWS780’s XPS system. It wasn’t that the Makita faltered; it’s just that the DeWalt’s precision felt more like home.

By the end of it all, while each saw brought its own flair to the table, the DeWalt DWS780 emerged as the constant. Its blend of reliability, precision, and familiarity made it the go-to for extensive projects. Whether I was working on a demanding task or just tinkering around for the love of craft, the DWS780 stood by me like an old friend – ever reliable and ever ready.

Comparison Table

Feature/SpecificationDeWalt DWS780Bosch GCM12SDMakita LS1219L
Blade Size12 inches12 inches12 inches
Motor Power15 Amp15 Amp15 Amp
Max RPM3,8003,8003,200
WeightApprox. 56 lbsApprox. 65 lbsApprox. 64.2 lbs
Cutting CapacityHorizontal: 16”Horizontal: 14”Horizontal: 15”
Vertical: 6.75”Vertical: 6.5”Vertical: 6.75”
Slide MechanismYesGlide SystemDual Slide System
Dust CollectionEfficient SystemStandard SystemSuperior System
Built-in Laser/ShadowXPS Shadow LightNoBuilt-in Laser
Warranty3 years1 year1 year
Price RangeMid-HighHighMid-High
Other Notable FeaturesIntegrated handle designUpfront controls and compact designDirect drive gearbox & guard system

Pros and Cons Of My Workshop


  • Affordability: When juxtaposed with other miter saws in the sliding category, the Dewalt Miter Saw often comes across as a more economical choice. Several other brands or models in the same category might have a steeper price tag.
  • Blade Locking for Bevel Cuts: This feature ensures the blade remains firmly in place when making bevel cuts, enhancing the safety and precision of the tool.
  • High Build Quality: The Dewalt Miter Saw is built to last. Its sturdy construction means it can endure rigorous work environments and usage over time.
  • Warranty Support: Should any issues arise that are covered under warranty, Dewalt stands behind its product. Owners can easily address warranty concerns at any official Dewalt franchise.
  • Sliding System: The sliding mechanism in this saw allows for wider cuts, making it versatile and suitable for larger pieces of material.
  • Blade Shadow Casting System: This feature projects a shadow where the blade will cut. This ensures higher precision as the user gets a visual guide, leading to more accurate cuts.
  • Dust Collection Chute: Keeping the work environment clean is vital. The saw’s state-of-the-art dust collection chute efficiently collects and removes dust, ensuring a tidier workspace and reducing post-job cleanup.


  • Potential for Mechanical Faults: Some users have expressed concerns about receiving units with mechanical defects, such as broken rails or compromised plastic parts.
  • Manual Adjustments Required: Depending on the specific cutting requirements or personal preferences, users might need to make some manual tweaks or fine-tuning to get the desired results. This can be time-consuming and might not be ideal for every user.

Dewalt Miter Saw Usability

If I were to rate the DWS780 DeWalt miter saw on a usability scale, it would confidently earn a 9 out of 10 from me. It’s evident that DeWalt’s engineering team poured their expertise into finessing every aspect of this tool.

Cutting a straight line? It’s almost effortless. Here’s the drill: place your wood panel, elevate the blade, then glide it towards you in a seamless front-to-back motion. Admittedly, there’s a slight learning curve, but once you grasp the basics, the DWS780 becomes an extension of your craft.

One of DeWalt’s masterstrokes here is the inclusion of positive stops at pre-set positions. Say goodbye to the fumbling and guesswork that comes with hunting for the perfect bevel angle.

As a seasoned professional, these refinements empower me to tackle ambitious projects head-on. Crafting intricate cabinets or precise shelving cuts? No problem. Without constantly repositioning lumber, I can manage baseboards up to a sizable 6-3/4” in height. Delving deeper, the blade reaches a commendable depth of around 12 inches, though this varies with the wood’s nature. A pro-tip? Don’t muscle the blade too much; finesse is your friend. Often, experienced DWS780 users perfect their cuts in two phases: an initial shallow pass followed by a deeper, comprehensive one.

The DWS780’s swiveling mechanism reminds me of the precision of a tank turret. And the cherry on top? DeWalt’s lock lever system. It’s a game-changer. Gone are the days of manually securing the rotating head with cumbersome knobs. This innovation alone is a sigh of relief for countless miter saw enthusiasts.

Safety Considerations

There’s some contention in this area. The safety mechanisms of the Dewalt Dws780 miter saw seem to be somewhat basic. While they do offer a standard blade guard that suffices for typical use, it doesn’t go much beyond that. There are features like notch locks among others touted as enhancements to prevent injuries, but it’s arguable that Dewalt could have given more attention to this facet, especially given that this is a power tool in question.

On a slightly different note, which doesn’t precisely fit under the “safety” category, Dewalt has incorporated an interesting depth of cut lever. This lever allows users to adjust so the blade doesn’t cut completely through the material. This feature facilitates making a dado cut across material without the need to switch to a dado blade.

My Verdict

If I had to start all over and choose a miter saw, the DeWalt DWS780 would still be my pick. Its blend of power, precision, and ruggedness makes it a no-brainer. Even though it’s a bit on the pricey side, the efficiency and accuracy it brings to my projects make it worth every penny.

Having the DeWalt DWS780 in my workshop has been a game-changer. Every cut, every angle, and every project has been elevated, thanks to this beast of a tool. Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or just starting, this saw deserves a spot in your workshop.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What makes the XPS cross-cut positioning system special on the DWS780?
    The XPS system uses an LED light to cast a shadow of the blade onto the workpiece. This shadow line indicates where the blade will cut, providing better accuracy without needing any alignment or recalibration, unlike traditional lasers.
  2. Can the DWS780 handle both fine woodworking and larger construction tasks?
    Absolutely. With its 12-inch blade and powerful motor, it can handle large lumber cuts. Additionally, its precision and adjustable settings make it suitable for detailed woodworking projects as well.
  3. How does the double bevel feature benefit users?
    The double bevel feature allows the saw to tilt both left and right. This means you can make bevel cuts in both directions without flipping the workpiece, saving time and ensuring consistency.
  4. Is the saw compatible with a Dado blade?
    No, the DWS780 is designed for crosscuts, miter cuts, and bevel cuts. It isn’t set up to use a dado blade.
  5. How effective is the dust collection system?
    While the DWS780 comes with a dust collection bag and has improved dust collection compared to some older models, like many miter saws, it may not capture all the sawdust. For better efficiency, connecting it to a shop vac can enhance dust collection.
  6. Can the DWS780 be easily transported to job sites?
    Weighing in at 56 lbs, the DWS780 is designed to be portable and can be transported to job sites. However, it’s advisable to use a miter saw stand or a rolling stand for increased mobility and convenience.

We’d love to hear from you! Share your personal experiences and thoughts about the DeWalt DWS780 Compound Miter Saw Review 2023 in the comments section below. Your insights could help fellow woodworkers and craftsmen make informed decisions!

Reagan Key
Reagan Key
Forestry Author


Why detent at 31.5 degrees instead of 30 degrees?

Daniel Adams
Art crooke
September 29, 2023 1:53 am

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