Over the weekend, a 7 1/4-inch 20V MAX sliding miter saw appeared on the Home Depot website. Tools in Action noticed and put the word out (thanks Dan!).
DeWalt has yet to issue a press release so all that is known about the saw is what’s on the Home Depot website. According to the specs, the DCS361M1 weighs in at 38 pounds, can cross-cut a 2x8 at 90 degrees, and cut material up to 3 1/2 inches thick. It will sell for $399 and come with a blade, battery, charger, wrench, and material clamp. The saw is said to be able to make 150 cuts per charge in 2x6 material—but it’s unclear if that’s with the 4.0 Ah battery shown in the photos or with the 3.0 Ah battery (DCB200) listed in the specs as being included with the saw.
Either way, that’s an impressive amount of runtime for portable miter saw. With a few spare batteries it should be possible to do a significant amount of work without any power. The blade speed (rpm) is not listed but will likely be less than that of 7 1/4-inch corded models because running at the same speed as corded will quickly deplete batteries. A small diameter blade spun at low speed does not cut as fast as a larger blade at the same speed or the same size blade at a higher speed.
But then portable miter saws are not intended to be one-for-one replacements (at least not yet) for corded models; they’re convenience tools that allow you to move quickly from place to place and make a limited number of cuts without the hassle of finding a receptacle and rolling out cords. If it cuts a little slower than a 10-inch corded model, well that’s part of the price you pay for mobility.
The DCS361 is not the first or only cordless miter saw on the market. Makita introduced one a few years back and we reviewed it in the magazine (that tool, the LXSL01 has since become the XSL01). Ryobi makes a cordless miter saw and Milwaukee sells one in Europe. Earlier models include now-discontinued 24-volt saws from Bosch and Makita. I tested both for a 2002 story in JLC and was surprised by how well they worked, but then 2002 was before lithium-ion batteries and I had low expectations for what cordless saws could be expected to do.
It has been no secret DeWalt was working on a cordless miter saw. In 2012 the company posted a YouTube video about its process for developing tools. It was an interesting topic to begin with and became even more so when a 20V MAX sliding miter saw (probably a prototype for the DCS361M1) appeared in the background for a handful of frames. The guys at Tools in Action noticed and posted a story about the saw on their website. I shared it on Facebook—at which point DeWalt pulled the video and transferred the video editor to their service center in Antarctica (Okay, I don’t actually know what happened to the editor or if DeWalt even has a service center in Antarctica, but I do know they pulled the video).
Editor's note: The description of the included battery was revised on 4/28/15 to reflect a discrepancy between the photos and specs. The photos show the tool with a 4.0 Ah battery while the model number listed in the specs (DCB200) is for a 3.0 Ah battery.