Hercules Professional 12″ Double Bevel Sliding Miter Saw – Is It A Dewalt DWS780 Clone?

Harbor Freight’s in house Hercules brand has come out with a new miter saw geared towards pro’s. It’s the Hercules professional 12″ double bevel sliding miter saw. It has excellent features and specs and unlike most of Harbor Freight’s tools, this one has a hefty price tag of $399!

Before I go over it’s great specs list, I want to mention that the new Hercules miter saw has a strong resemblance to a Dewalt miter saw but in blue. This wouldn’t be the first time Harbor Freight’s in house brand has done this as all other Hercules power tools up to this moment have been Dewalt look alikes. In fact the new Hercules miter saw looks very similar to a Dewalt DWS780 miter saw which is also a double bevel sliding 12 inch miter saw. The DWS780 from Dewalt is the company’s flagship corded miter saw with all their bells and whistles but comes with a commanding $599 price tag. The question now remains, does the new Hercules 12″ professional double bevel sliding miter saw compare to the Dewalt DWS780? Is it an exact clone? And is it a better value at $399? Let’s take a look.

Hercules VS Dewalt DWS780 side by side

Let’s answer the clone question first. No, it’s not a clone. A clone would mean it’s a rebranded model from the same factory but this is not. What we have here is a look alike for sure and from a quick glance looks almost the same as a Dewalt miter saw but after looking at side by side pictures I can see that it is not from the same mold.

The Hercules miter saws specs include a 12 inch blade, can slide for up to 14 inches of cross cut capacity at 90 degrees and can bevel both ways (left and right directions) 0-45 degrees in each direction. It can miter angles to 60 degrees to the right and 50 to the left. Vertical cutting capacity comes in at 7-1/2″ for nested crown molding and 6-3/4″ Base board vertical capacity. This is one large saw and as such weighs in at 56 lbs. Power comes from it’s 15 amp motor with a no load speed of 4,100. The saw comes with a large carry handle above the trigger and two hand grips on either side of the base and Hercules has what they call a precision blade guide system. They don’t go into detail as what it is or how it works but it looks very similar to Dewalt’s then known XPS LED light system that uses LED’s to cast a shadow over the cut line. I’m going to assume this is how the Hercules precision guide system works.

So up to this point the Hercules pro miter saw has identical features and stats compared to the Dewalt DWS780 as it has the same STOCK (more on this below) horizontal and vertical cutting capacities, same left and right miter and bevel angles, same weight and even possibly the same lighting blade line guide system. Although both use 15 amp motors, the Hercules has a slightly higher no load speed RPM of 4,100 instead of the DWS780’s 3,800.

So to answer the question: does the Hercules compare to the Dewalt DWS780? Yes and no. Yes because all main features and specs are similar but NO because all is not the same. There are a couple of key features that differentiate the two models and might make some to choose the Dewalt DWS780 over the Hercules 12″ pro double bevel miter saw. The first is that although the stock 14 inch horizontal sliding cut capacity is the same on both, the Dewalt DWS780 has a unique back fence feature that is exposed once both fences are removed and allows for cutting up to 2×16 lumber. That might be a huge selling point for those that need the additional horizontal cutting capacity but yet the Hercules miter saw lacks this feature. The next feature that differentiates the two is that the Hercules miter saw is still using the old twist knob to lock and unlock miter angles. Dewalt’s DWS780 uses a lockdown lever which is much quicker than rotating a knob and is my preferred locking method on miter saws.

So to answer the question: is the Hercules miter saw a better value? Being $200 cheaper yet very similar, I’d say that if you don’t need the additional horizontal cutting capacity to cut 2×16’s and don’t care to use a twist knob to lock miter angles, then yes it appears to be a better value on paper. I say on paper because the Hercules brand is still young and we don’t know the long term reliability of their tools since the Hercules brand has only been out for a few months. Also at the time of writing this article, I have not yet seen this Hercules saw in person so I cannot say anything about it’s fit and finish, but it looks good in the pictures provided from the HF website. I do own a Dewalt miter saw so I know the fit and finish quality is excellent on Dewalt miter saws (I have the DHS790 which is the cordless/corded hybrid version of the DWS780). However if someone needs the larger horizontal capacity, the lower price of smaller capacity saws will not matter as it will not fit their needs.

