Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Sliding Miter Saw DHS790 Review

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Profile
PTR Review
  • Build Quality 8.5
  • Design 9.0
  • Performance 9.0
  • Run Time 9.0
  • Value 7.5

Essentially, the DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw is built on the flagship DWS780 platform. For a $200 premium, you'll upgrade to cordless capability with a pair of batteries, dual-port quick charger, and AC adapter for when you're close to power.

Overall Score 8.6 (out of 10)

The DeWalt FlexVolt 120V (MAX) Sliding Miter Saw maximized what DeWalt FlexVolt technology could accomplish. It “changed the game” with a battery platform that can switch between 20V and 60V performance based on the tool’s requirements. The DeWalt DHS790 brings a 12-inch double bevel sliding model, and they also made a non-sliding model as well.

DeWalt DHS790 FlexVolt Cordless Miter Saw Features

Power Sources

The DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw is a hybrid tool – it can run on either batteries or AC power. To get to 120 volts, DeWalt needs two FlexVolt battery packs installed behind the motor head. If you’re working near a power source, you can also swap them out for the 120V AC adapter that comes packed in two of the kit options.

Blade Position Indicator

It’s one thing to create a cordless 12-inch, dual bevel, sliding miter saw. It’s another thing to keep all the bells and whistles on it so you don’t feel like you’re losing out. The first feature I look for on every DeWalt miter saw now is their Cutline Blade Positioning System that uses a shadow to show you where the blade will contact your workpiece. It’s on the DHS790 and I’m thrilled to see it.

Miter Adjustments

Once I’ve checked the cut line indicator, I move to the more obvious – miter and bevel adjustments. The miter controls are up front where you’d expect to find them. There’s a detent override that you need to press and hold as you adjust along with a standard lock for uncommon angles. DeWalt added a bonus here with a button that holds the detent override for you.

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Miter Controls

Actually pivoting the saw for miter cuts was a little stiffer than others I’ve used. It may loosen up with time, but is noticeable out of the box. It’s also possible to move fast enough to skip over notches without the detent engaging. Once the detent is in place though, it’s not going anywhere. The miter lock itself is also very solid.

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Miter Gauge

Bevel Adjustments

The bevel lock can be found on the back like other DeWalt miter saws. Once loosened, you’re immediately clear to bevel left from 0 – 45 degrees. To override the stop at 0 degrees and bevel right, you’ll need to engage that on the back as well. DeWalt added bevel stops that simply pivot in our out of position for 22.5 and 33.86 degrees.

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Bevel Stops

Overall, the movements are smooth and I really like the bevel stops. The only real negative here is that the controls are on the back, forcing you to reach around the saw or move to the back to make adjustments.

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Bevel Gauge

Stock Blade

DeWalt draws from their new FlexVolt line of accessories and includes a 60-tooth, 12-inch blade. The new accessories are designed to make the most of cordless tools and I didn’t see any issues with cut speed or quality using the included blade. There are a couple of blades out there you might upgrade to once the stock blade’s useful life is over, but the results are certainly of high enough quality to warrant using it first.

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw Blade

Drive System

Most miter saws use a belt drive system and the DeWalt DHS790 is no exception. The belt used is a solid Jason Industrial 220J and the ribbing will help restrict how quickly it stretches.

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw Belt Drive

The real intelligence of the design is where the belt drive connects to a second gear drive. This creates a 90-degree angle to the arbor and additional cutting height clearance for crown and other thin vertical cuts.

Other Features

  • Standard vertical clamp
  • Sliding, removable fence extensions
  • Crown stop lock
  • Depth stop
  • On board tools
  • No integrated side extensions

DeWalt DHS790 Kit Options

DeWalt’s 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw comes in three configurations that can be a little confusing to sort through. Here’s what you get in each one.

