DeWalt XPS Light System Review
In this post we review the XPS light system from DeWalt. We'll discuss how the XPS light works, its pros and cons, XPS lights vs laser guides and what models the XPS light kit from mmToolParts works with.
Essentially XPS technology uses an LED to project light down either side of the blade, creating a shadow of the blade in the work area. As the blade lowers, the shadow sharpens, darkens and shows exactly how wide the cut will be once it’s made. Hardwired into the saw’s power supply, the light doesn’t require any batteries. It also has its own on/off switch, so it works even when the blade isn’t spinning. Besides creating a shadow, it also lights up the entire work area, increasing both the safety and precision of your cuts.
Now, lets get into the pros and cons. As we just mentioned, this light is great for providing an accurate visual of where your cut will be made, and the extra light is awesome for creating a bright and safe work area. Because it’s hard wired in, there are no batteries to replace. Having a separate on/off switch means the light stays on even when the blade isn’t spinning. This can also be nice when plugging it in so you know the outlet is working. The long-lasting LED is easy to install and due to its durable, metal casing it should never need to be replaced. As for cons of the XPS light there’s really just one issue users report, when used in full daylight the shadow line can be faint or hard to see. Standing in the way of the light or moving the saw to a shadier area are easy fixes for this simple problem.
So, what about laser guides? In testing, DeWalt identified that their laser guides and XPS systems were equally washed out in sunlight, so one has no advantage over the other in that area. As for all other comparisons – XPS technology clearly outperforms a laser guide. The biggest difference here is that XPS lights never need to be aligned or adjusted, even after changing the blade. Because it uses the actual blade to cast a shadow its accurate every time. Lasers need to be calibrated for accuracy – and because they tend to get bumped, they need to be checked often. The XPS light also has the added benefit of lighting up the work area, while a laser does not. And the laser line won’t show you how wide the cut will be, adding room for error on either side of the guide.
At this point it’s clear that XPS shadow lights are the best cut guiding technology on the market, and superior to laser guides in every way.
Only 2 models come factory equipped with XPS – the DW716XPS and the DWS780. DeWalt knows the value of this convenience and charges upwards of 50% more just for this feature! Many people are upgrading their saws at home with OEM parts from DeWalt and couldn’t be happier with the results.
If you have a DWS779, DWS782 or DW716 (Type 20 only), visit https://www.mmtoolparts.com/store/miter-saw-upgrade-kit-dewalt where an XPS upgrade kit can be ordered. mmToolParts includes a free wiring harness that we make in-house to simplify installation for anyone to complete in a matter of minutes.
What about older DeWalt miter saws? If you have a DW713, 715, 716 (Type 1-4 only) or 718 – there was a previous generation of XPS light that was made for these models, but for whatever reason it was discontinued by DeWalt…likely to market their newer saws where XPS comes factory equipped. It operates the same way as the newer generation XPS light, just housed in a different casing. Though not available through mmtoolparts or DeWalt, you might still be able to find it from 3rd party retailers online by searching for DeWalt part # DW7085.
Other models such as DW704, 705 or 709 are not upgradable as far as we know.
In conclusion, because of its bright light, precision guiding and safety factors – an XPS light adds next level convenience to the DeWalt miter saw experience. Order your upgrade kit today from www.mmtoolparts.com – a leader in tools and machinery for over 80 years.
If you're still interested in learning more about the XPS system, check out this video review from mmToolParts: