When I first laid eyes on the Dewalt DWS779, I wanted it for the same reason that any guy yearns for anything. It just looked too darn good to pass by. It's sleek. It's powerful. It's so gorgeous I'm already mentally moving it into my garage before I've even had the chance to look at its features and compare price points.

Forgive this word of warning to professional contractors and veteran hobbyists who know what they're doing, but in case you don't know better always make sure you do your due diligence. Buy this saw on a whim and never use it, and you'll lose face. Use it without taking the time to learn how it works and you just might lose some fingers.

My point is you should know what you need a saw like this to do before you take the plunge and purchase it. Luckily, I didn't slide this 70-pound bad boy into the bed of my truck before I carefully considered what I needed it for and how it stacks up against the competition. That investigation makes up the content of this review.

Dewalt DWS779: Well-built Designed

With Dewalt, you'll never need to worry about quality. The brand has earned a reputation for putting out tools that will last you for years. The Dewalt DWS779 is sturdy and has the well-built design you should expect. If you've used a saw like this before, then you'll be familiar with the design. If not, be sure to go through the manual first.

What It Can Do 

Any craftsmen have a need for boards cut to specific lengths for one project or another. Most of the cuts you'll need to make are simple crosscuts, which run vertically across the length of the board or other substrates. Occasionally, you'll need to cut at an angle, like if you're building the edges of a doorframe.

Angular cuts are called miter cuts, and they give the saws in this review their name. What's especially handy about the Dewalt DWS779 is that it's got a big blade you can use to make long cuts. Making a 2"x16" cut is no problem for this model, and there are times when that really saves the day.

Precision To Save Time 

One of the things I was impressed by was just how precise the cuts were. Without precise cuts, you'll end up spending hours sanding each piece until it's perfect. With the Dewalt DWS779, none of that is necessary.

It's also got a dual bevel which allows you to create some beautiful crown molding. You can make compound miter cuts without having to adjust the substrate you're working with. Just turn it naturally from side to side. If you've performed many crown molding jobs before, you know just what a time saver this is.

Product Specs

The Dewalt DWS779 comes with a 12" rotating blade. The engine has 15 amps which means it's powerful, but you don't have to compensate for heavy vibrations. This is a huge part of what sets this saw apart from its competitors. You're going to want both power and control, and the DWS779 delivers. It goes through a piece of wood like a knife through butter.

You'll need to be near an outlet since it's a corded model. The dimensions are 2 x 23 x 8.5, in case you want to get a sense of how big it is on your worktable. While you're cutting, you'll need to hold onto the grip. Some grips come with padding, but the DWS779 doesn't. Cut one board, and you'll never notice it. Cut a few dozens and you just might.

For Protection

Just like any other miter saw, the DWS779 has a blade guard to protect your fingers while the blade is spinning. Not a selling point, since it's just a standard feature, but I'm happy to report I found no issue with the guard after dozens of uses. Just remember to never take the guard off for any reason. Getting the job done quickly should always come second. Safety comes first.

Now whether you're sawing lumber or some other substrate, this thing will kick up dust. The dust catcher is designed to keep any dust from getting kicked up into the air. It doesn't. That's not an issue unique to the Dewalt DWS779 alone. The fact is that most dust catchers on similar models let some dust escape. In a perfect world, they would all work great. Oh, well.

Pricing 

Since it's no longer the newest model offered by Dewalt, the DWS779 has come down in price since it was originally released. The DWS780 is a fine piece of machinery to be sure, but I feel that for the money the DWS779 is a better value. I've seen it priced at roughly $350, which makes it a good value for what you get.

However, it's the most expensive model of those reviewed. It's got more features than some, but the price tag isn't a strong selling point. The price may continue to fall as new models by Dewalt are introduced. My fingers are crossed that this will happen.

How it Compares

Here are a few other models to compare the Dewalt DWS779 to so you get a sense of how it measures up. 

Dewalt DWS779



Ease of Use                       5 stars

Assembly Time                3 stars

Design Quality                5 stars

Warranty                         3 stars

Hitachi C10FCE2

At around $170USD, the Hitachi has got the Dewalt DWS779 beat on price. It's also got a longer warranty than the DWS779, 5 years instead of 3. I was impressed with the value for a low price, and I've heard a lot of good things from craftsman friends of mine who have brought these along on job sites.

The Hitachi has got 15 amps of power, and you've got an adjustable miter range of 52 degrees. I found the miter adjuster to be a little clunky compared with other models that I used, but once you've got it in position, it will hold firm without wobbling. Just like the DWS779, I found the dust collector on the Hitachi came up short. Dust goes everywhere, unfortunately.

