Try saying, “12-inch sliding dual bevel saw,” three times fast. Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Well, that is the tool class we are reviewing in this piece. Today, we’ll compare two DeWalt models in this category, the DWS779, and the DWS780, and, in the end, give you our opinion on which of the two are best for you.
Sliding bevel saws combine features from “chop” and radial arm saws, producing a tool that is more capable than the chop and more portable than the radial arm saw. The combination lets you leave the stock stationary and move the saw over it to perform your cuts, bevels, and miters.
Who does this type of saw appeal to? Contractors for sure, especially those who work with trim molding. Homeowners and DIYers are also prospective users, again when working with molding and projects that require cuts other than vertically at 90o to the length of the material. The true utility of these saws shines through when you have to install large, highly detailed crown molding. A successful installation requires precise compound bevels and miters in material that is extremely expensive, and where the slightest mistake shows up like a fly in the pudding.
Our recommendation is to seek out and buy the DWS779. The DeWalt website doesn’t list it anymore, but it is still available in retail channels, both online and in brick and mortar stores. Why do we give the DWS779 the nod? Price. If you find a DWS779, it is likely to be quite a bit less expensive than its successor, the DWS780.
These two saws are identical except for one thing. The DWS780 comes with the DeWalt alternative to laser-cut-marking, the Cutline LED Worklight. Otherwise, every single characteristic of the two saws is identical. We grabbed the instruction manuals off the Internet and compared the specifications for the two tools. We also looked at the illustrations of the features for each. All the writer for the DWS780 manual needed to do was replace “DWS780” with “DWS779” and insert the instructions for the Cutline LED.
As mentioned above, the DWS779 generally shows up at a lower price than the DWS780, and by a pretty significant amount. If the price was closer, the Cutline LED might tip us in favor of the DWS780. In our opinion, this feature is not worth the price difference.
The DeWalt Cutline LED is the company’s take on the more common laser marker. With the Cutline LED, a bright LED projects a shadow of where the blade will cut. It is promoted as superior to lasers in that it is always properly positioned, whereas you can knock lasers out of alignment.
To illustrate the point that both tools’ capacities are identical, we have included the specifications from their respective manuals below.
Table 1: DWS779 Specifications, Page 4, Instruction Manual
Table 2: DWS780 Specifications, Page 4, Instruction Manual
With both saws, you receive a blade, a blade wrench, a DW7053 dust bag, and a material clamp.
This section will be brief, given the near-identical specs of the two saws.
And for the DWS780:
Our research into what owners of both tools think about them reveals that both are ranked highly by the majority of their owners. Given the reputation DeWalt has for quality, this doesn’t come as a surprise to us.
Positive attributes include excellent accuracy right out of the box. Users put their saws to work immediately and found the accuracy to be spot on. Even though this appears to be the case, we always recommend checking accuracy before making cuts in $50/linear foot crown molding.
The marking gauges are visible and durable, with positive detents for the more commonly used angles which simplify setting up your saw for making cuts. The double bevel is another area that users find valuable in that they can leave the stock in place and move the saw. This allows greater accuracy, not having to readjust and clamp the stock, and reducing the time needed to make complex cuts.
Power is the last area of satisfaction we’ll report. The 15 A, belt-driven motor provides power to cut through the toughest wood, knots and all.
Every rose has its thorns, and for this duo, users express dissatisfaction when it comes to dust collection. The bag system does not seem to be very effective. But, in our experience, dust collection is a bugaboo for many tool manufacturers. Warped fences also crop up as an issue. It’s best to check the fences and base for square before getting started with your saw.
This is a pretty easy call: save your money and buy a DWS779 if you can find it. The Cutline LED feature is nice, and many folks say they like the way it works. But, for the difference in price, we can’t recommend paying more to get it, at least not that much more. Both saws offer power, a rich feature set, and the accuracy you will want when tackling complex cuts in any material.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!