DWS709 vs DWS780: Which DeWalt 12 Inch Miter Saw is Best?

DeWalt makes some of the finest miter saws in the business, and they manufacture quite a few different models. Even seasoned professionals can sometimes have a hard time narrowing down the field and choosing the best tool for their needs.

Today, we’re going to pit two of DeWalt’s premier miter saws head to head to see which saw would make the best addition to your arsenal of tools. Read on to learn more about the battle of DWS709 vs DWS780.

Why You Need a Miter Saw

Miter saws are one of the most useful woodworking tools around, and they’re critical for making precision cuts in molding and finish work for your projects.

Plus, they also provide similar functionality to other important power saws. Except for the table saw, a miter saw may be the most useful saw you can buy.

If you do any sort of precision finish work, a quality miter saw is a tool you need to your collection.

DWS709 vs DWS780: What Separates These Two Saws?

These two saws look rather similar at first glance, but underneath the hood, there are some significant differences that separate the DWS709 from its state-of-the-art cousin, the DWS780.

First, let’s discuss the similarities between these two saws.

Both the DWS709 and DWS780 are compound miter saws equipped with 12” blades. They’re also equipped with the same motor. It’s a 3,800 RPM 15-amp powerhouse that’s capable of cutting through whatever wood you through at it like a hot knife through butter.

That’s where the similarities end.

One of the critical differences between these saws is the cut capacity. The DWS709 can handle

9 ½” horizontally or 4 ½” on vertical cuts. It can cut nested crown molding as tall as 5 ½”. For back fence design cuts, this saw can handle 2×14 at 90-degrees and 2×10 at 45-degrees.

If you already have some experience with miter saws, these figures may seem a little small to you. That’s because the cut capacity of the DWS709 is considerably smaller than most commercial quality saws.

In the other corner, the DWS780 features the standard capacities you’d expect from a high-end miter saw. The DWS780 makes quick work of wood up to 13 ¾” horizontally or 6 ¾” vertically. It cuts nested crown as tall as 7 ½”. For back fence design cuts, it will rip through 2×16 at 90-degrees or 2×12 at 45-degrees.

Another major difference between these saws is the lighting system. The DWS709 has no lighting, whereas the DWS780 makes use of DeWalt’s state-of-the-art XPS system.

While most saws in this category are equipped with a laser for alignment, the XPS system takes it a step further, using a light that casts a dark shadow which is a massive help for cross-cut alignment.

With the DWS709, you’re literally in the dark when it comes to onboard lighting.

Another small difference is in the quality of the included blade. The DWS709 is equipped with a lower-end 32T blade whereas the DWS780 is fitted with a quality 60T blade right out of the package.

Finally, there’s the issue of price. As you would imagine with it’s much higher capacity and the inclusion of the XPS system, the DWS780 is considerably more expensive than the DWS709. The list price on the DWS780 is nearly $200 higher than the DWS709.

Which Saw Should I Get?

Fortunately, there are enough significant differences between these two saws, so it should be easy for you to determine which one is best for your shop.

The first consideration to make is the cut capacity. If you don’t see yourself tackling lots of finish work with your saw, or if you’ll only be using it occasionally, the DWS709 is likely sufficient for what you need.

Meanwhile, if you’re going to be doing some heavy-duty finish work regularly, you’ll probably want to spring for the DWS780.

Also, the XPS system is worth considering. Contractors and hobbyists alike have been glowing about how much more precise the XPS system has made their work. Again, this is something you may be able to overlook if you’re only using the saw once in a while, but serious pros will likely want all of the extra features that the DWS780 provides.

Overview of the DWS709

The DWS709 is one of DeWalt’s most popular miter saws. It’s equipped with many industry standard features, and it has the same heavyweight motor that you’ll find on DeWalt’s other, more expensive miter saws.

While it offers no LED lighting and a significantly smaller cut capacity compared to the DWS780, it’s still an ideal saw for light-duty projects or occasional use.

This saw features a powerful 3,800 RPM 15-amp motor. It has a stainless-steel miter detent plate and a cam lock for accuracy and ease of adjustment. It’s compact and lightweight, which makes it perfect for moving from job to job.

What We Like

  • Same motor as the heavyweight models
  • Impressive build quality
  • Affordable

What Could Be Better

  • Limited capacity
  • No onboard lighting

Overview of the DWS780

Meanwhile, the DWS780 improves upon all the areas where the DWS709 falls a bit short.

This saw features the same motor as the DWS709, and it’s also relatively light and compact for a professional miter saw. The stainless-steel miter detent plate is also quite similar.

However, the increased capacity and the addition of the XPS lighting system set this saw apart, making it an ideal choice for serious woodworkers, and anyone who likes to keep a garage full of cutting-edge tools.

What We Like

  • Increased capacity
  • XPS lighting system
  • Better stock saw blade

What Could Be Better

  • Significantly more expensive than the DWS709

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYcLPyRNhpE&w=560&h=315]

Final Verdict

When it comes to the battle of DWS709 vs DWS780, there’s certainly a clear winner. The DWS780 is the more capable and technologically advanced saw.

That said, it may not be the best option for you if you’re only looking for a quality miter saw for occasional use. In that case, you may wish to go for the DWS709.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for top-of-the-line features and functionality, and the cut capacity you’d expect from a professional level saw, then opting for the DWS780 is practically a no-brainer.

Which saw is your top pick? Let us know in the comments.

About Russ Thompson

Hey I'm Russ and I have been a contractor for over 20 years. I know what the cost of having the right tools and materials for the job. My passion for woodworking and helping others by workshops in my wood shop. I have beginner classes all the way up expert trade classes. Check out my bio for more.

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