The Dewalt DWS779 12″ sliding miter saw is perhaps the most popular miter saw on the market right now. It offers most of the same features and capabilities as Dewalt’s flagship DWS780 sliding miter saw, but at a fraction of the price.
Dewalt’s DWS780 12″ sliding miter saw is regularly priced at $600, and the DWS779 regularly sells for around $349.
Here are the main differences – the DWS779 does not feature crown stops or a built-in XPS LED shadow cutline indicator system.
I have been told by readers that there are conversion kits available for adding the LED shadow cutline indicator system to the DWS779.
Over the recent holiday shopping season, I noticed that Dewalt has made minor changes to the DWS779 miter saw.
The new extension handles look to be the biggest change to the DWS779 saw. I don’t recall if a work clamp came with the saw previously, but one is certainly included now.
I noted that what is described in parts breakdowns as a “stop lever” was removed between iterations.
I asked Dewalt about the update, and was told that changes were made due to IEC regulatory updates that went into effect in 2019.
Here are all of the changes Dewalt shared with us about the DWS779 12″ sliding miter saw:
- Added extension handles
- Lower guard adjustment (must touch table during transport)
- Guard between the table/base
- Rail lock link (not rotating stop lever), this is used for ideal baseboard positioning
Safety and regulatory changes are not uncommon, and Dewalt has been known to introduce small changes and even upgrades to their power tools over time.
Here is the kit:
Have thought about getting it but have not pushed the button yet.
The only real changes I would like to see would be:
1) A rail-system that requires less rear clearance for the saw.
2) A soft-start motor
Oh, and a single work clamp did come with the previous models.
You nailed the changes.
I’d add one: better dust collection would be nice as well, but it would be third on my list behind rails and soft-start.
Rear clearance will be the #1 item on my list the next time I purchase a miter saw.
The older models came with a single work clamp, but the design isn’t spectacular and it struggled to hold things square to the fence. The extension handles are a nice touch; does anyone know if they are flush with the cutting table to act as short extension wings?
For the price, especially if you can catch one of the rare clearance deals at HD for $199 or less, the 799 is hard to beat. I replaced my aging radial arm saw with one of these a couple years ago for materials breakdown and it has served me quite well.
I believe the handles are supposed to be flush, but there is no way to adjust them. I’ve only really used mine as handles.
I have a 779 that’s a few years old now – mine came with the work clamp, but it’s not a great design and I’ve rarely used it. It’s probably my least favorite part of an otherwise awesome tool.
Does the new version has the trigger safety lock like the new DWS780? The old version does not.
A friend of mine has the DWS780; I found the trigger safety to be very uncomfortable (it’s not flush with the trigger) and really took a lot of manipulation to work as any small amount of sawdust seemed to make it stick.
Yes, the new rev of the 779 has a trigger safety
I think there’s actually several different revisions of the DWS779. I just picked up an open box one from Tools Direct last month for $240.
Mine has the handles and clamp, I also noticed the bevel lock is a plastic 3 wing nut, whereas the previous revision is cast metal.
I thought it was officially discontinued. I know Home Depot has cleared out stock.
I had also read that this model was being discontinued last year. I suspect that there were issues with implementing changes for the new regulatory requirements that have since been resolved?
Retail stores might clear out seasonal inventory at the end of the holiday shopping season. I have not seen any indication that the model is being discontinued or replaced anytime soon. If it is being replaced, such changes usually happen ahead of Father’s Day or the winter holiday shopping season.
wonder if that means an update to the 780 base too.
Meanwhile I’m still on the look out for a new mitre saw and haven’t made up my mind yet. So this caught my attention too.
The handles appear to be flush to the cut deck – per the one I looked at in store. But they are plastic coated so if that wore down, broke off – it would be a minor problem. I think they do come off though – if need be.
I like the new hold down design or I think I will. seems useful but I wouldn’t use it for every cut. just like the saw I have now
All in all seems ok.
It sure would be nice if those new extension handles were available as retrofits for older versions and at a reasonable price.
The one I bought November 2019 had those updates. It’s been good. The XPS LED add on is about $70 and an hour of your time.
I finally pulled the trigger on ordering this.
Have seen where people installed it such that the light was on whenever the saw is plugged in and not just when the trigger is pulled. I think I would like that better.
I installed the light kit on my 779. There is a switch in the kit that allows the light to be always on. Mine only works when the switch is on. It is not activated by the trigger.
