Pros: Plenty of power, reliable, quality workmanship
Cons: Hard to keep square, placement of motor creates blind spot
This review is for the DeWalt DW705 12 inch compound miter saw.
This a great saw. It cuts and cuts and cuts. It comes with a 60 tooth carbide blade, and no other accessories. Other accessories may be purchased, but are pricey.
I recommend a quality table with outrigger arms and rollers. The DeWalt one is very pricey and is low on features. I bought mine at Harbor Freight Tools for $69.95 and it has all the attachments I've ever needed (it also folds and has wheels).
This saw will bevel cut up to approximately 48 degrees in one direction only (left), although rated at 45. It miter cuts left or right up to 48 degrees, with nine accurate, solid stops at 15, 22.5, 30, 45 (left or right), and 0 degrees. The positive miter detent and locking mechanism is easy to use and flawlessly accurate.
What is good:
This saw has plenty of power for any cut. It is nearly impossible to stall with a sharp blade.
The miter detents are perfect, spring loaded, with a locking knob. All are well placed and easy to use with one hand. It is light enough to move easily (40 lbs.). The saw is quick and easy to setup and use. It is a nearly perfect miter saw.
What is not good:
It is not very good at bevel cuts. I don't like the term "not very good", but it does describe this saw's bevel cutting. It is inconsistent. I have never produced consistently perfect bevel cuts with it. They vary in angle enough to prohibit using this saw to cut furniture grade bevel cuts. This problem doesn't exist when cutting at zero degrees (no bevel).
The motor placement is wrong. It needs to be placed behind the cut line as a belt drive motor, or angled upward with a gear drive (like Makita). It's placement as a direct drive, horizontal motor makes it hard to see the cut line on the right side of the blade. This blind placement can also hide small pieces of wood left from previous cuts, which take on a life of their own when the blade hits them.
I bought this saw initially to use on home projects, such as window and door framing, angle cuts, deck building, etc. I have never been disappointed in its performance in these areas. I have cut hundreds of miter cuts with it.
When I decided to use it to cut crown moulding, I discovered its shortcomings. Compound cuts require bevelling. The crown moulding just wouldn't meet squarely, not matter how hard I tried. I even tried the crown moulding holder attachment, which helped a little. Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist. I have the same problem with this saw when I try cabinet making. It's just not accurate when making bevel cuts.
My solution to the bevel problem was a Makita LS1212 dual bevel sliding compound saw. But that's another story. I'll review the ls1212 later -- a marvelous saw, but expensive.
If you are looking for a construction quality bevel with a nearly perfect miter saw at a reasonable price (around $275.00) then this saw is perfect for you.
If you must have precision bevel cuts, I recommend the Makita. It's quite a bit more money, $600.00 plus.
Specifications (from DeWalt's website):
No Load Speed 4,000 rpm
Blade Diameter 12 "
Arbor Size 5/8" or 1 "
Vertical Capacity: Baseboard Against Fence 4-1/4 "
Vertical Capacity: Crown Molding Vertically Nested 5-1/4 "
Horizontal Capacity: Baseboard Lying Flat 8 "
Horizontal Capacity: Crown Molding Lying Flat 6-1/2 "
45? Bevel Cut Capacity (dimensional lumber) 2" x 8"
90? Cross-Cut Capacity (dimensional lumber) 4" x 6 "
90? Cross-Cut Capacity (Max Width) 2" x 8" dimensional lumber
45? Miter Cut Capacity (Max Height) 4" x 4" dimensional lumber
45? Miter Cut Capacity (Max Width) 2" x 6" dimensional lumber
Tool Weight 40 lbs
Shipping Weight 47.8 lbs