Blade

The standard blade is smaller, just 10" instead of 12". In practice, that means you can make a 6" cut in a piece of wood, tile, whatever it is you're cutting. If you want to cut make longer cuts, you're out of luck with this one. It's best for smaller jobs.

One thing I loved about this model is that I didn't have to worry about hurting my back while moving it. It's considerably lighter than the DWS779 at only 26 lbs. Very portable and light. This means you don't have to worry about carrying it upstairs or around hazards on the work site.


Ease of Use                                 5 stars

Assembly Time                          4 stars

Design Quality                          4 stars

Warranty                                   5 stars

Evolution Power Tools RAGE3

One of the unique features of the Evolution Rage 3 is that it requires the user to hold down two triggers in the grip for the blade to activate. The bottom trigger allows the user to pull the blade into position, and the upper trigger starts the blade spinning.

The purpose is a better safety, but I found it to be pretty cumbersome. If you don't press the buttons firmly enough, your blade might suddenly stop. Not only that, but it becomes uncomfortable to hold down both triggers if you're cutting boards for hours on end.

One of the advantages I noticed the Rage 3 has over the Dewalt DWS779 is that it has a laser line that helps you to cut precisely. The laser makes it especially easy for you to see exactly where your blade will cut before your blade starts spinning. That's a handy feature, especially since proper measuring is key. Remember that old workman's adage, "measure twice, cut once."

I found I had no problem cutting into depths of 11" or more with the Rage 3 no matter what the material. You can cut through metal as easily as wood and the blade remains strong and dependable. The Rage 3 has a bevel though not a dual bevel like the DWS779. You can still cut at an angle without issue, but it's not going to be as smooth and easy.

At roughly $200, it's considerably cheaper than the Dewalt DWS779, though it's a little pricier than the Hitachi, and it's heavier at 39 lbs. It's got a warranty of 3 years, which isn't bad. Though some others in this review have up to 5-year warranties.


Ease of Use                         3 stars

Assembly Time                  3 stars

Design Quality                   4 stars

Warranty                            3 stars

Homecraft H26-260L

If you're looking for a quality power tool, you're not going to be left wanting with the Homecraft H26-260L. It makes this model economical, but it also gives the bigger miter saws a run for their money.

The Homecraft uses 14 amps. Compare that with the 15 amps that the DWS779 boasts and it's probably too close to notice. When it comes to price, the Homecraft is the clear winner. At less than $90 retail it's less than one third the price of the Dewalt DWS779.

So you might be asking yourself what features that the Dewalt has over the Homecraft to justify the higher price. For starters, the blade size on the Homecraft is smaller. It's 10" rather than 12". The discrepancy in size might not matter unless it does.

Strike A Cord

A key difference that's easy to overlook at first is that the Homecraft H26-260 is battery-powered.
For some power tools being cordless is a real advantage. There are definitely times when it comes in handy like when you need to work somewhere, that isn't close to an outlet.

On the flip side, it means that the battery could die at any time. If you've got a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, having to stop to change batteries can be a real pain. Also, consider how often you'll need to change batteries if you work with a lot of volumes. If instead you only work on projects sporadically, then you might go to dust off your Homecraft only to find the old batteries have died.


Ease of Use             3 stars

Assembly Time      4 stars

Design Quality       5 stars

Warranty                5 stars

 

Conclusion

DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12-Inch (DWS779)
  • Powerful 15 amp, 3, 800 RPM motor delivers extended power and durability
  • Exclusive back fence design cuts up to 2x16 dimensional lumber at 90 degree and 2x12 at 45 degree
  • Super efficient dust collection system captures over 75 percent of dust generated

There are a lot of merits to the Dewalt DWS779 for those craftspeople who know how to use them. If you're doing a whole lot of cutting on long pieces of wood, or you simply want to have a power you can trust to do the job, then the DWS779 will work for you.

However, it's not the most cost-effective option, especially for those hobbyists who don't need especially long pieces of wood for projects. If all you need is a few boards cut 2"x4", and are making mostly cross cuts, then you could probably get away with using a cheaper model.

Overall Rating

My overall rating of the Dewalt DWS779 is 3 out of 5 stars. It's an excellent piece of equipment, and it's going to look great in your garage, or wherever you use it. But unless you're a serious builder with specific needs, you can probably get away with getting a cheaper model that will be more portable and can still accomplish the same tasks.

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