Two weeks ago I got my hands on the DWS782, Dewalt’s new 12” Sliding Compound Miter Saw. I am currently renovating an old house and used the project to rationalize purchasing some new power tools. Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this saw, let me tell you why I think this saw exists (pure speculation):
1) Dewalt wanted to come out with a 12” Sliding Compound that is substantially lower priced than the competition. The DWS782 is $399. Most others are $599+.
2) They wanted to physically distinguish it slightly from their existing 12” Sliding Compound (the DWS780)
3) By doing 1 and 2, they will attract more price-sensitive customers without cannibalizing current sales
If this is the case, it’s a bold strategy. The “professional grade” brands want to capture the “cost-sensitive” market without diluting their brands – it’s a fine line to walk. In this case, the saw is priced even lower than Home Depot’s Ridgid (which is currently $450 and not generally considered a “professional grade” brand)*. And, if you look at the specs, it seems as though the only difference between this and the much higher priced Dewalt DWS780 is the absence of the XPS system (which is basically an LED light). Has Dewalt confirmed that is the only difference between the two saws? No. Has the lower-priced saw been out long enough to reasonably conclude that is the only difference? Not quite. Did I feel comfortable with the risk and buy it anyway? Yes. In all likelihood, this is the exact same saw as the DWS780 but $200 less. At some point, if there’s enough interest, someone will probably take these apart and compare the guts – I don’t have the expertise (read: time or money) for that.
Okay, enough speculation. The facts:
In the box:
- The saw
- One carbide blade (32T)
- Lots of Styrofoam
- Dust sack
- Vertical material clamp
Key Published Specs:
- Advanced dust collection system captures over 75 percent of dust generated
- 15-amp motor @ 3,800 RPM max
- Power cord is routed through the rail in the back, no interference with slide
- Compact and lightweight frame for portability
- Backed by three-year limited warranty
- Electronic brake
- Max cutting capacities: 6-3/4″ vertical, 13-7/8″ horizontal 7-1/2″ crown
- With fence: 16″ x 2″ at 90°, 12″ x 2″ at 45
- 49 degree max bevel (both directions) with detents at 0, 22.5, 33.9, 45, 49
- Miter angles of 60 degrees (max right) and 50 degrees (max left)
- Adjustable detent plate and soft-lock for all non-detent angles
- There’s also a miter detent “override” which is for locking in precise angles
The most obvious physical thing about this saw, right off the bat, is that it’s a heavy brute. It’s about 55 pounds. I’ll be honest; I struggled to get it out of the box. Surprisingly, after some research, it’s lighter than all the competition (I’ve listed the weights below). Once you manage to get this out of the box you are faced with a very easy set-up. If you’ve used Miter Saws before, this will take you less than 3 minutes. If you haven’t used a Miter Saw before, I recommend at least reading the safety warnings in the manual, but you’ll still be up and running in less than 10 minutes.
Three things to note at this point:
- If you’re cutting lumber, the dust sack will fill up very fast. Consider removing it or attaching a small dust collector/shop vac.
- It’s only a 32T blade – it’s not going to be awesome for trim or other very precise, “smooth-cut” type work. You will need a more suitable blade for precision work. More on blades here: http://www.rockler.com/how-to/blades-101
- If you didn’t already own or buy a stand, you will need to set this up on some saw horses or a table if you don’t want to work on the ground. I will say this, the closer the saw is to eye level, the easier it is to cut precisely.
Naturally, having researched this beforehand, I wanted to test out all the possible deficiencies as soon as possible. The 2 big ones:
1) The sliding mechanism: On the DWS780, there were many complaints of a gritty slide when fully extended. To my delight, this was not an issue at all with my DWS782. From what I’ve read, it seems like this has been addressed with the DWS782, which is great.
2) Cut accuracy: I didn’t have to do any adjustments or tightening to the blade before using. It cut perfect out of the box. From what I’ve read, it’s possible that you will get one slightly off. I would suggest doing some test cuts before cutting something important. Adjustments are easy, but it’s nice when it’s perfect out of the box.
After confirming that I was not having either of the 2 common issues, I proceeded to start my work. So far, I’ve cut all sorts of material. Lumber up to 2×12”, ABS and PVC pipe (not a recommended use for a miter saw), some 1” plywood, and a little bit of trim. I’ve done mitered cuts, beveled cuts, and even a few compound cuts and it’s all been perfectly accurate and smooth, even with the stock blade. I’d be surprised if I ever have an issue with power with this saw.
Ultimately, as someone who will not use their saw every single day, I found it hard to justify the extra cost on other saws. The only feature missing is basically an LED light and I don’t perceive it to be lower quality than the DWS782. I am happy with the purchase and would recommend it.
Of course, a good place to get more reviews or to purchase is Amazon (affiliate link):
1) Interestingly, at the time of this review, this saw is not listed on the Dewalt website…
2) I’m writing this review from the perspective of someone who already knew they wanted a 12” Sliding Compound Miter Saw from a “professional grade” company. I don’t need to move my saw around a lot, so I wanted to get the biggest saw possible so I would never need to upgrade. If you don’t already know what kind of Miter Saw you need, then there are many, many, more options and price points.
3) Other weights and rough prices (Amazon or Home Depot):
Bosch: 77 pounds – $550
Ridgid: 70 pounds – $450
Milwaukee: 65 pounds – $712
Makita: 58 pounds – $598
-Please note, these prices are always changing.
*Ridgid is not a house brand in the truest sense. As far as I know, it is actually sold by TTI Group – which also sells Milwaukee and Ryobi. Home Depot is just the only place I’ve ever seen it sold in a Brick and Mortar store. It may be sold at other stores and I just haven’t seen it.