DeWalt is known for their corded and cordless tools. DeWalt has taken away the line between corded and cordless, giving you the same power they're known for in their corded tools, coupled with the portability they're known for in their cordless tools with the DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw.
I’m sure most of us use and own at least some cordless tools. Until recently, battery operated tools were only confined to drills, impacts, jobsite lights, and small saws. That has all changed in the last couple of years. Today you can buy battery operated table saws, worm drive style 7-1/4” circular saws, and even large miter saws. This DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw Review will focus on DeWalt’s 12” FlexVolt Double Bevel Compound Sliding Miter Saw Kit (DHS790AT2), so grab a glass of tea and we’ll dive right in.
DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw Review Overview
The DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw was the initial release in their FlexVolt line and carries the model number DHS790, a 12” Double Bevel Compound Sliding Miter Saw that has a 120v motor which can be powered by either two of their 60v/20v FlexVolt batteries, or by a corded 120vAC adapter, which was included in the kit I purchased.
Most other cordless miter saws are 7-1/4” and do not have near the power, capability, or features as the one in this DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw Review.
DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw Review Features
The DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw weighs in at approximately 56 pounds. The 15amp motor packs plenty of power to spin the massive 12″ blade at 3800 RPM.
The Dewalt Miter saw can be powered by either two Flexvolt batteries or using a cord for 120 volt power.
For starters, DeWalt has come up with what they call their Cutline blade positioning system on this DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw. This simple, yet effective system uses an LED light above the blade to cast a shadow on your workpiece, in just the position where the blade will cut. In my experience, this shadow was fairly easy to see even in daylight and on light wood like pine.
The light also is activated by its own switch, unlike some saws which only power their visual cutting guide mechanism when the blade is moving. This allows for safely lining up your work piece without running the chance of amputating a few fingers. The LED light switch as well as the trigger with integrated lock are located on a comfortable D-handle. This D-handle allows for easy and steady ambidextrous operation and control of the saw, even with gloves on.
The saw has 11 different popular positive locks and both bevel scales are easy to read. They secure tightly to keep the angle where you set it, as does the sliding feature.
The included dust bag attaches to the dust port to collect dust when a vacuum is not attached.
It should be noted that the included charger is not a rapid charger.
The kit’s complete contents include:
- DHS790 12” Miter Saw
- Two FlexVolt 6.0AH Batteries
- Dual port fast charger
- DCA120 120vAC corded power adapter
- Blade wrench
- Dust bag
- Two 60 tooth 12” blades
DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw Review Performance
I have had the joy of using this saw on a few projects since purchasing it. It has plenty of power with the FlexVolt batteries to slice through 4×4 landscaping timbers and stacks of pressure treated 2×12’s like a hot knife through room temperature butter. I experienced battery life to be ample for most projects. I did find though that using the saw in the open sunlight, with the sun heating the batteries up, did seem to have a negative effect on their run time. If they are placed on the charger while too hot, they will take longer as they first need to cool off so it ended up being a double whammy. Since my kit came with the 120 volt adapter, battery down time is not near as big of a deal as it could be. The adapter latches in the same place as the two batteries, connect the cord to a power source, and your work continues.
Performance with batteries versus the corded adapter was slightly different though. I found the motor to run louder, not as smooth, and take just a second longer to spool up to full RPM while connected to the corded adapter. Even though the saw sounded different, once the blade was spinning at full speed, cutting performance was unchanged.
The locking mechanisms for holding the saw’s angles was also very snug, I never had an issue with the blade moving between cuts.
The fact that the batteries also work in almost any 20v DeWalt tool make working on a project nice. I would make my cuts, then pop one of the FlexVolt batteries into my drill and assemble my pieces. Even with the two batteries having different levels of charge, the saw performed fine. In my experience, when the batteries are getting very low, the saw brake will not work.
DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw Review Value
As mentioned, the saw works very well, but is the price worth it? The kit I purchased, at the time of writing this review, is available from many retailers for $699. This saw is basically a cordless version of DeWalt’s traditional corded only 12” Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS780), which goes for around $550.
I think that if you are going to be expanding into the FlexVolt line of tools, or could use two additional high capacity batteries for your existing 20 volt tools, then yes, it is worth the price. If you do not need such a large (12”) miter saw, do not need sliding and/or double bevel options, or just do not have any other cordless DeWalt tools, this saw might not be the one for you.
Thankfully though, the saw and its accessories (batteries, charger, corded adapter) are available from DeWalt in many different configurations, down to just the bare saw itself (for those who already have FlexVolt batteries and may not need or want the corded adapter). DeWalt also offers a 20 volt MAX 7-1/4” sliding miter saw (DCS361B) for those who do not need as much capacity as a 12” saw but still need the freedom of cordless.
DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw Review Final Thoughts
If the performance specifications fit your needs, and you have other DeWalt cordless tools, I definitely recommend this setup to compliment your assortment of yellow and black tools. The FlexVolt batteries have been a great addition to my 20v tools. The 12” size and power make this a “go-to saw” for me. The fast setup of just clicking in two batteries has been a total game changer. I do wish that DeWalt would come out with a dual bank Rapid Charger though, similar to the single bank Rapid Charger included with most other FlexVolt tools. Charging both of these big batteries with the included charger seems like it takes a while once you're spoiled by the Rapid Charger.
At the time of purchase, I was on the fence because I did not know if I needed such a big saw, but with most things, the saying goes “buy once, cry once” and so I bit the bullet and placed my order. I have not regretted it one bit, and I do not think you will either.