Dewalt DW717 Miter Saw
Dewalt DW717 10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw Review
| Dewalt DW717 Review Highlights|
|For the Professional Contractor||5 out of 5|
|For the Do-It-Yourselfer & Weekend Warrior||4 out of 5|
|For the Hobbyist and Beginner Woodworker||4 out of 5|
|For the Serious Woodworker||5 out of 5|
The Dewalt DW717 10″ Compound Sliding Miter Saw Review Summary
I’m going to show exactly why some of you should consider this miter saw, and why some of you should not. All the pros and cons are included in my unbiased look at today’s review on the Dewalt DW717 miter saw.
If you’re like me, you can appreciate a good sliding miter saw. Being a woodworker, I honestly can’t imagine going back to the days of having a non-sliding miter saw.
Once you get a saw like this, you too will probably never want to go back. So my point is this. If this is the first sliding compound miter saw you buy, it may change you.
Does that mean it’s worth spending over $400 on a saw? I would argue yes it is if you plan on getting a lot of use out of it.
So I mentioned a price back there, and yes I was referring to the Dewalt DW717 miter saw. It is in the upper price range of the 10″ sliding class. Some people want to spend this much, some people don’t. I guess it depends on what you need it for.
Professionals typically are willing to spend a little more to get a tool with a good name, a good warranty, and built to last a lifetime.
Dewalt provides just that. So keep reading to find out if the pros outweigh the cons, and depending on what you need it for, is it really worth that much moolah.
> Dewalt 10″ non-sliding miter saw review
The Dewalt DW717 Miter Saw – What’s So Great About It?
Overall, you’ll find this saw has cutting capabilities better than most in its class. I would say that much is necessary given the higher price tag.
This Dewalt miter saw has been designed to perform similarly to larger saws in some regards. Specifically, I’m referring to the vertical cut capacity.
This is when you stand a board vertically up against the fence. This is a common type of cut when doing baseboard and crown molding.
Even though we’re only working with a 10″ blade, the center of the blade protrudes out just a bit from the fence. This means you can cut more than half the blade diameter on these vertical cuts. Look closely at this picture:
As you can, the board is actually higher than the center point of the blade.
This adds serious capacity to cutting vertically nested boards, which is 6-1/4″ max. However, this does not work with dimensional lumber in cross-cutting, for example, a 6×6. In that case, you’re still confined to cutting only as deep as the edge of the blade, to the blade washer, which is about 4″. But don’t’ be discouraged, this is still an impressive feature and is actually better than most of the competitors.
Now when it comes to bevels and miters, Dewalt did not skimp out on the design for this model. This is a dual-bevel saw, meaning you can bevel in both directions (saw leans left and right), so you don’t have to flip the board over to change the direction of the bevel cut.
This is a very handy feature for anyone doing a lot of crown molding, and even some baseboard jobs.
The bevel adjustment travels beyond the standard 45°. It can actually do 48° left, and also goes 48° to the right, very cool.
While this is great for professionals, if you’re a regular DIYer doing some projects around the house, this may or may not appeal to you (although the added benefit of the dual bevel at increased angles can’t hurt, right?).
The miter adjustment is also extended beyond the standard. You can miter left at 60°, and to the right at 52°. So overall you get much better customization and ease of use with miter cuts on this saw.
The adjustments for the bevel and the miters are really easy. See photos to the right.
The saw also includes positive stop detents for both the miter gauge and the bevel. This makes for faster setup, and better repeatability with your cuts, as you don’t have to finely adjust the cut each and every time.
Another great feature of this saw is the adjustable depth stop. You can set how far down the blade goes, meaning you can cut dados (grooves that go across the grain without cutting through the board).
Normally the dado cut is done on the table saw, with a radial arm saw or with a jig and a handheld router. However with this feature of this particular miter saw, you can achieve the dado cut similar to the radial arm.
The difference is you can’t use a dado blade, only the standard blade. This means you have to take 1/8″ nibbles out of the cut until you reach full dado width desired.
I absolutely love this feature, as a woodworker. I find that many times I need a simple quick dado cut, and I have to set up my table saw which takes some time. This miter saw could be set up and handle such a cut in a fraction of the time. Really cool!
Another great feature appreciated by many professionals, and probably all woodworkers, is the sliding capability. After all, it is a sliding miter saw!
