Are you skeptical about whether a cordless saw could be powerful enough to be useful? How long would a battery last in a power saw? We’ll look at this DEWALT miter saw, the DCS361, and see if it can convince you that it can do the job.
DEWALT DCS361B 20V Max Cordless Miter Saw Bare Tool
Imagine this: no more power cords in the way. Work can be done anywhere there’s space to do it, no electrical outlet needed.
There is only one down side: the DCS361 is not made to cut metals or masonry.
There are two versions of this model in this review. The DCS361B is the bare tool model. It comes without a battery and charger. DEWALT only includes a 40-tooth carbide blade, a blade wrench, a hold-down clamp, and instructions.
The DCS361 compound miter saw is perfect for people doing flooring, trim installation, and cutting 2x materials. It cuts with a 7-1/4-inch blade on a 5/8-inch arbor. The motor runs at 3750rpm without a load. When the saw was tested on pine, it made 183 cuts in 2x4s before the battery charge ran out. Another time it finished 275 cuts on 3-1/4-inch boards, also on one charge. The sawcan also cut oak and framing lumber without a problem.
The maximum depth it can cut at 90 degrees is 8 inches. For example, it can handle a 2×8 laying flat. If the material is nested against the fence the maximum height allowed is 3-5/8 inches.
The DCS361 has a stainless-steel miter detent plate that has eleven positive stops. It can be set to other angles if needed. The cam lock lever is large enough to grasp and control even if the user wears gloves, and it flips open and locks down quickly. There’s no need to tighten it like a screw.
The saw bevels, but only to the left, between -3 and 48 degrees. There are ten positive stops plus bevel overrides. Since it only bevels to the left, the user may have to flip work-pieces to finish them.
The DCS361 has another handy feature. Instead of a laser guide it has a light above the blade. This XPS light casts a shadow from the blade onto the work-piece to show where the cut will happen. Unfortunately, the light is white and it’s hard to see the shadow in bright daylight. But the light is also useful for showing when the battery is getting low. Pulling the saw trigger when it has a low battery will make the XPS light blink. The light is also on a separate power system so it is possible to use it independently from the saw.
The base of the saw is machined aluminum with rubber feet. It has a handle carved right into the base metal for one-handed transport. The upper handle to raise and lower the blade is big enough for a gloved hand. The trigger is fairly large too, and can be locked off if desired.
More features of the DCS361B Miter Saw
- Weighs 31.6 pounds
- Has a dust port that fits a shopvac hose or dust bag
- Miter positive stops at 10, 15, 22.5, 31.62, and 45 degrees, both left and right
- Rail lock knob to lock the saw head for certain kinds of cuts and a lock down pin to secure the blade for transport
- No electric brake, but the blade stops within 5 seconds of releasing the trigger
- Comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee, a 1-year free service contract, and a 3-year limited warranty
DEWALT DCS361M1 20V Max Cordless Miter Saw
The DCS361M1 is the DCS361 saw with a couple of extras besides the bare tool. It comes with the DCB112 charger and a 4.0Amp-hour20-volt MAX XR lithium-ion battery, as well as the clamp, the blade, the blade wrench, and instructions.
More features of the DCS361M1 Miter Saw
- Comes with the DCB112 charger and a DCB204 4.0Ah MAX XR lithium-ion battery
- Battery has a three LED “fuel gauge” to indicate when the charge is getting low
- Each battery weighs 1.42 pounds
- The battery itself has a 90-day money back guarantee and a 3-year free service contract
- The saw has a 90-day money-back guarantee, a 1-year free service contract, and a 3-year limited warranty
If this saw fits the type of work you want to do and you want the convenience of a cordless tool, get the DCS361! You’ll join the growing ranks of many satisfied customers.
If you happen to already have the DEWALT charger and battery, you could get by with the DCS361B. Otherwise, get the DCS361M1 because it comes with one battery and a charger.