If you’re like me, you prefer to do as much around the house yourself as you can. However, if you’re like me, you’ve also made the mistake of trying to cut trim, such as baseboards, or decorative trim for something like a bookcase or picture frame, with a jigsaw or a circle saw. And, if you’re like me, you learned the hard way that you couldn’t get that nice, professionally finished look you were going for. So now what? Get a miter saw like a DeWALT DWS779. A large part of the reason I’m writing this DeWALT DWS779 review is that I’ve used this saw extensively in my own home improvement projects.
I have a finished basement. Last year, I had to tear an entire room out to fix one of the foundation walls. When that repair was complete, and it came time to rebuild the room, I wanted a professional look to all the molding I was putting up. I had a small, cheap miter saw that wasn’t doing the job, so I bought a DeWALT DWS779. There are a lot of miter saws out there; this is but one. However, if you’re shopping for a good miter saw, then our DeWALT DWS779 review will give you the information you’ll need to make the best choice for yourself.
What Is a Miter Saw?
A miter saw is a type of power saw that allows you to make clean angled cuts in a variety of materials. Carpenters, woodworkers, and do-it-yourselfers all use miter saws to cut molding, frames, wooden edges, and more. Miter saws are how you get those smooth corners on your baseboards, door and window frames, chair rails, and crown molding. They’re how you get the seamless 45-degree corners on even the most ornate picture frames.
A basic miter saw has a table on which you place your boards. It’s marked with degree measurements and usually has some stops at common angles to make cutting at those angles easier. The saw’s table swivels from side to side so you can cut at a variety of angles. Since not everything requires a 45-degree cut, miter saws typically allow you to make cuts anywhere between 1 degree and 60 degrees. They’re built in such a way that you move the saw blade around your boards, rather than having to move your boards around the saw blade, as you do with a table saw, or a circular saw.
Compound miter saws not only swivel from side to side horizontally but also tilt vertically in a single direction, usually to 45 degrees. It allows you to cut bevels in your wood in addition to standard angles. As such, you can cut things like crown molding, and molding that requires more than a single cut (for instance, a piece of baseboard shoe that’s not just going around a corner, but up a staircase as well.)
What is a DeWALT DWS779 miter saw?
DeWALT is a well-known power-tool manufacturer. They make everything from nail guns to power saws, to drills, electric screwdrivers, and more. A DeWALT DWS779 miter saw is what’s known as a double-bevel compound miter saw. It swivels from side-to-side and tilts vertically in both directions. It also slides back and forth, giving it a function similar to a circular saw. That allows you to cut wider boards with it.
DeWALT has discontinued this particular miter saw. However, they have a new model, the DWS780, that’s virtually identical to the DWS779.
DeWALT’s DWS780 is the same size as the DWS779 and is just as powerful and accurate with all the same features.
The DeWALT DWS780 uses a 12-inch diameter blade, stands 19 inches high, and sits 24 inches in width. You can use it to cut boards up to 6 3/4 inches thick, and up to 16 inches wide, with up to a 60-degree cut to the right and 50 degrees to the left. It’s corded, so you’ll need to make sure you have an extension cord and a suitable socket available in which to plug it.
The table comes with 10 “stops,” meaning there are 10 places at which the swivel will automatically lock. Those stops are at the most commonly used angles, including 15 degrees, 22.5 degrees, and 45 degrees. The bevel tilt goes up to 45 degrees to both the right and left, and it comes with a dust bag that will catch up to 75 percent of your sawdust.
The whole saw weighs 56 pounds. DeWALT calls this a “lightweight design,” however, this isn’t a small tool and that 56 pounds is heavier than it sounds. Keep that in mind if you consider buying this tool. The blade arm does lock down for transport, though, which makes carrying the saw a little less awkward.
DeWALT DWS779 Review: What Do Customers Have to Say?
If you have anything more than a passing familiarity with power tools, you’ve probably heard of DeWALT. Do they have the quality they claim? What do other people say in a DeWALT DWS779 review?
Customers who have bought this saw on Amazon say that it cuts very well, and is accurate right out of the box. Many of them use this saw and its counterpart, the DWS780, for everything from trim to building cabinets. Several are do-it-yourselfers who recommend this saw for other DIYers because of how easy it is to use. Customers also like how quiet it is compared to other miter saws, although it’s still loud enough that you need ear protection.
One customer even said in their DeWALT DWS779 review that they’ve used several other brands of miter saws and that the DeWALT “blows them all away.” They go on to say that it doesn’t care what kind of wood you’re cutting, it goes through like a knife through butter (this is something to which I can personally attest.)
People who had problems mostly received defective products. Some customers received saws with broken dust catchers, while a few had issues with broken or defective saw blade attachments.
A couple of people had an issue with the fact that it doesn’t have a laser sight or even a built-in LED light. You have problems with shadows if you only have overhead lighting with which to work. That can reduce the accuracy of your cuts.
Overall, customers on Amazon give the DeWALT DWS779 4.8 out of 5.0 stars. The DWS780 only gets 4.4 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon, despite having many of the same opinions from customers.
Even though DeWALT discontinued the DWS779, you can still find it on multiple websites. Also, since this is a dual-bevel sliding miter saw, it’s not the cheapest saw you’ll find. You can find it at Amazon, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. It costs between $325 and $450.
