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DeWalt DWS779 vs DWS780

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

If you’re considering which miter saw brand is the best for you, the clear answer is DeWalt. Whether you are an occasional amateur or a full-time professional, the quality, durability and precision of DeWalt miter saws is unquestionable. Priced competitively among other brands, DeWalt offers several different models to choose from. This article will help you understand the difference between DeWalt DWS779 and DWS780, the pros and cons of both and which saw is the best for your shop.

Equipped with a 15amp motor and 12” carbide blade with a max RPM of 3800, both saws are mechanically identical. The belt driven motor is built to perform in rugged applications and users report cutting thru 6x6 or larger pieces with ease. An extra tall fence and extra high clearance allow for vertical cuts as tall as 13.75” other saws might not accommodate.

What people seem to love the most about these saws is their out-of-the-box accuracy. The machined fence comes squared to the blade from the factory. DeWalt included an oversized bevel for easy, accurate bevel adjustments and a stainless-steel miter plate with 10 positive stops. The turn dial miter was reengineered with a click-and-lock system that makes precise miter adjustments quick and easy. “Precision and power” are the most complimented aspects of these models, especially by woodworkers making complex cuts for projects like crown molding.

Drawbacks of both models tend to be the overall heaviness of the saw and its dust collection design. DeWalt states they can capture up to 75% of dust generated when using the supplied dust collection bag, but users report issues with the rubber seal flaps blocking airflow when hooking up to a dust collection vacuum system. Weighing in at 56lbs, these aren’t the lightest saws on the market. To mitigate this, DeWalt engineered a carry handle on top which helps make the saw less awkward to tote around, and the heavier materials used lend credit to its overall durability.

In fact, there is only one difference between these two models. The DWS780 comes factory equipped with XPS light technology, while the DWS779 does not. Using an LED XPS light positioned above the blade, XPS light technology casts a shadow in the cut area showing exactly where the blade will drop and how wide the cut will be. Because it uses the blade itself to create a shadow it never needs to be aligned or adjusted, even when you switch blades. It also lights the work area, increasing both the precision and safety of the saw. The downside of factory added XPS light technology is that it adds upwards of 50% to the price of the saw.

It is possible, and recommended, to instead upgrade a non-XPS light equipped DWS779 yourself using OEM DeWalt parts – the same parts as included on the DWS780. This will give you all the convenience of the more expensive saw while saving you hundreds of dollars at the same time. An XPS light upgrade kit can be ordered from that includes a free wiring harness, making installation a breeze. Most people report completing this upgrade themselves in under 20 minutes.

Because XPS light technology increases accuracy, convenience and safety, we see it as an invaluable component of the DeWalt miter saw experience. DeWalt clearly understands this as well, which is why they’ve priced the DWS780 so much higher. Upgrading a DWS779 yourself is the most practical way to get all the benefits DeWalt can offer while saving yourself hundreds in the process.

Watch the video below to see step-by-step instructions on how to install an XPS light in your DWS779, DWS782, or DW716 (Type 20) today!

DeWalt XPS light kit for DWS779, DWS780, DWS782, and DW716 (Type 20):

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