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Dewalt DCS361 Cordless Miter Long(er) Term Review


Hugh Jass

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This has almost, nearly replaced my DWS780, which is my favorite Dewalt corded tool of all time, so that's saying a lot. 

 

Initially I had my reservations, with the stock Dewalt blade (which is mostly shit just like all of Dewalt's blades) cutting wet PT was a chore, 40T of course makes a slower cut but it was a struggle. Still the quality of cut was good and I ran a lot of trim through this saw with flawless results. 100% accurate right out of the box. So I figured even though I know Dewalt blades suck, I felt the saw might be underpowered for my PT needs. More on this later. 

 

Now what I don't like. A lot of my appeal for this saw was the XPS lighting system, I love it with my 780 and I expected to with this as well. Not the case, even in indirect sunlight the shadow is nowhere to be seen, the light is far weaker than the one on the 780 which is useable in anything but direct sunlight. Luckily lining up a cut with the smaller blade is simple enough even without the light, but still...damn Dewalt, come on. The light is shit. 

 

So today I took off the crap Dewalt 40T, through it up in the air like a baseball and hit it with a sledge hammer sending it into the tree's in my back yard will it will live the rest of it's deserved life with my other Dewalt, . On goes the new 24T Diablo, and this is where things got interesting. It cuts good. Like how is this possible, good. In fact, I'd say head to head this little damn cordless saw will cut wet PT lumber JUST AS FAST AS MY 780. I was floored at it's performance. 2 seconds to fly though a 2x6 cut, and I mean I pushed the saw...aside from a notable drop in RPM, which my 780 even experiences with a similar push of sheer force... it never locked up and cut the hell out of the lumber. Taking my time, I could accomplish a cut mostly free of rip out even with a 24T. The increased RPM really does it's job here, and does it well. Great. Quality. Cuts. 

 

I go to this saw for anything but crown moulding (single bevel sucks for this) and huge dimensional lumber. My partner laughed at me for buying this saw AFTER getting the 780, now I catch him sneaking it out of my tool trailer to make quick cuts, he's just as impressed as I am. Jokes on him now. 

 

So in summary, if you're on the fence about this unit, need a saw, and you don't want the mack daddy 780 or comparable saw at 3x the price, BUY THIS. If you're a crown moulding installer and think this will be your dedicated saw, RUN AWAY. 

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Yeah DeWALT blades are not too good. I just shit canned the one that came with my tablesaw and replaced it with a "Diablo" won't go so far as throwing it away, never know when you might have a use for a new blade. Or find somebody that want's to buy it.  

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It's hard when u just want a saw, to not buy it! Great review, I've never had a problem with dewalts blade. But ive never tried a Diablo either.

Diablo blades can even turn what you thought was a so-so saw into awesome sauce. Like tires being the only part of your car to contact the road, making them critical and under-rated wrt performance, the blade on your saw is the only thing contacting your cut. Kerf, teeth, coating on the blade makes all the difference in the world. The saw determines how accurate the cut, the blade determines how clean and easy the cut is. Cleaner and less struggle also helps accuracy because you're more likely to let the saw do the work instead of muscling your cut out of position.

I understand why Dewalt wanted this saw compact and light weight but I wish they made it at least 8.5". I'm really looking for a miter and unfortunately I have some rather tall base and crown that are just a little too big for it. After I'm done with the crown and base this saw would have been great but I'm gonna have to look for a bigger one.

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Thanks for the review Jass. I have been on the fence about this saw. This would be great for flooring and base and shoe molding having the saw on the floor next to you as you work around a room would be great. A real time saver. As for crown I'll keep my 780.

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Diablo blades can even turn what you thought was a so-so saw into awesome sauce. Like tires being the only part of your car to contact the road, making them critical and under-rated wrt performance, the blade on your saw is the only thing contacting your cut. Kerf, teeth, coating on the blade makes all the difference in the world. The saw determines how accurate the cut, the blade determines how clean and easy the cut is. Cleaner and less struggle also helps accuracy because you're more likely to let the saw do the work instead of muscling your cut out of position.

I understand why Dewalt wanted this saw compact and light weight but I wish they made it at least 8.5". I'm really looking for a miter and unfortunately I have some rather tall base and crown that are just a little too big for it. After I'm done with the crown and base this saw would have been great but I'm gonna have to look for a bigger one.

 

You do crown on a single bevel saw? If so I'd say you're twice the carpenter I am...that kicks my ass every time. 

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You do crown on a single bevel saw? If so I'd say you're twice the carpenter I am...that kicks my ass every time.

I use single, double or triple bevel for crown.. Whatever it takes :P I've never had trouble with angles, maybe reproducing the dozens of Victorian door casings in my old house with crown and neck moldings has made me punchy lol
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I use single, double or triple bevel for crown.. Whatever it takes [emoji14] I've never had trouble with angles, maybe reproducing the dozens of Victorian door casings in my old house with crown and neck moldings has made me punchy lol

What a triple bevel, sound like i need to get my steel stretcher. Lol that's crazy man

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk

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I picked this saw up on Tuesday and have used it to run base and shoe molding an I have to say I'm impressed with it. great run time good clean cuts.

 

Glad you like it. I'm dying to know what the cordless circular saw would be like with this saw's motor in it. If I knew it would fit I'd buy one and do a transplant. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Let us say we came with a brushless saw, what do you expect from the saw?

How many cuts per charge? Let's say 2x10"

 

Not so where you're going with this...this saw can only cut 8in dimensional lumber on the flat. You're getting into 10in blade territory.

 

To me personally number of cuts is the last statistic I care about. I mean yea I don't want it to die after an hour of use, no...but I don't think anyone is going to buy this saw and a single battery and try to trim out a 3,000 sq/ft house with it without intending to charge. If they had an option where you got 50 less cuts and 20% more power, I'd drop my money on that in an instant.

 

What I want (in any tool) is enough power to not take a massive dip in RPM the second it encounters resistance. I'd rather own an unstoppable tool that eats batteries than a weak, minimally useful tool that lasts for ages. I can add batteries to my arsenal, but I can't add power to a tool. Perfect example of this would be the 20v Grinder, eats batteries alive but I've cut some ridiculous stuff with the little guy. I can't believe I haven't had to replace my brushes yet and still runs like new. 

 

So in that regard, brushless is only useful to me personally if it increases it's capability to power through material. If it has the added benefit of running longer great, but that's not priority at all to me being capable of accomplishing my tasks. 

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This is a reply in regards to the circular saw (thread hijacking). I would really like to see a saw that compares to either Makita or Milwaukee. Brushless, 7 1/4" blade on the right hand side like a regular saw. Then have a brushless 6 1/2" model with the blade on the left for those that want that configuration. Both the Makita and the Milwaukee have similar cuts per battery and you would think DeWalt could come up with something comparable. In saying all of this I don't think Dewalt is gonna come out with something soon enough. I have Dewalt drills and impact and a few batteries, but I will probably get either the Makita or Milwaukee saw eventually. Probably the Milwaukee because it uses 1 battery and will be less investment initially. I am hoping Dewalt picks it up a bit, I've been happy with my current tools and the batteries.

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Sorry for the confusion. I only meant for Dewalt to come out with something that compares to Makitas and Milwaukees offerings. Dewalt is currently lacking in the cordless circular saw department. They have released some very nice other options like the finish nailer and the miter saw, but the circular saw is an everyday tool me. I'm not really concerned with how many 2x10s I can cut per charge, just something comparable to the blue and red.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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