Talking about price, we still have to get used to higher prices from Harbor Freight but it appears that with the introduction of higher end tools such as the Hercules lineup we are now seeing higher price points at HF. Still you have to admit that this is a nicely spec’d saw for the price point even when compared to Dewalt and to other brands like Ridgid and Hitachi.

Hercules Professional 12″ Double Bevel Sliding Miter Saw Features:

  • 14″ Horizontal cut capacity at 90°
  • 7-1/2″ Crown molding nested capacity
  • 6-3/4″ Base board vertical capacity
  • Precision Blade Guide System allows better visibility of cut line for accurate cuts every time
  • High output 15 AMP, 4100 RPM Motor delivers the power needed for high performance cutting
  • Adjustable stainless steel miter detent plate with 10 positive stops
  • Miter detent override system for fine adjustments
  • Double-bevel design with oversized bevel scale makes bevel-angle adjustments accurate and easy
  • Miters 60° to the right and 50° to the left to accommodate a wide variety of cuts
  • Dual horizontal steel rail system with linear bearings allows for smooth and accurate cuts

Big thanks to Joshua B and Cody Robertson for spotting this miter saw!

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  • Jonathan says:

    For me the $200 difference isn’t worth it. The biggest factor for me is spare parts. If the gaurd breaks in five years will HF still have one available? DeWalt will. So in five years the choice with the HF is buy a new one or use an unsafe saw.

  • david says:

    looks more like a DWS718 if you ask me.

    • Javier says:

      You’re splitting hairs here as many of Dewalt’s miter saws look alike. However not only does the Hercules Miter saw resemble the Dewalt DWS780 saw the most, it attempts to copy the DWS780’s feature set as closely as possible too. For example compare features like exact vertical cut capacities and features like the LED light system which the discontinued DW718 saw you mention lacks while the DWS780 has that the Hercules imitates.

  • Donald says:

    Hopefully dewalt comes down on their price for the 780. Otherwise they’re in trouble. The only reason I am waiting and seeing on the Hercules is it’s so new. And dewalt sells the 779 for less now, but if you want the XPS you still have to pay $600 and that’s insane. Everyone can make fun of HF, but they’ve come a long way and have some really great brands now. If you need the DeWalt racing team nonsense and marketing by all means keep buying. I like good healthy competition. Oh look dewalt dropped another $50 off the 780 – it’s now $549. Still high!

    • Javier says:

      Quality and best of features will never come cheap as you may already know. That’s why the Dewalt commands it’s price point because it’s a flagship model and Dewalt tools are quality you can count on. They also offer lower priced models if you need something on your budget however you wont get the features of the DWS780 for less.

      As for the Hercules brand, it’s still new. It may be a high quality product comparable to Dewalt and it may last a long time under tough use however being so new we wont know that until a good while for all the reports on longevity to come in from users. Even if quality and performance are similar on the Hercules, it’s still missing a couple of key features that would make some users go for the Dewalt DWS780 model instead.

    • Big daddy says:

      I’ve had the same Dilemma should I spend the money on the big saw or buy something in adequate I finally went and made the move and I took play Best gut judgment and what the harbor freight Hercules. My old mitre saw finally passed away: so I bought one with all the bells and whistles. Time will tell but after unpacking it and handling it it seems like a great saw very strong in all its components

  • Lonnie says:

    What people r wanting to know is this saw a good saw for the money and for home use is it worth it. I really don’t think that anyone cares if it looks a Dewalt or what ever is it a good saw for the money?

    • Javier says:

      On the contrary, people do care if it looks like a Dewalt. Dewalt tools are known for their quality, performance and reliability so it’s only natural to want to know more about a tool that looks like a Dewalt. If that didn’t matter, HF wouldn’t have made the Hercules look like Dewalt’s. They are basically trying to milk any profits they can from the Dewalt name.

