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DeWalt Sliding miter saws

woodway's picture

Anyone have insight on, or experience using, the Dewalt DW717 (10 inch sliding saw) vs. Dewalt DW718 (12 inch) saw?

(post #127121, reply #1 of 31)

After having/using a 12" SCMS I wouldn't bother with a smaller saw, unless I knew I'd only use it for material within it's capacity.

It's nice to be able to use the bigger saw for everything.

Merry Xmas,



(post #127121, reply #2 of 31)

For the past 30 years I have used the 12" miter saws.   I bought the dewalt slider when it came out.

The other day I helped a friend trim out a large house and he already had tools set up on the job.  His miter saw was a Hitachi 10".    30 minuets into the job I missed my 12" slider.  We had to flip over the 1x12 to cut through it.  Also, to cut the large crown I could not pull the blade out past the piece in order to start the cut on my mark. 

If you have the money go ahead and get the larger saw.  It is well worth it.


(post #127121, reply #3 of 31)

First off , a 12"   sliding saw is a must if you are serious about doing professional trim work or for that matter just doing a good  job on your own home.

I have used all of the 12" saws out there , and found the DeWalt to be the most absolutely "WORST"  of the all of them!   I have to say I have not owned the new Milwaukee, but have tested it at one of the dealers and it appears to up there with the Bosch, which I am currently using, and the Makita.  I have also used  the Festool 10"  Kapex on a few jobs.  The Festool is a very accurate machine , but I found it not very ergonomic to use, the grip is awkward and hard to get used to.  It also has a few other areas that Festool should address like having the angle finder, in its storage position, impede the table when you go to the maximum  positions at both ends of the miter scales.  The  Festool clamp is also somewhat of a "tinkertoy" item.

I am not bashing Festool here, but just pointing out that for the money they want for this equipment and their arrogant attitude, it is easy to work with a good machine like the Bosch, Makita or Hitachi and get used to it and you can produce equal results.

Another most important item is the sawblade you put on the slider.  Again I have tried them all, including the new Bosch offering.  Forrest is the only blade to use!  The new Bosch blade is pretty good  with its heavier  plate thickness, but still leaves a little chip out on the top side of the cut where the teeth are coming up thorough the workpiece.

Good Luck and happy sawing in the new year



(post #127121, reply #7 of 31)

I have to agree with you about Forrest blades. I've got two of them, one in my table saw and one in my chop saw and the difference is very noticeable.

(post #127121, reply #4 of 31)

90% of the cuts you can make on a 12" can be made on a 10"

maybe 95%

Big crown can be cut on the flat

you just need to have the charts or an Angle calculator(I have the Bosch and it is nice)

a 12" saw with a thin kerf blade will flex significantly more than a 10".

this will show up as burn marks on hardwood cuts as the blade looses it's initial sharpness.

and other "high stress" cuts

If you "Need" a 12" then get a full kerf Industrial blade Tenryu, ####, Systematic and others make excellent quality blades that will LAST.

"After the laws of Physics, everything else is opinion"

-Neil deGrasse Tyson
If Pasta and Antipasta meet is it the end of the Universe???

. .

(post #127121, reply #5 of 31)

This is a big topic. There is a school of thought that the 12" is too big and has a tendency to wobble ever so slightly. My experience is that they do, but it depends on what blade you're using. Not only that, the machine is heavier and gets to be more of a pain to lug around.

I own Dewalt 718 12" slider and the old 705 12" single bevel. The 705 I have had ever since they first hit the market way back when and I had it rebuilt a few years back. That thing is rock solid and like my right arm.
I don't know about the DeWalt 10" slider, but I have used the other brands and they all have their good & bad.

The slider I bought maybe 2 years ago, it is the newer 12" model. I do like it and really love the capacity, but I went through a series of blades before the Forrest Chopmaster got it right. The wobble was ever so slight and in most finish work would not matter, but there are times when the material calls for a one shot cut with no wiggle room. I was thinking about trying blade stiffeners, but then that would defeat the capacity purpose of a 12"

I do a lot of crown work and I like having the capacity on a saw to cut crown in one chop as opposed to laying it flat and resetting the bevel and miter every time. The 705 is great for that..

