When it comes to miter saws, and power tools in general, Makita and DeWalt are two of the best brands currently out there. In this review we will look at two particular models in detail – one from each of these two brands. For Makita it is their 12 inch cordless miter saw, the XSL08PT; and for DeWalt it is their sliding compound miter saw, the DWS779.
We will delve into each of the miter saw’s main functions and features, and based on these state which one is the best and should be purchased. So without further delay, let us get straight into the first power tool, the Makita XSLO8PT.
Makita XSL08PT Miter Saw
If you are in the market for a cordless Makita miter saw then the XSL08PT is their best model. It is their flagship power tool that has plenty of capacity, helping you to get lots of work accomplished. Even with all this capacity it is super portable and measures up well against other similar models.
Thanks to its direct driver gearbox, the Makita’s cutting blade can be used on the back side to further increase its vertical cutting capacity. This is particularly useful when working with crown molding and baseboard.
When using the saw there is no wobble from the cutting blade. Straight from out of the box the bevel is perfectly aligned and ready to use. The cutting blade can be ever so slightly off and does require some minor adjustment to correct it. However, it is a simple process so do this and is something that is pretty much expected from all new power tools.
Both the detents and the mitres engage really well on the XSL08PT. After little use the miter plate is prone to becoming worn, which demonstrates that it may not be built from the highest quality materials. With the miter you can make cuts at an angle of up to 60 degrees in each direction. Its positive miter stops are at 60, 45, 31.6, 22.5, 15, and 0 degrees.
The Makita can make bevel cuts at angles between 0 and 48 degrees in each direction. With the lock for this sitting at the front of the power tool it means there is no need for you to reach right round the back to make any adjustments.
A laser cutting guide comes built in to this model as standard and is perfectly aligned with the left hand side of the cutting blade. Using an adjustment dial you can easily make changes to the laser without the need to use a tool. It can be attached to a Makita dust extractor, that it is compatible with, to collect all of the dust and debris generated by the miter saw.
- A 12 inch cutting blade
- A brushless motor
- A direct drive gearbox
- A laser cutting guide
- A total weight of 69 pounds
- Super portable
- No wobble form the cutting blade
- Bevel lock on front of power tool
- Miter plate prone to quickly showing signs of wear
DeWalt DWS779 Miter Saw
This miter saw can be used by both professional tradesmen and home DIYers. This is thanks to the DWS779 being very easy to use, whilst producing highly precise and smooth cuts. It also comes packed with a range of useful functions and features which means it can be used for a variety of different applications.
Out of the box the DeWalt does require some simple assembly. However, its user manual is easy to follow and covers everything so there should be no issues when putting all the different parts together.
One of these is that the cutting blade can be tilted in either direction. This means you can make cuts without the need to constantly calibrate or adjust anything. With a specially designed back fence, the miter saw can cut as much as 2 x 12 dimensional work pieces at 45 degrees, and 2 x 16 dimensional work pieces at 90 degrees.
Although the 15 amp motor is powerful, it does not vibrate to the level you would expect. This means it does not become uncomfortable to use after long periods. However, the lack of any cushioning on the grip handle does not aid extended use of the DWS779.
The DeWalt does come with some ability to collect dust, however it is far from being adequate. The only dust collection accessory that is provided with this power tool is a simple dust bag. This is easy to connect but collects very little. For working indoors where it is important to keep your work space clean and tidy, this may not be the miter saw for those conditions.
It comes with all the usual safety features and functions you would expect from any DeWalt power tool. The clear cutting blade guard means you are able to constantly view, and thus, control all of your cuts. We advise that you do not make any alterations to this as it could result in serious injury.
- A 15 amp motor
- A total weight of 67 pounds
- Very easy to use
- Can make cuts without the need to constantly calibrate or adjust anything
- No cushion on the grip handle
- Poor dust collection capability
So we have taken a look at two of the best models of miter saw currently out there from two of the biggest power tool brands. What is clear from this is that either one would make an adequate addition to the toolbox of any home DIYer and professional tradesmen alike.
However, thanks to its large cutting capacity, the fact that it is highly versatile, and its handy laser cutting guide, the Makita XSL08PT is our favourite of these two miter saws and is probably up there with the most versatile one we have ever used. We would definitely recommend it for purchase.