Because of this feature, you can make cuts easily 12″ long. Now that’s a wide board to crosscut!.
But not only that, this particular saw stands out in the fact that you can make a slight change by removing the front fence, and ultimately you can achieve a 14″ crosscut.
Plus it has an impressive capacity of an 8″ wide crosscut while mitered at 45°. This is a pretty impressive feature.
Dust collection performance
Overall I would say this saw is above par when it comes to dust collection, but nothing special.
Like most miter saws, if you simply put the dust bag on the dust collection port, you will probably be disappointed.
Like most miter saws, the cutting action of this saw tends to throw dust in all directions.
Nothing beats a good dust shroud built around your miter saw, connected to a central dust evacuation system.
But I know for professionals, hobbyists, and DIYers, this is not feasible. In fact, unless you’re a serious woodworker, you probably wouldn’t even consider such a contraption.
So what you can do with the Dewalt DW717 miter saw is scrap the little dust bag, get yourself a decent shop vac and attach it to the dust port.
This will actually capture 80% or better of the dust thrown back from the blade. This is just about all you could ask for from a miter saw dust collection system.
Overall, this saw has impressive abilities and it is extremely well-rounded.
I’ve explained already just how versatile this saw is, only without using that exact phrase. So I’ll do it here. This saw is very versatile. Period.
With the dual bevel feature, the blade adjustable depth stop, the extended ranges on both the miter and bevel adjustments, the easy-carry handle, dust collection port, and the sliding capabilities, this is actually one of the best miter saws in its class.
And the impressive rating this saw has held for years online is evidence of this very fact. Overall, this is an awesome tool.
So all you professionals out there, if you want a good job-site saw that can handle any kind of miter or bevel cut easily, with lots of capacity for larger boards, this is a good choice. However, due to the tool weight of 51 pounds, it’s not the easiest to carry around from room to room.
But if you are dead-set on having a sliding compound miter, this is actually light for its class.
Who it’s for
For DIYers, I believe this saw can handle anything and everything you throw at it. If you love Dewalt like I do, and you appreciate a tough tool with a good warranty, like I do, then go for it.
But most DIYers are pretty darn thrifty, and the price tag on this tool may not be speakin’ your language.
Same goes for hobbyists and beginner woodworkers, who really don’t know if they even need a tool of this capacity.
But when it comes to serious woodworkers and cabinet makers, I believe this is a solid choice.
You really can’t beat the capacities, adjustments, and get ready for it, the customizability.
I say that because you can remove the fence on this miter saw and do things with it most saws can’t handle. I won’t get into all the details, but for a woodworker, just know that if you want to expand your saws abilities with custom jigs, this tool deserves a home in your shop!
Opinions Based On Real User Experiences
- Out of the box, this saw is really accurate – easy to use and setup quickly
- Described as a beast of a tool that can handle any job you throw at it.
- Users upgrading from a Craftsman find this tool to be a HUGE improvement – very impressed
- It’s pretty much agreed you get what you pay for – and with this saw’s capabilities, you get A LOT
- Does not come with board support extensions – some people miss this feature
- Some professionals found it doesn’t quite have the smooth travel you would get from a Makita.
Most people, as I mentioned before, rate this saw as a 5 out of 5. This comes from a multitude of users, from DIYers to professionals.
You get what you pay for, and at the higher price-range this power tool falls in, you will likely find that you get a lot out of a tool of this magnitude.
Some users expect perfection and will judge accordingly. But even still, the vast majority love their decision to invest in such a high-quality tool.
Is This Pricey Sliding Compound Miter Saw Worthy?
This tool is built for specific professionals who need more versatility, and less basics. It’s heavy, so for framers it may not fit the bill.
Serious woodworkers will reap the most benefit from this saw, as it can handle anything you throw at it, including massive cutting capacities, and decent dust collection.
My review of this saw has been mostly positive. I would go so far as to say I’m giving this saw a huge thumbs up!
The biggest downside to the Dewalt DW717 miter saw is the price tag.
Simply put, most people want a great tool at a low price. But unfortunately, this usually is not what happens.
In a world of ‘you get what you pay for’, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and invest a little more than what you thought at first.
But if you decide to go this route, at least you’ve chosen a tool that has proven itself already, time and time again, to many other consumers. Plus it’s a great company and they offer a great warranty.
I would suggest reading more user reviews and making sure the features and benefits outweigh the price tag before you buy.