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There are plenty of chop saws on the market, but there are a few features that set the DeWalt DW715 apart from the mitering crowd. First among them, we think, is the great detent override, because every corner in your workday is not a perfect 90 degrees. With most saws, it’s impossible to set a miter at 44.5 degrees, because you’ll slide right into the otherwise handy detent. But on this DeWalt, a simple override lets you lock into the exact – and we mean exact – angle you need to get the tightest fit. There are 11 miter detent stops, and arriving at them takes just a squeeze on the cam lever, which we like a whole lot more than the turnscrew knobs on other saws.
Running a close second is the machined base support for the tall sliding fence, which DeWalt promises will never give you anything but the ultimate accuracy. We like the extra height because it supports crown molding beautifully, even up to 5-1/4 inches nested and base molding up to 6-1/2 inches vertically. Need a bevel cut? The fence slides neatly out of the way for bevels, anywhere from 0 to 48 degrees on the left and 0 to 3 degrees on the right. (Of course, this is the single-bevel version; if it’s a double bevel saw you’re after, check out the DW716 and the amazing DW718.) You won’t hear any complaining from this motor no matter what you’re cutting, as it’s drawing a beefy 15 amps and an rpm of 3,600, slicing through 2-by oak like it’s paper.
If portability is a factor, there are few saws that rival this one, we think: It’s just 42 pounds despite its brawny power, and a smart designer incorporated easy-on-the-body handles into the base. Though it’s well-enough suited to the home workshop, this saw is at home at the jobsite. -- Kris Jensen-Van Heste