As far as I know, the crosscut capacity is about the same with a 10", somewhere around 12-13".

I guess if I had to do it again I would get a good 10" slider and keep my trusted 12" chop for crown and the like. Then again, I would have to invest in two different size blades

(post #127121, reply #8 of 31)

I've used the Dewalt 12" DW718 on the job for several years, it's the company's saw and it's been very good so far. My old Makita 10" chop saw, it's 20 years old, died about a year ago and I'm just now considering a new slider when I noticed the new DeWalt 717 on the market. I wanted to raise the question here since I wanted some input. I've gone back 6 months and looked at earlier posts here on Breaktime to see what's been talked about and who's had experience with the various saws. Truthfully, I'm leaning toward the DeWalt 10 inch because of it's 3 lb weight difference( not a great significance)and the stiffer blade over the 12 inch. I haven't experience much of a problem with the DeWalt 718 blade wobble, but I can imagine what a pain it could be but I've seen it in my worm drive saw 7 1/4 inch when the blade is totally trashed after a long period of use.

Although I can understand some inability to cut 2 x 12's on the 10 inch DeWalt but if I'm cutting those, I'm usually doing it with my Bosch 77 where I can cut any width as long as my arm is long enough.

(post #127121, reply #9 of 31)


If you are going to buy the 10" that's ok, yes the blade is stiffer and if you do not need the capacity of the 12" , it is your best buy.  Please look at the Bosch, Makita and the new Milwaukee sliders.  They are truly much better than anything DeWalt puts out there!  And if you wanna spend a lot of cash, look at the Festool.

Good luck


(post #127121, reply #10 of 31)

I toyed with the Milwaukee today at HD and it seemed fairly well made. I also doodled with the Bosch at a lumber yard, and I agree, it looked awfully good. Pretty heavy though. The DW is smaller and a little lighter.
I've used the Bosch 10" quite a bit, and it's a very good saw but my 718 cuts just as easily and has more capacity height wise.

The DeWalt 705 is without equal for me, but that's probably because I've been using it for 15 years or so. I do 90% of my trim work with that. Since it is so old, I'm thinking it might be better made than the new models they have out. It took some tweaking, but I got the 718 up & running fine and it's quite consistent. So much depends on the blade you use.

At this point it's more like apples & oranges to me. Hell, I started out with a Millers Falls cast iron base miter box with a 32" x 5" back saw! And I did a lot of trimming with that thing. The 'wow factor' was way up there when I first tried a power miter saw. It was one of the old cast iron Makitas I recall.

(post #127121, reply #16 of 31)

I see on several web sites that you can get factory reconditioned DW718 for about $499. It's very attractive at that price

(post #127121, reply #11 of 31)

Here tis

DSCN0564.JPG77.11 KB

(post #127121, reply #12 of 31)

Yes, I have one of those also, it is not as good as yours.  It is a no name brand that my dad gave me in the early 60's.  I think he got it a Montgomery Ward. 


Good luck


(post #127121, reply #6 of 31)

I think you're starting to see that you're going to get a lot of various opinions on this and probably the best thing to do if you can is to test the different saws & read up on the tests that have been done.

(post #127121, reply #13 of 31)

Just wanted to counter some of the Dewalt negativity.

While all of these saws have short comings, the dewalts
have performed well for me.

My main concern with a miter saw is that the miters
are true! while the square cuts are square.
Dewalt has (In my opinion) the simplest and best miter lock
out there right now. A positive cam lock.
Some other brands have so many whistles and bells you don't
notice the cheesy miter lock till later. Like when your
corners are open...

The twelve is to heavy and bulky for my taste, unless your actually
going to use it's capacity.
Dust collection is non-existent on these saws.

While the bevel gauge is vague to say the least.

So, in short. I've found the DeWalt's to be accurate dependable
cutters with some poorly designed details.

(post #127121, reply #14 of 31)

I agree. Very happy with my Dewalt, tall fence make crown easy, change the blade that is included and your good.