DeWalt DHS790AB

  • DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw
  • 120V AC Adapter
  • No batteries or charger
  • Price: $769

DeWalt DHS790AT2

  • DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw
  • (2) DeWalt FelxVolt Battery Packs
  • Dual Port Fast Charger
  • 120V AC Adapter
  • Price: $799

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Sliding Miter Saw Performance

A Quick Note About Accuracy

Like any miter saw, you need to calibrate the DHS790 before evaluating the accuracy. With that completed, there weren’t any issues to be noted, nor did we expect any. What we really wanted to get to is how much power would be available for cutting.

Cutting Power

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Action

We can cut case and base all day with other cordless miter saws, so we skipped straight to the tougher stuff. 2x pine and 4x pressure treated pine needed some resizing. If we’re being perfectly honest, there wasn’t any trim work to be done at the moment anyway.

Plugged in using the AC adapter, the DHS790 has a motor rated for 15 amps and performs like we expect from a professional level corded saw. Obviously, you’re not going to change the motor just by switching to battery power, so it’s still a 15-amp motor. It’s only a matter of whether it will be able to draw full power from the new source.

The DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Sawcut just as well and confidently on battery power as it did using the cord. We didn’t go out of our way to try and bog the saw down just for the sake of it. We used solid techniques aimed at getting quality results from the 60-tooth blade – no different than how we use any other corded miter saw on the jobsite. The saw was up to the task with no noticeable reduction in cutting power.

Dust Collection

Dust collection is a little rough on this saw. We ended up with quite a bit of leftover saw dust lying around. A dust extractor will help, but it will still rate below the top models in this area.

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw Dust Collection

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw Specifications

  • Model: DeWalt DHS790
  • Power Source: (2) DeWalt FlexVolt Battery Packs or 120V AC
  • Blade Diameter: 12 inches
  • No Load Speed: 3800 RPM
  • Miter Capacity: 49 degrees left and right
  • Bevel Capacity: 45 degrees left and right
  • Cross Cut Capacity: 16 inches
  • 45-Degree Miter Capacity: 8 inches
  • Cutting Height: 6-3/4 inches
  • Nested Crown Capacity: 7-1/2 inches
  • Weight: 56 pounds (without batteries)

Parting Shots

Essentially, the DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Sliding Miter Saw is built on the flagship DWS780 platform. That’s a good thing given the feature set and performance of the 780. For a $200 premium, you’ll upgrade to cordless capability with a pair of batteries, dual port quick charger, and AC adapter for when you’re close to power.

That $799 price tag may be enough to put off some potential customers. However, it opens up the FlexVolt line of tools that notably includes a table saw among others. From a performance and feature standpoint, it’s pretty safe to say that DeWalt has professional quality dialed in.

Related articles

Best Miter Saw Reviews for 2022

Fresh off our best 12-inch miter saw reviews article, we wanted to get our readers a more comprehensive guide to the best miter saws…period. While cordless tools may rule the roost in many circles, miter saws largely remain popular as corded solutions. Still, newer cordless models seem like they may start gaining mainstream popularity. They […]

Best Oscillating Multi-Tool Reviews 2022

Choosing the best oscillating multi-tool used to boil down to just a couple of brands. Not anymore. Advancement in battery, motor, and vibration control technologies offers more viable options than ever. As we considered the landscape, our team was unanimous in our selection of cordless oscillating multi-tools. Corded models are absolutely relevant and there are […]

DeWalt Vs Milwaukee Video | Thanksgiving Edition

Josh and Kenny planned to revisit our Milwaukee vs DeWalt one-hand reciprocating saw head-to-head. Unfortunately for the test (and fortunately for our appetites), they quickly lost focus and, well, you can see for yourself what happened. Still, it was highly entertaining for the rest of the office and the results were delicious. From all of […]

Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m thrilled with this saw. The price has come down a bit now. Be careful what you are ordering, as this review notes, there are different kits out there and some retailers show the stock picture with all the parts listed here but you can end up with a lessor kit. A couple of mistakes in the review: The saw miters 60° to the right and I think 50° to the left. You say 45° bevels and then the correct 49° later, there are tabs that allow you to stop at 45° or 49° In addition to the 33.9° bevel… Read more »

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x