DEWALT 60V Cordless 12in Sliding Miter Saw Kit Review

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DEWALT 60V Cordless 12in Sliding Miter Saw Kit – Model DCS781X1

DEWALT 60V 12in Sliding Miter Saw Kit

Manufacturer: DEWALT
Model number: DCS781X1
Price: $849.00
Power source: 60V Lithium Ion
Weight: 50.9 LBs
The Tool Box Buzz team conducted a head-to-head comparison of the Best 12-inch Cordless Miter Saw in November 2020. During that H2H one of the four miter saws the crew evaluated was the dual 60v (120V) 12″ miter saw, the DEWALT DHS7900AT2.

The DCS781 is DEWALT’s 2nd generation FLEXVOLT cordless miter saw. This GEN 2 has three big upgrades to cover. First, this saw now runs off just one 60v battery, whereas the first generation saw used two. Secondly, this saw has new Regenerative Braking Technology. Lastly, DEWALT claims it will deliver 20% more power than other cordless saws.

Features & Specs

  • Voltage – 60V
  • 3,800 RPMs
  • Single Battery Operation
  • Regenerative Braking Technology
  • Dual Dust Port – Captures 94% dust
  • Weight – 50.9Lbs (bare tool)

Out of the Box | Square

Most saws, not all, require the user to “dial in” the precision out of the box. Squaring the saw  90° up and down and 90° to the fence required no adjustments on this miter saw once removed from the box. The robust packaging appears to have kept the saw well calibrated during transit.

Kit Components

The DEWALT DCS781 can be sold either as a bare tool (DCS781B) or as a kit (DCS781X1) The kit contains the following items:



  • DEWALT 12″ 60V Sliding Miter Saw (DCS781B)
  • 20V/60V MAX* FLEXVOLT Battery (DCB609)
  • 6amp Charger (DCB1106)
  • Fine Finish Blade – 60-tooth
  • Blade Wrench
  • Material Clamp
  • Stabilizer Bar
  • Vacuum adapter
  • Dust Bag
  • Base Extensions (2)


The DEWALT DCS781 is heavy and not a tool you want to have to move around often. This saw weighs 50.9 Lbs as a bare tool. The saw does have a large carrying handle at the top of the saw as well as handle indentations on each side of the saw to assist with transportation. These handle areas are well placed, sturdy, and could easily be used when you have larger bulky gloves on.

Due to this saw being large and heavy, an easier means of transportation from job site to job site is the DEWALT Rolling Miter Saw Stand. DEWALT does offer a stabilizer bar and has easily adjustable table extensions on both sides if you are using it on a solid surface.

Cut Capacity Specifications

The DEWALT saw has a maximum horizontal cutting capacity of 12-3/16″. It can cut baseboard up to 6-1/2″ vertically, and crown molding up to 6-1/2″ nested.

  • Maximum Crosscut Capacity at 90° – 3″x 12-3/16″
  • Maximum Crosscut Capacity L/R at 45° – 3″x8″
  • Maximum Bevel Cut Angle to Left – 49°
  • Maximum Bevel Cut Angle to Right – 49°
  • Maximum Cutting Thickness – 6-3/4”

Regenerative Braking Technology

Similar to how an electric automobile utilizes its motor as a generator to recover wasted energy during braking and reroute it back into the battery, the saw’s regenerative braking system does the same. Instead of turning the braking energy into heat in the motor, the saw uses some of the energy lost when stopping the blade to recirculate it back into the battery. The material being cut will determine how much energy must be extracted from the motor for the operation, affecting the run-time benefit.

The DCS781 is equipped with an automatic electric blade brake which stops the saw blade within 5 seconds of trigger release.  This is the same time frame as the first-generation dual battery miter saw.


On a few occasions, it was noted that there was a delay after the trigger release for the brake to engage. In the operations manual, DEWALT does mention that this can occur and offers a solution to fix the problem. They state ” If a delay or “skipping” occurs, turn the saw on and off 4 or 5 times. If the condition persists, have the tool serviced by an authorized DEWALT service center.” They do not explain as to why it could occur.

Number of Cuts on Single Battery | Run-time Test

A run-time test was conducted on the DEWALT DCS781.  DEWALT proclaims “exceptional run-time” stating it this saw can deliver up to 675 cuts on 3-1/4” MDF baseboard molding and up to 255 cuts in 4”x4” lumber.