The standard blade would be fine to use if dewalt had not painted the teeth after sharpening. My blade guy strips the paint and then puts the edge on. These cut better for longer. Dewalt have better blades. On these the teeth are sharpened after painting.

Dewalt also make a flood light to fit their saw, gives a great shadow line where the blade will cut. Much better than the single line lasers on other saws. I understand not all like the laser but the best thing about it is it tells you where the blade will be cutting and to keep fingers out of there.

I have used the Makita 12" and it was slick, smooth and powerful. But what use is a 2" high fence and single side laser?

(post #127121, reply #17 of 31)

Yes, the tall fence is fine for crown, but since most samples lean back about 1/16" out of square, the DW is worthless for tall base.

The Bosch saws I've looked at are twice as good, which isn't saying much: at 1/32" out of square, they, too, are worthless for tall base.


(post #127121, reply #18 of 31)

I gotta ask, not being a smartalek..why not shim or grind off a fence to MAKE it truely square? I mean we are handy type people and can dial in just about anything.

I've tweaked something on almost every tool I own to get it either accurate or to my preferred level of comfort..why not a fence?

Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations


They kill Prophets, for Profits.  

(post #127121, reply #20 of 31)

Semper Tweak, Dude!

Part of the problem is springiness, and deflection when you press the work hard to the fence, as when working at the end of a long piece.

I guess one tweak would be to replace the thumbscrew with a substantial lever. Or just a hex bolt, then use a wrench. But the back of the fence gets kinda chewed up by the setscrew as it is, with only finger-tight.

And since it's engineered for finger-tight, I'd hate to strip out, crack, or bend any of this lightweight ####.

But I have used a 1x6 as a fence, and shimmed it square. The best way I found was with a 12"d or so sacrificial table, notched to about 6"d at the saw. Then I could screw nice, square blocks to the table just wide of the metal fences, and attach my new fence to that, shimming as necessary near the blade. PITA, though, especially if you need to use the compound feature every once in a while, and either trash or remove your tweakery.

I just want somebody to make a saw with a square sliding fence!


(post #127121, reply #22 of 31)

I guess I'm spoiled, my Delta, my Bosch, and my Cheap Kobalt..are all square. I DID get a new fence from Bosch because it wasn't straight across the two halves, and I didn't WANT to fix it..when a new one was 35 bucks.

I remember when we hired a new guy in the guitar shop, he came in bragging that he had worked for NASA in Huntsville..and as a machinist he worked to a 2 thousanth of an inch tolerance..I kindly told him, we Luthiers,  we get it right on. (G)

I still do.

Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations


They kill Prophets, for Profits.  

(post #127121, reply #19 of 31)

Just checked my current saw (716).
Both fences are right on the money.

Sphere is right you know. You have to work with
your tools, not just expect them to do the job for you.

All tools have flaws.

Sad.... Yes

Frustrating... Most definitely YES

That's the way it is.

(post #127121, reply #21 of 31)

Both fences on my DeWalt saws are dead nuts square and they both came that way.
Guess I'm a lucky boy...

(post #127121, reply #23 of 31)

Nuts square huh? Sounds painful.

Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations


They kill Prophets, for Profits.  

(post #127121, reply #25 of 31)

Your nuts aren't square?! I'da thought they'd be pounded into shape by now with all those stories I hear you tell.

(post #127121, reply #27 of 31)

Nothing left but dust.

(post #127121, reply #28 of 31)

Or really little spheres.

(post #127121, reply #29 of 31)

Nope, the painful swelling makes em bigger..(G)

Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations


They kill Prophets, for Profits.  

(post #127121, reply #30 of 31)

Accident free for at least 4 days now..

Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations


They kill Prophets, for Profits.  

(post #127121, reply #31 of 31)

Hey!! That ain't bad. I don't hold a candle to you, but we're in the same ballpark.
Someday we'll have to count the scars.

(post #127121, reply #24 of 31)

Like many, mine is as close as I can measure. We have heard the same about all makes. Always worth a check before you leave the store parking lot.

(post #127121, reply #26 of 31)

Now press a piece of wood tightly up to it and recheck. Out-of-square is one thing, flex is another.