Also the new plastic extensions are not flush with the deck. They are just carry handles as far as I know. They cannot be adjusted in any way.
I just bought the 779 the ext handles are flush with the deck. And they do also come rt off with a wing nut cuz u have to put them on when u buy the saw . I don’t believe they will wear down being tht they r a hard rubber. If they did it would take less then 5 min to remove them. I love it and other then the laser not much else is diff then the 780
My understanding is…if you buy the shadow light mod kit and install it, you will be voiding warranty….if that is a concern
If it breaks you take it off before you send it in. Problem solved.
Koko The Talking Ape
Slightly off topic: Anybody know why they don’t put the sliding bearings on the motor housing and fix the rails to the base, instead of the other way around? If the rails were fixed, they wouldn’t extend a foot to the back and make the thing unwieldy to use in a shop.
There are many fixed rail miter saws out there. I just wonder why they all aren’t like that.
I assume having them fixed creates some limitations on the front side – which for a portable saw may be more of an issue
Could also be that that design puts the guide assembly above the rails, which in turn means that both the rail and guide assembly would need to be even sturdier to match the same precision and accuracy (which adds cost and weight). With that change, more base weight would be required to balance the saw in all positions – more weight makes it more expensive to build and less portable.
Since it’s portable, rear clearance probably a less significant feature for the target user.
Koko The Talking Ape
By “guide assembly,” do you mean the sliding bearings and sled that ride on the rails? Sure, they have to be above the rails, but the fixed rail mount, which seems to be made of cast iron, then moves below the rails. I’m not sure which is heavier. Regardless, I imagine the rails and everything are specced to handle at least double the actual loads put on them, regardless of whether the rails move or not. And anyway, as I told Tom D, I haven’t noticed that fixed rail saws are any more expensive than moving rail saws.
You are right, rear clearance probably doesn’t matter as much for a portable user, but I don’t see any real life downside to having fixed rails, so why not get the greater compactness? Again, fixed rail saws are not rare.
My guess is that they will, eventually.
Dewalt makes great stuff, but bleeding-edge innovators they are not.
Koko The Talking Ape
The fixed rail saws don’t seem to have any functional limitations, compared to moving rail. And my impression was they weren’t even any more expensive (leaving Festool aside.) I could be wrong.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’m sorry Tom, I didn’t finish. Do you know of any functional limitations in fixed rail saws? Crosscut capacity, tilt capacity, anything like that?
The only thing I can think of is potential intersection with a deep piece of wood (think 4×4 or larger). But I’ve not encountered it myself.
Maybe there’s a balance issue to consider?
Exactly, I bought a saw that works like the DeWalt and it’s a pain to roll the table away from the wall every time I want to use it. I wish I’d bought something else.
The Den of Tools made a video about this specific subject in response to people saying that the dws779 is the same as the dws780
I’d recommend everyone that read Stuart’s whole post, to watch this video , it turns out there are quite a few different “types” of these Dewalt Saws
I don’t know why they talk about Harbor Freight saws for maybe half the video, but they basically believe that, based on parts diagrams, more recent revisions of the DWS780 have been “cheapened” to closely match parts diagrams of the DWS779.
That’s purely speculative and hard to prove from a parts diagram.
The DWS780 has been on the market for 9+ years. https://toolguyd.com/dewalt-dws780-sliding-miter-saw-review/
Changes are bound to happen – that doesn’t mean the DWS780 has been cheapened.
Before the DWS779, there was the DWS782. https://toolguyd.com/dewalt-dws782-12-sliding-miter-saw/
This is the main difference, according to Dewalt, and the reason why:
The DWS780 is regularly $600. Sometimes there are “buy the saw, get a $199 miter saw stand for free” promos.
The DWS779 is $349, but it’s usually widely available during holiday shopping seasons and then in short supply during off-season months.
If every home center in the country stocks a couple of DWS779 miter saws to sell during peak holiday season promos, what is that sales volume going to be compared to DWS780 sales during the same period?
There could be more subtle differences between the DWS779 and DWS780 miter saws, or they could very well be mainly the same.
Can XPS lighting kit parts convert the $349 DWS779 into the $600 DWS780 as parts sellers claim? Maybe you could come close.
But that DWS780 saw isn’t a $600 saw, and that’s not just because a YouTuber says it’s now made with cheaper parts based on what they see in the service diagram.