You should also know what the DWS780 sells for since the DWS779 will soon become difficult to find. Despite being virtually the same saw, the DWS780 is considerably more expensive. Lowe’s, Home Depot and Amazon all sell it for between $500 and $600.
How We Reviewed
For our DeWALT DWS779 review, we went to DeWALT’s website to gather information on specifications for this saw and its counterpart, the DWS780. Our pricing information for this DeWALT DWS779 review came from websites such as Home Depot, Amazon, and Lowe’s, as did our customer review information. We used manufacturer websites to gather information on DeWALT’s competitors, and again used Home Depot and Amazon for customer information and pricing.
DeWALT DWS779 Review: How Does This Miter Saw Compare to the Competition?
Miter saws aren’t exactly rare. If it’s a power tool manufacturer, chances are it offers at least one miter saw model. While the DeWALT saw is a good saw, there are other popular brands you should know about, too.
Ryobi is exclusive to Home Depot. They make so many power tools that it’s impossible not to notice them in Home Depot’s power tool aisles. Of course, they manufacture several different miter saws. Ryobi’s P3650B is their version of the DeWALT DWS779 and DWS780. This saw has a laser sight, making it much easier to cut your wood accurately. However, it only turns 50 degrees to the right and 45 degrees to the left. In other words, it doesn’t have the same range of angles that the DeWALT saw does. However, its bevel tilt goes to 45 degrees to both the right and left, making it comparable to the DeWALT saws. Its sliding feature is also comparable to DeWALT’s saws, enabling you to cut boards up to 12 inches wide. Also, unlike the DeWALT saws, this one is cordless.
Home Depot sells this particular miter saw for between $300 and $400, so it’s on par with DeWALT’s DWS779. However, the fact that it’s a Home Depot brand means it’s cheaper than DeWALT’s current model, the DWS780. Many customers feel it’s worth the price, in part because it’s cordless; they like that they don’t have to worry about carrying extension cords around. However, it still only has 4.3 stars out of 5.0 on Home Depot’s website. Customers complain that it’s underpowered, with some who feel that’s because it runs on a battery. Others say it seems to be prone to early wear and tear. A few complain that the laser sight doesn’t work correctly. On the whole, this is a good saw, but only if you’re doing a little bit of light work at a time.
Another well-known maker of power tools, Makita makes a dual-bevel, sliding miter saw as well. Like the Ryobi, but unlike the DeWALT, it has a laser sight for more precise cutting. You can turn this saw 52 degrees to the left and 60 degrees to the right, like the DeWALT saw, so you have a greater range of angles with which to work. You get a 45-degree bevel tilt to both sides as well.
Unlike DeWALT and Ryobi, Makita’s miter saw features what’s known as a “soft-start” mechanism. That gives you a smoother and quieter startup than other miter saws on the market. It also has electronic speed control, so the blade is less likely to slow down while you cut, which gives you greater control. Makita is slightly superior to DeWALT in this manner.
The Makita’s miter saw is available for between $350 and $400, so it’s comparable to DeWALT’s DWS779 and is cheaper than DeWALT’s DWS780. People who have purchased this saw like its smooth start and cutting mechanisms, and its ease of use, particularly with bevel cuts. However, this doesn’t seem to be a popular saw. Customers’ chief complaint about it seems to be that the angle markers are inaccurate. Others say that this saw wears out quickly, or comes with defects right from the start. One person said that Makita doesn’t make replacement parts for this saw anymore. It only gets 3.8 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon.
DeWALT DWS779 Review: The Pros and Cons
Is your head swimming yet? If so, we’ve summarized the significant pros and cons to the DeWALT DWS779 and DWS780 miter saws.
- DeWALT makes high-quality power tools
- Powerful enough to cut many different types of hardwoods and softwoods, as well as composite materials
- Never runs out of energy because it has a power cord
- Cuts are smooth with the proper blades
- Degree markers are accurate
- You can buy DeWALT from a variety of places
- It is a heavy saw, despite what DeWALT says
- Attaching and removing saw blades is harder than it needs to be
- No LED lighting or laser sight, so you need extra lights around you to work more easily
- Owner’s manual isn’t clear on things like how to unlock the blade arm
- Not cordless, so you need an outlet nearby or an extension cord to use it
- The DWS780, which replaces the DWS779, is considerably more expensive than comparable miter saws
DeWALT DWS779 Review: The Bottom Line
With all that said, the truth is that the DeWALT DWS779 and DWS780 are good miter saws. I personally feel that my DWS779 made cutting all the molding and trim for my basement far easier than it otherwise would have been. The change between my cheap old saw and the DeWALT saw was like night and day. In my personal opinion, the DeWALT DWS779 is good if you’re looking for a quality saw.
But this isn’t about just my personal opinion. These saws aren’t without their faults and, for some, those faults are dealbreakers. Because of that, you need to weigh your decision carefully. If you feel the pros outweigh the cons, then we can absolutely recommend DeWALT’s miter saw. But it’s not the only quality saw out there, so consider all the information in this DeWALT DWS779 review carefully when deciding whether to buy it.