Aligning the Fence on Dewalt's DW718 Miter Saw

By virtue of its brick-house construction Dewalt’s DW718 12″ double-bevel sliding compound miter saw takes a bit of a beating throughout its lifetime. Accordingly, every now and again, the saw requires a bit gentle maintenance to keep at its best. Ensuring your saw is in perfect alignment though, is easier than you might think.

It may surprise you to learn that the leading cause of inaccurate miter saw cuts is actually a misaligned or warped fence. As many awful things like kickback and sloppy cutting can result from a misaligned or otherwise off-kilter rip fence, your fence alignment and the fence alignment process are important parts of miter sawing and miter saw ownership; despite the seemingly elementary process of this procedure, it can make or break your cutting results. 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 paper should be sandwiched between the square and the fence. 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. Continue with said process until the paper doesn’t budge from its sandwiched space at 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.

For over 70 years M&M Tool has been the ultimate resource for power tool parts and power tool repair for favorite brands like Dewalt, Porter-Cable, and Delta. With thousands of Dewalt parts on-hand, and through providing parts and service to all the woodworking products, machinery, and power tools they sell, like Dewalt’s DW718 miter saw, M&M Tool is the utmost authority in Dewalt power tools, tool parts, and power tool repair.

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