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Dewalt Chop Saws and Mitre Saws: Buying Guide

Published : 10/27/2020 09:16:50
Categories : Mister Worker , Professional working tools guide

Domenico Esposito

Do you want to buy a DeWalt chop saw or miter saw but don't know which one to choose? Read the tips of our experts! Today on the Mister Worker™ blog we are in the company of Domenico Esposito, Commercial Training Manager of the Stanley Black & Decker group, to help choose your new DeWalt mitre saw.

DEWALT offers a wide catalogue of power tools. What products does it offer in the chop saw and mitre saw category?

Few companies can boast the experience that DEWALT has in the design and construction of cut-off machines. There are countless innovations that the company has made since its foundation in 1924, starting with the invention of the radial arm saws.

Thanks to this machine, for the first time in the history of construction it was possible to reproduce cuts of construction timber in series with absolute precision, allowing for an increase in production and a reduction in costs and time that were previously unthinkable.
A lot has changed since then, but not the principles and objectives that guide DeWalt’s projects: to make work more efficient, profitable and safe.

After the radial arm saws, portable chop saws were born in all the various models that we know today. For each specific use there is an ad hoc machine, able to offer users the best combination of cutting capacity, ergonomics, precision and versatility. To date, the DEWALT range of chop saws and miter saws counts more than 10 different models, each with specific characteristics.

Why are there so many different models of chop saws and miter saws? Can't I use a versatile machine that can do multiple operations?

Dewalt Mitre Saws

Our elders have taught us that... "those who know how to do a little bit of everything don't know how to do anything well." The comparison is a bit forced, but it defines well the concept of specialization in our context.

A tool must guarantee maximum time savings and the best quality of work to be evaluated positively and earn the respect of the user. This is why very often professionals have more than one chopsaw or mitre saw, and each time choose which tool to use according to the situation.

For example, there are machines with high cutting capacity useful for carpentry work and construction of wooden roofs, often required in the construction sector. These saws have features suitable for carrying out complex, combined cuts quickly and accurately, but this is sometimes at the expense of ergonomics. There are also table top miter saws capable of providing high precision cuts, these tools are often preferred by furniture makers and carpenters. Then there are the combination saws, able to meet the expectations of those who have to carry out custom-made work directly on site, such as exhibition stand fitters and builders, furniture installers in commercial buildings, naval furniture, and so on.

Combination saws, by means of a flip over worktable, combine a mitre saw with a bench saw: these are tools that combine versatility and cutting precision. Finally, there are various machines with lower cutting capacity and weight, particularly suitable for quick installations that require lower cutting heights and widths.

Those who purchase chop saws and mitre saws are often in difficulty because these tools are complex, very technical and specific. Knowing how to interpret the technical data sheets is not always easy, especially with regard to machines designed for carpentry. This is why professionals often place their trust in well-known brands, such as DEWALT, that never disappoint their expectations.

What are the most important criteria for choosing a chop saw or a mitre saw?

Dewalt Mitre Saws

The first thing to consider when choosing a saw is the cutting capacity of the machine and the material we have to work with. Most of the portable mitre saws on the market are designed for cutting wood and laminates. However, if you equip the machine with suitable blades, it is often possible to effectively cut plastic materials and aluminum profiles. In this second case, I suggest to carefully evaluate the quality of the supplied clamps. Although they are required by law, these items are sometimes of relatively low quality and unreliable.

Depending on the type of activity carried out, the materials to be used and the works to be performed are mostly standardized. For example, the measures of a stair, riser and tread, are on average 170mm (riser) and 300mm (tread). For those who install stairs, it is therefore important to have a machine able to make cuts of these dimensions. Instead, those who install roofs and wooden structures should choose a machine keeping into consideration the most common measures of construction joists and battens, and the fact that complex combined cuts will be required.

For the installation of stairs, roofs and wooden structures, I would suggest the DWS780-QS miter saw, an extraordinary machine capable of cutting joists up to 120X120mm, steps up to 349mm wide, head inclination to the left and right up to 49° and table rotation up to 50° to the left and 60° to the right. All the most used angled cuts are selectable through quick settings. The extraordinary cutting capacities of this mitre saw are possible thanks to the radial sliding of the blade, derived precisely from the experience that DEWALT has in the design of radial arm saws.

The blade slides on two parallel chromed steel tubes guides in complete absence of friction, ensuring maximum stability and cutting quality. DEWALT offers the widest and most reliable range of slide mitre saws on the market.

Here is a table of the DEWALT miter saws available on Mister Worker™, with some suggestions about the recommended applications and the most important characteristics:

Dewalt Mitre Saws

Among the technical data available, what can give us an approximate idea of the cutting capacity of the saw is certainly the diameter of the blade. Larger capacity machines usually have a 305mm (12”) diameter blade. Saws with a 260/250mm diameter blade are defined as medium capacity machines. These saws are preferred by those who have to perform light carpentry installations. The machines with blade between 216/210mm are used for light installation and finishing works for interiors, parquet, skirting boards and planks, pre-finished parquet. Machines with smaller diameter blades are intended for light or DIY applications, frames, baseboards, laminated parquet.

Table top mitre saws also offer the possibility to perform trimmings. Furniture makers are among the most frequent users of these tools, they use it both during installation on site and in the laboratory. These machines are available in the DEWALT catalogue both in the version with brush motor and with the more traditional induction motor.

