Shop Talk

Dewalt DW718 Miter Saw Fence Alignment

  • With a saw so beastly as Dewalt’s DW718 12” double-bevel sliding compound miter saw, it’s no question that the thing is going to take a bit of a beating on the jobsite. Consequently, there will come a time or two when you’ve got to give your saw and its components a little bit of TLC.

    You see, the leading cause of inaccurate miter saw cuts is actually a misaligned or bowed fence. Because misalignment of the rip fence can cause dangerous kickback and of course those sloppy cuts and inaccurate angles, this alignment thing is pretty important, and the alignment process, despite seeming a bit rudimentary, is particularly important as well. Additionally, because Dewalt’s DW718 packs such a serious amount of punch, ensuring that your cuts are accurate and your materials are safe from error or kickback is all the more important. Be precise and be cautious. 

    So, to get down to business, using a framing square or straight-edge that is at least as long as your fence, press a piece of ultra thin paper (i.e. tracing paper or telephone book paper) against the fence (or straight-edge). The fence and square should sandwich the paper. Now, tug softly at the top of the paper. It should be tightly stuck between the fence and the square at all points from one end of the fence to the other. If at any point you can remove the paper from said contraption, you have a bow, a sway, or an imperfection in the fence that needs to be corrected.

    To adjust the DW718’s one piece fence, loosen the screws closest to the imperfection and remembering to not over-correct use a pry bar to gently force that bent fence straight. Maintain pressure on the pry bar and tighten the screws. Test again to ensure this point has sufficiently straightened. Repeat the process until the paper can not be removed from any point on the fence. Additionally, and as with almost all things in life, this procedure is generally easier with four hands; if someone can help you, gratefully accept their offer and hold and push and pull and test and measure until your fence is perfectly straight. Also, and again, please be cautious as you straighten the fence, move in very tiny increments to ensure you don’t over-correct any given bowing point.

    If after all this, you find you need an extra hand with your Dewalt DW718 miter saw fence alignment, take your tool to a Dewalt factory authorized service center for a professional adjustment.

    Click for a parts list and parts schematic for Dewalt DW718. Click to view full parts diagram for Dewalt DW718.