|Review by Webb||posted 12-06-2009 12:37 AM||5602 views||0 times favorited||13 comments|
- DeWalt DW718 12" Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
- Brand: DeWalt | Category: Miter Saws
I have had this saw for about two years now and use it regularly. I have not yet bothered making a sled for the tablesaw since I tend to use this for anything narrower than about 14”. Note you can cut boards as wide as 16” but it requires messing about with the fence which I have not bothered to do.
The saw does eat up a lot of space; you need a lot of clearance on the sides plus it needs a substantial clearance behind the saw. The price for the capacity I guess. I have not permanently mounted it anywhere and I tend to move it around to use depending on the size of the lumber (the walls of the garage are taken up by storage so I don’t really get to keep a long dedicated mitre table). The saw has a small lock-pin that works very well and it is very easy to move around; it is also very self-contained and other than the power cord I never worry about bits falling off.
The saw arrived pretty much perfect out of the box and needed no calibration. The stock blade was actually very good – I replaced it with a Forrest and to be honest I did not see much of a difference (unlike on the tablesaw where my stock blade left a lot to be desired).
The saw cuts well and has proven very stable – I checked the calibration recently (first time after the purchase) and despite being moved around a lot it was still dead-on. It is also sizable enough that cuts are precise since the saw does not wobble about or shift during operation. I have the laser line thing which works well enough, but it feels like there should be something better out there – if I did not have it I might have bothered to make a better marker for exactly where the blade cuts. I can only line up cuts on one side, e.g. if I am trimming a bit off the left I have to turn the wood around to make the cut or I have to guess where the blade’s kerf will end up. Something that works on both sides would be good; I recall seeing a new one that just uses a bright light to cast a shadow from the blade instead – if anybody has one please let me know how it works.
The motor shuts off very fast and it has a blade cover that retreats as you lower the blade. I have never felt in danger from the blade. The only things I’ve done under the heading of ‘stupid’ is to trim short ends off stock which risks them being thrown about by the blade; mostly, the only way bits come back at me would be after bouncing off something at the back of the saw – alarming, but not anywhere near the agony of being hit by something off a tablesaw. Also no chance of that dragging your hand into the blade. Cuts from the saw are generally similar to a bandsaw (very clean cuts – I’m talking about the wood) – when you are done, the wood does not shift about – if you lift the blade, the two cuts just sit there which feels quite safe in use.
The insert is rather wide and small bits fall down through it quite easily (~1/8”). I may consider a zero-clearance one for safety but I do not think that would do much for chip-out since I’ve not had any problems with chip-out at the bottom – it can be a problem at the rear and when needed I use a backing-block. Being able to slide the saw backward through a cut seems to help reduce it too but once again, I have not needed to deal with it too much – having blades with 80+ teeth probably contributes (vs. the 40-odd typical on a combination tablesaw blade).
The hold-down clamp has a fairly fine thread on it. This makes it a bit of a pain to use since you have to turn the knob a lot of rotations to tighten and loosen the clamp. I recall seeing an improvement that uses a toggle clamp on a FesTool – hopefully DeWalt will do the same. This results in me not using it as often as I should; generally, only for longer pieces or other cases where I suspect that the wood might shift after the cut.
Dust collection – there is none. It comes with a small bag that seems completely useless. Replacing the bag with a vacuum does no better (dust goes there – it just goes everywhere else as well). I’d say a good 18” wide swath by the time you are 10” back from the saw, but maybe that is a slight exaggeration. I’d say the saw was definitely intended to be used either out in the open on a job site where you don’t care much or with a large shroud behind it. No idea why the small bag is shipped with the saw.
Blade changing is clearly not something done often – it is quite complex and takes a good few minutes undoing a variety of hex nuts.