Induction motors are much quieter and require no maintenance, making them ideal for use in a laboratory and for extended times. On the other hand, considering the same motor power, brush motors are much smaller and lighter compared to induction motors, they also have a much higher starting torque, and are therefore ideal for portable machines and cuts of hard or thick materials and laminates.

In newer models, such as the D27113-QS table top mitre saw, a particular tracking system called XPS (Cross Cut Positioning System) is installed. By means of two high intensity LEDs, the shadow of the blade is projected directly onto the piece, ensuring at the same time maximum cutting precision and safety. The work area is well lit in order to effectively identify the cutting line in any condition. This device is now installed on several mitre saws, and is highly appreciated by professionals all over the world.

The demand for cordless power tools is growing and DEWALT has always stood out for its innovation in this field. What new technologies does it offer in the miter saw sector?

The professionals are increasingly interested in the use of cordless tools. This is now largely possible on many power tools, but there are still some difficulties with regard to those machines, such as miter saws, which require great electrical powers and high autonomy.

DEWALT has patented the FlexVolt© technology which, thanks to a new 54V motor and 12Ah batteries, was used to develop a range of tools with extraordinary performance. Thanks to FlexVolt© technology, DEWALT is now able to offer a range of cordless saws with the same power and capacity of corded machines.

The DHS780T2A-QW miter saw, for example, has the same capacity and performance as the above mentioned model DWS780-QS, but has a hybrid motor, so it can work both corded and cordless. This is an example of what can be achieved with this technology.

The FlexVolt technology makes it possible to work on a construction site completely free of wires, offering many solutions in all application fields.

When it comes to cutting machinery, safety is always of great importance. What safety features are present on DEWALT miter saws? 

Dewalt Mitre Saws

In addition to being a legal obligation, building safe tools should first of all be a moral obligation. The media often update us on the numbers of accidents, sometimes fatal accidents, that occur at work. This reminds us of the risks that many professionals have to face every day while carrying out their work.As I already said, the well-known brands on the market are the most reliable and should be preferred when purchasing a saws. These companies guarantee the safety of the tools, which are designed to fulfill all regulatory requirements without tricks.

DEWALT, as a company present all over the world, makes extremely rigorous choices regarding the safety of its machines, especially when it comes to cutting machines, which are among the most potentially dangerous. In addition to complying with all European directives (CE), it relies on internationally recognized certification bodies such as the TÜV and prestigious global safety bodies such as the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), continuously updating the machines to implement the most recent directives and the most advanced technologies.

Devices such as voltage drop switches against unintentional starts, quick stop devices for blades and knives, the most effective vacuum systems, patented blade protection systems for miter saws, are now a standard feature on most machines in production.

Although the company does its best to make the machines safe, the user's attention remains an essential aspect to minimize the risk of accidents. When using cutting tools, you must always keep the utmost attention and observe all useful behaviors to minimize risks.

Tips for working safely are included in all our use and maintenance manuals. It is always a good idea to read the instructions thoroughly before starting any tool.

Are there any maintenance operations you recommend in order to always have a high-performance miter saw and increase the longevity of the machine?

DEWALT miter saws are designed to minimize maintenance interventions and even when these should become necessary, we always suggest taking the machine to our service centers. In any case, it is useful to carry out simple operations at the end of the working day, to ensure that the saw is always efficient and safe, and to avoid certain behaviors that could compromise its correct functioning:

  • Always keep the miter saw clean, simply vacuum the dust that has settled during the day and, if necessary, blow to eliminate the any residues between the interstices of the body and the motor.
  • Do not use lubricants or solvents to clean the machine or the parallel tubes of the sliding saws, use only compressed air at low pressure.
  • Always check before and after use that there are no damaged parts or exposed cables. In this case, immediately contact an authorized service center.
  • Lock the sliding mechanism of the radial sliding saws and fix the head in the rest position using the special key before moving the machine.
  • Always transport the machine by means of the side handles avoiding lifting it by the head, even when this is fixed in the rest position.

In any case, it is always good to consider if, after many years of honorable service, it is necessary to replace our faithful work partner. How many years have passed since we bought our mitre saw? The latest generation machines are equipped with technologies and safety devices that did not exist in the past. We do not necessarily want to wait for our beloved tool to stop working before replacing it with a new one, certainly more reliable and safe.

What accessories are available for DEWALT miter saws?

Dewalt Mitre Saws

In addition to a rich range of circular saw blades for every type of material and finish, DEWALT offers a specific range of blades for cordless and hybrid machines, the EXTREME RUNTIME range.

These blades are designed to minimize friction during cutting operations, increasing efficiency by up to 50%. This results into an equal increase in autonomy when used on cordless mitre saws, and a higher cutting speed on corded machines, as they are perfectly compatible with both versions.

Among the most requested accessories are mitre saw stands, such as the DE7033-XJ workstation, which allows you to hook the mitre saw in a stable and safe way, and to make repetitive cuts in a simple and fast way. The DE7023-XJ model can accommodate up to two machines at the same time, and can be expanded with a series of accessories that increase its potential.

For those who also want to move the miter saw with minimum effort and maximum comfort, there are folding stands, equipped with wheels, such as the DE7260-XJ. This model is especially appreciated by those who do not need to move the machine often, as it is screwed onto the support, and by those who use table top miter saws, since its slightly lower height facilitates trimmings.

The ongoing research that DEWALT carries out to identify interesting and useful solutions is confirmed by the constant introduction of new tools and accessories. This innovations facilitate the operations of professional installers and increase their productivity and safety.

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