Initial development and production costs are spread over a longer period of time. Maybe a lot of the DWS779 and DWS780 parts are made on shared equipment, with DWS780 orders as-needed and DWS779 saws built in whenever capacity allows for it, to build up quantities so they’re ready to ship to retailers for holiday season promos.
Dewalt could probably have lowered the price on the DWS780 by now, but why? If you want it, you’ll spend $600. If you wait for a “buy the saw, get a free miter saw stand” promo, you’re still spending $600.
A lot of times during the year, you don’t have the option to buy the DWS779, and so you can only buy the DWS780.
Maybe the linear rails are a lower grade. Maybe the bearings are a lower grade. What comes pre-installed in a saw might not be exactly the same as what is listed in parts diagrams.
The only way to tell how the DWS779 differs from the DWS780 is to acquire fresh models that are built or shipped from Stanley Black & Decker at approximately the same time, and analyze them. First, performance has to be characterized, and then they have to be disassembled and compared piece by piece.
Even if a lower grade, how can the price be 100% more? I mean, good vs best bearings are maybe a $1-$2 more. And to offer more detents on the base for mouldings… that can’t justify that cost difference.
I don’t have this model, but did have to fix one, and find out the commutator was burnt, and Dewalt no longer supplies that part (it was 8yr old saw so… time to replace I guess is justified?). Owner got a cordless dewalt miter (smaller but worked well enough) and now wishes Dewalt had made a 12″ cordless. We shall see.
The Harbor Freight Bear is entertaining but Stu does better reviews.
I bought a 779 a month or two ago, and it appears to be the newer unit.
Haven’t bothered to attach the clamp or the extension handles. The clamp is a joke, and I honestly don’t understand why there isn’t a 3rd party that offers a good clamp.
I’ve heard thats the festiol kapex clamp will work
Thanks – I’ll check it out.
Maybe a little off topic, but their 7¹/⁴ SCM saw could have used an update years ago! It needs to bevel both ways. A 10″ slide would make it much better, too.
I switched brands to Milwaukee, as their 7¹/⁴ was so much better, and I got it for $350 with extra batteries. My Bosch axial slide at 90# stays in the shop, but the little red saw goes everywhere at 25#.
People have been asking for an update to the 7 1/4″ 20v for a while (brushless and dual bevel would be nice). They also have a 10″ brushless dual bevel 54v (single FlexVolt battery) model available in the UK/Australia, DCS727.
I would be happy with either an updated 7 1/4″ or the 10″ DCS727 coming to NA. Preferably the latter.
Bought a dws779 originally for $349 but returned it shortly after when I found a deal for a dws780 for $499. If I had bought the led showdow line retrofit kit for the dws779 it would’ve been only like a $60 difference between the two and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of having to install it myself.
Grabbed one for $199 last year at my Home Depot. Doesn’t get a ton of use, but when it does, it’s great. Wish the back wasn’t so bulky though. Have bookmarked the work light upgrade, and am definitely considering it for the future.
When I lost my job, I sold the Kapex and inevitably picked up what turns out to be the “new and improved” 779 for $200. Dead nuts out of the box and all of the features I could possibly ask for. I immediately added the shadow light mechanism (“xps”?) and a rebranded Leitz blade. Dust collection is good enough. 12” means I rarely use the sliding function. Now that I know those are supposed to be handles and not support extensions I can stop saying it came with crappy non adjustable extensions that aren’t parallel to the table. 😂
Update: installed the XPS system on my DWS779 last night and it is even easier than it used to be.
You do not have to cut and crimp anything, which means you can return it to stock very easily for resale or warranty work.
Here is the link with the new install video:
Yep, just did the same. Great little kit. Ended up with the equivalent of a 780 for under $300.
So if I go to a dewalt repair facility and have them put a light on my 779 does that void the warranty? If not why cant I?
I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to that.
I do know that there’s a photography tripod head, where replacing the clamp voids the warranty unless it’s done at an authorized service center, presumably because users can cause damage if they’re not knowledgeable or careful enough. It might be the same with the light. That said, I haven’t heard of service centers offering XPS light installation as a service.
Some of Dewalt’s older model saws were compatible with a user-installable XPS light module. There’s no comparable off-the-shelf package for the DWS779.
Went to Lowes yesterday. In Lufkin,Tx. They had two 779’s but couldn’t sell them because they said there was a “recall”. I have no other information and the sales guy didn’t either. Just FYI
Here’s the story – https://toolguyd.com/dewalt-miter-saw-stop-sale-2022/ .