      • Landon says:

        A little to reply to this, but I feel it’s less to do with mimicking a product and more to do with lazy product creation. It’s cheaper and easier to copy something than to design your own.

        I have a DWS780 as well as other higher end DeWalt tools such as the DW735 and the DCF899 and I wouldn’t associate quality, performance or reliability with any of them.

        While I understand the company has a strong following I wouldn’t say it’s due to perception of any of those qualities, unless the user hasn’t used anything else to compare it to.

  • Spud says:

    Gee, I think I’ll write a big long comparison review when I haven’t even seen one of the things I’m reviewing… nice.

    • Javier says:

      Ok, so where does it say it’s a review? Was it mentioned in the title?
      Spud, I have reviews on this blog and they are clearly marked as reviews. If it doesn’t say it’s a review, it’s clearly not a review.

  • Julles says:

    If it seems like the Dewalt brand, it is because HF hired the guy who designed the Dewalt and he designed this Hercules.

  • Julles says:

    If it resembles the Dewalt, it is because HF hired the same guy who designed the Dewalt to design this Hercules model. lol HF’s boss is no dummy. He is on the ball.

  • Paul says:

    I’d be torn choosing but I’m a weekend warrior. (Homeowner) I’ve come to the conclusion that a really good tool can last a lifetime so I’d probably go Dewalt when it’s time to upgrade my craftaman. That craftsman won’t die, left it out under tarps, uncovered in rain a few times, mistreated. Won’t die.

    • Drew says:

      Paul, buy the Hercules. I’ve been using one in my production shop for a couple months and it is the same or better than the DeWalt. Take into account the easier warrantee. Hercules is a one year, full refund or replacement….in shop. DeWalt needs to be shipped back to the service center and YOU pay for shipping. It’s a no-brainer for me. Good Luck!

      • Edgar says:

        Drew, thanks for your comment, it makes sense and it’s something someone else mentioned on a youtube when comparing both saws.The warranty is no brainer as you mentioned and not having to pack it and pay for shipping is priceless. I might actually pick up one this weekend as I can get it at $279 with a coupon I have:)


    I am a contractor who has used DeWalt since before they ever had cordless and I will be the first to tell you that a guy who has never used a tool much less seen it in person has no opinion to give on that tool…. There are only a few things you need to know about the tool you are considering buying before you buy it…. And these things can change depending on the use you have for the tool if you are a contractor who is trying to get the most out of the tool for the cheapest price you would look for 1.reliability…. 2.durability…. 3performance/function…. 4.price…. if you are just the guy who does projects on the weekend then you have to consider a tool you are buying will not be subject to the abuse and strain as on a contractor uses… So you would look for 1.price…. 2.performance/function… Reason being is that you are not going to submit the tool to the same type of everyday stress as a contractor… if you are the only one using the tool and you take care of it it will last… Whereas we contractors need a tool that can handle extremely rougy treatment… Basically DeWalt is the over priced tool for weekend guys… W hurcules is just s good even better for the price…. And a Ridgid is the best tool made to last from day one to the end

    • Javier says:

      I will be the first to tell you that a guy who has never used a tool much less seen it in person has no opinion to give on that tool….

      I disagree with your statement and so do you and I’ll tell you why. You don’t need to hold a tool in person to form an OPINION on FEATURES and PRICE. And here’s why you disagree with your own statement because you formed an OPINION on it’s FEATURES and PRICE on a tool you haven’t seen in PERSON.
      Also reliability is very important even for weekend warriors as I’ve had budget tools break down on me rather quickly with very little use. So yes, reliability is very important no matter the frequency of use.

  • Joe says:

    all of you geniuses spelling “it’s” with an apostrophe and publishing for the world to see lose your credibility instantly.
    Before I go over it’s great specs list,…”
    should be
    “Before I go over its great specs list…”


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