For the run-time test, repetitive cuts were made using 2×6 KD lumber until the battery was exhausted. The saw was started and brought up to full speed. The saw was brought forward, the cut was made, and waited for the blade to stop.  3/4″ cuts on the lumber were achieved by using a positive stop and a DEWALT vise clamp. The cut piece was removed and then the process was repeated.

The test was conducted with a fully charged 9.0 Ah FLEXVOLT battery, which is included in the kit. It’s important to note that DEWALT has larger amp-hour batteries which will extend run-time significantly. The results of our test were 243 cuts in 2×6 KD lumber.

DCS781 | Job Site Performance

The DEWALT DCS781 did a stellar job on the 3-1/4″ primed finger-jointed baseboard trim remodel. There were a couple of special mitered cuts to accommodate a waterline behind a toilet.

This miter saw was used on a custom bedroom headboard project and noted clean and crisp cuts on our 1×8 pine shiplap

Capturing Dust at the Source

The DEWALT DCS781 saw has a built‑in dust port proprietary to their dust collection systems. It is called “Airlock” because of its twist-locking mechanism that allows the user to quickly connect and disconnect from tool to tool. It is simple to use and it swivels 360° to prevent the hose from becoming twisted during use.

If you are looking to hook up any DEWALT tool to a non-DEWALT brand shop vac or extractor, you are going to have to use some type of adapter to be successful. DEWALT does offer a universal dust extraction kit that has several adapters that most likely will fit the hose of your vacuum or extractor.

DEWALT claims a 94% dust capture at the source when using a dust extractor. During our run-time test, it was noticed that there was a good amount of dust left on the surface after the 243 cuts were made. It is safe to say there was more than 6% that was not captured, even while using the DEWALT DEWALT DWV012 10-gallon wet/dry HEPA Dust Extractor.

Crown Molding Bevel Pawls

The saw is equipped with pawls set to 22.5 ° and 33.9° bevel angles, left or right.  This allows you to quickly and accurately set the saw to cut at these bevel angles. When cutting crown molding laying flat, the saw can accurately and quickly set a crown stop, left or right. The crown bevel pawl can rotate to make contact with the crown adjustment screw. The saw is factory set to cut normal crowns in North America (52/38).

LED Cut Line

Miter saws with lights on both sides of the blade to create a kerf width shadow is a significant improvement in precision cutting technology. DEWALT is the original designer of this LED Cutline and now many manufacturers are following their direction. This LED cut line technology provides users with clear and exact cut lines, resulting in unmatched accuracy.

LED work light can be turned on by the momentary switch that will automatically turn off within 20 seconds if the saw is not in use. The light is also activated automatically every time the tool’s main trigger is pulled. The LED work light begins to flash when the battery is near the end of its useful charge and/or when the battery is too hot.

Single Battery Operation

This 2nd generation FLEXVOLT miter only requires a single 60v battery whereas the previous model required two. This is great for two reasons. First is the obvious, it only takes one battery to operate so users can have one battery on the charger while using one battery, therefore realistically cutting all day long with no interruptions.  The second reason would be the price reduction. FLEXVOLT batteries are very expensive, so reducing the cost of purchasing this saw as a kit, without reducing the power of the saws by losing a battery is something you will appreciate.

Single Battery Downfall

One downfall of the single battery operation is not having the ability to use a plug in adapter. The previous two battery model operated on two 60v batteries, essentially giving you 120v of power. This made it really easy to have a plug in converter. 60 Volts is much harder to do, and likely why there is not a plug in version. Yes this makes the saw kit cheaper, but not having a plug in adapter is a big hit in our crew’s opinion for a larger saw like this.

Final Thoughts

The DEWALT DCS781 is an excellent job site or shop miter saw. While a lot of our work can be done with a smaller-diameter saw, not all of it can and that’s where the DCS781 shines! You can always cut smaller with a bigger bladed saw, but not the other way around.  The three big improvements on this saw were the Regenerative Braking Technology, more power offered, and uses one less battery. If you are already using the dual battery miter saw, you have just reduced the need for 2 extra DEWALT FLEXVOLT batteries while maintaining all-day run-time.

DEWALT 60V 12in Sliding Miter Saw Kit

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About the author

Scott Arnold

Contributing Editor Scott Arnold is the owner of Scott Arnold Remodeling LLC out of Waltham MA. Custom decks, fireplace makeovers, kitchens and bathrooms, Scott enjoys the frame to finish concept. Scott will share his perspective on tools as carpenter and remodeler here and on

@scottarnold34Scott Arnold

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